It takes years of practice and tutelage under a master to become a chef worthy of your own restaurant — or reality TV show — but as with everything in life, there are shortcuts. Assuming your kitchen is as large as one of Amazon’s warehouses, there’s a gadget or machine that can take care of every culinary skill you don’t have the time learn, and every dish you don’t want to bother making from scratch.
Tuna Can Press
Tuna fish is truly the food of royalty (some king or queen at some point in time must have had tuna for lunch, right?) but preparing it from a can is a process that can make you feel decidedly un-regal. Once you’re done with the can opener you need to strategically use that razor sharp metal lid to drain away fishy water or oil without sacrificing any chunks of meat in the process. It’s a challenge even for an Iron Chef unless you’ve splurged $11 on Prepworks’ Tuna Press. When forced into an open tuna can it separates the meat from the unwanted liquid making it easy to drain away. It supposedly also works on canned vegetables as well, but why not also buy a press specifically designed for those cans too?
Rollie, the Omelet Log Machine
Omelets make for a delicious and easy meal but who hasn’t at one time wondered if omelets could be even easier to prepare and more phallic? The thought clearly crossed the mind of the creator of the Rollie. It looks like a thermos or a water bottle, but instead of filling it with coffee or water you pour raw eggs into the top and after a few minutes of heating you’re left with what looks like an omelet log, among other things, depending on how corrupted your imagination is. For $40 it saves you the hassle of turning on the stove and messing a pan, and as far as we know it’s the only practical way to make your own egg on a stick: a staple of carnivals we only see in our nightmares.
Calorie-Counting Digital Rice Paddle
Rice is one of the world’s most popular foods for good reason: it’s plentiful, filling, and goes with everything. But if you worry about all the calories and carbs you’re shovelling in your maw while eating rice, this $45 tech’d-out spoon will serve as your guilty conscience. A few seconds after lifting a scoopful of rice with the paddle its LCD display provides an accurate reading of the weight and the estimated calories you’d be subjecting your body to were you to consume all of it. It’s only calibrated for cooked white rice, however, so if you were hoping it could confirm your guilty suspicions of just how bad it is to eat Nutella straight from the jar, you’ll need to seek out an alternate smart spoon.
Spherical Ice Cube Mould
Maybe you have those plastic trays you fill with water and place in the freezer, or maybe you have one of those fancy fridges with an automatic dispenser in the door. Either way, if you’re cooling drinks with ice featuring hard angles, you might as well be living life like a neanderthal. Come join the rest of the developed world here in 2020 with this aluminium mould (fancied up with an anodized copper finish) that produces perfect two-and-a-half inch ice spheres. At 9 kg you’ll get a workout every time you have to hoist it into the freezer, and its $1,000 price tag works out to $50 per pound of beverage cooling extravagance.
Ultimate MYO Mayonnaise Maker
If you’ve exhausted all the options for stocking your fridge or pantry with mayonnaise (like making your own using a bowl and whisk, or a blender, or simply buying it in a jar at the store) there’s a $95 last resort, Hail Mary that will give you freshly whipped mayo at the push of a button: the Ultimate MYO. It’s essentially a tiny blender whose sole purpose in life is to make mayonnaise. Using it requires an egg to be cracked into the top compartment which separates the yolk in the process, and then other ingredients like salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil are added which, after two minutes of holding down the blend button, are whipped up into the savoury fat-rich pudding known as mayo.
The only thing worse than having to slice up a store-bought pizza is when the delivery pie you ordered and paid more for wasn’t properly sliced all the way through at the pizzeria. You can invest in a rolling pizza cutter, but unless you’re a trained professional you’re all but guaranteed to lose a finger as you try to navigate that sharpened wheel through chunks of ham and pineapple. (Anything else and you’re doing it wrong.) Scissors are a much safer option, but not just any scissors. You need to spend $12 on dedicated pizza shears that includes a built-in plastic spatula so you can immediately serve up a slice without the risk of the crust going limp under the weight of the toppings and all the cheese sliding off when it loses structural integrity. Can you remove the spatula attachment and use these as normal scissors elsewhere? It sure doesn’t look like it.
biēm Butter Sprayer
Is there anything more delicious than butter? Yes, melted butter blasted directly into your mouth. That’s exactly the niche the $175 biēm Butter Sprayer fills. It looks like a water bottle, but unscrewing the lid reveals a cavity where you can insert a single stick of butter where it’s melted and then channeled through a pumping mechanism. At the push of a button a fine mist of melted butter is dispensed improving everything you eat from toast, to popcorn, to veggies, to coffee, to ice cream. There’s really no limit as to where this electronic miracle can be put to good use. Whatever you come up with, your tastebuds will thank you.
Hamilton Beach Quesadilla Maker
Quesadillas are one of the easiest snacks to make that don’t include “open the bag of chips” in the recipe. You put a frying pan on a burner, turn on the stove, lay down a tortilla, cover it in toppings like chicken, ground beef, and cheese — -you know what, I’m exhausted already and we’re only about 97% through the recipe. Do yourself a favour and trade-in your frying pan for this $55 quesedilla maker from Hamilton Beach. It eliminates two or three exhausting steps from the quesadilla making process, delivering six delicious wedges of melted goodness and leftovers in just five minutes. It even cuts them for you in the process, letting you get back to more important tasks like trying to clear room in the cupboard for it until the next time you get a craving.
Tandem Breakfast Sandwich Maker
Starting the day with a hot breakfast sandwich that wasn’t made at the expense of exploiting the labour of underpaid teens is the dream, and that’s exactly what this $66 appliance is designed to do if you’re willing to commit over 645 square centimetres of counter space to its existence. A series of stacked metal heating plates let you load up English muffins, bagels, ham, bacon, eggs, and other toppings that all cook in about five minutes’ time. When the timer dings, the heating plates can all be yanked out, bringing all of the ingredients together leaving you with a pair of breakfast sammies.
Ice Cream Pint Melting Decelerator
You know that wonderful experience of plonking down on the couch and devouring a pint of ice cream directly from the tub where it gets real melty and runny on the outside but remains frozen at the core? It’s the best of both worlds, and an experience that no one really wants. The better approach is to shell out $80 for this metal ice cream tub insulator that ensures the ice cream you’re eating is just as hard an hour later as it was when you first yanked it out of the freezer. It also comes with a tiny ice cream scoop for one so you can pile equally tiny (but perfectly shaped) mounds of ice cream onto your tongue. It’s also promised to work with cartons of frozen yogurt and sorbet, if you’re a monster and choose that over ice cream.
Electric Giant Gummy Candy Maker
If you’re quick on the ‘Buy Now!’ button you can occasionally score giant bags of gummy bears online for the price of a fast-food meal. The problem is, depending on where you live, you may have to wait several hours for those gummies to be delivered. Who has that kind of will power and patience? No one and you don’t have to either, because for $55 you can get a countertop machine from Nostalgia Products that makes gummy treats on demand. After whipping up a gelatin mixture you can melt it down using two heated pots and then pour it into chill-able silicon molds giving you chewy deliciousness in seconds. Or, it also comes with a mould for creating a giant edible gummy bear if that’s a fantasy you’ve been hoping to one day play out. The candy maker is also 420-friendly allowing you to enhance gummy candies with CBD oil, or really any ingredients and flavoring you can think of. Don’t let yourself be limited by Haribo’s lack of imagination.
Big StreamJumbo Nagashi-Sōmen Slider
In the summer time in Japan a popular way to enjoy a cold noodle dish called nagashi-sōmen is to grab the noodles with a pair of chopsticks as they slide down a chute made of bamboo channeling running water. Given restaurant dining is still frowned upon, however, this elaborate $398 contraption that looks like a water park log ride will let you create the nagashi-sōmen experience at home. You load it up with water and noodles while a battery powered pump keeps cold water flowing. There are even gates strategically placed along the slides to slow the noodle’s descent so they’re easier to grab. But the easiest solution is to just position your mouth at the bottom of the slide and swallow them all once their ride’s over.
iView Picasso Smart Latte Printer
Did you know the easiest way to make a cup of coffee taste better actually has nothing to do with where the beans are harvested, how they’re ground up and roasted, or even how the hot bean water is prepared? Even a bad cup of coffee is enjoyable when you distract your taste buds with some eye-catching foam art floating on top. The $1,900 iView Picasso Smart Latte Printer will create caffeinated masterpieces for you and you’ll never again need to tip a talented barista. A built-in touchscreen is used to prep artwork instead of a connected smartphone app, while a precision spray-head and cartridges filled with edible ink turn photos or custom messages into consumable art so every morning you can let your coffee get cold while you snap the perfect Instagram-worthy photo of the Picasso’s handiwork.
Wine Steward Eliminator
There’s an art to pouring the perfect glass of wine, but it can take years to learn at the cost of countless bottles of wine to practice with. You can hire a professional wine steward to pour it for you, or you can use that money to invest in this $272,000 mechanical wine pouring machine that will impress everyone you invite over for dinner. (They’re laughing because they’re impressed, trust us.) Standing eight feet tall and assembled from over 300 moving parts turning a simple crank initiates the process but the machine handles everything from uncorking a bottle to raising it and performing the perfect pour. Sure, it might have been a struggle finding room for a tiny wine fridge, but can you really imagine your life without this thing as the centrepiece of your kitchen?