Cooking can be a hobby for some and a necessity for others. But whether you live to eat or eat to live, cooking can always be made more fun. And one way to do it can be to work with tools that make the experience more enjoyable. Here is a list of 10 items that can bring more life to kitchens and a smile on the faces in there. And most of them cost under Rs 1,000*, another reason to smile.
1. A rocking mug
You can now bid goodbye to spoons or stirrers, at least while making your coffee. Self-stirring mugs are here. The mug does the job of frapping your drink with the help of a spinning disk inside. Just fill the mug with hot water, milk, coffee powder and sugar, and press the switch. The device will take care of the rest. You will need to fix aaa/aa batteries inside the base. The mugs can also froth and foam milk. And you can always whip up your favourite mocktails, or even the humble nimbu pani. An ideal travel companion.
Brand: Flintstop STM1, Coffee Magic, Morrisons
Price range: Above Rs 300
2. Tea infusers
Tea lovers should not lose heart looking at that coffee mug that rocks. There are a variety of infusers on the offer to make your tea experience more interesting. Made of silicon, these infusers are heat resistant and look cool, coming in different fun shapes and sizes. If tea bags are not your thing, and you are a leaf person, these infusers are perfect for you. Just put some loose tea leaves of your choice in the infusers and let it brew. Take it out when done and your tea is ready.
Brand: Mastard, Trudeau, Decodyne
Price range: Above Rs 300
3. Pineapple corer and slicer
Don’t you think the sole reason for the popularity of canned pineapples is the fact that people find it inconvenient to peel the otherwise lovely fruit? But you can always have a pineapple corer do the peeling and cutting for you. You just need to chop off the top of the pineapple, line the corer’s teeth on the fruit’s core, twist it down and pull it up. You will get the perfect rings, just like the way you find them in the cans.
Brand: Woodi, Mastrad
Price range: Above Rs 150
4. Banana slicer
Well, slicing a banana is definitely not something that will give you any stress in the kitchen. But since the idea is to have fun, why not give it a try? Besides, if you are making a special dessert with banana toppings while hosting a lunch or dinner, you may just find a banana slicer handy for giving you those uniform slices in no time. And if you have kids, they might just want to use it themselves to slice bananas for their cereals and smoothies.
We can now expect somebody to manufacture a banana peeler too, I guess. Just joking!
Brand: Chef’n, Hutzler 571
Price range: Above Rs 350
5. Egg timer
I always end up overcooking the eggs. Like me, if you too think you are not sure how long it exactly takes to make that perfect soft-boiled or hardboiled egg, an egg timer may help you out. There are many available in the market. The egg timer heats up along with the eggs and its colour changes to indicate the boiling eggs’ current status — soft, medium or hard. Just turn off the heat when the status best suits your taste.
Brand: Norpro, MSC, Hamilton Beach
Price range: Above Rs 100
6. Marinade injector
Cooking frozen meat may not be a very enjoyable experience always. Your hours of hardwork can go in vain if the flavours of the herbs and spices don’t reach inside the meat. A marinade injector can come in handy here. An injector can send great flavour into the meat. There are many companies that make this.
Brand: Norpro, GrillPro, Mr Grill, Weston, Brinkmann
Price range: Above Rs 770
7. Citrus spray
Squeezers are passé. Now you can spray juice directly from any citrus fruit. It’s easy and inexpensive, saves time too.
Brand: Stem, Lekue
Price range: Around Rs 100
8. Corn kerneler
Fresh corn has paved the way for frozen ones largely, or maybe, because many of us find it messy to bite it off the cob. Also, using fresh corn for making dishes involves the tedious and time-consuming process of removing the kernels from the cob. With corn kernelers, however, one can easily do this really fast. Hold the cob with its narrow side up, place the kerneler on top and push it down. Most kernelers come with this basin-like structure where the kernels get collected. Empty the basin and start the process again for more corns. Users, however, complain that some models don’t fit all size of corns, so you may have to choose corns according to the size of the kerneler.
Brand: HPK, Qubeplex
Price range: Around Rs 200
9. Onion goggles
Slicing onions can be a tedious job, especially when they give you tears. While soaking onion halves in cold water has traditionally helped solve the problem to a great extent, there is a cooler, though quite costlier, way to fight the tears now. I stumbled upon this cool pair of kitchen shades that give a protective layer to your eyes. You can just wear this and do the slicing, dicing or chopping without the hint of a tear. It has got “fog-free lenses” to counter heat and smoke too.
Wish our mothers and grandmothers, and those who still don’t have access to cooking gas and have to make do with clay ovens, too, had such an option.
Price: Above Rs 2,000
10. Gas Secura
This is the last item on my list today, but not the least by any means. I recently got to know about the product and its features make it look like a must-have for kitchens using LPG cylinders. How many times you wished you knew when the cylinder needed a refill? And did you ever feel there should be a better way to secure your kitchen from the threat posed by LPG than simply switching off the regulator? Gas Secura could be the answer to both questions. The manufacturers claim the device will automatically switch off the gas supply from the cylinder in case of a major leakage of gas due to the tube catching fire, the regulator failing to function properly or rupturing of the tube. The scale on the device will indicate when the gas level goes low, enabling you to book the next cylinder in time. To fix it, you need to first remove the regulator, after of course turning off all gas points the oven, and then fit the device on to the cylinder just like the way you would fit the regulator. Now, fix the regulator to the brass nozzle of Gas Secura.
Note: Customer feedback on the e-tailing sites selling the product has been positive. But as a precaution you may consult your gas agency before using the device.
Price: Rs 2,500