Move over instant pot. While the modest-looking kitchen appliance dominated 2017—a Slate headline decreed it “an Entire Economy and Religion”—there are newer, shinier and more functional kitchen tools eager to take its place in the new year. The reign of the instant pot is certain to fade. This year’s kitchen swag is awesome.
The Ultimate Chopper
This monster machine is the four most-loved cutting gadgets—blender, food processor, spiralizer and smoothie maker—in one smart system. The 1200-watt high-powered base uses “Smart Vessel Recognition” to identify the blade-spinning gadget you attach and automatically adjusts speed, power and torque. With each attachment, the touchscreen displays a unique menu of smart programs.
Hot Bath Chef
Sous-vide cooking is a peek into the future. Clamp the cooker to the side of a container of water, seal your meal in a ziplock and submerge. The water bath cooks low and slow at a constant temperature that breaks down fibers without allowing anything to overcook. Restaurants and commercial kitchens have been using this precision cooking technique for a long time. Now, it’s easy and affordable to try at home. Choose what you want to cook and the app takes care of all the settings. You can check on your meal from the office or control it from the next room via bluetooth or through an intelligent personal assistant service Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
This is the year of the air fryer. This technique power-blasts hot air all around your food, simulating frying without fat. The result is crisp, moist food without the need for a deep fryer or large amounts of oil. Even though it’s called a fryer, you can still prepare meats and even bake a small souffle—think of more like a tiny convection oven. This digital machine is good-looking, compact, easy-to-clean and priced right.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Thrill amateur mixologists with a collection of the best ice gear. They’ll make a splash with cool clear spheres or colossal cubes that melt super-slowly. Tovolo carries the best selection of specialty ice cubes in shapes such as snowflakes, skulls and rubber ducks. You can get regular spheres or clear as air and bubble-free along with special tongs to transfer them (and they also be used as an entertaining cat toy)
Tovolo Sphere Ice Molds and Tongs, $9.99- $11.00
Help the wine and food lovers in your life hone their most vital tool—their nose. Each of these aroma kits contains vials of aromas that make up the fragrance in wine, coffee or whisky. Sure, it enhances appreciation. Better yet, it trains the brain with true skills, and learning the language of aroma stopping users from BS-ing to truly understand what the experts mean by yeast, leather, cut hay, roasted hazelnuts and pear.
Wine Aromas, $40.00 – $399.00
Corky’s grows and sells some of the finest straight-from-the-farm organic walnuts, cold-pressed walnut oil and hand-crafted raw organic walnut butter—with one ingredient, nuts. The flavor of these super-fresh walnuts will blow away your favorite hardcore nut lovers. Small family farm means the season has an exclusive limited quantity, so get them while you can. Oh, and the packaging is gorgeous.
Corky’s Nuts, $13.99 – $25.00