Your kitchen is your kingdom. This is where you reign over a world of food and beverages. But you don’t do it alone. You have bowls, a mixer, measuring cups, a toaster, a blender and other tools of the trade at your service. If you’re a gadget-loving chef, then it’s hard to resist the siren call of a cool new kitchen machine. We’ve got a selection of some the strangest and most entertaining kitchen gadgets on the market. You might not need them, but you will want to welcome them to your counter just for the fun of it.
A galaxy of waffles
Star Wars and waffles go together like butter and syrup, but only if you have a Death Star waffle maker on hand. One of the stranger breakfast machines on the market comes from ThinkGeek and it turns out waffles in the shape of Darth Vader’s iconic round spaceship. The amusing gadget will appeal to sci-fi fans who want to enliven the breakfast experience. Just be sure to pull out the cooked waffles before they go to the Dark Side.
If you don’t already have a solid waffle maker, then this is an easier purchase to justify than some of our other oddball kitchen gadgets. It’s also small enough to tuck away in a drawer or cabinet so it doesn’t hog up your precious counter space.
A toaster just for bacon
Some home chefs are obsessed with bacon, but it can be a messy and time-consuming item to cook. The Bacon Express from Nostalgia Products is a single-purpose kitchen appliance with the sole focus of crisping up your bacon. The funny vertical cooking method is designed to drain away grease for a slightly healthier take on bacon. It’s a surprisingly sleek-looking little gadget that can accommodate up to six strips of your favorite pork (or turkey) product, but you will need to be a hard-core bacon lover to add this to your kitchen gadget collection.
Source: Nostalgia Products
Hot melted cheese gun
Hot glue guns are a staple tool of the craft scene. The Fondoodler takes that same concept and applies it to cheese. Here’s the process: you stuff a canister full of shredded cheese or cheese sticks, plug it into the Fondoodler gun, turn it on, let it heat up, and then dispense it onto the food of your choice, whether it’s nachos, crackers, or anything else your foodie imagination can think up.
There’s something both strange and glorious about the Fondoodler. It’s not the most practical kitchen gadget, but it may well be one of the most entertaining. Just imagine pulling this out at the table for your next dinner party and letting your guests control their own cheese.
BYOB: Brew Your Own Beer
Home beer making is a growing hobby, but not everyone wants to spend hours poring over hop varieties and learning the subtleties of home-brewing equipment. People looking for an easy way into the DIY beer craft can check out the Pico from PicoBrew.
PicoBrew calls the Pico a “personal craft beer brewery.” The $800 system includes the brewing machine, a brewing keg, and a serving keg. Pico sells PicoPaks, a set of prepackaged ingredients that the machine will turn into five liters of beer. A PicoPak typically sells for around $25. You can choose from a wide selection including various IPAs, blondes, red ales, porters, and other popular styles.
Though the Pico is meant to make brewing easy, it still requires some patience as you wait through both the brewing and fermentation time. You also need to follow the Pico’s brewing process and cleaning instructions, so it’s not an entirely hands-off system. Don’t expect the Pico to become a staple in every household, but it’s an intriguing idea for beer enthusiasts who aren’t afraid of the price tag and want some assistance to get into home brewing.
Chill out with a wine chiller
Dinner is almost ready. You’re dishing it up for the table. You have the perfect white wine to go along with the pasta alfredo. Then you realize you forgot to chill the wine. You could shove it into the freezer and hope it cools off a little, or you could reach for your Cooper Cooler, a rapid beverage chiller that takes that wine bottle from room temperature down to cold in just six minutes. It can also be used to chill out other beverages, so you can enjoy a cold can of sparkling water in just a minute.
The Cooper Cooler is geared for wine lovers who are obsessed with getting each bottle to the exact temperature. For example, some red wines are at their best when slightly chilled. The Cooper Cooler will chill that wine down to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in a single minute, or ease it down to 53 degrees in just a few minutes. This is a luxury kitchen gadget, but serious wine connoisseurs could get a lot of use out of it.