The holiday season is here, whether we like it or not.
Personally, I love this time of year. You see, I am an eater. The holidays, for me, are all about food and family, and I love food (and family, too, of course). I like to learn about food, cook food and am especially fond of eating food. My waistline attests to that.
So, in celebration of Thanksgiving, I am devoting this column to kitchen gadgets. Below you will find helpful preparation tools, fancy cooking devices and useful serving tools.
I am a fan of stuffed, rolled and layered foods. However, preparing such dishes often requires skills I do not possess. It can end badly.
I seem to have stumbled onto a wonderful solution though, called the food loop. Fusionbrands says its food loop is a trussing tool that will replace string and toothpicks to secure and bind food for cooking. It is many things, including reusable (unlike the common zip tie it resembles), heat resistant up to 675°F, FDA compliant, doesn't stick or scratch, dishwasher safe and arthritis friendly.
The food loop can be used in the oven, a fry pan or even in the microwave. It is adjustable; it ranges from one inch up to four inches or more if you link multiple units together. For Thanksgiving dinner, use the food loop to bind the legs of your bird together for easier cooking. For product information, visit www.thefoodloop.com. To purchase, head to Amazon.com and part with $9.99 for a set of four.
As we all know, turkey is the staple of Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you bake your turkey or deep fry it (more on how to do both of those later), you can always jazz up the bird with a little extra seasoning.
To help you do that, I suggest the Bayou Classic 2-ounce injector.
While it looks like something you would find in a medieval doctor's office, it's actually a stainless-steel injector of awesome!
Fill the cavity with your favorite liquid seasoning or minced herbs; pick the correct tip and insert flavor into your holiday turkey at will. Once again, Amazon has the goods; this one goes for $28.24.
Now that you have a couple of new gadgets to help prepare the holiday meal, how are you going to cook it? Most Americans are going to go with the good, old-fashioned oven.
If you want to put a new spin on the old oven, you could opt for General Electric's Trivection oven. It combines the use of radiant heat, convection and microwaves to cook food up to five times faster. OK, a potato cooks five times faster. On average, food will cook one third to one quarter faster than normal.
For detailed product information, visit www.geappliances.com; to purchase one, head over to Dick Van Dyke Inc. and see what they can do. Expect to spend around $3,000.
While roasting the turkey in the oven is the tried and true method, it takes forever. If you're impatient like me, you want that bird cooked as fast as possible.
The solution is to deep-fry the thing. Wait ... you don't want to burn the house down?
It's OK, I have you covered. Check out Masterbuilt's indoor electric turkey fryer. Because there is no open flame, it's countertop-safe. (Make sure your turkey is thawed first though.) This fryer will hold one turkey up to 14 pounds. Amazon.com comes to the rescue provided you are willing to part with $149.
Cooking food has been the same for decades, but as with any industry, innovation changes the way we do things.
I hope these products inspire you to cook in new ways and enjoy wonderful food with friends and family this holiday season.
Kick off your daily grind with the Cuisinart Burr Grind and Brew Coffeemaker: In sticking with the kitchen gadget theme, I want to share my absolute favorite kitchen gadget with you: the coffeemaker.
This isn't just any ordinary coffeemaker, though; it's the Cuisinart Burr Grind and Brew thermal 12-cup automatic coffeemaker. The top houses eight ounces of coffee beans in a sealed compartment. Next you have a burr grinder -- better for the bean than a blade grinder -- a grind control setting ranging from two to 12 cups, commercial-style permanent filter, charcoal water filter, and a 12-cup double-walled thermal insulated carafe that ensures your coffee won't sit and burn on a hot plate.
The Grind and Brew is the only option if you want the freshest coffee each morning, with the least amount of work. Set the program to start right before you get up, and by the time you are ready to head out the door, you have just the right amount of coffee waiting for you.
Visit www.cuisinart.com and give them your hard-earned $199 to make this one your own.
Story published Friday, November 6, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 6 )