Chalk it up to the convenient access to foodie content, but we often find ourselves itching to get more creative in the kitchen. If you have Netflix, there’s the tantalizing and sophisticated Chef’s Table alongside a seemingly endless array of foodie docs and series; if you have traditional cable, there’s the Food Network and its constant competitions.
So much of what makes a great chef is, of course, an in-depth knowledge of food and its scientific properties. How the skin of a Padrón pepper behaves when placed on a grill; how a dust of salt will make the skin of salmon crispy when baked; how the flavour profile of chervil will lend a quiet warmth to herb butters or potato dishes.
Knowledge will only take us so far, however, if we don’t have the right tools. Some of the mainstay brands of the culinary market have gotten downright technological in recent years, creating advanced, high-tech solutions to some of our most traditional methods of cooking and baking. Age-old technics like sous vide and smoking have become far less laborious (and intimidating) thanks to cutting-edge gadgets that streamline processes to the singular push of a button (or, in the case of one Breville product below, a trigger!).
Read on for a handful of tools that will help you impress guests with some seriously gourmet gastronomy.
For many, sous vide is one of those intimidating culinary techniques best left to the professionals. We’re guessing there’s probably also a sizeable amount of the population without a clear understanding of exactly what sous vide is. In short, it’s a method of placing food in a sealed plastic or glass container and then cooking it in a water bath. Food is cooked at much lower temperatures than with other methods, but for much longer, with the reason being that this allows for even internal cooking without overcooking on the outside.
The Joule Sous Vide from CHEFSTEPS is an immersion circulator that heats and circulates water with precision. It also comes with a handy, intuitive companion app, which features videos and comprehensive instructions for making whatever your heart desires. If you’re currently on a health kick, sous vide also ensures that vitamins and minerals aren’t lost during the cooking process, so this gadget will make for a great addition to your kitchen.
Smoked food always feels so downright decadent. The Smoking Gun from Breville makes it possible to achieve rich, smoky, rustic flavours at home. It features a silicon smoke tube for easy smoking in a bell jar or similar, and its removable burn chamber ensures that it’s easy to load wood chips and clean out afterwards. (The gadget comes with both applewood and hickory trial-size wood chip flavours.) Two speeds allow for the choice between gentle or intense smoke. Our favourite detail is perhaps the Cold Smoke System; cold smoke is gentle on foods that require a delicate touch, like ice cream, butters, or cocktails. Smoked Manhattans and applewood-smoked gelato? Yes, please.
This induction cooktop from Secura is lightweight and compact, but that’s just that beginning of what makes this on-the-go cooking element so superior. It’s built with a digital sensor touch control panel, which includes a Child Safety Lock system that makes this ultra-safe for families with young kids; press and hold the Safety Lock Key for 3 seconds and leave the room without having to worry about children getting a little too curious.
The technology behind induction cooking has been an exciting breakthrough in the last century, and Duxtop takes this to the next level with some smart features; energy produced by the device is supplied directly to the cooking vessel via a magnetic field, while self-adjusting burners detect the size of the cookware base and automatically adjust the energy produced to ensure maximum efficiency.
We’ve saved the most high-tech product on our list for last, and this one is bound to make tech junkies and foodies alike salivate. The ChefJet 3D Printer is for those who are serious about taking their culinary creations to the next level. This product is the result of a collaboration between 3D Systems (which initially acquired Sugar Labs in in 2013) and CSM Bakery Solutions, a partnership announced in 2017. It’s a creation definitely designed for those with a sweet tooth, as the ChefJet is capable of printing sugar, candy, and frosting in flavours like vanilla, chocolate, mint, sour apple, watermelon, and cherry. And for those looking for even more pleasure on the visual side of things, a larger, full-colour professional model is available.