Ah, the joys of shopping during the holidays – scouring the big-box department stores and online shops for the latest and greatest items to gift your loved ones, only to wind up more confused than when you first started.
But there’s never been a better time to surprise an at-home chef or foodie with a gift, considering the current wealth of innovative gadgets that will elevate their food game to the next level.
For the friend or relative who knows their way around the kitchen (and has cooked you more than their fair share of scrumptious meals and party appetizers), there really isn’t a better way to demonstrate how much you appreciate their culinary skills than with the latest appliances that seamlessly marry technology with home cooking.
And if there’s one genius kitchen product that’s been generating all the hype as of late, it’s this one:
The Instant Marinator
Vacu Vin 1/3 Quart Instant Marinating Container, $39.99, Amazon.ca.
What is it? An Instant Marinator boasts impressive technology that removes oxygen from the container (a vacuum pump extracts the air faster and opens up the pores of the meat to absorb the sauce). This ultimately speeds up the entire marinating process and tenderizes the meat in minutes. Bonus: considering the Instant Marinator comes in a variety of sizes, from half-quart containers (above) to tumbling canisters, there are plenty of options and price points to choose from, making it a refreshingly flexible budget-friendly option if you’re looking to save some cash.
Who needs it? The friend or relative who loves pairing homemade marinades with their favourite cuts of meats or veggies. Also ideal for those who want to save time in the kitchen (read: all of us!) and never think to marinate tomorrow’s dinner the night before.
Want more kitchen appliance ideas? Gift one of the handy gadgets below to a loved one, or simply treat yourself (because there’s nothing wrong with that!).
Sous Vide Precision Cooker
What is it? A method of cooking that involves sealing food – from eggs to fish to meats – in a heat-stable plastic pouch and bathing in water, before cooking to perfection using precise temperature control (no under-cooking or overcooking here!). Fun fact: the term Sous Vide actually means “under vacuum” in French. It also happens to be a healthier way of cooking due to the enhanced flavour and little to no additional salts or fats. The vacuum sealing ensures essential vitamins and minerals don’t dissipate during the cooking process, so you can soak up all those nutrients as you eat. And now the process is easier with the Sous Vide Precision Cooker that heats up the water that much faster. Bonus: since it’s Bluetooth and WIFI enabled, it connects to your phone or tablet.
Who needs it? The determined home chef who tends to overcook just about everything, or the nervous food preparer who doesn’t want to risk under-cooking or ruining a dish, especially when entertaining. It’ll transform anyone into a kitchen master, we swear.
Digital Glass Steamer
What is it? Skip the stove-top steamer and opt for the modern digital variety that delivers steam from the top down. Because who doesn’t love a beautifully steamed dish – especially since it retains many of the foods original minerals and vitamins? The appliance boasts a dishwasher-safe glass surfaced pot large enough for family-sized portions of veggies, fish, chicken or rice. Foodies can also look forward to everything from specific food settings to a built-in timer.
Who needs it? The health-conscious home chef, or anyone looking to be inspired in the kitchen with an easy and good-for-you cooking solution. We’re all about it!
Smoke-Less Indoor Grill
What is it? Living in Canada means spending a significant chunk of the year curled under a blanket, waiting for the snow to melt. However, that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the smoky taste of a summertime BBQ. Cheer everyone up this winter with a Smoke–Less Indoor Grill featuring advanced infrared heat technology and minimal side spattering for evenly grilled food that will remind you of warmer days. The non-stick grid also provides those authentic, sought-after grill marks and the constant heat browns your meats without burning them. It’s also ideal for healthy, lean grilling with a grease tray that collects excess fats.
Who needs it? That friend or relative who lives for summer grilling and would love to keep the party going year-round.
For more holiday gift ideas, check out which top kitchen appliances our editors can’t live without.