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8 Fun and funky kitchen gadgets

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Cool to use kitchen gadgets

Though the purpose of kitchen gadgets is to be useful to the home chef, this growing segment of kitchen necessities can also make your cook time fun and entertaining. Beyond the standard set of cooking gadgets - measuring tools, whisks, cutlery, spatulas, colander - the following kitchen tools add color, convenience, and a funky flair you'll find enjoyable even when you aren't in the mood to cook.

1. Toaster

A toaster is just a toaster right? It is, until it starts cooking an entire morning meal. The Back To Basics Egg and Muffin Maker, also considered one of the coolest kitchen gadgets by Forbes.com, is a 3-in-1 appliance that not only crisps and browns two slices of bread, it will poach an egg and warm your Canadian bacon so you so can have a synchronized balanced breakfast in only four minutes! And don't worry if you aren't into the homemade Egg McMuffin every day, this kitchen gadget can toast and poach exclusively.

Retail: $50 (though you can pay $40 more for a toaster with a four-slot, two-egg capacity)
Available: Amazon.com

Toaster

2. Musical Cake Plate

The Deni 4100 Musical Cake Tray with LED Slicing Guides will make every dessert occasion a piece of cake. With a press of a button indicating how many servings you need, this cake tray has LED guides (lights) that make sure all of your slices are uniform in size. It can hold cakes up to 12 inches in diameter to accomodate large confections, and it also spins around smoothly to facilitate slicing or icing the cake. The most novel feature, which will bring a smile to anyone celebrating another year older, is that it sings Happy Birthday. What other appliance will sing for you?

Retail: $39.66
Available: Amazon.com

Musical Cake Plate

3. Food Pod

Besides having the coolest gadget site on the Web, Fusion Brands has come up with an intriguing variety of kitchen gadgets. The FoodPod, also called the boil/blanch/steam/drain silicone pod, is a modern silicone cooking tool designed to save time when boiling, blanching or steaming by conveniently containing, removing and draining foods like eggs, vegetables, shellfish and more in one easy-to-use vessel. The FoodPod easily holds up to a dozen eggs to hard cook, several crowns of broccoli or head of cauliflower to blanch, or over a pound of raw shrimp to steam. A built-in clip attaches the pod to the side of the pot for easy removal, the silicone construction makes it flexible enough to fit into any size pot, and it is dishwasher-safe. Check out the Fusion Brands website for a video demonstration of this unique kitchen tool.

Retail: $15.00
Available: FusionBrands.com

Food Pod

4. Meat tenderizer

Instead of splattering bits of meat or chicken across the kitchen with a mallet, give the TenderPress a try. Another artful gadget from Fusion Brands, this gentle roller will get the job done – no aggression needed. By using a rolling motion, the tenderpress reduces tearing and eliminates meat juice splatter during tenderizing. Simply roll it over meat for tenderizing, flattening or preparation for marinating any meat recipe. An added bonus, you can also use this gadget to dock crust or dough, to prevent rising and blistering of pie, pizza dough, flatbread and more. When you're done, just toss it in the dishwasher.

Retail: $18.00
Available: FusionBrands.com

Meat tenderizer

5. Autonomous Saucier

If only you had an extra set of hands to help you simultaneously attend to the various components of your meal. The Hammacher Autonomous Saucier may not be a great conversationalist in the kitchen, but it can stir the pot while you prep the rest of dinner. This handy kitchen gadget is designed with three stainless steel legs with silicone rubber feet (heat resistant up to 570 degrees F) that autonomously spin and revolve smoothly around the pan, mixing ingredients and brushing up bits of food that happen to stick to the bottom of the pan. The auto-stir is battery-operated, has three speed settings, and can be used in sauces up to four inches deep. The silicone feet also allow safe use in nonstick cookware and the removable legs are dishwasher-safe.

Retail: $39.95
Available: Hammacher.com

Autonomous Saucier

6. Vegetable peeler

Peelings from apples, carrots, squash and potatoes notoriously clog up standard kitchen disposals. Solutions' Veggie Peel has a see-through chamber that allows you remove peels without making a mess in the sink or anywhere in the kitchen. When the chamber is full, simply dump into the garbage or, even better, your compost bin. The peeler's sharp, double-sided, stainless steel blade makes easy work of fruits and veggies in need of stripping, and the double-sided, curved, rubberized grip is ergonomical for left- or right-handed use and prevents slips. The Veggie Peel is also dishwasher-safe.

Retail: $14.95
Available: Solutions.com

Vegetable peeler

7. Fruit scoop

For fruits that have tough exteriors, A Best Kitchen's Progressive Fruit Scoops are a culinary blessing. Whether you need to gracefully remove melon flesh from its peel, adeptly deseed tomatoes, or scoop out avocado or kiwi from their skins, this colorful three-scoop set will find many uses in your kitchen. Made of reinforced nylon and stainless steel, each scoop can be put to use on fruit or veggies and then placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Retail: $12.99
Available: AKitchen.com

 Fruit scoop

8. Salt and pepper grinders

Novel salt and pepper grinders have become popular must-haves in the kitchen. The Chef'n Salt Ball and Pepper Ball Grinders resemble a round-faced rabbit (clear ball with "ears") but they are no bunny when it comes to cracking and grinding quintessential spices with a single hand. Both are equipped with comfortable SavvyGrip soft handles, a GrindTune lever, allowing you to adjust coarseness of your grind, and a durable ceramic grinding mechanism. The one-hand operability is perfect for times you need to season while you stir. Grab the ears and get to grinding!

Retail: $11.95 each
Available: Cooking.com

Salt and pepper grinders

More must-have kitchen gadgets and cooking tools

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