This year has produced some pretty marvelous gadgets for foodies, and culinary technology for 2014 has given us some bizarre finds like a 3-D latte art tool, a wine glass holder that makes you half an inch away from being a drunkard, build-your-own-burger tablets at McDonald's, a remote-controlled beer holder, and some things we surely want to like, but are just not sure about, like a Darth-Vader-head toast maker.
Here are the top five coolest foodie gizmos we've seen in 2014. Keep reading for gizmo goodies like the ultimate in butter-spreading tech, a grill's best friend, a beery breath of cold air, and kitchen utensils from a galaxy far, far away.
Anyone who has ever eaten toast has come across the Great Butter Conundrum. You have a butter knife, hot toasted bread (bagel, muffin or that swirly cinnamon-raisin bread) and an ice-cold stick of butter. There is no way to avoid ripping the poor toast to shreds, unless you nuke the butter for a minute, which always seems to lead to hot butter soup. But there is a better way with the new ButterUp butter knife that simply but ingeniously pulls tiny strings of butter off the top of the stick, ready and able to make your toast complete, with little to no effort. I'm pissed that I didn't come up with this idea and patent it myself.
If I had, I could be rich enough to pay someone to stand at my breakfast table and pick the raisins out of my cinnamon-raisin toast every morning.
4. The Golden Goose
Okay, so hard-boiled egg technology was made divine with the advent of the deviled egg tray, but just when we all thought that cooked eggs couldn't get any more delicious, some clever Chuck came up with the idea of scrambling the whites and the yolks in the shells and THEN boiling them, producing a perfect egg-shaped yellow scramble. The Golden Goose gadget looks a tad rudimentary (and a lot like a weird piece of wrist exercise equipment) but if you put an egg in the thinger, lock it up securely, spin it for a bit, then proceed with prep, you'll get a beautiful boiled breakfast, or eggy slices to decorate a nice molded pate.
Now if someone could just invent a device that allows you to fry bacon using brain waves, we can truly evolve into the ideal society.
Disposable Styrofoam coolers can all piss off in a landfill, because the Icybreeze dual container cooler/portable AC makes all other coolers look puny, weak and irrelevant. This new harbinger of future camping tech keeps your cheap beer and bologna cold, but more important than that -- it keeps your ass chilly, too (or your face -- whichever). The ice water in the cooler circulates through a small radiator; a fan sucks air through it and then blows the cold air through a vent or a big hose.
This gizmo gives the gift that keeps on giving, and invites you to be a selfish prick and hide it in your own tent while everyone else stays sweaty.
For more amazing foodie gizmos of 2014, read on.
The best part of any barbeque cookout is the part where you get to scrub the rib-leavings and burger nubbits off the chunky-soot-infested grill; this fantastic task ranks up there with sawing off your toenails for sheer entertainment value. But guess what? No more of that filthy peon work with the bot that gets all up in your grill. The Grillbot is the Roomba of now: just set this 'lil bot on your dirty grill, set the alarm and timer, and then go do anything else in the world while the little wire brushes do your job so you don't have to.
The Grillbot comes in different colors, because of course it does. Red is nice.
1. Star Wars R2-D2 measuring cup set
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, people had to use ordinary, snoozy kitchen gadgets to prep meals, but that was the dark ages before the Force was appropriated for the creation of Star Wars-themed foodie tools. Okay, maybe not the Force so much as ThinkGeek (which is the same fucking thing if you are a gargantuan nerd), but stackable R2-D2 measuring cups are badass, and if you are feeling flush with Republic credits you can also take home a Han Solo in Carbonite ice cube tray, a Death Star tea infuser, or matching R2-D2 salt and pepper shakers, soy sauce dispenser, nutcracker and kitchen timer, or -- wait for it -- a Millennium Falcon cutting board, genuine light saber chef's knife not included (doesn't exist yet, but should.)
Fine, so if you have these already, then the Darth-Vader-head toast maker can stay. Anything else would be soooo Alderaan.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.