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THIS ARTICLE IS NOW CLOSED FOR COMMENTING AND A WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTING. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR GREAT KITCHEN GADGET TIPS!

Tell us your favorite kitchen gadget in the comments section below to win a KitchenAid® Architect® Series Stand Mixer, valued at $499.99. A winner will be selected at random on Friday, January 29th, 2010.



Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets

Vicky Sanderson writes "Hot Home Products", a widely-read weekly column on home improvement products and housewares that appears every Saturday in the Toronto Star. She also keeps readers up to date on new products through her blog, On the House, which can be found on www.yourhome.ca. Having tried and tested just about every new home product and countertop appliance to hit the market in the last five years, Vicky is an expert on which gadgets are worth buying, and which you can probably do without.
 


Vicky joined Steven and Chris on the show today to tell us which gadgets are most worthy of a coveted spot in your kitchen!
Vicky is a firm believer that gadgets must be both functional AND great-looking in order to earn some precious kitchen real estate. Here are her top 5:
 

1.  French Coffee Press


One cup coffee makers are the fastest selling countertop appliances on the market, which would indicate that lots of Canadians want a really great cup of joe ready on a dime. There are some terrific and very pretty one-cup makers. French press coffee makers have especially great design, make gorgeous coffee and take up very little room on the counter. They're also environmentally friendly, since they don't need pre-mixed 'pods' required by the one-cup makers which, by the way, can be energy hogs too, because of the amount of electricity it takes to get the water boiling so quickly.

Tip:
Look for a grinder that has a removable chamber that can be washed - that way you can use it for grinding both beans and spices.

The Hamilton Beach Coffee Grinder -  allows you to adjust the grind of the bean. That's especially important for coffee made with a French press; too fine a grind and it will pass through the mesh filter into your beverage. It will also mean that you can grind beans as you need them. And that makes for a better cup of coffee regardless of the type of brewer you use.


 

2. Wine Aerator


A favourite of cool gadget-hunters and wine connoisseurs alike, the wine aerator is a must have gadget. If you pour wine through the Vinturi aerator, it instantly aerates the wine, improving the bouquet, colour and aroma. It will really enhance those more affordable bottles of red.
 


3. Food Thermometer


This is an essential for the kitchen. Using one means you'll never have another desiccated turkey or queasily pink lamb again. It also plays a huge role in food safety, helping us to avoid infecting family and friends with e-coli and salmonella. Loads of small appliances have built-in thermometers now including slow cookers and even grills. Digital food thermometers can be picked up from your favorite food store.

Tip: Don't go for the cheapest of the cheap - it's worth investing a little bit more money in one that will last.




4. Spurtle

Not well known in North America, this traditional Scottish stir stick dates from the 16th century and is typically used for stirring porridge - but it is also great for thick sauces, soups or stews. Because the diameter of the shaft is so slim, it's wonderful at cutting through lumps and easy to get into pan and pot corners and the hard maple will not scratch non-stick surfaces. It is more ergonomic than a wooden spoon. So simple, so inexpensive; under $5 from Lee Valley Tools.



5. Stand Mixer

With current models boasting 9-cup bowls (enough to make dough for three loaves of bread) and all sort of attachments for making pasta and sausages (the latter two are going to be big this year as we are using more local ingredients and focusing on old school artisanal cooking techniques), the stand mixer is quite possibly the most useful kitchen counter top appliance. Though it is more expensive, when you calculate how much use you will get from it and the fact that they are built to last - they are worth it in the long run, a great ROI. Our expert Vicky Sanderson states that she would choose to give up counter space to a mixer over a bread machine (which only makes one loaf at a time and uses a lot of energy) or a food processor (which she uses mostly for chopping, and in her words 'unless you're feeding the Swiss Army, it's easier to chop on a board'). The new mixers come in lots of fabulous colours, including the KitchenAid 90th anniversary model which comes in candy apple red and with a glass bowl. Red and orange are very hot colours in european counter top appliances right now, and buying the colour in a stand mixer is a much safer bet than committing to it in a fridge or a stove.


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Don't forget to tell us your favorite kitchen gadget in the comments section below to win a KitchenAid® Architect® Series Stand Mixer, valued at $499.99. A winner will be selected at random on Friday, January 29th, 2010.
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More on the
KitchenAid® Architect® Series Stand Mixer: The iconic KitchenAid® stand mixer has been updated to include features that will provide professional culinary results. Combining the latest technology and style this appliance will quickly become any home cook or baker's favourite assistant.

Key features include:
  • 5-quart (4.73 L) polished stainless steel bowl with handle, burnished flat beater, burnished dough hook, and wire whip
  • Powerful 325 watt motor
  • 10-speed controls for mixing accuracy
  • Flour power rating of 9 cups (2.1L) of flour per recipe.  This means a yield of 4.5 loaves of bread, 9 dozen cookies, or 7 pounds (3.2kg) of mashed potatoes
MSRP*: $499.99    


 

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