L'Equip R.P.M. Blender with Tachometer

tachrpmbldne.jpg

L'Equip R.P.M. Blender with Tachometer: "While it doesn't justify the purchase of a new model just to get it, this 'R.P.M. Blender' from L'Equip has a tachometer on the side. It does seem sort of obvious now that someone's made one, doesn't it? I'd like to see this added to all blenders as standard issue.

The R.P.M. is powered by a 900 watt motor that can spin up to 20,000 revolutions per minute. It's available for $134 plus shipping.

Catalog Page [Tabletools.com via CribCandy via OhGizmo]"

There is no possible reason someone would need this, but man, does it look cool. I wonder how well it blends. What would be even better is a way to retrofit an existing blender with a tachometer (or, as the parent article suggests, that all blenders include this). Something that would look swank and would still work well as a blender. Still, I'm sure some enterprising molecular biologist will know something that has to be blended at exactly 17,312 RPM. Okay, I suppose that is a possible reason someone would need it. Likely? No. Possible? Sure.

(Via Boing Boing Gadgets.)

Table saw for vegetables

Vegetable Table SawSuch a bad idea, but how can one resist the allure of the kitchen-based power tools? It's only an exhibition piece, and not something we could buy, but still. If anyone decides they want to build one of these, you should feel proud of your upcoming sense of achievement. However, try to build in the "cast removal technology" that hopefully prevents you from efficiently slicing off limbs and/or digits. So, to recap: Thoroughly impractical, terribly dangerous, and would take up far too much room in the kitchen. Therefore it's a must-have item. I can't imagine why they don't sell them.

Lunch Box Stove

12 Volt StoveFor those of us who watched the fourth episode of Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt, there were plenty of items of note. There was the unfortunate accident, the nice police officer who managed to get his own TV show, and the revelation that Alton Brown pretty much makes coffee the same way I do (and, unlike most of my cooking, my coffee making technique was mine before I ran across Good Eats, so it was a nice case of parallel development). However, probably the most notable part of the show was the introduction of a new gadget, the Portable 12V Stove in the shape of a lunch box. I've been accused, at least once, of being awfully influenced by Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently novels. Still, as with the coffee, I'd learned about myself, that I can go from just learning of something's existence to owning it in the space of about 45 seconds, happened well before The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul was written. Though perhaps not before the Dr. Who episode which it eerily resembles was written. In any case, I do not own the 12V Portable Stove shaped like a lunchbox, but that's mainly because I'm saving up for a honeymoon, and it would be frowned upon if I bought something that I have absolutely no use for when that money could go towards espresso in Rome, right? This portable stove can heat to 300 degrees, which means I wouldn't be baking any bread in it, but it sounds great for a stew, or the meatloaf that Alton Brown made, or some manner of cobbler, perhaps. You know, when I go on a road trip to...somewhere. Okay, I really have no use for it. Tailgating, perhaps. Not that I go to sporting events. Really small chili cookoffs. Ummmm...bah. It's $30, and sold out 'til mid-November (Possibly because of Feasting on Asphalt, but still, a great little gift for someone who would not have any reason to get it for him- or herself.

LEGO Chocolate Printer

LEGO Chocolate ExtruderInstructables has a great entry on a homemade 3D Chocolate Printer, made from LEGOs (with some custom work). Its very rough at the moment, and the maximum geometry is limited by the fact that there isn't yet a way to work in support structures, but it's a great start. There are some movies on the site of the device working, as well as step-by-step pictures of its construction (in the Instructables way).

Tinkering with the Vacuum

At my day job, we have a Bodum Santos electric vacuum coffee maker. It's a lovely device, and given the choice between an automatic drip pot and this, I would always choose this. It's more automatic than a press, but more work than an automatic drip. The only thing that would stop me from recommending it wholeheartedly is that, out of the box, it does not make that great of a pot of coffee. Still better than drip, but not in the same league as a press. The problem is that the brewing time on the pot is too short. It's completely automatic, so you put the coffee in one chamber, the water in another, assemble, and hit a button. A little while later, and you have a pot of coffee. (for those who haven't read Coffee Time 2, here's a quick overview: coffee goes in the top chamber, water in the bottom, connected by a filtered tube. Heat the water until pressure from expanded vapor pushes the water into the top chamber where it mingles with the coffee, let it cool, and the water drops through the filter to reveal proper coffee). It knows when to stop brewing because it can sense how much water is in the bottom chamber, and as soon as it runs out, it cuts the heat on the element. It needs more time. The ability to modify the time between running out of water and cutting the heat would let me use far less coffee and get better results, but that's not something they let you do, unless it's in a double-secret control mode (which seems unlikely). There is something you can do, though. If you don't fully seat the top chamber, it raises the tube just a bit, and that allows a small pool of water to stay in the bottom chamber longer than it would have had the tube been as far down as it could have been. This lets it brew longer, thus making better coffee. I'm considering gluing some spacers onto the top of the bottom chamber once I have an ideal spacing down, but it would have been such a nice addition to allow a "plus 1 minute" option to the brewing cycle. Of course, all of this would be unnecessary with a manual unit, but that would remove some of the nice features like unattended operation and being able to set a timer for use overnight. More importantly, though, I have no way of using a manual unit at work, what with needing either a stovetop or an open flame. So, if you're using the Bodum Santos and want some stronger coffee, try not pushing the top chamber down all the way. Don't rest it loosely, otherwise you'll make a mess, but leave around a 1/8 inch gap.

Adjustable Hot Sauce

2006 Seems to be the year of consumer control. First there was a soda that allow you to choose the flavor by pushing in some dots on the side of the bottle to release flavor syrups, and Dave's Gourmet, Inc. has made a hot sauce with a dial to change from spicy to fiery at your whim. Feeling bold? Go for the fiery. Gout getting you down? Only have a little spicy. Hopefully the flavor on the base sauce is worth eating, so it's not just a matter of heat. Either way, it's pretty, um, cool. Sorry. via Wired's Gear Factor.

The Anti-Griddle

Anti-GriddleThere aren't very many new ways of cooking that have been introduced in the past several hundred years. After the oven, things stagnated until the microwave and eventually the Easy Bake Oven and its related ilk, such as GE's Advantium. So it's nice when something kinda different comes along. In this case, it's the anti-griddle. Technically not useful for cooking, since there probably aren't too many changes to protein structures and the like associated with it, but it does allow for a new type of food preparation. The anti-griddle is a -30°F surface that sits in your kitchen like a griddle. You place something liquid on it, and it will become solid, or solid with a liquid core. The important thing is that this happens very, very quickly, unlike your basic freezer. This lets you do some interesting things with shaping frozen foodstuffs, though it's probably a bit overkill for working pastry dough. It would be interesting to see what happens with things like meats and fruits, where the slow freezing process causes relatively large ice crystals to form and damage cells. If this could do your initial freeze very, very quickly, then this would be a great addition to, if not everyone's home, at least mine. My guess is that, since it appears to work via conduction, it will not be useful for as many applications as one might hope. This technology is brought to us by the same people that make the swank thermal circulators, so they get the thumbs-up from me. But for goodness' sake, don't stick your tongue to it! via Boing Boing.

Cona Vacuum Brewer

SubZero Refrigeration BeautyPretty. Out of my price range for a vacuum coffee brewer, but this is a lovely unit. Read more about how it works in Coffee Time part 2. Quoth the seller: "This the king of vacuum coffee brewers. We are one of a handful of coffee sources that offers Cona Vacuum Brewers. These are beautiful, elegant, and a bit scientific-looking; aficionados of these believe it's the ultimate brewing method. I think the results are remarkable ...I have never brewed a bad cup on the Cona. They are used in a handful of fine inns, B&B's and restaurants (such as Victoria and Alberts in Disneyworld). "It's main features is that the coffee is entirely prepared in glass; there's no contact with metal components. Because it operates by a vacuum principle, coffee is always infused at the precisely correct temperature every time, and over-extraction is not possible. It's the brewing method for romantics, and is prepared at the table with heat provided by the spirit lamp."