Cooking isn't difficult when compared with neurosurgery, but it is much easier if you have nifty equipment and a few sneaky strategies. Here are Gizmodo's favourite kitchen gadgets and Lifehacker's best tips for creating gourmet meals without spending five years learning to chop onions in a basement. (Though if you want to...)
Chef picture from Shutterstock
1. Digital Thermometer
Wait, is the red line on the halfway-point or on the actual degree indicator. That's you. That's what you sound like every time you grill. Be scientific about your food, and figure out the temperature right down to the fraction of a degree. Thermometer image via Shutterstock
2. Digital Scales
This one also comes down to precision. You don't want those cookies to be too sugary, do you? What about that cake? Fancy ruining it with too much flour? Nope. Get some digital scales on your kitchen workbench and get nothing but perfection every time. Scales image via Shutterstock
So your old Women's Weekly cookbooks are a little dated now. Your old recipes just don't 'pop' like they used to. You, my friend, need some internet in your kitchen. Get your tablet and throw it up on that cookbook stand for instant access to millions of ways to cook your food.
4. Obsessive Chef Cutting Board
Know someone who wants to make sure when they’re chopping carrots, they’re cutting them into perfect 1/2 inch pieces? This cutting board will satisfy all their OCD tendencies.
5. The Smoking Gun
The sheer thought of the Smoking Gun makes my mouth water. It infuses your drinks and foods with a delicious smoky flavor. You don't even need a grill or any fire at all.
Tips & Tricks
1. Spend Time Planning
It's the underlying theme of almost everything we write about cooking at Lifehacker; food goes better and is more affordable if you have a plan. That starts with a recipe for unfamiliar dishes, and extends to planning out your meals for the week ahead so you don't waste time and money. Improvisation has its place, but you can't be a creative genius in the kitchen for every single meal.
2. Don't Buy Single-Purpose Gadgets
I don't care how often Gizmodo writers bang on about how cute these are; single-function gadgets are inevitably destined to clutter your kitchen needlessly after the post-Christmas novelty wears off. Save your cash and spend it on decent gear or better ingredients instead. If you're still tempted, check out our list of more useful alternatives to common single-purpose kitchen gadgets.
3. Learn To Slice An Onion
We constantly return to the theme of how best to slice an onion. There are lots of tricks supposed to minimise the tear-inducing effects of onions, and Lifehacker's Melanie Pinola recently put them all to the test. The single most important thing you can do? Make sure you have a sharp knife — it makes a world of difference. (I went to an onion-cutting class and am pleased with what I can accomplish as a total klutz, but the sharp knife helps regardless of your technique.)
4. Organise Your Recipes
Sure, it's easy to look up a recipe for almost anything on Google, but a new find is no substitute for a tried-and-tested routine. Keep your digital recipe collection in order by using one of the apps recommended in Lifehacker's five best recipe organisation tools roundup. Not all are specialised recipe apps, and that's OK; it's dead easy to search out a recipe in Evernote or Dropbox. Picture: Robert Couse-Baker
5. Learn To Work Faster
There are lots of ways you can speed up common kitchen tasks. One of Lifehaker's most popular posts last year detailed 10 ways to speed up your kitchen tasks. Click now; you want to go to there.
It's Improve Your Life Week! Throughout this week, Gizmodo and Lifehacker are joining forces to guide you through the gadgets and strategies you need to improve your life across the board.