Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cool Gifts for Cooks 2013

Here are my picks for things that cooks will find particularly useful:

AnySharp bills itself at the world's best knife sharpener. I'd say it has the world's best knife sharpening video ever. I can't say if it's the best, but it is definitely the smallest, most convenient and easy to use sharpener. It uses a powerful suction cup to keep it in place and lets you sharpen serrated knives as well as scissors. The Pro model is $26.97 on Amazon

I have gone through more kitchen shears than I can count. They just don't seem to hold up very well. But so far I am having great success with the Smart Sizzors (from the makers of the AnySharp) They have lots of nifty features that allow you to open bottles, crack nuts or even crush garlic. Mainly I like the feel of them and how well they work on poultry. $20 on Amazon
Once you become a customer of Thermoworks, you may find you want a little bit of everything in their product line. I have been using and abusing the Thermapen for months and it is a trooper. It's my favorite instant read thermometer of all times. It is splash proof, shuts off automatically and easy to use and clean. Expensive, but awesome. $96.

Another item I got a chance to test from Thermoworks is the ChefAlarm with high temp cooking probe. This does not have a remote, like the older model I had from another manufacturer, but it is much better quality and has a loud alarm when it reaches temperature. It also has a second probe for sous vide if you need that. It's designed for commercial kitchens. $59.00

ProCook cast iron cookware. I wrote about this earlier in the year and for anyone who wants to invest in a piece, the prices are simply unbeatable and the styling very attractive. I use my cast iron cookware for sautéing, braising, frying, baking, roasting--you name it. I always leave a piece on the stove because I use it so often. I love that you can use it on the stove or in the oven. It's also great for serving because it holds the heat so well. You can buy a set or just one piece. Right now an 8 inch 3.1 inch round casserole is $50 and there's a additional 20% off coupon if you use the code Extra20 and free shipping! You simply won't find cast iron cookware at a better price than that. $40 with discount

Berry Breeze is a very practical gift. Instead of placing a box of baking soda in your refrigerator, the Berry Breeze uses activated oxygen to help keep food fresher much longer. It's battery operated and takes up very little space. I definitely have noticed a difference since I started using it. Produce stays fresher longer and there is no odor. $49.95 

Last but not least, in the practical but also fun category, check out these great SealedWithaCase iPhone cases available on Etsy that are not only very real looking, but brilliantly mirror the shape of real-life items including sushi, chocolates, matzah, pop-tart and a TV dinner. I'm torn between the ice cream sandwich and the tin of sardines! $17.99 each

Disclaimer: I received some of these items as review samples. I was not paid to write this or any other post, however this post does include some affiliate links.