The Geek's series of holiday gift-inating
concludes by breaking the virtual bank to spotlight a pair of items that are actually the smaller siblings of some top-shelf kitchen kit.
These two items are slightly less expensive then their full-sized brethren but still pack a potent techno-lust punch.
1) Technivorm Moccamaster KBTS Coffee Brewer with Thermo Carafe
at Boyd's Coffee Store
The little brother of Cooks Illustrated's top-ranked coffee maker, this Dutch bad boy is ten times the cost of your typical Mr. Coffee but worth every over-caffinated penny. Its brewing prowess relies on the high-precision heating element that raises the water's brewing temp to the ideal 200+ degree range. With decent beans in the hands of a competent roaster, the coffee maker produces a cup of joe that banishes bitterness and sports all of the flavor notes you may have previously written off as pretense-driven self-delusion. The only downside besides the cost? The realization how crappy your normal cup of coffee at home is.
2) SousVide Supreme Demi Water Oven
Five hundred bucks is an expensive itch to scratch if you're a budding Heston Blumenthal with a vacuum sealer and a bad attitude. But that was the price of entry for a SousVide Supreme Water Oven, the least expensive self-contained consumer temperature-controlled water bath on the market. For true believers of the sous vide method of slow-cooking vacuum sealed food at an exact temperature, it was a small (yet still painful) price to pay to produce perfectly edge-to-edge medium rare steaks, poached-in-the-shell eggs and boneless, skinless chicken breasts actually worth eating. I say "was" since the SousVide Supreme folks just rolled out their smaller, less expensive version, the Demi. Sporting a much smaller footprint but with 60-80 percent of the food capacity of the full-sized oven, the Demi is a great way to finally perfect your home version of a Chipotle™ carnitas burrito. What, you didn't know they sous vide their meat?