New Gadget(s) in our homes

Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
edited January 1 in Heaven
Not knowing exactly where to put this thread. It could be on three boards from what I can tell, but since the outcome is like being in heaven, I will put it here.

Last month, my wife and I installed an induction range. Our gas range had given out. Since it was over thirty years old, we could not find parts for it. Turned out we were able to purchase the induction range for less than a new gas range. We also decided to go for induction because. 1) our state government wants its residents to reduce fossil fuel use as much as possible, 2) we will eventually sell this place and modern appliances make it more attractive, 3) gas ranges give out methane and a bit of carbon monoxide with each use, and 4) we had just gone through a four day gas interruption in November--a farmer had cut through the feeder line to the whole area, but that is a different story.

Anyway, here is my review of the new induction range:

Using a magnetic field, the surface does not heat up directly, but it allows the pot to heat up quickly. Things fry up in no time. Water boils quickly. We are still trying to find the sweat spot for frying eggs, though.

The one downside is the glass shows fingerprints. We have solved that by keeping a Barkeep Spray Cleaner near the stove.

While the surface of the range does not heat up directly, it will absorb the heat from the pan. There is a warning light to show which area may be hot, though. The other day I had used a frying pan. When I was finished with it, I moved the pan to another area on the range that I had not used. Low and behold, the warning light for that area lit up only because of the hot pan. As far as I can tell, there is little change in our utility use.

Induction ranges use about 1/3 electricity as a regular electric range. Since our previous range was gas, it seems like a wash cost wise.

When you install an electric range, you just have to plug it in to a standard American 240 plug, but the induction range had a European style plug, so we had to direct wire the unit.

Conclusion: it's a keeper.

What new gadgets have you gotten recently?

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Comments

  • @Gramps49, do you have to use special pans for the induction stove, or will any pans work? I didn’t realize they use that much less energy than a conventional stove.

    As for my new gadget, the background is that I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker. I’ll sometimes have it if I’m out for breakfast, or maybe with dessert in a nice restaurant. My wife doesn’t drink coffee at all.

    Then in the fall, we found ourselves staying in an inn in the mountains, and I found I really enjoyed a cup or two of coffee in the morning, and started thinking about ways to maybe have coffee at home—counter space is limited, and since my wife doesn’t drink coffee, a space-occupying coffee maker made little sense.

    So, for Christmas my wife gave me a pour-over, and our son—the true bean fiend in the family—gave me a grinder and whole-bean coffee he considers good. And now, on the cusp of turning 63, I spend a little time every day learning how to best use the pour-over.

  • It's sort of nice to have a somewhat unnecessary morning ritual, especially if you have someone(s) to share it with. Coffee (a la Vietnamese individual steel filters is the way two of us go. It's not new, but it is a gadget...
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    @Nick Tamen Yes, you have to have pots and pans with a magnetic base. We had to get a new set of pots and pans anyway, so that was going to be an unavoidable expense. We got a set through Costco that indicated it could be used on all ranges.
  • Thanks @Gramps49. I’ll file that info away.

    And yes, @Lamb Chopped. Those rituals matter.
  • Lily PadLily Pad Shipmate
    Planning to purchase an air fryer tomorrow. Hoping it doesn't wind up being a passing fad. I have a tiny countertop and no tolerance for appliances that won't be used.
  • We bought a Ninja air fryer last year and it is great, Mr Heavenly uses it all the time for fish, chicken, potatoes etc.

    I get Mr Heavenly an obscure cooking gadget every Christmas and this year it was a spaetzle maker. I was very impressed with the results of his first attempt at making spaetzle and I expect it to now be a regular feature of his meals.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    We also have recently acquired an air fryer. It does frozen stuff (chips, nuggets and other beige food) better than the gas oven.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    My sister raves about her air fryer, and I've contemplated getting one, but like Lily Pad, space is very much at a premium in my rather microscopic kitchen.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited January 2
    Piglet wrote: »
    My sister raves about her air fryer, and I've contemplated getting one, but like Lily Pad, space is very much at a premium in my rather microscopic kitchen.
    Space is an issue with us too, as I noted above. But when it comes time to replace our oven, I’d seriously consider one that has an air fryer setting.

  • MarsupialMarsupial Shipmate
    We replaced our old furnace last year with a combination high-efficiency furnace and heat pump setup. The heat pump is supposed to heat (and cool) in all but the coldest weather, at which point the furnace kicks in. Basically works but the heat pump is surprisingly loud, meaning that we’ve been switching to furnace mode overnight so as not to be woken up by the heat pump.
  • We bought a Ninja air fryer last year and it is great, Mr Heavenly uses it all the time for fish, chicken, potatoes etc.

    I get Mr Heavenly an obscure cooking gadget every Christmas and this year it was a spaetzle maker. I was very impressed with the results of his first attempt at making spaetzle and I expect it to now be a regular feature of his meals.

    Oh... we could have given you our spaetzle maker, given to us by a kind German friend. It has been used once.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Purgatory Host, Circus Host
    For Christmas I got Mr Dyson's patent supersonic hairdryer. I never would have bought it for myself, because (a) they are waaaaay expensive and (b) James Dyson is a bit of an arse.

    Having got the thing, I confirm that it is indeed the Rolls Royce of hairdryers. Faster, quieter and less hot than a regular one. It has a fancypants smoothing attachment, but I haven't tried it yet.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I avoid his products for the same reasons you cite, La Vie. Sadly, I could do with a new hoover, as my present one (which was very cheap) seems to blow rather more than it sucks.

    Any one have recommendations for a decent one not made by Mr Arse Dyson?
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    Professional cleaners tend to be very keen on Henry hoovers. I think because they have good suction power and they’re light.
  • Professional cleaners tend to be very keen on Henry hoovers. I think because they have good suction power and they’re light.

    ...and pretty indestructible. You can kick them around the room and run them all day, every day, and they just keep on going.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    And of course, most importantly, they have a smiley face on the front.
  • I'd love a Henry, but I just don't have the storage space for one.
    I once did a stint cleaning with one in an Elderly Care Home, and it is all the good things listed in the previous posts.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    If a Henry is not suitable, I recommend a Shark, though I wouldn’t say it has more teeth.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Piglet wrote: »
    My sister raves about her air fryer, and I've contemplated getting one, but like Lily Pad, space is very much at a premium in my rather microscopic kitchen.

    Saves a lot of money in oven running costs though.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Purgatory Host, Circus Host
    The Radio 4 programme Sliced bread did a comparison of hoovers recently. They concluded that the best ones for getting rid of dust and allergens are corded with a bag. Bagless is all very well until you have to empty the thing, but then the allergens come out to play in style.
  • We didn’t like our last Dyson and have just bought a Bosch cordless which is lighter yet powerful.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    My daughter and son-in-law have recently acquired an air-frier, which I saw for the first time over the Christmas and New Year period. It looks quite convenient, and saves lighting the oven for odd little tasks. However, there wouldn't be room for one here. Besides, although I use the oven quite a lot, I tend to put several things in it at once.

    They both rather like gadgets. They've a complicated coffee machine that both grinds and then makes the coffee in various permutations. My granddaughters who don't drink coffee yet seem to have mastered some of its mysteries but I daren't touch it. Even their kettle throws me a bit.

  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    The Radio 4 programme Sliced bread did a comparison of hoovers recently. They concluded that the best ones for getting rid of dust and allergens are corded with a bag. Bagless is all very well until you have to empty the thing, but then the allergens come out to play in style.

    Henrys have a hepa filter I think.
  • The RogueThe Rogue Shipmate
    We have been married for over 30 years and are still on our second Henry.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    My present vacuum is a rechargeable type, which lives in the wardrobe; I suppose I could just about squeeze a Henry into the boiler cupboard, but it's a bit cramped in there already. I might investigate a Shark though - don't they have some quite small models (apart from the little hand-held ones for doing stairs)?
  • Enoch wrote: »
    My daughter and son-in-law have recently acquired an air-frier, which I saw for the first time over the Christmas and New Year period. It looks quite convenient, and saves lighting the oven for odd little tasks. However, there wouldn't be room for one here. Besides, although I use the oven quite a lot, I tend to put several things in it at once.

    There's a sweet spot where they are well suited; and it probably relates to both people living in somewhat smaller households and making one/two dish meals.

    They aren't great if you need to cook multiple things in sequence/multiple batches, as they'd spend a lot of time heating up, but part of making them work is finding things they make well and fitting them into your diet.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    edited January 3
    Piglet wrote: »
    My present vacuum is a rechargeable type, which lives in the wardrobe; I suppose I could just about squeeze a Henry into the boiler cupboard, but it's a bit cramped in there already. I might investigate a Shark though - don't they have some quite small models (apart from the little hand-held ones for doing stairs)?

    There is a cordless Henry stick vac called a Henry Quick, that’s a Which best buy - but it’s not cheap. Sometimes you can good used deals on eBay though.
  • carexcarex Shipmate
    We got a "digital air fryer" last year. I'm not sure why one would want to fry digital air rather than good old analog(ue) air, however.

    The only thing we cook in it now is salmon, which flames up too much on our outdoor gas grill. And that isn't very often. Mostly we don't eat fried foods much. It likely would not have remained in the kitchen except that it fit back behind something else where it is too hard to get out.
  • Yes, I agree that you need to want to cook the food it cooks. Mr Heavenly uses it a lot as he wants crispy fish and chicken but I don’t use it much as I tend to cook curries on the hob.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    I use mine several times a week. Think of it as a substitute for an oven, for things you would roast, bake or heat, rather than fry. Great for one or two items, including reheating cooked foods to retain their crispness which would be lost in a microwave.
    Most of my meals are now made with air fryer or microwave plus a pan for green veg. I am still not too sure on timings and temperatures though. I was given an air fryer cookery book but it is full of things I avoid, being pre-diabetic: flapjacks, foods coated with breadcrumbs etc.
    Mine resides on a wooden board, to protect the worktop, and easily slides out of the corner when I want to use it, back into the corner out of the way when not in use.
  • chrisstileschrisstiles Hell Host
    edited January 4
    carex wrote: »
    The only thing we cook in it now is salmon, which flames up too much on our outdoor gas grill. And that isn't very often. Mostly we don't eat fried foods much. It likely would not have remained in the kitchen except that it fit back behind something else where it is too hard to get out.

    The 'fryer' moniker is somewhat misleading, as they are basically small convection ovens. So essentially anything that you can do inside an oven of that size is fair game - including oven variants on fried recipes, aforementioned roasts, but even small desserts or casseroles (assuming the container you make them in will fit in your air fryer).
    Mr Heavenly uses it a lot as he wants crispy fish and chicken but I don’t use it much as I tend to cook curries on the hob.

    Any curries/dishes where you might want to brown the meat separately can also make use of an air fryer for that stage and I've seen a videos of people making biryani in them and using the air fryer instead of a dum.
  • I can’t see the point of using a separate cooker for browning meat when I usually use one pan for everything (plus rice cooker) - I cook curry several times a week. My usual biryani would not fit in my air fryer, lol. Perhaps we need to eat less now there are only 2 of us!
  • I discovered today that the new air fryer makes good cheese toasties
  • kingsfoldkingsfold Shipmate
    edited January 5
    I discovered today that the new air fryer makes good cheese toasties

    Oooh, that sounds like I need to try it (trying to squish a cheese sandwich into a toastie bag & thence into the toaster tends to have.. mixed results). Time & temp?
  • MiliMili Shipmate
    I got an air fryer last year and as well as the usual Fried food have used it for cooking meat and prawns. My steaks come out better than on the stove, but I only eat red meat every 7 to 10 days and am not great at cooking meat to start with. A more accomplished cook might prefer cooking in a fry pan.

    I have a Micro Munchy toastie maker that you put in the microwave for toasted cheese sandwiches. It has metal plates that fit into a silicon casing. Easy to wash and just a little bit fiddly to put plates back in afterwards.
  • My old pressure cooker died a few months ago. I think I used it only once or twice per year. When I decided to replace it, I discovered that an Instant Pot was less expensive and less fiddly to work with. I've now had the Instant Pot for almost 2 months and I've decided I love it!

    We're eating more vegetarian meals because they are very easy to prepare. The Instant Pot also does an amazing job of cooking rice and potatoes (without the constant boil-over onto the stove). It also cooks boiled eggs beautifully.

    It might even have cooked the humble pie I now have to eat. I had sworn I would not buy such a trendy item, and I certainly wasn't going to find it useful!
  • I bought an air fryer last summer. I do not think I have used my oven since. I love it. I live alone so it is a small one that does not take up much counter space and is just the right size for one. Easy clean up.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Same here, Graven Image.
    My mother used a pressure cooker every day but I didn’t really get on with it. Microwave and air fryer for me. Occasionally I use the slow cooker but it is heavy and my hands are painful.
  • PriscillaPriscilla Shipmate
    Another one that loves the air fryer 🙂
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    I got one of those stick vacs recently. A cheap one (£79). I love it! Whizz round twice a day, no weight, no cord, no effort.

    🙂
  • @Piglet You need a Miele. Yes they are pricey but they last. In my first flat at the grand age of 18 I inherited an old (15+ years) model which lasted another 16 years. Since then I've only had to buy 2 more so I'm only on my third vacuum cleaner and I'm nearly 70.
    Mieles come with lots of attachments, a long lead and are relatively compact.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Piglet wrote: »
    My sister raves about her air fryer, and I've contemplated getting one, but like Lily Pad, space is very much at a premium in my rather microscopic kitchen.
    Space is an issue with us too, as I noted above. But when it comes time to replace our oven, I’d seriously consider one that has an air fryer setting.

    An air fryer is simply a very small fan oven.
  • The_RivThe_Riv Shipmate
    Last month I got around to opening and trying a lovely burr grinder for coffee that I'd had for almost two years. My mother bought it for me for my birthday, but I was so wed to my previous bean/spice grinder (never used it for spices) with the whirling steel blade that I left the burr grinder boxed in a closet. Can't really say what led me to try it, but I finally did, and it was a revelation. My coffee now has a much more robust, complex flavor and way better mouth feel than my old brew, with far less silt in the bottom of my cup (I'm a French Press user). Next up: an espresso machine!
  • The_Riv wrote: »
    Last month I got around to opening and trying a lovely burr grinder for coffee that I'd had for almost two years. My mother bought it for me for my birthday, but I was so wed to my previous bean/spice grinder (never used it for spices) with the whirling steel blade that I left the burr grinder boxed in a closet. Can't really say what led me to try it, but I finally did, and it was a revelation. My coffee now has a much more robust, complex flavor and way better mouth feel than my old brew, with far less silt in the bottom of my cup (I'm a French Press user). Next up: an espresso machine!

    When I was a child, my mother had an old burr grinder that she almost never used. I wish she still had it so I could ask for it.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Mr F is the gadgetmeister. My question is always Does it do anything could be better done with a sharp knife? Also, worktop space is limited, so the kettle, microwave and breadmaker are as much as we have room for. However, there is a corner of the scullery, between the sink and the window, which is his. It has the coffee grinder, the filter coffee maker and the Nespresso machine - which mostly he uses for his mid-morning double espresso. Though occasionally he will make me an early morning shot.
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    We have a rule that all appliances and gadgets have to be black
  • Husband has not bought a new gadget for a while ,I'd better check he is OK. I think the next planned purchase will be some outdoor security cameras for our home. The incentive for this was our doorbell catching on video some prowlers who were masked and gloved and who put their hand over the doorbell whilst checking out our front door (we assume). Both surprised and alarmed when we discovered this.

    We also have an air fryer which has been great for pies and nuggets. We mostly use it for weekend food. Last weekend I did a piece of salmon cooked from frozen and some chips and vegetable balls (From the Swedish shop) All done in 15 mins from frozen and freed up the oven for son to cook pizza. We've not regretted purchasing, though I hate that we have so many appliances out in the kitchen - air fryer, toaster, kettle, fizzy drink maker. No room, so ice machine lives in the garage.

    We originally bought an ice machine for my Dad when he was on fluid restricted diet. Sucking on ice seemed to keep him happy. After he died sister took his machine and we decided to buy our own as husband and kids all like ice in their drinks.

    We also have a Dyson vacuum that lives on a charger in the linen cupboard. We had a power point installed there for that purpose. We have never had a better vacuum cleaner, particularly as we have two cats and one with long hair. I'm always stunned about what comes out of the carpet, particularly as it never looks dirty. I whoosh it around normally twice a week. Being one with a small canister doesn't bother us, we empty every time we return it to it's base. It sounds ridiculous, but it has been lifechanging and because it's lightweight I don't find it onerous to use. Previously we've had both upright and barrel cleaners and I would never go back to either.

  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    edited March 19
    Telford wrote: »
    We have a rule that all appliances and gadgets have to be black

    I thought we did until Mr Boogs brought home GREY kettle.

    Is Outrage!
  • Totally relate @ Boogie! After spending much time planning new kitchen and getting everything the one colour, we moved house! Now a mixture of white stuff (from previous house), stainless steel appliances of new to us house and the odd black piece that we've not been able to replace in white. A bit of a dog's brekkie all round now!

    I think I'm going to start planning and researching for replacement stuff now, rather than have to get stuff willy nilly as things die. And yes, first world problem and I'm a bit of a pain re stuff like this!!
  • Those wanting a small burr grinder might try your local Asian market and look for a hand-cranked pepper grinder with the shelf down below.
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