Sunday, July 22, 2007
I love kitchen gadgets. It's probably a good thing that I have a teeny tiny kitchen, or I'd have every gadget out there. But I wanted a rice cooker, because sometimes I just haven't got enough burners. They also allow you a lot more latitude on timing your dinner.
So I'm cruising the kitchen gadget aisles, looking at gadgets. There's all kinds of neat toys, but I'm severely space restricted. I figure the thing is probably going to live on the counter, if I can find any space.
Then I see the Presto Kitchen Kettle. The first thing I think is that I do not need another gadget, but I see that it cooks rice, so I look closer.
This gadget is pretty cool. It has a thermostatic control so you can use it for a multitude of things, from a small slow cooker to a rice maker, to a soup kettle, to a fryer.
The fryer got my attention. I had an old, old FryDaddy , which I used often enough to keep around. But it's old, it's very hard to clean, and I sure wouldn't mind replacing it. The advantage here is I can get rid of the FryDaddy and have cupboard space for the new gadget.
I'm still hemming and hawing, because there's nothing it can't do (besides deep fry) that I really need a special tool for and it's not really a rice cooker proper, even though you can cook rice in it.
Then I see it. The thing is dishwasher safe. No more trying to scrape to grease off the outside of the fryer. No more not being able to submerge the kettle to get it clean.
It came home with me.
I'm terribly impressed. So far I've made rice in it, fried doughnuts in it, steamed carrots and blanched peas in it. It's a wonderful size for frying, although it takes a lot of oil. It has its own steaming/frying basket, with two different rests to make draining easy.
It made blanching vegetables for freezing incredibly easy. Turn the temperature to 250 until the water is at a rolling boil and drop the basket in. Much, much easier than the huge pot and strainer combination I was blanching with last year. Since it has a small footprint, having it on the counter and using my stove top for work space has actually given me more room to work in the kitchen, a boon with space-intensive tasks like preserving produce.
Being dishwasher safe, cleanup is a breeze. Another feature I really like is the temperature control has a magnetic coupler. While this means you can accidentally unplug it while cooking, it also means that in case of emergency (like if you set all your frying doughnuts on fire) you can very easily unplug it.
My only criticism thus far is that the recipe for rice that comes with the instructions made a very firm rice, but that was fixed by cooking five minutes longer than recommended.
So far this gadget has been versatile and useful enough that it has been living on the counter. The FryDaddy is long gone. I whole-heartedly recommend this very nice gadget.
at 1:11 PM