Of course we go to the Housewares Show looking for tools to feature in the magazine…but being hardcore cooks ourselves, inevitably we find must-haves for our own kitchens. Here’s what’s topping our lists:
Rebecca Freedman, Associate Editor
Being a new mom, I’m a little nervous about my child being around my collection of kitchen knives. Luckily, Starfrit’s Lock Block will give me peace of mind—it looks like an ordinary knife block, but it’s got a clever built-in mechanism that locks your knives in, so little hands can’t pull them out.
I’ve got a teapot with a built-in infuser at home, but sometimes I just want to use my loose tea to make one cup, not a whole pot. That’s why Swissmar’s tea scoop infuser is high on my wish list. The infuser is perforated and cone-shaped; you use the wide end to scoop up loose tea, and then dip the narrow end of the infuser right into your cup of hot water.
Sometimes, I see a product that’s so simple, yet makes so much sense that I wonder why I haven’t seen one before. That’s the case with the newest spoon rest from Oxo. It’s made of stainless steel, but here’s the twist: it’s got silicone feet, which means that it can’t heat up while it’s sitting on the stovetop, and that means no more burns for me when I’m reaching for my spatula or wooden spoon.
Lisa Waddle, Associate Editor
I’m a big tea drinker, and loved the look of the Clara clear kettle by Bodum ($49.95). The body and handle are made of heat-resistant borosilicate glass, and the kettle can go right on electric or gas stoves. The stainless steel lid and blue accents on the whistle and lid add to the clean look–plus, it’s dishwasher safe.
Just steps away from the Clara, Bodum kept my attention with new additions to its line of double-walled glasses. These takes on classic cocktail glasses such as those used for martini, champagne, and beer were lightweight and stylish. The double-wall design prevents heat transfer to the beverage, keeping your martini perfectly chilled, and also means these would be perfect for ice cream parfaits or other desserts. They range from $9.95 each for the 1-oz. aperitif glass to $24.95 for the 20-oz. pilsner glass.
Sarah Breckenridge, Associate Web Editor
I’ve been looking to add a Le Creuset to my kitchen for several months, but now I’m glad I waited: In April the whole Le Creuset line will be available in Caribbean Blue, a gorgeous shade of aqua, and, well, I’m a sucker for anything in this color. Since I don’t have a good enameled Dutch oven, it’s the versatile 5.5-qt. round oven that’s on the top of my list.
Perhaps I’m still emotionally scarred from knife skills tests in culinary school, but I’m always drawn to knives with super-thin, precise blades. The housewares show had plenty of new ceramic knives on offer, but I’m most interested in the new line of Kasumi titanium-coated Japanese-style knives from Chroma. The titanium coating gives strength to the molybdenum vanadium steel blades, allowing them to be honed to a super-thin edge, but unlike ceramic knives, you can sharpen them yourself.