Life may not have reached Jetson-like heights where your home does the work for you, but with the latest 'set and forget' kitchen gadgets, we're pretty close.
Progressive, modern twists on old kitchen appliances and the emergence of chef-grade tools are popping up in more American kitchens throughout the country, making cooking like a Michelin-star chef easier than ever before.
The latest appliances for slow cooking, food dehydration and sous vide can help even the novice chef prepare luxurious meals without a tremendous amount of effort, even though it will look like you slaved over a hot stove all day.
When time is of the essence and your first instinct is to order carry out, discover some of the ways you can prepare a healthy meal from home with very little time and effort, but far healthier for you and your family.
Sous Vide Cooking
Time constrained families can fit healthy cooking into their life using the sous vide cooking method. While this approach may sound complex, it can be accomplished with ease using the right tools.
Sous vide is a staple method of cooking in most high-end gourmet restaurants, heralded by top chefs like Philippe Rochat and Michael Carlson. Food is sealed in an air-tight plastic bag and immersed in a water bath, where the temperature is set to the final cooking heat.
One distinct advantage to this method is the enormous time saving feature. You don't have to monitor food in order to avoid overcooking and undercooking, plus there's no need to turn and move food constantly to ensure it is evenly cooked--the method is designed to cook uneven sized foods to mouthwatering perfection. Seasoned diners report food cooked using the sous vide method is more succulent and meats are less tough and quite tender.
Food safety is always a concern, especially when meat is being cooked, which is why using a highly rated sous vide machine or device is imperative. For instance, the Sansaire Sous Vide Machine is one of the top sous vide machines on the market, able to reach the precise temperature control to achieve perfect results, every time.
The Sansaire Sous Vide Machine allows you to cook food for up to 72 hours. While it doesn't have a timer, it allows you to prepare weekend meals as early as Wednesday or Thursday, but still enjoy the same level of freshness as though you prepped your meal minutes before you sat down. The bright LED, easy-to-read screen makes the device easy to check for food readiness, so one quick glance and you'll know when dinner is ready. You also won't have to spend time hunting for the right bags to cook your food--any food-grade freezer bag will do the trick.
Adding the final touch to your meal is a snap with the Sansaire Searing Kit. Sears food to browning perfection within minutes and the handy, easy-to-use torch delivers up to 3,600 degrees of heating power to give your masterpiece that flame-kissed appearance.
Food Preparation While You Sleep
Busy executives or families on the go love a good slow cooker, because this "set and forget" device makes life tremendously easier and far more delicious.
This kitchen gadget will become your new best friend because you can add the ingredients into the pot before you leave for work and then be greeted to a home-cooked meal when you return at the end of the day.
Still cooking in mom's slow cooker from the 1980s? Time to retire that pot and go for the best -- All-Clad Gourmet Slow Cooker with All-in-One Browning. This machine is more than a slow cooker. It browns, sautés and cooks rice -- and even steams lobster tails to perfection.
Schedule meals the night before, thanks to the programmable 20-hour timer so you don't have to do anything during the morning rush. Suddenly realize you are going to be a little late? The five-hour "keep warm" setting will keep your food at the desired temperature after cooking is finished. Once you've served your meal, the one-pot easy to clean glass lid and steam basket cleans using soap and water.
Fresh food cooking is the name of the game for most families, however many report having trouble finding time to get to the store on a regular basis to purchase fresh ingredients. One way to always have quick access to the freshest food is to dehydrate and store your favorite produce or even meats. Dehydrating food is a more sophisticated approach to old fashioned canning and makes fresh food preparation a snap.
Several dehydration tools exist on the market, but for a superior, time saving experience, consider theExcalibur 5-Tray Clear Door Stainless Steel Food Dehydrator. This dehydrator is so easy to use, you can complete other tasks while your food is being processed. The 26-hour timer lets you set and forget, and the unit automatically turns off when the set time is complete.
Customize to the type of food, thanks to the adjustable thermostat, which goes low enough to dehydrate and preserve the active enzymes in delicate fruits and vegetables.
Start Your Day with Gusto
One of the biggest complaints from coffee connoisseurs is the typical coffee machine only keeps the pot warm for a short amount of time, leaving you with cool coffee by the time you leave for work in the morning. Who has time (or the desire) to reheat coffee as you are dashing out the door?
The KRUPS ET351 Thermal Coffee Maker keeps your coffee piping hot, plus offers a number of time-saving features that produces the best cup of coffee around. This device includes a programmable clock to begin auto-brewing your favorite breakfast blend the moment your alarm goes off.
Want to enjoy your cup instantly? No problem. With the pause and serve feature, you can happily fill a cup of your favorite coffee while the system pauses and resumes brewing. The bold function lets you select the strength of your coffee--whether you'd like a rich cup to jump-start your day or a softer brew with an evening dessert. The KRUPS ET351 also comes with a cleaning feature for descaling, which ensures a free-flowing filter and superior tasting coffee.
Don't think you have time for breakfast? Think again! The KRUPS Egg Cookerdoes the work for you so you can get the kids off to school and get ready for work while your breakfast cooks.
This handy device prepares up to seven eggs simultaneously, allowing users to choose from hard or soft boiled, poached or individual omelets. Simply pile the eggs into the slots and an audible signal will indicate when your eggs are ready. Two poaching trays are included along with a measuring cup to check firmness and an egg piercer to help you avoid eggs from cracking. Ideal for everyday use--makes preparing a healthy breakfast for your family foolproof and effortless.
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