Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Kitchen helpers that look good, save time

An all-in-one gadget that bakes, roasts, toasts, broils, and can even be used as a rotisserie and a pressure cooker?

It sounds like science fiction, but Penny Roth, general manager of Williams-Sonoma at Franklin Park Mall, says that the Wolfgang Puck Rotisserie Pressure Oven does all this and more.

“It looks like a toaster oven,” she says. But this hybrid is capable of cooking up to 70 percent more quickly than a conventional oven and is spacious enough that “it holds up to a 17-pound turkey.”

This dynamo is just one of the time- saving gadgets that are available at local stores or online to time-pressed cooks.

Ms. Roth says that with the Philips Pasta Maker, you simply add flour, water, and other selected ingredients — herbs or spinach or beets, perhaps — and “within 15 minutes it’s done, start to finish.” Yes, home cooks can make fresh pasta while they boil the water in which to cook it. Both items cost $299.95 at the store, 5001 Monroe St., or at

At the Baker’s Kitchen, which has “a whole wall of gadgets,” according to store owner Marcia Thrush, electronics — from pressure cookers to electric rice cookers — have been very popular this season.

“Immersion blenders were huge this year,” she says. People watch cooking shows, and “they see it on TV and they want it.”

The hand-held gadgets, such as the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender, can be immersed directly into soups or smoothies to puree them, without having to transfer liquids to a standing blender and then face a slew of extra dirty dishes.

They’re $34.95 at the store, 6433 Monclova Rd., Maumee, or at

Here are some other gadgets that’ll slice minutes off your nightly dinner-making routine, which will leave more time for relaxing around the dinner table.

● Onion Goggles

You won’t have to pause every few seconds when you’re cutting your onions (or leeks, scallions, or chives) if you pop these on pre-slice. The foam seal and anti-fog lenses will protect your eyes from stinging onion burn. $19.99 at

● Joseph Joseph Large Scoop Colander

Forget about straining when you’re making macaroni or small pasta — and use this colander scoop instead. It drains the food straight from the pot and eliminates that extra step. $8.99 at

● Ninja 3-in-1 Cooking System

This is a one-pot system that allows you to steam, roast, bake, sear, simmer, saute, and slow cook — without changing the pot. It has a 6-quart capacity and can heat between 250-425 degrees. Skip preheating the oven (or even turning it on) and fumbling around for pots and pans. $185 at


Pop multiple cloves of unpeeled garlic into the peeler, put the top on and twist back and forth. When you open the lid, the garlic will be peeled.

TNS Enlarge

● Chef ’n Garlic Peeler

Pop multiple cloves of unpeeled garlic into the peeler, put the top on, and twist back and forth. When you open the lid, the garlic will be peeled. Then, put the peeler into the dishwasher. You’re done. $11.95 at

● iTouchless Bag Resealer

Open any bag of food and then use this to create an airtight seal to lock in the freshness without taking the time to transfer the leftover items to a zipper bag. 

The iTouchless Bag Resealer is powered by batteries, and it takes seconds to reseal the bag. It also has a magnet, so you can store it within easy reach, on your refrigerator. $21.95 for two at

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report. Contact Mary Bilyeu at: or 419-724-6155.

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