Cookbook author Robin Miller spends a lot of time developing recipes. But the mother of two and former Food Network host (“Quick Fix Meals”) especially enjoys testing kitchen toys to make prepping, cooking and mealtime easy and fun.
Miller shares her 13 favorite summertime gadgets: kits, appliances and utensils that are “cool enough to live on your counter, in your picnic basket and with your camping gear all season long.”
We narrowed down her list to our top five picks. Miller breaks down what she likes about each one.
1. To take on a picnic: Kyocera Mini-Prep Knife + Bar Board Set
“The 3-inch mini prep knife and cutting board were created for the home bar, tailgating and camp kitchen, but consider them for your vacation rental, RV kitchen or picnic basket. This is your go-to knife for slicing fruits, vegetables and cheese, and for mincing fresh herbs. The knife comes with a protective sheath so you can toss the set into your picnic basket or cooler without worry. Attractive packaging makes this a nice host/hostess gift.”
Details: $29.95. kyoceraadvancedceramics.com.
2. To make funny ice cubes: Zoku Cook Moji Ice Tray
“Get ready to giggle with this emoticon ice tray. Imagine the smiles as folks scoop expressive ice faces out of your punch bowl. Or how about surprising your kids with a charming emoji in their favorite juice? The ice mold comes in a handy tray that prevents spills while filling and transporting to the freezer. Once frozen, the silicone mold makes it easy to remove the animated faces — no rinsing required.”
Details: $9.99. zokuhome.com.
3. To grill to perfection: CDN Grill Surface Thermometer
“How often have you questioned the exact temperature of your grill? Especially those areas that aren’t directly over the heat? This practical thermometer sits directly on any cooking surface, from the rack of a grill to a frying pan, and has a color-coded scale that provides target temperatures for grilling and searing. Speaking of your fingertips, tabs on the sides allows you to easily pick up the thermometer from a hot grill.”
Details: $8. cdnw.com.
4. To open anything: Kuhn Rikon 5-in-1 Jar Opener
“How many times have you gotten to your picnic site or campground and realized you’d forgotten the bottle opener? Never again! In fact, this handy gadget boasts five opening functions: jar lids, beer bottles, pull tabs, plastic bottle caps and small sauce bottles. With one tool, you can open your beer, the barbecue sauce, the pickles and that feisty little bottle of hot sauce. Leave no jar unopened.”
Details: $20. kuhnrikonshop.com.
5. To count calories: CDN Nutrition Scale
“Why is a kitchen scale a summer gadget? Besides helping with portion control, the precise measuring of weight (not volume), ensures successful cooking and baking results. The scale is programmed with 999 food codes that provide nutritional data for calories, sodium, protein, fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol and fiber. Just type in the food and the results are immediate. The tare function resets the scale display to zero to measure only the weight of an item (not the container).”
Details: $39.99. cdnw.com.
Miller, who also is a nutritionist, created five easy recipes utilizing these kitchen gadgets, including this campfire-friendly skillet lasagna.
WATCH: ROBIN MILLER PUTS HER NEW GADGETS TO USE
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