Good cooking: Must have gadget kitchen gadgets

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COOK COOKING spiralizeOne of the smartest innovations I’ve seen recently may seem like pretty old news. However, it’s brand new and right up there on the cutting edge of cooking tech. It’s a practical and pretty stylish solar oven. The GoSun range (of about three currently) is still in the Kickstarter phase but the idea looks entirely practical. It means that with the largest version of the device, a meal for 8 people can be cooked at temperatures up to 290° C and the with the smallest, hot drinks can be made when and where you please. The technology behind solar power has come on in leaps and bounds since the 1980s and now these portable units need no actual sun and can operate under clouds and in the cold with no problem at all. Find out more at www.gosunstove.com.

Finally, a word about the knife, probably the single most important tool in the arsenal of every good cook. I know you’re probably thinking “oh, what could he be going to tell us about knife technology?” The answer is: Nothing. Sure, there has been a lot of talk about the ceramic blades over the past ten years but I will use this last paragraph as a plea to carry on using the humble steel knife. I have my reasons and they are as follows:

– You can’t wiggle a ceramic knife. That’s right, they’re made for cutting in a straight line only. It’s no good getting stuck into a chicken thigh and trying to wiggle it out, as this will chip off bits of the blade. So, unless you like ceramics with your chicken…

– They don’t feel right. They seem to weigh nothing and this is fundamentally wrong.

– You know when you are peeling garlic and you smash the clove with the flat of the blade? Well, you can’t do that either with a ceramic blade. Unless you like picking bits of sharpened clay out of your hands.

My advice here would be very much against everything I hold dear: Buy a good metal blade and treat it with tender loving care. Around €150 will buy you a Henckels, a Wusthof or any number of artisan-crafted 8-inch things of joy and beauty. Just don’t tell anyone I told you, OK?