One of the things that unites everyone is the need to eat. Some people live off fast food, others dine in 5-star restaurants, but many people enjoy the satisfaction of making their own food in their own kitchen. Every year, the cooking market fills up with more gadgets and gizmos to simplify or beautify your culinary creations, and this year is no different.
The first five products are concepts that have received recent acclaim from the international design studio, Electrolux Design Lab, during its' annual design competition. They are some fascinating ideas that could be making the art of cooking easier, more mobile, or more interactive in the coming years. The public can vote on their favorite concepts until May 12, although the executives at ElectroLux will make the ultimate decision on the winning designs. Vote for your favorite concept and help turn it into reality at Electrolux Design Lab.
Cooking Concept #1 - The Kitchen Train
Kitchen counters often get so cluttered with the mess of appliances stored on them. Coffee machines and microwave ovens have to vie for space with kettles, toasters, and breadboxes. Ahmad Abedini, a Malaysian innovator with a PhD in Industrial design, came up with a way to solve the endless problems of space in the kitchen, with The Kitchen Train.
The Kitchen Train
This sleek and aesthetically pleasing combination of six appliances which can be easily separated from the group could bring an end to countertop territory issues, as well as the mismatched color and design schemes that occur with individually purchased appliances. This modern and efficient approach will add harmony to your kitchen, and ease to your cooking.
Cooking Concept #2 - MovPot
Cooking for friends or large groups is usually restricted to a hot, cluttered kitchen or maybe a smoke-filled backyard grilling area, but that isn't the best way to prepare food while also trying to have a good time. Polish design student Magdalena Brzozowska came up with an idea for a pot which cooks food in itself, without the need for external burners or outside heat source. The pot is self-heating when the cover is on, so once the dish is mixed, it can be closed and will begin to cook. There is a hole in the lid which can be opened to stir or season the food, without causing the heating element to shut off.
Half of the lid is conveniently equipped with a touch screen for cook time and temperature. The set also comes with a large heat-resistant band which can be placed around the outside for easy carrying, or wrapped from top to bottom to secure the lid while changing locations. This design can take some elements of cooking outside the kitchen, especially during outdoor events like picnics or festivals.
Cooking Concept #3 - Pi
This intriguing concept is based on the idea of togetherness in the cooking process, which is such a central activity in many people's family lives. The circular design of the installment gives easy access to all necessary utilities, while the inside/outside aspect of the design allows many people to participate in the cooking process at once, without getting in each other's way. The design includes a digital screen for interactive cooking with friends, doubling as a health monitor that tracks previous meals and suggests fitness programs based on food intake. This submission was from an Indian graduate student in design, Malvika Sainath.
Cook Around Pi
The design also includes storage space, a hidden cutting board, and a washing/draining tray. When the cooking is completed, the installation also folds out into a casual dining area for your family. Cooking is a central part of the familial experience, and this design is all about maintaining that closeness in the new, modern era of the culinary arts.
Cooking Concept #4 - Expedition
This all-in-one design concept comes from Indian student Indeep Sarkar, and is a mobile cooking set that can be transported easily in the form of a trolley bag. Contained in one simple unit is a toaster, oven, barbecue chamber, and vegetable cutter. To keep the project eco-friendly, it also comes with a solar panel as an outdoor energy for picnics and barbecues, as well as an alternate fuel cell, and storage tray for the cut vegetables.
The Expedition - Mobile Kitchen
The coolest element of this mobile chef station is a digital screen for showing video recipes or cooking interactively with friends. Also, you can share your recipes and meal ideas via the internet and social media, making this convenient concept perfect for those who always want to stay connected, even when escaping to the great outdoors.
Cooking Concept #5 - Capsule Machine
Tea is a popular beverage throughout the world, and those looking for a healthy lifestyle are beginning to move away from coffee towards the healthier and more varied option of tea. Russian student designer Anna Nikulshina came up with the Capsule Machine as a way to custom make your own tea capsules out of ingredients of your choosing. Once the ingredients are entered, they are pressed and steamed into a small capsule, which can then be used in the same way as a tea bag in hot water.
The capsules can be made into different shapes depending on which matrix you choose (star, circle, etc.) and can be easily trasnported for use at work or stored for use at home. They also make great customized gifts for friends and family depending on their specific taste preferences in spices, fruit, and other possible ingredients.
These next five ideas are clever concepts that have already been released as products. They are simple and creative ideas that will make cooking less of a chore and more of a pleasure, while helping you look like a master chef!
Grill Comb Skewers Kebabs are a summertime favorite from here to Timbuktu, but skewer lovers are always faced with the same challenge. Sliding those last pieces of onion, green pepper, or beef off the sharp pointed stick can be annoying, messy, and potentially dangerous. With the Grill Comb Skewers, cook the skewers evenly over the coals, then remove them with the handle and pluck the pieces off the comb skewers with ease. Treat the guests at your summer barbecue to a clean and clever way of eating kebabs!
Grill Comb Skewers
iPad Chef Sleeve More and more people are using iPads and other tablet platforms to find recipes and watch video demonstrations while cooking their kitchen masterpieces. Unfortunately, this puts the pricey toys in the line of fire during potentially messy meal-making. The iPad Chef Sleeves are made of ultra-thin material, so the screen can still be operated with ease, and the re-sealable bag is easy to dispose of or wash for a few more uses once you slip your tablet out. They fit all types of iPads as well as various other tablet styles like Galaxy 10.1, and the dispenser for the sleeves even multi-functions as a handy stand to keep the iPad upright while cooking.
iPad Chef Sleeve
Pluck - Egg Yolk Extractor
For many amateur cooks, cooking eggs is the first thing they learn, but some recipes get a bit more complicated than basic scrambled eggs. When egg yolks need to be separated for meringue, egg-white omelettes, or a hearty breakfast sandwich, the task becomes more difficult. With Pluck, simply lower the handheld device over an already cracked egg, squeeze and release, then watch as the yolk separates and slides up into the silicone container. The yolk can then be squeezed back out into a different holding area depending on your cooking needs. Pluck is simple to separate and clean, and even the most amateur cook can make impressive dishes with a simple squeeze and Pluck!
Pluck - Egg Yolk Extractor
One of the most dangerously delicious foods is bacon - ask anyone. Frying bacon in its' own fat and grease has long been the only option, despite the less than healthy nature of that breakfast style. The Makin' Bacon Microwave Rack is a simple and easy solution to frying pans and grease-laden breakfast plates. Simply hang the strips of bacon over the plastic arms, cover the top with a paper towel to save the inside of your microwave, and push start. The fat cooks the bacon and then drips off into the collecting dish below, and after a few minutes, you have delicious bacon, cooked to perfection, without the grease bath! The only problem for hardcore bacon loyalists is the unnatural bend the bacon might take while "hanging out" in the microwave while it cooks.
We've all been there...sitting at the kitchen table, about to start eating our pasta salad when we realize we haven't opened our beer, or tightened the screws on the table legs. Instead of putting down your utensil and interrupting your meal to look for a bottle opener or a tool kit, just use your Eat 'N Tool. This fun little product is designed for ultimate multi-tasking, and includes a fork, spoon, bottle opener, three hex wrenches, and a carabiner to keep on a keyring. I would suggest washing it before every use, but real men who need tools mid-meal probably aren't worried about eating a little dirt along the way...
Eat 'N Tool
Whenever and in whatever way you re-think your cooking needs, either right now or years in the future, perhaps some of these concepts and products will be the perfect choice. As we know, everybody's gotta eat, so we might as well look stylish doing it, and have a little fun along the way.
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