Tech Stocking Stuffers: 18 awesome gifts under $50

Weekend Open Forum: What's your favorite home gadget?

By Shawn Knight · 30 replies
Jul 14, 2017
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  1. Technology is playing an increasingly important role in and around our homes with each passing day. From smart thermostats and cloud-based security cameras to virtual assistants and Bluetooth-enabled smart locks, technology is making even the most mundane of tasks easier and more convenient than ever.

    One area of the home that I’ve recently infused with tech is the kitchen.

    I’ll be frank – my culinary skills are severely lacking, an unfortunate realization considering my desire to experiment with new foods. I suppose I could do things the old fashioned way and simply learn how to cook but why bother when technology is on my side?

    I recently hitched a ride on the hipster express and purchased a sous vide precision cooker, the ChefSteps Joule which is backed by Valve's Gabe Newell. Also known as an immersion circulator, sous vide involves cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags (or Ziplocs) submersed in water. That may not sound all that appealing but the method offers several benefits compared to traditional cooking techniques and has been used in the restaurant industry for years.

    For starters, it’s virtually impossible to overcook food as it is kept at the same exact temperature throughout the process. Because food is vacuum-sealed, all of the seasoning and juices are locked in and can’t escape. What’s more, with a persistent cooking temperature, you get a perfectly uniform level of doneness throughout the dish that simply can't be achieved with other methods.

    I’ve experimented with multiple cuts of steak as well as chicken and sausage in the few weeks since my purchase and am incredibly happy with the results thus far. There are a few shortcomings and some tips you'll want to know but by and large, I’m now able to cook dishes to perfection with very little effort.

    With this week’s open forum, we’re curious to hear about the around-the-house tech you’ve tried and your experiences with them. What would you recommend and what should be avoided? Let us know in the comments section below.

    PS – if a full review of the ChefSteps sous vide is something you’d be interested in, let us know as well!

    Permalink to story.

     
  2. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,897   +1,062

    My right hand ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  3. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 400   +82

    Well, not quite home, exactly, but the LiOn-battery electric yard tools have surprised me -- small gas-engines have Always hated me, so I took a chance (not expecting much against the whoah, price). They've been very good and have lasted 3 years and counting.
     
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,808   +1,211

    So you've got a prosthesis?
     
  5. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 400   +82

    knowing anything about what you are commenting upon can be challenging..
     
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  6. Alpha Gamer

    Alpha Gamer TS Evangelist Posts: 351   +114

    Dishwasher. The amount of time I save by not washing the dishes is insane. The quality of the washing is also far superior to hand-washing. And I can honestly say that this machine saved my marriage, no more fights over whose turn it is to do the dishes, it's always mine.
     
    H3llion and user108 like this.
  7. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 527   +339

    In the kitchen: Instant Pot and Ipad.
     
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,007   +661

    PS – if a full review of the ChefSteps sous vide is something you’d be interested in, let us know as well!

    YES PLEASE!
     
  9. Shawn Knight

    Shawn Knight TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 9,291   +100

    I think you may have misunderstood me. You 'package' the food yourself by putting it in a Ziploc or vacuum-sealing it after you've seasoned it. The video embedded above should give you a better idea of how it all works :)
     
    Phr3d likes this.
  10. Phr3d

    Phr3d TS Guru Posts: 400   +82

    .. and I -could- have kinder in my response - superiority in "disedumacated" statements can cause me to react poorly.

    Rephrase: are you sure that it is the Sous Vide method of cooking to which you are commenting?
     
  11. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,274   +786

    My favorite home gadget is my desktop PC.
     
    RedGuard, Brock Kane and user108 like this.
  12. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Addict Posts: 169   +86

    Got to be the Keurig!
     
    NicktheWVAHick likes this.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    My beer bottle opener. ;)
     
  14. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    So I can assume your nickname won't be Lefty?
     
    amstech likes this.
  15. RowdyFred

    RowdyFred TS Rookie

    What??? Pre-everything-you-said is not mentioned in the article. You fill the ziploc or vacuum-sealed bag with your own ingredients.
     
  16. rvnwlfdroid

    rvnwlfdroid TS Booster Posts: 177   +41

    My Perfect drink/bake scale. I'm all about having things turn out consistently. Whether it's a mixed drink or a cookie. I've switched to the method of weighing ingredients rather then measuring them. So very precise, If I add too much of one ingredient by accident the app will tell me how much more of the others I need to add to compensate. I may have to look into one of these sous vide precision cookers now. I have no problem with any devices being connected via Bluetooth. As for other "gadgets" everything else is Z-Wave controlled minus the hub being connected the my router. I have not ventured into any IOT devices yet. I haven't seen any that truly hold my interest. I'm still waiting for the fridge/infrastructure that will be able to recognize we are down to 1/2 gallon of milk, 1/4 loaf of bread, 2 eggs and be able to have your items ready for pick up or delivery from a local store. Wish full thinking... I hate grocery shopping.
     
  17. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,957   +1,289

  18. namesrejected

    namesrejected TS Guru Posts: 398   +299

    Best home gadget? Cryptocurrency miners!
     
  19. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,202   +384

    Chemex coffee maker
     
  20. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,636   +1,026

    My toilet. It takes any crap that I give it! ;)
     
  21. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Addict Posts: 169   +86

    You really give it the business do ya?
     
    stewi0001 likes this.
  22. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,636   +1,026

    All the time!
     
  23. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 1,499   +672

    Robo-Stir!!!

    Possibly the most useless thing ever.... wait... this was for most useful... scratch that!

    My toaster-oven... couldn't live without it...
     
  24. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,682   +771

    Amazon Echo. Was pretty skeptical when I got it as a gift. But between being a nice way to play an unlimited amount of music and providing basic information ("Alexa, what's the forecast for tomorrow." "Alexa, set the timer for 24 minutes"), I use the Echo probably between 2-3 hours a day, closer to 4-5 hours a day on the weekends.
     
  25. Jyrkz

    Jyrkz TS Enthusiast Posts: 37   +17

    I need to go buy a steak :O
     

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