When you start spending more time in your kitchen, you realise how many new gadgets and toys you have an excuse to buy. Obviously it pays to invest in quality pots, pans and knives. But then there are bread makers, ice cream makers, blenders, mixers, microwaves and more. The list is almost endless. And yet, the best investment I ever made was relatively small. And it always helps me with my cooking, and even my kitchen cleaning. So, what is my favourite kitchen gadget of all time?
Well for starters, it’s what’s under the tea towel, rather than the tea towel itself. Although I will say that cheap tea towels are fasle economy when they leave fluff over your clean and dry plates. So that particular budget example is being used for hiding gadgets for photos, occasionally wiping things down, and then being either thrown away or burnt with fire.
And it helps me when I’m cooking. Or when I’m doing the washing up. Or anything else in the kitchen.
So what is it?
It’s a DAB digital radio. I’ve had a few over the years, including some which included internet streaming. Which was great until they suffered repeated hardware failures. Whereas this smaller, slightly cheaper example just has DAB, and has worked perfectly for years. It does have a USB for playing MP3s and podcasts, but I’m never that fussed to be honest.
And as someone prone to distraction, it’s been the thing that has kept me entertained while I’m washing plates and dishes. Or when I’m endlessly stirring something. Baking, roasting, and anything else that takes time tends to mean I’ll wander off, unless there’s something to listen to. And being digital means I can get a few extra stations which tend to play music I like.
It also reminds me of home. The radio in my parent’s kitchen is on for most of the day, particularly when my mum is cooking. So I associate the sound of Radio 4 with food on the way. And even my intense dislike of The Archers has now abated to the point that I don’t need to leave the room when it comes on. Plus if I need a change there’s 6 Music, Planet Rock and the various Absolute Radio stations, especially Absolute Radio 90s (Disclosure: I previously worked at Absolute Radio, and the radio pictured was a leaving gift).
The Pure One Mini has survived around 8 years, three different kitchen environments and a short spell when it ended up being used in my dad’s garage. And it’s still working perfectly.
So while there are lots of gadgets I would still love to have in the kitchen, a good quality radio is the one that has made the biggest difference to my cooking. And will keep me entertained while I’m working with more basic equipment in the meantime!
Sadly that particular model isn’t available anymore, but similar models include the Pure Pop Mini Portable with an Alarm and Kitchen Timer:
Or there area huge range of digital radios from a wide range of brands available on places like Amazon from really low prices if you’re not especially brand conscious. For a kitchen set, I’d tend to look for something for a reasonably reliable brand like Pure, Roberts, etc, and also for something that has easy controls when you might have wet hands. And probably a smaller screen, considering the risk of moisture getting in or damage in a kitchen environment. Big buttons and dials and fairly chunky seem to be a good choice. And if your kitchen gets good amounts of sunlight, there are always solar powered examples worth checking out.
So that’s my favourite kitchen gadget of all time. The next question is what’s yours? Something more closely related to cooking? A particular knife, pan or mixer? Or have you embraced technology, whether that’s a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa to read recipes?