The knurling on the knife handle and base of the blade isn’t just for show. It’s there because Creek Cutler’s Repurposed File Knives are, as their name indicates, reborn after serving a life in the form of a farrier or metal working file — though this patterning also conveniently serves to increase your grip on what’s an otherwise very sharp knife. The to-be-scrapped carbon steel files are forged, reheated, and custom ground to your choice of blade shape, be it chef’s, paring, Santoku, or other. This, plus the fact that each is one of a kind, certainly justifies the price.
Learn more at Creek Cutler – roughly $160+
Brewing your own beer is a great hobby but learning all the ins and outs is unavoidably time consuming. PicoBrew’s been making it easier for some time, and their new Pico C brewing appliance and PicoStill, in particular, expand what you can create at home. The PicoStill is a distilling attachment that’s compatible with both previous and current Pico and Zymatic brewing appliances, and sits atop the Pico C Keg. A copper coil runs through its clear glass infusion and works to distill hop oil, essential oils, water, and even a variety of spirits spanning bourbon to vodka, though only attempt the latter if you have a license and your local laws permit it.
Find it at Kickstarter – $170+
Grilling typically requires a fair bit of attention. The Traeger Timberline Grill finally changes that. Though you can still use it as a standard hardwood barbecue or smoker, the Timberline features Traeger’s WiFire controller (see that boxy screen-equipped unit on the right?) that gives you the ability to control temperature and set timers from anywhere using your smartphone and an app (though it won’t flip your burgers for you just yet). The selected temperatures are attained by using an induction fan to fuel the fire and create a heat and smoke vortex around the cook chamber, which as a result also evenly distributes flavors across all of its contents for greater consistency. The grills come in two sizes: the 850 with an (you guessed it) 850 square inch grilling area and the 1300 with even more, each equipped with a pill-shaped barrel door for more vertical space, three stages of racks, and manual digital controls to ignite the hardwood pellets and to change settings right from the grill, should your phone’s battery give way.
Find it at Traeger Grills – $1,700+
The All-Clad Prep & Cook isn’t just a food processor: it’s practically a sous chef. Tell it what to do and it’ll mix, chop, stir, knead, whip, stir fry, steam, or slow cook, all programmable using a simple, intuitive control panel and five interchangeable accessories. For instance, making cream soups is as easy as installing the appropriate blade and throwing in some chopped-up ingredients; the Prep & Cook will appropriately simmer then puree until ready. It’ll also lets you set time, temperature, and speed — the latter with 12 settings — for more customized recipes and has six pre-programmed buttons for commonly used settings that span making sauces to pastries. Includes a 300 recipe book for inspiration.
Find it at Sur La Table – $1,000
They’re certainly not dishwasher safe, though we’d gladly hand wash Royal North Company’s Wooden Tumblers in exchange for drinking from these gorgeous whiskey tumblers. Each is handcrafted using a wood lathe and a hunk of solid Canadian birch, then finished with food-safe oil and a coating of an (importantly) alcohol-resistant water-based topcoat. Perfect for sipping on your preferred liquor in the dead of summer or even in winter, the latter especially relevant considering wood is warmer to the touch than glass (or metal).
Tortillas are big. Sequentially flipping through a bunch to get them warm and toasty is a time consuming task that the Nuni Tortilla Toaster, fortunately, completely eliminates. Nuni toasts both sides of up to six 6-inch tortillas (of either the corn, flour, or wheat variety) simultaneously in about a minute to your desired shade of darkness. When the cycle’s done, the toaster’s inner frame rotates downwards to release the crispy tortillas for immediate consumption and readies to load up six more, meaning you can feed a literal army with burritos or tacos — provided of course enough filling.
Find it at Nuni – $80
You’ve seen them in umpteen blindingly bright colors at your local department store. Maybe you even own one. Now it’s available in a more subdued 86th hue, albeit in limited edition, individually numbered fashion in the form of the murdered out KitchenAid Artisan Black Tie Tilt-Head Stand Mixer. The 5-quart mixer boasts a cast iron-like texture and incorporates more premium materials than its pedestrian brethren that include die cast zinc, satin, and black chrome. Each includes a black stainless steel bowl, a black coated flat beater and dough hook, and the same functionality, tilting head, and compatibility with hub powered attachments as the original model. Might be cheaper to have a DIY go at it and repaint your old one but it’s incontestably one good looking mixer — a phrase we never thought we’d utter.
It foregoes quantity for quality, making only one cube of ice at a time. The single cube coming out of W&P Design’s Clear Ice Mold, though, is nearly crystal clear, made possible by a slow, top-down freezing process controlled by the mold’s insulated sleeve. Less air pockets also means a slightly slower melting rate, diluting your drink less than traditional ice so you can really nurse it, should you choose to.
Find it at W&P Design – $35