Nobody will ever be brave enough to come to hate the kitchen, the busiest place in the house. It is where we do the task that we can easily admit to be the most important activity ever discovered by man– eating. Doing this super-important task requires tools. So which among the following tools is the most important?
Invented by Percy Spencer during the early 40’s this device works by harnessing the power of microwave radiation. Used for heating and reheating a variety of food classifications, this rectangular object is an absolute standard component in everyone’s kitchen. Unlike conventional ovens, microwave ovens usually do not directly brown or caramelize food mainly due to the reason that they heat foods quickly and efficiently because the excitation of heating atoms is fairly uniform throughout the insides of its chambers. This could be every lazy cooker’s bestfriend. Turn it on, twist the knob, and wait for a few minutes… you have a tasty meal already.
You wake up in a typical morning and you need a jolt of liveliness by sipping a cup of that tasty black liquid. What would you do? – pour some hot water into a mug with a teaspoon of powdered coffee and some sugar or cream. But such an act would diminish the tastiness of the beverage, wouldn’t it? The best way and definitely the only way to have the perfect taste of coffee is to have it brewed. But such an activity is tedious and very painstaking. In France, in about 1710, the Infusion brewing process was introduced. This involved submersing the ground coffee, usually enclosed in a linen bag in hot water and letting it steep or “infuse” until the desired strength brew was achieved. Thanks to technology, we can just buy that process, by of course buying the machine called… the coffee maker.
Nutritionists are very adamant in telling us: “Thou shalt have a balanced diet.” By making this a lifestyle, we must obtain the nutrients that we ingest in our bodies from a variety of sources: fruits, vegetables, grains, meat, and poultry. But clearly, people nowadays are so busy with their careers that they don’t have the time to peel, slice, powderize and liquify them anymore so they can munch and gulp them all at once because well, they want to save time. But here comes the blender– the ultimate slicer, dicer and liquifier utility there ever was. Let us be grateful to Stephen J. Poplawski, who first designed drink mixers in 1919, which evolved into that pitcher with the spinning blades inside. It makes eating easier, and undeniably, our bodies healthier.
Who can resist the taste of grilled pieces of meat, fish, or hotdogs? No one. That’s why grillers are invented so they can ease the mouth-watering sensation that all of us feel whenever we think of those brown pieces of animal flesh that we dearly love to chew with our teeth. But in order to do so, we need to deal with those nasty fragments of charcoal. But then, there is the electronic way of doing it. All that needs to be done is just plug the electric griller, set the appropriate temperature and put some beef or fish on top of it. We may credit the breakthrough to Tesla or Edison, and of course the countless other people all over the world from the ancient up to these times that discovered and agreed that meat cooked from ember really tastes delicious.
Hot water– it is a necessity not only in kitchens but in areas where health treatment is conducted as well. It’s a waste of time to ignite firewood or charcoal to turn the heat up, so water will reach a hundred degrees Celsius (the boiling point of H2O). For this reason, the electric kettle is invented – a device that can serve as a thermos and well, as a kettle for hot water storage. Care to know who should we thank for, for this precious equipment? I think it has to be the Norwegians who coined the therm ‘cauldron’ or ‘ketill’. And then there are the people behind the Crompton & Co. of Britain who began selling electric kettles in 1893. The early electric kettles were quite primitive as the heating element couldn’t be immersed in the water. But it was the first of its kind that revolutionized many kitchen appliances today — stuff that people can certainly never live without.
Although they are considerably more expensive than conventional saucepans of the same size which technically produce the same outcome, pressure cookers are still manufactured and bought by people because they can save time and in some ways, contribute to a much greener environment. Adapted from the invention of a French Physicist in 1679, A pressure cooker works by building up pressure created by boiling a liquid, such as water or broth, inside the closed chamber. The trapped circulating steam increases the internal pressure which results into great thermal increase. Once cooking is done, the pressure is slowly released so that the vessel can be safely opened. Because pressure cooking cooks food much faster compared to other conventional methods, it saves energy. This should be enough for us to treat this appliance and its inventor Denis Papin, with great respect and reverence.
Rice is one of the staple foods for many countries due to the carbohydrates it provides. But cooking it the traditional way means that constant attention has to be given so it can be cooked properly. As a remedy, the Imperial Japanese Army issued the first automated rice cooker. It was a rectangular wooden box with two electrodes attached to opposite ends. Then, in 1945, the Japanese Mitsubishi Electric Corporation produced and marketed the electric commercial rice cooker, whose main framework remains virtually unchanged these days. Although the rice cooker does not necessarily speed up the cooking process, it does a real good job in diminishing the cook’s involvement. All he or she needs to do is measure the rice-water ratio and place the designed main kettle. Once set to cook, the appliance will do its job with no further attention.
Built as a milder variant of the blender, this appliance is another lazyman’s bestfriend. Why go through the process of painstakingly using a ladle or spoon just to mix salads or who knows what other viand when we can simply use a food mixer? Believed to be invented first by Ralph Collier in 1856, this kitchen machinery is basically classified into five types: the planetary mixer, spiral mixer, stand mixer, hand mixer, and the eggbeater. Such variants emerged with the help of other inventors like Rufus Eastman and Herbert Johnson who brought large commercial mixers and electric standing mixer respectively. These guys are the reason why we can now whip yummy, sticky and nutritious foods in the kitchen easily and with great style, if you may.
We love hearing the “kling!” sound that it produces as it pops out a toasted piece of bread in mornings when we feel so lazy cooking or frying something so we can have quality breakfast. When you are an ‘always on the go’ type of person, the bread toaster is one valuable ally, something that you certainly consider as an indispensable kind of utensil. If that is so, then you have to thank the same people behind the commercialization of the electric kettle, Compton & Co., mainly Stephen J. Cook for being instrumental to the bringing of the toaster into our homes. Although it was General Electric that truly brought the success of this appliance, it barely seems important to us. All we care about is every morning or in any part of the day, we can have a delicious sandwich or a piece of bread that we can gobble up once we hear the sound… KLING!
It is the liquid that without a doubt, can be directly credited to the very existence of life itself. Consuming it specially by humans is a very crucial task. However, gulping it in its impure state is not wise, and in some cases, very dangerous. According to a 2007 World Health Organization report, 1.1 billion people lack access to an improved drinking water supply, 88 percent of the 4 billion annual cases of diarrheal disease are attributed to unsafe water and inadequate sanitation and hygiene, while 1.8 million people die from diarrheal diseases each year. Thanks to great men like Francis Bacon, John Gibb, and John Snow who brilliantly crafted methods that are now implemented by many water business establishments in the world today, we now have miniaturized versions of water treatment facilities mounted in our faucets. Because of it, we can have safe potable water in the kitchen whenever the need for it arises.
Which among these should be ranked as No.1?