Yay! Metalinky blog the Food Section is finally back from vacation! And it gets the party started with a link to Popular Science’s gallery of deliciously geeky kitchen tools. You wouldn’t find most of these dealios in your basic home kitchen. Many are peculiar to molecular gastronomy; thus it’s particularly fun to read about stuff like the Evaporator:
How it works: Available at your neighborhood lab-supply shop or on eBay, a rotary evaporator is a small distillery: It extracts intensely flavored syrup from almost any food. Just put your ingredients—say, strawberries and black pepper—in a glass evaporation flask, which heats them by rotating in a bath of hot water. A vacuum pump reduces the air pressure in the flask, which drops the boiling point of the water inside to as low as 112ºF. As moisture seeps out of the strawberries and reaches a boil, vapor rises into a condenser. There it cools, collects as a clear liquid, and drips into another flask. The distillate adds flavor to dishes without changing the color or texture.
I was also dazzled by the Smoking Gun, which resembles nothing so much as a big black bong:
How it works: Sprinkle hardwood sawdust into a pipe on the top of this device, light it up, and poof!—instant smoke you can infuse into your roast, pot of vegetables or vacuum bag for smokehouse flavor without the hazy kitchen.
Lest you become wistful because you know you’ll never have your own $1,060 Anti-Griddle, there’s some less lofty gear in here, like the toaster with an LCD screen that counts down the seconds until your toast is ready, and a fridge with an espresso maker in the door.