If John Wayne had time to do his dishes while crossing dangerous Apache territory, he would do them with Dish Whiskey Soap ($16) — but he was probably a little too busy protecting a stagecoach to worry about clean pots and pans. We're not saying something as simple as changing up your dish soap will make you as tough as The Duke, but it certainly couldn't hurt. This American-made soap is barrel-aged and charcoal-filtered, with a scent that conjures memories of your favorite bottle. It comes in a 16-ounce container perfect for resting next to your kitchen sink, or stuffing into your saddle bag.
You won't hear us judging you for your coffee addiction — even if you need to drink it all day just to function — we're right there with you. Keep your supply of coffee hot all day with the Stelton Vacuum Jug ($75), a one-liter, vacuum-sealed thermos that's as aesthetically attractive as it is functional. Made from ABS plastic with a glass filler, this jug is finished out in matte black. It's also washable and reusable, which gives it one up on all of those paper cups and cardboard sleeves filling your office wastebasket.
Whether you're concerned about your impact on the local landfill, or you just like the idea of carbonating your own beverages at home, the Sodastream Source ($130) gives you the bubbles you crave without all the excess plastic bottles. This elegantly-designed device lets you carbonate any drink, from tap water to soft drinks. The included plastic bottle has a metal base and top, is completely reusable, and will last a while — compare that to those disposable bottles you get from the local grocery. LED lights on the machine's face let you accurately gauge your level of carbonation.
Rethink whatever you're using to brew and hold tea, and pick up the beautiful, functional Blomus Sencha Tea Maker & Warmer ($110). The large, easily-filled strainer lets you put in plenty of loose-leaf tea for steeping, and you can serve tea without removing it. A generous 33-ounce capacity lets you brew plenty of tea, whether you're sharing with the office, or drinking all day — and the built-in tea-candle holder keeps it warm. It features a modern design and clear glass and stainless steel construction that looks great and lets you conveniently wash it in the dishwasher.
If you're like most of us, the stuff in your kitchen is mostly a cobbled-together assortment of hand-me-downs, odd items from the secondhand store, and a cheap set of knives from Target. While that probably gets the job done, you'll feel a lot better about cooking if you update your cookware with the Malle W. Trousseau Kitchen Set ($5,800). Typical of products from the MoMA Store, these are carefully designed items that highlight the beauty in everyday objects. Included in the set are various pots, pans, knives, cloths, towels, containers, dishes, cutting boards, assorted tools, and a leather apron — nearly everything you need for a well-appointed kitchen.
With any luck you've experienced the delightful taste of a cup of coffee made in a Chemex — these pour-over coffee makers create a better cup than your drip machine any day, but unfortunately, they're not very portable. The Pour Mason ($29) solves the portability problem, so you can have delicious poured coffee whether you're camping, boating, or backpacking. It's made from a simple aluminum funnel attached to an aluminum lid that fits any Ball Mason jar. All you need to do is boil water, and gently pour it over ground coffee through a filter for a perfectly-brewed cup anywhere you go.
If you're a homebrewer, cheese maker, baker, or backyard grilling aficionado, you know that proper temperature makes the difference between delicious, and terrible. In spite of this, we still haven't seen many advances made to the simple kitchen thermometer — that is, until the Range Smart Thermometer ($59). Available in two forms, a three-inch, pointed thermometer with a long cord perfect for meats, and a six-inch, dull thermometer made for working with deep pots, it plugs directly into your iOS device, letting you get smarter about temperature. Push notifications, alerts at multiple temperatures, and recipe graphs are just a few of the features that make it so useful.
Keep your clothes from getting stained and your hands from getting burnt with the Royal VKB Mitten Apron ($28). This handy apron features two built-in oven gloves, letting you handle hot objects, even when your mitts aren't within reach of the grill or stove. This apron also features two convenient plastic buttons at the top, perfect for attaching kitchen towels for quick cleanup. It's made from black cotton twill, so it's durable enough to stand up to everyday kitchen tasks, but also easy to clean.
If you're looking for a new way to prepare a meal and impress dinner guests, check out SteakStones ($136). After heating the lava stone in the oven, it stays hot for 20-30 minutes — plenty of time to sear and cook a steak, seafood, or lamb however you like it. It rests neatly in its cradle, warming any food below, and providing a serving station for your meal. Get several steak stones and allow your guests to prepare their own meat, or get the sharing platter and cook for two.
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and what better way to enjoy it than as a sandwich. The Frankenstein-esque Flip-Down Breakfast Toaster ($TBA) takes all the hassle out of cooking a great breakfast sandwich, so you can stop resorting to greasy fast or frozen food. The top portion functions like a typical toaster, with room for two pieces of bread, a bagel, or an english muffin. The side portion folds down, revealing an electric griddle, so you can fry an egg and cook a sausage at the same time. And because it combines two or three appliances into one machine, it's perfect for those of you living in apartments the size of cardboard refrigerator boxes.
There's something we like about the clean, industrial look of a kitchen all kitted out in stainless steel appliances. If that's the look you're going for, then the Panasonic ZK1H Water Kettle ($180) will make a great addition to your kitchen. In addition to looking pretty slick, it has a number of features that make it a worthwhile buy, like auto shutoff, LED indicators, and a washable lime scale filter. The interior is also completely coated in stainless steel, so your water will always taste great. [via gizmodo.com]
For all of you who've arrived at your destination only to discover you forgot the knife or the cutting board, we bring you the Buck Knives Stowaway Kit ($60). This smart set includes a spreader with a roughly five-inch serrated steel blade that works great for slicing, chopping, or spreading, as well as a dishwasher-safe, eco-friendly 6" x 10" paper stone cutting board. What makes the set unique, however, is the recess in the bottom of the board that's custom-designed to fit the included knife, and the magnet that holds it in place. Now all you have to do is make sure you don't forget the whole damn thing.