General ramblings

Kitchen Gadgets and Gizmos

March 12, 2014

Gadgets and Gizmos-who doesn’t love a gadget?
And what useful ones are there to use in the kitchen that could save some energy?
Not many it would seem! Or not many that I could find with a quick spot of googling.

  • Eco-kettles-I never knew there was such a thing, but there is. And apparently, no eco-home should be without one.  There is a whole range here at Nigel’s eco-store (other eco-stores are, I am sure, available)
    Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 11.08.25
    Just looking at the different number available makes me start to hyper-ventilate and worry about making the ‘right choice’. Although with a bit of further reading, I think that most of them work on the principle that they make it easier to boil just the right amount of water that you need. My no-cost alternative is therefore to fill a mug with water, then pour that into the kettle-simples! Or am I missing the point?
    Anyone got one of these? Can you enlighten us as to why they are a ‘must-have’?
  • As well as Eco-kettles, I spotted that you can also get Eco-toasters, which claim to save up to 50% of the energy of a regular toaster, by ingeniously allowing you to just toast one slice at once in a two-slice toaster-why has no-one ever thought of that before?!
  • Wonderbag-several of you left comments about these in my original Great Energy Race post, and they do indeed look Wonder-ous! They work on the concept of old-fashioned hayboxes, which were used during WW2 to help conserve fuel rations. You boil your food prior to placing it in the bag, and then leave it to do it’s stuff while you get on with your day. It sounds like an even lower (no) energy version of a slow cooker. Has anyone got one? Would love some real life reviews!

     

  • I did promise low cost, no cost variations on gadgets, so here is a link to make your very own Wonderbox! I am slightly tempted to give this a go!
  • And speaking of hayboxes, and bearing in mind I promised you I would come up with some low cost/no cost alternatives to gadgets and gizmos, here is a tutorial I found on Instructables for making your very own! Anyone fancy having a go at one of these, and reporting back?!

Any gadgets I am missing?
Anyone used any of the above and want to give us their opinion?

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  • Reply globalres March 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I have had a few of the £50 kettles – as Liz says, they aren’t worth it. I bought one of the ‘basics’ kettles from Sainsburys last year and it’s doing a fine job for just £5. The key thing is not to overfill and boil more than is needed.

    Also for descaling – the shop ‘Savers’ sell a packet of Oust descaling liquid pouches for £1. It works brilliantly (the major stores sell similar for nearer £3)

    • Reply Jen March 13, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Some good tips-thankyou!

  • Reply The Purly Queen Knits March 12, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I have an eco kettle and although I love it (my one sort of holds the water in a reservoir and you just let out how much you need to be boiled) I am totally sure you could do the same with measuring out the water in cups and putting it in a normal kettle! Another gadget which I would not be without is my slow cooker! It uses less energy than the oven, saves me time and is really good for using cheaper cuts of meat and general bits of food that might otherwise get wasted x

    • Reply Jen March 13, 2014 at 7:59 am

      I have been using my slow cooker lots this week-might even try a cake in it..!

  • Reply lizlovingandlearning March 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

    I’ve had a couple of eco kettles but they didn’t last which isn’t very eco friendly. A good deal longer than the guarantee period but not the 10 years ++ I’ve had from “ordinary” ones. I’m back to one that has a covered element which I think is fairly standard now. Using it I realise the eco ones boiled the water much more quickly. But if that’s because of more wattage does it actually save energy or just time?

    • Reply Jen March 13, 2014 at 8:01 am

      It is so complicated isn’t it?! I guess it comes down to checking the wattage on the specific kettle?

  • Reply Vivienne Downes March 12, 2014 at 7:33 am

    It’s so important to descale your kettle as soon as the inside looks dingy don’t leave it till it’s built up as it causes these new 3,000 watt elements to blow as they overheat. Limescale can also push joints apart causing leaking. These are not covered by guarantees as it’s a maintenance issue not a manufacturing fault. Check regularly what the inside of your kettle looks like, your cuppa tastes better out of clean kettle too ! Replacing your kettle costs the environment not just your purse !!!

    • Reply Jen March 13, 2014 at 8:03 am

      Do you use a special de-scaler Vivienne, or just vinegar? Want to try vinegar but worried about the taste of my tea afterwards!

      • Reply angalmond March 13, 2014 at 8:33 am

        Vinegar is fine! [clear not the brown malt stuff is best tho]

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