10 kitchen gadgets for the geek gourmet

From Internet-enabled appliances to wireless thermometers, we offer a tantalising list of cool kitchen toys.

  • If you've ever wanted to bring the digital age to your recipes you quickly run into a messy problem . . . the kitchen isn't the healthiest place for your PC. The Demy Digital Recipe Reader uses a splash resistant touch screen monitor and has enough memory to store 2,500 recipes. You can transfer your recipes to and from your PC via USB. The device also includes three cooking timers, a substitutions database and a conversion tool. It is expected to be available in January, but can be pre-ordered now.

  • Several of Miele's appliances, including its refrigerators, include the RemoteVision monitoring service that makes use of a Wi-Fi Internet connection. If the door is left ajar on the refrigerator, freezer or wine cooler, or if a critical cooling component fails, Miele's customer service will contact you via telephone call or e-mail.

  • The SmartShopper is loaded with a database of 2,500 products and voice recognition software. Speak your grocery items into the unit and it alphabetizes and organizes your list. Take the unit with you, or print your list out on the unit's ink-free thermal paper.

  • The IC3 Intelligent Cutlery system solves the age-old problem of tracking exactly how much a dieter eats. It is composed of knife, fork and spoon heads that slip into a computerized handle that measures the food as a person eats it. The fork's sensors measure fat, protein and sugar content, while the spoon weighs the food, and the knife ensures that the internal temperature is safe. Once the meal is complete, the handle can compile the data and produce spiffy reports useful for diabetics, dieters or anyone else who needs to carefully watch their food intake. The cutlery isn't for sale yet - it was a concept system on display at the Designparcours Munich 2008 exhibition.

  • Ready to make your holiday entertaining a high-tech affair? Here are some of the coolest high-tech inspired ideas for doing just that.

  • The Maverick Redi-Chek Dual Probe thermometer allows you to remotely monitor the temperature settings for two foods at once. It includes settings for various types of meat and a "taste" setting to ensure meat is not overcooked. The transmitter uses the 433.92 Mhz range.

  • Little Tykes Cook 'n Learn Interactive Kitchen uses RFID chips to make kids love to pretend to cook. The burner and cutting boards recognize the play food. The kitchen also uses voice prompts with the RFID tagging to help kids gather specific ingredients and tools as listed on a recipe card.

  • TMIO's Connect IO oven keeps your food fully refrigerated until you dial-in or access the oven via the Internet via a browser and tell it to start cooking. You can even adjust your oven's temperature remotely. TMIO says its refrigeration and remote command and control stem from NASA technology.

  • Jura's Impressa F9 espresso maker can be hooked up to the Internet so you can activate your coffee maker remotely using a browser. You can set the strength of your coffee and even send diagnostics to the company if the machine has a problem. Weirdly, security experts say that the Impressa can be hacked by people interested in messing with your coffee and may even allow attackers to gain control of your PC. But coffee machines haven't yet been labeled a a high-priority target so your java is likely safe enough.

  • This sleek cooktop was a finalist in the Electrolux Design Lab 2008 competition held in October. The Vesta features a fold down cooking surface that doubles as a cook prep surface - perfect for tiny spaces. It is outfitted with an RFID reader that can read food packaging. This will help it display information on the package's RFID chip such as proper cook times, temps and suggested recipes. Not available yet.

  • Penguin ice cubes aren't all that original and normally don't conjure up images of open source operating systems. But the Penguin Ice Box Buddy Ice Mold makes ice or gelatin molds that bear a close resemblance to the lovable Linux logo.

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