We try out six of the best organising gadgets available
Forget spending all day in the kitchen, make your Christmas dinner with ease using these time and space saving devices.
Peel it back
Zipeela, £24.99, from Lakeland, www.lakeland.co.uk
Whoever created this nifty device deserves a toast at the Christmas table this year. This fruit and veg peeler is a marvellous time saver. Stick your produce on the prong at the base of the gadget, adjust the clamp so the spike is firmly in place, and ensure the peeler sits at the top of your fruit/veg. Switch it on and, as your food rotates, the blade will remove the skin. It can be powered by either batteries or mains and the instructions detail which power source is most suitable for the job — for example, sweet potatoes are better powered by battery, apples by mains. Will be a great help when you don’t want to spend hours peeling spuds and parsnips.
VonShef Double Hot Plate, £26.99, from Domu, www.domu.co.uk
You’ve got potatoes, carrot, swede and the Christmas pudding on the go, but there’s still the sprouts and cabbage to boil. If only you had another couple of hob plates, you could whittle through dinner in no time. Luckily, with this cheap counter-top accessory you can. A simple device, it comes with two plates that will help you get through your Christmas dinner cooking when you need as much help as possible. There are four temperature options and if the oven is filled with turkey, stuffing and Yorkshires, you can use the VonShef gadget as a plate warmer, too.
Cut like a knife
Tower 180W Electric Knife, £24.99, from Tower Housewares, www.towerhousewares.co.uk
Hate carving the turkey or gammon? This knife will make light work of it. Easy to grip, the knife may come with 180W of power, but it will sit comfortably in your hand without vibrating. While you may prefer to slice it out of the view of your dinner party, it’s a low-noise gizmo, so it won’t be overbearing if you choose to carve at the table. What’s more, if you’re making turkey sandwiches the next day, the knife is equally adept at slicing bread.
Weigh to go
Drop D600A Connected Kitchen Scale, £79.99, Currys, www.currys.co.uk
One for Apple (the tech giant, not fruit) lovers, this set of scales will aid you in your recipe making. The small scale is wireless but connects to your iPad via the accompanying Drop Kitchen app. Then simply find the recipe on the app that you want to follow and, as the instructions pop up, drop ingredients into the bowl before mixing and cooking. The benefit of these scales is that it amends recipes when required. For example, if you’re keen to make a cake for 12 but the recipe feeds 24, it will pick up on the fact that you’ve only put in half the weight of the first ingredient and ask you if you want to resize the recipe, click yes and it will then change the rest of the ingredients accordingly. Can also be used as a normal set of scales, once again, using the app.
Total Control Hand Blender Pro set, £69.99, from Morphy Richards, www.morphyrichards.co.uk
Whether you want your bread sauce to be lump-free or you’re starting with a soup, blenders can be a great kitchen accessory come Christmas. This one in particular comes with really useful attachments and technology to avoid making a mess when you’re busy. So, first things first, the tech. Do you ever find that when you’re blending food, you have that annoying moment where it powers on far too quickly, sending ingredients toppling out of the bowl or jug? If so, help is at hand. This comes with Smart Response Technology, which will build up speed slowly, so that even if a blade comes into contact with a particularly large lump, it won’t splatter all over your Christmas jumper. On to the attachments — there’s a potato masher, whisk and a chopping vessel and with eight speed settings as well as pulse and turbo functions, you might find that this one device is all you need when it comes to kitchen tools this Christmas.
Handle the pressure
Sage by Heston Blumenthal BPR700BSS The Fast Slow Pro Slow Cooker, £199.95, from John Lewis, www.johnlewis.com
We all (well, most of us) love a figgy pudding but, if you’re making your own, it can involve the pud spending hours in a pressure cooker using up valuable hob space. However, as you may have guessed by the name of this Heston Blumenthal kitchen gadget, you can instead plonk it in here and cook it far faster while freeing up the hob for other dishes.
App of the week Christmas special
Three free apps to cure your Christmas headaches
Make sure even the biggest Grinch has an 'Appy Christmas.
1. Wisher, from iTunes and Google Play
With £2.4bn-worth of gifts being sent back, put straight on eBay or given to charity shops every year, Wisher is an app that makes sure everyone gets presents they really want. It lets them scan or snap things they love throughout the year to create their own wish list.
2. SwiftGift, from iTunes
For many people, time to get posting Christmas presents means it's also time for the annual text message to everyone to find out what their postal address is. SwiftGift have put together the world's first instant gift messaging service.
3. Tilt, from iTunes and Google Play
We've all been there - you've enjoyed a fun night of food, wine and laughter with old friends, only for the atmosphere to be ruined by the dreaded task of splitting the bill. Tilt enables everyone to quickly pay their share direct into your bank with just a couple of taps on your phone.