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Drink it all in

Design Spotlight: Soma Water Filtering Carafe

The plastic pitcher currently filtering water in your fridge is a far greener way to stay hydrated than pounding down bottles, but it stills leaves plenty to be desired — both in terms of form and function. Its tupperware aesthetic isn’t exactly ready for the bright lights of the dinner table, and if you fill…

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A baker's dozen for the culinary nut

12 Guys of Christmas: The Chef

Blame Anthony Bourdain and his gallivanting food porn circus. Blame Bravo’s utterly watchable, bro-it’s-not-reality-TV show, Top Chef. Blame the hipsters, the bandwagoners, the trust-funders — and for Guy Fieri’s sake — please, someone, blame Bobby Flay. Because if one thing is certain in today’s chow-crazy culture, it’s that you’ve got a foodie on your holiday…

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A different kind of pot sticker

Magic Wall Kitchen Organizer

Throwing “it” against the wall to see what stuck used to be a hasty solution. Not any longer, my friends. In fact, with the Magic Wall Kitchen Organizer (~$340+), it’s encouraged. Knives, pots, pans, tins, tools, keys and even the kitchen sink (although we don’t recommend it) now have a designated vertical stowage space on this…

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The juice is loose

Hurom Slow Juicer

A juicer may not be on your list of must-have kitchen gadgets, but that just means you’ve never had a gimlet made with freshly squeezed lime juice. Knighted by none other than Bon Appétit as this year’s Best New Kitchen Appliance, the Hurom Slow Juicer ($360) does far more than make mixers for your old-school…

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Sideways

MoB | Ultimate Steak Side Dishes

Next to a steak, anything is a side dish. Serve a beautifully roasted capon on the same table as a steak and you’ve got a side of capon. Traditional accompaniments for steak like garlic mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and sauteed mushrooms are altogether nothing to scoff at. But this being the Month of Beef, and…

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Not quite frozen in carbonite

Prepara Herb-Savor Mini Pods

The problem with fresh herbs is a matter of practicality. Show us a single man that has ever used up one of those giant bunches of cilantro on himself before it’s started to spoil, and we’ll show you a liar. Here to save your salsa accompaniment is the Prepara Herb-Savor Mini Pod ($15+). Made from…

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The Fort Knox of coffee

Friis Coffee Vault

We appreciate the chain cup o’ joes that keep us rolling on the road; but at home, we especially attend to the efforts and offerings of the world’s coffee-roasting elite. To make sure those efforts don’t go to pot, keep your morning motivators in the Friis Coffee Vault ($22+). Like most coffee canisters, the Friis…

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Green, Eggs and Ham

West Elm Greenpan Cookware Set

Whether crisping up a bacon breakfast or searing your latest Month of Beef experiment, quality cookware separates the men from the boys, pans down. The West Elm Greenpan 14 Piece Cookware Set ($350), an eco-friendly arsenal with a natural non-stick coating, gives you professional-grade hardware at an affordable price. Using Thermalon, a mineral-base ceramic, rather…

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Don't run out of thyme

GroVert Chalkboard Wall Planter

Looking like wall art that’s collided with a Cheesecake Factory entrée-sized salad, the GroVert Chalkboard Wall Planter ($130) is an apartment-bound green thumb’s dream. Mounted vertically on any wall (avoid the bathroom), the three-in-one planter provides a fresh herb garden without the plot O’land. Gardeners tend to be a fastidious lot, so the GroVert includes…

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One Smart Cookie

Cook’s Illustrated: The Science of Good Cooking

Think of the best home cook you know. Now think of their kitchen. It’s probably full of pots, pans, mixers and gadgets galore. Know what it’s not full of? Cookbooks. That’s because they don’t need them. Anyone can follow directions from a recipe — well, almost anyone — but not everyone knows that a salty…

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Serious Cleavage

MoB | Hack Job: Know Your Cleavers

Ah, the meat cleaver. Bucking the tapered and svelte designs of traditional blades, these husky boys of the knife world were developed for one singular purpose — to serve as the machete of the kitchen. Their fatter, squared-off business ends bring added weight and toughness to the task of dismembering, leveraging sheer momentum to breeze…

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That's sir mix-a-lot to you

Kenwood Cooking Chef

Previously only sold abroad, the Kenwood Cooking Chef ($2,000) has finally whirled its way stateside. This culinary version of the Jetsons’ Rosie one-ups the traditional stand mixer by not only whisking, hooking and mixing (at variable speeds), but by heating and cooking as well. A safe, energy efficient induction cooking plate attached to the Cooking…

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Can't boil water? Try this.

AquaChef Professional Sous Vide Water Oven

If grilling, baking, broiling, sauteing and just about any other cooking method you can think of bores you to tears or leaves you shivering in fear, you’ll rejoice to find a new technique with the AquaChef Professional Sous Vide water oven ($160). Similar in execution to the SousVide Supreme we covered late last year, but…

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A different take on the square meal

Princess Compact4All Appliances

Even if you’ve got ample counter space in your kitchen, pile on a bevy of appliances, and your fat cup’a joe is elbowing in for some premium real estate next to your dish rack and your collection of Major League beer steins. Innovative but simple, Princess Compact4All Appliances (~$52) can return much needed space to…

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Rise and Grind

Baratza Virtuoso

Regardless of what those holiday commercials suggested as you were growing up, you can’t get excellent coffee by just scooping it out of a refrigerated red container. Grinding fresh beans is the fastest way to improve the quality of your coffee, but the way you grind is a big question mark. The Baratza Virtuoso ($249)…

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To the Paper Go the Spoils

Fenugreen FreshPaper

According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw out approximately 25% of the food they purchase each year due to spoilage. Though we’ve never conducted our own study, the moldy strawberries and wilted spinach in the bottom of our waste bins suggest that number is fairly accurate. To combat this problem,…

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Thanks a latte

Starbucks Verismo Coffee Maker

If you don’t yet have a single cup coffee maker, you probably will soon. And if you’re a ‘Bucks addict, your buy date just got bumped up. The Starbucks Verismo ($199+) maker takes a big step forward in home coffee brewers, providing a multitude of professional-level drinks in the comfort of your own home. Where…

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Budget-chopper

Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef’s Knife

Bang for your buck, though ignored by many snobs who insist on only buying “top-tier” products (with price tags to match), is not dead, nor even floundering. The Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef’s Knife ($27) is a key kitchen tool that beats out competitors costing three times as much. The knife’s blade is made of X50CrMoV15…

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Inception, Fridge-style

LG LFX31945ST Door-in-Door Fridge

We thought LG had destroyed the space war (not the cool, lasers and aliens kind) with their Super-Capacity French Door Fridge. Not so. The LG LFX31945ST Door-in-Door Fridge ($3,500) uses the same extra-thin ice maker in the door and clever shelving as other fridges, but adds an extra compartment within the door to reach an…

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Kitchen Confidential

Miniki

As any urbanite living in a tiny apartment can attest, kitchens are love/hate: they’re handy when you’re hungry, but they take up too much damn space otherwise. While some other minimalist kitchens cram everything into a small area, the Miniki actually transforms your kitchen into useful open space when you’re not whipping up a delicious…

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The Finnish products

Iittala Tools Cookware Series

If you consider yourself both a Zen master and a warrior in the battleground of the kitchen, the iittala Tools Cookware Series will satisfy your tandem desires for high-performance cookware that delivers and a design that brings peace to your busy culinary world. Beautifully designed by Björn Dahlström in 1998 for the Finnish company, the…

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Moveable Feast, indeed

Critter Moveable Field Kitchen

If you’re a man who likes to cook outside the box (and the home) then the Critter moveable field kitchen just might be your perfect mobile culinary lab. Designed by Elia Mangia, the Critter was designed for serious gourmands who need extensive equipment with a view. Whether you don’t have access to a full kitchen…

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Cup O'Excellence

Fracino Espresso Machines

A good cup of espresso can turn a bad day into a very good one. A bad cup can do the opposite. You can avoid the latter altogether with Fracino Espresso Machines, built in the UK for high end hotels, restaurants, and the best coffee shops around the world. Using ISO 9001 quality standards, their…

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Not lost in translation

Guide to the Foreign Japanese Kitchen

Traditional Japanese cooking can be incredibly daunting if you’re not, well, Japanese. Moé Takemura helps confused Westerners and Japanese expats alike in her Guide to the Foreign Japanese Kitchen ($49), which thoroughly and simply details the necessities of Japanese cuisine from ingredients to silverware. Each of the 30 meals in the book is laid out…

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Get it while it's (not) hot

Bodum Bean Set Iced Coffee Press

Thought there was already a coffee maker for every type of drinker? You’re wrong. The Bodum Bean Set Iced Coffee Press ($45) is a 1.5 liter French press specifically “designed” for making cold-brewed iced coffee. In reality, the only distinction here is an additional lid that replaces the plunger while the grinds steep in the…

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A cut above

Wüsthof Precision Knife Collection

Williams-Sonoma and the famed German knife-maker have collaborated to create an exclusive Wüsthof Precision Knife Collection ($500) that are as versatile as they are affordable. Constructed with clean curves from high-carbon stainless steel and slip-resistant synthetic handles, these choppers fit nicely to the hand and accomodate a variety of grips. The set comes with an…

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Good taste, year-round

Urban Cultivator

Looking to elevate your home cooking from Boyardee to Batali? Fresh herbs are an excellent place to start. The Urban Cultivator ($2,200) lets home chefs not living in the state of California do the impossible — grow fresh hydroponic herbs or greens year-round. The home appliance, which is roughly the size of a dishwasher, maintains…

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Gas, powered or Electric effervescence

Sodastream Revolution

Sparkling water has been chipping away at soda makers’ market share, and Sodastream is taking full advantage of health and environmentalism trends with their expanding line of home soda makers. New to the roster is the Revolution, an electric-powered water carbonation appliance. They’ve come a long way since the Source. The Revolution adds power, a…

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Everything in the kitchen sink

Kitchoo Compact Kitchens

A dream kitchen can mean different things to different people. To an affluent suburbanite, it may mean double farm sinks and a Sub-Zero. For cramped city dwellers it pretty much means anything with a dishwasher. Somewhere in the middle lies Kitchoo Compact Kitchens ($4700+). The English company boasts a collection of “mini kitchens” that are…

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No pressure cooking

Kickstarter: Nomiku Sous Vide

Most of us need another kitchen appliance like Lebron needs to reconsider leaving Cleveland. The Nomiku, a KickStarter project, is an effort to bring pro-grade sous vide to the home kitchen, without incorporating an industrial-size immersion circulator. Sized to fit in a drawer and priced (~$300) to fit the amateur’s budget, the Nomiku is a…