April 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM ET
Continuing our three-part series of “Try It Out,” today we focus on unique cooking innovations. While I am awful at cooking, I’m great at buying gadgets! Hey it’s a trade-off, right?
Grillbots, pre-order $100, grillbots.com
Firing up the grill in the summer is the best. On the flip side, cleaning the grill in the summer is the worst. We’ve got robots that clean our gutters and our floors, why shouldn’t they also clean our grills? That’s exactly what Grillbots do. With the push of a button, Grillbot will clean your grill in five minutes. Got extra grit? Grillbot’s on it, just push the button twice for a seven-minute clean (note that there is a five-second delay when you turn it on). With three electric motors and three brushes spinning into action (a fourth bottom brush also creates friction), Grillbot really knows how to take charge. Plus, Grillbots’ “smart computer technology” regulates speed, movement and direction, so while the bot handles the grill you can do other things.
Grillbots have a rechargeable battery and can plug into any standard wall outlet. The battery lasts 50 to 60 cleans (practically an entire summer) and can use two different kinds of brushes (for an extra kick, purchase the stainless steel brushes). Brushes are dishwasher safe and last about 100 cleans. Replacement brushes are available at grillbots.com.
Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $25, amazon.com
I don’t know about you, but I pay a good $8 for a breakfast sandwich in New York City and sometimes they’re a dice roll (and by dice roll, I’m not referring to some sort of organic bread option). Countless disappointing breakfasts led me to discover the Breakfast Sandwich Maker by Hamilton Beach. It’s a small gadget that’s great for any kitchen, and all parts are dishwasher safe. All you have to do is stack your favorite ingredients, such as an English muffin, cheese and tomatoes, in one compartment, fry an egg in a separate compartment (I recommend a spritz of cooking spray) and, voila! In less than five minutes, the machine pieces it all together for you, and you’ve got a breakfast sandwich. Plus, you can get creative in the kitchen. Take, for example, my creation, “The Linendoll,” which consists of whole grain toast, bacon, aloha eggs and more bacon. Good morning!
Bottoms Up Beer, $925 home kit, business units available grinonindustries.com
Meet the ultimate beer dispenser. With Bottoms Up, you might think a beer magician is in the room. That’s because the Bottoms Up Draft Beer Dispenser fills a cup from the bottom up, without ever pouring any beer. It does it by using a special cup with a magnetic hole in the bottom. The dispenser lifts the magnetic seal and fills the cup with beer in seconds.
You may have seen these dispensers in stadiums, bars and clubs (they have about 5,000 valves in the market), but now, finally, a home-kit is available, allowing you to install this beer delivery system anywhere you want: a shower, a tailgate, a recliner—you name it.
Plus, it makes a great gift. We all have that friend with the engineering mind who loves to tinker with gadgets and projects (shout out to my friend Dave Viglione). This is sure to keep them entertained—and full of beer.
For the “Try It Out: Try It On” wearable tech segment products click here.
For the “Try It Out Big Kid Toys” gadget products click here.
Katie Linendoll is an Emmy Award-winning technology expert contributing to ESPN, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. She hosts a tech show on Spike TV and can be seen as a tech expert on TODAY. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook.