By Ron Aiken
Wake up and smell the high-tech coffee in kitchens equipped with handy devices that make morning meal prep a little more interesting.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
If you like your coffee just so, starting with perfectly ground beans, you’ll want your own grinder. Cuisinart’s DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill offers 18 different settings, from ultra fine to extra coarse, so you can start your day with the perfect cuppa joe. $50.
Until someone invents a device to deliver your morning coffee in bed, the next best thing is being able to crank up a fresh pot from your smartphone. Mr. Coffee’s 10-Cup Optimal Brew is controlled via the free WeMo app, so you can schedule precisely when you want your coffee to start brewing and be waiting in its thermal carafe. $150.
The creamiest breakfast smoothies are just the start of what you can do with the KitchenAid Pro Line blender, with its high-powered 3.5-horsepower motor. The thermal control jar lets you create hot soups in just minutes, and the self-cleaning cycle takes the labor out of clean-up. $600.
It looks a little space-age, but Cuisinart’s Vertical Waffle Maker actually solves an annoying first-world problem: how to get the batter into every nook of the waffle plate for perfectly shaped waffles. A top spout makes pouring batter in easy, and the five-setting controls let you choose your browning preferences. Sweet. $60.
It’s always time to make the doughnuts with VonShef Deluxe’s 12-Hole Mini Donut Maker Snack Machine. Fill it with your favorite flavored batters, and pop out batch after batch of mini treats that may make your kitchen the most popular breakfast site on your street. $30.
WARM AND TOASTY
Toaster ovens have long offered countertop cooking versatility. With Black+Decker’s 6-Slice Toaster Oven, a convection feature offers quicker and more even results. Brown several slices of toast or bagels to your liking by tweaking the controls, and slide out the finished foods when they’re done. $44.
The only thing better than a breakfast sandwich is two breakfast sandwiches. Add your bread, then stack anything you like — eggs, sausage, cheese, ham, veggies — and Hamilton Beach’s Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker cooks grab-and-go breakfasts to get the family out the door twice as fast. $40.
Ron Aiken is a freelance writer from Columbia, South Carolina. His monthly column also appears in South Carolina Living, the statewide electric co-op magazine of the Palmetto State. Product inclusion on this page does not imply endorsement; product availability and prices are subject to change.