March 15, 2010 -- The 2010 International Home and Housewares show in Chicago is the place to find the new and innovative gadgets for your kitchen.
More than 55,000 people from 100 countries came to the three-day annual show, which ends Tuesday, to scour the thousands of products from small appliances to home and garden decor.
Here are a few gadgets that could be useful in every kitchen and won't break the bank.
Price: Suggested price is $19.99, according to the company's Web site.
Champagne has 90 pounds of pressure inside the bottle, and champagne-related eye injuries are a real problem, especially around the holidays. Watching people open bottles of champagne, you always get a sense that they are cringing or flinching in fear of the cork flying out uncontrollably.
To deal with this serious, celebration-related injury, Zyliss has created a Champagne opener. It takes seconds to hook the tip through the foil cover in the wire eye. Pivot the device back to break the wire (no need to independently cut the foil), squeeze the walnut cracker-like clamp around the cork, wiggle a few times and "Pop."
Price: $30, available now
This device may look like the George Foreman grill, but when you open it, eight nonstick mini cupcake wells are easily filled with batter to make an oven-free set of cupcakes. The amazing thing about the product is that it makes the cupcakes in eight minutes. How sweet.
The silicone cooking pod is easily filled with any items you want to boil. Its handle protrudes from the pot and when your food is done, just pull out the pod: no picking up the pot of boiling water, pouring it into a colander, risking steam burns or worse. What I really like is the idea of using the same pot of boiling water to cook things with varying cook times. Imagine boiling potatoes in the water and at the last minute dunking a food pod of beans or broccoli into the pot.
New Gadgets for 2010
Kamenstein Bottle Band
Spin & Go Mop System
Price: $49.99, available this spring
The mop system is a way to wet the mop without having to manually wring out the mop head. Basically, the bucket has a salad spinner built into it. You put the mop head (which rotates or spins 360 degrees) into the spinner, use the foot pump to spin out the wet water and, voila, you have a dry mop. Also,, when you put the mop down on the floor, it stands up by itself. Cool.
Price: $24 to $51.99, available now.
This is such a great space-saver. Spices are so hard to organize, but this rack allows you to pull out drawers that tilt down for easy viewing, so it's great for higher cabinets. Another plus, other spice systems want you to transfer your bottled spices into special containers, but this system lets you use the bottles just as they came from the store.
'GMA' Web Extra Gadgets
Price: $5 a plug
The simple plug-extender allows you to plug tow cords into a wall outlet with the cords going parallel to the wall instead of perpendicular out from the outlet. The main benefit here is that it allows you to push furniture up against the wall without bending or stressing the cords. Over time that kind of wear can create cord breakage, which can cause sparks to emit from the cords. Imagine a bed pushed up against a sparking electrical cord and you can see the fire-risk of sparks on a mattress.
Farberware Bag Funnels
Price: $3.99 for one of each size
Some New but More Expensive Items
Zojirushi Introduction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer
Price: $550, available now
The outrageously expensive rice cooker is the top of the line in rice technology. It uses induction heating for even cooking and the pressure adjusts for the kind of rice you want to cook. So sushi rice is cooked at sea-level pressure, brown rice and other varieties are cooked at varying pressures for optimal texture.
Price: $249 for model number MC-UL915, available at the end of April.
Panasonic has a new bagless vacuum cleaner that has two features that I really liked. First, it uses infrared sensors to tell you if it detects dirt so you know whether to fly over an area or give it more time and attention.
It also has washable parts that would allow you to get rid of the smell that your vacuum cleaner often picks up from pet hair.