Claire Lower, Senior Food Editor at Lifehacker
Cool Tools Show 244: Claire Lower
Our guest this week is Claire Lower, the senior food editor for Lifehacker.com. Claire lives in Portland OR, and has a BS in chemistry from the University of Florida, which she says she almost never uses. She was working as a lab technician at a big engineering firm when she started blogging for xoJane as a hobby. You can find her on Twitter @clairelizzie and Instagram @clairelizlower.
Fish Spatula with Wooden Handle ($10, 2pk)
A fish spatula has a shorter handle than most spatulas. It’s very thin. It has really lovely slots, which just means when you’re picking something up out of the pan, if there’s any grease, it just falls away wonderfully. I almost feel like it should be called a fish and meat spatula because it’s very good for getting delicate fish out of a pan, but it’s also great if you have a steak or a burger or something that’s stuck, that really thin edge it separates everything like a dream without ruining the crust. Which is the whole point of searing something — you want to get that crust. And so if you have this large clunky spatula with a thick edge, you end up wrecking the crust. Getting a fish spatula for me, honestly, changed things in a way that I wasn’t expecting. I love it.
Weber iGrill Mini App-Connected Thermometer ($33)
The iGrill is supposed to be used on a grill. I’m in a 600-square-foot apartment, but it’s supposed to be used so you can monitor the temperature of your meat on a grill without having to open the grill, and it’s great. But I use it primarily for chicken and turkey because it sends the temperature directly to your phone, and it’ll even beep when you’re within 10 degrees of your final temperature. It’s amazing because you don’t have to deal with opening the oven, and trying to stick a probe into a hot chicken is not my favorite. The cable runs from inside the oven to outside where the little Bluetooth transmitter is, and the Bluetooth transmitter is magnetic, which is awesome because you can stick it right on the oven.
Léedge Full Body Exfoliator ($40)
This thing’s kind of gross, but I’m obsessed with it. It has a plastic handle, and it’s kind of curved. And then on the end it has a stainless steel blade. It’s not super sharp, but you scrape your face with it, and it pulls up all this disgusting gunk. The Romans used to scrape their bodies with pieces of broken pottery. They would rub oil on themselves to dissolve all the grime, and then they would just scrape it off with pottery. And it’s not exactly like that, but it’s similar. I’ve had this thing for like 10 years. And you can use it on your entire body. I found it to be most effective on the face.
Electric waffle iron and non-waffle recipes
I think I have a Cuisinart. It was like $20. It doesn’t have to be the brand that I use. It could be any sort of nonstick plug-in waffle iron. I just like it because it’s pretty easy to clean, it was cheap. It’s basically like a little George Foreman grill almost, except for it’s waffle shaped. Instead of grill lines, you get all these little pockets of crispness. I’ve used it to grill peaches. And I did radicchio recently. It heats up so quickly, and it’s easy to clean because it’s nonstick. You just wipe it off, or if something’s really gunky, you can wet a paper towel or get in there with Q-tips. I think I’ve made actual waffles on it once. It’s just kind of fun that something that is not a waffle is now taking on the characteristics of a waffle, and it’s good. Those little pockets are good for picking up sauce or syrup or whatever. It’s like a nice little cup to hold whatever liquid you’ve applied to your waffle or not waffle.