Digital BBQ Tongs NW-E577
Price $49.95 + $10 per delivery
At first glance, these long tongs, featuring in-built thermometer, preset with seven meat types and cooking preferences, seem an ideal barbecue accessory. Simply select the meat type and how well you want it cooked - medium rare, medium or well done - to take the guesswork out of barbecuing.
We tried these tongs on steak, chicken breast and sausages. Inaccurate in-built temperature settings, used to measure how well the meat is cooked, meant the steak we set to medium rare was overcooked. They also allowed the chicken breast to be overcooked, leaving it dry, whereas the sausages were slightly raw in the centre (there’s no sausage setting so we used the burger setting). You can alter the temperature settings yourself to get a better result, but you shouldn’t have to. Strong hand pressure is required to squeeze the tongs for the temperature probe to be inserted, so they’re not easy to use. They also have an annoying knack of locking themselves closed while you’re using them. To get temperature readings, you need to regularly probe the meat, which releases juices, making it tough and dry.
You don’t need a temperature probe to tell you when your steak is ready. Using the “rule of thumb” method (the level of firmness of the fleshy part of your hand directly under your thumb is the easiest and best way to ensure excellent results every time – and it’s free. See Cooks CHOICE to cook the perfect steak.
Digital Spoon Scale NW-E5494
Price $29.95 + $10 per delivery
This digital scale allows you to weigh in ounces or grams directly from the spoon. It has a tare feature that brings the reading back to zero so you can weigh additional ingredients. It shuts itself off after two minutes and has a low-battery alert, as well as teaspoon and tablespoon gradings. As the gradings are along the inside of the spoon, you cannot level it as you would a standard measuring spoon, making it harder to get an accurate result. It’s very accurate when weighing 5g and 20g increments of flour and sugar - you have to place it on a bench to ensure accurate readings. However, most recipes will give small amounts of ingredients in teaspoon or tablespoon measurements, meaning you’ll have to convert these to a weight estimate which may not be as accurate as using standard measuring spoons.
If most of your recipes list small amounts by weight, this tool may be useful. However we think using standard measuring spoons and/or a good set of kitchen scales is faster, with less fiddling about.