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Neat Stuff Weekly - April 20th, 2020

Neat Stuff Weekly
Neat Stuff Weekly - April 20th, 2020
By Graham Barber • Issue #8 • View online
Hey all, last weekend was a bit busy, so I didn’t get the issue out the door. So, instead, you get that content this week!
I’m proud to present to you, the NSW Kitchen Countertop Appliance edition! Let’s get started.

Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus
A 6QT Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus
A 6QT Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus
You’ve almost certainly heard of the Instant Pot product lineup at this point. I’m here to tell you: Yes, you should get one, just like everybody else says.
While our use cases are sure to vary, I appreciate this device for a 1) it’s ease of use and convenience, and 2) holy crap that’s a lot of functions in a tiny package. It’s wonderful at making rice, so it’s an acceptable stand-in for a Zojirushi rice maker with fuzzy logic. It’s also a phenomenal pressure cooker (which is probably what you would be looking for). Among the other offerings are sous vide, yogurt making, baking, steaming, slow cooking, sautéing, and warming—although it’s worth warning you that some of those features require aftermarket accessories, also sold by Instant. I haven’t had the opportunity to try out all of the included programs, but the sous vide function definitely has my attention.
It’s fairly cheap, too: Only $119 on Amazon for 6 quarts and 9 touted functions. If you’re cooking for two, that’s the size that I’d recommend. It’s small enough to not take up too much counter space, but big enough to make sure you’ll have leftovers for the next couple days.
Duo Evo Plus 6 & 8 Quart - Instant Pot
Breville Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express
The Breville Barista Express
I’ve got a fun story about this baby. I have one of these machines, and the only reason that I do is because I picked it up next to my apartment building’s dumpster. It wasn’t in… great shape, but I brought it indoors, cleaned it, and then began the slow process of purchasing all the parts I need to make it run normally. That’s why it’s in the “Things I’m paying for” section, since I’m still collecting parts. At this point, I have everything that I need to use it at a limited capacity, but I just want to say this—don’t lose the parts to your home appliances. They add up when you buy them aftermarket.
At any rate, I love this machine because it is incredibly fast at making espresso. It’s everything you need, all lined up: First, there’s a built-in hopper with grind adjustment so you can dispense the right amount for your shot. Then, you tamp the grounds down using the included tamper, slot the portafilter into the machine, and then you hit either the single shot or double shot program buttons, and it just… Goes. If you want steamed milk, there’s a steam wand in the machine. If you want an Americano, there’s a hot water dispenser right there. Seriously, the ergonomics are pretty well thought-out with this machine.
Unfortunately, it’s a bit pricey. This machine in particular is $699, but I’ve seen it as low as $449 on a good day. Frankly, I don’t know many options besides this machine—maybe an AeroPress with the Fellow Prismo attachment, if you wanted to keep your setup inexpensive, but that won’t deliver real, pressurized espresso like the Barista Express. Maybe you too can get lucky and find one of these next to a dumpster.
June Oven
The June Oven Generation 2
The June Oven Generation 2
This is my super extra pick for the three-appliance dream team lineup. Sure, maybe the reviews aren’t absolutely glowing, but come on—it’s an appliance that uses machine learning to identify and cook what you put into it. That’s rad. That’s it. That’s all I really have to say. Maybe it’s worth mentioning that I think it’s gorgeous, too.
Having a countertop oven would be seriously nice, though. Often times I wish I had another oven so that I could make two things at the same time—hash brown patties and bacon with breakfast, for example. Sure, I guess I could get a toaster oven, but that wouldn’t satisfy the techie in me. He craves aesthetics. He craves functionality. Maybe your inner techie understands.
Check out the June Oven and it’s $499 price tag below.
Turn cooking stress into dinnertime success • June Oven
Closing Out
That’s everything I have this week. I’m not making an editing pass in the interest of speed, so I apologize if any sections are worded weirdly. This quarantine is messing up my schedule, and I’m making an attempt to get back on track.
Anyways, thanks for reading this week’s issue. Stay safe, and I’ll talk to everyone next week.
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Graham Barber

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Graham Barber, 307 SW 7th St Apt 102, Corvallis, OR 97333