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Alton's Toys
Friday, January 05, 2007 | posted by Mike

Alton BrownHey, it's Friday and I'm in a pretty good mood.

Why only pretty good? Well, it's mostly because I'm feeling a little bad about my post from yesterday about Alton Brown. It actually wasn't too bad and we still don't know what's up with the Miller Lite thing, but we just feel a little lousy whenever we have something negative to say about AB.

The reason for this is that we really, really like Alton Brown. We like him because it's obvious that he loves food, because we catch a lot of the subtle references to movies that he sprinkles into Good Eats and because we've heard from knowledgeable sources that he's just about the nicest, most humble guy you'll meet.

(Shocking, I know!!! I had him pegged as the kind of guy who likes to kick puppies.)

So, in order to get right with the Lord/karma, I wanted to let you know about something that's for sale over at AltonBrown.com that epitomizes one of our favorite things about Alton -- his love of effective (and multitasking) kitchen tools. He seems to get genuine enjoyment out of the mechanics of kitchen tools. And you can tell that he especially loves to "improvise" a kitchen tool out of other materials...it lets him channel his inner "MacGyver."

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, you can now purchase the nifty T. rex water spritzer bottle that accompanies Brown whenever he's trying to get the flames under control while cooking on the grill.

The bottle is part of the Grilling Essentials Kit, which is available in the Alton's Shop section of his site. It's there along with a couple of other gadgets that you'll recognize from Good Eat including the salt cellars and plunger measuring cup. Although I don't have the Alton Brown Signature Version, I do have one of those plungers and they really are terrific, especially if you do a lot of measuring of ingredients like honey and peanut butter.

Like I said, we like Alton's affinity for kitchen tools, particularly because he always explains what specific characteristics to look for when purchasing a tool and because he truly is correct in telling you to stay away from "unitaskers." There's just no need, as you'll only end up spending money needlessly.

Just walk into a Bed, Bath & Beyond and you'll see a floor-to-ceiling wall of kitchen gadgets, which serves as a testament to their appeal. And, of the five or six varieties of each gadget, there is probably one that is really effective. What makes it effective is also what allows it to do double duty somewhere else in the kitchen. Yet, there are plenty of people spending plenty of money on gadgets they don't need, and Alton Brown is fighting the good fight by leading the crusade against these wasteful, drawer-cluttering devices.

Alton points us in the right direction. Each of us has a couple of gadgets that we absolutely can't live without. I have my microplane and my silicon-coated tongs, which do an amazing job of tossing pasta in the sauce. We love these things because they make the job of cooking so much easier. They make it a joy to be in the kitchen and reinforce our love of this hobby of ours.

And isn't that what Good Eats is all about?



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