Culinary Multitasking. (What's New?)

Article excerpt

* Face it, there is just so much space on your kitchen counter to accommodate the avalanche of appliances that so temptingly entice you with the wonders they can help you perform to dazzle family and friends. Either you whip them in and out of cabinets and closets on demand--though who has that much storage space?--or you beat the glut by finding devices that can take on more than one task. Decades ago, the toaster oven took the first step along this path. Today, Techno-Scout, Colonial Heights, Va., puts that simple concept to shame with a pair of machines that seemingly do everything but clean up after themselves.

The Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ--dubbed the Chicken Carousel around our house--looks like a toaster oven on steroids (without taking up more space width-wise), especially when a pair of birds are rotating side by side en route to golden crispness. With a 15-pound capacity, two good-sized roasters have more than enough room to coexist without pressing too intimately against each other as smaller devices dictate, thus preventing them from cooking and browning properly at the point of contact. Alternatively, you can thread loads of meat or chicken along with vegetables on eight kabob rods that each rotate independently when inserted into the rotisserie; broil up to nine hamburgers or a hefty steak or fish fillet between a couple of racks that take a similar ride on the rods; or substitute a basketful of chicken pieces, vegetables, or whatever else your imagination dictates on the spits. An oversized hypodermic-like syringe lets you inject marinades or other seasoning directly into what's cooking so it's flavored inside as well as on the surface. All of these myriad tasks are monitored by a digital timer, so you can be busy elsewhere while your main dish is riding around. …