competition – win a heston blumenthal thermometer [closed]

This competition is now closed. Many thanks for all your entries. The winners have been notified by email.

heston blumenthal meat thermometer

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Anyone that has read more than one post in this little recipe binder will realise I have more than a passing interest in the life and works of Heston Blumenthal. It’s fine to stare and snicker at his wackier side – “snail risotto, how quirky“, “bacon and egg ice-cream, who eats that?” – but that is to miss the point. It’s more about process – thinking about why flavour combinations work the way they do, and challenging preconceptions in the kitchen. By putting these things under scrutiny it opens up other pathways and leads to exciting new methods and tastes.

But I’m waffling. You came here for the swag, right? The fine people at Salter have devised a range of Heston Blumenthal kitchen tools. But this isn’t some Anthony Worral-Thompson slap-the-beard-on-it shovelware. This was researched over months with the great man himself hands-on. The result is a functional and stylish clutch of gadgets.

I’ve been using the digital meat thermometer for a little while now (such as for this recipe) and it’s a great piece of kit. It updates fast, has a clear screen and the ‘pen’ casing is very handy, so you can stash it in a top pocket while you’re cooking. It’s a great product that any Heston fan would chew their own arm off to have.

But guess what! No limb-munching required to get one of these superb digital meat thermometers. And they’re not even in the shops yet, so you can be among the first to have one. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment below answering the question:

What is your one essential piece of kitchen gadgetry?

  • Competition closes 10pm 31st October. Comments posted after then won’t be counted.
  • I’ll pick the winners at random using some fancy random number generator.
  • Entrants must be 18 years or older.
  • If the winner hasn’t replied within two weeks, someone else will get it.
  • Only people from the UK please. Additionally, I’ll only post to a UK address.

PS. Want to win more stuff? Head over to Growing Direct where they are giving away a gorgeous notebook!


  • Hand blender! Can’t live without it. 🙂

  • My favourite wooden spoon, I’ve had it for years and years and use it for everything.

  • My most essential kitchen gadget is also my oldest! I’ve got an ancient Moulinex Masterchef which was given to me – second hand! – 17 years ago. I’ve still got all the attachments and it is used every day. The plug needs rewiring but other than that, it works fine!

  • Stick blender – love it to bits.

  • Would have to be my hand blender: so much easier for making soup than the “take off hob/cool right down/pour into liquidiser/liquidise/pour back into pan/reheat” palava.

  • I was going to say decent knives but they’re not really gadgets are they? I was then going to suggest my Shinkansen ‘Water’ Sharpener for the knives as we all know sharp knives are essential. But I don’t think that’s “gadgety” enough so I’ll go with…

    Decent digital scales. I use them every day I reckon and am lost when the battery dies.

  • Got to be a cheese grater, because nothing else can be used to do the job. Always wondered who invented it, but can’t find anything on the net about it.

    • I don’t know if you saw Hairy Bikers’ Mum Knows Best but each week they had a gadget challenge, with a potted history of the gadget-of-the-week. One week they did do the grater, so if you see that one come round on repeat try and catch it!

  • Mini blender – great for quickly blitzing masala blends, marinades & coffee beans etc. I broke my meat prod 🙁 I WANT ONE!!!

  • A little bit in the same boat as ITs Food, i’d normally say my knifes, but failing that, it would have to be my Dualit Food Processor. Fantastically reliable, and makes chopping herbs, making soups, and all other day to day tasks so much easier and quicker.

  • I loooooooooove my Magimix! its a 5200 or something. So good. Pick me pick me pick me!

  • I am surprised no-one has mentioned this yet but the most essential piece of kitchen gadgetry has to be the bottle opener……………………surely?

  • Got to be my little whisk with a sideways pointing head – can’t find another one like it anywhere and it’s great for whisking all round the bottom of the bowl.

  • Lots of gadgets I can’t live without… if we’re defining a gadget as an electric-powered gizmo then my favourite is my Magimix 5200. I love it and use it regularly and it’s just fabulous.

    On the battery-operated front, I couldn’t do without my Salter scales.

    And if we can stretch it to any kitchen tool, then a really sharp knife!

  • I don’t have much space for gadgetry in my kitchen because it is so small, but I would have to go for the breadmaker which I got for my birthday. I just think it’s amazing how all you have to do is put the ingredients in and it does the rest – it’s like magic!

  • My late Mothers knife-only one I can use to peel potatoes well

  • hand blender

  • electric hand whisk – to make great cakes.

  • I love my Chinese veegetable knife! It makes chopping so much easier!

  • My stick blender, so versitile and useful.

  • Julie Kathryne West

    There’s one thing i really think is a must in any kitchen is good quality sharp knife’s
    my favorite being a Sabatier 10″ Cook’s Knife

  • Has to be the tine opener, can’t get no where without that.
    Don’t you find its the cheap ones that work the best aswell.

  • A vegetable knife which is very old and belonged to my husbands Nan, its a great friend and very sharp.


    I would have to say a decent saute pan. I use mine everyday and wouldn’t be without one. If the gadget has to be electrical, then I would say my stick blender.

  • My essential piece of kitchen gadgetry is my husband, he makes marvellous roast dinners.

  • My tin opener which is also a bottle opener. Very closely followed by my breadmaker =)

  • My potato peeler. Probably the cheapest item in the kitchen but definitely the most used. I go through about 2 a month as I keep throwing them out with the veg peelings!! Needless to say I have now learnt to keep spares as trying to function in the kitchen without out is just impossible.

  • Slow Cooker! great for people like me that aren’t very good at cooking! just chuck all the food in and leave it to cook!

  • Has to be my egg seperator, I can seperate the white from the yolk simply. Although I couldnt live with out my dishwasher either, there is nothing worse after a lovely meal than to have to do the washing up!

  • Difficult but I’m going for my old ‘potato’ peeler. Peels all veg with minimum wastage, easy to use and for long fiddly jobs (i.e. Jerusalem artichokes) doesn’t end up hurting my hand.

  • My husband! He cooks , cleans and does the washing up 🙂

  • It’s gotta be my soda stream! Nring back the 80s revival! x

  • My oven thermometer as the thermostat in my oven does not work properly

  • May be boring but…a sharp knife is essential. Without that doesn’t matter what you have.

  • electric hand whisk – to make great cakes

  • My not to be done without item of kitchen equipment is my bread maker.

  • My Electric hand whisk……..great for sauces,omelettes,gravy milkshakes etc. I would be lost without it even though it is nearly 10 yrs old.

  • I’m going to say my potato ricer, no more lumpy mash and works well on other root veggies when I was making baby food too.

  • I think there is only one thing I would be without and that is my trusty kitchen knife.

  • Left-Handed Can Opener!!!

    Not very technical I know, but without one I probably wouldn’t have survived my Uni years :-p I always make sure I have at least one spare in case my current one breaks.

  • a sharp knife

  • Andrew McNaughton

    My essential piece of kitchen equipment would be my Michelin Starred Chef, I’ve kept him in a cupboard for 15 years now and he comes out at least twice a day !!!!!


    my kenwood mini chopper – i can whip up a spicy salsa in seconds.

  • has to be my steamer as you don’t have to hang about the kitchen watching pans on the hob……which gives me more quality time with the kids 🙂


    My pasta rolling machine

  • Potato Ricer. Can’t make perfeft mash without it.

  • it has to be my chopping board as im always using it to make my daughters sandwiches on for school.

  • i’m going to say my cooker – you can’t get more essential than that!

  • My mum’s little vegetable knife, as sharp as she is :o)

  • kirstine meredith

    It has to be my multi cooker cooks anything from omelettes to pizzas and no its not me!!!!! 😉

  • my one essential .. oh that is so difficult, as there are a LOT of things I find essential… but possibly my little paring knife.. it sharpens viciously and I use it for all sorts of non-paring things.

    and a close second would be my food processor. it’s not a fancy one, just a compact Kenwood, but is is perfect size for 2 people and makes the best pastry ever.,

  • My small veg. knife – boring but ohhhhhh so handy !!

  • Bending the definition a little, but my dishwasher — I’m a messy cook!!

  • Definitely need my electronic scales – can’t make fresh bread without them!

  • stuart hargreaves

    pretisge pressure so versatile


    Has to be my electronic scales i use them everyday!!

  • Mandolin. Slicing is a chore I can do without. So easy to clean unlike other gadgets too 🙂

  • My spirtle – I never knew what one was until I married into a scottish family, now I wouldn’t be without it, ideal for stirring stock, porridge and all kinds of dishes.


    I cant live without my halogen oven.Cooks meat to perfection

  • A cake tester, very simple but very necessary.



  • a decent sharp knife

  • My husband. Cause without him, I cant cook. Arf arf arf !


    my weighing scales

  • Poached eggs pan (can never do it without them)

  • My chopping board. It’s a big hefty lump of wood carved beautifully by my father. Not really ‘gadgetry’ but still essential kitchen ware!

  • My food chopper, it makes life so much easier! 🙂


  • It has to be my slow cooker

  • Has to be my knife set, sharp durable and reliable.

  • My Slow cooker! homemade soups through the winter months!! BLISS

  • My cooker of course………couldn’t live …or cook without it…!

  • My big wooden spoon.

  • it has to be my mini-chopper – can’t thank it enough for saving me from crying over the onions!

  • A really sharp knife

  • Pressure Cooker – From dried pulses to bean chilli in no time.

  • deep fat fryer- and then there was lunch!

  • My little flat grater that I bought for a pound from the market ,I use it nearly everyday

  • My steamer…was really surprised as to how much food i can prepare with this godsend….and so much healthier.

  • my teaspoons

  • My bread maker,good bread and a lovely fruit loaf

  • I think it would have to be my measuring spoons as I am rubbish at guessing quantities!

  • Worktops. I loves ’em, mind!

  • Has to be my electric hand mixer – super quick to use & wash 🙂

  • Hand blender, use it most days.

  • hmmm… tough one! I would have to say a colander… for all the pasta, rice and potato dishes that it helps me through uni with!!!

  • I love my slow cooker.

  • Lemon Zester……I use it for lemons as well as chocolate curls, puts the finishing touch on a dessert.

  • My wife – most useful gadget for me in the Kitchen

  • My blender – to make smoothies

  • My sausage stuffer attachment…….

  • My Marco Pierre white hand blender

  • A citrus zester, couldn’t live without it!

  • Pingback: Growing Direct Ltd » Competition – Win a Fantastic Growing Direct Leather bound Notebook and Pen

  • My cheese slicer bought in Norway in 1969!

  • chopping board, because its a chance to have something functional and beautiful at the same time.


    my pineapple decorer, fantastic piece of equipment 🙂

  • Has to be a good quality sharp knife

  • I simply can’t do anything in the kitchen without my iPhone! A cooking soundtrack is essential (generally the Futureheads or Smiths), the timer is easy to use, and I also take screengrabs of my favourite recipes online so I can access them at a moment’s notice… the only bad thing is when I get the regular text from my husband telling me he’ll be home late AGAIN, when I’ve spent ages constructing a beautiful meal…sigh!

    • This gave me a big laugh – thanks! I use my PSP for much the same thing. If anyone wants to send me a free iPhone to replace it though…!


    My most essential gadget are my oven gauntlets which protect my hands and wrists up to 250 degrees c. Much better than the thin ones I used to use and often got my hands burnt.

  • My very sharp knife!

  • My slow cooker – lovely to smell the evening meal cooking gently throughout the day 🙂

  • My mezzaluna (or herb chopper as I call it, lol!). I have a windowsill of herbs and add them to every meal for a bit of interest.

  • pestle and mortar can`t live without it!

  • My food processor with all its different attachments, is a huge help in my kitchen!

  • Stephen wilsonleach

    apple peeler and corer all in one


    It’s absolutely got to be my hand blender with its various attachments, I use it all the time for blending and whipping….its fab! Can’t imagine how I got on without it now.

  • It has to be my wee mini chopper, I couldn’t live without it! It saves me so much time and effort.

  • Garlic crusher – I don’t have to peel the cloves and get all smelly 🙂

  • my battery operated can opener.

  • Good quality sharp knife

  • my blender – essential for baby food and cake mixes!

  • My potato ricer, hate lumpy mash!

  • slow cooker allows me to live my life and be organised with feeding the family.

  • A U-Peeler, stupidly cheap and incredibly functional – best bit of kitchen kit EVER

  • My food processor, I couldn’t live without it for slicing and shredding.

  • My lovely lovely very sharp knife that was expensive but it makes everything so much easier!

  • I love my vegetable steamer. I hate soggy veg so this is great for keeping them crunchy!

  • My hand blender. I use it every day for making soups for my picky eater son, he wouldn’t eat any green veg, so I have to disguise it, lol.
    Thank you!

  • My microwave oven as I don’t have an actual oven in my kitchen just a gas hob. So I get to grill and bake with it too, I’d be lost without it : )

  • Being on a diet the answer has got to be “Kitchen Scales”

  • My husband. He always check up the oven, clean and does the washing up the dishes. I used knife by potaotes but my husband used peel potatoes.

  • Has to be my crock pot it is so easy to use and means no rushing around in the evening trying to get dinner ready when I just want to sit down and rest and it’s surprising just what you can use crock pots to cook everything from main course,puddings to cakes 🙂

  • my timer!!!! hopeless without it!!

  • OK, by saying ‘Essential Kitchen Gadget’, that to me means it’s something you *could* live without, that you probably don’t NEED, but to YOU it’s essential.
    Stick blender does fit right up there, yes, I could use either my S/S balloon whisk or my non-stick one, I suppose, and I often do. But to me it’s so much a part of how I cook, it’s used daily. My knives and spoons, food processor and stand mixer aren’t gadgets, they get me from Point A to Point B quickly and efficiently. So, they don’t really fit the bill as ‘non-essential’.

    No, now as the weather turns chilly, and apples appear in the markets in shiny rows, on trees ready for picking and in hedgerows ready for scrumping, I must say MY essential bit of kit is my Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer. This lovely machine does the whole thing in one smooth, quick operation which means I can turn said apples into crumble, mincemeat, compote, pie or Tarte Tatin in a flash without even getting near a paring knife. Yes of course, I could use a paring knife to peel-core-slice these 10kg of apples awaiting me in my cellar, but I know I wouldn’t bother. And for someone with the first twinges of arthritis, I must say it is truly a miracle piece of equipment. I love it.

    • That’s a very thorough reply 🙂

      What is this all-in-one apple gadget you’re referring to? It sounds great!

      • Instead of trying to explain it, here’s a video I found on YouTube showing the Apple Machine in action. It shows the gadget with a suction base, I have one of those, it was the first one I bought, but then I got another with the G-Clamp base that fixes directly to the countertop/table. Both work really well, I simply prefer the clamp one when I’m doing mounds of apples.

        I’ll note you can get these from various places in the UK (and worldwide) with a wide-ranging price and quality range. My first was from a Kitchen Speciality shop, my second (at half the price) from the cash & carry.

        My machine’s specs are painted cast metal, stainless steel shaft and blades.

  • Cant live without my chef knife, no knife – no food.


    hand blender


    My Dualit toaster – makes perfect toast every time.

  • A decent sharp knife – if that doesn’t count – a blender. You need both for a decent soup in this winter weather!

  • Thanks for all the comments so far gang. Some very amusing entries in there! Only a few days left to leave a comment to win.

    I guess it would only be polite to offer my own (I promise I’m not eligible to win!). Come Summertime I’m obsessed with my Bar-Be-Boss. It’s a long-handled fish slice, with the left side serrated and the right side bevelled. Coupled with a bottle opener on the neck, it’s the only toy I need when I’m out by the grill – flip things over, slice a steak open, crack open a bottle of Coke, crack open a bread roll… it’s all there.

  • Mine is my magic slicer thingy 😀 I loove it. I use it on onions (which I chop every day) & all herbs etc. It cost me about £30 5 years ago but you can get them for about a tenner now 🙂

  • My bread maker, I hardly ever buy bread now.

  • Pestle and mortar, love it

  • Mine would have to be a toss up between old and new; a pestle and mortar is always useful. For a more modern twist deffinately the food processor!


  • My potato masher

  • It has to be my corkscrew just before I start cooking

  • my kettle! i use it far too many times a day for heatng water in a saucepan to be practical!

  • Rebecca Fitzgibbons

    My other half!! :p

  • My breadmaker – nothing better than fresh bread you baked yourself!

  • blender- whizzing away all the stuff i am telling it to whizz

  • Its not actually a kitchen gadget but it is a child in the kitchen gadget- if you want to cook dinner without your screaming toddler wrapped around your knee you need a Funpod – basically a box where you put the child in and he or she can stand next to you level with worktop and watch curiously what you do or just draw stuff and play with toys, but they feel included. its 80 quid but sooo well spent, dont know how mothers used to cook without it in the past!

  • my microwave for the defrost function

  • My carving knife!


  • I could not live without my Garlic Mincer. It’s probably the most used tool in my kitchen.

  • Has to be my wire sieve. I use it all the time from straining vegatables, sieving great sauces and for sieving the best mashed potato you have ever tasted, I use a spoon to feed the boiled potatoes through the sieve mmmmmmmn

  • A small, sharp vegetable knife. Couldn’t manage without that for chopping, slicing, testing etc etc.

  • My silicon baking moulds, my bread and muffins come out perfect every time now!!!

  • My set of measuring spoons – I purchased them over 5 years ago, they cost 99pence, are from Tesco’s value range and I use them every day. Indispensable!

  • Digital scales


    My electric wok which is about 15 years old, has been used to make soup, cook rice or potatoes as well as stirfrys.

  • Wok – You can use it to cook anything.

  • I love my mandolin. It’s great for stews and casseroles because all the chunks are the same size. Also ideal for onions as it’s nice and quick. Easy to clean too – just rinse under warm water.

  • My pineapple cutter. It’s amazing and even leaves the juice in the bottom of the pineapple for me!

  • Kettle by far – use it every day!!!!

  • I don’t know if it’s a gadget per say, but you don’t get anywhere without a good, sharp knife. If I go to friends and they haven’t got one, I simply can’t cook there!


  • My electric bag sealer, without it my food would go off quicker and my peas would be all over the freezer!!!

  • My steel for sharpening. It may be old fashioned but modern gadgets don’t give the same precision. I position the steel ready for battle, choose the angle and I swipe before swipeing to remove the burr on the other side.

    A sharp blade is a pleasure to work with.


    Definitely hand blender

  • Has to be slow cooker, makes lovely home made stews whilst I’m busy doing other things!

  • A decent set of digital scales. But actually I wish I had Helen’s gadget – a dishwasher…

  • My beloved tefal frying pan!