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    Tested: The Show — Cooking with Cricket Flour

    For our live show in San Francisco, Megan Miller of Bitty Foods gave a presentation about the possibilities of cricket flour--cooking and baking with flour made with insects. Here's why that's not such a strange idea, and how the idea can have an impact on the way we think about food production for a growing global population. (We apologize for some of the rough audio in this taping of our live show. The audio mixer at the venue unfortunately distorted audio from some of the microphones.)

    The Best Digital Kitchen Scale Today

    This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a list of the best gear for your home. Read the full article at TheSweethome.com

    If you need an all-purpose digital kitchen scale for baking, cooking by ratio, or even measuring beans to brew coffee, the Jennings CJ4000 ($26) combines some of the best features we’ve seen in a scale. It’s easy to use and store, comes with an AC adapter to save on batteries, and you can disable the auto-off function—so you can take your sweet time mixing or brewing. The Jennings costs only a few dollars more than a bare-bones model, but does something none of them can: it measures in half grams for even better precision.

    How We Decided

    We spent nearly 30 hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing digital kitchen scales over the last two years. Of the 45 models we’ve considered, the Jennings CJ4000 has proved the most versatile for a range of kitchen tasks and the best for most people.

    Who should buy this?

    Anyone who wants more consistent results from their baking, cooking, or coffee brewing should consider getting a kitchen scale. It’s far more accurate to weigh flour, diced vegetables, shredded cheese, or any number of ingredients than to cram them into a measuring cup or spoon. And since you can pour everything into one mixing bowl—subtracting cups and spoons from the equation—this type of cooking and baking cuts down significantly on dishes.

    For precision coffee brewing, as with pour overs, a scale can help you get an accurate combination of beans and water every time. (If you’re into home espresso, see our other recommendations below for even more accurate pocket scales.)

    Watch Robots Make Cake

    This has been a morning of self-discovery for me. I was surprised to learn that I really enjoy watching robots make cake. In my dive down the rabbit hole that is ads for cake-making robots on YouTube, I also discovered that the music on factory equipment sales videos is outstanding. I put a handful of my favorites in a playlist for you.

    Tested Mailbag: American Tiki

    Another mystery package arrives at the office, and we do our best to guess what's inside! Don't worry, it's not a puppy. But what we do find ends up disrupting our entire day at the office. Thanks, Donbert from the Tested forums!

    Frank Reese Raises Heirloom Chickens

    Prior to the industrial food revolution of the last century, there were hundreds of chicken breeds. Now that a handful of companies produce the vast majority of chicken we eat, the diversity of poultry breeds has plummeted and many breeds are lost. Frank Reese is working to save rare breeds on his Kansas farm. (via The Plate)

    Students Invent New Ketchup Cap to Solve Squirt Problem

    Looks like pretty good week for condiment innovation. "High school seniors Tyler Richards and Jonathan Thompson have spent a lot of time thinking about ketchup. As students in the Project Lead the Way program at North Liberty High School, Richards and Thompson have researched and developed a bottle cap that prevents that first squirt of ketchup from being a watery mess." (h/t LaughingSquid)

    Alton Brown's Mustard Caddy

    Alton Brown demonstrates a smart (and cheap!) solution for storing in place those finicky condiment bottles in your refrigerator door. Not all of them have flat tops that let you easily rest them upside down. Of course, we'd want to 3D-print a long-term solution.

    10 Smart Lifehacks for Your Kitchen

    If you cook a lot (and you should), you’re probably always looking for ways to make your kitchen more efficient. We can help. Here are ten outside-the-box tricks that will help you save time and money in your culinary pursuits from the comfort of home.

    10 Surprising Ingredients Found In Common Foods

    The industrial food process has made eating a little more complicated than it used to be. All kinds of unusual products are used to thicken, flavor and preserve some of our favorite edibles. Today, we’ll spotlight ten ingredients that you might not know you’re eating.

    In Brief: The Invention of the AeroPress

    Priceonomics has a great long feature about the invention of the AeroPress, our current favorite low-cost single-cup coffee maker. If you've ever bought an AeroPress from its manufacturer, Aerobie, you may have noticed that it's the company's single coffee product among a dozen other "high performance sports toys." That's because Stanford professor Alan Adler, the inventor of the AeroPress, started the company in the 1980s making the famous Aerobie flying disc (which was actually inspired by the Chakram!). Priceonomics' story walks us through Adler's revelation of using air pressure to reduce brew time for a single cup of coffee, and how the AeroPress actually struggled to find fans after its initial release. Today, it's so popular that there are international AeroPress competitions. (And if you liked this story, don't forget to read about the invention of the Chemex as well!)

    Norman