We’re halfway through the month of Ramadan now, where our fellow Muslim friends are fasting each day. Some of you may be trying to seek out tips and tricks to help make fasting a better experience this month, and so Fatin over at SoyaCincau BM has tested out a bunch of wallet-friendly kitchen gadgets and tools to help you out this Ramadan, starting with…
1. A cup warming coaster
This one’s pretty self explanatory but I’ll give you a quick run down nonetheless; this cup warming coaster is essentially a pad that you sit your cup on so that it can keep your drink warm. It should be made clear though that this isn’t a cook topo by any means, so you can’t just sit your pan on it and fry an egg. According to Fatin, she envisioned this as a gadget that’ll let her keep her drink nice and warm so that she can enjoy it once she breaks her fast.
To use it, simply plug in the two-pin plug into the wall socket; a USB powered version is also available but was out of stock when we tried to get it. Then, Fatin carefully placed her cup onto the part of the cup warming coaster that says ‘Caution Hot’. While she used it as normal with both a ceramic and an aluminum cup, she also tested out other ways to use it, such as to defrost a frozen box of santan.
What she found was that this cup warming coaster only seemed to work with a ceramic mug. It kept her coffee in the ceramic mug somewhat warm, with a blue light turning on once Fatin placed the cup there. It won’t necessarily keep it as warm as when it started though. That being said, with the aluminum mug, the coaster refused to turn on and heat it, nor did it work when she tried to defrost her frozen box of santan.
To get the cup warming coaster that SoyaCincau BM got, you can click here to visit its Shopee listing. It cost us RM10.90 when we purchased it, and has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 in the review section.
2. A self stirring mug
This one’s for the really
lazy efficient ones among you out there. The self stirring mug we bought, which literally has ‘SELF STIRRING MUG’ plastered on it, has a tiny rotor on the bottom which will help you stir your coffee during sahur or your Milo during buka. It’s a battery-powered device using two triple-A batteries, and to get it running you’ll need to press a button on the top of the mug handle.
Fatin tried it out during sahur and honestly it seems like that small rotor does a pretty swell job when it comes to stirring her drink together, even comparable to using a normal spoon. However, Fatin also found that her self stirring mug was leaking from the bottom. After pouring her drink into a separate, more conventional cup, she checked the bottom of the self stirring mug and found that her drink had leaked all over the battery compartment.
In the self stirring mug’s defense, Fatin notes that she could’ve just gotten a faulty one rather than it being a design flaw and will be seeking an exchange from the seller. Plus, it has a pretty solid 4.8 out of 5 rating on Shopee, with 847 5-star reviews. We got it for RM7.86, and if you’d like to try it out for yourself (check for leaks) you can do so by clicking here for its Shopee listing.
3. A fast defrost tray
Forgetting to defrost the meat until right before you wanted to cook up a meal is bad enough, but it’s arguably a lot worse when you forgot to defrost your meat after fasting the whole day. As such, we wanted to try out this ‘fast defrosting tray’ that we found on Shopee to see if it actually works. It seems as though this fast defrost tray is based on the idea that when a cold item touches a warm item, the cold item warms up and vice versa.
The fast defrost tray itself is made of aluminum, and its description claims that there’s some special alloy with a “thermal conductivity of 20,000 times that of ordinary metals”. It’s a pretty bold claim, but as long as it works right? Well Fatin tested it by taking out two frozen pieces of meat, placing one on the fast defrost tray while the other is left in its original packaging.
In just 10 minutes, the slab of meat on the fast defrost tray seems to worked pretty well, with the normal meat being noticeably more frozen than the one on the tray. The surface is also already pretty much defrosted. It’s pretty much a big heatsink for your frozen meat. You can also use it for more than just meat too, such as fish and poultry. If you do forget to defrost your meat before getting ready to cook for buka puasa, then this fast defrost tray may just come in pretty handy for you.
Here’s the link to the fast defrost tray that we got off Shopee. It starts at RM10.97 for the smallest sized tray, but the one Fatin tested out specifically was the largest one which costs RM14.97.
4. A 2-in-1 electric food chopper and mixer
Next up, Fatin tried out a 2-in-1 electric food chopper and mixer, and no this isn’t just a blender. When unboxed, Fatin found that it came with the device itself, a small whisk for creams, a larger whisk for eggs, a small connector tool, a 3-blade chopper, a USB cable and a 250ml container.
The main machine itself has a power button above the handle grip, and when you toggle it on you can use the same button to control its speed; you have three speeds to pick from. Above the power button meanwhile is the USB charging port. As for the front of the machine, there’s a small hole where you can plug in any of the aforementioned whisks, or plug in the small connector tool which then lets you hook up the 3-blade chopper.
Fatin absolutely loved this little kitchen gadget. According to her, it’s really good for chopping up and prepping her ingredients before sauteeing, like onions, garlic and the like. Typically, when using a regular electric chopper or mixer, it takes a while to set up the blender and hook it up to a power point then bring everything over to chop up. With this little battery powered tool, she can just quickly chop up her ingredients and whisk her eggs together on the spot. It also means she doesn’t need to keep unplugging and plugging in other appliances to get her regular blender up and going. One nitpick though is that the bundled container is a tad small.
If you want your own 2-in-1 electric food chopper and mixer, you can click here to see the one we got costs just RM26.20 on Shopee and is highly rated with a 4.9 out of 5 rating.
5. A portable electric lunch box
Last but not least, we have a portable electric lunch box. This lunch box lets you heat up or even cook—yes, cook—your meals in it. Well, maybe don’t expect a full course meal but still. It comes with two aluminum bowls where you can put your food in or even use to cook up a simple meal consisting of rice and steamed eggs.
Following the manual, Fatin tried out the electric lunch box to whip up a quick and easy buka meal. You simply need to add some water to the lunch box and place the two aluminum bowls inside to let it steam and heat up or cook your food. If you’re simply heating up your lunch, you need just 50ml of water and about 20-30 minutes. To steam rice though you’ll need 160ml of water and about 32-36 minutes. For steamed eggs meanwhile, just 25ml of water and about 10-15 minutes will be enough.
Fatin tested this out by adding it exactly 160ml of water and some rice into one of the aluminum bowls. Following the instructions, she closed up the lunch box and began steaming up the rice. In the other bowl meanwhile, she put in her eggs for steaming and after around 10 minutes, the eggs did indeed just about cook. After another 20 minutes, the rice was also done, and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between it and a regular rice cooker.
After using it, Fatin finds it a great addition to any kitchen, and not just during Ramadan either. Not only is it a portable lunch box for when you need to head to work after the Raya festivities, but during Ramadan if there’s any impromptu incidents such as running out of cooking gas it ends up being a good emergency option too. If there’s any nitpicks to point out, it’s probably that there’s no built-in timer function, so you will need to keep track of how long you’ve been steaming yourself.
Fatin got it for RM36.50 from Shopee and you can check it out yourself here. It too is one of the highest rated items we tried out here, with a 4.9 out of 5 rating on Shopee and over 1,200 buyers giving it a 5-star review.