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Grant Achatz
An equipment bonanza for kitchen geeks
An equipment bonanza for kitchen geeks

A hand-held smoker that looks like a toy pistol, a blender that heats or cools while it whizzes your soup or smoothie, professional immersion blenders, dehydrators, whipping siphons, induction burners, sous-vide machines and vacuum sealers. As mainstream retailers such as Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma introduce tools not so long ago used by only the most adventurous professional chefs, it could be a bonanza holiday for kitchen geeks. Grant Achatz, the chef of Alinea in Chicago who recently was in Los Angeles for an event, points to one of his immersion circulators, a device used for sous-vide — cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags at relatively low, even temperatures. "The fact...

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