Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Kitchen macropipet

Adapt lab measurement tool to use with liquid ingredients
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I have recently started doing lab work that involves use of a micropipet. It looks like a giant pen. You dial in the amount of liquid you wish to pick up (ex., 14 microliters), stick the tip into a bag to pick up a disposable plastic tip, depress the button at the top with your thumb, insert the plastic tip into the liquid (DNA sample or whatever), then pull it out before letting go of the button. To dispense, you just push the button down again.

Describing all the steps makes it sound complicated, but it is really easy, fast and precise. You can do the whole thing one-handed and without touching the jar that you are getting the sample out of or the receptacle that you are putting it into.

What I would like to see is the same item, just with settings for kitchen use -- 1/4 tsp. up to 3 Tbsp. You might need to make some accomodation for getting more suction going to pull up a larger amount of liquid (or heavier/more viscous liquids such as olive oil) -- perhaps some way of pumping twice. Suggestions?

You could make the cone tips reusable, though might need to design a basket to toss them into in your dishwasher. Not only would this tool be faster and easier to use than a set of teaspoon, etc. measures, but it would minimize the chances of cross-contamination of your kitchen with salmonella, etc. if you are cooking something like chicken, because you would barely need to touch anything.

magrak, Jun 02 2002

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       What? Are you saying there are turkey basters which are marked to measure precise amounts like 1/2 teaspoon -- and that can be re-used for multiple liquid ingredients in succession (vanilla, milk, egg white, etc.) without cross-contamination?   

       Show me, please!!!
magrak, Jun 03 2002
  

       It's not about precision, it's about ease of use! One handed, you dial-push-dip-release-move-push the macropipet and your ingredient is in the pot. As opposed to -- first fumble with the spoons, then hold one spoon out and use other hand to lift bottle and pour, dripping olive oil or whatever in the process, then dribble it off the spoon into the pot, then have to wash the spoon before you can use it for the next ingredient.   

       [Incidentally I extend my mitt back to all of you. But must warn that it is a bit sticky because of mishaps involving measuring with SPOONS ;)]
magrak, Jun 03 2002
  

       It is rare that you need such precision in the kitchen (save some baking recipes). A low tolerances version is the baster but I agree that there is certainly room for improvement. I say plus a croissant.
bristolz, Jun 03 2002
  

       I wish there were more accurate and labelled tools and corresponding recipes, and applaud the idea.
jutta, Jun 03 2002
  

       //it would minimize the chances of cross-contamination of your kitchen with salmonella, etc. if you are cooking something like chicken...//   

       So what you want is a baster-like device that can suck up whole chickens, or perhaps just a tablespoon of chicken?   

       Hold your hand under my turkey baster and receive one fresh croissant.
mighty_cheese, Jun 03 2002
  

       Portion control, yes indeed. You could use this after using that Ronco Egg Scrambler thing that you insert into a small hole in the egg, it spins really fast inside the raw egg, and now you have scrambled egg inside the mostly intact shell. Then you extract the homogenized egg with your pipet, and you can spell your name in the skillet with egg if you want to. Better yet, inject the homo egg into your toast printer and it will use the egg material to print the morning weather report onto your toast (this is someone else's idea somewhere here on HB, printing news on toast, that is).   

       The most amazing thing I've ever seen in a building that charges admission is a bottle of ketchup, still fresh, a big jar of pickles, still green, and a jar of vegetable relish, still fresh-looking, from the year 1853. Untouched, unopened, unspoiled. Fresh food that is 149 years old. Seen in, "The Wreck of the Steamboat Arabia", a tourist attraction in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A. I kid you not.
entremanure, Jun 03 2002
  

       Vinegar is an amazing preservative, isn't it?
jurist, Jun 03 2002
  

       If I'm ever in Kansas City I'll be sure to sneak a burger in there, grab a vintage macropipet and put some of those vintage food goodies on there. That'd be a real treat.
thumbwax, Jun 03 2002
  

       Um, why don't you just take one of your macropipets home from the lab and use it in your kitchen?
waugsqueke, Jun 03 2002
  

       Now, if you could make this work for dry ingredients...
nick_n_uit, Jun 03 2002
  

       [waugsqueke:] Can't just take home one from lab because those are MICROpipets, which only suck up a tiny amount of liquid (measured in microliters) by design. Like, a few drops at most. My invention is the kitchen MACROpipet. I searched web for macropipet before posting and found a couple of hits on lab supply sites, but couldn't tell what volume they handle and they are certainly not designed for kitchen use. I don't want to be having to convert teaspoons into microliters for every recipe... All this talk of jam and croissants is making me munchy. I believe I will go have a croissanjamwich.
magrak, Jun 03 2002
  

       preferred flavour? (f.o.j.)
po, Jun 03 2002
  

       I did a cake decorating course once and we used these things that looked like eye droppers, but with measurements on them, to measure things like glacial acetic acid.
Helium, Jun 03 2002
  

       {UnaBubba:] I measured my jam with a turkey baster, natch. The peanut butter was a bit stickier.   

       What kind of condiments do you make? Do you make Picadilly, by any chance? I love Picadilly.
magrak, Jun 04 2002
  

       I'll swap you Picadilly for Park Lane.
Helium, Jun 04 2002
  

       It's a good idea, could we scale this up to replac the shovel?   

       \\\My products are only sold in Australia, at this stage\\\\ What is your brand name [UB] ?
IvanIdea, Jun 04 2002
  

       I'm more a 'dollop of this and a glug of that' sort of guy. There's too many kitchen implements (and too much washing up) in the world already.
DrBob, Jun 04 2002
  

       There are macropipettes. The pipette part of the big ones in long and glass and goes up to about 10 cc; maybe there are 20 cc ones too. You plug the thing into a device with a rubber spout and a thumb-operated wheel on the side. As you turn the wheel, liquid comes up the pipette. You can stop it at the ccs you want.   

       It is tough to clean the insides of these pipettes. I think we had some sort of hot acid dip.
bungston, Nov 21 2002
  

       \\Better yet, inject the homo egg into your toast printer and it will use the egg material to print the morning weather report onto your toast (this is someone else's idea somewhere here on HB, printing news on toast, that is).\\   

       This idea, i think rather sadly, isn't from the halfbakery, but from the real world. i saw it in discover magazine. It actually connects to the internet and uses stencils to toast an image on to your breakfast baked good. I think someone did it for their thesis, or a final project in engineering or something.
notme, Nov 22 2002
  
      
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