CHARLOTTE, N.C. — 5 years ago I wouldn’t have thought to give my mom a tech gadget for Mother’s Day. She wasn’t a huge fan of techie things and, like many moms, wasn’t comfortable trying to figure out how to use them.
Things are different now. My mom loves her digital picture frame that I can upload photos of the kids to from my phone. She enjoys the Roku device and free channels to watch movies and shows. And she absolutely is mad about her Insta-Pot and Air Fryer.
So what about this year? I’ve rounded up some tech gadgets I think most moms will find useful and even fun. Of all the gadgets I’ve tried out in the past 5 years, the one I use the most is a Sous Vide precision cooker.
Once reserved for commercial kitchens and steakhouses, these magic wands are becoming a staple in home kitchens because it makes cooking easier, save time, and the food turns out perfect every time. These “magic wands” heat water to a precise temperature.
Most, like the popular Anova sous vide cooker, come with an app that tells you what temperature to cook beef, chicken, pork, and fish (I’ve used one to make a delicious creme-brulee). Put whatever you’re cooking into an air-tight bag and drop it in a pot of water. The Sous Vide cooker circulates the water at that temperature cooking the food to that precise temperature. Meaning, it’s impossible to overcook.
Once it’s done, throw it on the grill or a cast-iron skillet for a quick sear. She’ll spend less time in the kitchen and the food has never been better.
I’ve found a Sous Vide cooker is a great way to cook thick pieces of chicken breasts that are nearly impossible to cook or grill to the right temperature. If someone asks for a steak at medium-rare, set the Sous vide cooker at 125-degrees, and when you insert a meat thermometer the breast will be 125-degrees from one end to the other.
Anker’s Soundcore Frames are sunglasses with built-in Bluetooth speakers in the temple. The sound quality is surprisingly excellent. She can listen to music, and podcasts and take phone calls without needing a pair of earbuds. These are great for biking when you need to be able to hear cars or people around you while still listening to music. The frames are exchangeable if she wants to find a new style.
If mom hates tech, it’s maybe because of all the cords that need to be plugged into the wall. Ugly. I found an outlet cover with an attached power strip that’s easy to install. Plug it into the outlet and hide the power strip behind the furniture. They come with clips to hide the cable against the baseboards. No installation is required, just plug and cover.
And finally, for moms who read, Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite can replace the hard and softcover books she loves. Better than trying to read on a phone, the Paperwhite is water-resistant, and can be read in bright sunlight or in bed. If she likes library books, she can check them out and download them to the paperwhite using the Libby app. Plus, Amazon frequently offers deals on popular books that are much cheaper than buying the hardcovers.
You might still want to gift mom a digital picture frame, Bluetooth speaker (because you can never have too many), or a portable battery charger for her phone. Just don’t assume she won’t like something because she doesn’t “like tech”. Moms do, especially if they make life easier or more fun.
Mother’s Day is May 8th