The best innovations, picked from thousands of choices at the Chicago Housewares Show.


1 Microwave Plus

LG Electronics combines a microwave with a toaster—high tech and low—to save counter space ($130; 866-473-5554).

2 Heatproof Spatula

Rubber spatulas can melt in a hot pot; SiliconeZone's can withstand up to 900 degrees ($7; 212-997-9591).

3 Bread Slicer

Fiskars' Vivante knife uses an adjustable metal guide to create uniformly thick pieces ($30; 800-289-8288).

4 Thermometer

Oxo's thermometer has a needle-thin probe, so less juice leaks out when meat is tested ($15; 800-545-4411).

5 Splash Guard

Circulon's splatter shield— a pot lid with an open center—keeps stovetops clean ($20; 800-326-3933).

6 Child-safe Toaster

T-Fal's Avanté Elite toaster has a lock-out button adults can press to prevent little hands from being burned ($80; 800-395-8325).

7 Fast Oven

Sharp's microwave—toaster oven cooks a pizza—with a crispy crust— in 4 1/2 minutes ($130; 800-BE-SHARP).

8 Preseasoned Pans

Lodge Logic cast-iron pans are preseasoned, so they already have a nonstick patina (from $11 for an 8-inch skillet; 423-837-7181).

9 Coffeemaker

BonJour's Maximus French press separates the grounds from the brewed coffee more effectively ($40; 800-2-BONJOUR).

10 Ergonomic Tools

Leifheit's Feel It potato masher has an indentation for the thumb for efficiency and comfort ($15; 866-695-3434).