Nitori puts the hot in hotcakes.

After a week of waiting, it was finally here! The solution to one of the biggest problems the SoraNews24 team faces, and a dilemma that we imagine a lot of other people grapple with too.

At a glance, it might look like a tablet, what with the smooth, sleek form factor and lack of any physical buttons.

However, that’s not a touch screen, and isn’t even a monitor at all, because this isn’t an Internet-connected device that we purchased to deal with IT issues, but a kitchen gadget we procured to resolve a pancake problem. It’s called the Itsudemo Attaka (“Always Warm”) Warmer Plate, a new item from Japanese houseware brand Nitori. While it doesn’t get hot enough to cook your food, Nitori promises that it does produce enough heat to keep your food warm from the very first bite all the way to the last, and works similar wonders for drinks too.

Operation is as simple as can be. Just plug it in and flip the power switch; there are no other setting or sliders to fiddle with. It doesn’t take long for heat to start noticeably radiating from the device’s surface, but only within the white lines, leaving the outer edge cool to the touch for easy repositioning if need be.

There actually isn’t much fear of burning yourself, though, as the 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) the Warmer Plate heats itself to isn’t hot enough to instantly singe your fingertips. The question we had, though, was whether 60 degrees is warm enough to solve the pancake problem we mentioned earlier.

There are two things we think all of us can agree on: pancakes are awesome, and they’re even more awesome when they’re hot off the griddle (or out of the frying pan, if you’re cooking in a griddle-less kitchen). But as pancakes cool off, so too does our excitement, especially if the syrup and butter start to get cold and hard. So while Nitori’s Warmer Plate can be used to keep all sorts of dishes warm, for our first test of it pancakes were the only logical choice.

Another tricky part of the pancake-eating experience is that unless you’re capable of such super/inhuman self-restraint, you’re going to want to eat at least two pancakes per sitting, which means that pancake number one is going to be sitting there getting cold while you cook pancake number two. To see how the Warmer Plate would perform under such conditions, we cooked up one pancake and transferred it to a ceramic dish as we cooked the second.

And to really put the Warmer Plate through its paces, we also brewed a pot of tea, poured a cup, and put them on the device as well.

Then, when pancake number two was ready, we stacked it on top of its ever-so-slightly older sibling.

Checking with our fingertips, we could easily feel that warmth was still emanating from the first pancake, and from our cup of tea too!

Then it was all done but the fun, so it was time to dig in. As expected, the first few mouthfuls of pancake were delicious. Still, we braced ourselves for the all too familiar drop-off in deliciousness as the pancakes cooled somewhere around the point where we’d eaten about a half of one…

…and yet, that moment never came! The Warmer Plate worked just as promised, keeping our pancakes, or hotcakes, hot until we could eat every last bit of them.

The results were just as good for the tea. Using a small pot and a large cup, we’d brewed enough for two cups, and both were properly warm and comforting, especially when paired with one of humanity’s greatest comfort foods.

At 3,990 yen (US$27) Nitori’s Warmer Plate is an affordable luxury, and though it’s popular enough to often be sold out in physical stores, it’s available through the Nitori online shop here. Oh, and according to the packaging, it also works great with things like pasta, soup, oden, and even atsukan (hot sake).

We’ll be getting around to trying it with those just as soon as we finish eating many, many more batches of pancakes.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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