Five essential kitchen gadgets… and five you definitely do NOT need!
Firstly, we should say that by ‘essential’ we mean that we really love these gadgets, but we cannot hand on heart say they are essential.
Right, disclaimer over – here is our top picks of kitchen essentials for your new home!
We are starting simple. It may be an obvious one, but a blender is a must-have if you love to make smoothies, juices or soups. Depending on how you use your kitchen, you may want a large countertop blender, or a smaller hand one. The larger blenders are best for smoothies and shakes as there is plenty of room for your fruit and vegetables. Hand blenders are better for soups and sauces.
We challenge anyone to watch an episode of The Great British Bake Off and not immediately want their own stand mixer. These are brilliant if you do a lot of baking, plus they look fantastic too! If you have one of these, it is worth reading the manual because as well as mixing, they can be used for shredding meat, mashing potatoes and some attachments even allow you to make pasta, ice cream and spiralized vegetables.
You need to think about this one. Are you a coffee drinker? If you are, and potentially you are going to be using your espresso maker two or three times every day, then it really is worth investing in a good one. If you just want something that will look stylish on your counter, but will only be used once in a blue moon at the end of dinner parties, then you do not want to be spending a lot of money. Given espresso makers can cost £50.00 or run into thousands, you should do a bit of research.
Capsule/pod coffee machines are a good option if you want something quick and easy to use that looks sleek and does not take up much space. The downside of these is that you are usually limited to a specific type of pod/capsule and they can be expensive and hard to recycle.
Ground coffee machines grind the coffee beans and give you a fresh taste and more control over how strong you want your coffee. This is the type of machine to get if you are a frustrated barista! However, they are more complicated to use and require more prep and clean up.
A bean-to-cup coffee machine is a bit like magic…they do everything for you, from grinding the beans on demand to customising your drinks and saving your settings. Inevitably, these are expensive machines and they can be very large and noisy too.
Save: NESPRESSO by Magimix Vertuo Plus M600 Coffee Machine
Splurge: Sage The Oracle Professional Bean-to-Cup Machine
Step aside, slow cookers! Sous vide has been around for a while, but this style of cooking has recently experienced a resurgence. Using a water bath heated to a consistent, low temperature, sous vide cooking ensures your food is cooked to perfection every time by cooking it slowly and precisely.
Save: Quickstick Sous Vide Cooker
Splurge: Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro
A multi-cooker makes our list because they are so versatile. And they can be a real time-saver too, on those evenings when you need to throw together a meal quickly. Most come with a number of different settings that make cooking items like rice, potatoes, soups, stews and chilis a breeze. They are easy to use, easy to clean and do not take up much space. Winner!
Save: Ambiano Multi Cooker
Splurge: Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer
Now for the gadgets, we have tried, tested…and discarded!
We love the smell of freshly baked bread as much as the next person. But bread makers are bulky, expensive and we are not convinced they make as nice a loaf as when you simply use the oven.
Ice cream maker
Using an ice cream maker to make your own ice cream with the children might be a fun afternoon activity. Once. But it never tastes as good as shop or farm bought and there really is just no need to do it!
These really are a gimmick. Popcorn is so cheap to buy, but if you want to make your own at home (and it is delicious hot and buttery!) you can do so very easily on your cooker hob or even in the microwave. No need for a dedicated popcorn machine!
If you have a blender, then you really do not need a juicer. They just take up space and you need about a dozen oranges to make a small glass of juice – there is so much waste!
To be honest, this is the type of gadget you use once or twice and think ‘this is a bit different!’ then promptly put it in the back of a cupboard never to be seen again. It is not that we do not like courgetti…we just like spaghetti a lot more!