This is not a sponsored post. I repeat, this is NOT a sponsored post. This is just a list of kitchen appliances that I own that I recommend because they are so helpful.
I love appliances. Sure there are many that you see on infommercials that look great and you think you need them, but you probably don’t, but some of those are things that you might actually use to make your life easier. For me though, I don’t necessarily go for those
“but wait, there’s more…”
“call in the next 30 minutes and you will also receive absolutely free…”
sales pitches. I go for the ones that I see in shops, have heard people talk about on television and radio (that aren’t paid advertisements), and of course, these days, what people recommend on the internet; especially recommendations from friends I can trust.
And you can trust me. We’re friends right?
So let’s get to it…
1. Popcorn Maker
Now I don’t want to sound hypocritical because I love the movie popcorn and will buy it when I go to the movies, but unless I am at the movies I don’t like buying pre-popped popcorn or even the microwave type (even though both can be just as tasty as the stuff you get at the cinema); I prefer to air pop my popcorn so that even though I’m more than likely having at as a snack between meals, it’s a somewhat healthier snack than most.
We have a Breville model like the one shown in the picture but they now only do the Crazy™ Popper. It really doesn’t matter which one you buy because they are all pretty much the same. Some might suggest that the cheaper ones burn out sooner than the more expensive models, but if you pick one up for about $19 and it lasts half as long as the $49 models, then buying a replacement will still be cheaper than having an expensive brand. I’ve had a more expensive one and it burned out in a relatively short time for a small appliance.
2. Muffin Maker
Sure you could turn the oven on an make a whole batch, but the Muffin Magic™ by Breville was a great appliance. Was? Yes. They stopped making it some time ago. It’s a shame because it’s a great product.
You can still find second-hand units online and if it’s in great working condition I would recommend picking one up. The reason I prefer using this versus muffin trays or muffin cups is because each and every time I use this appliance, it makes the best muffins ever.
I have to admit that many times I would cheat and buy muffin mixture instead of making my own recipe, but there is one of the popular brands that has a twin pack in the same carton that allows you to use just one of the packets of mixture to make six muffins rather than the standard twelve most packet mixtures state you can make. The reason why I like getting that one is because you can make three BIG muffins rather than six small muffins, and the Muffin Magic™ handled it perfectly.
The other thing I used to use it for was making Stuffins©. I used to get stuffing mixture and mix that in a bowl and then spoon it in to make a stuffing muffin or as I so aptly named them, Stuffins©. These are great on their own although sometimes a bit dry, but if you make a dip of chicken gravy, that’s the bomb.
Breville was the only one who made one of these. I’ve seen cupcake makers as well but haven’t tried them, but I’m sure they’d be good if they’re anything like this appliance.
3. Quick Boil Kettles
This is one of those products that I heard someone on the radio talk about and I had to find out more about it. Since working from home I have missed the ability to simply go into the office kitchenette, grab my coffee mug, add the coffee and then use the hot boiling water from the rapid boil machine on the wall.
These quick boiling kettles are as great as the manufacturers suggest and they save you time, money, water and energy.
We have the Tefal Quick Cup. My dad bought one of those Aldi models and he likes that one. The difference between them is that my one takes three seconds to start pouring out boiling hot water from its spout and a cup of hot boiling water takes about 30 seconds to come out. My dad’s one boils one cup in about 30 seconds and then spits it into the cup in about three seconds. Net result is boiling hot water in your cup in 33 seconds which is way faster than trying to boil one cup of water in a traditional kettle, and most kettles won’t allow you to boil only 200mm to 250mm.
4. Electric Grater or Electric Slicer or Electric Dicer
I only bought this item today but I have already fallen in love with it. I have been using a Mandalay slicer for many year and to date have only had one accident with it. I “inherited” mine from my parents when my mother’s arthritis meant she was no longer able to use it, and my dad didn’t really use it preferring to cut things old school.
But not me, I’m always looking for quicker and easier ways to prepare food, from the moment the food is being prepared to be cooked, right up to the cooking stage.
Last year I bought myself a dicer press and it’s crap. The blades are strong but if the vegetable you’re trying to dice is too hard you need to put your whole bodyweight down on it, and if the vegetable is too soft, well, it would make a great YouTube video watching the results of that.
Tonight I used this device to slice raw beetroot (it did it with ease), shred a carrot, slice a cucumber, and turn kale, parsley and mint into a blended garnish for a salad. It did these with ease. I also sliced some skinny sweet potatoes with the skin on to make sweet potato chips, shallow fried in coconut oil. They. Were. Yum.
Tefal are the only ones who make a unit like this. They call it the Fresh Express and it comes in three models; Fresh Express, Fresh Express Plus and Fresh Express Max which is the top of the line with a more powerful motor and more attachments including the dicer (which the basic model doesn’t have).
5. Food Processor/Cooker
More than just a food processor, these items have been described as portable kitchen stations. I’m going to come right out and state this up front; I’m talking about the Thermomix. Sure, there’s other ones on the market now, but this is the unit that everyone is talking about.
Some say they are overpriced. Some say that being sold as part of a party plan mean that it’s a device you don’t really need and you won’t really use but you’ll get suckered into buying one because you’re weak and that’s what party plan sellers prey on. Well, that’s a half-truth.
I was sceptical when my wife suggested we get one. A friend of hers is a seller so we met up with her to see a demonstration, and as those party plan demonstrations always go, the person hosting it is well equipped and well trained in using the product, and the food comes out perfectly. But can you pull it off yourself at home?
When ours was delivered I was a couple of days into a trip overseas to Germany for work. My head office is in Wuppertal in Germany, only 6.3kms from Vorwerk, the company who created the Thermomix. Of course I didn’t find that out until later.
When I returned to Australia it was heading into winter and my wife wanted me to use the Thermomix to create soups. I was reluctant to use the appliance at first thinking it was just her toy and an overpriced smoothie maker, but as I learned more about it, and its ability to not only chop and blend, but to weigh each ingredient as it went in, and cook everything right in the bowl, I was hooked.
I used it nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. I used it in the morning to make porridge for me and the boys. Sure you can do it on a stove top or buy microwave porridge, but I used real oats and added only water and one teaspoon of coconut sugar to make a yummy and healthy breakfast. The only thing I had to do is reduce the temperature halfway through from boiling to simmer. Turned out perfect, every single time.
You really do have to see the actual Thermomix in practice to understand why it’s a popular appliance even at the hefty price you need to pay.
6. Rice Cooker
I just went to Google and looked up cooking rice in a Thermomix. It seems you can do it. But if you’re not going to fork out a shit-load of cash for that item and you love steamed rice, get a rice cooker. I find this appliance makes the rice perfect every time. It never boils over, it doesn’t burn it, and you don’t have to stand there stirring for 20 minutes.
The downside to these is you can’t put the bowl in the dishwasher, but if you cook it right (and I generally do), the rice just wipes out effortlessly.
I didn’t notice this until I looked at my appliance cupboard today, but I have a lot of Breville appliances, and that includes our rice cooker. When I think about the other brands of small kitchen appliances such as Sunbeam, Kambrook, Tiffany, Tefal, Panasonic, and Cuisinart to name a few, I’ve had many of these brands over the years so I really have no real brand loyalty, but when I weight up the cost of an appliance to the likelihood of my using it, I factor in many things to make my decision and cheapest, most expensive, or best known brand don’t always come into play.
But I can’t complain about out Breville rice cooker, so I’m happy to recommend that one.
Appliances are only good if you’re actually going to use them. They might seem like a great item to buy for a once off cooking project, but really, if you buy it, use the thing, otherwise they just sit in a corner of your dark appliance cupboard crying to themselves hoping to take their own life because they feel worthless. Sometimes I wish I had a massive kitchen so all my appliances could live on the counter, but that’s not the case in this house where bench space is often non-existent. One day my friends. One day…
So what’s your favourite appliance? Do you agree with my selection? Do you disagree with with me and think there’s a better way to prepare or cook the food that these items prepare and cook for me?