These days there’s no reason to slave away over a hot stove, or endlessly chop or knead ingredients. The entire kitchen appliance industry is devoted to ensuring preparing the family meal is a pleasurable and easy affair.
So if you are setting up a new kitchen, or are in the market for some kitchen helpers, here are my top five appliances every kitchen should have and the ones that I swear by:
Since the 1920s, stand mixers have been a staple of most kitchens, allowing you to set your ingredients to mix at any speed while you walk away to focus on other things. The mixer is almost essential if you regularly bake, as it makes mixing cakes, slices or biscuit ingredients an absolute breeze. Modern mixers also include dough hooks and some feature other attachments such as slicers, meat mincers, blenders and juicers. I purchased my KitchenAid almost 3 years ago and it is honestly the best investment I have ever made. I swear by it and can’t believe how much it’s changed my baking life. I used to think it was kind of cheating to have a mixer, but apart from the fact that it looks gorgeous on my benchtop, this workhorse is capable of so much and makes baking that much easier and perfect for kids to use too.
I don’t own a regular conventional style of blender so my stick blender (also known as an immersion blender) is the answer to pretty much all my blitzing prayers. I use the stick blender daily for a smoothie (that is until I got a Magic Bullet) and because of the nifty attachments it comes with, I did away with my hand held beater since this little beauty can whip cream, and blend soups with the handy large soup immersion tool. It’s very easy to remove from my jam-packed cupboards and washing up is so simple – another reason I prefer to use this over my food processor where possible.
Don’t you remember being a kid and fighting over who was washing and who was drying? I sure do. Even our first home as a married couple didn’t have a dishwasher and I can tell you how much I don’t miss those days! A great dishwasher, such as those from kitchen appliance companies like ASKO (browse the NZ site here) will take all the work out of cleaning your dishes with cycles for pots and pans, delayed starts and even settings so you don’t have to rinse your plates before loading the dishwasher. I love the dishdrawer style of dishwasher myself since I can run two cycles per day, typically one after breakfast and one after dinner and I don’t have to unload a gigantic dishwasher all in one go because let’s face it – unloading the dishwasher is the worst!
A kitchen processor or blender takes the hard work out of preparing soups, purees, marinades or pestos. It is the go-to tool for finely mincing ingredients together and also creating basics such as pastries, or even biscuit bases for cheesecakes or slices.
Food processors can also come with attachments such as slicers, graters or shredders to really speed up the preparation process. Nowadays there are even blenders that will also cook your soup ingredients before blending.
I use my food processor mainly for making pastry and bliss balls, but find that even though there are other similar blitzing tools out there, the others don’t do quite the same job or are often not big enough to hold all the ingredients required, so the tried and true (but old as the hills, inherited from my Dad) version I have keeps it’s place in my cupboard.
In an era when work, family and household jobs all compete for your time, the humble slow cooker has made a definite comeback and is a must-have for most domestic chefs. The slow cooker allows you to prepare your ingredients and set the meal to cook even while you’re at work or away from home. I only pull it out in Winter so it’s true that this beast takes a bit of cupboard space when not in use and it’s cumbersome on the kitchen bench, but those negatives are far outweighed by the positives: a delicious hot & wholesome meal ready at the end of the day with minimal prep. Right now, mine is humming away making bone broth (and is a safe option when needing to cook something for 24 hours straight!)
There are literally thousands of kitchen gadgets designed to make domestic life a little simpler, but when it comes down to it, some good quality essentials that will mix, blend, cook or help you clean up are the basics of any great kitchen, allowing you to enjoy time in the kitchen without wasting a second.
What is your can not live without kitchen appliance?
* This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and products are ones I genuinely own & use.