Gadgets tend to fall into one of three categories – time-saving, specialist, and fun. Some of the specialist gadgets may also save you time, but the fun ones are more likely to have the opposite effect, enticing you to spend more time in the kitchen. Take pasta makers, for example – if you want a quick meal you’ll opt for ready-made pasta.
Don’t even think about getting a pasta maker if you haven’t got time to spare – it’ll just end up at the back of the cupboard giving you occasional pangs of guilt when you spot it sitting there taking up space. On the other hand, it’s hard to beat the taste of fresh homemade pasta. So if you have the time - go for it!
Don’t be at the mercy of the British weather. With an indoor grill you can cook up a barbecue-style feast even when it pours down. Look out for models with dual cooking zones, so you don’t have to grill the halloumi at the same temperature as the burgers. Some even feature a granite cooking stone for grilling your steak in style.
Take a look at the label of any shop-bought ice cream and you’d be forgiven for thinking making ice cream is a complicated thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. And you don’t need 14 different ingredients. A basic chocolate ice cream mix can be ready to go in the ice cream maker in a few minutes, and you can use as few as four ingredients. Just don’t let on when your friends are wowed by how delicious it is!
Need a gadget for a coffee aficionado? For the perfect cappuccino, macchiato or flat white, splash out on a high spec coffee machine. Just add great beans and you can have your favourite rich coffee in the morning before you’re even out of your PJs never mind out of the house.
If you prefer a smoothie to a caffeine hit to get you going in the morning, a professional juicer can help you pack in those vitamins. Some, like the NutriBullet, even provide a bottle to dispense your drink straight into – perfect for busy commuters or to pop into your kids’ school bags.
Get your tweens and teens to make their own hot breakfast with a simple-to-use crepe maker. If you don’t have time to make the batter in the morning prepare it the night before, store it in the fridge and it’ll be good to go when you get up. .Just add fruit and their favourite spread for a quick and nutritious breakfast.
If you’re on a mission to be healthier but still crave fried food, try an Air Fryer. Hot air circulated from an element close to the food produces a highly efficient way of cooking your food. The result is great-tasting food with up to 80% less fat than from conventional frying. You can even use an air fryer to bake a cake!
If you have an allergy to gluten – or just want to cut down on the carbs, ditch the pasta and replace it with healthy vegetable noodles. All you need is a spiralizer and you can create colourful courgette “spaghetti” or carrot curls to add to a salad or stir-fry.
Decide what you want from your gadgets before you buy, and avoid wasting money on cupboard-hogging devices which get used once then disappear to the back of the cupboard and never see the light of day. For more ideas on gadgets and small appliances talk to the team at Schwarz Kitchens.