/ Food & Drink, Home & Energy, Shopping

What’s the best feature of your kitchen gadgets?

Kitchen appliances

Many of us own at least a couple of kitchen gadgets – appliances designed to make everyday cooking and baking tasks easier. But what’s the difference between a favourite food prep product and the one that sits in the back of the cupboard gathering dust?

For me, it doesn’t always come down to how well the appliance does its job, or even how fast it is. I don’t have a dishwasher at home, so my gadgets that are easiest to clean seem to get the most use in my kitchen.

Kitchen gadgets

My mum bought me a great Kenwood food processor for my last birthday which made delicious hummus quickly on two occasions. But since the large bowl and blade were such a pain to wash, I now never think to use it when I’m preparing an elaborate meal (and I’m more likely to buy my hummus from the local supermarket anyway).

Similarly, my housemate loves smoothies and was quick to jump on the personal blender trend. A year later it’s safe to say we all have a love/hate relationship with her noisy Nutribullet. While it makes tasty, healthy smoothies and can even blend pine nuts for a homemade pesto, it ruins all chance of having a conversation or listening to the radio when it’s switched on in our shared living space.

Buying the right appliance

Our reviews test scores are broken down into different features, so if you have a particular product bugbear you can make sure to avoid it. But it can be hard to know before you buy whether a kitchen appliance is going to revolutionise the way you cook or spend its life unloved in a drawer.

What makes a product a fad or a kitchen staple? It seems to be different for everyone. Some people love hybrid products, as one appliance with lots of different accessories saves space and money over time by not having to shell out for each individual gadget.

Or if you don’t need all the capabilities of a (often very large) hybrid appliance, you can buy smaller, cheaper and more specialised gadgets that are often less expensive and easier to store.

Your kitchen preferences

What matters most to you when buying and using new food prep products?

Maybe like me, you can’t stand spending ages washing up every night, you hate waiting around for your gadget to work its magic, or you simply want a product that does its job well. Let us know by voting in the poll or leaving a comment below.

Comet14 says:
25 February 2018

I have most gadgets ,eg. old- sandwich maker and new soup maker and many Inbetween. My most used and one I wouldn’t want to be without is my soup maker.
I have always made soups but tended to make one very large pan full at a time .Then portioned up and placed in freezer .It meant we ate the same soup for a while .
With the soup maker I look at what I have in ..fridge ,freezer or cupboards…concoct my soup ,prep,make and portion up within 25-30 mins. I get 3 tubs of 2 portions each ( you could make a little less ) . It is so easy I often make 2 different soups on one day and thus we have more variety in the freezer to choose .

Yippee, my food processor is sitting outside the back door, after it decided to go bang and smoke started pouring out of it. 🙂🙃🙂🙃🙂

I have wanted an excuse to buy a new one for ages but it didn’t feel right when I already had one.
It is 32 years old though so has lasted well.

So now to start looking for a new one that does everything under the sun including kneading bread. Any suggestions welcome.

Before buying a new food processor it might be worth following your own advice and finding out about which company owns the brand and where it is made. A machine capable of kneading bread would need to be robust and could be heavy. That’s not a problem if it will live on the worktop, otherwise it could be a weight lifting exercise.

I have been looking at them on the internet this morning wavechange……..

My initial enthusiasm for the bees knees of food processors is waning as I realise I don’t actually need it to do that much, partly because I already have other machines. So one machine that does all is out. As you say, weight is a big consideration and I am getting the impression machines that do everything could be jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.

So, coming-down-to-earth and trying to decide what I usefully want with fingers not as robust as they used to be and likely to get worse….😟

Grating and shredding – The old food processor only grated the width of a carrot and looked more like mush that grated bits. Do any machines grate well into longer thin strips e.g. cabbage, carrot and onion for coleslaw?

Slicing – Variable thickness would be useful.

Chopping and blending small amounts – herbs and spices into a paste comes to mind. I already have a mini chopper, but it is very fiddly to use.

Grinding – for nuts

Pastry – currently mixed by hand but could be useful in the future.

Cake & batter mixing – not something I do a lot of so not important but could be useful.

Kneading – for bread (likely to be separate machine)

If there is anything I haven’t thought of yet, feel free to make suggestions (or avoidances)

We have a Bosch which deals with the first three on your list effortlessly and well. We have a separate nut grindy thing and we almost never make pastry, so no kneading or cake and batter mixing, for which my infinitely better half has a Moulinex.

I am interested in this discussion because I’m in the market for a new food processor. The plastic parts on my 80s Kenwood are failing. I agree that having one machine that does the lot would not be a sensible choice for the reason you have given.

When comparing products it’s worth finding out which parts can or cannot go in the dishwasher. This is likely just to be the small parts because the mixing bowl contains a bearing that might suffer damage in a dishwasher.

Some food processors will produce respectable strips of carrot but I suspect you would struggle with onion or cabbage.

Here is what Which? has to say on the subject: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/food-processors/article/how-to-buy-the-best-food-processor It highlights my problem, which is height of the food processor when assembled. I might have to remove a shelf from one of the cupboards.

Wow !!! I thought I would start with the food processor with the blue dial in the picture in your Which? link on how to buy the best food processor wavechange.

As I couldn’t see it anywhere in the reviews, I did a reverse image search. Turns out it is a Prinetti, Cooks Professional or whatever other name you want Ms. Doris in China to stick on the front. Really Which?

The next thing you notice about the reviews is the lack of a picture of the processor with all its attachments.

So I look up the test results for a Bosch. The grate test is tested with cheese and carrots. As this is a review, where are pictures of the results? 3 out of 5 tells you nothing.

Which Bosch do you have Ian?

Alfa – I’ve now had a look at the image and it has certainly been well used, but it’s not obviously a stock image. I was given a Bosch stick blender at Christmas. It has GERMANY in capitals and Made in Slovenia in smaller text. It works fine.

There are a lot of generic electrical items available from China where you can put any name you like on them. I could order a batch and get alfa professional printed on the front. They might look good, but how safe are they?

That particular food processor is sold with various names and can be found on Amazon – Food Processor Blender Multifunctional Kitchen Chopper. The sellers website has an 0871 number that costs 13p a minute for their order hotline. https :// http://www.clifford-james .co.uk /brands- cooks.cfm. If it costs 13p a minute to order, how much would it cost to sort out a problem? The company has a French VAT number so a likely tax avoider?

Should products like these be promoted on Which? Definitely not.

Most useless product my wife ever bought and never used again?

Spiraliser, difficult to use, impossible to clean, a real pain to assemble, it has never been used again.

My advise when asked if it should be bought?