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I don’t own seven kitchen gadgets – do you?

Juicer

How many kitchen gadgets do you own? Apparently the average British kitchen now houses seven gadgets – microwaves, juicers, coffee makers and so on. Do we really need all of them?

I’m sure lots of you remember that my latest flat move saw me ditching my microwave. Some of you doubted I’d be able to live without it, but I’m happy to reveal that I’ve coped relatively well.

There have been times when I wished I did own a microwave: to heat up leftover takeaway; to pre-cook a jacket potato; to heat up porridge. But these tasks just take a bit longer on the hob or in the oven. And, to be honest, I’m glad of the extra space on my kitchen worktops.

The kitchen gadgets you don’t need

That’s not to say I don’t own kitchen gadgets others might see as superfluous. I own a Nespresso coffee machine, a mini-chopper that I occasionally use to make pesto, and an electric whisk for a spot of cake baking. Still, I’m some way off seven kitchen gadgets.

According to a survey by Barclaycard’s deals website, British kitchens now house an estimated 163 million gadgets. On average, that’s seven per household. The top 10 list features everything from the aforementioned microwave and toaster, to smoothie makers and juicers. I have to say I am tempted by a juicer, but these words from Which? Convo community member Em have put me off somewhat:

‘Before you could buy a decent smoothie in a supermarket, I used to make my own in a Kenwood juicer which now sits at the back of the cupboard.

‘I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t compete economically with the commercial product, by the time I had bought all the fruit, carried it home, peeled and diced it, then extracted the juice that would oxidise in little more time than it took to clear up the resultant mess.’

How many kitchen gadgets do you own? How often do you use them? Are there any you wish you hadn’t bought?

Comments
Member

I’ve never really thought about it… let’s count: microwave (did live without one for a year, that was enough), toaster, stick blender thing with various attachments, steamer (gift – never used), espresso machine (used lots, bought 2nd hand from an ex-colleague), electronic scales x 2 (one broken), kettle and a meat thermometer. That’s 9 (or 8 if you don’t count my broken scales), I didn’t think it would be that many! Wait, coffee grinder – that’s 10…. think that’s it…

Member

OK… I’ve counted properly now and it looks like I was fibbing a bit in the post. Kettle, toaster, coffee machine, mini-chopper, electric whisk and electric scales! That’s six! I’m reaching the average amount.

Member

Just been into my kitchen to check and I own 4 in total.

I have a Philips HR1861 Whole Fruit Juicer that I use everyday, it’s awesome, I have a Breville VKJ142 Hot Cup Dispenser (that really is a kettle), a table top hob that I use to cook on as I will not use the massive oven, and lastly, Breville VST025 Sandwich Press that i use to fry on, make toast on and even cook chicken on for my dog.

I do not use the main oven/cooker, I also do not use a fridge freezer as that was just eating away at my elec bill, plus do not use a microwave too. Since the last one broke & went back for a refund I didn’t replace it.

Oh and on a side note, Patrick, have you changed your photo on here? Or am I just going mad? lol

Member

Do you have a kettle or toaster? I have indeed Lee/Newt.

Member

I use my Breville VKJ142 Hot Cup Dispenser for hot water as I hated waiting for the kettle to boil for my tea, plus I cook bread on the Breville VST025 Sandwich Press to make toast 🙂

Oh and I forgot my slow cooker, now that I can’t live without in the winter months.

Member

I’m not counting until we have some clarification.

Is a microwave oven really a gadget? I thought it was a kitchen appliance.

How often do we have to use gadgets for them to count? I’m sure that I’m not alone in having a cupboard full of things that see the light of day a couple of times a year or less.

I had assumed that the discussion would be about electrical gadgets but Sam has mentioned a meat thermometer.

Lee – Yes Patrick has changed his photo and yes you are going mad (for not using your cooker or fridge-freezer). 🙂

Member

LOL wavechange,

When I started taking meter readings weekly (every Monday) I was shocked to find out my fridge/freezer was using 12 units of elec a week. Not used it since!

Member

Yes, I’m not sure about microwaves being a gadget, but it is according to this survey. We’ll just rule out fridges, freezers, ovens etc.

Sam’s thermometer is electric, so yes we’ll keep it to electric gadgets.

Member

Lee, for 20p a day a F/F mght pay for its running costs – stocking food when its cheap or on offer and keeping it fresh for longer?

Member

Malcolm,

I ditched the fridge / freezer the back-end of last year & it helped me get my elec to under £1 a week (£4 a month) and as I don’t use gas I am very pleased with a total energy bill of just under £52 a year (ebico/SSE no standing charge)

As for my food bill, I spend between £18 – £25 a week on food for me and the dog from Tesco, but she also gets food from Amazon too.

On the other hand, I have to admit you are correct, if i did bulk buy & freeze i could maybe get to under £18-£25 a week. But ditching the fridge / freezer has also helped me eat fresh food more too, which in turn is helping me lose weight so all in all it’s a win win 🙂

Member

OK then. Food processor, hand mixer, two liquidisers (different sizes), two coffee machines (filter and pressure), coffee grinder, digital scales and a slow cooker. Plus the microwave and kettle if we must include such things.

Among the things I have but don’t use are an electric carving knife and can opener. I did not buy either of them.

Member

I’m a bit curious about the average of seven gadgets. Since everybody I have ever met has at least three [kettle, toaster, and some sort of food preparation thingy], and most people seem to have cupboards full of things like carving knives and sharpeners, mixers/blenders/juicers in various combinations or separately, bread bakers, waffle makers, can openers, ice cream makers, coffee machines, candle-stick makers, deep fryers, cheese graters, and other choppers and grinders, to get to an average of only seven there must be an awful lot of people with nothing at all or just a kettle. I agree with Wavechange and ignore michaelwaves and all the hand operated kit like mincers, slicers, peelers, corers, whisks, and scales [sounds like jailhouse slang doesn’t it?]. Something I like using in the runner bean season is our 1948-vintage Spong rotary bean slicer which has to be clamped to the edge of the work-top and turns out perfect lengthy slices of bean with a gentle turn of the handle; can also do finger nails.

Member

Gadgets I couldn’t live without are: Kettle, coffee makers (I have three but only use one so the other two are surplus to requirements, toaster, cheese grater, microwave oven which doubles as a convector and combi so I never have to use my large cooker oven except for boiling stuff on the gas hob rings on occasion. The rest I can live quite happily without, which include food processor, electric hand mixer, nicer dicer chopper that has so many bits and pieces I have never been able to fathom which bit chops what because the instructions are all written in German, electric meat carver, stubborn lid remover that makes such a din that it has been relegated to a bottom drawer forever silenced and replaced by a pair of rubber gloves and the offending lid placed under the hot tap which usually works. A total of twelve altogether but reckon I only need five. Time for a good clean out I guess!

Member

In order of use:
Mrs R
Kettle, Toaster, Microwave – I couldn’t agree that these are gadgets – used regularly
Food processor, Electric Scales, Mini Whisk – used occasionally
Coffee Grinder (must use – Ilike coffee but buy ground), Bread Maker (also must use – it is just getting back into the habit – great bread and always fresh) – these are rarely used at present
Juicer, Egg Boiler (a present, good, but easier to use a pan), Sandwich Toaster (novelty wore off) – not used
Deep Fat Frier – despite pleadings for real chips, disallowed. Never been used.
That’s 12 excluding the best gadget who isn’t electric so she probably can’t be included.

Member

Mr R should count himself very lucky! 🙂

Member

Patrick: Hear Hear!

Member
Norm says:
4 August 2014

Food processor, blender, stick blender, toaster, sandwich maker, expresso machine, food mixer (old style) Qooker so no kettle. The only thing I would miss is the toaster.

Member

8. Kettle, microwave, electric scales, bread maker, toaster, grilling machine, sandwich maker, juicer

Member

” How many kitchen gadgets do you own? Apparently the average British kitchen now houses seven gadgets – microwaves, juicers, coffee makers and so on. Do we really need all of them? ”

The short answer is obviously no.

Whether having them makes life more pleasurable as in effort involved to a good result is an interesting one.

I have always held that you should always buy the best quality if you are using something frequently and in the kitchen if you cook a lot then it makes sense not to stint. There is a divide between what you use a lot and “gadgets” where it is a more suck it and see investment.

Quooker – 5 years old – daily use
Dualit Classic 4 toaster – 22 years – daily use . Built 03/1993
Magimix Gelato Chef 2000 [930729] – 20 years – only four days a year but many litres per day
Kenwood Mixer KM210 – 20 years – used for bread and cake making say four times a week
Philips Facillio HR 7725 blender and mixer combo – occasional use
Dualit Hand Mixer HMR/1GB – used weekly
Baumix Stick mixer M200 built 2003 – used weekly
Siemens Electric slicer MS65507/GB Type A5635T since 2003 – used when dealing with quantities
Electric Crepe maker from Aldi 3/10 around a tenner 3 yr warranty very rare usage

Bread maker Sunbeam – works fine but the paddle hole in the bottom of the loaf is irritating – means oven baked bread 4 times a week. Its for the chop though it is good for jam-making.

Reviewing the list makes me appreciate that not all these items had full usage when we both worked. And that when you are cooking in bulk whether for the freezer or a group activity having the right tool for the job makes a big difference in what is achievable.

Member

I just went to the Barclays website. This is the list of the top 10: Microwave 31%, Kettle 24%
Toaster 16%, Coffee machine 13%, Bread maker 10%, Slow cooker 8%, George Foreman Grill 7%, Juicer 7%, Smoothie maker 6%, Candy floss machine 3%.

First point – I am very dubious about the results. Only 24% with a kettle? As John notes, almost everyone has a kettle and toaster. So it looks like the survey asked people to nominate what they have and most didn’t even think of these common items. So the true average would be higher than 7.

I have the top 3. I also have a sandwich toaster, omelette maker (because I am incompetent) and an electric wok. This gets me to 6. I don’t really have any food preparation gadgets.

Of these, the wok is the only one I really need. The microwave oven is used to reheat leftovers (mostly made in the wok). I have the kettle only so I can offer tea and coffee to friends and the toaster is for longer term visitors, so they are only used occasionally.

Member

Thanks for letting us know where the survey came from. :
http://www.newsroom.barclays.com/Press-releases/GREAT-BRITISH-BAKE-OFF-INSPIRES-BRITS-TO-SPEND-1-45-BILLION-ON-CULINARY-GADGETS-b9c.aspx

However JB the figures you quote are apparently for what is most desired??!! It is interesting to see how Barclays believe having a little “b” and a little “o” for their bespoke offers division makes reading easier. Idiots.

” And proving that our love for tea and toast still holds strong; 83 per cent of households own a kettle and 77 per cent a toaster.

bespoke offers has compiled a list of the top ten most desired kitchen gadgets:

Microwave 31%
Kettle 24%
Toaster 16%
Coffee machine 13%
Bread maker 10%
Slow cooker 8%
George Foreman Grill 7%
Juicer 7%
Smoothie maker 6%
Candy floss machine 3%

David Herrick, Managing Director of bespoke offers, said: “As someone whose kitchen is the central room in the home, it’s great to see that so many of us are cooking – and baking – up a storm. Kitchen gadgets are clearly an integral requirement of the modern kitchen – helping keen chefs avoid ‘soggy bottoms’ and become star bakers!”

Member

Hi JB, there are two different polls in the Barclay’s research. One on what people own (which we’ve covered here) and one on what people desire (the one you’ve referenced). Here are some of the results from the ‘owned gadgets’ survey:

45 per cent of households owning a hand blender, 37 per cent a slow cooker, 23 per cent a magimix and 20 per cent a bread maker. 83 per cent of households own a kettle and 77 per cent a toaster.

Here’s a link for everyone else to have a read: http://www.newsroom.barclays.com/Press-releases/GREAT-BRITISH-BAKE-OFF-INSPIRES-BRITS-TO-SPEND-1-45-BILLION-ON-CULINARY-GADGETS-b9c.aspx

Member

Thanks Patrick for that data. I had been thinking that electric kettles were almost universal but I was overlooking the sizeable Aga community who like to have a rustic kettle hissing away on the hotplate [especially in the London telephone exchange areas of MOU, TUD, MUS, HIG, and HAM] and the growing number of households hooked on Quookers.

Member
Suzanne Edwards says:
8 August 2014

O k….not many in my kitchen, Toaster, Rosemary Connelly grill, microwave, kettle, small battery weighing scales, electric can opener (refuses to open tins though)……that’s it I think…..and a bit confused John…..what is a Quooker ??????

Member

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_hot_water_dispenser

For a non-branded view of water dispensing. A search will find Quooker on Google. We have had ours for five years and it really is the most useful gadget in time saving when you need water for drinks, ready to boil sphaghetti etc

Perhaps most usefully is it takes up far less room on a work surface and does not give you a splattered grimy kettle that ends up on labdfill after three years service. To be fair we are home most of the day and do a fair bit of cooking and I suspsect it is used a dozen times a day. If we were at work all day and out at weekends the benefits would not be so great.

Member

It’s very easy to keep a polished metal kettle clean and shiny. Metal polish works wonders.

I have only had to buy three kettles in the past 32 years and have not had the most recent one for long.

Member

According to my calculations a Qooker should pay for itself in energy saving in 19 years – assuming it lasts that long and the energy-consumption claims are accurate. Does anyone have experience of insulated kettles? I wonder how much energy they save over a traditional kettle – we always boil more water than we need.

Member

Commonsense suggests that kettles should be insulated, but that will make them more bulky and a bit heavier. Some older people fill their kettles with a jug to avoid holding the kettle under the tap.

I’m not a Quookie 🙂 but understand that you have to crawl under the sink to descale a Quooker. If you are not up to that then its a case of paying to get someone to do it or get one of the staff to do it.

A Quooker can cost over £1k but comes with only a 2 year warranty. If the company has confidence in its products that should be a 10 year warranty.

Member
Josquine says:
9 August 2014

Kettle, toaster, microwave, bread-maker, (so’s I can add only the amount of salt that’s necessary), soup whizzer (indispensable – having home-made veggie soups for lunch rather than cheese or cold meat sandwiches has helped me lose weight and most importantly stopped my doctor threatening statins). 5.

Member

Keep the comments coming, and join in the latest – what are your most desired kitchen gadgets? It features comments from a lot of you 🙂 https://conversation.which.co.uk/energy-home/buy-kitchen-gadgets-most-desired/

Member
Nopiano says:
10 August 2014

Wouldn’t mind a bean to cup coffee machine, but would if taste better than my costly Nespresso?

Member
Julia says:
14 August 2014

I have a microwave, kettle, toaster, slow cooker and a food processor. There’s also a bread-maker in the kitchen, but it’s not actually mine. Quite happy with these, not planning to get any more.

Member
Anne says:
15 August 2014

I have kettle (constant use to keep me functioning as a human!), coffee maker (but not used for years), Kenwood food mixer (20+ years old but rarely in use), stick blender (not brilliant so normally end up mixing by hand), juicer (brilliant but bit of a faff to clean), slow cooker (who can survive a winter without?), sandwich toaster (sterling service in my son’s uni years), toaster (regular use). Guess that lot make me Mrs Average!! Nice as they are to have, if I could only keep one it would be the slow cooker. Nothing beats coming home late from work on a cold winters day to the smell of a nice casserole just waiting to greet you in the kitchen…..!

Member

Combi microwave – well used
Kettle – well used
Toaster x 2 (just bought a Sage and keeping the old one in case the new one goes back due to not being worth the extra cost, so far so good)
Sage ice cream maker – brilliant
Sage slow cooker – freebie not used yet
Freezer style ice cream maker – too much hassle (must give away)
Food processor – used sometimes
Blender – used regularly
Mini chopper/grinder – bought in USA half the price it cost when it made it to UK shores a few years later – used often
Zojirushi Bread machine horizontal USA version before horizontal bread makers were available in UK – well used
Electric Whisk – well used
Digital Scales – well used
Krups espresso machine – fad soon wore off
2 other coffee machines – not used might have gone to jumble sale
Juicer – fad soon wore off
Electric knife – never used

Member

OK, regularly use:
Radio (this might not normally be included but if I’m in the kitchen, its on)
Kettle
Electric Whisk
Citrus Squeezer
Zester
Stick Blender
Blender
Electronic Scales
Measuring Jugs
Mixing Bowls – lots of
Sandwich Toaster
Big Slow Cooker

Less regularly used:
Electric Tin Opener
Small Slow Cooker
Jam Pan
Pasta Roller
Sushi Roller
Sashimi Knife

Never Used:
Juicer (disastrous buy – the juice goes up the walls, on the ceiling)
Electric Carving Knife
Deep Fat Fryer (it was a gift and its still in the box)