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Do you own kitchen appliances you rarely use?

kitchen appliances

Is your kitchen worktop cluttered with appliances you never use? Would a multifunctional tool make more sense than lots of single-purpose gadgets?

A couple of years ago, I inherited my grandmother’s food processor. Although she was a keen cook and baker, it turns out that all she used it for was making breadcrumbs for Christmas puddings – not exactly an everyday activity.

Having convinced both myself and my mum that I would get loads of use out of it, I kept it. Two years (and one house move) later, that food processor is still sitting in its box in a cupboard somewhere in my kitchen.

But am I missing out?

Single-purpose vs multifunctional

Every year sees a new tool, such as spiralizers and soup makers ready to take its place in our kitchens. Sometimes it’s old favourites, such as slow cookers or pressure cookers that have been brought up to date for modern means.

Except a lot of these tools and gadgets are actually one-trick ponies. They usually catch our eye when walking along the high street or searching for gifts.

For example, the mojito tool I bought my husband a few years ago has made it out of the drawer only a handful of times, and the crepe maker only makes the occasional appearance from the top of the fridge. And does anyone really need an egg separator, when a little bit of care and patience will do the job just as well?

Surely we’re better off making wise investments in multifunctional machines?

Take some of the food processors and mixers available on the market that chop, knead, whisk and mix their way through multiple cooking tasks. In our tests we do find that some multifunctional machines struggle to excel at all tasks, but there are exceptions.

So instead of filling my kitchen with numerous single-purpose tools, should I find my food processor its own place on the worktop and make use of this good all-rounder?

Over to you

Do you prefer a specific tool built for one purpose, or does the convenience of having multiple tools in one compact machine draw you in? What tool, gadget or kitchen machine can’t you live without? And what have you relegated to the back of your kitchen cupboards after convincing yourself it was a good idea to buy it at the time?

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Profile photo of Ian
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Your header post has posed two different questions, Stephanie: 1. Are your worktops cluttered with never-used appliances and 2. multifunction tool vis a vis dedicated items.

On the first question, the answer from here is no. We had a new Ikea (WBB) kitchen installed last year and the amazing amount of space in its drawers and cupboards allows us to put everything away and only leave chopping boards out.

On the second point, providing the multi-purpose tool does the job, what’s not to like?

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I’ve been administering exams this week, so by way of recompense to those who have suffered thereby, here’s my script for this paper:

1. No. Like Ian, I have plenty of cupboard space and pretty much everything I didn’t actually ever use (or need) was disposed of some while ago.

2. “Would a multifunctional *tool* make more sense than lots of single-purpose *gadgets*? (I detect some *bias* in the question here – see asterisks above.) The only multifunctional tools I seem to have here are this laptop, a small Swiss Army knife and my bare hands. I didn’t find too many gadgets either. The most superfluous item I found was an unused set of sardine snack forks. As they were a recent Christmas present, they haven’t yet found their way to any of my local charity shops.

All done 🙂

Now, Dr Kipling, what’s the marking scheme? have you prepared some model answers? and, by any chance, do you also make exceeding good cakes? 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Sardine snack forks sound like a very unusual gift! In the spirit of “multifunctional” could they be re-purposed?
On your final question, I’d have to refer you to my husband! 🙂

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My most useless gadget is a juicer. It takes ages to put together, ages to keep unclogging it, ages to take apart again and wash AND dry all the bits, but mainly because the fad soon wore off!!! 🙃 Juiced cabbage just ain’t nice and if you don’t drink it immediately, tastes even worse. ☹

Second waste of money was a Krupps espresso machine. Too much hassle to use, lukewarm coffee, expensive trial and error trying different coffee beans, so it has spent the last umpteen years in the back of a cupboard.

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It is an interesting Conversation.

With reference to worktops themselves Which? apparently has never evaluated them. Given that pretty much 20 million houses have them and the constant flow of replacement occurring I wondered if a run through on the various types on the market, around ten, would be helpful to readers.

Durability, maintenance, and upkeep could all be usefully covered. Having them as separate items in Review might also pull forth details from subscribers that would be of interest. Having had both Corian and massive granite in the last decade i have no doubt that Corian is far more practical. But then I have not tried glass or other composites so my views are partial.

Whilst on the subject of kitchens I note that Which? last reviewed a cooker hood in February 2012 and there are eight tested models. After five years I would expect better given they must all be common in UK kitchens.

Que Choisir has tested 73 of them in ducted mode and 58 in recirculating mode. It uses uses the same methodology as Which? uses when it instructs the independent lab Which? employs. Last updated 2017

Choice in Australia has tested 34 in ducted mode and 28 recirculating mode. Updated 2017.

Test.de, Germany has tested 21 in ducted mode and 21 in recirculating updated 2016.

From the Que Choisir testing it is obvious that expensive is not necessarily a good indicator of efficiency. The second best being in the low hundreds versus others in the high hundreds and thousands of euros.

The scoring ranging from 6.4 to 15.7 out of 20 indicates a wide wide range of results.

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I second Patrick on cooker hoods and worktops. Which? reviews were close to useless, in fact most items wanted in a new kitchen were. Gas hobs get really bad reviews which I think has more to do with speed of heating than anything else. I have a new gas hob probably equivalent to one with around 50% scoring and love it. Does it heat up slower? Maybe, I haven’t really noticed, but the ability to instantly change the heat and not spend all my time babysitting a ceramic hob or cleaning up the mess after I turn my back for 2 seconds far outweighs a slightly longer heating up time.

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Thank you for your feedback about cooker hoods, I’ll pass it on to my colleagues.
We do have some information on the different types of worktops, which can be found here: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/fitted-kitchens/article/planning-a-kitchen/kitchen-units-doors-and-worktops.

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KAB says:
16 July 2017

Having just replaced my own kitchen, I found this website useful (admittedly after I had purchased my cooker hood which fortunately came in at No2):

https://www.cookerhoodtests.com/index.php?type=Decorative+Murale&width=90&colour=Inox&rr_price_feuro_min=40&rr_price_feuro_max=2881&score_global_eu_min=2.42&score_global_eu_max=7.01

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KAB says:
16 July 2017

I found the website below useful in comparing cooker hoods. I only found it after I had bought mine for a recent kitchen re-fit. Turned out to be the secone highest rated. And it is very good (and quiet).

https://www.cookerhoodtests.com/index.php?type=Decorative+Murale&width=90&colour=Inox&rr_price_feuro_min=40&rr_price_feuro_max=2881&score_global_eu_min=2.42&score_global_eu_max=7.01

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Our policy on kitchen gadgets mirrors Derek’s. The toaster lives in a cupboard and the rest have gone. The kettle is the only plug-in thing we now have on the worktop. My workshop on the other hand is absolutely full of tools and materials, many of which are duplicates or triplicates or seldom used.

On worktops, the aesthetic appeal counts for as much as the quality and endurance. They are also status symbols.

I don’t see much need for cooker hoods. Again they are part of the presentation rather than the performance. In my opinion they are universally ugly and make too much noise. I like the pop-up extractors but still think they are unnecessary. The only part we use on our hood is the light to illuminate the hob. Sorry, Alfa – we love our ceramic hob; so easy to keep clean and so smart when not in use. We don’t seem to have the mess problems you refer to: the temperature control is highly variable and very responsive [together with a bit of prestidigitation with the pan lids].

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I am on my first cooker hood and finding it somewhat useful. It does keep smells and steam at bay. I put the slow cooker under the hood when I cook a ham joint and it does stop the smell permeating the rest of the house.

I seem to be alone in disliking ceramic hobs. One bad experience was enough to put me off for life. It was easier to keep clean than the gas hob, but I don’t regret going for gas as I am back in control of my cooker again.

Profile photo of John Ward
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Cooker hoods do their job well if well-maintained and cleaned frequently.We just open the garden doors or windows! We have also developed the art of simmering control to reduce steam output which is wasteful of energy.

Most people choose gas hobs but we didn’t like the Zanussi kit that was installed by the house-builders and preferred the appearance of the ceramic hob. Naked flames have always worried me.I would say induction hobs are even better than ceramic in terms of safety.

The status thing with cookers is to have a stand-out range with six hobs, four ovens and an impressive battery of iron and copper pans, fish kettles, hare jugs, cooking weapons, and gobbling rods on display. Oh, and a cleaner to keep it all looking lovely. Then it is the perfect place to drape a tea towel or two.

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I use my externally-vented extractor hood if I leave the gas hob unattended. It is very effective at preventing smells from permeating the house and the noise provides a useful reminder that something is on the hob.

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Our extractor is so powerful that when it starts up I keep looking for landing lights. I’ve even taken to nailing the lino down. I’m sure it disturbs the local weather when it’s set to full.

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Love that reply. Made me chuckle; on a Monday morning too!😁

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It sounds like you have an excellent policy John. If only it were that easy for the rest of us 🙂

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Yes, I appreciate the pressure cooking can give rise to, Stephanie.

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Michael says:
15 July 2017

O my desire to have a ceramic or induction hob is of late shattered by confusion, I recently replaced my single electric oven with a Neff single slide and hide oven, chosen after much research with Which, at the time I also really, really wanted to buy an induction hob to replace my gas hob, they look so smart, easy to clean and are reportedly very sensitive to adjustment of the heat settings. But then my neighbour put a spanner in the works when she said “you should stick with gas, how will you make a hot drink or cook a meal in the event of a power cut”. So now the budget for the Induction hob is burning a hole in my pocket, I want it, in fact I really want it, but the security of having a gas hob in the event of a long power cut does make a lot of sense. Kitchen appliance confusion is now scrambling my tiny little brain.

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Sue says:
15 July 2017

Spend the money on the induction hob, they are great, but make sure you get one with the ‘small’ ring at the front not the back. It is usually the ‘small’ pan which needs stirring and it can be a pain reaching over the bigger things in front. Come on hob designers – these things have to be used as well as look good. Spend £10-15 of the money in your pocket on a cheap one ring camping stove if you really feel that power cuts might be an issue, that way you can still boil a kettle, although it may add to the gadgets in the cupboard collecting dust!!

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You are not alone! I dislike them and chose a dual fuel range for the kitchen. Looks good and cooks well

Member

Having lived without a cooker hood for years, we have recently one installed & I have to say I am finding it very useful. It is powerful, quiet (for a cooker hood extractor) and I would not want to go without it now.

My new cooker is a range, with 5 rings but a mere 2 ovens and no overhanging cooking paraphernalia! I have to say I do dislike the modern built in hobs and separate ovens. Horses for courses.

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Michael says:
22 July 2017

Thank you Sue, that sounds like very good advice.

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I keep my worktops clear, the exceptions being two coffee machines, a microwave oven, a bread maker and a kettle. The rest of the gadgets including a food processor, mixers, blenders and grinders are used regularly. There is an electric can opener and electric carving knife that must have come from my parents’ house and have yet to be delivered to a charity shop that accepts electrical goods. The pressure cooker is only used to cook Christmas puddings, but that’s a good enough reason to hold on to it. I occasionally use my old slow cooker, which I feel is a safer option than using an oven timer.

The kitchens of friends and family provide a showroom for the latest, greatest gadgets, and it is years since I have felt the need to add to my modest collection.

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shirley Ann wittering says:
15 July 2017

I use my pressure cooker a lot. Quick for vegetables. Makes lovely soup from a chicken carcass. The only gadgets I have out are the toaster, the kettle.’ and the Microwave.

Profile photo of PatrickTaylor
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Do you own kitchen appliances you rarely use?

There is an error of logic implicit in the article is that rarely used tools are a waste of space. Having just purchased our first cherry stoner [comes with a hopper for the fruit] I can unequivocally say that despite it’s limited use per year it makes great sense to buy one if you have a cherry tree or two or friends that do..

It is interesting to see wavechange has annual use for his pressure cooker and I think that is very practical. Funnily enough a pressure cooker is one thing we do not have though we do have more kit than many. My wife was in the habit of making vast numbers of biscuits and cakes for social groups. This means there is a lot of special kit such as icers, different nozzles, large rolling pins, assorted candles, food dyes, etc etc. As for the spice draw !!

Of the odd stuff :
We also have a Magimix ice cream maker which does get some use each year and was bought in 1998 . Much less used is the juicers etc which in fact are now redundant as we have a Magimix Cook Expert. It is comparatively early days but does make decent curries and also very good sorbets in 5 minutes. A useful note is that it logs its usage so you can see how close you are going to get to the guaranteed life of the motor.

We do have a mezzaluna that looks great but probably has been used twice in a decade : ( Also in the rarely used section are a crepe maker and a contact grill but then they do cover a specific use. The spiraliser I am having doubts about though the courgette sphaghetti is quite nice. The mandoline is almost into the useless category though we are contemplating a food drier in which case slicing to make beetroot or apple crisps may bring it to the fore.

The only thing we had in the last kitchen on the surface was a toaster, the Kenwood chef, and a knife block [ my wife felt a stocked fruit bowl was worth placing on the worktop also]. However without worktop dimensions this could be misleadingly cramped or empty! : ) We designed our kitchen with a 1200m by 1500mm peninsula on which this stuff sat. The size based on maximising work space and particularly the rolling out of pastry etc. This left the sink and cooking areas “clean” … apart from some ready to use utensils in a jar by the induction hob.

No kettle is our mantra so having had one Quooker we will be putting another or something similar in our new kitchen. Currently using a kettle! Such a faff trying to gauge expected usage and then waiting for it to boil ….

And I am dead set against the Nespresso fad etc !

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Gill says:
9 July 2017

Despite living in a 1930’s semi, I have a kitchen the size of a galley on a small boat. We have managed for years with a gas hob and a succession of combination ovens – an essential multifunction tool in my case. It takes up worktop space but does toasting, steaming and baking as well as microwaving. The reduced preparation space will take a chopping board and 3 or 4 bowls to put the chopped stuff into. The 4-ring gas hob is open storage for my pressure cooker (in constant use, either under pressure or as a very large saucepan), frying pan, standard-size saucepan and copper kettle (whistling type, sentimental value). By contrast my cupboards are stuffed with single-use tools/gadgets that I have forgotten about because I rarely need them and can’t see them (my late mother’s Philips electric whisk from 1960’s, my Bamix stick blender) or because they’d take up too much room on the worktop (salad spinner, pyrex dishes, the bowls for putting prepared food or leftovers into). Or, like DerekP’s sardine snack forks, because they haven’t been tried out yet. I’m trying to eliminate things on the ‘chuck out if neither beautiful nor useful’ principle, but the opposing Blue Peter principle of ‘now you know what you were keeping it for’ tends to override it. Life is much easier now the three children have left home!

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I am chuffed to find Gill shares a common feeling . Multi-use microwaves are terrific tools and I find it difficult to understand why one would buy a simple microwave for a kitchen. Excluding dire cost constraints.

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Patrick, because simple commercial heavy gauge SS microwaves last longer, are made to a higher standard ,dont fall apart , built like tanks and have no quibble clad in stone commercial guarantees like being uplifted and taken back for repair with a 2 year guarantee or the technician calling and repairing it on-site as is the case of my purchase . Tried all those “gimmicky ” microwaves -one star out of five.

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Could you name these brands?

Our all-dancing combi-micro wave just about made it over the seven years though a new heating element was needed when we sold that house. From Ikea it had a 5 year guarantee.

It was THE oven for the house as despite having a main oven the smaller cavity heated quicker and more accurately. So it did 95% of the cooking work – apart from toasting where the 20 year old Dualit did the job.

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Patrick – I have a simple Philips microwave that I bought either in the late eighties or early nineties for around £200 and it is in daily use. The microwaves are distributed above the chamber, so there is no need for a turntable. It is very easy to clean because there is no heater and the electronic controls for power and time make some more modern microwaves look rather complicated. I have seen some scruffy combination microwaves with food baked on to the sides. Not for me, but each to their own.

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Sounds like the first microwave I bought Wavechange- Phillips – no turntable never went wrong ,very large , I just replaced it (very bad move ) with a more modern turntable one , turntable started making noises and packed up . Tried a few Japanese models that were being advertised like Hitachi with heaters for roasting didnt like them just weren’t solid enough , if you know what I mean, loose knobs, door catch problems etc, one threw my microwave radiation detector off-scale

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Mine is just a small microwave, Duncan. It’s a few years since I checked it for microwave leakage using a machine borrowed from work.

Having dismantled a modern Panasonic and a Russell Hobbs microwave, I was not impressed and I would look at a small commercial microwave if I had to replace mine.

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If you do Wavechange I have the address/email address /phone number of the totally reliable British commercial company that I bought mine from in Northern England , nice people great delivery system absolutely no problem with them

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Why not tell us it now DL. I did ask.

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I mentioned Hitachi to Wavechange as one Patrick others either have packed it in or been assimilated into larger conglomerates , if you walked into Comet in the 70,s there were there wall to wall and into the 80,s . Japanese companies have reduced in number relating to domestic equipment , in the 70,s microwave oven sales exceeded gas ranges in many countries . You ,might not know this but Chinese companies have either been buying up Japanese companies or taken shares in them to obtain any technology my high end Stax electrostatic earphones are now a Chinese owned company although they keep a low profile.

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It sounds like your kitchen is built for efficiency Gill, and I do love that you keep items out in order to make full use of them.
I know what you mean about the Blue Peter principle – I know that if I were to get rid of my food processor, within a few days I would be needing it for something!

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Gill says:
9 July 2017

Despite living in a 1930’s semi, I have a kitchen the size of a galley on a small boat. We have managed for years with a gas hob and a succession of combination ovens – an essential multifunction tool in my case. It takes up worktop space but does toasting, steaming and baking as well as microwaving. The reduced preparation space will take a chopping board and 3 or 4 bowls to put the chopped stuff into. The 4-ring gas hob is open storage for my pressure cooker (in constant use, either under pressure or as a very large saucepan), frying pan, standard-size saucepan and copper kettle (whistling type, sentimental value). By contrast my cupboards are stuffed with single-use tools/gadgets that I have forgotten about because I
rarely need them and can’t see them (my late mother’s Philips electric whisk from 1960’s, my Bamix stick blender) or because they’d take up too much room on the worktop (salad spinner, pyrex dishes, the bowls for putting prepared food or leftovers into). Or, like DerekP’s sardine snack forks, because they haven’t been tried out yet. I’m trying to eliminate things on the ‘chuck out if neither beautiful nor useful’ principle, but the opposing Blue Peter principle of ‘now you know what you were keeping it for’ tends to override it. Life is much easier now the three children have left home!

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I enjoyed that Gill. Shades of my grandparents’ house. They did have a walk in larder, but no fridge. One electric socket and a gas stove. Things were much simpler then.

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My mother’s parents had a kitchen like that too – in their post-WWII(?) council house.

They did not have a fridge – but they did have a “meat safe”.

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Gerard Phelan says:
9 July 2017

Ah Ha, so I am not the only person with a small kitchen in a 1930’s Semi. A moving in (1991) gift was a food processor which I have used at least half a dozen times! The deep fat fryer with a rotary basket (another gift) has never been used! The juicer (of which the current one is the second) got a fair amount of use until I bought a proper apple crusher / press and has now been unused for 5 years. The Ice cream maker gets an annual outing, but I have to defrost the freezer first because otherwise the bowl does not fit. The toaster is never used because home made bread does not fit, so I toast under the grill. Or I did, having got bored with bread, which means the bread maker is now idle as is the sandwich toaster. I used to use my Pressure cooker a lot but it is now a space hoarder, next to the Remoska tabletop cooker that gets an occasional outing for making stews.
A shorter list would be the gadgets and appliances that I do use.

There is a lack of preparation space around here – so it is just as well that I find a set of sharp serrated knives will do all the food preparation that I need.

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I completely understand Gerard. Even on my relatively uncluttered worktops I always feel like I could do with more preparation space. I find it’s all the small things (chopping boards, knives, utensils etc) that take up space more than the larger items – I only have the kettle, toaster and microwave out on the worktops at all times.

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I have a Best Buy juicer that I used religiously for about a month. It was a bit annoying to have to clean out all the fibres that collected and I worried that I was just drinking sugar without the fibre goodness. It’s at the back of the cupboard now.

My housemate bought a nutribullet which seemed like the healthier, and easier option. It sounded like a jet engine in the morning when he used it for his morning smoothie. He hasn’t used it for months, which I’m somewhat glad about. I did use it for gazpacho once which was tasty (except the time I put too much onion in it).

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My best buy juicer is still used occasionally, but, like yours, is a pain to clean. When in a caring situation I have a Nutribullet which works well, but the Rolls Royce, elsewhere is much better. It’s an Australian “Froothie”.(Never heard of it? Well it was a couple of hundred pounds less than the Vitamix, more powerful and as efficient. You haven’t tested it either.) That mixes everything for a super smooth smoothie, no pips, no lumps. Unlike the Nutribullet, which can only be run for one minute at a time, it makes hot soup through friction and takes no time at all to clean up. There are several such machines on the market, but I think I own one of the best. It does ice cream as well, something that the Nutribullet can’t do.

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Ann Bullon says:
12 July 2017

I have cupboards full of appliances that I hardly use so I have been trying to gradually rationalise what I actually use and to dispose of the rest. In the past I have been seduced into purchasing items with a single purpose but these days I prefer just a few multipurpose items that are easy to clean. After the microwave my favourite appliance is my Prestige slow cooker which I have used at least twice a week for almost forty years and which still works well. It’s multipurpose and the attractive stone dish in which the food is cooked can be taken straight to the table for serving. My most modern kitchen necessity is my Braun electric wand. Previously, I used a liquidiser, but hot liquids can be dangerous to pour and it created lots of washing up . The wand is neat and goes into the dishwasher.

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This sounds like a great approach Ann, and I’m pleased you’ve found a select group of items that cover all your needs 🙂

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Shaun Cheyne says:
15 July 2017

In various corners of my kitchen, lie old appliances I have not used in decades, my parents died about 15 years ago and I was stuck with the family goods, a coffee machine, toaster, drawers of old culinary cutlery, very useful in their days but now just gathering dust. I use a health grill a lot, my favourite electrical appliance, using my electric cooker can take a while for the finished product, I always hope for a gas cooker more sympathetic to my end culinary objects rather than electric. I find that, as Stephanie says its the small things knives, forks, chopping boards, mugs, electric kettles take up a majority of my kitchen surfaces. I find that water filters are a must in my area, good for my convenience coffee. An enormous fridge freezer is now a necessity , always a centre of discussion with friends and relatives. I was told my old health grill should be kept on standby, probably fifteen years later will still be there? A typical nineties convenience food centred kitchen, basic but functional, ideal for the single retired male!

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I’m so happy to hear it’s not just me! In preparation for writing this piece I actually worked out that nearly 30% of my worktop space is covered – and two-thirds of this is the “small” items!

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DianeF says:
15 July 2017

Around 6 years ago we laid out the majority of our kitchen appliances on our dining table and gave them away. They were all replaced by a Thermomix , made by Vorwerk in Germany, which has proved to be our best buy ever. Since purchasing it we have moved countries and it was so easy to pack just one appliance especially seeing your UK kitchens are so tiny ! We use the Thermomix for cooking, steaming and for baking prep. I bake a lot for charity and could not manage without it. I highly recommend purchasing one appliance (even though it can be costly) and making that work.

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Patrick Taylor says:
17 July 2017

Magimix do a similar device as the Vorwerk Thermomix. The Magimix is, as far as I know, not directly available in the UK. It turns out mean sorbets and ice creams aswell as curries etc etc. However it is relatively new to us and given the hundreds of things it can do …

The Vorweks Thermomix is under investigation in Australia where Choice took many cases to the ACCC to get some action recently. As Choice notes unless you aggregate all the incidents together only Vorwerks Australian importers knew the dangers.

This example of how a Wikipedia item can be useful to consumers is something I am keen for Which? to emulate as many shoppers like to have some backgound information aswell as just tests when deciding.
wikiwand.com/en/Thermomix

sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/06/16/thermomix-face-court-misleading-consumers-over-safety

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Hel says:
15 July 2017

On one counter i keep the toaster (no more burnt bread and much more efficient than our gas cooker’s grill) and electric kettle. On the other counter my Bosch food mixer (small footprint and light enough to manoeuvre, used weekly for breadmaking and cakes), a small Cuisinart food processor (dips, starting off pastry, chopping onions) and the slow cooker (stock, stews, rice pudding). When i revamp the kitchen these last 3 gadgets will be concealed in a roll-up ‘appliance garage’, ie still live on the counter but easily accessible without lifting when needed. I also have a useful electric wand and a spice/coffee grinder, which live in a drawer. What i might substitute: buy a handheld processing set (don’t know what you call them), ie a wand which converts into a small chopper/processor. These are cheap, small (can therefore live on a counter ready to be grabbed) and, importantly, easy to handwash (hooray) as the motor is in the lid and there’s no central column in the processor container for food to get stuck around. What else? We don’t have a cooker hood yet but i can’t wait as over time any cook who starts a meal by frying an onion finds, surely, that everything in the kitchen gets a film of grease on it. I agree with other members that Which? should regularly review many more hoods than the paltry few so far; they’re important items in the modern kitchen/heart of the home, and you need to be sure you’re getting one that really is effective against grease as well as smell and steam AND is quiet enough to hold a conversation by.

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I love the sound of an “appliance garage”!
Cooker hoods have come up a lot in this Convo, and I have passed along your feedback,

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You can buy a mesh cover for a frying pan that is very effective in stopping the splatter from frying.

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An ‘appliance garage’ would take up space on the counter, so presumably the advantage is that it helps keeps infrequently used gadgets from gathering dust.

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Our (new) Ikea kitchen has such voluminous drawers that we can keep all our gadgets, cutlery, crockery, odds and ends, bodies, old mail, bird tables, statues, wood carvings and second-hand car engines in with ease.

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I have drawer envy. The biggest disappointment about my kitchen, compared with my previous home, is the shallow drawers. Fine for cutlery but not much use for gadgets such as hand-mixers.

You do seem to have some odd things in your kitchen drawers, Ian. I used to have a small pair of pliers in the drawer with the bottle openers, can openers, nut-crackers etc. but a visitor commented that it was eccentric to have pliers in a drawer with kitchen utensils. I replaced the pliers with artery forceps, which most visitors would not recognise and those that do are likely to have a pair in their kitchen drawer.

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Patrick Taylor says:
17 July 2017

We will be having one as some items are seriously heavy and having them to hand makes it more likely they will be used. It has always been a design theory of mine that most used kit should be easily to hand.

Then we get to the special cases where size or weight mean a different approach has to be used to ensure the item gets decent usage. The Magimix weighs around 11kg sans kit. The motor I see is guaranteed 30 years or 1000 hours of use. The Kenwood Chef is probably eight or none kilo, and the ice cream maker about 5 or 6 kg.

Whilst none is impossible to lift planning 20 years down the line suggests making them accessible now.

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I’m always interested in longer guarantees, Patrick. It seems that the Magimix 30 year guarantee covers the motor, the other components being covered for 3 years: http://www.magimix.co.uk/page/Guarantees/

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As a self confessed gadget freak I must admit to having collected a lot of alleged time saving devices many of which prove to be little more than five day wonders. I suppose that my best acquisition was a food processor capable of performing many useful functions – that said however, it’s still necessary to find a home in my small kitchen for all the bolt on goodies.
Classic space wasters include a deep-fryer, abandoned owing to major cleaning problems usually necessitating a full floor clean; old fashioned saucepan, basket and thermometer now favoured. The mandolin seemed like a good idea, well it is – when needed, ie thrice in ten years!
Mention must be made of the chip cutter; quick, efficient and easy to clean. Definitely a Good Thing.
I doubt whether I will ever develop 20/20 gadget hindsight so I’ll probably continue to be surprised and disappointed in equal measure with my purchases.

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Fenechs says:
19 July 2017

Nothing beats our Kenwood chef. It makes sausages, icecream, grated cheese, mixes cakes etc.

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Elisa says:
31 July 2017

I never bought a dishwasher and thought they were overrated. However when we moved a few years ago, an old dishwasher was left behind. Now I use it all the time. It’s had quite an effect on what I use to cook with and eat off. I stopped using the hand wash only stuff or gadgets that don’t have removable parts that are dishwasher safe. By contrast somethings get used more now as there is no soaking and scrubbing.

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My dad would like a simple microwave that does just the one job he needs it to.
Reheat food.
800w no more, no less.
A dial that goes to 10 minutes maximum.
No clock.
No LED screen.
No turntable.