It is an established fact that home-cooked meals are healthier than convenience foods. Preparing delicious nutrient-rich foods is no longer that difficult provided you equip your kitchen with some must-have household appliances.
This is one item no kitchen can afford to be without. There is no other appliance that does as many jobs as this single appliance. Want to make bread or cakes, no issue it will make the batters and prepare the dough. Fancy a salad, it does everything shredding, chopping, and slicing. You can even whisk up your own fresh mayonnaise, peanut or almond butter even whipped cream in only minutes.
Food processors can be purchased in a large variety of sizes and with varying functions. The kind of processer you purchase will depend on your budget, amount of cooking, and family size. Needless to say, the more powerful, larger units will cost more.
- Motor strength varies with 250 watts being the least powerful and around 1200 watts the most. Units of 450 watts are good for small jobs or small families. A larger family will find a machine with a power of around 800 watts more appropriate.
- The significant difference between a blender and a food processor is the specialized discs used in food preparation. The plastic blades are suitable for kneading dough while metal blades work for chopping, slicing, and dicing. The more expensive models have additional blades and accessories.
- Maintenance for good quality food processors is easy. Their components are dishwasher-safe, so they can be popped into the dishwasher after use.
- A lot of models are designed to allow the components to just fit inside the large work bowl. This means not too much storage space is taken up.
Also called crock pots, the slow cooker is the best appliance for busy people who want to eat healthily. It allows you to make great meals with minimal effort while saving on your food bill. Since it slow cooks the food, even the low-priced cuts of meat come out tender and delicious every time. The slow cooking procedure also makes it possible to leave the pot unattended safely for hours.
To prepare a meal, simply add all ingredients into the pot. Next, set the temperature and cooking time and the pot will do the rest. They are great for making chowders, roasting chicken, fish, beans, soups, and many other great dishes. You can set it up in the morning and allow six to eight hours for cooking. Your meal will be ready when you return in the evening. Conversely, if you prefer, you can set it up at night and allow the cooking to take place overnight.
Slow cookers practically clean themselves! All you have to do is add baking soda and vinegar to a couple of cups of water and heat for about half an hour. Once it reaches room temperature, remove the ceramic inner and rinse. This mild cleaning method does not harm the ceramic surface, and all ingredients are food-safe.
Cookers can range in price anywhere from $30 to over $300. Consider carefully, how frequently you will be using it and the types of meals you can make. If you have a busy schedule and a family to feed, investing in a high-end piece may be better. If you only cook for yourself and that too occasionally, then a cheaper option may be better.
The tiny cookers are only good for warming dips. A six-quart size is good for a small household because you can always half a recipe for less quantity. Keep in mind that for the best outcome, a cooker needs to be at least half full.
Generally, slow cookers can be purchased in two main shapes, oval or round. While this is a matter of personal choice, the oval ones tend to be more versatile. Full Chicken or ribs fit better in an oval shape. For stews or curries, it really makes no difference.
Although they are available with metal inners, ceramic or porcelain is more popular. It is best to get one with a removable inner for easy cleaning. The ones with fused inner are hard to clean. Another benefit of removable inners is that they go directly from pot to table or oven for additional browning.
In most slow cookers, the element is positioned at the bottom. However, the higher-end models also have elements running around the body to provide more even heating. The all-around heating units do cost more than the ones with elements at the bottom.
The more features you want, the greater the price. Programmable ones are great, as they turn off automatically once cooking is done. Their start time can also be programmed for a delayed start. The warming option is also good for when you need to reheat.
Over the years, microwave ovens have become a necessary item in the majority of American households. All this is for a good reason too.
They are safe, very convenient, and provide an effective way of cooking. Microwave cooking allows you to preserve the nutritional value of foods better than any other cooking method. It minimizes the development of dangerous compounds that high heat of other methods produce. The best part is it prepares meals in a fraction of the time needed with any other cooking method. There is a large variety of microwaves available in almost every imaginable size.
Types of Microwaves
There are three types of microwaves ovens currently common. Each type offers different cooking techniques.
This is your entry-level type capable of defrosting, reheating, and cooking pasta. They are the most economical and are the most common type available.
This type will provide the taste of grilled food without the mess of an outdoor grill. It has all the functions of a solo microwave and can additionally grill fish, chicken, or pizza. It is a bit more expensive compared to the entry-level microwaves.
In addition to having all the features of the solo and grill microwaves, it has the ability of baking. The other two types use metal box design to guide wattage to food for cooking. The convection microwave uses a fan to direct heat towards food. This allows for an improved cooking environment. They are by far the most expensive of all types. They are similar to convection ovens in terms of usage, except they do everything faster.
There are a lot of reasons why you should consider cooking with a microwave.
Since they cook faster compared to any other medium, you can save up to 80% energy. Not only do you save money, but you save time also.
Since they don’t heat up the surrounding environment, they save on air conditioning costs during summer.
Microwaves are an eco-friendly way of cooking and most parts are recyclable. You can get more information on the facilities that will accept your rejected microwave at Earth911.
You can find a microwave to fit almost any space and choose from the countertop, hanging under a cabinet, built-in, or drawer types.
A wide range of models and sizes ranging from 0.5 cubic feet to 1.5 is available. Power can vary from a few hundred watts to over a thousand. There is a microwave to suit every need.
Oooh… that first cup of Joe in the morning is simply unbeatable. Some of us are unable to function without its kick in the morning. We are a nation of coffee lovers, just look at the variety of ways we consume it. If that weren’t enough consider the hundreds of varieties of coffee makers available in the market.
Coffee makers are available in every configuration imaginable. You can get pour-over method jars, with the benefit that they do not use electricity. You can also get the electric drip, capsule, espresso machines, and also cold brew makers. The price variant is equally varied, starting with as little as $20 to several thousand dollars for high-end jobs.
Which one is the right coffee maker for you?
Well, first decide how much patience you have? Because those who are willing to forego convenience over flavor will probably prefer French press or Chemex. Those who can’t wait to grab a cup are more comfortable with automatic drip models or prefer models using pods. Considering that best-tasting coffee comes from freshly ground beans, grind and brew machines are another option.
Different types of machines require that you consider different parameters. Once you know the type of machine that will best serve your needs, you can start considering functions. Many households have multiple types of coffee machines to satisfy the different drinking habits of family members.
Drip Coffee Maker
This is a go-to coffee maker for most businesses and homes. It has a reservoir for water, a filter basket to hold grounds, and some type of carafe for coffee. Several features add to the coffee drinking experience.
A programmable timer allows you to schedule when you want your coffee ready. Set it up at night so coffee will be ready by the time you get up in the morning.
A hot plate or thermal carafe keeps the coffee piping hot. Thermal carafes keep coffee hot longer compared to a hot plate. The hot plate turns off automatically for safety reasons after a pre-set amount of time.
A built-in filter for water ensures that you get the best tasting coffee every time. The household water supply can be hard or contain too much chlorine and other add-ons. They all impede the true taste of the drink. If you drink a lot of coffee throughout the day, then refilling the reservoir can also become tedious. The built-in filter means you can directly attach your machine to the water supply and forget it.
Carafe size determines how many cups you have available at a time. After which, you will need to make a fresh pot.
Pod coffee maker
A pod coffee maker is great where there are lots of people and everyone wants something different. Whether your drink is hot chocolate, tea, espresso, latté, or something else, a pod coffee machine covers it all.
Brew speed is important, especially if others are waiting.
Pods are specific to the type of machine you purchase. You want to make sure that the machine you buy has pods that are easily available in the market.
Beware that a lot of the pods for different machines are not recyclable. They have a big negative impact on the environment. You can look for a machine that has reusable pods to minimize the negative impact.
Home espresso machine
These are designed for serious coffee drinkers. They produce authentic espressos in the style of coffee houses and make drinks like macchiato, cappuccino, or latte possible. They are considerably more costly compared to other types of coffee machines.
Automated espresso machines take the work out of making espressos at home. By automatically grinding, measuring, and tamping the grounds, they deliver a perfect cup every time. However, some coffee connoisseurs prefer to do these jobs themselves. For them, manual machines would be better.
Milk frothing is a must-have feature if you want to enjoy milk-based drinks. Automatic frothing produces great foam with a texture of whipped cream. Look for a machine with a self-cleaning spout or one that is easy to remove for cleaning.
Next to budget, the best home appliances are the ones that satisfy your personal needs and make life more convenient. A large variety of household appliances will suit your lifestyle, and you will get your money’s worth by using them.