Electric Appliances For The Kitchen
If you have been to a kitchen store or the kitchen department of your favorite department store, you will find dozens of small appliances you might think you can’t live without.
I fell for the ads and bought many of them.
There are a few essential things you need and you should buy the really good ones.
Better to spend your money on a few good items rather than buying lots of things you may never use.
Here are the things I have, use, and either like or find not exciting.
I expect most kitchens already have the usual refrigerator, stove or range-top and oven and microwave.
I consider a freezer and a dishwasher essential too along with a second prep sink.
· Stand Mixer
I bought the middle-of-the-line Kitchen Aid, but if you are a really heavy-duty cook or have a large family, buy the larger one.
Also, get a second mixing bowl.
You won’t regret it.
I also bought the meat grinding attachment.
You can also get the attachment that lets you make your own sausage links.
· Food Processor
I have the middle of the line, but the reason I did was that my first processor was a gift from my son and I had purchased several of the slicing and grating attachments to go with it.
I like the high-end processor, but my attachments which aren’t cheap, won’t work on that model.
I do just fine and made the first processor last for 19 years.
It still works, but I wanted a larger bowl so I purchased a new one.
I have several disks for alternate grating and slicing along with one that makes matchstick pieces and regular French fry cuts.
This appliance I use almost on a daily basis.
Don’t pay extra to buy sliced or grated cheese.
Buy in bulk and slice part and grate part and store in plastic bags.
When I make my scalloped potatoes, I chop onion, the best cheese slicer, and slice potatoes.
It cuts the prep time by two-thirds.
Make coleslaw in a fraction of the time.
I have a “drop dead delicious” recipe for stuffed mushrooms.
You absolutely must have a food processor for this one.
I made 300 for a party once and had to use a blender.
Let me tell you, a blender is ok if you want to mix exotic drinks, but not essential for cooking.
I also have a tiny Kitchen Aid food processor that is perfect for doing small amounts of chopping like garlic, herbs, spices, ginger, or just small amounts of onion, peppers, or cucumbers.
· Food Saver
If you buy nothing else, this is essential to every household.
This little appliance uses freezer-safe rolls of plastic bags which you cut into the appropriate size for the item being bagged, sucks out all the air, and seals the bag.
You then label it and freeze, refrigerate or store the contents for later use.
Air is what causes food to go bad so without it, food will last longer.
Cheese is good for months.
Protect against freezer burn and ice crystals in frozen food.
Keep coffee and coffee beans fresh longer in the freezer.
Bags are reusable.
We have the one that holds the roll of paper and cuts the bags and I love it.
I pull out the roll, slide the cutting bar across, push instant seal and I have a bag ready to use.
I fill with the food item and place the edge back in the Food Saver and press on the lid.
It pulls out the air and seals the bag with no further effort from me.
· Electric Knife Sharpener
I bought the Galloping Gourmet’s brand, but there are many out there that are good.
Buy a good one and make sure the clerk at the store can tell you which ones are best or go to one of the shopping channels and watch them demo their products.
A dull knife is a dangerous knife.
While shopping, make sure you purchase really good knives.
Do get a good variety (see my page on cutlery).
· Electric Coffee Pot
Mine is one with the thermos instead of a regular pot.
This way the coffee stays fresh and hot for several houses and doesn’t get that scorched taste.
It has a timer, but I never use the timer because by morning the water is stale and so is the coffee.
I would only use a drip coffee pot and it should be cleaned periodically with vinegar and rinsed 3 times.
Do not put the pot or the grounds basket in the dishwasher as it will taint the taste of the coffee.
I use a Britta filtered water pitcher which I keep refrigerated.
Coldwater works best.
Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon to the grounds.
Buy whole beans and grind your own for the very best coffee.
If you like espressos and cappuccinos and all those exotic coffees, you will have to shop around.
Keep in mind these exotic coffee machines take time to clean up.
If you are a tea drinker instead, there are some wonderful electric teapots and tea is so good for you.
· Electric Coffee Grinder
I bought a DeLonghi grinder and like it because it has several dial-up choices for grind size.
It also holds a lot more and stores a few day’s worths of whole beans.
What a difference freshly ground beans make.
However, I recently found a Kitchen Aid grinder that I can use for both whole spices and or coffee as it has a container that is dishwasher safe so you aren’t mingling coffee with spices taste.
· Nesco Roaster Oven
This is essential if you only have one oven.
I would start with the 18-quart size since it is usually during a large holiday dinner that you need the extra oven.
I took it with me when we went camping in our motor home and prepared a turkey outside for Christmas while we were spending the holiday in the sunny south.
A cookbook comes with it and it really does a fabulous job of preparing food.
These ovens also come in a 4, 6, and 12-quart size and probably other sizes too.
I have a small 4-quart size for cooking for two or taking hot dishes to another location like a potluck or to keep food hot on a buffet table.
This is also something that comes in handy when you decide to remodel your kitchen and you don’t have a stove to use.
· Electric Meat Slicer
This you will bless forever.
Talk about saving money on meat and making sandwiches easier. This is definitely the answer.
Slice bulk cheese, bologna, salami, and other deli sandwich meats.
They are cheaper when purchased in bulk.
I also use mine to slice cooked ham, pork, beef, or turkey for sandwiches, French dip, etc.