12 must-have kitchen gadgets
Friday, 4th September 2015, Lucy Mccoy
If you've just had a beautiful new kitchen fitted (or you're planning to), you'll want to fill it with beautiful things. It's likely you removed a couple of boxes of unused machines and pointless utensils from your kitchen when you were preparing for the refit, so you'll want to replenish your cupboards with useful things you'll use over and over. So, from unbelievably simple to fun and effective, right down to the futuristic, here are 12 must-have kitchen gadgets. Let's begin with the machine that can do everything...
You won't find this nifty machine on the high street, but trust us – the Vorwerk Thermomix is a revelation. It chops, blends, whisks, steams, kneads, juices, grates, simmers, crushes and weighs, giving it the function of 12 different kitchen gadgets, all presented in one neat-looking machine.
You can just about make an entire five-course meal using the Thermomix alone, so it's no surprise that Heston Blumenthal (watch from 2:05) is rumoured to have nine of them at his three Michelin-starred Fat Duck restaurant, once considered the world's best. It has a price tag to suit its functionality, mind - it's on sale at £925.
From the hi-tech to the highly simple; pizza has become one of the UK's favourite dishes, and with the amount of quality fresh and frozen pizzas available in shops, we're cooking and consuming an increasing amount at home. Traditional rolling pizza slicers have long been favoured over a sharp knife, but they can still make a lot of mess and can't be used comfortably on a plate. Meet the Scizza pizza scissors from Dreamfarm; the sharp arms makes slicing and serving pizza easier than ever. A handy gadget at just £20.
Microwave hot pot
Sometimes you just don't have the time (or indeed, the energy), to cook some home-made food; perhaps the kids are running around and you can't give your pots and pans the attention they'll need, or maybe you're entertaining friends and don't want to be confined to the oven. A microwave hot pot, like the £6.49 one from JML, lets you create real home cooking in the microwave. The non-stick, specially-designed pots mean you can whip up tapas dishes, pasta sauces, eggs, even chocolate cakes, and have them prepared for you by the touch of a few buttons.
Here's one for the parents: a cool, attractive device that could get your young'uns eating their greens without any squabbles. Lakeland's Vegetable Spiralizer transforms everyday greens into fun spaghetti-style spirals that the kids will love. You might even love it, too; it makes a healthy, quick-cook substitute to pasta, and in our opinion is well worth its £28.99 price tag.
Sometimes the simple solutions are the ones we use the most. Take Marks and Spencer's delightful lemon squeezer; it gets every single drop of juice out of the lemon (far more than you'd get if squeezed by hand) and is easy to clean, too. At just £7.50, we love it.
It's the second video of Mr Blumenthal in this list, but if a kitchen gadget is good enough for Heston, it's good enough for us. The Sage Multi Cooker is a one-pot cooker with six different pre-set cooking functions, allowing you to slow cook, sauté/sear meat, onions and garlic, cook rice, create delicious risotto (as demonstrated by Heston in the video) and more. The large non-stick bowl makes cleaning up easy, and it looks great too. You can grab one for £99.99.
Water Filter Pitcher
We never said that everything on this list would be flashy; we said they'd be worth having - and this gadget proves that. A water filter pitcher from BRITA reduces limescale and filters any chlorine or other metals that might be present in your tap water. You can get a colourful pitcher for £22.00.
One Touch Can Opener
Never again will you have to fiddle about trying to get a grip on a tin with an old tin opener, or remove strips of paper from your tin of beans after opening it. With the Culinare one touch can opener (£22.50), you simply pop the device on top of the tin, press the button and it will open any-size tin in seconds.
Of course, the usefulness of this kitchen gadget is very much based on your individual love of toasted sandwiches. Ahh who are we kidding - everyone adores a cheese toasty!
Toasted sandwich makers were all the rage at one point, but anyone who has had one knows how messy they can be. The cheaper, easier and tidier alternative is a toasty bag like Lakeland's Toastabag. For just £6.59, you get a non-stick, re-usable (just chuck it in the dishwasher of give it a rinse) toasty maker; you simply pop your sandwich into the bag, slot it in the toaster and voila. Pure deliciousness.
It's hard to shift the smell of garlic from your hands when you've been slicing it; the strong stench can hang around for days! That's why we recommend a gadget like the £7 Chef'n garlic chopper. Simply pop a clove into the wheel and roll to get finely sliced pieces of garlic. It's easy to wash, too.
Chef food chopper
We've covered garlic, now for everything else. The Pampered Chef Food Chopper can chop onions, veggies, nuts, cooked meats – all in seconds. It's dishwasher safe, and the flexible cap doubles up as a chopping board. It's available for £35.50.
We've saved the most recent and futuristic kitchen gadget until the end. If you saw one of these printers, you might think it looked out of place outside the office. But the XYZPrinting 3D Food Printer might be hitting shops towards the end of 2015. It allows you to print patterns and words onto cookies and other dough-based pastries in just a matter of minutes! It might not be a 'must-have', but it sure is cool.
Did we miss any of your favourite kitchen gadgets? Let us know what tools you can't cook without by tweeting us at @CountyStone.