While most ‘must-have’ gadgets end up gathering dust on the shelf, here’s our pick of some top kitchen time savers we can’t live without.
1. Stick-blender (£34.11)
An essential bit of kit that packs neatly away, is easy to clean and a dab hand at whisking, chopping and blending. What’s not to like? This one from Russell Hobbs comes with beaker, balloon whisk and chopping attachment.
2. Chef’s knife (£23.80)
Don’t be seduced by fancy juicers, dicers or shredders which promise the earth but take an age to assemble and leave you with ten times the washing up. You’ll still need to top, tail and peel with a good old knife and board so why bother with anything else? You don’t have to spend a fortune either – Victorinox are highly rated and do one for just £23.80.
3. Food processor (£55.18)
Having said that, if you want to chop, mix, grate, knead, whisk or puree in any quantity, a food processor is the way to go – and you’ll get nice even slices too. This one from Kenwood is good value for your average home cook.
4. Y-shaped veg peeler (£3.99)
Your Grandma may have sworn by her trusty swivel-blade but they pale in comparison to this design classic which glides over contours, slices through knobbles and can even take on a butternut squash. This one comes complete with comfy handle and nifty ‘eye’ remover.
5. Garlic press (£12.62)
Ok, so they’re a bit fiddly to clean, and you could just grind your garlic in a mortar or squash with the back of a knife, chef-style. But when you’re pushed for time you need something that will peel and crush in one go – save your knife skills for when there’s someone around to admire them.
6. Potato ricer (£10.20)
Why labour over a pan of recalcitrant spuds when you could have lump-free mash in seconds? This nifty device is just like a giant garlic press and with a bit of elbow grease can be used on any root veg – great for pureeing fruit too. Once you’ve tried it you’ll never look back: Kitchen Craft Chrome Plated Potato Ricer
7. Microwave (£75.00)
Purists may sniff at them, but if you want a meal in minutes you know where to turn. They’re cheap, energy efficient and can do everything from warming your soup to grilling, baking and a full-on roast, but if you just want reliable defrosting and heating try the Which? Best Buy Samsung ME89F-1B
8. Digital scales (£18.61)
Retro-style scales may look pretty but if you want something quicker, less bulky and more accurate go digital. Just grab any old bowl and throw in your ingredients, hitting ‘zero’ for the next one each time: Salter Stainless Steel Kitchen Scale
9. Breadmaker (£98.60)
Home-made bread is a labour of love – all that kneading, waiting, rising, and more waiting … or you could just throw everything in, go to bed and wake up to the delicious aroma of a freshly-baked loaf – yum! Try the Panasonic SD-2500.
10. Hand mixer (£19.99)
One of the great innovations of the 20th century, the hand mixer allows you to beat sugar and butter and whip cream or egg whites without feeling like your arm will drop off. Portable, durable and cheaper than a bulky food processor or stand mixer, try the Kenwood 3-speed mixer.