Worktop space in kitchens is usually at a premium, unless I’m alone in frequently having to sweep a selection of things out of the way before beginning to cook a meal. And with every new cooking utensil or (allegedly) useful gadgets for the kitchen we buy, the competition for space gets even tougher!
However, the brutal truth is that any gadget or gizmo which doesn’t work or worse takes more time to use and clean than doing the job manually, will end up shoved in a cupboard never seeing the light of day again – and consequently it will never be used again! Only the cream of the crop stays out ready to use, because they’re worth the space lost to you on the work surface.
Three Useful Kitchen Gadgets That Deserve Your Working-Space
Firstly the Halogen Oven, which has proved to be the best small investment we’ve made in kitchen equipment ever. With no pre-heating and a high powered fan circulating hot air around the food, the cooking process is at least a third faster, while electricity use is around 75% less than using the main oven – a real money saver over time.
The biggest advantage is food cooks in a halogen oven with no added fat or oils, meaning healthy food, no matter what it is – roasted potatoes and chips are simply superb, crispy and brown on the outside, softly fluffy on the inside.
The only downside to countertop halogen ovens is the lid, which has to be removed with most models to put in and take out the food. Lifting and balancing a hot and quite weighty lid whilst juggling with sizzling hot food can be detrimental to your health. One model, the Secura, has a hinged lid to avoid this and I certainly advise anyone with issues in arms or hands to consider the hinged lid model in preference to one without.
Healthy Desserts For All
One totally invaluable gadget is a frozen treat maker which uses lumps of fruit you froze earlier and processes them in a few seconds into a creamy iced dessert with no added sugar or fat – of course there’s nothing to stop you adding cream and even liqueur if you like. Banana and mango combine into iced luxury, while mixed berries offer an exceptionally refreshing sorbet – the combinations are endless and pretty much down to your tastes and imagination.
For kids who won’t eat much fruit, frozen treat makers work like a dream and however much you make, trust me, they’ll polish off the lot and still ask for more. People with diabetes also find these machines offer a great opportunity to indulge in a relatively safe dessert with the family.
Warm, Fragrant & Fresh
The third chunky – but much loved and useful kitchen gadget, is the bread machine which is used every day and has never yet failed to produce a beautiful loaf of bread to order. If you make or used to make your own bread, you’ll know why very few of us go back to shop bought bread again. It isn’t just the amazing fresh taste of home baked bread that is addictive, but the satisfying feeling of knowing you’re feeding the family only the very best.
Modern bread machines use surprisingly little electricity because most of the time they are on the bread is resting, making heating the main oven incredibly inefficient unless you are baking other things too. Plus of course as long as it has a timer, you can put a loaf on the night before to produce your loaf at a specified time, warm fresh fragrant bread for breakfast or a packed up lunch – can’t beat it!
All three of these useful gadgets for the kitchen earn their premium spot in my kitchen – what takes up your precious space?