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The five appliances foodies want this Christmas

The five appliances foodies want this Christmas

by Great British Chefs 18 November 2016

Wondering what to get that special foodie in your life? We asked over 1,000 of our readers what they’d most (and least) want to find under the tree this year – see what they said and put a smile on someone’s face come Christmas Day.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

A heat source, a pan and a sharp knife will get you far in the world of cookery. However, when it comes to creating dishes like the UK’s greatest chefs, there are some truly essential appliances available. But which ones are truly worth your valuable kitchen space, and which will sit languishing on the side, never to be used more than once or twice a year? It varies from person to person, but when we asked our readers what they wanted more than anything else there were some pretty unanimous decisions. Whether you’re wracking your brains over what to buy your food-loving other half or are even wondering what to ask for yourself, here’s what over 1,000 passionate home cooks had at the top (and bottom) of their Christmas wish lists.

What not to buy

These days there’s a gadget for almost any culinary task – you can get electric potato mashers, automatic bread slicers and even Wifi-enabled kettles. But when it came to more conventional kit, hand mixers scored the worst: only 0.86% of those we surveyed wanted one of these motorised whisks. Stick blenders weren’t far behind, with 1.24% of people hoping Santa would leave them one under the tree, while sandwich toasters were the third least popular gift. Perhaps we’re finding other ways to whip cream, purée soups and make toasties, or the majority of us already own these smaller items? Despite its popularity over the past few years, spiralisers were down there too – just over three percent of Great British Chefs readers are looking to curl vegetables into strands for a lighter alternative to spaghetti. We can certainly see this particular tool being left in the back of the cupboard of any real foodie – it might be nice to try courgetti once or twice, but it’ll never beat the real thing.

What foodies want for Christmas

5. Breadmakers

Bread maker

Nothing says you’re a committed foodie more than the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting throughout your kitchen. We’re a well-established nation of home bakers these days, inspired by the Great British Bake Off and our newfound love for loaves of handmade sourdough bread. But all that kneading takes time; something many of us don’t have. Today’s breadmakers do all the hard work, producing perfectly baked loaves from whichever ingredients we choose. Top of the range models, like this one from Kenwood (£150), will even automatically add ingredients at exactly the right time, and can produce bread from start to finish in under an hour. Panasonic make one with a special mode for gluten-free and speciality flours (£119), while Russell Hobbs keeps things compact and affordable with their £59.99 bread maker that can control everything down to how crisp you want your crust.

4. Food processors

Food processor

Sure, you could make your pesto in the traditional way with a pestle and mortar, or finely chop all those onions for a curry paste yourself, but a good food processor can obliterate whole ingredients into purées in a matter of seconds. Many also come with a variety of attachments, meaning they can be used to whisk egg whites, grate cheese, slice vegetables and even make pastry dough. Even if you’re able to brunoise an onion with the speed of a professional chef, sometimes it’s so much easier to just throw it into a food processor and get it done instantly. The machines range from the more affordable VonShef (£45.99) and Philips (£75) to the top end offerings from the likes of Magimix (£259.99) – the company that invented the food processor – and KitchenAid (£350).

3. Ice cream makers

Ice cream maker

If you’re after homemade silky smooth ice creams and sorbets, this really is an essential piece of kit. While you can freeze your mixture and whisk it every hour, it’s very hard to avoid ice crystals forming, but an electric ice cream maker will happily churn and freeze at the same time, leaving you with the best possible texture. There are all sorts available, from the type that need pre-chilling in the freezer to those with a built in cooling element that sit on your table top. It means you can start experimenting with unusual flavour combinations and even serve savoury ice creams at dinner parties – something that’s bound to impress. Cuisinart’s standalone ice cream maker (£250) is particularly impressive, with separate settings for ice cream and gelato and a superfast freezing mechanism which means it takes just forty minutes from start to finish. However, if you’re after something a little more compact, this Andrew James model is highly rated and just £29.99.

2. Sous vide machines

Sous vide

The second most wanted appliance on our list is a sous vide machine, which goes to show just how popular this method of cooking – once the secret of Michelin-starred chefs worldwide – has become. By vacuum packing your ingredients and cooking them at a precise temperature in a water bath, you can achieve consistently perfect results without any guesswork, create new textures, infuse and marinade in minutes and so much more. It’s a piece of equipment that really will transform the way you cook, and has become much more affordable in recent years – just take a look at the wide range of devices available now from Sous Vide Tools, who are the specialists for this method of cooking.

1. Stand mixers

image

The most coveted item of all, a stand mixer has got an awful lot going for it. As well as being one of the most useful items any home baker can have, many of them look the part, too, which is why they take pride of place in any home cook’s kitchen. They’re able to whisk, knead, beat and mix all manner of batter and dough, making baking of any kind quicker and easier. While kMix (£269) and KitchenAid (£299) are among the most recognised stand mixers on the market, iconic brands such as Smeg have even been getting in on the action, releasing their own incredibly stylish models (£299.99) for the most modish of cooks.

 

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