Cooking - The Gadgets

I love kitchen gadgets, not only do they speed up the cooking process, but they extend one's ability to cook certain dishes.

Food Processor - I consider this to be a must have because it can do so many tasks. It will slice, grate, chop, mince and mix. It cuts the time by about ten times for making pastry or mixing dough and you can't beat it if you have a large quantity of onions to chop or carrots to slice. Whipping egg whites or cream becomes the work of seconds.

Mini Chopper. This little thing is like a mini food processor and really useful for chopping small quantities of nuts, breadcrumbs, etc.

Mixer/Beater. Because you need to be very, very careful when using a food processor to mash potato or make a cake mix, a hand-held electric beater is a useful tool to have. A food processor just works too quickly, if you're not careful and you can end up with a dreadful gluey mess, so get a beater as well - they're very inexpensive.

Coffee Grinder. Whether you actually want to grind coffee beans is immaterial here. A coffee grinder is amazing for grinding whole spices. It means goodbye to the effort of using a pestle and mortar and you have a home made spice mix in minutes. Makes for interesting-tasting coffee, if you do use it for beans as well!

Pasta Maker. This is actually a bit of a misnomer as a pasta maker doesn't actually make pasta, but it does roll it really thinly and cut it into spaghetti or tagliatelli. You may also need a drying rack, if you intend to keep your home-made pasta for any length of time.

Bread Maker. This does do as the name suggests with no more effort than it takes to throw the ingredients into the pan of the bread maker and switch it on for delicious home-baked bread. In addition, it will make fantastic dough, all kneaded and risen, for you to turn into rolls, plaits, pita bread or pizza bases and bake in the oven yourself.

Blow Torch. A great tool if you like to make flat bread in a frying pan or want to give that just-grilled look to anything at all. Fantastic for crème brulÃ(c)e.

Of course you can go further than this, if you have the space in your kitchen to store rice makers or electric steamers, electric pizza makers and many other things too numerous to mention.

The important thing is to get the tools you need so that you can produce good quality home-cooked food, without it taking all day and feeling like a real chore.

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About The Author, Michael Russell
Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Cooking