For many of us the last few months have enabled us to spend a bit more time in the kitchen whipping up a selection of new recipes. While most have probably succeeded, others have not been so successful, but whatever type of cook you are – a throw it all in and hope for the best type or one who loves to spend hours poring over the making of a meal – you will want to be well equipped.
We put the feelers out there to find some of the finest kitchen gadgets designed to make your culinary efforts go with ease. Read on for five of our favourites – all tried and tested and all rather useful when it comes to making mealtimes go with ease.
So, we’re starting off with a big one here. Tefal’s Cook4Me+ is an all in one kitchen assistant, if you like, pre-programmed to enable you to cook meals with ease, with the right portions and a selection of cooking methods to suit the individual.
Cooking modes include pressure cooking, classic, reheat and keep warm and you can opt for a delayed start for items like fruits, vegetables, rice and cereals. Throw the idea straight out of your head that this is another slow cooker for those winter casseroles, the Cook4Me+ tells you in simple terms how to prepare a range of dishes from simple asparagus to white rice to boneless joints of beef and whole poached steamed pears.
The guide that it comes with couldn’t be simpler to understand with easy to follow instructions with pictures if you really aren’t too handy in the kitchen and on the device itself are simple instructions to guide you in cooking a variety of recipes. Green Thai chicken curry, mushroom and spinach risotto, celery and stilton soup, prawn coriander bisque, crème brulee and traditional cheesecake are just a sample of the dishes you can whip up with ease.
Available from: homeandcook.co.uk
STAUB 28cm Pancake Pan
Turn the heat up and get ready to pop out some pancakes with ease with the STAUB cast iron pancake pan. A fine upgrade to a non-stick saucepan, though it needs a little more fat to avoid sticking, this is quite a delightful piece of kitchenware to use. The sturdy pan features STAUB’s matte black enamelled surface which give pancakes a beautiful, crisp golden colour; it’s easy to clean and comes with a 30-year guarantee too.
This finely balanced, flat pan conducts and distributes heat over the entire surface to the outer edges to ensure even cooking and the shallow design makes it ideal for making wafer-thin pancakes the traditional way with a wooden T-shaped spreader. The pan is designed to stay on the heat with the pancakes being turned with a wooden spatula in the traditional way rather than being flipped – a fact you will realise the minute you lift the pan.
Handy points to note are that the pancake pan is suitable for use on all types of hobs including induction, while the stylish wooden handle features a metal hanging loop and flame guard. All in all, this is a rather refined piece of kitchenware to possess.
Available from: uk.zwilling-shop.com
Gozney Roccbox pizza oven
A favourite with adults and children alike, a pizza oven brings a definite sense of fun to the proceedings. Technically not to be used inside, but in the garden with gas, this restaurant-grade pizza oven really is a great piece of equipment to have to hand.
The oven heats to an impressive 950°F/500°C, yet its silicone jacket keeps it cool-to-the-touch and it comes with a built-in thermometer to take away the guesswork, along with a professional grade pizza peel.
Not only does the compact pizza oven sit at table height with foldable legs, but it doesn’t take long at all to heat up and it cooks the most delicious fresh mouth-watering pizzas in about a minute – just make sure your pizza peel has lashings of flour as this makes it so much easier to transport the raw pizza to the board.
Once you try a pizza cooked in this way you will wonder why you ever wasted time with a shop-bought offering. And it’s not just pizzas that you can throw in here; turn the heat off, throw in a small loaf and by the time you finished feasting on your pizza, steak, fish, vegetables, you’ll have freshly baked bread ready and waiting.
Available from: gozney.com
Artisan K400 Blender from KitchenAid
You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to own a blender, though these handy devices are ideal for whipping up smoothies galore, you can also try your hand at fresh soups, creamy milkshakes and even margaritas in mere moments. Sounds delightful!
The universal love of a blender comes down to the knowledge that you know exactly what goes in and therefore what you are consuming, while giving you fresh food with no preservatives needed here!
It couldn’t be faster or easier to get creative with your meals or drinks with the powerful 1.5 peak HP motor of this brand-new Artisan K400 Blender. Made with a stable die-cast metal base and die-cast metal knob along with unique asymmetric stainless steel blades, precisely angled to work with the 1.4L ribbed glass jar, this creates a mighty blending vortex to power through the toughest ingredients. Available in no less than 11 colours including new Kyoto Glow, we’re sure you’ll be whipping up a tasty gazpacho in no time, but count us in for a margarita too!
Available from: kitchenaid.co.uk
Twelve South Compass iPad stand
We’re all stepping into a more digital world and in the kitchen this applies to cookbooks too. Though it’s nice to have a selection of go-to recipes in a trusted book, it’s also more than handy to head online to try something new too. And for the ideal place to pop to your iPad, the Twelve Compass iPad stand is really quite the handy tool to have around.
The portable and compact stand folds away flat in a little case and, when needed, serves as a stable easel to hold your iPad on portrait or wide-screen mode.
Different from other iPad cases and stands, the Compass 2 will elevate your iPad out of the spilt milk zone and is available in a choice of three colours – gold, rose gold and silver. We’ve discovered that it also works fantastically with a phone too and this is a great tool to have if you love listening to a bit of music or chatting over FaceTime while you cook. Very nifty.
Available from: twelvesouth.com