How many kitchen benchtop
appliances can you think of off the top of your head? A toaster is probably at the top of your list, followed closely by a coffee maker and maybe a blender. While these are all great appliances, there are many others available whose usefulness can far outweigh their modest cost. Here's your guide to the latest "must have" benchtop kitchen appliances
Why would you want to buy a benchtop grill when you already have a griller in your oven
? There are a few good reasons:
- If you have an underbench oven, you have to bend over to use your griller. A benchtop grill is set at the perfect working height.
- Contact grills (those with top and bottom heating elements) cut cooking time in half.
- Removable grill plates make clean-up easy.
If you, like so many others, tend to fry foods because it is quicker and easier than oven grilling, you're an ideal candidate for a benchtop grill. Grilling is said to be a healthier, tastier alternative to frying and the only motivation you need is a benchtop appliance that makes it a more convenient alternative, too. A benchtop grill is that alternative.
There are pros and cons to food processors. Some homeowners buy one, use it once or twice and then find it easier to stick with their kitchen
knives, while others don't know how they got by without one. Before making the mistake of either buying a food processor you don't really need or putting off buying one that you'll use every day, think about these things:
- Food processors are relatively large and heavy. If you have a large enough benchtop to store your food processor on permanently, you'll find that you'll use it more often than if you have to store it on a shelf.
- If you have a large family to cook for, a food processor can dramatically reduce your labour time. This may make up for the time it takes to set up the food processor and store it away if you can't store it on your benchtop.
- Combination food processors/blenders have a number of accessories that can be hard to keep track of. Look for one that has built-in storage and you won't find yourself rummaging through your drawers trying to find a missing blade or other attachment.
With the increasing trend towards healthy eating, more and more Australians are steaming their vegetables and other foods. While this can easily be achieved on your cooktop, there are many good reasons to consider buying a benchtop food steamer. In fact, some experts say that current trends show that food steamers are the new microwave - a formerly unknown appliance that is becoming a near necessity. It's little wonder, either, when you consider that some newer models can steam your fish, rice and vegetables all at the same time in a device that takes up little more space on your benchtop than a single pot.
When home sandwich presses were first introduced, some thought they were a passing fad. Well, time has proven the doubters wrong and in many households today, the sandwich press is used so often it rarely finds its way off the benchtop and onto a shelf. When looking for a sandwich press, seriously consider buying a four-slice model if you have a family to feed. It may take up more space, but it will save you heaps of time when demands for delicious melted cheese and tomato sandwiches are coming thick and fast.
If you're a health conscious Australian, you already know that freshly squeezed juice is healthier than packaged juice, but may think that a good juicer is an expensive indulgence you can't afford. Actually, juicers today can be surprisingly inexpensive. There are two types of juicers:
- Centrifugal juicers are the most common and least expensive. One of these can cost under $100 and be perfectly adequate for home use.
- Non-centrifugal juicers include cold presses, twin gear (grinding) and masticating (chewing) juicers. These squeeze more juice out, thus maximising their efficiency, but cost more than centrifugal juicers.
When buying a juicer, keep in mind that they need thorough cleaning immediately after use. Look for models that are easy to disassemble and reassemble and include dishwasher safe parts. Also be sure to by the safest model you can find. Avoid juicers that offer any possibility of contact with moving parts. Some juicers can be bulky and heavy, so consider storing yours on your benchtop at all times or settle for a more compact juicer instead.