There are all sorts of appliances to make life easier in the kitchen and help you prepare delicious homemade food. Which appliance you need depends on the type of cooking you do and what jobs you would like help with.
This guide takes you through the different food preparation appliances in our range and explains how they can best help you in the kitchen.
A jug food blender or smoothie maker is a versatile and easy to use kitchen appliance, great for simply blending sauces, soups, smoothies and shakes, and even pureeing baby food.
All blenders have a motor unit and a lidded jug with a small spinning blade at the bottom. Most blenders have a capacity of between 1 and 2 litres. Variable speeds give more blending control with most blenders having at least two speeds.
Some models have programmes designed for specific tasks, such as milk shakes or ice crushing, and some are supplied with a mill which can be used to grind coffee beans, or chop herbs and nuts, and some have a fruit filter for making smooth sauces or coulis. Prices differ depending on power, speed and material. Plastic jugs are lighter for lifting and storing away, whilst glass jugs are heavier, more solid and less likely to get scratched.
A hand blender is an extremely useful and versatile tool for any kitchen. They’re designed to be simple to use and easy to clean and store away. They’re great for quickly and easily blending or pureeing small quantities. For example, you can blend hot soup in the saucepan, rather than having to transfer the hot liquid into a blender jug.
Hand blenders are ideal for pureeing baby food and some models offer additional attachments for whisking, frothing or chopping.
A food mixer or stand mixer performs a variety of food preparation tasks, providing you with the tools to create professional, homemade dishes with ease. Most mixers come with a whisk, dough hook and beater as standard, for whisking, kneading and mixing.
A mixer’s main tasks are mixing cakes, kneading dough, whipping and whisking. Mixers are ideal for taking the hard work out of mixing large batches of cakes, dough or batter. Variable speeds give you complete control over your food preparation and some models even have an electronic speed sensor control, designed to maintain the speed under different load conditions, e.g. when kneading bread dough or when eggs are added to a cake mix.
To further enhance an electric mixer’s capabilities, some models have additional power outlets allowing you to operate a wide range of attachments such as a pasta maker, a mincer, a liquidiser, a juice extractor, or a food slicer/shredder. Creative possibilities with a mixer are endless.
A hand mixer is a compact appliance for mixing or whisking. The twin beaters fold plenty of air into the mixture giving it a light, fluffy texture, ideal for making cakes or mousses. A set of kneading tools is also included with some models to effortlessly knead dough for breads and pastries.
Food processors are ideal for those who want a quick and easy time-saving appliance which will achieve basic tasks in the kitchen with a lot less effort than doing such jobs by hand. A food processor’s main tasks are chopping, slicing, mixing and grating.
They’re smaller in size than mixers and come in a range of designs and capacities. Mini food processors, or compact food processors take up less space and are easier to store. Most models come with a knife and dough blade as well as shredding and slicing plates as standard. There are a variety of models available offering various levels of versatility depending on the extra attachments provided. Additional attachments can include: blender, multi-mill, whisking tool, citrus juicer, dough tool, midi or mini bowl. Some models can even perform additional tasks, e.g. making mayonnaise.
Food processors can also mix cakes, whip and whisk, but if this is the main reason you’re buying a food preparation appliance, a mixer may be a better choice.