If your aim is to improve your cooking and to continue expanding the range of recipes that you’re able to dish out, then it’s not just about learning new recipes, techniques, and, ingredients. The tools that you use to get your cooking done can make a big difference, too. Here, we’re going to look at some of the most important appliances, how they work, and just how they can expand your recipe repertoire.
When it comes to making quick and delicious meals, there are few things more convenient than being able to toss a few fruit and veg into an appliance, switch it on, and wait for the nutritionally packed goodness to come on out. There are tons of smoothies and juices that you can try and a good juicer is going to take all of the work out of making them. There are many types of juicers, such as citrus juicers and cold press juicers but they all mostly do the same thing: chopping up, blending, and condensing the ingredients that you put in them down into an easily drinkable and digestible drink without losing any of the nutritional value.
A slow cooker
Also called a crockpot by some, slow cookers have been highly popular over the past few years for a variety of reasons. One of the single best things about them is how well they can cook meat, making sure that they are fully cooked all the way through in a way that leaves them extra tender and juicy. With a slow cooker, you tend to just add meat, a sauce, and some ingredients to cook it in and it will make sure the flavour of the ingredients soaks all the way through the meat. Slow cookers are also very good for making soups, so don’t think that they’re only good for meat dishes. They’re slow, but they’re very versatile and low effort.
A food processor
How much of your meal prep involves standing in front of a chopping board, cutting up ingredients? If you’re looking to simply throw those flavours into the meal rather than making them presentable, isn’t it a lot easier to have a machine to do it for you, even more finely than you can? This is one of the main benefits of a food processor. Food processors can not only chop, but they can also blend, they can puree, and they can mix, to the point that even things like making dough are much, much easier. After all, for a lot of people, it’s the prep that takes up a lot of work and time, rather than the actual cooking itself.
A good BBQ
There are some meals that need to be cooked in very specific ways to get them right. When it comes to a good grill, then nothing is going to work as well as the right BBQ. Of course, if you want more options when it comes to flavouring your meat, then you should be looking at a charcoal BBQ, specifically, to add not just the smokiness but the opportunity to add flavoured pellets to the tinder that you use. Of course, another big benefit of a good BBQ is that it also allows you to cook outdoors for those sunny days. The first BBQ of the year is an occasion that’s always worth taking the time to indulge in, after all.
A pressure cooker
The foods that you cook are sensitive to changes in the environment that you make them in. Heat isn’t the only way you can change their environment to bring out the best results. Pressure and steam can also help you cook a new range of meals and, perhaps just as importantly, cook them in a lot less time. One of the benefits of a pressure cooker compared to other fast-cooking methods is that the steam keeps in all of the nutrients, allowing you to enjoy both the full taste and full health benefits of the meals that you’re making. Choosing the right pressure cooker is important, too, as you typically want one that has a thicker material as well as an anodized coating so that it lasts longer and doesn’t scratch or stain as easily.
A rice cooker
There are very few cases in which it’s recommended that you buy an appliance that specifically cooks only one type of food. However, the rice cooker might be the only exception. Of course, you can cook any kind of rice in a rice cooker, but the primary benefit is that not only does it make it a lot easier to prepare one of the most versatile ingredients in any chef’s repertoire, but it makes rice taste much easier and avoids all of the common mishaps caused by guesswork, such as having too much water in your rice or not getting the cooking time right so your rice might look right, but when you bite into it, it’s much harder than you want.
An air fryer
Fried food is delicious. It’s okay to admit it. However, we all know that it’s not the healthiest out there. Indeed, there’s no way to make fried food truly “healthy,” but you can at least remove some of the guilt with it by reducing the amount of oil that you cook it in. That is what the air fryer does. Air fryers heat up that oil and cook with it much like a pressure cooker, giving your foods a crispy, golden crunch and the extra flavour that frying comes with. It also removes much of the risk of over frying your food so that they end up a little too crispy and brunt on the surface.