Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Favorite Appliances

There are SO many countertop kitchen appliances out there. And so many of them perform precisely ONE function. Which, to me, feels wasteful. They do take up a lot of room, after all. I got rid of our electric can opener a few years ago because I just thought it was a waste of space. Are we really opening so many cans that we need an appliance to do it for us so we don't get carpel tunnel? I don't think so. The manual can openers work just as well, and take about quarter of the space. While there are some that are useless (in my opinion), there are some I cannot live without. And it has surprised me; I didn't think I would own some (or most) of these. But I love them.
  1. Ice Cream Maker. I used to have this one, but "upgraded" because this bowl is slightly bigger and the machine is smaller. Always a plus. Plus, the first one had the dispenser, which I never used, and made it a pain to clean. It claims to be for soft serve ice cream, but what they don't tell you is that ALL homemade ice cream is basically soft serve ice cream and you need to freeze it for several hours before serving if you want it firmer.
  2. Rice Cooker. I have a really basic one, and it does the trick just fine, but, I don't make sushi or anything that requires specially prepared rice. It holds 7 cups, I think, so it's a good size, and we use it a lot. I have also used it for rice pilaf, and it works beautifully.
  3. Toaster Oven. I have a large cuisinart one, and it's been going strong for 5 years. It broils, toasts,'s amazing. I have never baked cookies or anything in it, but I have cooked with it (roasting vegetables, etc), and it's great. When you don't want to heat the whole house up but really need the oven, it's perfect. Also, I don't own a toaster. This works well for toasting and that's one less appliance I need!
  4. Food Processor. I thought this was the stupidest gadget ever. And then I had one of those mini food blender sticks, and I used the process attachment all the time, especially for hummus or falafel. And then I decided that I was burning out my blender when I puree food, especially for roasted potato leek soup. So I stole my mom's food processor, because it was sitting in her basement, completely forgotten, and I love it. Grating carrots has never gone so fast!
  5. Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I have the Artisan tilt-head model, and I like it, but wish I had sprung for the more expensive, larger one.
  6. Just one more...Popcorn Popper. I grew up in a popcorn-eating family, and microwave is okay, but nothing beats home-popped (is that the right word?). Especially when it comes to making caramel corn, which just happens to be one of my favorite treats. This particular popper doesn't need a lot of oil and pops the corn wonderfully. There are rarely stray kernels, even with store brand popcorn. Stray kernels can really ruin caramel corn (chipped tooth, anyone?).
What appliances are your favorites? What can you just not live without? And what have you used a lot more than you thought you would?

1 comment:

  1. I think you've got it pretty well covered, although I would add a waffle maker and a yogurt maker to the list of appliances I wouldn't want to live without.