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7 Must-have gadgets that no kitchen should be without

Setting up a new kitchen and not sure what to get? Here's a list of the essentials.

by: Elizabeth Mamacos | 27 Aug 2018
making herb pesto in a food processor

(images: iStock) 

Cooking is fun, and even more so when you have exciting ingredients and all the right kitchen tools to prepare a perfect meal. But there are so many handy gadgets available, and if you buy them all soon you’ll have no space for anything else in your kitchen. So, which are the most important, the must-have, tools that every kitchen should have?

We rounded up 7 of the key components to ensuring you have exactly what you need, reducing the over-priced and overly quirky utensils filling your drawers and counter tops. 

1. Pressure cookers are making a come-back and for good reason. These pressurised pots can create slow-cooked dishes such as stews and soups that takes several hours, in less than an hour. Pressure cookers create a high-pressure environment, thanks to super-heated steam, to cook food faster. They come in stove top pots with a manually sealed lid, and in automatic pots that stand alone and can be programmed. Whichever type you prefer, just imagine slow cooked lamb shank or a warming oxtail stew cooked in just one hour…mmm. 

2. A slow cooker is the opposite of a pressure cooker, in that the food is cooked for many hours, with minimum intervention. This has its perks and is useful in many scenarios. For example, you can place a leg of pork in the slow cooker, along with some apple cider and spices, and head off to work at 7 am. Then arrive home after a busy day to the wonderful aromas of pulled pork ready to be served on soft buns.  Slow cookers are great for cooking legumes, large cuts of meat and can even be used to cook breakfast dishes overnight. 

A scale is invaluable for any cook but especially for bakers where precision is everything! If you want to be accurate, weighing your ingredients is the only way to go! A gram will always always be a gram.

4. A stick blender is a Godsend - you can whip up your own pesto, dressings, mayo and it works wonders as a way of beating, emulsifying, puréeing, or whipping ingredients together. The best part? It's super small and portable! 

5. Every kitchen needs a good coffee maker. We’re not suggesting you cook in your coffee machine (although it can be done) but   Even if you aren't a coffee drinker, chances are that when you're entertaining one of your guests might be! Whether it’s an American Diner style drip filter coffee maker, or a stovetop moer- koffie pot, or a high-end Italian espresso machine, every home needs a way to make fresh, hot coffee from good beans. There are many local coffee bean suppliers who roast the beans right here in SA, which means we have access to some of the best coffee going. Take advantage and enjoy your favourite beans at home too. 

6. Every home kitchen needs a food processor, even if it’s a simple one.  And especially if you cook a lot of vegetables! A food processor can chop onions, diced tomatoes, mince herbs, grate carrots and slice celery faster than you can say Spaghetti Bolognaise. Use the right blade attachments and you can make bread dough, whip cream or blend a creamy soup, among other uses. A food processor definitely takes the grunt work out of food prep and is super quick to clean when all is done. 

7. Can opener - need we say more? It's pretty crucial to have one handy for when your cans don't have a self-opener device. 

ALSO READ: Shopping smart: 6 Foods you should never buy in bulk

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