The time when everything in the kitchen was done by hand, from mixing to beating
eggs and juicing oranges, has well and truly passed. In the last few years kitchens
have become small branches of kitchen appliance stores. Electrical appliances
have been invented for every need: for cutting, slicing, beating, juicing, mixing,
etcetera. However, you need to know how to use these appliances as they do not
cook foods on their own. Not yet anyway...
Be careful not to buy superfluous appliances: it is true that the same results cannot be obtained by hand as by an electric whisk but, in the same way, it is also true that juicing an orange by hand is an effort that we are able withstand without the use of technology. Furthermore, successful chefs prefer to work by hand and, even though a machine can cut vegetables more precisely than man, true chefs always use a knife for cutting.
This usually comes with 3 accessories; a whisk, a spatula and a hook, as well as some accessories that vary from model to model. The rotating head rotates from the middle to the outside of the container, trapping the mixture and mixing it evenly and quickly.
Each model has different speeds, interchangeable containers and can work with large or small amounts of food. They are adapted to every need: chopping, grating, slicing, mixing, whisking and so on. These days a food processor is a must. You can put meat in it, as well as vegetables, fruit, bread, mixtures, and you can create mousses, sauces and dressings. Food processors do have some flaws though: they do not work well with small quantities or herbs, and some pieces do not touch the rotating blade or they can get stuck under the lid. These are excusable flaws however.
This is very expensive but it contains many kitchen utensils in one. Meat grinders, vegetable crushers and other spatulas can be added to the basic model, which includes the container, lid, hook for mixing, double whisk, spatula and sometimes a blender and food processor.
This is very useful for beating cream or egg whites until stiff. Remember one thing: the whisks must be removable so you can wash them more easily and they must be made of round or helical metal, and preferably be flat and a few millimetres wide.
This is for mixing liquids, creating fruity drinks, juices, sauces, soups, purées and for cutting ice. The best ones have glass containers.
These are extremely useful for small amounts of liquids and for slightly beating liquids. They usually come with a whisk and a blade.
This is for fruit and vegetables, which can be inserted with or without the peel, and it turns them into pulp. This also passes the pulp through a sieve before serving.
This is essential for making toast and toasted sandwiches, as well as for making small tarts without having to turn on the oven.
This works like a mixer and grinds coffee beans. The model with two blades is easy to use and very fast, but it is quite noisy and does not grind uniformly. The machine with grindstones produces a uniform powder but it is more difficult to use and takes up more space.
Electric graters and juicers
These are useful but not essential.
This can be used for more than just potatoes, for example, you can fry fish in it too. In most models the temperature of the oil is often controlled by a thermostat and there is usually the possibility to drain impurities. A part from the plug, all parts can be washed.
These are more precise than old models and are ideal for those on a diet or those who need to check the weight of ingredients to the last gram.