6 kitchen products our test team can’t live without
The gadgets and appliances they never regret buying.
If you’re like us, your kitchen will have a few things hiding in the back of drawers or cupboards that you thought you really needed at the time – but it turns out you didn’t.
Maybe you also have something you always use and wouldn’t want to be without. We asked our test team for their best kitchen purchases.
Kmart air fryer basket
Bryan Wall is the man behind our popular air fryer tests, and his best purchase is a cheap tray that creates the same effect in your oven.
It’s the Kmart air fryer basket that costs just $15. Initially, when Bryan tried it for this article he didn’t plan to buy one as it didn’t compare to a real air fryer. But he since has and uses it all the time to whip up hot chips and all those other freezer foods that are easy to bung in the oven for a quick dinner. The result is crispier than putting them straight on a normal oven tray.
“This basket makes the best roast potatoes – my family sometimes complains that they are too crispy. Totally non-stick and no need to turn food when cooking. It could do with being a little bigger, but at this price you could just buy two anyway,” Bryan said.
Pezzetti Bellexpress Stovetop coffee maker
Amy McNabb loves a great tasting coffee but she also lives in a tiny home with limited bench space, which is why she loves her Pezzetti Bellexpress Stovetop coffee maker.
“This thing is adorable. I love making coffee with it every day – so much so that I have one at work and home. I love the simple ritual of making coffee with this stovetop unit, but it also makes an outstanding full-flavour brew. And it takes up a fraction of the space of an espresso machine. It’s also portable and doesn’t require power. It comes on all my holidays and camping trips.”
James le Page asked if he could stretch the parameters of this kitchen article to include his deck – because he wants to talk about his Weber Q.
“It’s a bit of a cheat answer as it’s not really a kitchen thing. But I cook with mine as much as possible throughout the year. It doesn’t stink out the house with cooking smells and does a brilliant job. I was outside in the freezing cold the other night cooking sausages for our bangers and mash.”
James’ Weber Q is one of 31 barbecues we’ve tested.
Sistema Microwave Steamer
Erin Bennett’s must-have kitchen product is one you can pick up for under $20. It’s the Sistema Microwave Steamer.
“I simply load the steamer basket up with veges, add a bit of water, close it and put it in the microwave. Quick and easy steamed veges.”
Need a microwave so you can steam like Erin? Check out our test results for 44 microwaves.
Paul Smith’s KitchenAid blender might be more than 20 years old, but it sounds like it still has many more years left in it.
“It gets used every day by the whole family to make smoothies and much more. The blade coupling has broken several times, but its thoughtful design means it can be fixed with a $10 part, a screwdriver and 10 minutes of unskilled labour.”
Our benchtop blender test results can help you choose whether to get a KitchenAid model like Paul or something else.
Belinda Castles keeps dinnertime simple in her busy household with a rice cooker.
“I wouldn’t be without a rice cooker. My family eats rice at least twice a week and when we get home late from sports practices, I like the convenience of set-and-forget while getting on with the rest of the meal. It also keeps the rice warm if one of us is home later than the rest of the family. Having a rice cooker also means the rice is always perfectly cooked so I avoid a gluggy mess and hard-to-clean pot.”
If that’s got you thinking about buying a rice cooker, you can check out which ones we rate highly in our test results.
So that’s what our test team appreciate in their kitchens. We’d love you to tell us the one thing you wouldn’t want to be without from yours in the comment section below.
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