More gadgets in a new kitchen?

Don’t think this is the place to post, might need help with the right thread. Already tried looking at cookware tags.

I’m moving to a new apartment with a bigger kitchen (open kitchen and double the current size at least) in a few years’ time (building in progress) and I’m not quite sure if having more gadgets would be a good idea.

Current place has a stovetop (only one working burner :cry:) and my cookware are two ECI Dutch ovens, one SS saucier and one nonstick frying pan. Heavy ones. None of these - oven (hoping to get Breville Smart Oven), toaster, blender (looking at a Vitamix), air-fryer or even a KA mixer. My knife skills are still quite poor and I certainly take a long time to cook for 3-4 dishes. Everything is by hand, including ice-cream making with just the freezer. Tempted but more worried about having too many stuff at home. Thus most of my dishes are either stir-fries, pan frying, blanching, pickled vegetables (tsukemono), simmered dishes (nimono) and soups (be it Chinese boiled soups or miso soups or nabemono).

Grew up without these too. My mum would probably scream at me if she found out I bought more for the new place. The mister would just nag and forget. :joy:

2 Likes

It depends if you use them or not. Maybe you shouldn’t get them all the same time, but over the time. For gadget that consumes counter space, I will think twice. We have a small multi-usage food processor as a marriage gift, it is only used to grate carrot but took so much space. Most of my other vegetables I use mandolin.

Oven - of course, get a steam oven if you like this type of food.
Toaster - if you like toasted bread enough (Personally, I don’t have one, both of us aren’t fans)
Blender - Vitamix why not, especially if you like juice (I mostly use my handheld one, the blender is leaky, I need to check out the problem or sell it)
KA Mixer - I don’t use it often, but for dough, it is great, no regrets
Air-fryer - maybe, I prefer deep fry than air fry, which can be done on a certain level with oven. I seldom deep fry, hate the cleaning up.

2 Likes

I only have a trusty knife with a chopping board and a microplane grater. Counter space is fully taken up when I place my board, the other available space is either for my rice cooker or my electrical kettle. :sweat_smile:

Friends and neighbors were recommending me getting Philips air fryer but I don’t quite like it - too bulky and one can’t really clean the insides properly, except the container. Staub actually uses a 14cm Dutch oven to do deep frying instead, I own two Staub cookbooks so am thinking I could use my 16cm for such purpose. Probably doing frying only in the new place. And yes, I think cleaning up is gonna be a pain, especially my kitchen is an open one without a kitchen hood.

My kitchen is an open one with a hood, but the problem is we don’t have right to have an outdoor evacuation pipe, so the hood is useless unless it is a closed kitchen. We can see some sticky surface building up slowly and needs cleaning every 2-3 weeks.

I think if you can afford to store of the gadgets inside some cupboards in your future kitchen, that will be better. My rice cooker is put away when not in use.

I’m vs things that are a pain to wash, believe me, after a few times, they will end up just sitting around… I have a juice extractor, difficult to wash as it traps all the fibers…I think I must use it less than 10 times in all these years…luckily I bought it second hand.

1 Like

Only if you’re going to use them.

We have a food processor and electric whisk, which are used fairly regularly. My other half bakes regularly and has a Kenwood Chef mixer.

If you are not so sure, maybe borrow them or test them out at friends’ before acquiring them. Counter space is really useful vs gadgets and clutters.

2 Likes

Yea, my rice cooker is always kept when not in use. That must have been the slow juicer, which is also quite popular among my friends. Bulky as well, I probably would use the old manual glass juicer instead.

And yes, might be good to pop over to a friend’s place when she’s baking. Check out all her devices! :grin:

A very long time ago I had a small kitchen with minimal counter space. A friend of mine gave me a present that was a cutting board. Not an ordinary one. she had it cut just a little larger than my sink, and then in one corner, about a 3 inch hole cut into it.
This allowed me to use the sink space as my chopping cutting space, and allowed me to wash or discard the rubbish…
When I moved from there it was to a house, which did have a substantial kitchen. I left the board for the next tenant.

5 Likes

Lovely!

1 Like

It sounds like you don’t “want” more gadgets . . . just that you feel with a bigger kitchen you “should” have more gadgets. If you don’t want them, don’t get them . . . . .

Based on the things you say you make and that you indicate that you don’t have great knife skills . . . you could think about a mandolin or a Cuisinart. Both can be used to make quick work of chopping/slicing vegetables (if you’re accident prone you may want to avoid the mandolin - but it is cheaper and easier to clean).

The thing about gadgets is that they all will change routines - so you have to want those routines to change or the gadget will just sit there while you continue to do things ‘the old way’ (which sometimes works just fine).

My advice would be to wait, get in the new kitchen, cook for a few months and see what makes the most sense in the new bigger space for you.

4 Likes

:joy: after working around this tiny kitchen for almost ten years, I would say I dread to see more things on the countertop when there’s hardly any space. For now.

2 Likes

My advice would be to not get appliances or even gadgets if they’re not multi taskers. As an example are the popular electric pressure cookers; I think part of their appeal is that they can also be used as rice or slow cookers, and the sauté function works really well. Also the cuisinart steam ovens are versatile too. Makes great toast, crisps up leftovers or frozen foods well, and you can bake in it. Since it’s not very big it doesn’t heat your house up in the warm months, like a big oven would do. It has a rather large foot print however.

If you have room in the new kitchen, you might see if there is a rolling cart that will fit somewhere for extra storage.

Oh and the simple 4 sided box grater can make different sizes and shapes of things you grate, like veggies or cheese.

Like many others have said, it’s better to keep it uncluttered and simple.

@PHREDDY’s idea with his over the sink cutting board in his old apartment, would be very useful. I’ve seen them at BB&B and other places in sizes to fit regular sized sinks.

You have lots of ideas to think about now and the excitement of the upcoming move.

2 Likes

Oven - Convection.
Toaster - How often do you make toast? If it is occasional a dry skillet does fine. If it is daily a slot toaster is nice.
Blender - Consider an immersion “stick” blender; see below.
KA Mixer - I have one that I can’t let go of for emotional reasons. Use it once a year. For just a couple of loaves of bread I just work by hand. You can do ANYTHING by hand and in my opinion you should to be sure you want to make something regularly before buying something.
Air-fryer - An air fryer is just a small, awkwardly shaped convection oven; make sure you new oven is convection and your done.

Any time you start to think you want something (“I want a VitaMix”) stop and ask yourself why. You may find that a different tool serves your needs better. A stick blender may be a better solution than a VitaMix or other stand blender. A mandolin may be better for you than a food processor.

There is no substitute for good knife skills. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emlRFQAsoUg

2 Likes

I have a small kitchen with limited counterspace as well.

Two indispensable members of my kitchen are a small toaster oven and an immersion blender with mini chopper attachment.

Toaster oven I use for far more than toast - baking, broiling, reheating, etc. My current one is smaller than I intended (ordered the wrong size for replacement when the old one died) but large enough for what I actually need.

The immersion blender is worth its weight in gold to me. The chopper replaces my knife for all mincing / dicing jobs, makes sauces, salsas, and spice pastes, grates and grinds small quantities of anything, and so on. The blender stick mixes batters, beats eggs, purées soups and sauces and blends anything else.

I bought a mandolin last year, but it hasn’t embedded itself in my process yet.

I’ve fought the urge to get an electric pressure cooker despite using PCs frequently (and all the IP hype). My stovetop PCs don’t take up counterspace and work great. But that’s the gadget I battle with myself most about. Oh, and getting a bigger toaster oven again (but that would also require counter Tetris to rearrange the current setup).

3 Likes

The place I’m staying - Singapore gets summer all year round.

My essential tool that does most of the work all these years - a pair of bamboo chopsticks to beat eggs and as well as cook - from flipping of fish or meat, stir frying, soups and scrambled eggs as well. Unless I’m doing sauces - skinny long wooden spoon to do the mixing. The only time I use my spatula is only when I need to flip omelettes or mix party salads. As for toasts, I do it on a pan. Taste nothing like a real toast that’s from a toaster but just trying to use whatever I have on hand. :wink:

An immersion blender sounds like a good tool too. I’ll be able to make cream soups, not just Cantonese boiled soups or miso soups!

Who knows in the end, I might just stick with what I have. Less is more.

1 Like

My grandmother loved pan-fried toast, and requested it made that way vs the toaster! It tastes different, special to me for that memory.

4 Likes

I hate clutter! and I do have a huge kitchen!
I ended up storing a lot of stuff that I do not use daily ( rice cooker since I cook maybe once every 2 weeks, then wrap everything and refrigerate , Cuisinart food processor which I rarely use nowadays, grinder, once a month for pomeranian’s raw meat, other gadgets)
I keep a coffee machine on top of counter as my son drinks cappuccino every day, a vitamix for his drinks, a coffee grinder which I use now for grinding peppers as my arthritic hand makes grinding fresh pepper difficult esp if I haveetc use a lot. S/P grinders and one of the best and useful gadget! A Wolf countertop gourmet convection oven. It is wonderful. We pop our croissant every morning or bread to toast every morning, it bakes, roast, broils etc etc. It is one of my most important gadget. I hardly use my commercial dual Vulcan ovens since I purchased this unit (
https://www.subzero-wolf.com/store/wolf-gourmet-countertop-appliances/countertop-oven
I use a lot of garlic and onions but now, hardly use my cuisinart food processor unless I am cooking a ton of food (ie spring rolls or pot stickers which I make a lot and freeze.)I highly recommend a Kitchen aid cordless stick blender. The whole tray it comes in stores conveniently in one of my drawers and the accessories in one of my cupboard. I use it mainly for chopping garlic, onion, carrots etc for a meal. very handy! I love a cordless one esp not having to drag it across the burner which is a pain. I used to own cuisinart’s cordless stick blender for this purpose but believe me, every 2 years, I had to buy a new one as their battery does not last . I had 3 sets of their accessories until I made up my mind to buy the more expensive kitchen aid one, hopefully this lithium battery will last 5 years.
We are a family of cheese eaters ( including my poms who will do anything for a slice of cheese). A cheese grater, a cheese slicer and a rotary zylis grater that is stored in my rectangular glass lock container together with a block of parmesan cheese for my son’s daily use of his parmesan cheese is very helpful. ( Believe me, he consume parmesan cheese a lot not just in his pasta, but his breakfast, omelet, almost everything )

Wow, only 1 working burner would be a deal breaker for me, if I had a choice on where I’m staying. If you’re not a big gadget person, I would likely chime in and say less is better. But I think having an alternative for cooking outside of the one burner might be good. Are Instant Pots a thing in Singapore? It can replace your rice cooker if you need it, but you can cook a lot with the Instant Pot, leaving your burner for anything that needs to heat or cook quickly.

Otherwise, I find it hard to recommend gadgets unless I know what you enjoy cooking or tend to cook more often. The Breville Smart Oven is great as an extra oven (I love mine!), that also toasts, reheats and warms well, but if you already have an oven that works well in your new apt, not sure it’s adding anything new (except toast).

Rechargeable lithium battery, you need to recharge them at least once a month to prolong the battery health. Forgetting the machines in drawers with an empty battery for a prolong time will lead a dead battery.

Hah Hah Phreddy!
I forgot to add I have a Honduras Mahogany butcher block custom made for me by Board Smith on my countertop.
If any one wants a quality board, he is the guru!
Years ago, I saw one featured by a reported for the Washington Post made by David Smith. I fell in love with it and had to have one. So I wrote to him to make one for me. It is the beautiful board that you see at the back of his webpage. Mine is an exact copy.
I leave my loaf of bread on it and a couple of ABC crystal cheese domes etc . I also leave a bread knife with another tiny bread board so if someone wants to cut a loaf of bread, they still have to use a board! Not always works as guests sometimes bend the rules esp when host is not around! so , there are a few marks on it!
I guess I am vain !

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold