If you want to buy a useful new gadget for a keen cook in your life, you’ll be spoilt for choice. With such a huge variety of food processors, kettles, juicers and so on available, deciding on a gift can be far from straightforward.
Here’s our round-up of five of the most invaluable bits of kitchen kit for food lovers.
1. Morphy Richards Accents Slow Cooker
Slow cookers have really taken off in popularity over the past few years, and it’s not hard to work out why. They are relatively cheap to buy, cost less than an oven to run, and they make it incredibly easy to cook delicious stews and braises.
This model has a bowl that can be used on the hob to sear meat, for example, before it goes in the cooker, to add extra flavour to the finished dish.
£29.99 Morphy Richards
2. Nutribullet 8-Piece Set
The latest in healthy-eating technology, the Nutribullet is a high-powered smoothie maker that can turn fruit, vegetables and even nuts into nutritious drinks.
Its advantage over traditional juicers is that it retains food’s fibre content rather than simply extracting the juice.
Another bonus is that the Nutribullet doesn’t take up much space and is easy to clean.
3. Heston Blumenthal Precision Kitchen Scales
Accurate measurement of ingredients is a vital part of successful cooking and baking, and these scales, while not cheap, make the process simple.
They weigh to half a gramme and allow you to reset the read-out to zero each time you need to add extra ingredients to your bowl.
Perhaps the best thing about them is that they run on standard AAA batteries, which are much easier to get hold of than the watch-style batteries required by most other scales.
4. Hotpoint Multi-Functional Hand Blender
Although it’s described as a hand blender, this is really a small, extremely versatile food processor.
It comes with a large and small bowl, and can be used for slicing, grating and chopping – as well as for whisking and liquidizing with the attachments included.
Compared with a full-size processor, it’s much more light and manoeuvrable and stores away very neatly: ideal for kitchens where space is at a premium.
5. Russell Hobbs 20160 Illumina Kettle
If you thought a kettle was a device for boiling water, think again.
Some beverages work better with water that is heated to slightly less than 100 degrees C – so while normal tea is best made with water at its highest temperature, green tea should be brewed with water at 70 degrees C, while fresh coffee is thought to taste better if it starts at 90 degrees C.
This kettle is one of several models that let users set their desired temperature, and its stainless steel finish looks pretty good too.