Kitchens are the hub of the home, you will spend most of your time here so it is imperative your kitchen works hard for you. There is an amazing amount of choices when it comes to appliances and gadgets for your Kitchen and it can be overwhelming when trying to decide what to choose. Worry no longer! This list of must have gadgets will help you make the most of your kitchen, whether you are looking to make your old kitchen more up to date, or if you are designing the perfect new kitchen!
1. Waste Disposal System
Sounds like a villain from a sci-fi film, but the Insinkerator is fast becoming a household name. No longer do you need a green waste bin on your kitchen counter, not only looking hideous, but foul smelling and attracting fruit flies in the summer, yuck! A waste disposal system fits inside your sink, all the food waste is then broken down into particles that flush away with the water waste. Brilliant!!
- Deals with all food waste including bones!
- Beautifully designed (not that this matters as it will be hidden under your sink anyway!) Sound insulated so it is much quieter than most machines!
- This powerful machine does come with a hefty price tag, be prepared to pay a starting price from £300
- Takes up a reasonable amount of space under your sink, not always ideal when storage space is an issue
2. A water Softener System
Water softeners remove minerals such as calcium from your water supply. This is especially great for us Londoners that live in areas with hard water!
- Appliances last longer due to reduction of lime scale
- You use less products as the water produces its own lather (economical!)
- Research suggests it is good for those that suffer from skin conditions such a eczema
- Bubblier baths!
- Salt based softeners release increased salt into the water supply which has a detrimental effect to the environment. Eco plus does not use salt based blocks, but changes the molecular structure of the minerals!
- Quooker also have the option of a pull out faucet, enabling you to wash and fill those big pans. I must if you entertain guests regularly.
- The units can be quite large, so not great where space is an issue
- Cost of the unit starts from £1,500
- Filters need to replaced annually
3. Hot water Tap
Instant Filter Coffee....need I say more?
- Your partner no longer has any excuse not to bring you a hot cup of coffee when you ask, its just too easy!
- Safety catch means it is child safe compared to a hot water kettle
- Space saving as no need for a kettle
- Economical energy consumption
- Boil vegetables quickly and easily
- Prices start from £900 so it is not cheap, but other than that I struggle to think of any disadvantages!
4. Double Dishwasher
A controversial one this, take a look at the pros and cons and see what you think.
- Great for small families and couples, fill half the dishwasher while the other half is being washed. Never have to empty the dishwasher again!
- Very compact - pull out drawers rather than a drop down drawer - means they are great for small kitchens
- Half the capacity of a standard dishwasher so not so great for larger families if you are using it for the benefit of never having to empty it, although no reason why you couldn't use both top and bottom section at the same time!
- History of faults and breakdowns - sadly reviews for the drawers are not fantastic. Reportedly the number of breakdowns are so frequent it takes away from the benefits considerably. Fisher & Paykel are an Australian company, so repairing faults comes with a high price tag - Definitely something to take into account if you are considering buying these!
5. Wine cooler/ Storage
First, let me make this clear; if you like to drink, simply because the kids have driven you up the wall and anything alcoholic will do, then dont bother with a wine cooler. For the wine connoisseur however, a wine cooler is a must have. It is essential to keep fine wines at an optimum temperature, whilst also protecting your treasured bottles from infrared and UV radiation. I have selected this John Lewis FF for the simple reason its an all in one solution, without the need for a seperate cooler. With space being so limited in most London homes, this seems like a no brainer if a wine cooler is on top of your must have list!
- No need for a seperate wine cooler, whilst retaining a spacious fridge and freezer
- Sleek design
- Clear tempered glass means wines can be seen and accessed easily
- Wines held at an optimum temperature
- Holds up to 39 Bottles
- John Lewis guarantee
- Cost is on par to buying a fridge freezer and wine cooler seperately
- Reduced freezer space
6. Steam Oven
It is January and we are all thinking about healthy eating. If like me you hate having appliances clutter the worktops, an integrated steam oven is one to consider!
- 4 cooking levels mean you can cook a variety of dishes together, quickly and efficiently
- Descaling function for easy cleaning
- Warming function, great for entertaining and busy families (This was the winning point for me!)
- No plumbing required
- Obviously a counter top steamer is a much cheaper alternative, the Miele link above is around £1,300
7. Induction Cooker
Miele KM 629
I will tell you now, I am a big Miele fan, I am yet to switch from gas to induction myself though. It cannot be argued however that induction hobs have a wide range of benefits, who knows I may be swayed!
- Super easy to clean
- Even heat distribution, means food is cooked quickly
- Smart technology that senses the size of your pan and adjusts accordingly! (MIND BLOWN!)
- Safety features including auto stop for when you start yapping on the phone to your girlfriend and forget you lift the dinner on. I have never done this. Ever. Nope!
- Only 4 heat zones
- If you switch to an induction hob, you will need to ensure your pots and pans are induction compatible which may mean more shopping! Sorry!
- The Miele as always is a beauty with a price, this comes at an eye watering +£1,900
8. Built in speakers
I love all things AV related, but the kitchen is most definitely a place I cannot do without music. I am sure we all shake those hips while cooking the pasta sauce, using a wooden spoon as the mic, while....ok maybe that's just me. Anyhow, if you are redesigning your kitchen, installing built in speakers is something I would strongly recommend!
Things to consider:
- Use a specialised team to install the speakers, you really don't want to be redoing the ceiling if something goes wrong once the kitchen is complete!
- Think about the finish of the speakers, there is a wide choice available so you can select a colour that will complement your kitchen design