Buyer’s Guide

With a knock­out com­bi­na­tion of raw power, com­put­erised smarts and de­signer styling, these elec­tri­cal essentials open up new hori­zons in the kitchen, writes Alaana Cobon.

Australian House & Garden - - News -

Bench­top ap­pli­ances.

The ex­pec­ta­tions we place on kitchen ap­pli­ances have moved far be­yond the util­i­tar­ian: to­day they must per­form bril­liantly and look fab­u­lous. New mod­els may come clad in myr­iad ma­te­ri­als, such as this year’s brushed cop­per or matt black, or ac­cented with leather, wood and other fin­ishes you’d ex­pect to see on an in­te­rior de­signer’s mood board, mak­ing it clear they’ve been cre­ated with con­tem­po­rary kitchen aes­thet­ics in mind.

Fash­ion plays a big role in sea­sonal re­leases. A new wave of fresh hues has hit the is­lands – kitchen is­lands, that is – with pretty pas­tels and rosy metallics among the most pop­u­lar choices. “No longer hid­den away in kitchen cup­boards, ap­pli­ances are now an im­por­tant part of kitchen styling,” says Chris­tos Bouko­gian­nis, por­ta­ble ap­pli­ance buyer for The Good Guys.

Be­ing big on style goes in hand with func­tion­al­ity. Home cooks ex­pect that they’ll be able to recre­ate the types of meals at home that they en­joy in cafes or see on cook­ing shows. To achieve this, new kitchen ma­chines are more pow­er­ful, in­tu­itive and mul­ti­func­tional.

“Aus­tralians want real food that can be made sim­pler, faster and more ex­cit­ing. They want to spend less time in the kitchen and en­joy more time with fam­ily and friends in­stead,” says Grace Mazur, founder and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ther­momix Aus­tralia.

The mar­ket also of­fers a range of aids for the health-con­scious. Air-fry­ing, steam­ing and spi­ral­is­ing are part of a com­mon theme across new re­leases and add-ons for ex­ist­ing ap­pli­ances.

“There’s a ma­jor fo­cus on boost­ing func­tion­al­ity as an up­grade on new mod­els,” says Kate Stans­berry, ap­pli­ances cat­e­gory buyer at Myer. “Both KitchenAid and Bre­ville have de­vel­oped dic­ing kits, mak­ing it easy to pro­duce sal­sas or sal­ads. KitchenAid is in­tro­duc­ing a sheet at­tach­ment that thinly slices fruits and vegeta­bles to wrap around small-bite meals such as sushi or hors d’oeu­vres.”

Also play­ing into the health and life­style as­pects of bench­top ap­pli­ance pur­chases, all man­ner of juicers re­main pop­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly cold-press mod­els. And high-pow­ered, mul­ti­pur­pose blenders keep on evolv­ing – re­cent re­leases in­clude the Nu­triBul­let Se­lect and Vi­ta­mix As­cent se­ries – so devo­tees of green smooth­ies are well catered for.

Smart tech­nol­ogy is in­creas­ingly mak­ing its pres­ence felt in the kitchen. In line with the evo­lu­tion of the In­ter­net of Things ev­ery­where else in our lives, kitchen equip­ment is be­com­ing more in­tu­itive and in­tel­li­gent. “One of the big­gest trends we are see­ing is the rise of the con­nected kitchen,” says Mazur. “Peo­ple want the best tech­nol­ogy in their kitchen.”

In­creas­ingly, bench­top ap­pli­ances come with built-in sen­sors, Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and com­pan­ion apps that al­low you ac­cess to fur­ther in­for­ma­tion. The Ther­momix Cook-Key at­tach­ment pro­vides ac­cess to a global li­brary of more than 26,000 recipes; the iSom­me­lier Pro, a smart de­canter from iFavine, ac­cesses wine­mak­ers’ tast­ing notes; and Anova al­lows you to pair its sous-vide cook­ing de­vice with your smart­phone, so you can con­trol the done­ness of your steak from a dis­tance.

Whether the tech side of cook­ing is what ex­cites you, or you’re more of an aes­thete and sim­ply en­joy the way new ap­pli­ances look, now is the time to up­date your kitchen. And when you’ve de­cided what to buy, you’ll find an on­line com­mu­nity of peo­ple who own the same thing ready to share recipes and of­fer ad­vice, the per­fect com­ple­ment to your ap­pli­ance pur­chase.

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