Smarten up your appliances
Get ready to splurge on some seriously sexy appliances
The Australian small appliance market is anything but small. Worth about $30 billion every year according to Canstar Blue research, it seems Australians tend to believe that when it comes to home appliances, you get what you pay for.
When it comes to purchasing small appliances, most of us see the value in spending a little bit more for quality and known brands, rather than the false economy of buying a cheap appliance that is unlikely to go the distance.
Investing in quality new kitchen appliances is also one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to enhance your kitchen.
The range of finishes now available is where the development has gone. Finishes vary from high-grade steel, coloured ceramics, with copper the latest stylish appliance finish, along with heat resistant glass.
Following is a run-down on the latest kitchen appliances, all of which are available from retailers in our region. Shop local and support our community.
Make mine a double espresso
For coffee drinkers, the new generation coffee pod machines are the must-have gadget. Designed to make cafe-quality coffee, they also look super cool on the kitchen bench.
Tip: Choose a coffee pod machine that takes the brand of coffee you like and can access easily. For instance, only certain machines take the Nespresso brand of coffee pods.
Remember when a certain politician pitched a new tax, so the cafe owner could buy a $6000 toaster? It turns out there is such an animal, but for those of us operating a family kitchen, you don’t have to shell out quite that much. Aside from larger, four-slice toasters, most of the design change for toasters has been superficial, with attractive, coloured ceramic or copper finishes popular.
Tip: If you do choose a stainless steel finish, ensure you buy the best quality you can afford. The market is flooded with cheap Chinese stainless steel that unfortunately stains and rusts in very little time.
Bring it to the boil
Taking pride of place on most kitchen benches and stovetops is the humble kettle. Some of the new finishes are stunning, including the latest electric glass kettles, though the vintageinspired ceramic kettles can be incredibly attractive as well. Tip: If you’re a big tea drinker and require boiling water in a
hurry, choose an electric kettle. These types of kettles boil much faster than a stovetop kettle does.
The kitchen staple, a quality blender, serves multiple functions, from blending your favourite smoothie or soup, to grinding cooking ingredients and crushing ice for easy frozen drinks.
Tip: Be fussy about selecting a blender with blades that can do the job. Some will chop nuts, for example, while others are only good for soups and smoothies. If you’re a heavy user, you might need a more expensive model to stand up to the job.
A little bit of fizz
The new kid on the bench – and one of my favourites, the Sodastream saves on landfill (bottled water) and allows you to make your own sparkling water.
The latest Sodastream Spirit range comes in red, black or white to complement any kitchen.
Tip: To avoid the kitchen sprinkler effect, always ensure the bottle is screwed in tightly when carbonating your water.
The Holy Grail of kitchen appliances, it’s more a case of what doesn’t a Kitchenaid do? While a big investment, these are indispensable for any keen home cook, and like most appliances, they just keep getting more attractive.
Tip: Do your research, as there’s no point spending a small fortune unless you intend to use most of the functions in a particular model.
Don’t forget functionality and star ratings
There’s no point getting an eight-slice toaster for a small household.
Either read reviews online, or better yet, view the product at a store and ask staff what will best suits your needs, while taking into account the all-important energy rating.
Many terrific-looking appliances, with great functionality, are now more affordable thanks to manufacturers going all out to reflect current tastes.