Smarten up your ap­pli­ances

Get ready to splurge on some se­ri­ously sexy ap­pli­ances

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS - TRACEY HORDERN

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.

You’re toast

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.

Blend­ing in

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 do-it-all

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.

PHOTO: SMEG

PHOTO: SMEG

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