Buyer's Guide: How To Choose The Right Kitchen Appliances For Your Home
Modern cooking appliances save time, speed up cooking and make our lives easier. So, a lot of planning is needed before you make the right choice. Here is a guide to selecting aids for your kitchen.
By Team ParentCircle
Can you imagine cooking without a mixer-blender, an electric cooker or a gas stove? Obviously not. We often take kitchen appliances for granted and do not realise how they make our lives easier. In fact, the right devices and gadgets can make cooking a fun, family experience!
Nothing brings more joy than having a fully-equipped kitchen for your family! So, ensure that you conduct an informed appliance research before you start shopping for your wonder kitchen.
Here are some pointers to guide you through the process:
Have a good plan
- Sit down and think about your personal tastes and requirements, before you finalise a realistic appliance purchase strategy.
- Don't take decisions in a hurry — do your research, compare prices and then, make your choice.
Purchasing the right kitchen appliance can be tricky. You may be looking for a facelift for your existing kitchen, remodelling the current plan or putting together your dream kitchen. But, the layout of your kitchen must inform your purchases. Keep in mind the following:
- Consider the architectural and structural layout of your kitchen before buying any appliance.
- Plan how you can effectively utilise your kitchen space and not clutter it with unnecessary gadgets.
- Some appliances often look great but your kitchen may require structural modifications before you can use them.
Look at the cost factor
- Kitchen appliances can entail a huge investment, so do spend time planning or thinking about how you can make the best choices within a budget.
- Establish a realistic budget for your kitchen project and do stick it, while you shop.
- Modern and new-age kitchen aids are big on looks but it is always better to choose functionality over aesthetics.
Will you use it?
Pay close attention to your daily cooking habits and styles. What utensils or gadgets do you use regularly to cook for your family? Also, consider the family’s lifestyle preferences. Will buying a new appliance make things easier and better in the future? Busy kitchens might require time-saving upgrades. So, look for functionalities like speed cooking and smart controls. However, unless you see yourself using an appliance consistently, you do not need it.
Kitchen appliances need to be energy-efficient else they will not be cost-effective in the long run. For instance, your refrigerator has to run continuously. Ovens, vents and dishwashers use up a fair amount of power too. Many appliances continue to draw 'phantom loads' even when they are switched 'off.' Therefore, it is good to be aware of how much electricity they consume. This can help you understand how much money you spend on power to run those appliances.
Look and feel
You can narrow down your choices based on the look and feel of your appliances too. Stainless steel is a popular finish as it is easy to maintain and long-lasting. But there are other trends today. Modern appliances are available in a variety of sleek designs that can revamp the overall look of your kitchen. But, before actually purchasing products, try to visualise how each appliance will come together elegantly to create the finished look of your kitchen.
Here is a list of kitchen appliances and what you should look for:
First, check if your current refrigerator is sufficient for your needs or if you need an upgrade. Refrigerators come with plenty of features today, including a door-based water dispenser. Do you want your child to drink more water? A refrigerator with a door-based water dispenser could well be the answer. Children often find it fun to go drink water from a fridge that has this feature. In fact, it is quite possible that the entire family may end up drinking more water! In such cases, the water dispenser is computerised to measure out 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of water, each time.
Opting for a large-sized or compact refrigerator is a matter of personal preference based on the size and requirement of your family. The space available in the kitchen or dining area, is also an important aspect, in this regard. While there are advantages with extra features, keep in mind that such refrigerators also need regular servicing and maintenance.
Today, for your kitchen, you can choose between a regular gas stovetop, an electric coil, an induction stovetop or, a combination of all these. Induction stovetops are popular as these tend to stay hot for a long time after use. They are easier to clean and maintain. On the downside, these are not entirely scratch-resistant. Electric coil tops are also found in modern kitchens today.
What is your preference for a cooker? Do you use a stovetop pressure cooker or an electric one? Stovetop aluminum pressure cookers come in two, three or five-litre capacities. Both options are available with digital functions and timers.
Slow cookers and roasters are electric appliances that use a timer to boil, steam, bake, grill, fry, roast, stew and simmer foods. They come with adjustable heating systems and delayed cook-times that offer easy options for warming foods too.
Microwaves range from simple or basic ones to super smart variations. Did you know that you can connect the latest microwaves with your smartphone or your home network via WiFi? These machines come with convenient features and capabilities which can be quite tempting for any home-maker. So, decide your budget and analyse your lifestyle needs. Most families do not use the microwave to cook extensively. However, it is handy for quick reheating. Fix your budget based on your functional needs. Also, keep in mind facts like the capacity you require, the space it will occupy and where you plan to place the microwave. Prior to buying, decide whether your microwave will go on the countertop, under a cabinet, or be placed on an over-the-head rack.
Do you love bakes and pastas? Then, you can enjoy a full-size gourmet experience in your kitchen with the latest digital countertop ovens that come with pre-programmed functions. Incredible results guaranteed every time! The textures and flavours of the foods you make in an oven are definitely superior to that made using a conventional oven, toaster, griller (OTG). This is because, in an oven, food is cooked from the outside in as opposed to how a microwave heats from inside out. Oven come in 19, 23 or 48-litre capacities.
Blenders are a wonder product. Be it a zesty juice, a delicious smoothie or a fresh chutney — blenders make you a whiz at all this and more. Analyse your cooking usage to determine what you need. A horizontal wet grinder or a sleek bullet mixer-grinder? Do you need a juicer or perhaps, a food processor? Also, hand mixer-blenders with multi-speed capabilities are becoming a firm favourite in modern kitchens now.
Whether you prefer a latte or you are happy with a simple cup of joe, the right coffee maker for your family is out there. Coffee is such an integral part of life today that it is expected to be offered both at home and in your work place. So, if you need that cuppa to get over early morning grogginess or simply want to impress your guests with fancy lattes, today there are plenty of options to choose from. Keep in mind the following tips:
- French press and percolators are the most affordable and simple-to-use.
- A drip coffee brewer is for daily coffee-making for your family.
- Single-serve coffee makers or pod coffee makers are simple and easy-to-clean and ideal for offices.
- Espresso makers are usually more expensive but give the best quality and variety of coffees, including cappuccinos, lattes and mochas.
Keep these tips in mind will help you when it comes to looking at price ranges and comparing models. While most products sold online come with good discounts, nothing is more satisfying than going to the shop and checking out the appliances for yourself. Remember that reputed appliance stores often give you a good deal, apart from helping you with delivery and installation, where required. Also, while it may be worthwhile to stick with a trusted brand you have used earlier, it is also wiser (and easier on your pocket) to buy items across brands.
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home. As a family, do you often love having cookouts or preparing meals together? Then, an efficiently and smartly stocked kitchen will make the entire experience that much more memorable. So, do your research and keep our reference guide in mind before setting up a kitchen that is just right for you and your family.
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