Some ice cream makers have an inner freezer bowl that has to be frozen before you put it into the machine. The lining of the bowl is a gel which freezes over a period of 12-24 hours before you can start to make the ice cream – and needs quite a space in your freezer. More expensive machines have better electronic components and a built in freezer and freeze the bowl and ice cream mixture. The ice cream maker also has a paddle which churns the ice cream mixture and breaks down the ice crystals. Ice cream making machines do vary in size – from small ones of around 1litre capacity to those double that. Bigger ones will take longer to make the ice cream. [Read more...]
Kitchen machines for processing food vary from the very large and impressive down to quite little doodads that fit out of sight on the countertop. However, it’s not just what you want to do with these clever machines; it’s how much you want to use them and whether it’s for a family of two or twenty two.
Technically food processors are the medium-sized machines that chop, slice and grate, and some will have a blender or other attachments. They can also mix cake dough and whip and whisk up cream or mayonnaise, but if you want to do a lot of cooking and baking then the larger kitchen mixer might be best.
Kitchen Machines or Food mixers have been around for a long time – my mother an early adopter, had one umptyum years ago and hers had, like now available a dough hook and beater, and also had a blender and food processor attachment. A mincer is also available for the dedicated cook and those who make large batches of stuff for the freezer. These are not particularly easy to clean but you can put them in a dish washer.
Mini-choppers are the little machines for everyday use that are good for chopping or pureeing small amounts of food. Mine also has two blades and one used for grinding. Useful as these little gadgets are they are not good for anything other than smallish amounts of food and are not useful for liquids.
You can get a Kenwood Food Processor from the Kenwood FP120 at around £35 to the Kenwood Multipro Kitchen Machine at £75, and a powerful Bosch at £140.
Mini-Choppers are available at any price from under £10 to top of the range at about £50, but it is worthwhile to compare facilities (for example, has it a grinder facility like mine?
The clever halogen oven is powered by an electric motor which converts the intense infra red waves produced by the halogen bulb into heat. It also powers a fan to circulate the heat evenly within the glass chamber of the oven and cooks the food very quickly. The halogen oven can roast and fry food as well as boil and bake and even grill. This small oven can cook as well as a large oven and as there is no heat up time, it is far quicker to start cooking –and the oven is self-cleaning too. The halogen oven also uses up to 75% less electricity to cook than a larger conventional oven, so saving energy and money.
There are few downsides – though it is quite small the halogen oven does take up space on your worktop, which is bad news for small kitchens. Also the oven lid gets very hot and for many ovens there is not stand provided – and as the lid is glass, it can break and take lots of money to replace so care is needed. In some cases a microwave is quicker than a halogen oven, but they both have their particular uses.
Halogen ovens can be found online from less than £50 and some much less than that – such as the JML. The Andrew James and Wolf Halogen ovens are also popular makes and it is wise to shop around for good prices when you find a brand you like.