Here are 5 affordable kitchen appliances for making delicious winter warmers with
If there were a contest for the most popular time of year to crave comfort food, winter would be the winner. While it’s tempting to turn to take-out to satisfy the cravings, it doesn’t take a nutritionist to tell us that this is not the best thing for our health… or our wallets.
Whether UberEats is costing you a small fortune, or you’re tired of pressing your nose up against the glass of the oven door waiting for that Shepherd’s pie to finally finish cooking, these affordable kitchen appliances may be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Air fryers · See All
Air fryers are a hit in the kitchen all year round, and the cold months are no exception. These handy helpers can convection cook winter warmers to crispy perfection - without drowning food in oil. This offers a healthy compromise that doesn’t seem to be going out of style any time soon.
But air fryers can be costly. Shelling out over $400 on a Philips air fryer with all the bells and whistles might be an attractive prospect, but just not in your budget. And if you’re an air fryer first-timer, you may be worried your new purchase will end up in that appliance junkyard located at the back of a dark, dusty kitchen cupboard. If this sounds like you, a budget air fryer is the way to go.
Enter the Kmart Anko 3.2L Air Fryer. At $69, it’s not just affordable - but it also won the ProductReview.com.au Award for Best Air Fryer in 2020. With its 0.8kg working capacity, you can cook the same amount of food as you would be able to in the Philips Airfryer Premium Compact Digital, which costs $399.
Bread makers · See All
Biting into hot toast, with that sizable dollop of butter melting on top? It’s what winter eat-dreams are made of.
Buying a bread maker is a good compromise between buying store-bought bread - which often contains preservatives and artificial ingredients - and making bread at home from scratch. Making a loaf from scratch requires you to knead the bread yourself, which takes skill and patience. It’s a labour of love that’s just not everyone’s cup of tea.
A bread maker will mix, knead and make the bread for you, so you can set and forget the machine after adding the ingredients and pressing a button. When the time’s up, all that’s left for you to do is butter up, eat and enjoy.
At $119, the Sunbeam Compact Bakehouse is the most affordable product in the Top-5 rated Bread Makers on ProductReview.com.au. It’s easy to use, makes consistently good bread, and can also whip up dough for pastries, pasta and pizza. It also does things you wouldn’t expect of a bread maker, like make jam, cakes and even sticky date pudding (yum!)
Multi cookers · See All
Multi cookers are multi-purpose marvels, and work as both a slow cooker and pressure cooker in one. If you’re the type of home chef that doesn’t particularly enjoy labouring over their culinary creations, a reliable multi cooker can help you make slow cooked stews and steaming curries in no time.
Many multi cookers also have one-touch buttons, so you can make yoghurt, risotto, and stew at the press of a button - perfect for those lazy nights when you’d rather be snuggling on the sofa with a blanket in front of the TV.
You may think that this will come at a hefty price, and there are plenty of multi-cookers that get you to loosen your purse strings quite a bit. However, the Crock Pot Express gives you bang for your buck. It’s $159, but you can often find it on sale.
It works as 5 appliances in 1, with a generously sized 5.7-litre cooking bowl that can feed a family of six. It even has a Dessert button, so you can make cakes, puddings and banana bread in it.
Pie makers · See All
Flaky golden pastry and flavoursome fillings make pies pretty damn irresistible - especially when it’s chilly outside. During lockdown though, you may be understandably hesitant to nip out to your favourite local bakery or deli to pick up a pie.
Pie makers are nifty little appliances that take both the work and waiting out of making pies the traditional way. All you need to do is cut the right size of pastry for a pie base and lid, fill it with delicious ingredients, and a pie maker will do the rest for you.
The Sunbeam Pie Magic is a popular favourite in many Aussie households. The cooking time takes around 10 minutes, which definitely beats waiting for at least 40 minutes for pies to cook in the oven. You can make pies from scratch, use the Pie Magic to reheat store-bought pies, and even pop frozen pies into it.
Savoury foods aren’t the sole stars of this show, though - the Sunbeam Pie Magic has a sweet side, too. It can make donuts, custard tarts and scones, and other desserts with a crispy exterior and soft filling.
If you want an even cheaper pie-making option, this $20 Kmart Pie Maker is also a hit with our reviewers.
Sandwich presses · See All
Bread seems to be a bit of a winter food theme, doesn’t it? Well, it turns out there’s a reason - since we get less Vitamin D from the sun in winter, serotonin levels tend to drop. Eating carbs can help release serotonin, a brain chemical that elevates mood. So, basically, bread is the new sun.
A sandwich press is already a staple in most households. It’s not difficult to see why - it lets you make a meal, even when the fridge is looking bare and there’s only a few end pieces of bread and a single slice of cheese in sight.
The Breville Toast and Melt is a well-constructed, durable sandwich press that’ll go the distance when it comes to serving up sizzling sandwiches for years to come. Its flat plate design means you’re not just restricted to making toasties, like you’d be with a jaffle iron, but you can also make wraps, paninis and burritos.
The Sunbeam Compact Cafe Grill is also worthy of a mention, and was the ProductReview.com.au Award Winner in its category in 2019. It’s the same size as the $69.95 Toast & Melt model, and at $49.95, is a smidge cheaper.