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Buying Guide: 10 Food Preparation Appliances

For the most part, we don’t need extra appliances just because they make our work easier. Sometimes it is just better to stick to the caveman way of doing things thus being minimalist and clutter-free. 

Some recipes span back 100 to 300 years ago when there were no appliances and everything turned out fine

What I’m saying is, these tools are not a must-have( or essentials ) but more of a nice to have.

Keywords: immersion blender, food processor, juicer, coffee maker, kettle, meat mincer, stand mixer, hand mixer, blender

10. Immersion Blender

Panasonic Immersion(Hand) Blender
Panasonic Immersion(Hand) Blender

While an immersion blender won’t replace other types of blenders discussed here, it has its own spot where it shines. Crushing tomatoes, making soups, sauces, and dressings especially whilst cooking. The fun part is, cleaning is so effortless

You are probably gonna use this so often so yes, an immersion blender is a worthy purchase especially if you are a soup person, or need to blend hot foods without the hustle of blending in a traditional blender jug and transferring everything back to the pot, and bam made yourself an extra jug to clean.

They are also referred to as hand blenders and will cost anywhere between KSh 3,000 and 8,000, please don’t pay more than that for an immersion blender

Recommended brands:  Panasonic, Philips, Von, Ramtons

9. Food Processor

Philips Food Processor
Philips Food Processor

Food processors shine in chopping and julienning vegetables, especially where it is intensive to do it with a knife and chopping board. Or making sauces, purees, and pastes too. You can also use it to emulsify and whip; creams, mayonnaise, and peanut butter

If you don’t have a mixer, a food processor can make small batches of dough.

In case you have an immersion blender and a traditional blender then a food processor won’t be that neccesary

Having one you won’t be necessarily using it that often, so get this if you feel like it fits your use case. Otherwise, you can do just fine without it and you won’t realize you are missing something. 

A Kenwood model will cost you around KSh 12,000, and a Ramtons one will be cheaper at around KSh 8,000.

8. Juicer

Juicing is all fun and games until the cleaning part comes. Seriously, you suddenly have to detach all the parts to clean everything up. If you enjoy doing dishes then proceed. If not then you will be better off with supermarket boxed juices

Juicing is worth it if you want to personalize your drinks with no added sugar or additives. Plus juicing is expensive unless you get fruits for free or buy them in bulk when in season

Ramtons and Kenwood juicers are generally good and get the job done. Sayona and Von are equally good it is just that the plastic body doesn’t promise longevity. An average juicer will cost you between KSh 6,000 and 12,000

There are dedicated juicers for citrus; oranges, lemons, and limes that are so cheap if that is what you are going to be juicing. They cost just KSh 2,500 and less 

7. Coffee Maker

This is a big topic and I can talk about it endlessly. To make things easier, we will look at drip coffee machines and espresso machines.

Drip coffee makers are more on the budget and they make the classic drip coffee by hot percolating water through the coffee granules and dissolving it as the water drips down to your cup as drip coffee

Espresso machines on the other end are complex and advanced, they use pressure and high temperature to extract coffee, and the resulting coffee,(espresso) is so concentrated  and highly caffeinated

Check out this post for more on coffee drinks and espresso ; 

10+ Common Types of Coffee Drinks: Know Your Coffee 

Drip coffee machines have a budget of between KSh 7,000 to 15,000. You will get offerings from brands like Ramtons, Philips, and Kenwood

For espresso machines, the affordable options include DeLonghi and the budget starts from over KSh 45,000. Espresso machines are pricey so it makes sense why the cafe shops are booming in business and opening branches everywhere.

6. Electric Kettle

Electric Kettle
Electric Kettle

An Electric kettle is more like an essential, (and I don’t even own one). You always need hot water for several reasons and turning on your stove cooker with a pot of water isn’t the most convenient or quick way. So there comes an electric kettle that gives you steamy boiling water in just under 2 minutes for making tea or whatever you need hot water for.

Electric kettles are so affordable, starting at just KSh 1,500 for trusted brands (in plastic bodies), all stainless steel models will cost over twice but they last much longer.

However, upon usage with hard water, a salt residue will form around the heating element thus reducing its efficiency. You can mitigate this by descaling, using lemon juice or vinegar, and boiling it with water once in a while to neutralize the salt deposits.

5. Meat Mincer

Kenwood Meat Mincer
Kenwood Meat Mincer

You can skip on a mincer and get an attachment head for your stand mixer. However, if you fancy more control over your grind and use other functions, a dedicated meat mincer/ grinder is the way.

You can use your minced meat to make samosa fillings, roll into meatballs, or make burger patties. Making everything yourself gives you control in adjusting the fat levels you want in your meat products.

You can even make kebabs and your fresh sausages with this effortlessly. I feel like it is only worth it if you gonna be using it more often, and not gathering dust in your cabinets.

Kenwood has a good offering for just under KSh 13,000

4. Digital Scale

Digital Kitchen Scale
Digital Kitchen Scale

While kitchen scales aren’t something we use in ordinary cooking, if you baking it is necessary. Actually, your ingredients should be measured by weight and not volume for better consistency in results.

Get any brand, they all work fine and accurately,  however, find the Nutricook model small, simple, and minimalist with a stainless steel body thus promising more longevity. The only bummer is that it doesn’t have an attached bowl to it. It is just plain flat. If you want one with a bowl then get a Von or Kenwood model. 

Digital scales are very affordable and you shouldn’t spend more than KSh 3,000 here.

3. Stand Mixer

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer White
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer White

This is only worth it for a big or serious kitchen. If you stay by yourself I see no point in having a stand mixer, unless you are really into heavy baking and acting all cheffy.

Kitchen Aid brand is the holy grail here, but it comes at an insane but reasonable price tag( considering how versatile they can go) you can opt to buy used or ex-UK for cheaper. You shouldn’t be worried about buying used since Kitchen Aid mixers last a lifetime, the used unit might even out-live you 🙁

I’m here recommending Kitchen Aid knowing very well I can’t afford that either, what other options do we have fellow peasants? Well, Kenwood is my other recommendation. I have seen a 12-year-old one still going strong, and another 7-year-old one so why not recommend that? Plus Kenwood is a readily available brand in Kenya, ( at Hotpoint  Appliances ) and you don’t have to go through the hassle of shipping from US stores and waiting a month.

What is so special about Kitchen-Aid Mixers?

  1. They come with attachments, and support for aftermarket attachments is so big; pasta roller for making your own homemade pasta from scratch, meat mincer, vegetable peeler and slicer, and cheese grater …….they are over 10 attachments so at the end of the day, it is not just an average stand mixer.
  2. They have steel bodies meaning they are heavy and dense compared to other models, the dense and compact footprint helps in making the unit sturdy and can knead at high speeds without vibration or wobbling all over the place
  3. Totally worth it if you make bread or do professional baking, Kitchen Aid handles the stiff dough so well and effortlessly 
  4. They last for ages with zero mechanical issues, and up to 25 years with no replacement parts. And in case of failure, parts are available easily.

2. Hand Mixer

Hand Mixer
Hand Mixer

In case you are wondering if it is worth it to have a hand mixer when you have a stand mixer, the answer is YES.

Hand mixers whilst not being as powerful as stand mixers, they excel in some use cases like whipping and whisking. While you can argue that you can do that with your hand and a whisk, it’s not a match. 

Hand mixers make good and consistent batter for pancakes and muffins. Even the cheapest one does the trick. They however struggle with stiff dough say cookie dough. But for small batches, they do so effortlessly.

If you are getting started in the home-baking game, these guys are the best to begin with. They cost as cheap as KSh 2,000 so why not get one? Expensive brands range up to KSh 15,000 but I wouldn’t justify paying that much for a hand mixer.

1. Blender

Blender Jug
Blender Jug

Not blender the 3D modeling software, but for making smoothies and salad dressings 😉

For blender recommendations; you should get brands reputable for longevity and availability of spare parts especially if you are getting a high-end model.

If you want the overall best then go for Vitamix, this is however so expensive and will run you at least KSh 70,000. You can opt for  Ninja which costs around KSh 35,000. These two options are not readily available in Kenya and you will have to import from Amazon US. Yes the initial cost is crazy but these machines won’t die on you, they last for life. Get one if you have the budget!

However, if you want compact blenders for a serving of one or two people then Vitamix and  Ninja are over-kills, I would suggest getting  Nutribulletespecially the personal blender models. Magicbullet works fine too but it is not as powerful as  Nutribullet but it is cheaper. Both are the best for making smoothies and crushing ice, seeds, and nuts. They keep going even after 10 years. A basic Nutribullet will cost you KSh 16,000 while Magicbullet will cost you KSh 9,500. You can find both of these from Hotpoint  Appliances, and Carrefour Supermarkets

If your budget is lower than that, you have options starting from KSh 4,000. I know you can go as cheaper as KSh 1,800 but I won’t recommend it from the reliability and performance standpoint. 

Sayona is an okayish brand from the 4k price mark, Ramtons, Von, Kenwood, and Philips are equally good brands that I would recommend for this price category.

Do you need a blender?

Generally yes, a blender is a worthwhile purchase. It is not a mono-purpose appliance, so you will be using it at least once a day. Models like  Nutribullet have interchangeable parts taking versatility to the next level. You get a blending mug, a food processor bowl, and two motors.

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