They say eating is Singaporeans’ favourite hobby and it all starts in our kitchens. We check out kitchen appliances that will help you whip up amazing dishes.
If the way to a man’s heart – actually, anyone’s heart – is through his stomach, then the kitchen is probably the most important room is the house. It is where nourishing meals are cooked, creating memories for your children that will last a lifetime. After all, nothing tastes as good as home-cooked meals.
Singaporeans, having grown up in a world-famous food hub that is a melting pot of east-meets-west cultures, are exposed to many types of cuisine. We grew up dining on everything from traditional Asian fare to western dishes and many home chefs love replicating these yummy flavours in their own kitchens.
Thankfully, there are all sorts of kitchen appliances available to make your cooking easier. Here’s what we’re coveting to furnish our dream kitchen.
Probably the most important item in every Asian kitchen, the hob is where you cook all your pots of yummy soups and stir-fry dishes. To choose the right hob, consider your usage. If you cook very regularly with heavy usage, the good ol’ Gas stove is your best bet. A turn of a knob will give you instant heat which is easy to control, and the heat also distributes well across your pan for easy cooking. If you want the advantages of gas but prefer a more attractive look, try the Gas on glass hob. It’s good-looking, easy to clean and offers precise control the fire.
If you want something easy to use and clean which heats up quickly too, consider a Ceramic hob. However, the heat distribution is not as good as using a gas hob. For a sleek look that fits beautifully in minimalist kitchens, the Induction hob works great, especially if you don’t cook frequently. It is cheaper to run too since it heats quickly, using only the exact amount of energy needed to heat the pan.
You definitely need one of these to suck up all that cooking grease and cut down on your cleaning. If you only do light cooking, a Slim-line hood is good enough. Plus, its sleek profile looks great in a modern kitchen. If you do a mix of light and heavy cooking, consider a Retractable hood; simply slide out the second panel to cover more of the cooking area when you deep fry food. When you’re done, it pops back in to keep your kitchen looking minimalist.
For those who do heavy cooking frequently, a Chimney-style hood works best for you as it is more powerful. It can look bulky though. If you use a kitchen island, then pick an Island hood to match. This is attached directly to the ceiling and you need a fairly roomy kitchen so as not to clutter up the space. On the plus side, it adds instant street oomph to your kitchen
Love baking your own cakes or roasting your favourite meats? An oven is a must in your kitchen, then. Incorporating a built-in oven in your kitchen cabinets not just saves space, it also streamlines the look in your kitchen and prevents unnecessary clutter on precious table top space.
Microwave with Convection Oven
This two-in-one model will not just heat up your food like a Microwave oven, you can even bake a birthday cake or grill a chicken in it. It offers a good solution for those who want the convenience of a microwave oven and the function of a regular oven in one appliance. Great for small kitchens or small families, convection microwave ovens are also cheaper to run than regular ovens. On the other hand, they are smaller than ovens so you can only cook one food item at a time.
They can also be tough to clean as food often stains the stainless steel interior during cooking, and then get baked into burnt marks. The biggest issue most chefs have? Because there is no bottom element, food like pastry, pizza and pies simply can’t get brown and crisp on the base, though some models come with a crisp plate. Still can’t beat that slightly charred awesomeness of a real oven-grilled pizza!
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to splurge on the pricier oven or Convection Microwave oven, a Toaster Oven may do the trick too. You can get one for as low as $30 to perform the basic bread toast, grill small portions of fish and meat or little pans of cake. However, don’t expect to bake anything substantial in a toaster oven.
Fast becoming a staple in many kitchens, this is one of our favourite appliances. Just toss in your favourite snacks like nuggets, or even entire slabs of salmon, and air fry them to a crisp – without using any oil at all. Not only is this a healthier way to cook, it also prevents grease from flying everywhere and makes cleaning up a breeze.
Nutritionists say we should eat at 5 to 10 portions of fruit and veggies every day to keep healthy. That’s a lot to chomp on! An easier way to get your vitamins is to blend them into healthy smoothies. We also like using ours to blitz ice into shaved ice for our homemade Ice Kachang.
If you are a serious baker, you definitely need one of these babies that will mix and whip your dough to perfection. It will save your arm from overwork when you want to bake a light-as-air sponge cake. Choose from a variety of retro to modern styles to match your kitchen.
Love waking up to the fragrance of freshly baked bread? Invest in a breadmaker, toss in ingredients for your favourite bread and set it to bake overnight so you can enjoy a warm slice for breakfast.
Coffee Maker / Espresso Machine
Invest in a good coffee machine for freshly ground cuppa. Or buy an Espresso machine and take your pick from the many types of coffee capsules. It’ll be cheaper than buying your Java from Starbucks every day!
The Slow Cooker is an old favourite that our mums used to slow-brew hearty stews and soups. Fire up this convenient machine with veggies and meat before you leave for work and set it on auto. You’ll come home to a pot of goodness for dinner.
Sous Vide Machine
How do you get meat that is fork tender? Buy a Sous Vide machine. By using precise temperature control, you will get consistent, restaurant-quality results every single time, because that’s how they cook it too. Cooking is easy. Just put your food in a sealable nag and dunk it in a pot of water, setting the time and temperature according to how well done you want it.