I am not the kind of person to take a major interest in shopping. In fact, I quite dislike shopping. But, there is one category of product I love spending time on (drumroll, please….)- Kitchen and Grocery!!
I love looking at recipe books. I love shopping at different grocery stores. I experiment with everything – different grains, vegetables, frozen vegetable, spices, herbs and – of course, appliances!!
Because I seem to like tinkering around these equipment a lot, I might as well give you my opinion on the best kitchen appliances I own and some of the worst kitchen appliances I have wasted money on. How does this benefit you – you ask?
- Maybe I can save you some money by helping you avoid my mistakes!! (ka-ching!!)
- Maybe I can provide you with comic relief – ‘Ha, I can’t believe some people (like Swetha) are this insane…’, you could smile amused-ly!!
- Maybe I could provide cover for an excuse to your spouse – ‘Honey, Swetha from upgrademyfood.com loves this appliance…Well, that does it..we gotto run out and get this asap!!’
So, here goes….
3 Best / Most Useful Appliances I own:
Best bang for the buck – Water Heater
I know you are rolling your eyes hard right now…You – “I came for hard-core kitchen technical gyan (knowledge), and all I get is a water heater ?”
Hold on!! Let me assure you that a water heater (amazon link) is a fantastic buy. You can get your water heated in a closed environment super quickly for a variety of reasons:
- Early morning – Drink warm water – It is an Indian thing!!
- Hot water for filter coffee to give you life/ reason to wake up:)
- Have hot water ready in the side while cooking (Lot of experienced cooks use this trick to prevent temperature loss while cooking – e.g. thinning out daals)
- Hot water for quick herbal teas (keeps you from snacking mindlessly…)
- Fill up hot water flask for bed side at night (comes in handy if you have a combination of kids+school+winter in your household)
The best $20 appliance I have ever spent. Shout out to my mom for recommending this appliance. This has been used so much, that kids have put sharpie marks on it, and we continue to use it as though nothing has happened….
Our kitchen workhorse – Vitamix
Here’s a story of what happened 7 years ago – I was waiting in the parking lot of Costco, where my husband promised to run-in, get milk and be back soon. 20 minutes later, my husband emerged with a large box. He had just spend around $450 on a blender. I was stunned!! Who spends that kind of money on a blender? Besides we had a perfectly good Indian blender at home.
He promised me that it was worth it. We will be able to make smoothies, soups and so much more with this 1 appliance – at least that’s what the demo guy had told him inside. “Oh my God, you fell for that shtick!!” was all I could think.
Anyway, 7 years later, the Vitamix is still a workhorse in my kitchen making smoothies, idli, dosa batters, thogayal, sambar powder etc… without any problems and worth every penny. Highly recommend this!!
The cool new appliance – Instant Pot
Everyone loves it, and so do we. I have written a separate post on Why I have come to love my Instant Pot.
But, in short, it has some great advantages:
- Saves a lot of time for busy women – a boon in this day and age!!
- A very good price point
- Has a wide range of uses – Pressure cooking/ sauteing/ Slow Cooking etc
- Highly adaptable to various cuisines – Indian/ Chinese/ Thai
In fact, I saw a recent report that Indians were one of the largest users of the Instant Pot. This is not surprising considering the daals, and grains we use.
In fact, our favorite go-to food, when we are damn tired, is Instant pot Kichdi. Grains + lentils + frozen veggies + spices – Ready in 20 minutes, hot and healthy – I just love it!!
Moving on to the next category – The 3 Useless or my wasted kitchen appliance purchases…
3 useless appliances in my kitchen
Ok, there was a time when I got sucked into the slow-cooker hype (this was pre-instant pot). I even got my cousin a slow cooker as a house warming gift (cringe!! – Oh dear – sorry!!).
But everything I ever made with the slow cooker was sub-par. This worried me about my cooking skills immensely. During that time people were making cakes, and stews and what-not in the slow cooker and not to mention – the numerous recipe books on that topic too….
But then I saw this article “Why Anything Slow Cookers Can Do, Others Can Do Better” penned by the awesome Kenji-lopez of Serious Eats. Yes!! exactly this!! – why eat mushy food cooked for 8 hours, when you can get much better food out of pressure cooker or Instant Pot? If Kenji feels the same way, I may be on the right track….You even have the slow cook option in the Instant Pot which makes this appliance completely redundant!! So, bye-bye, Slow Cooker!!
Just like keto is all the rage now, there was a time when juicing was all the rage. So, juicers went on sale, and of course, I bought it.
I am not a big fan of juicing. The juice went right through me. I was hungry just an hour later. So little juice, ssoooo much effort!! I think you spend more calories peeling, juicing and cleaning that damn thing than from the juice itself.
On top of that, what do you do with all the leftover pulp? I would then proceed to waste time looking up recipes for creating things with leftover carrot pulp, which 90% of the time – the kids would hate, and now I have just wasted a whole bunch of ingredients and my time.
Long story short, the juicer is now tucked away. I have to get rid of it, but there is something about that device makes me feel there is more to it. I have experimented making stretchy candy using it, by feeding the juicer dried fruits and that was fun. You can feed it nuts, grains and get powders, butters, etc. So, basically it is like a kitchen toy for me. So, for now, it stays, until I burn out the motor :).
Of all the nonsensical purchases, this tops the list. It all started when I bought $8 of Kale chips from San Francisco farmers market. The whole family went crazy for that tiny bag of chips.
In my mind, Kale was awesome, still is…If I can make Kale chips once a week, and get my kids to eat that, wouldn’t I be the coolest/badass mom ever??!! So, obvious logical next step – Shell out about $300 for a dehydrator with 5 trays. I still remember spending long hours discussing with my husband the number of trays we will need and reading online reviews.
Imagine all the wonderful things we can make…
Gosh, what a waste of time. We must have made those chips maybe 4 times, before throwing up my hands in air. Too much work, too much counter space, too noisy. Oh and did I tell you, it has to run all night?
Instead of spending $32 and getting satisfied with kale chips, now we a dehydrator sitting in the garage neatly packed. Interested buyers?…Anybody?? Somebody???
All the above is my personal opinion. I am not paid for any of it. In no way, is it meant to disparage any appliance. You may be an avid juicer and completely love your juicer….in which case, more power to you. And the same goes for the slow cooker and dehydrator as well.
Do you agree with me? Or maybe you feel differently….Do post your favorite appliance and your least favorite below….(P.S: Please don’t be afraid to comment – The need for email below is for this website to be free from spammers).
I’ll never send emails, unless you chose to subscribe separately. Now, that is something I highly recommend you do :)….
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