It is true that kitchens come in different sizes and shapes, so I imagine do the appliances that they contain. However, the appliances contained in this list are what I call kitchen essentials; anyone can benefit greatly from having them in their kitchen. I chose them having in mind the peculiar Nigeria situation and the lifestyle of the average Nigerian modern home.
There were a few things that I considered when drawing up this list – which incidentally are the same things that I consider when contemplating the purchase of any kitchen appliance. Because it makes no sense to buy some fancy piece of equipment only to leave it to gather dust in the kitchen cabinet, right?
- Cost = checked.
- The potential for an average to a high frequency of use = checked.
- Low to medium wattage requirement = checked.
- Value for money (Not necessary in terms of cash but in terms of convenient, time-saving, ease of use, quality of output from the appliance) = checked.
Then I’m very much disposed to the said appliance. The five appliances listed below pretty much fulfilled my criteria.
1. A blender
This tool is super useful and one I don’t see any kitchen doing without. It functions actually more as a liquidiser as it pulverises your food or ingredients – just throw them in, switch on the power and they’re liquidised in seconds. Most electric blenders also come with a pulse function, which is great for creating chunky mixtures such as salsa. However, not all blenders are electrical, the handheld ones are also good but require a bit of wok on your part. They do have an advantage over the electrical ones as you needn’t depend on “NEPA” for them to function.
2. Electric Kettle
I would have put an electric kettle as my number one on the list of must-have kitchen appliances but for these two reasons. One is that it is easily substituted, one can easily boil water on the hob, and two it requires high wattage to operate. An average electric kettle is rated 1200W and the average Nigerian home does not run a generator that can support such power – it is a non-story to say that electricity supply in the country is at best epileptic. Notwithstanding, an electric kettle is a really good piece of kitchen equipment to have (for when one can use it), as it does the job in very short time, and also auto-switches off when the water boils, which means that one don’t have to keep checking if the job has been done.
3. Hand mixer
I actually contemplated whether to include a hand mixer or a food processor but finally settled for the hand mixer for reasons that they are much less expensive, easy to clean and require less storage. Furthermore, modern hand mixers also come with additional attachments for other functions such as for kneading bread dough and mashing potatoes, which make them fairly versatile. Frequent bakers, however, may consider getting a stand mixer or food processor instead.
They are really efficient pieces of equipment. Mostly used for thawing and heating up food though they cook an impressive selection of food as well. However, the objections raised for electric kettles are also applicable here. The wattage for some4 microwaves can be as high as 1750W, which can pose a difficulty given the prevailing power situation in our country. However, for simply warming food in less than three minutes, and where no major cooking with the appliance is intended, I recommend getting a small microwave for which some can have wattage as low as 700W. It is easy to use, super-efficient, and time and money saving. One of my must have.
5. A pressure cooker
This piece greatly shortens cooking time for tough food such as beans, pomo, saki, goat head, cow leg, etc. with corresponding savings in money and without loss of nutritional value that can result from cooking in an open fire. However, don’t put too much food in the pot – a rule of thumb is not more than two-third full – and be mindful that water is not more than half the pot. Like all electric appliances, it is highly recommended that the manufacturer instructions are followed. The good news about pressure cookers is that they are not all electrical, some are non-electrical designed for use on the hob, which is great considering power issues.
Do you agree with the list? Do you have a particular appliance that you would have loved to see make the list? I’ll be happy to hear your opinion in the comment section.