August 15, 2016

You’d think there isn’t all that much to something as necessary as kitchen appliances – but then you probably haven’t had a browse through the epic kitchenware of this century recently. In our epoch of frenzied tech gadget updates, it only makes sense that their counterparts in the kitchen get their own smart, sleek makeovers. These days, it’s all about the thrill of running your hand over polished stainless steel, or timing your shiny new air fryer to whip up its next Michelin meal. If it isn’t quick, convenient, and completely idiot-proof – it might as well take itself straight off the market. And really, you’d be surprised; at the rate these kitchen gadgets are advancing, even the average undomesticated joe will soon be into them.


Mayer Air Fryer MMAF10-BK


How does one talk about must-have handy kitchen appliances without including an air fryer? The bad boys have been sweeping the nation, with their promises of tasty, healthier food in minimising oil use and energy wastage. Air fryers cook pretty much everything from potatoes and chips to meat, to frozen refreshments you’d typically deep fry in oil – appetising, but not the most health conscious. If you’re new to the air frying life and would rather not splash out straightaway, try the sleek black one from Mayer, which currently retails for less than $100. The MMAF10-BK comes in a solid 32 x 32 x 26cm frame, with a sturdy frying basket, grill, and fryer to dump your ingredients in and have the work done for you. Powered at 1400W, features include a 30-minute timer, 200degree temperature control, and powered cooking using up to 80% less oil.

An automatic closing function helps to close the machine once the timer is up, so you can pull the frying-pan out cleanly; redundant oil from the food ingredients will be collected at the bottom of it. We’re pretty con dent that the air fryer industry has already somewhat revolutionised cooking, in reducing waiting time, energy consumption, and general hassle in frying. All the increased convenience
(and less attention to the culinary arts) might not be Gordon Ramsay’s cup of tea, but it’s pretty hard to hate technology making our lives easier.

Mayer Air Fryer MMAF10-BK, $98 (u.p. $299), available at all Mayer showrooms. mayer.sg


Philips Avance Collection Noodle Maker

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You already know Philips for their stellar (and pricey) air fryers; but you might want to check out the electronics giant for their nifty pasta/noodle makers too. The Avance Collection Noodle Maker is 500g of pure kick – particularly if you’re someone who likes a homey touch. The machine makes about 250g of pasta in just ten minutes, exerting 1600 lb force on the dough during extrusion, to produce smooth, perfectly textured pasta. And don’t be fooled; despite the DIY component of the machine, advanced engineering makes making your own pasta so much easier than it sounds – with automatic mixing, kneading and extruding. The only part you play is choosing what ingredients and types of our you want to add into your mix; after selecting the program and starting the machine, it automatically mixes and kneads the dough for you, before extruding the dough in whatever shape you want. Four unique shaping discs – in Spaghetti, Penne, Fettuccini and Lasagna – add some excitement to your noodle making adventures. A storage drawer at the bottom of the maker stores the shaping discs and cleaning tools, keeping everything compact and neat.

Philips Avance Collection Noodle Maker, $339, available at Courts, TANGS, and Best Denki outlets. philips.com.sg


Tefal TT550015 Toast N’ Egg Toaster


Brace yourself for the egg puns – because they’re coming. You know what they say; breakfast is the most important meal of the day, which is why you should definitely be starting your morning sunny side up. And in all honesty, UK brand Tefal’s Toast N’ Egg is more convenience than gimmick. For the time-pressed go-getter, it revolutionises breakfast time in combining a bread toaster and egg cooker into one. Sure you can use them separately, but when you can get a more balanced meal in less than four minutes, why fight it?

The all-in-one toaster is definitely versatile – powered at 1,200W, the toasting slots are wide enough to fit bread, muffins, or bagels; and even features a warming tray for heating pre-cooked meats. Just like a regular toaster, there are variable toasting settings you can adjust for your preferred browning results – improved only by automatic bread centering for uniform toasting (yes, that’s a thing). A handy slide-out crumb tray makes cleaning up after quick and easy too. And over in the egg unit, a steamer tray holds up to four eggs at a time for hard-boiling, plus a poaching tray for a more, ahem, eggs-travagant meal. If that doesn’t sound like an egg-cellent breakfast, we don’t know what does.

So put your days of skipping breakfast behind you; with such multi-tasking convenience at your fingertips, there really are no more eggs-cuses.

Tefal TT550015 Toast N Egg Toaster, $69.90, available at major electronics stores, including Courts and Harvey Norman. tefal.com


Nespresso Prodigio


A smartphone-connected coffee machine? You had to see this coming. Nespresso’s first ever smart coffeemaker lets you prepare your coffee, receive alerts when you’re low on coffee capsules, and even stay notified when it’s time to descale (ie. clean out) your machine – all from the ease of your mobile phone. It’s essentially the contraption every lazy coffee lover has been waiting for; simply download the Nespresso mobile app and you’ll be able to control everything from timed automatic brewing to tackling maintenance alerts, via Bluetooth Smart technology syncing to your Prodigio.

Call it frivolous, but imagine the daily convenience automatic brewing and turn-off will quickly bring to your religious morning cuppa. You can even order capsules straight from the app, before instructing your machine to prepare any of the range of 23 Nespresso Grands Crus for your caffeine fix. And for those who still value aesthetic over functionality, you’ll be pleased to know the Prodigio machine comes in two elegant colourways – sleek Silver, or smooth, polished Titan (all-black badassery to truly pimp your countertop). Multiple settings allow you to choose your preferred coffee type and size, be it Ristretto (25ml), Espresso (40ml), or Lungo (110ml). A second Prodigio & Milk machine also comes in the same minimalist colourways, along with an adjoined Aeroccino3 milk frother to get the best out of milk coffee recipes. We’ll admit – it’s scary how even something as intimate as coffee has integrated so seamlessly into smart technology; but progress can only be a good thing. Let’s just hope all this great convenience won’t make us forget how to brew a good homemade cuppa one day.

Nespresso Prodigio machine, $398, Prodigio & Milk machine, $528, available at any Nespresso boutique. nespresso.com


Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker ICE-21


Somehow, we imagine making your own ice cream from scratch at home to be a lot more satisfying than popping out to your local supermarket for a pint. Don’t worry – no arduous churning of ice and salt here; this plastic ice cream maker from Cuisinart utilises state-of-the-art technology to make the process entirely doable for even the most domestically challenged. Fully automatic, the machine comes with a heavy-duty motor and patented mixing paddle to do all the work for you. All you have to do is freeze the double-insulated freezer bowl overnight in advance, pop your ingredients into the spout – and watch as a smooth, 1.5-quart batch of ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet is made in 20 minutes flat. It’s quick and easy to clean; plus, making ice cream in your own kitchen means you can tailor recipes to your needs and control sugar and dairy intake – so eating frozen treats becomes all that more enjoyable.

Cuisinart® Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Maker ICE-21, US$59.95, available online at Crate and Barrel. crateandbarrel.com


Babycakes DN-95 Donut Maker


Forget waffle makers – everyone has one in their kitchen by now, and if you don’t, then what’s wrong with you? Instead, kit out your kitchen with a cute and quirky mini donut maker – fun, easy to use, and just as successful in yielding tasty results. We’re veering away from the typical sophisticated steel fixtures, and honing in on the bright and cheery packaging of Babycakes, an American brand specialising in, well, cute kitchen appliances sure to tickle any child’s fancy. The DN-95 makes six cake-style donuts at a time, maintaining even, thorough baking throughout each donut in just one minute and 30 seconds. With a no-stick pan, removing the finished donuts from the unit is clean and efficient – so you can quickly pop in the batter for your next batch.

And of course, since it was designed with children in mind, the DN-95 is loaded with safety features – which always prove useful regardless of age. Cool-touch handles allow you to reposition the machine even during baking, while non-skid rubber feet on the bottom ensure that the maker stays firmly in place when there’s high traffic in the kitchen. The lid also latches and locks, so you won’t run the risk of grill burns if the maker is somehow knocked askew.

It’s small, compact, and comes with add-on accessories like a fork tool to remove the donuts, plus a wire cooling rack – real bang for your buck. Even if you don’t have a tot at home to entertain with making mini donuts, it’s a neat fuss-free little machine that’ll make a nice addition to any kitchen.

Babycakes DN-95 Donut Maker, US$35, available online at amazon.com/baby-cakes.


Smarter iKettle 2.0


The level of sheer laziness that inspired this creation probably tops the Nespresso Prodigio; but you have to admit, following the trend of smart appliances aside, a smartphone-controlled water kettle is pretty genius. Especially when you consider the words of British technology company Smarter’s CEO Christian Lane, who compared the invention of the TV remote to the iKettle – the first WiFi kettle in the world: “Now you can’t imagine buying a TV without a remote, there would be an uproar! The iKettle is exactly the same.” We fold.

The iKettle 2.0 is the 2013 first version’s sleeker, new and improved stunner. It’s a classic kettle design, but reconstructed using high-grade stainless steel with an extra strong handle and lid – and comes with new smart features too. Through the accompanying Smarter mobile app, you can set the kettle to boil at any temperature from 20–100deg Celsius, and any time you want, which is pretty handy if you’re a tea connoisseur who’s prickly about water temperatures for brewing certain teas. Various modes help you time when to start the kettle boiling, and a Keep Warmer function works like your very own kettle ‘Snooze’ alarm, by keeping the boiled water hot for up to 30 minutes. The app even alerts you to when your kettle is low on water, with a real-time in-app water level window. The new-age kettle has wireless connectivity of 802.11b/g/n, and works on Android and iOS, but requires a 2.4ghz router to bring voltage to 220-240V for outside the UK. Still, it could soon be well worth the adaptor to have in your home.

Smarter iKettle 2.0, £99.99, available online at smarter.am.