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Kitchen and Home Appliances Buying Guide

Make your home a smart one by choosing the right appliances for it.

Here’s a list of suggestions you should consider when buying any appliance for kitchen and home.

How to choose a mixer?

Decide how big of a mixer you need. Just about any stand or hand mixer will do for all those simple mixing and whipping chores.

  • Downplay wattage and number of speed settings. Some stand mixers have as many as 16 speeds; some hand mixers have 9. Usually three speeds are enough for regular cooking.
  • Consider size and weight. Hand mixers should feel well balanced and comfortable to hold. Size and weight can be a concern with stand mixers. Some weigh more than 10 Kgs but their heft gives them the stability to handle tough jobs.
  • Consider beater style and motion.
  • Another consideration for the cook is space. Stand mixers take up a lot of room. Hand mixers are small and portable.
How to Choose a Food Processor?

If you have guests often at home, a food processor can be a lifesaver. Even if you're just cooking for your family, it can save time and let you combine several functions in one appliance.

  • Analyze your need for a food processor. If you prepare food for large amounts of people and would regularly use the slicing, shredding, chopping and other functions of a food processor, you may be a candidate for buying one.
  • Consider the capacity you need. A 2- or 7-c. bowl is likely to be big enough unless you usually make large quantities of food.
  • Decide whether you need any extra slicing or shredding discs. Most food processors are sufficient without extras, but you may want to add discs now or later.
  • Check special features such as mini bowls, feed chutes, number of speeds, pulsing function and whether blades are reversible.
  • Look for a juicing function if you're interested in making fruit or vegetable juices.
  • Check that the parts are dishwasher-safe. This saves cleanup time.
  • Read warranties carefully, and check on service options and replaceable parts.

Tips

  • Be realistic. If you aren't likely to drag out an appliance to grate cheese or shred carrots because it's easier to do it yourself manually, you probably don't need a food processor.
  • The heavier the base of your food processor, the less likely it is to move around when it's being used.
  • The larger the bowl of the food processor, the more it's likely to cost.
  • Make sure you have storage space for a food processor. It can be bulky, especially if it comes with extra discs and bowls.
How to Choose a Blender?

A blender is one of those essential countertop appliances. Used for making smoothies, shakes and malts, it also comes in handy for pureeing, chopping and even crushing ice.

  • Decide on a metal or plastic base. Metal is more durable and keeps the appliance more steady when it is in use, but generally costs more.
  • Choose a glass or plastic jar. Blenders with glass jars are generally more stable, but also more expensive. A glass jar is also quite a bit heavier than plastic.
  • Check the number of settings available and decide which most closely fit your needs. A pulsing function is especially useful.
  • Study warranty and service options.
  • Before buying, read the manufacturer's instructions to be sure the blender has all the features you are looking for.
How to Choose a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is an electrical appliance used for cooking rice with a reduced preparation time of cooking and the traditional errors for undercooking or burning the rice. A rice cooker does not speed the process for cooking rice but it reduces and simplifies the cooking process.

This appliance is used in kitchens around the world but specially in Asian countries.

  • Choose one with a non-stick pan.
  • Measuring lines in the pan would be helpful.
  • Clear glass lid isn't necessary. Plastic lid is preferable because it's light and safe.
  • If a rice cooker has an inner lid, make sure it's easy to remove and clean.
  • A warm setting is useful if you and your family eat rice a couple times a day.
  • Timer is a helpful feature to have.
How to Choose a Toaster?

The main things to consider when you're buying a toaster are how many pieces of bread you usually toast at the same time and how wide the slots need to be.

  • Find the place on your table or countertop where you expect to put the toaster. Measure or make a mental note of how much space you have available.
  • Decide how many slots you need in the toaster, depending on how much bread you will toast at the same time. Toasters generally have about 2 to 4 slots.
  • Choose a toaster with side-by-side slots or with long slots situated end-to-end.
  • Consider special features such as a Defrost or Reheat, separate toasting controls for each slot, or an extender that causes the toast to pop up higher so you can grab it more easily.
  • Check and compare warranties and service options.

Tips

  • Toasters with long slots take up more space lengthwise on a countertop, but are narrower than toasters with side-by-side slots.
How to Choose a Coffee Maker?

Freshly brewed coffee is only the beginning of the features available for this essential countertop appliance.

  • Consider the capacity you need. Most common are 4-cup, 10-cup and 12-cup coffeemakers.
  • Decide if you want to be able to program your coffeemaker. A programmable coffeemaker can be set to deliver fresh-brewed coffee whenever you want - for example, you can have your coffee ready first thing in the morning.
  • Look for an automatic shutoff function, which will guarantee that you don't leave the coffeemaker on all day.
  • If you don't want to wait until the whole pot is brewed before drinking some, consider a feature that pauses the coffee's dripping while you remove the carafe to pour.
  • Since coffee's taste deteriorates after 20 minutes on the heat, think about a coffee maker that brews directly into an insulated carafe.
  • Test the handle on the carafe and see if it's comfortable. Also, look at the water reservoir and basket to see how convenient adding water and coffee will be.
  • If you also want an espresso machine, consider models that combine drip coffee and espresso in one unit.
  • Make sure the filter holder is large enough to compensate for bloom. (when the water hits freshly roasted and freshly ground coffee, the coffee will expand considerably with the release of CO2 this is called the bloom)

For Espresso Coffee Makers consider the following points:

  • PriceEspresso machines are definitely not cheap, but in the long term can make you save a lot of money for all the coffee bought in coffee shops. Price changes depending on the material of the machine (metal vs. plastic). The better the quality the better the functionality and of course the higher the price you have to pay.
  • TypeThere are 5 different types of Espresso Machines. Go through all the types and choose the one that suits you best.
  • DesignsThere are plenty of Espresso Machines designs from which to choose based on your preference.
  • BoilerThe boiler is made of aluminum, brass, copper or stainless steel. Aluminum heats the fastest, but brass and stainless steel retain heat longer. If you plan to heat small quantities of coffee for personal use then aluminum is the best decision.
  • Boiler SizeAnother consideration is boiler size. Smaller boilers (3-5 oz.) heat up faster and are great for 1 or 2 cups, but they generally require more recovery time and may not maintain temperature as consistently as a larger (7-12 oz.) boiler. As a general rule the bigger the boiler the more expensive the machine is.
How to Choose an Electric Kettle?

Jug or traditional?

Jug kettles are tall with a handle at the side. Traditional kettles are rounder and squat with the handle on top.

Jug kettles can be more difficult to lift and carry when they are full because you need more strength in your wrists and arms to support the weight of the kettle from the side. Because the handle is on the top of a traditional kettle it is more evenly balanced. Gives a more even distribution of the weight. Also most of their handles are big enough for you to hold them with both hands. And if you have weak or painful arms or shoulders you may find it easier to hold the handle with the palm of your hand, which you can't do with a jug kettle. A lot depends on the shape of the handle - see the summaries for our comments on their comfort.

On the plus side you can boil a very small amount of water in any jug kettle, as little as a single cupful. This makes them lighter to lift and carry and saves electricity. Most corded traditional kettles and some cordless ones have to be filled with more water.

Cordless or Corded?

Cordless kettles fit onto a base which plugs into the mains - you don't have to connect and disconnect the flex every time you use it. The drawback is that you cannot pour without lifting the kettle off its base first. And you cannot use cordless kettles with a kettle tipper - a device that the kettle straps into which allows you to pour easily, but you can't use one of these with a cordless kettle.

Plastic or metal?

The main difference between the metal and the plastic kettles is that the metal ones are generally more expensive. They are more likely to get very hot.

How to Choose an Iron?
  • Pick a model that makes ironing easier: The easier a hot iron moves across the fabric, the less tirening will be the ironing process. The tearm “nonstick” refers to irons that easily slide over damp garments, this can make everything easier altough the nonstick soleplates are not necessarily better than the stainless-steel ones if you usually iron fry fabrics.
  • Match the iron to your hands. It is important to choose the handle that fits your hand better. Some handles don’t have enough clearance for bigger hands. Weight is another factor. Some people might prefer a bit of heft, but others might find heavier irons more than they can manage.
  • Get enough steam if: You iron mostly natural fibers (linen, cotton) you will need more steam to smooth the wrinkles easily. If you iron mostly synthetic fabrics then you don’t need a lot of steam power in your iron.
  • Find controls you like. Check whether the controls are easy to see and access, and whether fabric settings are clearly marked.
  • Decide whether you want to cut the cord. The cordless models are very good for ironing but they don’t have a lot of steam power, also is important to notice that cordless irons need to be reheated every few minutes and it can be tedious if you have a large amount of garments.
How to Choose a Hair Dryer?

There are Hair Dryers starting from a few hundered rupees to a few thousands. The cheapest models are also the least beneficial for hair, and while they may provide initial savings, the damage they cause could lead to substantial costs in terms of additional conditioners and deep treatments to overcome heat damage. A mid-range dryer is the best choice for most users, and the best way to cut costs is to select a model that offers only the features you regularly use, rather than upgrades that will not affect your styling habits.

  • The best way to choose your perfect hair dryer is to judge how you will use it.
  • While inexpensive models may be inappropriate for extensive styling (their lack of temperature settings can scorch hair), they are suitable for someone who only uses a dryer infrequently or someone with short hair who can dry their hair quickly.
  • If you often use a dryer to style your locks and add more volume, you may prefer a midrange model that offers more attachments and options.
  • The most expensive dryers are best for individuals who use them for extensive styling or whose hair is extremely sensitive to heat damage.

Tips: Using Hair Dryers as Styling Aids

  • Used properly, a dryer can help smooth hair, add volume, and even condition hair when combined with heat-activated conditioners and other hair products.
  • To use the dryer effectively, direct the hot air flow down the strands from the root toward the tip; reversing the direction will inflate hair follicles and cause frizzy, dull hair.
  • For more even heat application and control, keep the dryer at least eight inches from hair at all times, unless the styling technique specifically calls for closer use.
  • Wrapping hair around a wide brush can help control the strands to apply heat evenly and add volume.