Take your pick from models that come with easy-to-attach accessories, perfect as you move from preparing pasta sauce to whipping cream for dessert. Dough tools help you perfect your loaf, while whisks and beaters are ideal for cake bakers.
With that in mind, we’ve picked out some essential kitchen gadgets, including the perfect mixer and even a microwave. Read on to find out why, and rest assured that every product in our list has been fully tested and reviewed by us, so you can buy with confidence.
The 16-wire whisk is great for whipping, while the stainless-steel beaters will handle heavier mixtures with aplomb. Two sturdy dough hooks are on hand for bread, and there’s a mixing rod for emulsifying liquids.
It’s a handy, compact alternative to a stand mixer at a fraction of the cost. A versatile stand mixer that’s great for seasoned and beginner bakers alike.
There was a bit of a stir last year when the Kenwood mix KMX5 replaced Kitchen in the Bake Off tent, but this is one of the best mixers we’ve used. It’s got some great features, including a soft start to minimize spills, eight speeds and an electronic sensor that maintains the mixing pace under different load conditions.
There are plenty of tools too: a flexible creaming beater, a dough hook, a K-beater and a whisk. A stand mixer and food processor in one, the Magi mix Prissier Multifunction is really the perfect kitchen machine.
It has all the features of its bigger cousin and produces superb results, but it’s smaller and takes up less space. A 1.2-litre jug and two 600ml insulated cups are included, but the main highlight is its outstanding build quality, which ensures a lifetime of reliable blending and pulsing.
It has built-in scales, so it’ll weigh whatever you put in and cook it for the right amount of time. OK, you don’t get Paul Hollywood’s fancy eight-strand plaited loaf, but you do get a neat timer feature that gives you fresh bread in the morning.
Whether you’re investing in your first model, need to update an old one or simply don’t have space for a larger stand mixer, there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration before parting with your cash. Storage is a big consideration, too, and although hand mixers are small, a compact design works better if you’re short on space.
We rounded up 10 of the best hand mixers on the market and put them to work, beating, stirring and whipping up a storm… Be prepared to fall in love with the sleek good looks of this hand mixer, which had us oohing and aching as soon as it was out of the box.
You may have trouble choosing a color when it comes to this model, which comes in four pastel shades including Peacock (shown), but once that’s decided you can get down to some good of’ baking. Well you might when you see this design’s clever storage carry case, which makes this hand mixer a doddle to transport.
Great for whisking, beating and mixing, this 300W design features five speed settings, with an extra turbo function, too. Six speeds, a 300W motor and turbo function all contribute to a powerful design that works hard for such a low price.
A good choice for a first-hand mixer that will last, without paying the big bucks. This little beauty’s clever storage unit sold it to us alone, as it fits the cord, mixer and attachments in to keep them tidy and together.
Get more bang for your buck with this 300W model, which you can use as a hands-free stand mixer or unclip the hand unit for extra control. Extras include a cotton storage bag and mixing rod to help make smoothies and sauces.
It’s light and easy to hold, features four speeds and an additional turbo/pulse setting and comes with the standard beaters and dough hooks. With our testers due to its sleek looks, retractable cord and the fact that the power is easily controllable and doesn’t splatter its ingredients all around the kitchen.
While it’s important to be choosy about which countertop appliances you make room for in the kitchen, a food processor is one of those versatile gadgets no aspiring cook should be without. The best designs can chop, grate, shred, slice, crush, grind, purée and knead a wide range of foods.
You can use a food processor to shred vegetables to hide in spaghetti bolognese so the kids will eat it, or beat eggs for meringues so light and fluffy, it’ll have you entering the next round of The Great British Bake Off. To find out which food processor is worth the spend, WIRED tested a selection of the latest products and picked out our top five.
The first was to make homemade hummus, which entailed blending chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, tahini, and water to form a creamy paste. The second task was to see how well each food processor could chop the celery and carrots required for Jamie Oliver’s Easy Family Ragù.
Advertisement We also rated each food processor for its ease of use and cleaning, its attachments, settings, ergonomics with marks for overall performance and style. WIRED Recommends the Ninja BN800UK (£199) as the best food processor overall, due to its versatile, interchangeable base and blade options.
With built-in scales, an XXL feeding tube and 3.5 liter capacity, we’ve highlighted the Kenwood FPM910 Multi pro Excel (£470) as an ergonomic, feature-packed option. Advertisement Our best sub-£100 design is the Russell Hobbs Desire food processor (£60), which has an attractive black-gloss body and comes with all the basics.
It includes one-touch programs for blending, chopping, puréeing and mixing, as well as manual settings for low, medium and high and pulse processing. It’s worth noting that the blades are very sharp, so it’s important to take extra care when washing them in warm soapy water.
We used the 1.8L food -processing bowl to chop carrots and celery to impressive effect, with no need for us to nudge the ingredients down halfway through. The wide spout lid makes it very easy to insert the ingredients while the machine is on and this was particularly useful when we were pouring in oil and tahini for hummus.
With a sleek black and stainless-steel finish, the design feels very stylish as well as solid, with a 1200 motor the machine works hard to give you quick results. The main attraction of a design like this however, is the fact that you can leave the base on the worktop and easily change between the 1.5 liter bowl for processing tasks, the 2.1L multi-serve blender for liquids, soups and shakes, and the 0.7L cup for smaller personal blends such as breakfast smoothies.
It doesn’t light up when you turn it on but there are two function buttons that make it easy to navigate, as they can be simply pressed and held to use. With the 1 liter bowl, you won’t be able to do more than a few carrots or celery batons at a time, so we think this machine is best suited to those who want to create small batches at speed.
The Magi mix 4200XL (£300) can carry out six main tasks to slice, grate, chop, whisk, blend and knead in one compact and stylish 10.8 kg body. It comes in five modern colorways including a sophisticated 'satin' (as pictured), punchy red, traditional cream, black and white.
While it didn’t chop vegetables for our Ragù recipe as cleanly or efficiently as the higher-end models in our test, what it does do well is keep the process simple. We found the Russell Hobbs to be a fuss-free set up with no fiddly parts or awkward attachments to fit or clean.
Pros: Compact and fuss free; stylish black body and matching appliances; dishwasher safe bowl and parts Cons: Average power; basic dial With its classic Kitchen style, the 5KFP0919 (£179) will no doubt look good on the worktop and comes as part of a range of matching countertop small appliances.
Pros: Light and large capacity; chop, purée, knead, mix and shred with ease; convenient storage Cons: Not the most powerful model in our test At 21.1 kg the Kenwood is also the heaviest design in our test, but it is impressively packed with every processing tool you would need to create restaurant-worthy recipes at home.
Almost matching the Magi mix in terms of price, the Ninja CT670UKV (£217) has a variety of accessories in its offering and does more than basic food processing tasks. We used the food processor bowl to chop celery and carrots and also blend ingredients for the hummus, and we were impressed at how quickly it performed.