There are many advantages to cooking your own food at home. Most of the time, it will be a much healthier, more cost-effective, and less wasteful option than eating at a restaurant or ordering takeout. And many people also enjoy activities like looking up recipes, planning meals, and experimenting with cooking techniques and ingredients they’ve never tried before.
Unfortunately, for different reasons, it may not always be possible to cook for yourself and your loved ones as often as you would like to. Given the fast-paced nature of the world, it’s all too easy for many to get swept up in work, social obligations, and other responsibilities. Others may not feel confident in their ability to handle kitchen equipment, especially if they haven’t had too many opportunities to practice even basic recipes.
The good news is that many modern appliances can help you make the cooking process faster, easier, and less labor-intensive. Outfit your kitchen with a few of the handy devices below, and you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time.
1. Microwave Oven
The humble microwave oven has been a major fixture in pretty much any modern home kitchen for decades, and for good reason. It lets you heat up and even cook your food in a matter of minutes, all at the touch of a button. And what’s more, since you set microwaves to run for a predetermined time only, you won’t have to worry about over- or undercooking your meals. All you need to do is to program the microwave timer, mode, and temperature and let the device do the rest.
Microwave ovens also tend to be very economical, both in terms of their initial cost and the amount of energy they consume. Running a Google search for a good microwave oven price will undoubtedly show you a wide selection of inexpensive, hardy units that will last you for years. Many modern microwaves are also built with energy-saving technology, which will allow you to make substantial savings on your electricity bill and are better for your environmental footprint, too.
2. Air Fryer
Some people might be willing to write off air fryers as just another trendy piece of technology that they’ll be looking to sell off a year from now. The truth, however, is that there are many benefits to making this tool a permanent fixture in your kitchen.
First of all, you can cook almost anything in an air fryer, from French fries to pasta to even desserts. Air fryers also heat up very quickly, and the air circulating through them helps ensure that your food will cook evenly with barely any effort on your part. Whether you’re reheating leftovers or whipping up a whole meal from scratch, an air fryer will be able to finish the job for you in much less time than it would take if you were cooking on the stovetop.
Furthermore, let’s not forget the single most important reason most people decide to get an air fryer: that it allows you to cook more healthily. As air fryers use very little oil, they give you the perfect way to enjoy crispy fried foods without worrying about the amount of grease you’re putting into your system. While you do need to spray certain foods with a little oil before you fry them, like fish fingers or chicken nuggets, the overall amount of oil you’ll be using is much less than you would need for deep-frying the same items.
3. Electric Kettle
Boiling water on the stove in a pot or a kettle is not only time-consuming but also puts you at risk of sustaining nasty burns. An electric kettle lets you safely boil water for coffee, tea, instant noodles, or anything else you might need it for—and it heats up in a fraction of the time, too. They’re also generally much more energy-efficient than other larger appliances you’d use to boil water, such as electric stoves.
Another neat thing about electric kettles is that many newer models come with an automatic shut-off feature that turns off the internal heating mechanism as soon as the water starts to bubble. This keeps the water in the kettle from overboiling and spilling out of the top, reducing your chances of being scalded or burned in the process.
4. Rice Cooker
It’s not a stretch to imagine that many Filipino households use their rice cookers more often than any other cooking appliance. In Filipino culture, after all, a meal just isn’t a meal without freshly cooked rice to go with it. The smell of fresh rice cooking on the kitchen countertop signals mealtime and calls all the members of the family to the dining table.
The best thing about a rice cooker is that it takes all the skill and guesswork out of making rice. All you have to do is measure out your raw grains and water, push a button, and wait a few minutes until your pot of perfectly cooked, fluffy rice is ready. Some models will even keep your rice warm for you until you’re ready to eat it.
If you don’t have a ton of time or kitchen expertise, you may be tempted to depend on takeout far more frequently than you should—but it doesn’t have to be that way. The right appliances can simplify the cooking process for you by leaps and bounds, allowing you to enjoy healthy and inexpensive home-cooked meals whenever you like.