I’ve teamed up with Betta Living to bring you this product review of 5 Kitchen Gadgets – Tried and Tested just for you.
Betta Living’s Ask The Experts blog was kind enough to ask me to team up to review five kitchen gadgets. So with full disclosure, I was given these products to review (not by the manufacturers, but by Betta Living, a third party that has no affiliation with them in any way). That said, the fact that I was given them has in no way influenced my opinion of the products. I also enlisted the help of my husband and son (7 years old) to give me their opinions as well. For me, there’s nothing like a good kitchen gadget to bring the family to the kitchen.
Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Slicer
I’ll be honest, I know ‘Spiralizing’ is the big craze right now, but before receiving this product, I have never used one before and I’m not sure I would have if it wasn’t included in this post. That said, I may be a convert. This Spiralizer performed exceptionally well. To start, the first thing I noticed about the Spiralizer is how light it is, and nevertheless it seemed to be very sturdy, and well-built. The instructions it came with were very basic, and at first we were a little confused (being the newbies we were) so, we did what all adults do these days when needing information on how to do something – we went to YouTube. After a few minutes, all became clear and we were on our way. It was pretty simple to assemble. I it was just a case of removing the protective tape from a blade (there are three; the straight one is for making ribbons, the coarser chipper blade makes curls, while the shredder creates noodles), giving it a quick rinse and dry, and then slotting it into the Spiralizer.
We chose a selection of fruit and vegetables with which to test the Spiralizer, some hard, some not. We were determined put it to its test. First of all, we made zucchini noodles. These were incredibly easy to spiralize and my son was thrilled with the results so we quickly moved on.
We changed the blade, and did some carrots; we were attempting to make long spirals, but sadly, the carrot spirals didn’t hold up, and at most, we’d only got a few coils before they broke. We were a little disappointed by this and checked to make sure we were using it correctly, but we never did get long spirals out of it.
For the apples, we changed to the ribbon blade. It was very easy to spiralize, so we went straight for a potato It was so easy to do, my seven year old son took over and the results were perfect.
We had a really good time testing this out. I only wish I took photos, but my son was in his pyjamas and forbid me to take out the camera (fair enough right?). The Spiralizer is very easy to clean, and comes apart for the top shelf of the dishwasher. For storage, there are handy integrated compartments in the base to store two of the three blades. In conclusion, it’s hard to see how anyone could go wrong with this Spiralizer Tri-Blade Vegetable Slicer; it’s simple, it’s efficient, it’s fast, it’s easy to clean. I’m a convert and am planning a recipe to share next week.
The Chef’n Potato Ricer
This is yet another item I have never tried before. I’ve seen them used on cooking shows, but have never gotten around to actually buy one. I’m glad I never did, because I’m not sure this is the one I would have picked (I probably would have chosen a sleek stainless steel version). If you’ve never seen one before, here’s how it works – You boil the potatoes to mash, stick them in and it squashes them through the holes (much like a garlic press). This one is really comfortable to hold and to my surprise, it was really strong and simple to operate. I have some arthritis in my hands and this ricer worked with very little force (even my son was able to do it, much to his excitement). It’s very well built, not at all flimsy and cleans up easily. Anyone who thinks they would have difficulty ricing potatoes, will not be disappointed with this one. The result was beautiful, creamy mashed potatoes that took just seconds to produce. I will never go back to making with a masher again.
VonShef Professional Whole Fruit Juicer
I’m a food blogger and was very surprised I could be sent a box of kitchen gadgets I have never used before. I juicer isn’t an item I think I would ever have gotten for myself. That said, this was a pleasant surprise. It was by far my son’s favorite in the lot. He loved it so much, he asked if we can show his friends when they came over! For the first time ever, we got him to try vegetables he would never have tried before – As a mother this is a real winner!
To start, this is a really large machine. I thought it was so big, I would find it difficult to find a place to store it, but it turns out, it’s living on my kitchen counter because it gets used that much!
It is very easy to use right out of the box. It was great for people like us who really haven’t made fresh juice with one before. Everything fits together very simply and in turn, it comes apart easily too.
It’s simple to clean and the parts can go in the dishwasher, which is great for us.
The wide opening allows for some whole fruits and vegetables which saves the step of cutting it up first. That said, it does cause some whole foods get spun out without getting ground up so we had to put some through again, but it wasn’t a hassle to do it.
As it said, ‘whole fruit’ on the box, I was a little disappointed to find we still had to peel a lot of fruit. If you’re using it for orange juice, you really do have to peel a great deal of oranges if you want to get a few glasses out of it. For us, it took five or six oranges per glass. That’s a lot of oranges to peel, but the result was absolutely delicious and I may never buy it in a store again.
My husband and I were both very impressed with the suction cups on the bottom. They very securely hold it in place. Let me tell you, this baby doesn’t move one bit!. So if it’s something you’ll be moving around a lot, this might bother you a little.
We were also very surprised that it wasn’t terribly loud. I expected a booming noise from such a powerful machine, but it was pretty quiet.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this juicer and highly recommend it.
Culinare One Touch Automatic Can Opener
Ok, I’ve used an automatic can opener all of my life so this wasn’t a new concept for me or my family. This can opener is really small so I wasn’t sure how it would work, but it worked really well. It’s super easy to use (my seven year old found no problems with it) and I liked the fact that it takes the whole top off the can instead of just the middle. There’s no jagged edges (the wavy top in the photo is just the label that got trimmed) and it would probably be great for very large cans. My mother in law has some pretty bad arthritis in her hands and finds any can opener to be a challenge (even electric ones). I’m going to get her one of these because it’s just what she needs. Highly recommended!
John Lewis Pasta Machine
I haven’t made homemade pasta since I was in school. I kind of dreaded this one because I thought it would be a hassle, but I was wrong. My son and I did this together. Even with the help of a seven year old, making the dough wasn’t difficult at all (my son loved it) and making the pasta was a lot of fun. We easily made fresh spaghetti, tagliatelle, and ravioli.
As for the machine – I would have returned it, if I had bought it. I know I just said I was successful at making pasta and I was, but we did find metal shavings in the edges (even though I ran some dough through a few times to start like it said in the instructions). During the entire session, it happened every time the dough touched the edges. I had to keep trimming it down to remove the shavings. It also came apart a couple of times during use. This wasn’t a terrible disaster, but it happened and it shouldn’t. So should you buy it? No. Since I wasn’t keen on this one, but recommend getting one, I didn’t want to leave you with no pasta maker to go with so I did some research. After careful consideration and looking into countless products, this this the one I am buying. It comes with rave reviews and I’m looking forward to getting mine.
Marcoto Atlas 150 pasta machine