The Best Gifts for the Worst Cooks
We all have that friend who can’t follow a recipe properly or the relative we’re worried is going to one day burn down the kitchen. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get started on a journey to culinary greatness. In fact, nowadays, there are several appliances available that make cooking a gourmet meal as easy as pie. So, if you have a friend who is more Liz Lemon than Martha Stewart, consider giving them a helping hand this holiday season.
Typically, you have to submerge your food of choice in a waterproof or heatproof bag in a pot filled with water along with the sous vide. It works by circulating the heated water in the pot at a temperature of your choice. Hold it there for the duration of cooking. Not only does this tool basically cook the entire meal for you, but it’s relatively small and compact so it won’t take up too much space. There are a variety of sous vides available, so do your research to find one that best fits your or your friends’ needs and budgets.
An air fryer helps to create healthier “fried” foods by replacing the oil aspect of frying with, well, air. While some air fryer recipes require a decent amount of prep time, once you load the food in the fryer, you just set the timer and walk away. If you’re worried about overcooking your food, it is easy to set the timer on the lower end, check on the food, and then put it back in for more time if necessary. You can use it to make keto mozzarella sticks, chicken nuggets, and more. An air fryer is a great way to satisfy your bad food cravings with food that actually fuels you.
Crock pots have been around for quite a while, but if you haven’t used one yet, you’re missing out. A crock pot is a very easy to use appliance that creates a delicious and flavorful meal. It may also be referred to as a slow cooker as it cooks your meal over a period of hours, sometimes even overnight. With a slow cooker, toss in your ingredients of choice, choose a temperature, and then simply leave the meal to cook for the amount of hours required. One of the benefits of using a crock pot is that the slow cooking method allows many flavors to slowly infuse into the meal. That said, you may need to be more conservative with some of the herbs and spices that you want to include in your meals at first as they will be expressed more powerfully than normal in the finished product. Crock pots come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose the best one for each household.
A stand mixer is a staple of any great cook’s kitchen. If you have ever used a hand mixer to make cookies growing up, a stand mixer works pretty much the same way, only it takes you mostly out of the equation. Instead of having to use your hands to move the mixer, the mixer works on its own at a pace you set. You can also use the mixer to make savory dishes like mashed potatoes. Plus, you can purchase a number of attachments like a pasta maker, slicer, grinder, and more.
You’d have to have been living under a rock if you’ve never heard of the Instant Pot. It rose to popularity as a pressure cooker, touting that you could make one-pot meals up to 70 percent faster than traditional cooking methods. Basically, an Instant Pot works like a crock pot, only much faster, taking the cooking time from hours down to minutes. And, the more recent iterations of the Instant Pot have even more to offer. For instance, the newer 11-in-1 Instant Pot claims to have the following capabilities: sous vide, air fryer, bake, roast, dehydrate, slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, and sterilizer. So, in theory, the Instant Pot could be the only appliance you really need in your kitchen. Much like a crock pot, for most meals you should be able to throw in your ingredients and leave the Instant Pot to do the rest.