A Guide to Cooking Appliances in India

The online and offline market in India today are replete with a host of cooking technologies. While each of these shiny, new appliances is meant to ease your life, not all might be necessary to your cooking style and requirements.

So here’s a guide to introduce you to the key cooking appliances perched on the shelves of the retail market out there. Taking one type of appliance at a time, we’ll help you figure if it fits into your lifestyle and needs, and the reasons why you may choose not to pick it up after all.

Air Fryers

The latest device to be trending in the culinary world of India these days is the air fryer. Its supposedly fashionable to have one in your kitchen, but before you go shopping for one, just because it’s so talked about, let’s understand what it really does and if it is for you.

What Is It?

Air Fryer is an electric appliance that uses hot air, instead of oil, to cook food, achieving the same result as when food is deep fried. This means that the end product will be crisp on the outside and tender inside, with the use of little or no oil.

Is It For You?

If your cuisine consists of fried foods, or if you have been avoiding them for health reasons, while you love the taste, this device is for you. Not just frying, you may want to use this device for grilling or roasting non-vegetarian items or vegetables if you don’t have an oven. In fact, you can also bake cakes in the fryer.

Technology-averse? Don’t worry, using this equipment is a smooth ride. Forgetful while cooking? Air Fryers have auto-off features, perfect for you. Detest scrubbing pots after your culinary experiments? These devices are very easy to clean.

Why You May Not Want to Get It

An air fryer usually costs upwards of Rs 8000, making it a relatively expensive item in the kitchen. You may decide to skip the air fryer, if you don’t usually eat fried foods or if the texture of fried foods is not worth the expense to you. The cooking time is also longer than what it would take you for normal frying. The capacity of the device is limited and hence, if you usually cook for large groups, you might find an air fryer limited in its utility for you.

Tandoors

Traditionally made of a large clay pot, heated with charcoal or wood fires, tandoors were used to cook food by radiating direct heat from a huge fire.

What Is It?

Modern day versions run on electricity or gas and emulate this old-fashioned way of cooking within the ease of our kitchens.

Is It For You?

Kebabs, grilled meat or sandwiches, barbecues, tikkas, shawarmas, tandoori rotis; if these are what you’d like to make at home, you’ll surely want a Tandoor gracing your counter. While there are highly priced models as well, you would as easily find a Tandoor in the range of Rs 2000 to Rs 3000, so the expense should not discourage you.

Why You May Not Want to Get It

The tandoor is likely to appeal more to someone with a non-vegetarian diet. So if you’re vegetarian and already have many options to cook your veges and paneer, you may not want to bring home yet another appliance. Also, if you already have an OTG (Oven Toaster Griller), you may choose to skip the Tandoor, as grilling would be taken care of in the OTG.

Microwave Oven

A jack of all trades, there is little you cannot do with the microwave oven. It has come to be an indispensable part of many Indian kitchens.

What Is It?

An electronic device that heats or cooks your food using electromagnetic radiation, is a microwave. You can use it for an assortment of purposes, right from warming up your food, to cooking, defrosting, baking etc.

Is It For You?

If you have a busy lifestyle, you would find a microwave handy and speedy. If food is prepared at your place before mealtimes, or if different members eat at different hours, the microwave is unbelievably convenient to heat food in a matter of seconds. You can also use it to cook basic dishes like rice, potatoes etc or to try your hands at some amateur baking.

Why You May Not Want to Get It

If you are not short of time and enjoy doing your cooking, conventional cooking will give you better, tastier food. The fast-cooking method of the microwave does not allow time for the flavours of the dish to develop. You must not heat/cook foods in plastic or steel utensils in the microwave, so if getting a microwave, you may need to give your kitchenware a makeover. Finally, if you have a convection oven or an OTG, you may  just decide to skip the microwave.

<a href=”http://www.conzumr.com/br/OTG” target=”_blank”>Oven Toaster Griller

Smaller than the conventional oven, the OTG uses electrical filaments to heat the cavity. It is a compact alternative to the full-sized oven.

What Is It?

The OTG is different from the microwave in that it uses heat waves instead of microwaves to cook food. It is, in essence, a mini oven. It is good for small quantities of food that need to be grilled or toasted.

Is It For You?

Looking for an appliance specifically for grilling and toasting? The OTG is for you. If space is a problem in your kitchen, but you want the usefulness of an oven, you can get an OTG and place it over the counter.

Why You May Not Want to Get It

If you already have a conventional oven and use it well, the OTG would not be necessary for you. If you have neither an OTG nor a regular oven, and space is not a problem, you may prefer the oven over the OTG. If you cook large quantities of food, the oven will be far more useful than the petite OTG.

Oven

Larger in size than microwaves and OTGs, the conventional oven is the real thing when it comes to baking or cooking.

What Is It?

A thermally insulated chamber, the oven operates on an electric element or gas burner, cooking food with heat waves. It takes longer to cook than the microwave, but food prepared in the oven will undoubtedly have a richer, tastier flavor.

Is It For You?

Love spending time in the kitchen experimenting with new dishes? Baking is one of your favourite activities? Homemade biscuits, cookies, cakes make your family happy? You’ve been wanting to try your hands at cooking casseroles, roasted meat, pies and breads? You would definitely like having an oven in your domestic space.

Why You May Not Want to Get It

A regular oven takes much longer to cook the same things, than a microwave, requiring patience and a love for cooking. If time is a crunch and you need something that you can operate quick and easy, the microwave might be your answer instead of the regular oven. The oven also tends to be a big, bulky appliance, so available space in your kitchen may determine whether this fits in or not. Finally, if you mainly stick to Indian style cooking on a gas burner, the oven may not be a necessity on your list at all.

So which of these appliances are you getting home?

-Article by Piyushi Dhir

You may also like...