Home cooking ensures that you are aware of exactly what is going into your food; whether that is a delicious homemade sauce or soup, or baking a fresh batch of muffins. Even if cooking is something that you enjoy, you may find that you struggle to find the time to create those delicious, home-cooked meals during the week. Small kitchen appliances for preparing food, such as food mixers and food processors, can not only help you to improve your cooking creations, but will also mean that you can do things in half of the time. This guide aims to help you decide what kind of food prep appliance will suit your needs best.

The power of these appliances is measured in watts (W) and the higher the figure, the more powerful the device.

Food processors

Similar to a blender, but made for chopping, breaking down and mixing larger ingredients, a food processor is commonly used to make things like pastes and sauces for delicious curry and pasta dishes. If you want to get creative in the kitchen then a food processor is a great tool to have as it allows you to combine ingredients that would perhaps be a little tricky to do by hand. Food processors contain a well-powered blade that is also great for breaking up food to make seasonal meals such as burgers and fishcakes and can be a quick fix for speciality food preparation; such as blending a biscuit base to make a cheesecake or chopping nuts finely. Most devices have various power settings which makes for different cooking options, so choosing the best food mixer depends entirely on what you would like to use it for. A food processor is great for those that love to experiment in the kitchen but is also a handy device for those that are just starting out and would like a helping hand with home cooking. They range in power from around 500w to 1000w.

Mini choppers

If you don’t have the space or need for an all singing, all dancing food processor, a mini chopper is a handy way of saving yourself time in the kitchen without. Whether you’re preparing fresh ingredients, cooking several dishes for a dinner party or simply enjoying a meal for one, the mini chopper will do the leg work for you, so you can quickly create a fresh meal from scratch, in no time at all. A mini chopper will usually be suitable to chop everything from meat and vegetables to smaller recipe additions like herbs and breadcrumbs. These are smaller, lightweight and perhaps easier to store than a regular food processor, making this option a great alternative cooking solution. They are smaller and less powerful, with a range of around 250w up to about 500w.

Stand mixers

Often used by home bakers to mix doughs for breads and cakes, these larger mixers do take up a bit of counter space, but are great at saving effort when you’ve got lots of ingredients to combine. They aren’t able to slice or chop like food processors can, but are instead great for mixing, whisking, whipping and even kneading dough.

Their power range starts at around 300w, up to around 1000w for the top models.

Hand mixers

If you are into baking and enjoy trialling new ideas with sweet (and savoury) treats, then you will be familiar with the arm ache that comes with whisking and mixing eggs, sugar and flour. A hand mixer is your friend when it comes to combining ingredients to a specific consistency – an absolute cake-making saviour. Much smaller and more portable than stand mixers, hand mixers are ideal for those who want a lightweight but powerful solution, or are conscious of space in their kitchen. Occasional cooks may opt for a lower powered motor, starting at around 150w, whilst professional bakers might prefer something a little more powerful, up to around 350w. Depending on the type you buy, you can often get pro hand blenders with several different attachments, suitable for a wider range of baking - all of which are removed and cleaned easily.

For a great choice of food prep appliances and mixers, shop the full range today at TJ’s.