As the holiday season fast approaches, you might already be searching through your recipes and figuring out which hearty meals to cook for family gatherings. From the Noche Buena to the New Year’s feast, every Filipino family has their favorite set of dishes to celebrate these special occasions.
Although cooking for your loved ones is a rewarding experience, whether it’s for a few people or your whole extended family, it helps to have some essential tools in your kitchen to make the process a lot easier. Thanks to the efficiency of modern kitchen appliances, you can spend less time doing tasks that would’ve otherwise taken you hours to do with manual labor.
The best part is that you don’t have to sacrifice your savings to upgrade your cooking experience: with so many great kitchen appliances on sale, you’ll never run out of options for affordable but good-quality tools. However, with plenty of appliances to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones your kitchen really needs. Every person has their own preferences, but there are some classic choices that are always a big help in any culinary endeavor.
Below is a list of handy kitchen appliances to make your holiday cooking easier:
1. Turbo Broiler
If you’re looking for an all-in-one power tool, the turbo broiler is an appliance that every busy kitchen needs. It circulates hot air within a sealed chamber, allowing you to cook your food evenly. The large capacity of most turbo broilers ensures that you can make larger meals quickly, from a whole Lechon manok to the crispiest liempo.
Using a turbo boiler is also a healthier alternative to deep-frying, as it encourages the fat to render out of the meat, producing meals that are less oily but just as delicious. If that’s not enough to convince you, turbo broilers can also bake an assortment of cakes and pastries. If your oven is overwhelmed with other holiday meals, you can use the broiler to whip up some desserts to save time.
2. Electric Oven
A tabletop electric oven is a reliable tool for any kitchen user. Because it is smaller than a gas oven range, the electric oven is an indispensable space saver. Most, if not all, electric ovens can also melt cheese, cook meat, and bake pastries to perfection with their different cooking modes. If you’re looking to reheat or keep food warm before your holiday meal, just slip them into the oven and let it do the work. Make sure to keep food in top shape by wrapping them in foil, and for sauce-heavy meals, adding a little more water.
3. Electric Griller
Whether your family wants a DIY tabletop inihaw feast or you’re grilling the food in the kitchen, an electric griller is a health-friendly and convenient appliance. Much like electric ovens, they’re small and portable, making them easy to store and clean. Not to mention that electric grills produce less smoke than your usual charcoal-fueled grill or frying pan, which keeps your clothes and house from smelling too strongly of charred meat.
4. Blender and Juicer
No holiday meal is complete without delicious beverages. Aside from using blenders to mix sauces and other liquids, they’re also perfect for making ice cold shakes for the family. If you’re looking to juice fruits and vegetables for dishes or healthy beverages, using a juicer is a fast and easy way to reap the health benefits of organic ingredients during your meals.
5. Rice Cooker
Rice is undoubtedly the heart of our cuisine and an important staple in any Filipino holiday meal. Regardless of variety, it’s important to have a steaming bowl of it at the table and to cook enough in case anyone wants an extra serving.
Using a rice cooker ensures that your rice is always fluffy and perfect. Even if you can boil rice on your stovetop with a pot, it often gives inconsistent results and requires a watchful eye—otherwise, you might end up burning the batch. With only one or two buttons to operate, rice cookers are incredibly easy to use: with one push, you’ll have a pot of freshly cooked rice for the whole family. This no-fuss system means you don’t have to be on stand-by in the kitchen to adjust the temperature, and most rice cookers also come with a handy function to keep your rice warm even if you cooked it hours ago.
Food and celebration always go hand in hand in Filipino culture, so the kitchen can get quite busy during the holidays. Trying to make sure everyone gets their fill of delicious meals means managing larger quantities of food, which often takes a lot of time. However, investing in the right kitchen appliances ensures that you don’t get stressed during your meal preparations. After all, you also want to leave enough time for yourself to relax and enjoy the company of those dearest to you.