Cooking is one of the arts that are so fulfilling, thrilling and sensational, which for a long time had not been well appreciated. I come from a tribe in Kenya where cooking does not really inspire any artistry or creativity, and any Kenyan will tell you that tribe.
However over the last few years, the advancement in cooking technology has managed to break the ceiling and for the first time, even my local kinsmen are finding beauty in cooking adventures, and even trying out recipes that have been proven more healthy and beneficial. So let us go through the journey from traditional cooking all the way to the Modern kitchen, and see what really has caused this shift.
History of the African Kitchen
Africans have experienced an amazing development of their kitchen, with most traditional modes of cooking being inspired by traditions and culture. To date, many Africans still use the three stones method of cooking, where you arrange 3 stones on a circle, and then light your fire at the middle of the stones.
Cooking is and has always been seen as a way of bringing the family together, as they cook together and sit around the fire. The older people would narrate to the young ones tales and stories as they waited for the food to be ready. This was very important in African tradition because the only way to pass information and knowledge from one generation to the next was through the word of mouth.
The African kitchen today is still visible in the midst of the technological developments. The availability of information all over the internet has transformed cooking from just mashing things up to fill the stomach, but an adventure for the family to take together, while enjoying the benefits of speed and accuracy in terms of ingredients quantity among others.
Why a Modern Kitchen?
- Faster cooking
Compared to the traditional forms of cooking, the modern kitchen offers means of cooking that are faster and safer. Many of the cooking appliances in the modern kitchen are as a result of many years of research by scientists and nutritionists, hence offering the optimum cooking solutions to almost any type of food. For instance, a Sayona Pressure cooker reduced the time taken to cook a local dish called githeri from an average of 3hrs to an average 20 to 25 minutes.
- Energy efficiency and Environmental friendly.
For us to measure the energy efficiency in a modern kitchen, we have to do a comparison with the traditional Charcoal and firewood. The modern kitchen is a smart new technology kitchen. Most Appliances in this kitchen will auto regulate themselves and will switch off when they have finished cooking. Most appliances will regulate the amount of electricity or even gas used per cooking time, and optimize the distribution of the energy in terms of intensity required in different times.
- A center of adventure and creativity.
Culinary arts is the art of preparing, cooking, presenting and serving food. Just like Poetry, Music, Love, Nature, Cooking is an adventure full of awesome beauty and satisfaction. From choosing the best ingredients, to choosing the best recipe to use for your ingredients. Then comes the appliances that make the application of these recipes a success.
Food appeals to us from the way it looks, the way it is presented before our eyes, the way it smells and the way it tastes, all this are made possible by the modern kitchen that allows such levels of practice to be a success. Modern kitchens hence play a major role in enhancing our food enjoyment to the fullest.
- Encourages healthy living.
The modern kitchen has been description as the place where science finds its application. The modern human being is able to take in more nutrients from the food he eats compared to the people who used or still use traditional kitchen appliances. The modern kitchen ensures less destruction of nutrients, better absorption in the body and better combination of foods to ensure a balanced intake. Due to advanced technology, Obesity and other health conditions have been in the increase, and the modern kitchen has come with a solution for that.
One would argue it is from the modern kitchen where people also consume the unhealthiest foods when they are after good taste, and at the expense of good health, people consume all manner of junk, with unhealthy chemicals. But the best thing about this is that, they do this with a perfect understanding of what they do, not as victims, but as ones who chose their fate. This is the beauty of the modern kitchen, everyone chooses their fate will perfect understanding of the consequences.
- Offers more than just kitchen.
The modern kitchen is not just a kitchen, but it is also described as the heart of the home, the epitome of the mothers’ love, the place where the art of culinary is brought to life. Life is created in the bedroom, but is sustained in the kitchen. Without the kitchen, the life in the living room is not worthwhile.
In the morning, families gather in the kitchen, as they get ready for the day. People want also a kitchen that allows guests to be sipping some fruit juice as food is being prepared, and they chat. The kitchen is no longer to be enclosed and hidden as far as possible. The kids wants to do their homework around the kitchen, around the adults preparing supper. The kitchen hence brings the family together, as sometimes the living room draws the people apart. Mostly in the kitchen, people will not be on phone, but will be totally available.
Best Kitchen Appliances
The modern kitchen cannot attain that name unless the kitchen appliances are brought in the picture. The following is a list of the modern most useful kitchen appliances in this 21st century.
A blender is an electric kitchen appliance, invented by Stephen Poplawski in 1922, with an aim to crush, mix, emulsify or purée food and other substances. Poplawski introduced a very vital way of increasing the consumption of super nutrition boosters and increasing nutrient absorption in people’s daily food consumption.
The blender is one of the vital modern kitchen appliances that is at the front line as far as healthy living is concerned.
With a blender, you can make pastes, smoothies or juice, and can be used to crush ice, and make pastes or liquids from solid foods.
A food processor is an electric appliance fitted with removable blades, wide and spacious body that can be used in a variety of ways to prepare a variety of foods, from mixing dough, chopping and shredding, slicing, grating among other uses. Unlike blenders, food processors come with a set of removable blades that are changed to accommodate each of the food preparation required.
The body of a food processor is spacious, fitted with a lid that have tall feed chutes, allowing you to add ingredients as you mix. The wide body allows the food processor to accommodate large recipes. You can actually fill a food processor all the way to nearly the top and still perform normally.
One major concern with them though is that, their optimum operation is when processing dry ingredients. Liquids and very wet ingredients have not proven to perform very well. We tried the Sayonapps food processors and can recommend them to you.
A mixer is a kitchen device, that can either be manual or electric, that is used to mix, fold, beat and whip food ingredients. They use a gear driven mechanism to control beaters directed into a bowl containing the food to be mixed. The beaters can be replaced by dough hooks to mix dough. and knead.
Mixers can either be hand operated, or self-operating. Hand mixers are smaller than the stand mixers. They require full attention while you do the mixing, as you have to hold the mixer above the bowl and control its movement. The advantage is, you never use a speed too slow or too fast as you are in total control, and you can adjust the speed on the mixer from what you are experiencing fast hand.
The stand mixers on the other hand are self-operating. This means you just pour your ingredients into the bowl and leave the mixer to mix for itself. They are much powerful and very helpful to busy cooks. They are a bit expensive and bigger in size than the hand mixers.
We also have mixers that are manual mixers. This ones don’t depend on electricity to run, but completely depend on the persons hands. They come in handy when one wants to mix something small very fast. They are perfect for camping and outdoor activities.
A microwave, sometimes called an electronic oven, is an electric kitchen appliance that cooks food by exposing it to high frequency electromagnetic waves or radiations called microwaves. Microwaves are used to reheat, cook or even bake food from within to the outside. They greatly reduce cooking or heating time, hence are preferred when saving time is of essence.
How microwaves work is that, the radiations produced make the polar molecules in the food, in form of water, fats, sugar etc., to vibrate and produce thermal energy. The food hence cooks from the inside out, and even the air surrounding the food is not heated up.
An air fryer is a countertop electrical device with adjustable temperature and time controls that uses convection to circulate hot air around food in order to cook it.
Air fryers come in handy in the kitchen to fry food, bake, dehydrate, and roast, among other uses.
Air fryers have a compartment that holds the food that is being cooked. The device relies on a mechanism called rapid air technology, in which a heating element within the top of the machine radiates heat downward, while a fan rapidly circulates air around the food inside to heat it evenly from all angles. The air-tight, compact design of air fryers ensures that all air is contained in the chamber and actively flows around the food, promoting the intensity and efficiency of cooking. This mode of heat transfer is also known as convection, in which energy is distributed through the movement of a gaseous medium.
Meanwhile, excess fat and residues typically drain into a compartment below the food to be discarded, greatly reducing the amount of fat ultimately consumed by the user.
The Air fryer hence replaces the use of oil with use of hot air, and can be very useful especially to people who are very concerned about their health.
One of the key factors defining a traditional kitchen is the use of charcoal, firewood and kerosene as energy to cook. These ways of cooking have been classified as unhealthy, environmentally unfriendly, time consuming and very expensive at times.
Cooking with electricity and gas is a sure way to cut down the health risk, cost and time used to cook. It is convenient and causes less risk of accidents. Use of firewood and charcoal has been a major cause of fire breakouts in many cases.
A rice cooker is an electric kitchen appliance that is designed to cook and reheat rice, keep food warm, steam vegetables and other soft foods. Research has shown that the Sayonapps rice cooker can even cook ugali, meat and matoke.
Because it comes with an extra pair of sufurias, this rice cooker can be used to cook 3 meals, and replace many other kitchen appliances.
A toaster oven is a small kitchen appliance powered by electricity that combines functions of a toaster with a small oven. It is used to bake, roast, broil and toast. It can be used to cook or toast slices of bread, pizzas, bagels or toasted pastries.
It is way smaller than a regular oven, and comes featured with a removable wire rack and baking pan. It has a side door opened downwards or sideways, or even on top. Once the toaster is finished, it pops your food up, allowing you to easily grab them.
It may not replace the full functions of a regular oven, but it is versatile and convenient enough for many kitchens.
A refrigerator, commonly known as fridge is a cooling appliance for commercial or home use, used to keep food and drinks cool, making preservation possible. It consists of thermally insulated compartment, and it is designed with a system that ensures temperatures inside the compartment is kept below the room temperature, and any heat inside is transferred to the external environment.
Fridges have made it possible for food that easily spoil at room temperature to stay longer, as the low temperatures inhibit bacteria growth. Fridges have also enhanced healthy living as one is less prone to eat spoilt food that has overstayed.
A dishwasher is a kitchen appliance used to automatically wash dirty dishes, cookware and cutlery. The machine follows a procedure of pre-rinsing, then main washing, then rinsing again and finally drying.
The machine delivers an incredibly perfect work. One need to add a rinse aid chemical in the water to reduce surface tension of hard water. The machines saves water and energy by recycling the water and detergent mixture, as many times as possible.
The dishwasher is definitely a to-go-for machine for any modern kitchen, and it is recommended.
Invented in the 1600’s by Denis Papin, a pressure cooker is a kitchen appliance that cooks on the principle of enclosing steam in a sealed pot, building up high temperature and pressure, hence cooking food faster.
In a modern kitchen, a pressure can be used to boil, steam, steam roast, braise, brown, roast or stew food. With pressure and temperature it builds up to, the pressure cooker can also be used to bake Cheesecakes, like the sayona air fryer.
The traditional foods like githeri can be cooked in a pressure cooker, while saving over 60% of the time.
An electric kettle is an electric kitchen appliance that uses electricity to heat or boil liquids, mostly water. It comes with a self contained heating unit, and a thermos regulator that automatically switches it off when the temperatures reach the boiling point.
A modern Kitchen should not lack this device, for the matters of convenience. The Sayona electric kettle can hold a capacity of upto 4.5 liters, making it ideal for serving a couple of people.
- Toaster/sandwich maker
To make your breakfast preparation easy and enjoyable, a modern kitchen needs a bread toaster and sandwich maker. Bread toasters are used to brown bread slices, and rely on radiant heat. For more versatility, sandwich makers are an improvement to bread toasters and are able to make more than just bread sandwiches. They can be used to prepare breakfast of waffles and pancakes.
- Slow cooker/crock pot
Slow cookers are an opposite of the pressure cookers, as their aim is to cook food slowly. Slow cooking can be preferred in a variety of circumstances. Most people use this appliance when they are not available to attend to the cooking food, which they would have otherwise boiled or pressure cooked. The device has also been used to help bring out the flavor in some foods that seem to be missed when cooked fast.
Foods preferred for this appliance include rice, stew, and soups, mashed potatoes, roasted chicken, braised beef and skinny vegetables.
In your modern kitchen, it will help you when you want to go and so some shopping and come back find food ready and hot
How has technology improved the equipment in the kitchen?
Technology is changing the way we behave, interact with and use our kitchen. Cooking as an art has been brought to life by the help of technology.
Due to the new appliances of modern technology, we can save a lot of time in our cooking, we can eat healthier, and we can interact with a variety of food, with borrowed recipes from the internet. It is not surprising that a person In Kenya can cook a South American dish in their home without necessarily going to South America, which is just awesome
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’S)
A smart kitchen is a kitchen that is comprised of smart appliances that can be interconnected among themselves and with external devices like phone apps via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other means of technology.
What are large kitchen Appliances?
Large kitchen appliances are kitchen appliances that cannot be moved around in the kitchen due to their size, but are fixed, like the refrigerator.
What is technology in the kitchen?
Technology in the kitchen is the use of culinary arts and smart appliances in the kitchen to make cooking easier, include use of smart timers, automatic thermal regulators, IOT(internet of things) enabled appliances to link with smart phones among other ways.
What small appliances should every small kitchen have?
Every modern kitchen must have a blender, a food processor, air fryer, water kettle and a hand mixer
What is the best appliance for baking?
The convention toaster oven remains the best appliance for baking. The other complementary appliances are a hand mixer and a kitchen scale.
Which major appliance uses the most energy?
The wet appliances, like the dishwashers account for a big percentage of power usage, followed by the cold appliances like the fridge and the freezers, especially because they are powered always.