The Great British Bake Off is back with another batch of budding bakers. But which gadgets have also made it into the tent this year?
As usual the set is brimming with top-of-the-range baking equipment, from pastel-hued vintage mixers to futuristic ovens with sliding doors.
Read on to find out what gadgets are in the tent and check our independent reviews to discover if they’re really the best for baking.
Kitchen appliance reviews – discover our reviews of everything from kettles to air fryers
1. The KitchenAid mixer
Taking centre stage in the tent again this year is the KitchenAid Artisan mixer, a popular choice amongst bakers. No doubt it helps that it’s available in a wide range of pastel hues to match the gentle colour scheme in the tent.
If the Bake Off pastels don’t take your fancy you can choose anything from the classic crimson red to shimmering metallic shades such as copper and chrome. It will cost you, though – some models exceed £700.
They look stunning, but do KitchenAid stand mixers really mix, whip and knead better than the rest? Heading to our KitchenAid stand mixer reviews to find out.
Get the look for less
If you’re on a tighter budget, some of the best stand mixers we’ve tested have similarly stylish retro looks but cost less than £250.
The Kenwood kMix mixer is a popular alternative that has also featured in the Bake Off tent in previous seasons.
It also comes in a range of popular colours, including red, cream and rose gold, although not quite as many as the KitchenAid range. You can often pick one up for less than £200, making them a far more affordable choice.
Get the best deal on a KitchenAid or Kenwood mixer – get the best value with our insiders guide to pricing
2. The Neff ‘Slide&Hide’ oven
Neff ovens have become a regular feature on the set, thanks to their signature snazzy door, which slides neatly underneath the base of the oven so you can get closer to your bakes. This could come in handy when loading and unloading delicate trays of biscuits or heavy sponges in a busy kitchen.
Neff’s range of ovens come with a fair few hi-tech features that may appeal to dedicated bakers, such as steam cooking, telescopic rails and a ‘CircoTherm’ fan system. Neff claims this spreads heat evenly so you can bake on multiple levels at once – ideal for baking your own multi-layered showstoppers.
But they don’t come cheap, with prices ranging from £440 to more than £1,600 for the top-end models. Head our Neff oven reviews to see how they fare in our independent tests and find out if it’s worth splashing out.
Best cheap ovens for baking
Even if you don’t have the budget for a Neff, having an oven that can spread heat evenly and to a precise temperature is essential if you want to achieve those perfect bakes.
We’ve found some excellent Best Buy ovens for less than £200 that can produce a perfectly-risen cake, lovely loaves and evenly-baked biscuits. Cheaper ovens may lack fancy features, but you don’t have to sacrifice good results just because you’re on a budget.
Head over to our built-in oven reviews to find the best models in your price range.
3. The retro fridge-freezer
It wouldn’t be the Bake Off set without a retro-look fridge-freezer. Once again the featured fridge is a 50’s-style model in pastel shades, with a top-mounted freezer and large chrome door handles.
The top-mounted design found on many retro models means the freezer is at eye level, so if you need to quickly cool down a cake before icing this will make it easier to load and check on it.
This year the Bake Off team has opted for a Servis, but in previous years they’ve featured retro fridge freezers from Smeg and Gorenje. Servis models start at around £430 whereas Smeg and Gorenje models cost anywhere from £800 to £2,000.
If you’ve got your heart set on a vintage-look fridge, read our full retro fridge-freezer buying guide for a rundown of the brands to look out for and how they compare when it comes to keeping food cool.
4. The Magimix food processor
For recipes that call for ingredients such as chopped nuts, grated carrot or puree, a food processor can save you time and do the job more precisely than by hand.
Magimix food processors, as seen in the tent, come with several processing bowls of different sizes, perfect for bakes with multiple steps, where there’s little time to wash up as you go along. They also include a wide range of attachments to handle anything from grating and chopping to mixing, blending and whisking.
Unfortunately, they come at a premium price too, with models costing between £230 and £400.
Check our food processor reviews to see how Magimix compares to cheaper brands.
5. The Swan retro microwave
Microwaves might not be an obvious baker’s helper, but when the clock is ticking they can be a life saver for quickly softening butter or melting chocolate.
We’ve spotted a few Swan Retro digital microwaves dotted around the tent this year, in pastel shades and vintage designs to compliment the rest of the tent. At £90, they aren’t too pricey compared with other microwaves either, though we have tested cheaper retro-style models too.
Make sure you get a microwave that both looks great and heats food properly too by checking our microwave reviews before you buy.
Choosing the best kitchen gadgets
There’s no doubt the Bake Off gadgets are all lookers, but only our reviews reveal if they are truly the best a baker can get.
Some have proven themselves excellent, but there are still cheaper options to consider if you don’t want to blow the budget on baking kit. We’ve also found that the big, expensive brands aren’t always the best performers, so it’s worth checking before you invest.
- Not sure what type of kitchen gadget you need? Read our guide to choosing between a food processor, mixer or blender.
- Already have the kit you need? Head to our 10 baking tips you need to know for advice on avoiding common baking mistakes.