Best kitchen appliances for Bake Off fans
If you've been bitten by the baking bug, only to find your kitchen is woefully under-equipped, we're here to help.
We've rounded up the gadgets that can help make baking effortless, so you can avoid those dreaded soggy bottoms.
1. KitchenAid Artisan mixer
A stand mixer is the ultimate kitchen gadget for any dedicated baker, and the stylish KitchenAid Artisan model is top of many a wish list thanks to its classic looks and retro charm.
Newer models come with some handy extras such as a second smaller mixing bowl, a flex beater attachment for scraping cake mix off the sides, and a splashguard to prevent ingredients escaping. A choice of 22 bold colours means it's sure to bring some Bake Off glamour to your kitchen.
2. Neff 'Slide&Hide' oven
Neff ovens are a regular fixture in the Bake Off tent and their signature 'Slide&Hide' door, which retracts underneath the oven, has piqued the interest of many a viewer. This handy feature makes it easier to load and unload dishes, so you can safely avoid any dropped showstopper disasters.
They can be expensive, with prices ranging from £440 to more than £1,600. But even their cheaper models such as the B3ACE4HN0B above come with premium features such as the slide-away door, fitted grill pans and catalytic liners for easier maintenance.
3. Magimix 4200XL BlenderMix food processor
If your bakes involve tasty extras such as chopped nuts, grated carrot or a crunchy praline layer, a food processor could be a useful addition to your kitchen kit.
Magimix's classic food processors often feature on the Bake Off bench, and can tackle everything from chopping, slicing and grating to puréeing and blending.
Food processors can also be used for jobs such as mixing, whisking and whipping, although we've found they don’t tend to be quite as good - or fit as much in - as a stand mixer.
To find out how this Magimix – and cheaper models – fared at both food prep and baking tasks, head to our . You can also get our verdict on mini choppers - smaller processors that are good for quick jobs like chopping nuts.
4. Kenwood kMix stand mixer
The Kenwood kMix stand mixer has graced the Bake Off tent several times in previous series, competing with KitchenAid for pole position on the bench. It has similarly stylish looks and is usually significantly cheaper too. We've spotted it for less than £200.
The kMix KMX754, launched in March 2017, is an updated version of their popular kMix. It comes in a variety of colours including red, cream and black (although not quite as many as the KitchenAid) and has a 5-litre glass mixing bowl. There's also a range of metallic models, in gold, copper / rose gold, chrome and gunmetal grey, which have metal mixing bowls.
You’ll get a couple of nice extras too, such as the folding function and smart speed control that builds up speed slowly to avoid spraying ingredients out of the bowl.
5. Panasonic Croustina SD-ZP2000KXC bread maker
If you want to make bread at home, but don't have the time (or patience) to wait around for it to prove, or just don't fancy the hard graft of kneading, we've got a handy cheat for you. A good bread maker can take all the hard work out of a homemade loaf, but still give the satisfaction of making your own (just don't tell Paul Hollywood).
Panasonic is the biggest brand, and its Croustina SD-ZP2000KXC bread maker is designed to knead the bread as an artisan baker would, resulting in authentic-looking, oval loaves with a hard crust. It can make an impressive range of bakes, including gluten-free bread, brioche and cake.
Why choosing the right kitchen gadget matters
If you're looking to improve your baking then there's no use buying shoddy appliances that will hold you back, or even worse, sabotage your efforts.
We've found ovens that overshoot the temperature you set by more than 50 degrees, which could spell disaster for your creations.
Our independent tests identify the best mixers, food processors and ovens that will help you create airy bakes and perfectly crusty loaves. We also flag the less than stellar appliances that will sap the fun out of baking and leave a bad taste in your mouth.