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Cooking at the dacha: top 5 compact cooking appliances

09.06.2024 11:37

If you are planning to replace an old stove in your country house and want to cook outside the city with something modern and convenient, our digest will help you with your choice. We have collected for you the top 5 compact and mobile cooking devices that received the highest ratings from our experts.

Induction hob Weissgauff WHI 1528

This laconic-looking device immediately attracted us with its high quality workmanship: the glass-ceramic surface of the burner is perfectly smooth, the corners are rounded and well processed, thick glass, neat assembly. It is light (1.5 kg) and stable thanks to small legs with rubber pads. In addition, I was pleased with the long cord (1.5 m), which does not happen often.

The touch control panel allows you to switch cooking modes, adjust the temperature, set the operating time, use the timer and pause the process for up to five minutes. The only drawback is that the buttons make a squeaking sound that cannot be turned off. Like most induction hobs, during operation there is a noise from the built-in fan, comparable to the noise of a range hood at medium power.

The device supports the following modes:

  • Extinguishing: turns on by default, allows you to adjust the heating power from 200 to 1500 W using the “−” and “+” buttons, the time can be adjusted.
  • Frying: adjustable heating temperature — 60, 90, 120, 140, 160, 180, 200 or 220 °C, cooking time is adjustable.
  • Soup: boil for the first 20 minutes, then reduce power to maintain a light simmer. Only time is regulated.
  • Water and Heating: time adjustable from 1 minute to 3 hours in 1 minute increments.

The bar passed our mandatory test of keeping the broth at a gentle simmer, keeping the temperature of the broth stable for an hour and a half. We've also made stews, turkey steaks, and roasted zucchini, and the results are always great. The device has proven to be of high quality, safe, economical and easy to use. You just need to study the instructions and understand the mode settings. Setting the timer and temperature is intuitive.

Mini oven Gemlux GL-OR-1320MN

This mini-oven is unique in that, at a low cost and compact size (chamber volume 20 liters), it offers convection functions, a wide temperature range, internal lighting and the ability to be used as a rotary grill. This is achieved through a combination of heating elements, the presence of a spit, airflow and the ability to heat up to 250 °C.

The furnace is controlled using electromechanical rotary switches. The top regulator sets the temperature from 60 to 250 °C in 10 °C steps. The middle switch allows you to select combinations of heating modes (heating elements, convection, spit). The lower regulator serves as a timer that sets the operating time from 5 to 60 minutes in one-minute increments.

Our team’s only complaint is the lack of a signal when the set temperature has been reached, which is a common drawback of such equipment. However, a significant plus was noted: the almost silent operation of the convection and spit.

We baked whole fish and chicken, brisket, chicken in this oven, prepared banana muffins and a dessert of apples with cottage cheese — everything turned out excellent. The oven’s performance as a rotary grill is especially highly rated. The disadvantages include a very hot case, which, unfortunately, is typical for models in this segment that are not equipped with enhanced thermal insulation.

Air fryer Garlyn AG-1500

This appliance belongs to the new generation of air fryers, which grew out of Philips air fryers, and has almost nothing in common with the bulky glass air fryers of the 90s and 2000s. Almost — after all, in essence, it is still a convection oven.

A powerful and compact device allows you to manually select almost any cooking time and temperature or use one of 17 automatic programs. Thanks to the bowl divider, you can cook two dishes at the same time.

Please note: during cooking, the air fryer signals the need to turn the dish over to avoid the risk of burning. This happens in the Chicken, Vegetables, Ribs, Kebab, Sweet Potato and French Fries programs.

Among the automatic modes there are Heating and Defrosting, so the convection oven can partially replace the microwave.

We appreciated the quiet operation of the device, although the signal about turning over is heard from the next room. We cooked French fries, croissants, trout and beef steaks, chicken thighs and much more in the air fryer. There were no complaints about the quality of cooking, defrosting or heating.

Cooking in an air fryer requires a minimum of oil — you just need to lubricate low-fat foods so that they do not dry out. Due to the absence of oil boiling, the upper heating element remains clean for a long time.

Immersion thermostat (sous vide) Inkbird ISV-100W

If you are used to cooking at home using sous vide technology, but do not want to lug a large appliance to the dacha, then a compact immersion thermostat can be an excellent choice. It is important to note that this model does not have an automatic shut-off — only sound signals when the cooking time has ended. However, in other respects this inexpensive device exceeded our expectations and provided a delicious diet menu for the week.

The thermostat can be controlled either directly or via an app, and in the latter case it turned out to be convenient, despite initial doubts. In addition, you can expand the device menu by adding your own recipes. We have included instructions for preparing cod with oranges.

Precise temperature adjustment is required for sous vide cooking, and the adjustment increments are 0.1 °C in the app or 0.5 °C in manual mode, which meets high cooking standards.

The clothespin carabiner perfectly holds the device in a container of water along with products sealed in vacuum bags.

The cooking process itself is simple: attach the device to the pan, set the parameters and follow the simple safety rules from the instructions.

We cooked homemade pork sausages, cod with oranges and herbs, a whole turkey breast (6 hours), roast beef (10 hours, but it was worth it!), poached eggs and were convinced of the excellent and stable operation of the device, almost silent. It is convenient to control the thermostat; it takes up little space, so it will come in handy even if you have other cooking appliances in the country.

Gas hob Schaub Lorenz SLK GL3229

A very simple, convenient and compact glass hob with gas control and electric ignition, affordable. It is easy to clean and connects to both the main gas and the cylinder. The kit includes all the necessary fasteners for embedding into the countertop, as well as sealing tape, which makes installation of the device simple. However, it can also be used without installation if necessary, for example in rental housing. In addition, the kit includes jets for bottled gas.

Installation was easy and pleasant. The gas ignition occurs quickly, and the gas control works reliably (the gas supply is turned off if there is no flame, in 12 seconds on the large burner and in 16 seconds on the small one). The regulators are convenient. It is most convenient to use dishes with a volume of 1.5 to 3 liters, but a frying pan with a diameter of 26 cm and a ladle with a volume of 1.5 liters can also easily fit on the wire rack.

The large burner has a power of 2.9 kW, which is enough to cook most dishes, with the possible exception of a wok. We even cooked steaks and they turned out great. There were no difficulties in preparing pasta, custard, chicken breast, pancakes and jam.

We did not find any significant shortcomings, but we did notice the space saving, convenient approach from both sides, easy maintenance and trouble-free operation.

Our recommendations present only compact, functional devices that are easy to use and maintain. They were successfully tested in our laboratory, and we found a minimal number of flaws in them.