Summer is the ideal time for entertaining. Warm, sunny days and longer, lighter evenings are made for happy gatherings with friends and family. Whether you prefer eating indoors or alfresco dining, BBQs or picnics, there’s no shortage of social options to help you make the most of the short-but-sweet British summer season.
However, some of us find entertaining a lot easier than others. Planning is key. As with so much in life, if you fail to prepare, you should probably prepare to fail. So put some thought into the dishes you plan to serve, the summer wines to pair these with, and, of course, the seating/table arrangements. But don’t overthink things, or try to be too ambitious.
Successful summer entertaining is as much about the company as it is the menu. So, light, easy dishes that allow you to spend time with your guests are very much the name of the game. At Caple, we also offer a range of kitchen gadgets and accessories designed to make cooking and entertaining that little bit easier. Read on to discover our expert round-up from assistant product manager Ashley, and the different benefits they deliver.
The air fryer frenzy shows no signs of subsiding, as more people buy one and realise how useful they are. So, if you (or your guests) are trying to eat healthily, an air fryer could be a worthwhile investment. Not only do they make cooking a whole lot quicker – saving you time and money on energy bills – used properly, they serve up truly delicious results too
But what exactly is an air fryer? First of all, don’t be fooled by the name. An air fryer doesn’t actually fry anything, in the conventional sense of the word. This is a mini convection oven, which circulates hot air to cook food. And you can prepare practically anything in it. However, freestanding appliances, such as these, can easily end up languishing in cupboards – out of sight and out of mind.
If this cooking method sounds appealing, but you don’t want to splash your cash on more kitchen gadgets – or don’t have the worktop space to accommodate one – there’s good news. Our AIRFRY2 will appeal to those who want to eat more healthily with low-fat cooking, using significantly less oil when compared to a deep fat fryer. It will transform your regular 60cm Caple oven into an air fryer, allowing you to serve up healthy alternatives to traditional fried foods. This mesh tray allows hot air (courtesy of the fan heat function) to circulate all around, resulting in a crispy, crunchy exterior. Best of all, it’s compatible with all our 60cm ovens.
Summer nights are perfect for pizzas and bottles of well-chilled rosé. Everyone has their own idea of what textbook pizza tastes like. But whether your guests prefer deep-pan and pineapple or a traditional no-fuss Margherita, the right kitchen gadgets will make every slice taste extra-nice! If you and/or your friends are serious about pizza, however, you’re going to need the right tools to help you prepare.
Pizza stones are fast becoming one of our most popular kitchen gadgets. They are a cheaper and more convenient alternative to a specialist pizza oven. And they couldn’t be easier to use. Pizza stones work by distributing/retaining heat evenly, and absorbing moisture, which helps to ensure a light, crisp base.
Designed to suit all Caple ovens, our ceramic PIZZASTONE delivers a faster cook time and a far tastier crust. The moisture-wicking stone provides the necessary even heat distribution. And because it retains heat so well, it keeps all of your pizza warm while you and your guests polish off the first few slices.
A-peeling kitchen gadgets
Pizza stones aren’t the only kitchen gadgets designed to improve your pizza game. Have you ever heard of a PIZZAPEEL? Despite its name, no actual peeling is involved. Rather, a pizza peel is a portable tool that’s designed specifically for manoeuvring pizzas into and out of hot ovens, avoiding food spills and painful burns. Most look just like a flat spade or paddle, but they are the exact ideal shape and size for transferring pizza easily and effectively. Simply pair with our pizza stone, and enjoy the pizza perfection they produce!
Round and round
Round and round
If you and your social circle love a Sunday roast with a salad during the summer months, a rotisserie could be ideal. In simple terms, this is a style of roasting, during which joints of meat are rotated slowly on a spit until they are perfectly cooked. This method ensures the outside is crisp, while the inside stays succulent and juicy. A rotisserie is also a brilliant alternative if you’re not keen on barbecue cooking (or don’t trust the British summer weather!). It’s not the most well-known kitchen gadget, but look out for it in certain ovens, such as our Black Steel Sense Premium C2600BS Smart Pyrolytic Single Oven.
Up and down
Up and down
Whatever dishes you plan to serve up at your summer gatherings, the chances are you’ll need plenty of power – literally – to create them. But installing multiple sockets everywhere isn’t always practical, or aesthetically pleasing. Pop-up sockets are clever kitchen gadgets that work using a retractable mechanism. They are designed to be hidden when not in use, and raised/lowered as needed. So your kitchen looks less cluttered, and is safer too, as there are fewer power cords lying around. I think pop-up sockets are brilliant for powering small appliances on an island unit, charging phones, or even following a YouTube recipe on your tablet while you cook.
Best of the rest kitchen gadgets
Certain kitchen gadgets aren’t especially glamorous, but they still have a valuable role to play, and their importance shouldn’t be overlooked. The right kitchen tools such as chopping boards and strainer bowls, baskets and trays make food prep faster and more efficient. Whether you’re draining pasta for light summer lunches, or chopping up salad vegetables, these are the kitchen gadgets that will save you time and effort, and allow you to enjoy more time with your family and friends.
Waste not, want not
Waste not, want not
While we would never wish to imply that your delicious food won’t be devoured by grateful guests, sometimes there are leftovers. Our Caple waste disposal units are a quick, hygienic and environmentally-sound way to get rid of any food waste. They work by grinding scraps and leftovers into tiny pieces that won’t clog up sewers or end up in overflowing landfill. Usually installed underneath your kitchen sink, waste disposal units are discreet kitchen gadgets that will reduce the time you spend clearing up after entertaining. They also eliminate the unpleasant odours given off by rotting food that’s sitting in a food waste caddy, keeping your kitchen fresh and pleasant to spend time in.
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