It’s safe to say that the phrase #StayAtHome perfectly epitomises the years 2020 and 2021. Even though it’s tough to stay cooped up indoors, it’s essential to do so, especially if we want a return to life before 2020. Of course, as tough as staying indoors all day can be, there are certain things that can make it just a little less stressful. In fact, you could even say that they make staying at home a tiny bit more interesting too.
Here are 11 nifty home appliances we never knew we needed until we started staying at home all day!
1. Air fryers
Okay, I blame TikTok for this, 100%. Ever since the human race as a whole started staying indoors, TikTok has become more and more popular among social media users. Even if you don’t have an account on the app, you’ve probably seen reposts of those videos on Facebook or Instagram.
And what’s one of the most popular categories of videos on TikTok? Cooking. More specifically, cooking with an air fryer! Of course, beyond the social media hype, owning an air fryer really does have its practical benefits. Not only can it be used to cook almost anything (from fries to nuggets, to even pizza), it’s also easier to use and doesn’t consume any oil! This makes cooking with an air fryer a lot healthier (and safer!).
Another food trend that has become popular thanks to social media is using waffle makers to make waffles out of…well, anything! From pizzas and hash browns to cookies, omelettes, and even bibimbap (don’t ask us why), it seems that anything that can fit into a waffle maker can be “waffled”! Of course, we still recommend sticking to the basics, ie, actual waffles!
That being said, we can’t deny that a waffle pizza actually sounds and tastes pretty good! In fact, putting ordinary food into a waffle maker might actually make cooking just a bit more fun and aesthetically pleasing.
3. Mini ovens
I’ll be honest, one of the food-related hobbies I picked up during the #StayAtHome life is baking! Yes, I’ve always loved to cook but it’s only after the various MCOs (and now FMCO) that I really had time to dabble in baking. And thanks to how compact and portable some ovens are these days, practically anyone could just snap up an affordable mini oven and start making fluffy brioche buns for fun on a Sunday afternoon.
Of course, some mini ovens, like this one, also have added functions that allow you to bake chicken wings and more. If you’re just looking to turn your home into a mini bakery, check out this conventional mini-oven instead.
One of the things I miss most during the MCO / CMCO / FMCO period is having dim sum with my friends and family. Thankfully, with there being so many frozen/pre-cooked dim sum choices, we can always just make some dim sum at home. However, if you want to add a little bit more authenticity to your dim sum, why not do it with handy bamboo steamer baskets?
Not only do they look good for your #potd, but they’re also easy to clean too! And hey, maybe serving your homemade dim sum in a bamboo basket may even make it taste even better!
Crucially, even as we #StayAtHome, we should always remember to get our daily nutrients and vitamins. One of the most fun ways to do that is by drinking refreshing fruit juices or smoothies! But rather than going for boxed juices high in sugar, why not invest in a portable juice blender and make your fresh fruit juices anytime, anywhere?
Not only are these portable blenders rechargeable (USB), they are also fully customisable, allowing you to decide how smooth or pulpy you want your juice to be. All it takes is the push of a button and voila, fresh juice anywhere, anytime! It also comes in different colours so you can pick one that matches your style and personality!
I love cooking. That’s the full and absolute truth. What I DON’T love, is the tedious amount of work that goes into prepping ingredients. Chopping garlic, slicing onions, and cutting up vegetables, in general, are quite boring chores. So a capsule cutter (not to be confused with a medical pill-splitter) is actually one of the kitchen hack tools that I genuinely like, even though it’s not really an essential accessory.
As you might expect, the capsule cutter is basically like a food processor. Simply dump your ingredients into it, and push the button to chop up your vegetables/food. It’s such a time-saving tool and so easy to store!
Here’s another kitchen accessory I never knew I needed. But as I started experimenting with food during the FMCO, I’ve realised just how useful a reliable meat thermometer can be! Gone are the days of cutting up a perfectly shaped piece of meat or burning my fingers just to check the doneness.
Now, all I have to do is stick the thermometer in and I can get an aesthetically pleasing, medium-rare steak all the time! So helpful!
Hands up if you, like me, started drinking more coffee after staying in because of the pandemic. Even though the 3-in-1 instant coffee packs in Malaysia are pretty good, nothing beats the novelty of freshly brewed coffee. What’s more, your kitchen also smells divine, just like one of those cafes when you make your own coffee from scratch.
While an espresso machine isn’t the cheapest electrical appliance, I still find it to be a worthwhile investment, especially if you love coffee or would like to practise latte art. Thankfully, not all espresso machines are incredibly expensive.
9. Moka pots
With all that being said about espresso machines though, I confess that I very much prefer Moka pots. And yes, I also blame TikTok for this. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the videos. An influencer goes camping in the grassy hills or in the verdant jungle. In the morning, when they wake up, they put ground coffee into a Moka pot then boil it. And then finally, they pour the perfectly frothy coffee into a cup.
Compared to an espresso machine, a Moka pot is much smaller, cheaper, and easier to use. Simply fill the bottom section with your finest ground coffee and water (hot water reduces the bitterness since the coffee “cooks” for a shorter period of time), screw on the top, pop it on top of a stove and wait as coffee starts pouring out into the pot above. Watching the process is almost magical!
Check out our recommendation here!
10. Vacuum sticks
Of course, one downside of staying home all the time is that we no longer have an excuse for putting off cleaning our houses more frequently. Like most of you reading this, I am not a fan of cleaning the house. However, as weird as it may sound, having a good vacuum cleaner actually made the process a little less bothersome.
And we all know that the in-thing these days is a vacuum stick. It’s less bulky than a conventional vacuum cleaner, meaning it takes up less space, and it’s also much easier to maneuver into tight corners. While top brand vacuum sticks cost more than I’m willing to pay just to clean the house, I do find this model to be pretty fairly priced. This one from Dyson is not bad either. If you still can’t be bothered, why not invest in a vacuum robot instead? Although, be prepared to pay just a little bit more than usual!
Since we’re also staying at home more often these days, it’s important to ensure that the air inside our homes is cleaner. While you might not know this, the air inside our houses can sometimes be filled with tiny dust particles and other pollutants. That’s why I think investing in an air purifier or humidifier is a good idea.
You don’t have to go for conventional air purifiers like this one though. Instead, opt for portable humidifiers that you can place in areas that you spend most of your time at, such as your workspace or bedroom.
Stay home, stay safe
And there you have it: 11 household appliances you never knew you needed until you had to #StayAtHome. Hopefully, these new purchases can make staying home a little less stressful. If nothing else, at least the dopamine rush you get when you see your package arrive can give you a short boost of joy!