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Great Kitchenware Hacks For Eating And Drinking Like You're Actually Out

Great Kitchenware Hacks For Eating And Drinking Like You're Actually Out
By Balls Team
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It will be another few weeks before any of us are able to enjoy a meal in a restaurant again, and longer yet before we darken the door of a pub. Most of us have found ourselves cooking at home a lot more, so how do we make our meals during lockdown more exciting? Fortunately, there is a huge variety of kitchenware hacks for eating and drinking to help you replicate that fine-dining experience, baker-fresh sourdough or even cocktail classic from the comfort of your own kitchen with minimal fuss. Here are a few that we’ve been using:


Rice Cooker:

Everybody who has bought a rice cooker always says how much everybody else needs one. Well, no longer – we recently took delivery of a rice cooker and it’s something of a game changer. No more waiting for rice to come to the boil, no more guesswork to decide lid on or lid off while it steams – simply add rice and water (instructions are included), put it in the microwave for ten minutes and return to Home and Away, safe in the knowledge that the quality of your cooked rice is guaranteed. No fuss and perfect, restaurant-standard rice every time.

If you want something with all the bells and whistles the Instant Pot 60 has  functions including a searing pan, pressure cooker, slow cooker, sous-vide and yoghurt maker (it claims to effectively replace your entire kitchen. It might also walk your dog and double on sax). For those more budget-minded the Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker is available for about €10.

Instant Pot 60

Sistema Rice Cooker


Home Baking:

If you are rolling your eyes at the idea at baking your own bread, I don’t blame you. My own experience with baking sourdough over the last few weeks has lead me to a far greater appreciation of the convenience of simply handing over my money for a freshly baked loaf in the shop. The amount of planning required is beyond belief. If you decide you want a fresh loaf on Saturday, you better start making it on Tuesday, and that’s if you have the starter culture sorted. However… I can’t seem to stop myself. The smell of freshly baked bread in the kitchen in the afternoon is simply unbeatable, as is the satisfaction of getting a loaf just right.  When many of us can't get in to restaurants or cafés, this is the next best thing.

One of the most important parts of baking perfect bread is having the right equipment. Sourdough, for example, won’t rise if you don’t have a covered dish, like a casserole dish or Dutch oven. These prevent steam from escaping while baking and ensure the loaf rises properly.

Round Casserole Dish - Cast Iron Ceramic Induction and Gas Safe Non Stick Dutch Oven



If you’re interested in baking your own sourdough you can take a look at a full guide here, and don’t forget a proper electronic scale to make sure your measurements are all right (this is a vital kitchen accessory for every home; if you don't have one yet you'll thank us later). Of course, if you're serious about your baking you can always ensure clean hands with a stand mixer.

Diyife Digital Kitchen Scale, 11lb/5kg Electronic Cooking Food Scale with LCD Display Stainless Steel Platform Weighing Scale Baking & Cooking Scale for Baking, Postage, Jewelry (Batteries Included)


KITCHENAID Artisan Mini 5KSM3311XBER Stand Mixer - Empire Red €429.99 Save €60.00 Was €489.99




Happy Hour

After work drinks in the pub are on hold a while longer, so why not use a homeware hack to make drinking at home during lockdown a bit more exciting? Most classic cocktails are surprisingly easy to make, provided you have the ingredients and equipment. You get everything you need in this 14 piece all-in-one set, and if you’re stuck for recipes there’s nothing quite like having a book on hand to guide you how to make everything from Manhattens to mojitos. As for ingredients, a quick trip to your local off-licence should get you everything you need to run your own speakeasy.

FYLINA Cocktail Making Set 14-Piece Cocktail Shaker Kit with 750ml Large Shaker and Professional Cocktail Recipe Book in Gift Box



The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Cocktails




And if you enjoy your wine, don’t forget this vacuum sealer to keep your tipple fresh.

Vacu Vin Wine Saver Concerto - Black | 1 x Vacuum Pump + 4 x Vacuum Wine Stopper




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