Sunbeam Cafe Espresso Stainless EM3800 ($199)
This was the best buy among 19 manual and semi-automatic machines tested. It's one of the most inexpensive machines we tested, is easy to use and delivered on taste. Though it scored lower than the EM5600, we decided the EM3800 was the better buy. It's cheaper and simpler - a great Christmas gift for someone who's just starting out to make their own espresso at home - and it did not seem to have as many durability issues as the EM5600. Read the full report on espresso machines.
Sunbeam Bakehouse BM3500S ($159)
Two good reasons to make your own bread: it's a healthier option at half the price. If you're thinking of buying a breadmaker as a gift for someone who hasn't used it before, we found that the Sunbeam bakehouse BM3500S is very good for making multigrain bread from scratch and delivers a good result when using a pre-mix. It'easy to use and includes extra settings for wholemeal rapid, jam, dough for pasta, damper and cake. Read the full report on breadmakers
Why fork out $6 for a cup at Boost juice when you can make your own? Okay, scrubbing the pulp off the press can be quite a chore, but juicing your own fruit and vegetables concoctions is infinitely more cost-effective and satisfying - just make a lot at one go.
There are centrifugal juicers - which are popular and affordable - and non-centrifugal ones. Centrifugal juicers use a rotating blade to cut fruit and vegetables, which is then pushed against a strainer at very high speeds, while non-centrifugal juicers can be either a masticating (chewing) or cold-press style.
Breville BJE200 Juice Fountain ($170)
Generally, the biggest downside to juicers is that they can be hard to clean because they are too large to fit into a domestic sink. But the problem is easily solved if you buy a juicer that allows key parts such as the blade/sieve and pulp container to be removed. We recommend the Breville BJE200 Juice Fountain because it's simple (one-speed only), is cheap and does the job well. The good news is we found a place where you cangrab one for just $99
. Read the full report on centrifugal jucers
Healthstart Compact Multipurpose Juicer and Mincer ($299)
This was the most inexpensive non-centrifugal juicer we tested and picked up the highest performance score (quality of juice makes up 50% of performance). We evaluated each juicer's abilities across a range of textures and consistencies by looking for juice that was smooth rather than pulpy, grainy or frothy. Most manufacturers of non-centrifugal juicers claim that juice made by the cold-press-style machines is more nutritious and will stay fresh and tasty for up to 48 hours. We tested that too. The Healthstart passed the test.
Read the full report on non-centrifugal juicers
Breville iKon Kitchen Wizz BFP650 ($340)
For price and performance, the Breville's ikon Kitchen Wizz shone in our test. Its blades are excellent for slicing carrots, celery and kneading shortcrust pastry. The machine is also very stable when in use - a useful and important factor if you don't want food bits all over your kitchen counter. The processor also comes with a storage box for the disc blades, a lid for the processing bowl and a double-ended cleaning brush. It also has a double feed chute and reversible blades. You can grab the Kitchen Wizz at $260 online
. Read the full report on food processors.
Though we recommend a pizza stone as an inexpensive option for the aspiring pizza-makers, there's something to be said about having just the device for the job. Several CHOICE members have commented on how much they love these ovens. They heat up to a high temperature in just five minutes (a pizza stone in a conventional oven would take much longer). Also, it's a nifty device for a quick home-made pizza instead of getting one delivered. One CHOICE member also said it's great for having a pizza party where your guests can build their own pizzas with select ingredients. We reviewed three that members raved about. Read the full report on pizza ovens.
Breville Pete Evans Pizza Maker BPZ500PE ($140) (right) The pizza bakes on a ceramic stone base with even heating from above and below and bakes a thin-crust pizza in 10 minutes. You can make pizzas up to 12-inches. The device is also versatile - turkish bread, scones, focaccia, naan and pastries anyone?
The Pizza Maker LD-901EF ($159) (left) The Pizza Maker takes only five minutes to bake a fresh thin-crust pizza but browning darker on one side.
Red Just Pizza Maker/Oven LD-902 ($130) (right) The Red Just Pizza Maker/Oven is slightly harder to clean because the pizza stone is fixed to the unit.