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5 popular ways to cook meals this year


We look at 5 of the most popular ways to cook meals in 2021.

There’s never been a more popular time for home cooks to be developing their own recipes using popular kitchen appliances. 

Appliances like pie makers, air fryers and slow cookers have revolutionised the way Aussies enjoy their meals, as well as cutting down on time and effort in the kitchen. 

This week on the blog, we look at five of the most popular ways to cook meals in 2021

1. Pie maker 

The pie maker revolution hit Aussie shores a couple of years ago, with the appliance selling out quickly on almost every shelf in the country. Nifty home cooks quickly realised that pie makers don’t just cook amazing pies, but all kinds of quick and easy dishes. There’s Facebook groups with hundreds of thousands of members sharing clever pie maker recipes.

How it works: The simple pie maker looks like any bench top press, with multiple pie spaces to cook your meals in. 

What you can make: Pies, cakes, puff pastry, frittatas, eggs, muffins, vanilla slice, donuts, quiches, garlic bread, French toast, scones, hash browns - and the list goes on. 

We recommend: This pie maker makes four extra large pies or meals and is excellent value for money. 

2. Slow cooker 

The traditional slow cooker has been a kitchen staple for generations, and its popularity only continues to grow. The slow cooker's ability to cook meals while you work or head out, means that you return to a hot meal ready to be devoured

How it works: Heat slowly cooks your food from bottom to top, steadily over a period of hours at a low heat to retain moisture. All you need to do is add your ingredients in, turn it on and leave it to cook. 

What you can make: Stir fry, soup, noodles. tacos, veggies, meat, ragu, curry, pasta, pizza, cake, lasagne - and that’s just the beginning. 

A good choice: This 8L slow cooker is big enough to feed the entire family and has a great cost. 

3. Steam oven 

Haven’t heard of a steam oven? It’s the next big thing in the kitchen! Steam ovens operate differently to your regular stock standard oven, steaming your food to retain its moisture and nutrients. This article from Good Food goes into it more at length. 

How it works: A water canister in your steam oven is transformed into steam, maintaining moisture. 

What you can make: Everything you can make with your regular oven! Meat, veggies, pasta, fish, rice and even desserts like cakes and soufflé. 

A top purchase: You can replace your entire kitchen oven which is pricey, or you can buy a bench top steam oven like this one which is a 2-in-1 convection and steam oven

4. Sausage roll maker 

The sausage roll maker is the new pie maker - a clever kitchen must-have flying off shelves. Unlike the pie maker however, most foodies are sticking to making sausage rolls in this - but there’s so many recipes to try! 

How it works: Using pastry and other sausage roll recipe ingredients, you simply close the lid and let this awesome machine do the rest!

Recipes to try: Traditional sausage rolls, baked bean sausage rolls, chorizo sausage rolls, vegetarian sausage rolls, cheese sausage rolls, sweet potato and feta sausage rolls. A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of inspired recipes to try in your sausage roll maker. 

Recommended for you: This cheap and cheerful sausage roll maker makes four delicious rolls. 

5. Air fryer 

The last year has seen the simple air fryer explode in popularity, with stores across Australia offering the kitchen appliance to match every budget. 

How it works: The freestanding kitchen counter appliance uses hot air to cook your meals, replacing cooking oil for a healthy and simple alternative. While this is great for small families, it isn’t ideal for larger ones. And studies have found there can be both benefits and risks to preparing food this way.  

What you can make: Crispy fries and veggies, fried chicken, donuts, cookies, burgers, eggs. 

A highly rated recommendation: Our exclusive stockist in Australia Coles offers a great 3.2L air fryer

La Española Olive Oil is the olive oil that home cooks love. Browse the range at Coles Supermarkets nationwide and online