Consumer organisation CHOICE has revealed the best and worst budget buys from Kmart after trialling dozens of popular items.
The Australian experts examined a range of popular household items from the department chain’s own brand Anko.
In its latest findings, the experts found a mix of ‘duds’ and ‘high performers’ after testing products such as a microwave, heater, air fryer and pie maker.
Consumer organisation CHOICE has revealed the best and worst budget buys from Kmart after trialling dozens of popular items (picture of the microwave, heater, food processor, air fryer, pie maker and a bassinet)
BEST BARGAIN BUYS
If you’re in the market for a new microwave, CHOICE recommended the $48 20L microwave, saying the cheap model ‘certainly delivers bang for your buck’.
The experts was rated appliance as ‘excellent’ for cooking performance and received perfect scores for defrosting mince and heating vegetables.
‘If you are looking for a basic compact microwave that reheats well and is great for cooking and defrosting, then the Anko 20-litre model is all you need,’ CHOICE kitchen expert Fiona Mair said.
However she pointed out the model is just 700W so the reheating times may take a ‘little slower’ than a 900W or 1000W microwave.
For smoothies or meal prepping, the experts said the $69 food processor can do the job in no time.
‘The Kmart food processor is a very good performer that’s great for chopping, slicing, mixing and emulsifying,’ Ms Mair said.
However, she noticed the device can be ‘relatively noisy in operation’.
To make your own brew at home, CHOICE found the $89 coffee machine outperformed a $949 high-end coffee machine on flavour and pumped out consistently hot coffees.
If you’re in the market for a new microwave, CHOICE recommended the $48 20L microwave (left) while experts found the $69 food processor (right) can do any job in no time
Tick of approval: The experts recommended the $89 coffee machine and $29 pie maker
The $29 pie maker has taken the cooking world by storm for taking just minutes to create four golden pies with your choice of filling, no oven required.
‘It’s easy to use and gives good results, cooking four pies fairly evenly to lightly golden in eight minutes,’ Ms Mair said.
‘It takes five minutes to preheat, which is quicker than an oven, and once the pies are cooked you can simply pop them out with a spatula.’
PRODUCTS TO AVOID
What to avoid buying: Surprisingly, the experts named the $69 air fryer (right) and the $59 convection heater with timer (left) as some of the ‘worst’ products at Kmart
For those looking to heat up their space during the colder nights, the experts advised against buying the $59 convection heater with timer after receiving the lowest score of 45 per cent.
CHOICE director of reviews and testing Matthew Steen suggested the retailer ‘could have at least added a fan to help distribute the heat’.
A Kmart spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Our Convection Heaters provide instant heat to smaller spaces, while our radiant heaters are better suited to larger rooms. We would not expect the same results for these two heater types, as they are essentially designed for different areas of the home.
‘So while we are disappointed with Choice’s findings – our product ranging decisions are actually largely based on customer feedback and sentiment.’
Despite its affordable price tag, the experts said the $99 bassinet scored the lowest rating of just 44 per cent
Despite its legion of fans who swear by the $69 air fryer, the experts weren’t impressed with the popular device.
Of the 18 air fryers tested, Kmart’s product scored the lowest rating of 64 per cent.
The experts said while the air fryer is significantly cheaper than most brands on the market, the model featured similar functions a traditional oven already offers.
‘Not only did it receive a low score in our testing, but the Kmart air fryer is also fairly large and heavy, and not very easy to use,’ Ms Mair said.
However, the Kmart spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia: ‘Our $69 Air Fryer is also one of our most popular appliances. It has a five-star customer rating and a dedicated fan page on Facebook.
‘We love seeing the clever and creative recipes our Kmart communities share on Facebook and are so pleased that our customers love our $69 Air Fryer as much as we do,’ she added.
The experts claimed another product to avoid is the $99 bassinet after it scored the lowest rating of just 44 per cent due to its ‘lack of continuous breathable zones around the edge of the bassinet, which could be a suffocation risk’.