No kitchen is complete without at least half a dozen appliances. They help you warm your food up, stir the batter, dice the vegetables, squeeze the fruits, prepare your coffee, and so much more. Of course, you can pretty much do all of that with regular utensils. However, with the right appliance, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort while preparing a meal or making that cup of tea in the afternoon.
In this article, I will cover a number of kitchen appliances that all homeowners should consider getting. You will most likely recognize a few of the items here. However, I will also cover some lesser-known products that just might spice up your food preparation time in the long run. More importantly, I will leave out some large appliances like ovens, dishwashers, and refrigerators, since they are more or less a must-have of any modern kitchen.
A toasted slice of bread is a breakfast staple in millions of homes worldwide. After all, who doesn’t like a crunchy, crisp early morning meal?
There are more than a few varieties of toasters out there, from the classic 2-slot products to more advanced 4-slot options with added features. A few models come with their own warming racks. Most of them are reasonably priced, but if you aim to buy something a bit more high-tech, but pricey, there are some interesting smart toasters on the market.
Convection Toaster Oven
Having a convection toaster oven in your kitchen will be extremely beneficial. In fact, you might end up using it more than your regular oven down the line.
Let’s say that you want to heat up a few pieces of bread or a bagel, or maybe you want to prepare a miniature pizza or some baked sweet potatoes. Using a regular oven for a minor task like that will take a lot of time. But with a convection oven, all you need to do is pop the food in and let the appliance do the work.
What do you call an oven that uses a minimal amount of oil in order to prepare a meal, thus making it healthier? And, more importantly, what if that oven can quite literally do more than just frying food, i.e., baking, toasting, etc.? Well, you call it an air fryer.
Air fryers are portable, reasonably priced, and more importantly, they can do the job of several different appliances at once. With a single fryer, you can prepare delicious meals for the whole family while both saving oil and, more importantly, eating more healthily as you do so.
Electric Food Chopper
Food choppers, also known as food blenders, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For instance, you have the slender, elegant hand blenders that allow mobility as you slice and dice your food ingredient of choice. In addition, you have the classic tabletop blenders that do all the work for you.
If you don’t have the knife-wielding skills of a professional chef and don’t want to cut your finger, then an electric chopper is the perfect option for you. It’s especially handy for parents who need to shred or dice the food for their toddlers.
Rice Cooker/Food Steamer
Preparing healthy foods like rice, risotto, oatmeal, stews, and so on will require some effort with a regular oven. The same goes for something as seemingly simple as steaming vegetables. With that in mind, you will need an appliance that will cover all of that and much more, i.e. a decent combination of a rice cooker and a food steamer.
The reason I listed both names under one product is simple — the names are not interchangeable, but most modern steamers are also rice cookers, and vice versa. Usually, you can prepare at least two different meals in a single steamer. In short, it’s an appliance that saves you space, time, and money, all while serving up a delicious, healthy meal or two.
Touchless Soap Dispenser
A touchless soap dispenser is one of those items I mentioned that you won’t find around the kitchen too often. That’s a shame, in my opinion, since these products are incredibly useful for anyone who spends a lot of time around the stove.
When preparing a meal, you will need to keep your hands clean. Naturally, you can have a regular soap dispenser, but you would have to touch it to squeeze some soap out, which will leave the cap dirty and smudged. On the other hand, a dispenser with a sensor will allow you to get just enough soap to wash up without staining the dispenser itself.
Automatic Pan Stirrer
Let’s say that you’re making something in a saucepan or even a regular pan, like a porridge or a sauce or gravy. In order for the ingredients not to stick to the pan, you would have to stir it regularly. But you just don’t have the time to do so, especially if you’re preparing a large meal that involves more than just the pan.
Luckily, there’s an awesome solution, and it’s called an automatic pan stirrer. This device will stir your meal as it’s being prepared, leaving you free to tend to other matters in the kitchen. In fact, most of these pan stirrers come with a timer, giving you a completely hands-off experience. In addition, the stirrer is made from non-stick material, so you don’t have to worry about bits of plastic melting on the surface of your saucepan.
No modern home is complete without a microwave oven. In fact, you can get them at a wide variety of prices, from reasonably-priced basic models to some more expensive options.
A single microwave oven can cover a lot of ground. It can warm up a cold meal, as well as unfreeze frozen foods. But more importantly, it’s a compact tool and an ultimate space-saver that you can literally put anywhere in your kitchen.
Food preparation requires a lot of measuring, so if you’re someone who prefers a home-cooked meal to ordering food or eating out, you will definitely need a decent kitchen scale.
Interestingly, you won’t be using the scale simply for measuring ingredients for your dishes. For example, there are some products out there that are specifically designed to weigh ingredients for drinks. In fact, they come with their own apps which help you through the experience. So, if you fancy yourself a homegrown bartender, you will love having one of these scales around.
Once again, preparing meals requires a lot of measuring, and more often than not you’ll need to take the temperature of your mixture into consideration. So, what you need is a decent kitchen thermometer that can measure temperatures accurately in a few seconds.
In recent years, kitchen thermometers have become incredibly high-tech and precise. Even the most basic option on the market will give you an accurate temperature reading within 2–3 seconds. Of course, you can always opt for the pricier version and get a set with assisted cooking and long-range Bluetooth connectivity.
Coffee makers, also known as coffee brewers, have a bit of a reputation. Most of them end up being that one appliance you only use once or twice a year. However, I personally think that they get too much flack, since they are such a useful tool to have around the house.
Modern coffee makers come with a wide variety of options, allowing you to brew a cup in no time, as well as to program when you want your next cup to wait for you. Moreover, they are quite safe, with automatic shut-off features that allow the appliance to rest when it’s done brewing.
Naturally, you can’t have a coffee maker without a coffee grinder. Sure, it’s absolutely fine if you want to buy pre-ground coffee, but it will never have that fresh, potent aroma of ground coffee beans.
Most people think of coffee grinders as those old-timey manual devices with a crank, which are still sold to this day and which still get the job done perfectly. However, modern grinders have gone digital, and you can set everything from the time and quantity you’ll need to the type of grinding you want. And if you’re willing to go all-out, you can always get yourself a coffee maker/grinder combo.
Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Are you a fan of sous vide cooking? Do you prefer this method to traditional meal preparation, but don’t have the necessary tools to do it? Well, as this past decade has shown us, sous vide cooking equipment is now readily available to buy. You no longer need to be a chef in a top-tier restaurant in order to precision-cook your meals.
Current high-end sous vide precision cookers come with lots of benefits. You can set up your temperature perfectly without worrying that you will over- or undercook a single meal. Moreover, you can monitor your cooker from a distance through a Wi-Fi connection and an app.
This particular product is not talked about enough. However, I believe that it has the potential to be one of the most useful items in the kitchen.
The idea behind the trash scanner is simple: before you throw away the packaging of a product (i.e. a ketchup bottle or a pack of sausages), you let the device scan the packaging. Once it does, it automatically adds it to your shopping list. In short, it saves you the trouble of remembering every single item or writing them down somewhere.
Electric Indoor Grill
Grilling is awesome. In fact, it’s so awesome, that people from all walks of life want to enjoy tossing some meat and veggies on the fire. Sadly, if you live in a small apartment or don’t have a backyard, owning a grill can be difficult.
Luckily, you can always buy an electric indoor grill and enjoy a sloppy Joe weekend every single week. Most models can handle a meal for at least four people. More importantly, they are compact and won’t take up any room in your kitchen.
Belgian Waffle Maker
Enjoying a Belgian waffle every now and again is always neat. Of course, in order to do that, you will require a high-end waffle maker. Though, luckily, it doesn’t necessarily have to come from Belgium.
Current waffle makers have a non-stick, stainless steel frame. Remember those nasty moments when half of your waffle ends up glued to the surface of the maker? With new waffle makers, those moments will become a thing of the past. In addition, some appliances are designed in such a way that you can rotate them easily for precise, even browning.
Rapid Egg Cooker
How do you like your eggs? Do you like them boiled, poached, scrambled, deviled? How about a nice omelet for that perfect bacon and eggs breakfast combo?
Well, instead of using a dozen different utensils, simply put the eggs in a handy rapid egg cooker. With the right temperature and the proper measurement, you can have an egg-based meal in a matter of minutes. More importantly, these appliances can handle up to 12 eggs at once, depending on how you want to prepare them. And to top it all off, each appliance is portable and compact, so it will fit nicely on your countertop.
Why would you need a cooktop burner if you already have an oven with a stove, I hear you asking. Well, there are quite a few reasons for that, actually. For example, your stove might already have a few meals boiling on top. That’s when you can use a cooktop burner to brew some tea or prepare a quick meal without moving anything away from the stove.
In addition, some apartments simply don’t have enough space in their kitchen for a full-sized oven with a stove. For these homes, a cooktop burner will do the job in more ways than one.
Indoor Tabletop Garden
Hydroponic gardens are all the rage nowadays, especially in modern homes with no outdoor garden. A single appliance can grow various herbs and vegetables, giving you a fresh supply every time. In addition, it doesn’t use soil and it comes with its own LED growth lights. In other words, you don’t have to worry if your kitchen doesn’t receive enough natural sunlight — the plants will still grow, no matter where you put the appliance.
Cold Brew Maker
Some people prefer ice coffee to the regular brew, or ice tea to regular tea. Cold brewing is nothing new, but doing it at home hasn’t really been an option until recently.
Nowadays, you can find inexpensive and easy-to-use cold brew makers at most online retailers. Simply pour your coffee grounds of choice, add water, and leave the brew maker in the fridge overnight. Of course, some people don’t feel like waiting for that long to get the brew. Luckily, there are a few rapid brew maker options out there that can get the job done in as little as 15 minutes.
Salt and Pepper Mills
Grinding salt and pepper might seem like a bit of a drag to most people. However, it does add an air of elegance to your kitchen. With that in mind, you will always benefit from having a couple of grinders for both salt and pepper, as well as other spices.
However, while you might use the traditional, manual mills, why not try and modernize? Current salt and pepper mills will do all the grinding for you, with the same, spectacular result. All you need to do is fill them up and push the button — the mills will handle the rest.
Electric Tea Kettle
It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but having an electric tea kettle in your kitchen will save you both time and money in the long run. Top-of-the-line kettles are usually made from durable, strong materials that can handle years of intense heat. Moreover, they come with an automatic shut-off function. Once the temperature reaches the boiling point, the kettle switches itself off.
Finally, unlike old electric kettles, these new options are quiet. They are also cordless, which allows you to pour the tea anywhere without any nasty spills.
Anyone who has ever made a cake in their life knows how important it is to have a hand mixer around. It allows you to move them about freely when stirring something, giving you complete control. In addition, they don’t take up too much room and you can easily put them away after use. What’s more, modern mixers don’t produce a lot of noise and they don’t overheat as easily as older models did.
Having a hand mixer is great, of course, as stated above. But there are times when you want to mix up a batch of batter, but don’t want to tire your hands out. Alternatively, maybe you need something to do the stirring in the background while your hands are busy doing something else. That’s when you’ll need a high-quality stand mixer.
One advantage that stand mixers have over their hand counterparts is the number of modes and speeds. In short, you can use a stand mixer both for whipping cream and mixing cookie dough, all with a push of a few buttons.
Just like coffee makers, juicers carry around that stigma of ‘the appliance you will only use once or twice.’ However, that is not the case, especially in the early 21st century. With veganism becoming more widespread, lots of people want to make fresh, natural juice.
A single juicer nowadays comes with a wide variety of functions. First off, it can literally juice anything, from fruits and veggies to various herbs and plants. Next, it produces an incredibly high juice yield every single time. Finally, it’s easy to use, clean, and maintain, making it the perfect appliance for the modern kitchen.
Yes, mug warmers sound really posh, but you’d be surprised how useful they can be. A single warmer will maintain the same temperature of your drink, be it coffee, tea, or anything else. They also come with separate temperature settings and an automatic shut-off sequence. And to top it all off, they are incredibly small, so you can quite literally fit them anywhere.
Electric Can Opener
Opening a can is always a hassle, even with the best manual can openers out there. So, instead of breaking your fingers trying to twist the handle that extra inch, get an electric can opener instead. They will open any can you have with a single push of a button.
Last, but definitely not least, bread makers will provide you with a fresh loaf of your favorite wheat product every single day. Most modern bread makers come with lots of different options, taking everything from loaf size to crust into consideration.
The list above includes 28 different appliances. Obviously, you don’t need to own every single one of them, especially if you have a small kitchen with little room to spare. However, all of them are incredibly useful and cost-effective, and if you have the chance of owning at least one, don’t hesitate to do so.