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The Best Small Kitchen Appliances For Home Cooks

A photo collage with best small kitchen appliances for home cooks


Having the best small kitchen appliances makes cooking easier and more fun. Check out my list of the must-have electric equipment for home cooks!

A photo collage with several of the best small kitchen appliances for home cooks

Do you love cooking and baking as much as I do? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out this list of my top 10 favorite small electronic kitchen appliances. While this list doesn’t cover everything I use, these are all items I turn to on a regular basis. Items like blenders, stand mixers, and slow cookers save me a LOT of time and if there is anything we all need more of, it’s minutes in our day!

 

This recommendation series is broken into different post categories to keep the lists from becoming overwhelming. I have not include bakeware, cookware or kitchen tools, which you can find in my other roundups!

 

A FEW NOTES

  1. Always shop within your budget.
    Since I cook for a living, a few of my favorites are pretty high end and on the pricier side. My favorites are extremely durable and meant to handle heavy usage. If you’re only making smoothies, you don’t need an expensive blender. If you’re on a budget, you can simply use this list as a general guide. Just because I like a specific food processor doesn’t mean that’s the only great option out there. 
  2. Wherever possible, I’ve linked to the exact model that I own. Since some of these are older models, they’re actually cheaper than the newer versions! 
  3. Shop over time.
    I’ve accumulated my kitchen equipment over many years, and I’m definitely not recommending that you to go out and buy all of this at once. Pick and choose based on what you think you’ll use on a regular basis.
  4. Wash by hand!
    I think most of you know not to put electronic kitchen appliances in the dishwasher (I’d hope). However, some of the detachable parts are listed as “dishwasher safe.”I highly recommend washing most pieces by hand, especially anything with a nonstick coating. Dishwashers wear down surfaces over time. Your kitchen equipment will last much longer if you wash it by hand, and you want to get the most out of your investment. 

THE BEST Kitchen Small Kitchen Appliances

Disclosure: None of the items shared below are sponsored by companies, but there are some affiliate links. This means I get a small percentage if you decide to purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. I truly appreciate if you use my affiliate links!

1. Kitchen Scale

My Recommendation: OXO Good Grips 5-Pound Food Scale

Am I a broken record or what? Everyone who loves to bake needs a kitchen scale. A cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 ounces depending on how it’s measured (for example, dunking the measuring cup into the flour bag versus adding it with a spoon. That makes a huge difference in texture (especially with cookies).

Learn more about this in my post: How to Measure Flour Correctly. 

2. Blender

My Recommendation: Vitamix Prep Food Blender 

Every kitchen should have a blender. It’s useful for smoothies, sauces, purees, soups, and vinaigrettes (you can even use it to make banana ice cream). However, not all blenders are created equal.

I fell in love with the Vitamix while working in professional kitchens because it’s a powerhouse. Your soups and sauces will be smooth as silk. That being said, if you don’t cook regular, you don’t need a high end blender. 

3. Stand Mixer

My Recommendation: KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Quart Stand Mixer

I use my stand mixer constantly. It’s easier and more consistent than a hand mixer, and it’s essential for my frosting of choice, Italian meringue buttercream. It’s great for cakes, bars, whipped cream, and kneading bread.

If you really want a stand mixer but are on a budget, I recommend going for the classic series instead of the professional series. It’s often much less expensive (though still not cheap), and you don’t need larger than 4.5 quarts at home. Don’t buy a knock off brand; stick with the OG, KitchenAid.

4. Food Processor

My Recommendation: Cuisinart Classic Food Processor

If you’re just getting started, you might not need both a blender and stand mixer. They can both handle dips like hummus and salsa.

While I recommend having both if you love cooking, consider the differences. Blenders are ideal for liquids, while food processors are better for tasks like chopping, grating cheese, and making nut butters (check out my cashew butter and almond butter for examples). 

5. Hand Mixer

My Recommendation: KitchenAid Hand Mixer 

To be honest, I use my stand mixer 90% of the time, but I know many home cooks prefer using an electric hand mixer. It’s great for homemade whipped cream, whipped butter, whipping egg whites or yolks (for soufflés and frittatas), and assorted baked goods. Hand mixers are a great option for home cooks on a budget who aren’t quite ready to invest in a stand mixer. 

6. Slow Cooker

My Recommendation: Ninja Multi-Cooker (discontinued but available used)

I assumed that when I purchased an Instant Pot, I’d no longer need my slow cooker. However, I don’t think the Instant Pot does nearly as good a job with fall-off-the-bone meat. I’ve tried using both with my slow-cooker kalua pork, and it was no contest.

My model has been discontinued, but I linked it above anyway since you can still buy it used or refurbished. 

7. Pressure Cooker

My Recommendation: Instant Pot 

While I haven’t gone crazy for the Instant Pot like many others have, I absolutely love it for a few purposes. More than anything else, I use it to make Instant Pot chicken stock, which is a huge time saver. I also use it for homemade yogurt (on Simply Recipes) and beans (chickpeas are my favorite; try this tutorial from A Couple Cooks). 

9. Electric Kettle

My Recommendation: VAVA 1.7 Liter Electric Kettle Adjustable

I mainly use this for drinks (it has temperature settings for various teas and French press coffee), but an electric kettle is also extremely convenient when I quickly need to boil water for recipes. For example, I pour boiling water water over shallots and onions before pickling them. I also use it to reconstitute dried mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.

9. Ice Cream Maker

My Recommendation: Whynter Stainless Steel Ice Cream Maker

Most of you probably don’t need an ice cream machine. However, I make a ton of homemade ice cream, so it would be weird not to include it here.

There are much cheaper machines available; I used to have one from Cuisinart that did a fine job and was only around $30. If you make a lot of ice cream, you might want something a bit more robust, and that’s why I went for the Whytner. Cook’s Illustrated rated it as the best, with good reason. 

10. Sous Vide Cooker

My Recommendation: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker 

I haven’t shared any sous vide recipes here yet, but I’m obsessed with this little machine, which takes up almost no space (you can attach it to any large pot). This one comes with an app full of recipes. You pick the recipe you want to make and the machine will automatically configure the temperature and time (there’s also a manual setting if you don’t want to use a recipe).

There are so many things you can do with a sous vide cooker, but I mostly use it to make sure my meat is cooked perfectly. You can sous vide meat straight out of the freezer, and leave it in the machine until close to dinner time. Then you quickly sear the meat on both sides to get the exterior crunchy and flavorful. 

 

So, these are the best small kitchen appliances in my kitchen. If you want a recommendation for kitchen tools or small electronic equipment, please leave a comment below!



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