👨🍳 Introduction To Small Kitchen Appliances
Many of us don’t have the space or luxury of leaving kitchen appliances out on our counters, so chefs – ammeter or experienced – have started to really value compact but functional small kitchen appliances! I’ve spent years as a chef but the delicious food I cook for myself or my family is fast and simple thanks to the help of small kitchen appliances and these help my food always be delicious and varied. Making good food isn’t too hard and with a couple of essential small kitchen appliances, it can be even more manageable and fun.
Hopefully you’re here to read how small kitchen appliances can transform one of the best things in your life, food. If so – please keep reading!
The Must Have Essentials
After moving into a new kitchen or having chosen your perfect kitchen cabinets and worktops, you then need to choose the kitchen appliances that suit your style of cooking and kitchen. Hopefully you have the basic kit which is an oven, hob and extractor. Then, cooking flexibility comes in with must-have essential small kitchen appliances. Take a read below, I’ve gathered all the compact appliances you won’t be able to live without if you are cooking every day.
#1 Must Have - Food Processor
Ask anyone who spends a good amount of time in a kitchen what their no.1 small appliance is, and I bet it’s a food processor. Forget about the labour-intensive food prep because a food processor will break ingredients down in seconds, reducing the time it takes to get cooking.
So, what exactly is a food processor for? Chopping, shredding, and slicing fruits and vegetables is one of the best parts of this tool – forget wet hands and onion tears. For the squeamish, a food processor allows you to ground meat for balls or burgers. Really, the list is endless, it’s no mess, it’s hassle free kitchen fun! Sure, most of the things that a food processor does, you (or your partner) can do with a knife but the difference is what time it takes.
#2 Countertop Blender
As with everything in this must-have list, a countertop blender is small enough to leave permanently on your kitchen side. Unlike the larger blenders you may have seen on TV, a countertop blender allows you to create a delicious and small portion, health-conscious morning smoothie or protein shake directly into a hand-held tub. You could even do soups! But a countertop blender will only allow you to do small portions.
#3 Electric Kettle
The electric kettle may be my favourite invention after sliced bread (Well if I didn’t make my own bread now days). An electric kettle simply boils water and even though it needs to be plugged in – it still is more convenient than a stove kettle. Many electric kettles allow you to maintain their temperatures, auto shut off or boil litres of water in seconds.
Whether you want to make quick teas (for Brits!) and coffees or get hot water for your blender – an electric kettle should be a pivotal feature of any kitchen.
#4 Hand Mixer
Have you started to experiment with baking yet? If so, you’ll soon find your arms in pain from mixing dough or pastry mixes. A hand mixer which are often electric, does as it says on the tin – it’s a mixer that fits into your hand. This small appliance is a great way to take the hassle out of baking, and will speedily manage lighter baking jobs. If you have one of these on ‘hand’ (pun intended) there is no need to use a bigger mixer which will involve more washing up.
#5 Toaster Oven
Compared to your typical oven, a toaster oven is a mini version and allows you to quickly reheat meals, make warm breakfast or bake pizza – they heat up quickly and fit onto the side of your kitchen with ease. However, you do need to think about what size you need! Before you buy a new oven for your countertop, make sure you really think about the right size. How big do you like your pizzas – make sure your toaster oven is that size.
Nice To Have Additions
So, hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about these must-have small kitchen appliances but if you’re a chef that likes to explore or an experienced chef like me, you should zoom in on the kitchen features you really want, and you won’t have to spend a lot of money to have the nice to have additional appliances – you can just pick and choose, my best are listed below:
Electric Pressure Cooker
Electric pressure cookers consist of a inner pot, pressure sensors, and an electric heating element. They work at a much higher pressure than an oven and that means they can cook quicker – so you can enjoy a delicious, healthy meal in just a fraction of time. It’s great for those who are not good with heat settings on a normal oven.
A compact countertop appliance that cooks large quantities of rice with no hassle. It’s as simple as that! You will still need to wash the rice first but you won’t need to spend ages watching over it carefully thinking, “is that really cooked enough?”
A slow cooker is a cooking pot typically made from ceramic, metal, or even porcelain that heats up from the below or from the side. This gentle heat cooks the food slowly. Slow cookers have a lid on and means there’s no evaporations, so expect to create wet dishes – great for stews, soups, sauces.
We’re going to explain what a toaster is but its purpose is clearly in its name. The toaster is a simple and user-friendly kitchen appliance that allows you to cook slices of bread so that they are darker, crispier, and tastier. Why use an oven to cook your bread? This is easier!
The microwave oven is a household appliance that has revolutionized modern kitchens for decades. It is mostly used to quickly heat foods of all sorts. Many chefs may choose not to use this much but if you’re a busy person? This is for you – trust me!
A great way to marinate your meats but without the flavour you might get from a BBQ. This grill is often a very hot and dry slab and if your meat is well spiced and marinated, it will enhance the flavours you want!
Electric skillets are mainly for pan-frying and sautéing because they have specific temperature gauges. They also brown meat nicely and serve as a griddle for morning breakfast favorites (such as eggs and tomatoes). Many skillets have accessories (yes an accessory for an accessory) that allow you to steam or grill.
Similar to an electric grill and skillet but… better! A griddle is simply a large, flat cooking surface. The surface is usually has a nonstick coating but it can also be made out of iron too. Because of their shape, they’re also great for breakfast foods like pancakes, French toast, or bacon. (That’s why I think they’re the best).
Waffle makers are potentially heaven in a kitchen appliance, you put ingredients into this device and watch it cook a perfect waffle. Many bakeries use a waffle iron or waffle maker but why shouldn’t you enjoy that great taste at home?
A food steamer – sometimes called a steam cooker – is a small kitchen appliance used to cook or prepare various foods with steam. Some foods have a better texture when steamed and even many chefs like me demand food to be steamed for the recipe, off the top of my head – green vegetables and dumplings are best steamed.
Deep fryers are often associated with naughty kitchen treats and… I can see why. They have a deep base which you fill with oil that heats up to an intense heat and then you lower food into it. Whether its frying chips or creating your own fried chicken. Want indulgent savoury goods? This could be for you.
With so many types of frying, this is probably the trendiest. The air fryer is an amped-up countertop oven. The top of the air fryer holds a heating mechanism and a fan and then the hot air rushes down and around food placed in a fryer-style basket.
Compared to a deep fryer, this uses air and is therefore – much healthier!
Make quick and tasty popcorn without the pre-packaged bags. In these makers you simply throw in the ingredients of pre-popped corn and watch the magic happen. You can add salt or flavouring at the start – or afterwards.
Sous Vide Machine
I’m a chef so I love these, but these are often for the pro cooks! Sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then heating it up to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are impossible to achieve through other methods and therefore, if you have a recipe that says you need a sous vide machine, then you probably do.
An extra tool in your arsenal to make bread in an easier way. You should get a bread machine if you need to make many loaves or need the extra convenience. Maybe you are tired of making bread by hand? We don’t blame you.
Want to be the king or queen of house parties (probably in a post-covid world) then this is for you. This is a specialised warming pot that holds cheese, chocolate or whatever you want.
Rapid Egg Cooker
A Rapid Egg Cooker delivers perfectly cooked eggs in less time than it takes to boil water in a kettle or a stove. Quick breakfasts? This is for you.
Pancake Maker (Electric)
A pancake maker is ideal for making breakfast pancakes, savoury snacks, anytime you want. A pancake maker allows you to whip up treats – it’s a raised lip around the edge of a heated ring prevents batter from dripping onto your work surface.
A crepe maker is almost identical to a pancake maker, but the branding may be different – so make sure you only get one. Crepes are different to pancakes because they’re made with buckwheat flour but that’s about it.
Juicers extract the juice from the fruit you put in, a good juicer will also remove the pulp to leave a smooth juice. Some juicers have ‘smoothie’ attachments but if you have a blender then there’s no need to double up.
Tips Before You Buy Every Appliance on Amazon
Buying new kitchen appliances is addicting and why wouldn’t it be? It makes cooking fun but not every appliance will useful for you. The goal of these tools and gadgets is to positively affect your day to day life and save you some time or relieve pain.
Below you’ll find simple questions to ask for deciding whether an appliance is worth buying or not.
What Will I Use This For?
Some of our accessories are more obvious than others, a juicer only does one thing but if your family love fresh juice every day then it makes sense! If you’re low on money and time then a slow cooker is an item you’ll use a lot. Make sure you think every purchase through.
How Often Will This Be Used?
If you’re going to use an appliance once a month then it really won’t be worth it, especially if you’re short on space! Before buying an item take a deep look at it, how often do you eat waffles, really? Make sure you’re honest with yourself.
Can This Be Used For Something Else?
Many items have 1 application and that’s it. Although you might attempt to make a quesadilla in a pancake or waffle maker too! If an item qualifies as a multipurpose appliance it’s more likely a decent addition to your kitchen. Even better, if it eliminates something you do often, it’s almost never a bad buy. That’s why a food processor is the #1 on this page. You have to cut or chop food every time you cook and it does it for you!
What's The Cost/Time Saving Ratio?
If you’re going to spend 500 euros or dollars on a waffle maker then you will need to think about whether the amount of time you’ll use it and save time (e.g. 10 minutes a time) is worth the money you’re investing.
Cheaper items make for easy decisions, but anything that costs more than 10% of your monthly salary – please consider whether it’s worth it.