Joni Sare, cooking instructor

8 Must-Have Electric Small Appliances

products-best-small-kitchen-electric-appliances-must-have

Must-Have Electric Small Kitchen Appliances

Small Kitchen Appliances
that do Big Work

Learn what they are, what they do and why they are on my list.

Can you guess my top three favorites and the one that is quintessential for all kitchens? See the answers, below.

The search for small
kitchen appliances can be overwhelming.

Between blenders, tea kettles, air fryers, and more there are so many options that if you are a gift buyer or purchasing a gift for yourself, you are most likely feeling stressed. That’s why I’ve created this list for you and your friends of the best ones to complete your kitchen. Read on to understand why these eight have made the highly selective list.

Want to test drive any of them before buying? Come on over! Try’m on for size. We’ll make food for you to take home and you’ll find out which one is right for you.

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Must-Have
Electric Small Kitchen Appliances

These items aren’t listed in any specific order.

They are all valuable in their own way.

spice-grinder-product-small-kitchen-appliance

Spice Grinder

Want good tasting food? Freshness and quality matter and here’s how to get it with your seasonings: grind your own.

If you need powdered mustard, start with mustard seeds. Need powdered coriander or cumin? — start with the seeds. Do you want to blend a few spices together? You’ll need a spice grinder (or mortar and pestle).

I use this Shardor electric coffee and spice grinder that has 2 removable bowls for wet and dry grinding. The wet bowl is perfect for small amounts of pesto, making garlic and ginger paste, etc. If you already use one for grinding coffee then you’ll know how wonderful fresh-tasting spices could be. But dedicate a grinder just for herbs and spices. Otherwise, the coffee aroma will integrate into your spices.

immersion-blender-small-kitchen-appliance-product

Immersion Blender

Multi-function appliances are what I look for and this one has many. Want a creamy salad dressing? A creamy soup? Time for a hollandaise sauce? A cordless hand wand (immersion blender) will do these jobs and so much more. How’bout a Peanut Satay Sauce? Chop garlic or nuts — or shred cooked chicken — with its specially designed chopper. Use the whisk attachment to make whipped cream. For a comparison, see the “Electric Hand Mixer” and “High-Speed Blender.”

must-have-small-kitchen-appliance-product-hand-mixer

Electric Hand Mixer

This hand-held mixer (from Breville) does more and is smarter than the Immersion Blender.

First of all, this hand-held mixer has a light that illuminates the bowl, so cool! Secondly, it has a stopwatch that tracks how long you’ve been beating. This is a handy feature for making items like French Macarons where you beat the egg whites on low, medium and high speeds for specific lengths of time.

Also, the speed levels adjust depending on which beaters you are using. So clever of Breville to do this. And this device has “dough hooks”, which the Immersion Blender does not. Another unique feature is that the scraper beaters have a rubber coating to eliminate the clang of the beaters hitting the bowl.

An alternative to a hand mixer:  a “Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer” — an appliance that many people love and cherish. It is the grandmama version of my hand-held mixer. A stand mixer is more durable and sturdy with higher power, and is one of those appliances where you turn it on and can walk away as it does the work for you. This is worthy of its higher price if you have the storage space and will use it — say—  at least 1x/month.

electric-tea-kettle-small-kitchen-appliance-product

Electric Kettle

This small electrical appliance nearly did not make the list. But, it’s here because I often need hot water while cooking at the stovetop.

Sauces might be too dry, a pan needs to be deglazed, and I like silver tea (hot water) throughout the day especially while cooking.

Here’s a trick — need soft butter in a hurry? Pour hot water into a cup, let the cup warm-up for a few seconds, toss out the water, tip the cup over and put it on top of the butter. Viola! In no time the butter will be soft.

In any case, this kettle heats water — fast. And keeps it warm for a while. Selecting a specific temperature is an incredibly handy feature.

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Disclaimer: by clicking the above link you’ll support me through an affiliate marketing program with Amazon. THANK YOU! This is done by placing a cookie on your browser to track the sales.

vitamix-high-speed-blender-small-kitchen-appliance-product

High-Speed Blender (VitaMix)

High-speed blenders are worthy of their high price! There’s nothing that compares to the smooooooth texture in a smoothie, soup, salad dressing, sauce and nut butters. The image shows a VitaMix that I bought in 2005. It’s still going strong. I used a BlendTec for a couple of years and liked it better for its design (easier to clean and it didn’t require the pusher as often).

The carafe size is big enough to make large batches. But the blades need to be covered in order to do the job so if you are making something that’s under a cup then use the Immersion Blender.

VitaMix vs Food Processor:
If you want a smooth creamy soup > use the Vitamix. A food processor won’t be able to break down the fibers the way a high-speed blender can.

To make pesto > use the food processor. The VitaMix will make the pesto tooooo much like a paste and at that point you can’t call it pesto, you’ve created a Garlic Parsley Sauce.

Top 3 Favorite Small Appliances

Here are the most-beloved electric kitchen appliances based on what I eat and my lifestyle:

small-kitchen-appliance-product-food-processor

Food Processor

This appliance is in my top 3 favorites because of its multi-functions — it chops, slices, grates, and blends. It’s basically a flat-bottom extra-wide-mouth blender and a motorized mandolin that makes perfect slices. What’s important to me in a food processor is:
  • that it’s powerful enough to mix bread dough and make nut butters.
  • has an extra-large feed tube to avoid having to cut the food into small pieces before using them.
  • easy-to-assemble and easy-to-wash components. I avoid products that have tiny grooves and hard to get at nooks and crannies.
  • one that is not too big, nor too small. I made the error of buying an 11-cup and oh my it was too big, it could only do large amounts and not the amounts that I normally make. I have a 4-cup, it’s somewhere in the garage, it’s too small for what I make. The “Goldie Locks” version is the 7-cup!
small-kitchen-appliance-product-air-fryer-pressure-cooker-multi-cooker

Multi-Cooker
This is an all-in-one:
Air Fryer, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker

Another top favorite of mine is the Multi-Cooker. I don’t miss the Instant Pot, Rice Cooker, or Slow Cooker, which are now in the garage. It’s the reason why you don’t see those appliances on my list.

I really like this multi-cooker version because it has an Air Fryer and Sauté mode. The other day, I cooked a whole chicken in 15 minutes with the “pressure” setting. Then, I switched the settings to “air fryer” and the skin was crispy and tasty within 10 minutes.

What is the single most important and essential electric small appliance to have?

product-must-have-kitchen-appliance-knife-sharpener

Electric Knife Sharpener

Yes – a knife sharpening gadget is essential — meaning to say that all kitchens should have this small appliance. Or at least have some type of knife sharpener. Now, the honing steel that comes in the knife block is not enough. That tool is for honing, not sharpening.

A sharp knife is a cook’s most valuable tool,” says 99.9999% of all chefs. Doing a job with faulty equipment creates havoc and oftentimes an unexplained frustration with what you’re doing. Perhaps it’s not the cooking you are frustrated with — maybe it’s the dull knife that just won’t do what you want it to do.

It’s like driving a car with low tires, or a smartphone that doesn’t hold a charge. Those issues are manageable but you wouldn’t put up with them for long. The same should apply to your chef knife.

Knife-sharpening businesses are available, but then there’s the whole thing about scheduling, driving to the location, and waiting for it to be done, let alone paying for the service. In just a year or so, this device will have paid for itself. This specific product was recommended by “America’s Test Kitchen.”

What is your favorite electric small appliance?

Which ones do you have?
Which ones will you buy?​

If you've cooked with me,
which ones did you use and for what dish?

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Purchase these items on Amazon:

Disclaimer: by clicking the above link you’ll support me through an affiliate marketing program with Amazon. THANK YOU! This is done by placing a cookie on your browser to track the sales.

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