Whether you love to cook or are just looking to make your life simpler, here’s a list of 10 appliances every kitchen needs. Most of these products provide a healthier way of cooking things or a faster way of cooking the healthy things. If you are trying to follow a grain-free, whole food diet, these are must-haves. I would argue that even if you are just a fan of convenience and don’t even eat all that well, these are still amazing life hacks. Each of these appliances is countertop-friendly or easily stored (depending on your counter space and outlet availability). Also note that a lot of these products come in different colors so that you can match the rest of the stuff in your kitchen (such as your non-countertop appliances). So without further ado, here we go: 10 appliances every kitchen needs.
1. Power Air Fryer XL 5.3 QT Black Deluxe – Turbo Cyclonic Airfryer Include Air-Fryer Accessories Kit With Baking Insert, Pizza Pan And Cooking Tongs – The 5.3 quart air fryer does it all! Sweet potato fries without a bunch of added calories or mess from deep-frying in oil? Yes, please. I originally saw this thing on an infomercial while my wife and I were visiting my grandmother, and the look on my face while watching this infomercial was described to me as utter enjoyment and amazement. I had to have one. The product boasts “up to 80% less guilt” (meaning 80% fewer calories) and it absolutely delivers in terms of taste and similarity to the deep-fried versions of the foods you put in there. I would say that 90% of the stuff you put in there is as good as the deep-fried versions. Every once in a while you’ll encounter something that needs oil to be any good. For example, sweet potato tater tots would be great in there, but sweet potato hash browns would come out too dry and crispy. On an exciting note, there are some things that are BETTER out of this fryer than their deep-fried counterparts. My favorite football game day food is chicken wings, and I’ve tried them just about everywhere I go. This air fryer makes crispy, unbreaded traditional chicken wings better than I have had them anywhere. When I’ve hosted game night and served these wings, my guests have often told me the same thing. So this product is definitely worth the purchase. Note that I specify to get the 5.3 quart version (not the 3 quart baby version) because, if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna wanna stick a whole chicken in there at some point. I wouldn’t say I did this list in order of importance, but if I did, this thing would probably still be first.
2. Power Pressure Cooker XL 10 Qt – This pressure cooker can do the same job as a slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and more! It can speed up the process of making some foods (like pot roast) up to 70% faster and it also makes great bone broth, soups, and stews (which are great for autoimmune protocol and anti-inflammatory diets) without the worry of leaving the stove on too long. I make one of my favorite recipes, nay, favorite foods in this thing now – Carolina style pulled pork (using an organic apple cider vinegar base). You can also make the pulled pork with a chicken broth or Coca-Cola base, season it with fajita seasonings, and (after it is cooked to perfection in the pressure cooker) pull it apart and throw it in the air fryer to make carnitas! Keep an eye on our recipes section for these and other recipes, often using our favorite products.
3. Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Slow Cooker with Digital Timer, Stainless Steel, SCCPVL610-S – A classic! Personally, I don’t think you can have too many of these, especially if you like to host parties. There’s nothing easier than “set it and forget it” in the slow cooker. Not hosting the party? No problem. You can prepare the meal at home, carry the whole thing with you to the potluck, plug it in, and leave it on warm. Also, you can store the inside pot part (with the lid on) inside your refrigerator for meals throughout the week. Even if you do have a pressure cooker and six other doodads that can make Crock-Pot type meals, you’ll use this when you’re not in a rush. Again, it’s great for parties or big meals you want to pick at throughout the week, and they even sell liners for it if you prefer storing it in a bag right away or aren’t big on clean up.
4. Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Thermal 12-Cup Automatic Coffeemaker – If you’re a coffee drinker, this is 100% the way to go. Single-cup brewing systems are all right, and I don’t mind a cup of coffee from grounds, but fresh-ground coffee from beans is the best. It’s just soooooooooooooo much better than coffee from those little pods. Additionally, single-serve pods are expensive. If you are going to have one cup of coffee once in a great while, and absolutely never drink a second cup, I can understand the purchase of a single-cup brewing system. But fresh-ground coffee smells amazing when it’s brewing and this particular coffeemaker has all the right features to let you control the strength and amount of coffee you want to make, AND it keeps it hot all day in the thermal carafe without leaving a burner on. You can even program it to wake you up in the morning! There’s nothing like the smell of coffee brewing to get you out of bed.
5. Breville JE98XL Juice Fountain Plus 850-Watt Juice Extractor – Breville juicers, to me, are the golden standard. And I’ve tried cheaper/more compact juicers. The cheaper juicers are hard to clean and simply don’t have enough horsepower to juice whole fruits and get bogged down with greens. A Breville is going to shred it all like a wood chipper! You can go with a masticating juicer if you prefer it for health reasons or whatever, but they’re heavy, slow, and hard to clean in my experience. The point of juicing is not to spend hours cleaning your juicer, and with a Breville, you can appreciate this fact. You can make a few cups of juice and clean up in about 5-10 minutes. Because of the ease of use, this juicer is a must-have on a healthy diet, whether you’re doing a hardcore juice fast or just supplementing your diet with green vegetable juices. I view the juicer as handy for both of those needs in my own diet. That’s because, a lot of the time, juicing vegetables is just a much faster and more enjoyable way to enjoy them than eating them.
6. Vitamix 5200 Blender, Professional-Grade, 64 oz. Container, Black – Hands down, the best blender there is. I mean, the motor on this thing just makes it seem like somebody messed up and put a riding lawnmower motor on a blender and liked it that way and started selling them. And I love it. Like the Breville juicer, this thing makes QUICK work of making juices (if you’re making green juices with this, technically they’re “green smoothies”) and it is easily cleaned. I’ve had a few other cheaper blenders, and they get clogged up and are impossible to clean. So the Vitamix, like the Breville juicer, is great for making smoothies, sauces, dressings, etc. and cleaning up all in 5-10 minutes.
7. Hamilton Beach (72850) Food Processor Mini Chopper, 3 Cup, Electric, Black – I do have a full-sized food processor. I used it a few times, and now it lives in the attic. I’m not sure whether it was just more hassle than using a mandolin slicer or cutting on a cutting board or if I just don’t mind a bit of chopping, but I remember it being more cleanup than it should’ve been. And it’s just too big for most of what I need a food processor for. To me, all you really need is a 1.5 to 3 cup mini food chopper for mincing fresh herbs, making salsas, and mixing small ingredients.
8. Elite Gourmet MST-250XS 1.5 Quart Stainless Steel Slow Cooker, Silver – Along the same line of reasoning as the last item, sometimes you don’t want or need the full-sized version. My favorite dish to bring to a party (I would get weird looks if I DIDN’T bring it at this point) is buffalo chicken dip. It’s one of those dishes you constantly want to improve on and perfect, and even if you don’t really eat it, everyone insists it’s amazing. A party-sized portion of it, however, is about 1 quart. If you put it in the full-sized (6-8 quart) crock-pot to share, it would look like you ate most of it before you got to the party (rude!) AND it would be totally impractical. No, you need this tiny version of a crock-pot, specifically made for dips like this. In fact, I can only ever remember using mine for that purpose. But it, too, is a must-have for parties and such.
9. KitchenAid KP26M1XNP 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer – Nickel Pearl – A KitchenAid stand mixer is so much more than a mixer. It has attachments that you can buy à la carte that turn it into a food processor, a meat grinder, a pasta maker, a cheese grater, a vegetable spiralizer, and over 50 other kitchen appliances! If the fact that it can replace over 50 food-processing appliances doesn’t already make it the coolest gadget you can buy for your kitchen, the fact that it’s the best mixer on the market sure does. You probably should or already do have a hand mixer and can get away with using that for whisking together baking materials for something quick, but if you don’t already have a stand mixer, this one just makes baking so much easier on you (and your hands). If you’re going to be doing any extensive whisking or mixing, you’re going to need one of these. And if you’re not going to be doing any mixing, buy it anyway and make sausage with it!
10. Oster Extra Large Digital Countertop Convection Oven, Stainless Steel (TSSTTVDGXL-SHP) – This toaster oven is one of those countertop appliances that I bring out as needed but I’m so glad I have it when I need it. That’s because it’s quite large, and I don’t need it every day. Anything with crust that you put in the refrigerator and plan to reheat (like a calzone or pizza) will not taste good anymore if you reheat it in the microwave. The crust will be chewy or downright inedible. You have to reheat these foods with a conventional or convection oven. There are many uses for this oven. But briefly, as an aside, yes, you can make grain-free, vegetable-crust pizzas that taste even better than wheat crust pizzas (keep an eye on our recipe page for vegetable-crust recipes)! The only other appliance on this list that works similarly to this is the air fryer, because both work by convection/super-heated air. So, you can accomplish the same kinds of results with the air fryer as you could with a convection oven, but it’s much easier to burn the food using the air fryer than using a precise digital convection oven such as this one. I use my oven a lot, and this countertop oven is great for when I need extra oven space. Depending on how much countertop space you have, you may want to leave this one out all the time. It’s great.