If you are just settling into your first home or getting ready to outfit a brand new kitchen, starting with a list of basic kitchen appliances that are commonly used is a great place to begin. We have collected a comprehensive list to get you started, along with examples to help you make the right choice for all your cooking needs.
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Large Kitchen Appliances
These appliances are what most kitchen activity centers around. They make every aspect of storing, cooking and cleaning up after food significantly easier than they would be without them.
The fridge is the central hub of the kitchen – it’s where the perishable food is stored until it is used. Every kitchen needs a functional refrigerator to keep perishable goods at temperature and preserve leftovers. Refrigerators typically come in two designs: with the fridge on the bottom and the freezer on top, or with the fridge and freezer side-by-side.
This Avanti refrigerator is of the conventional variety, with the freezer located above the fridge.
Side-by-side fridge and freezer combos like this are becoming increasingly popular among households with a high demand for storage.
A stove is comprised of two parts: a stovetop range and an oven. The stovetop lets you boil and fry while the oven serves to bake and broil. Stoves can be purchased as gas-powered or electric, depending on your cooking preferences or energy availability.
This gas-range stove is an example of what used to be considered the golden standard in terms of this kitchen appliance.
Electric range stoves have become increasingly more popular, as home residents’ concerns about gas leaks motivate their purchasing decisions. Electric ranges also offer less ambient heat than gas stovetops, though they don’t completely eliminate it.
This appliance resides beneath the counter and is attached to your existing water lines. A dishwasher can tackle a significant number of dishes quickly, sparing time and energy that would otherwise go to hand washing them. For larger households that use a lot of dishes, a dishwasher is a lifesaver.
Not all dishwashers have to be installed under a counter. There are some portable, countertop models that can simply be attached to your kitchen’s faucet.
Countertop dishwashers are an incredibly handy tool for those who live in small spaces that simply cannot accommodate the size and location demanded by conventional dishwashers. This model by EdgeStar is energy rated and fits conveniently right on your countertop.
Dishwashers that are meant to be built into your cabinetry are easily the most efficient and powerful of dishwashers available. They are larger and have numerous features to make cleaning dishes both quick and simple.
Microwaves, also known as microwave ovens, are a staple for modern kitchens because of their unparalleled convenience. A standard microwave has a 1,200 wattage, but there are models with far less and far greater power. Most households have microwaves ranging from 600 to 1,200 watts.
Microwaves come in a multitude of colors and styles. If you are looking to buy a colorful microwave to stand out in any kitchen, this model by Magic Chef should be on your list of considerations.
Unlike traditional ovens that surround food with hot air to cook it, convection ovens circulate air. This creates a much faster cooking experience in many cases. Many convection oven owners love the more even way that these appliances heat up food. The circulation of air, thanks to a fan at the back of the oven, helps to ensure a more even cook and a shorter cook time all at once.
Some ovens come with a built-in convection setting. In most cases, however, a person must purchase their own standalone convection oven. Some models are quite large whereas others can sit easily on any kitchen countertop. Convection ovens are also commonly called “toaster ovens.”
This convection oven by Black and Decker is everything you need in a convection oven. It cooks food both quickly and evenly. It also comes with a baking/broiling pan as well as a toasting rack!
Unlike conventional stovetops that utilize coils that heat up through electrical or gas power, induction cooktops utilize electromagnetism. A pan is placed on top of a magnetic field that rapidly heats up without any radiant heat. The rest of the cooktop remains cool due to the unique way that induction cooktops individually heat up.
A cooktop doesn’t have to cover a whole lot of space. If you only need a single induction device, this single induction cooktop “burner” by Yescomb is more than adequate to meet your needs.
A two-piece induction cooktop can be incredibly useful. If a single cooktop surface won’t suffice, definitely look into this version by Cuisinart.
Small Kitchen Appliances
These appliances are incredibly useful, especially for home cooks who want to show off their talent in the kitchen. Some of these small appliances are widespread, taking residence in most kitchens. Others are a bit more specialized and serve very specific purposes that not everybody will need.
By filtering hot water through coffee beans, coffee makers produce the most cherished beverage in all the world. Millions of households begin their days with the smell of freshly brewed coffee. There are many ways to make coffee, including traditional coffee pots, coffee pod machines, and French presses. No matter which appliance you choose, you’re one step closer to savoring the taste of coffee and the energy it gives you to get through your day.
If your household’s demand for coffee is high, the most efficient and cost-effective way to brew coffee is with a conventional coffee pot. This model by Mr. Coffee brews up to 12 cups and can be programmed to make your coffee fresh – and only when you need it.
Keurig is a pioneer in single-cup coffee makers, and for good reason. They allow individuals to enjoy their own customized coffee experience without wasting a pot and make it easier than ever to savor a variety of coffee flavors. You can buy single-use coffee pods in an assortment of flavors, but that’s not all a Keurig style machine is good for. You can heat up water for tea or soup, make your own lattes and cappuccinos, and adjust the amount of water to meet your specific needs.
I’ll admit, French presses are not the most convenient way to make coffee. They require a bit of honest labor, but most people who own French presses believe the high-quality flavor is a good trade-off. French presses work via a plunger that is attached to a mesh screen. The mesh screen forces the coffee beans down as soon as you are ready to pour the coffee. With French presses, you don’t need to worry about stale coffee.
Some recipes call for finely ground ingredients. This is where a blender steps in to efficiently fill a role and help you to get the most out of your favorite recipes. Blenders come in all sorts of makes and models, so which you purchase depends entirely on what you demand from your blender. This appliance isn’t necessary for every kitchen, but I definitely recommend getting one if you’re serious about cooking at home.
Black and Decker knocks it out of the park again with this very affordable and very efficient 10-speed countertop blender. This is as good as you need a blender to be without upgrading to a more intricate food processor.
A toaster is considered a staple accessory to any kitchen, like a microwave or coffee maker. Sure, you can make toast in the oven, but that takes forever and makes the kitchen hot. Toasters are also great for heating up strudel, frozen pancakes, frozen waffles and more on the go. It is an appliance of convenience, helping you to create hot food without dedicating a lot of time.
Most toasters are quite simple, heating up two slices at most at a time. This example from Hamilton Beach perfectly illustrates the most common of modern toasters.
Do you have a larger family with a demanding appetite? This toaster by Proctor Silex toasts 4 slices instead of 2, making breakfast half as time-consuming as it was before.
Unlike most blenders, food processors can also puree foods. This type of appliance is a wonderful solution for those who, say, plan to make pet or baby food at home. Food processors allow you to break down ingredients as finely as you choose, even down to a puree, without sacrificing nutritional value. While many confuse food processors for blenders, it is worth noting that food processors often have more features and settings. Therefore, they are more versatile.
Do you need to dice, slice and shred? This conveniently priced food processor from Cuisinart is a great way to get introduced to food processing! Many experienced home cooks still love to have this model in their kitchens.
You know those handy whisks that you use in your kitchen to beat eggs, combine ingredients for cake batter, or make pancake batter with? A mixer allows you to utilize the handiness of these whisks while ramping up the speed 100-fold. Mixers operate through a series of gears that compel beaters to move and quickly combine ingredients into their desired mixture.
If you do a lot of baking, a mixer is a must-have.
This hand mixer by KitchenAid is a space-saving solution to often cumbersome standing mixers.
Standing mixers like this one from Aucma are incredibly useful if you have the storage or counter space necessary for it.
Hand powered can openers are great and all, but they can be a pain to use. Electric can openers are a great solution for those with joint pain or anybody else who simply cannot or will not fight with a manual can opener for their food. A motor does all of the work for the user, sparing them time and potentially some serious aches and pains.
Electric can openers are a life-saver for aching joints and those who struggle with manual openers. They come in sleek designs that are perfect for storage, too!
Rice steamers, also known as rice cookers, generally require one part rice to two parts water. They are a much more efficient way of cooking rice, as pots with lids can overflow and create a mess. Rice steamers are designed specifically for this purpose, so you’ll have less to worry about in terms of a mess as long as you only fill the steamer per the directions given by the manufacturer.
Most rice steamers come with indicators to let you know when your rice is cooked. Many of these models will also have a “warm” function, which will keep your rice warm after it has been cooked without overcooking the rice.
I know what you’re thinking – aren’t pressure cookers dangerous? You’re right that some incidents have happened both presently and in the past, but you should know that modern pressure cookers are safer than ever before, as long as you follow directions. The pressure used in these cookers is steam pressure, which is sealed airtight within the appliance itself. All modern pressure cookers come with safety mechanisms to ensure that there are fewer to no exploding chicken incidents.
This pressure cooker from Cuisinart is a standard pressure cooker that anyone can use. It comes equipped with a valve to ensure that pressure buildup doesn’t become too extreme.
Deep fryers cook food using highly heated fat or oil, which rapidly fries food for a crispy consistency. You’ll see deep fryers in your local food establishments, but you can deep fry food at home as well. Deep fryers that you can buy and use at home contain baskets that you use to safely submerge food that will be cooked, minimizing the risk of burns and splashes that can cause harm.
This deep fryer by Hamilton Beach is incredibly safe to use and is even designed to be cool to the touch, unlike other fryers that are made of metal. The heating element can be removed easily for cleaning, which also enhances the safety of this appliance.
Unlike other grills, electric grills can be (and most often are) used indoors. They can grill up your favorite burgers, paninis and other sandwiches with a quick settings adjustment and an electrical outlet. To minimize mess and increase safety, electric grills typically come equipped with drain trays to catch fat and grease. Because the grill uses an electric heating element to cook food, you do not need to worry about having charcoal or propane.
The uses of a grill are vast, as are the uses of this electric grill from Cuisinart.