These really are the Kitchen Appliances I Couldn’t Live Without! I am no kitchen gadget hoarder and I love appliances to pull double duty. I’m not going to recommend anything to you that I don’t own and use regularly. Most of the smaller appliances are perfect gifts for a budding cook or baker too!
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I am not an appliances hoarder. I don’t do single use appliances. Electric cupcake makers, soup makers and blenders which cook and talk to you have no place in the back of my kitchen cupboard. If I can cook it in a pan then I will. And I do.
Actually there is one exception to that rule. There is an electric waffle maker in my cupboard but thats because there is not other real way of easily making waffles!
I also don’t own a slow cooker or fancy pressure cooker. I simply do not generally make, or even overly like, slow cooked meals. If I do want to slow cook something then I put it in the oven on low. I can even set my pretty cheap and non-fancy oven to turn itself on an off at specified times.
But these here are all appliances that I do own and wholeheartedly could not live without. I would point out that whilst this list is rather heavy on a couple of brands, I am in no way affiliated with any of them. I’ve not been gifted any items or even approached by them. I just happened to have gravitated towards Kenwood and Tefal over the years.
With a few exceptions, small appliances can make great Christmas gifts or even birthday gifts. But they are generally the kind of gift that you should know the person wants or needs it first. An electric hand whisk out of the blue would be rather strange. And you really need to be buying for a certain kind of person for a kettle to be appropriate.
So lets jump right into my list…
This really is one for any American readers as I’m pretty convinced that all of my British readers will already have a kettle!
I use my kettle for far more than just making cups of tea. I boil the kettle whenever I need boiling water for cooking. I almost never wait for a pan of water to come to boil. My life is simply too short.
Use your kettle to help you make this:
Korean Belly Pork
I know that this is mildly controversial. Many people choose not to own a microwave. And I just don’t understand why! A microwave provides serious convenience and helps to reduce the number of pots and pans needed.
I not only use mine for reheating leftovers, but for melting chocolate etc in baking recipes, for steaming vegetables quickly and even just for cooking a baked potato in a jiffy.
Don’t be scared of a microwave and it can be your best friend in the kitchen.
Use your microwave to help you make this:
Dense Chocolate Muscovado Cake
Compact Food Processor
I don’t use my food processor everyday but when I do, it is invaluable.
I use the grating/slicing disk to shred veg for coleslaw, the egg white whisk for meringues and the main processor for making cakes, date bars and larger quantities of guacamole and hummus.
This processor is much smaller than others I’ve come across and so it takes up much less room in the cupboard or on the side. I’ve had my version for over 15 years and its still going strong.
Use your food processor to make this:
Whole Orange Choc Chip Muffins (Dairy & Gluten Free)
I don’t always want to get my big processor out to make small quantities of my aforementioned guacamole and hummus, etc. But my mini chopper is absolutely perfect.
It lives in a small drawer, fits in the top rack of the dishwasher to clean and is helpful when you want to make smaller quantities of things which a larger processor won’t reach.
I received mine one Christmas. They are great value and super useful.
Use your mini chopper to make this:
How to Make Caesar Dressing
I was late to the party with stand mixers. Despite lusting over super pretty Kitchenaid mixers for years, they were way out of my price range. But then I bought a vintage Kenwood from a car boot sale for a tenner. And I loved it.
All of a sudden cakes became extra light and fluffy, bread dough became a dream to make and my buttercream game increased tenfold.
And then my vintage edition blew up. I knew I couldn’t like without a mixer so I bought the cheapest version of a Kenwood Chef and I haven’t looked back. Or lusted after anything ‘fancier’. My Kenwood is brilliant.
use your stand mixer to make this:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Electric Hand Whisk
Despite my love of a my stand mixer, there are occasions where I don’t want to dirty a big bowl and attachment. This is where I revert to my old workhorse of an electric hand whisk. This is what I used for years before I bought a stand mixer.
It is still perfect for whisking up small quantities of egg white etc and I continue to use mine on a regular basis.
Use your electric hand whisk to make this:
Sweet Potato Pancakes with Sweetcorn & Chilli
I admit that I can live without a stick blender. I can blend anything I need in the blender attachment of my food processor.
But doing so not only creates more washing up, no matter how well you scrape, you will lose some of your food in the blender jug in the process.
I always make sure to buy a stick with a plastic lower half as the metal ones are a nightmare to use with non-stick pans.
Use your stick blender to make this:
Chicken, Peanut & Lentil Soup
This isn’t technically an essential. But now that I have one is really is something that I wouldn’t want to live without. I use my actifry all the time.
I’ve specified the Actifry rather than just an air fryer in general as the moving paddle makes these air fryers far more useful than other kinds.
I now make almost all of my ‘roasted’ veg in the Actifry as well as roast potatoes and chips. I also use it to reheat things like chicken wings as it retains the crunch that the microwave doesn’t provide.
Use your actifry to make this:
Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Bonus Item! Mini Deep Fat Fryer
This isn’t essential so I haven’t included it in my 8 item list but it is perfect if you only want to fry occasionally and are a bit too scared of just heating oil in a pan.
My housemate owned one of these small fryers and I ended up using it all the time. But it is making recipes like Scotch Eggs where it really comes into its own.
Use your Deep Fat Fryer to make this:
Fried Onigiri with Miso Scallops
Are there any other can’t-live-without-them appliances that you think I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!
Want More Ideas?
Check out my Baking Shop which is park of my wider Shop section. I’ve added loads of links to products which I recommend or use myself. There is everything from cookbooks to mixing bowls and pots & pans.
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