5 Essential Small Kitchen Appliances

breakfast

No one wants too many things in the kitchen. First of all, they’re unnecessary if they don’t perform multiple functions. Secondly, who has that much cabinet and countertop space?? To keep it simple, we’ve narrowed down the list of kitchen “must-haves” to just five items.

Espresso machine
Coffee is amazing. But since Starbucks isn’t—and not everyone is lucky enough to have a great mom and pop shop nearby—consider investing in a home espresso machine. My machine is sleek, high performance, and oh-so-gorgeous. And it’s Italian. There’s something very satisfying about pulling my own shots and frothing my own milk.

Hand blender
Food processors and regular blenders are excellent, but they’re large and take a lot of effort to clean. For daily use, a hand blender is the way to go. It’s excellent for small jobs like soups, salsas, and smoothies, which is what most blending projects are. Our household would not function without this thing. As a bonus, a good hand blender is also very affordable.

Stand Mixer
When we got married, everyone I knew coveted the stand mixer. You know the one—it’s the gold standard of kitchen appliances. I wasn’t sure I needed it, could use it, or wanted to pay for it. And the truth is, we don’t use it a lot and it was expensive. But when you need a mixer, the gold standard Cuisinart is everything you could possibly need, especially when you buy the attachments. This investment is truly worth it.

Slow cooker
There is nothing better than throwing ingredients in a pot, walking away, and finding dinner ready six hours later. I don’t know what I did before my slow cooker. We use it for everything from soups to barbecued beef. If I could be better organized before I leave for work to get things cooking, we would use it for even more. As it is, Sunday is the perfect time for making chili or barbacoa tacos, and I’ll stick with that—especially when there’s football to be watched.

Toaster oven
A good toaster oven is really under-rated. There are certain things like pizza and meat that just aren’t meant to be reheated in a microwave. A good toaster over will do that in no time without the food becoming rubbery, tough, or otherwise inedible. They also heat up very quickly. That means that if you’re cooking or warming a small batch, you finish quickly and without spending the money to heat up your whole oven or making the whole house hot.