The 10 Basic Kitchen Appliances Every Family Needs
Preparing a home cooked meal for a family is a ton of work. Thankfully, a good kitchen appliance is a home chef’s best friend. Why should we do all that manual labor if an appliance can do it twice as well in half the time? Keep in mind we are not counting the dishwasher and coffeemaker in this list of the 10 basic kitchen appliances every family needs. By golly, both of those appliances should come automatically with every kitchen ever constructed because I do not know what I do without them. Literally. Instead, this is a list of the ten basic kitchen appliances every kitchen needs to get you up and running to cook a decent meal in lightning speed (er…well at least a little faster than if you were to do everything by hand).
Sometimes referred to as a as a crock-pot, the slow cooker is a countertop kitchen appliance that is used to simmer foods at a low temperature for a preset amount of time. Slow cookers are a fantastic kitchen appliance because they can be set on a countertop and left alone to cook for several hours while you’re at work or running errands with the kids. Electric slow cookers take the place of the heavy enameled cast iron Dutch ovens that must be watched while cooking on the stovetop. Plus, they help keep the oven and stovetop off, so it keeps the kitchen cooler.
Check out our easy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe and our slow cooker chicken teriyaki on Zulily’s The Find.
I can honestly say that cooking for my family came to a monumental new level the day I finally bought a rice cooker. I no longer had to guestimate the amount of water versus dry rice to cook and instead I rely on a kitchen appliance to tell me what to do. Best yet, the rice comes out perfectly cooked in about twenty minutes. Rice cookers are very affordable and available wherever you like to shop.
Hot Tip: Rinse your rice before you cook it in your rice cooker to get rid of the extra starch. It makes for fluffier, tastier rice I promise.
This small, lightweight and portable electric hand mixer has two detachable metal beaters that work wonders in quickly mixing any baking mix. This handy dandy device takes all the hard work out of hand mixing with the flip of a switch. Best yet – they’re lightweight and easy enough for kids to use to help in the kitchen.
Blender or Food Processor
I highly suggest that you buy either a blender or a food processor for your kitchen because they can greatly speed up the food preparation process. The blades inside either the blender or food processor will quickly chop, dice or puree your ingredients with ease. You can also create lots of soup, dressing or dip recipes with a blender or food processor. Not to forget to mention that your smoothie game will be on fleek with a blender.
World’s Easiest Smoothie Recipe
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of low-fat milk (or any non-dairy milk substitute)
Blend well and serve cold
Take the speculation out of trying to figure out if your meat is cooked thoroughly or not cooked enough by getting an electric thermometer. You can pop these handy tools in any slab of meat and follow the guidelines for meat temperature, so you never overcook or undercook your meat again. Our family uses one every Thanksgiving for our turkey. That way we always have a perfectly cooked turkey with no surprises.
The oldest kitchen appliance on this list, pressure cookers, were first invented in 1679 by French physicist Denis Papin. Pressure cookers work by applying pressure while cooking in an air tight (usually steel) container. They can greatly reduce cooking times, they have the ability to add extra flavor, they create less of a cooking mess in the kitchen since all of the ingredients are in one pot and pressure cookers reduce the amount of heat in the kitchen since the oven and stovetop are not even turned on.
Electric Stand Mixer
Do you need to have six dozen cookies ready for the school bake sale this weekend? This large countertop appliance can mix large quantities of food ingredients quickly in a very large bowl. One of the best features of an electric stand mixer (besides the fact that they come in an array of super cool colors) is that you can buy additional attachments for rolling out fresh pasta or even grinding fresh meats and so much more. The possibilities are endless.
Air fryers have become all the rage over the last year or two and for good reason. An air fryer acts like a deep fryer without requiring that your food be submerged in oil. Air fryers quickly reheat and cook foods because of a high speed fan circulating hot air, therefore creating a crisp layer by browning reactions. French fries are probably the most popular food item to cook in an air fryer, however recipes including Brussel sprouts, fried pickles, coconut shrimp and chicken wings can be cooked quickly and easily.
An immersion blender, also sometimes referred to as a stick or wand blender, is a great and super useful kitchen appliance that will blend or puree food ingredients in the container in which they are being prepared. That makes creating a delicious family soup even easier with less of a kitchen mess since you use less dishes. Uses for the immersion blender include puréeing soups and emulsifying sauces.
Cordless Vacuum (or the family dog!)
You may laugh at this last kitchen appliance suggestion, however having a cordless vacuum handy in the kitchen is a lifesaver when it comes to kitchen cleanup. My kids love taking turns using our cordless vacuum, especially after a messy evening creating family friendly recipes in the kitchen. Or, if you have a dog in the family, they can act as your cordless vacuum that requires no electricity!