11 Awesome Kitchen Appliances That’ll Bring Out The Chef In You

kitchen appliances

Contrary to popular belief, I believe that anyone can learn how to cook.

Including, those who burn water and overcook cereal.

What really makes a Chef?

It is not just the knowledge they acquire in school, but the trial and error they constantly face in the kitchen, and how they learn to adapt from it. I consider myself an emerging, self-taught, celebrity chef (totally kidding… kinda) and I can attest to the seemingly endless cycle of success and failure in the kitchen. *holds back tears*

It was during a crappy attempt at some vegan pancakes that I discovered the biggest cooking hack. Any meal you make comes out better when you take your time on the recipe process and have all your ingredients and equipment mise en place (a French culinary term for put in place, we’ll visit this term shortly). Focusing on things like whether or not the food will taste great, can make you panic more than you need to; resulting in crappy pancakes.

Now, just as important as the ingredients themselves are for a recipe, you must have the proper equipment to actually cook a meal. Kitchen appliances, second to a good set of knives, are a chef’s best friend. Without them, meal preparation in the kitchen would be a lot longer, more tedious, and in some cases, even more painful (seriously!, and I’ll explain why later).

Now, there are dozens of incredible kitchen appliances out there with all sorts of features. But out of all them, only about a handful are absolutely essential to have, and will definitely encourage you to get more creative in the kitchen. You can find these 11 kitchen appliances and tons more at great prices on Amazon. I’ll be providing links to purchase them.

So please allow me to show you these 11 Kitchen Appliances that will save your life, and bring out the little chef in you.


Back to Mise en Place…

Pronounced MEEZ-a-plas; the term is echoed in countless restaurant kitchens from fast food chains to 5-star, fine dining eateries. It literally means, to set in place, and it’s referring to the organization/preparation of all necessary ingredients and kitchen appliances to prepare a meal. The video above shows what that looks like in a restaurant kitchen.

At home, your mise en place may not look quite like this. But that’s okay! The idea is to have everything you need readily available and within your reach. This includes whatever kitchen appliances you need as well.

Now let’s get into this wonderful list of kitchen goodies!


1. Stand Mixer

kitchen appliances

 

Why You Need It

Behold the almighty of all the kitchen appliances. A stand mixer is a necessary kitchen upgrade because it will save you A LOT of time. It’s a hands-free mixing, whipping, and kneading machine that allows you to multitask in the kitchen. Remember how I said kitchen appliances will make time in the kitchen less painful? Try making homemade whipped cream with a whisk or electric hand beaters and you’ll see what I mean. Your arms will be begging you for a stand mixer.

Where to Buy It

KitchenAid is probably the most popular brand for stand mixers. You’ve probably seen them in countless cooking shows on tv. But even though KitchenAid has great mixers, they are extremely expensive running you well into the $350-$400 range. I found an awesome and much cheaper alternative online at Amazon.

Costing you only $90, the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer comes with three attachments: the dough hook (for kneading), the whisk (for whipping), and the flat beaters (for mixing). It also has seven different mixing speeds that allow you to have maximum control. I’m telling you, this is one of the kitchen appliances you don’t want to be without.

Also Read: 12 Practical Ideas To Organize Your Small Kitchen


 2. Blender

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

Blenders are pretty much seen in all kitchens, from professional to home. But blenders are a part of a chef’s checklist because of their ability to liquefy and extract all nutrients from a food. Plus, blenders are great for way more than just smoothies! Depending on the quality of the blender, you can prepare soups, butters, purees, sorbets, dressings, and other light sauces to add your meals. The possibilities really start to show themselves the more time you spend in the kitchen. Check out this video to get the juices flowing.

Where to Buy It

Also costing you $90, this a simple 1000-watt, 3-speed blender by Ninja that comes with a dough blade attachment. You’re probably wondering where the rest?! Most blender sets nowadays come with tons of attachments that claim to take out the need to purchase any other kitchen appliances.

But, there’s a reason professional kitchens don’t solely use blenders for their blending purposes. Those attachments simply do not live up to the performance of their kitchen appliance counterparts. So save yourself some money and just stick with a standard good-quality blender without all the attachments like this one.


3. Slow Cooker

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

If you love stews and slow cooked meats, or you’re busy, or just plain lazy, you definitely want to invest in a slow cooker. Slow cookers use electric heating to slowly simmer foods typically tough meats, or stews at very low temperatures (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit).

So why do slow cookers make tough cuts of meat like pork shoulder or chuck roast incredibly juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender? The moist heat inside a slow cooker slowly softens the collagen (the protein in muscles that makes the meat tough) into a gelatin that keeps the meat from overcooking. You can totally take advantage of the cheaper and tougher cuts of meat at the grocery store with a slow cooker.

Where to Buy It

Crock-Pot is such a popular brand that most people actually refer to all slow cookers as crock pots. And for a good reason! They’ve been reliable for years and they’re small enough for travel if you need to take your creations with you. It features two temperature settings (low and high) and another to keep your food warm. Slow cookers are one of the kitchen appliances you want for flavorful, one-pot meals that you can easily set and forget. And for just $17.

TIP: There are some very expensive slow cookers in the market but essentially, they all do the same thing…slow cook your food. So never pay more than about $35-$45 tops on a slow cooker.


4. Rice Cooker

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

The job of a rice cooker is pretty self-explanatory. It makes just the perfect, fluffy rice every single time. No fussing with a burner to adjust the heat or adding more water because it all evaporated. Rice cookers are very useful kitchen appliances because they hold the temperature at a constant inside a sealed pot.

Although the rice is undisturbed in the pot, it does not burn because thermal sensors inside the rice cooker detect when the contents of the pot have reached water’s boiling point, 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The sensors let the cooker know the water has evaporated, and the heating will automatically shut off; preventing burning and overcooking.

Where to Buy It

Just like slow cookers, rice cookers can run you anywhere from $10-$400. As you can imagine, the cheaper you go, the lesser in quality they become. But this is not to say that the more expensive rice cookers are not worth the price.

When purchasing a rice cooker, you want to consider a few things. How often do you consume rice? Do you prefer a certain rice texture? When preparing rice, how much do you make (quantity)? The general rule of thumb is this: the more often and the higher amount of rice you make, more money you should put down to get a reliable and long-lasting rice cooker.

This $25 rice cooker by Aroma is a good medium between the two. It cooks about 2 cups of uncooked rice which yields about four servings of cooked rice.

PRO TIP: The water to rice ratio when preparing rice is typically 2:1 (2 cups water, 1 cup uncooked rice). But, I found that you need to adjust the ratios just slightly when cooking rice in a rice cooker.

For each of the following rice grain types, add the listed amount of water for 1 cup of uncooked rice.

Long grain rice – 1 ¾ cups of water

Medium grain rice – 1 ½ cups of water

Short grain rice (sushi rice) – 1 ¼ cups of water

Brown rice – 2 ¾ cups of water

Jasmine or Basmati – 1 ½ cups of water

You can always adjust the water content if you like your rice to be chewier (less water) or more soft (more water).

Also Read: 9 Genius Kitchen Cleaning Hacks To Make It Sparkle


5. Pressure Cooker

kitchen appliances

 

Why You Need It

Being the exact opposite of the slow cooker, a pressure cooker creates intensely flavored foods in the fraction of the time it would take if cooked conventionally. This kitchen appliance is your holy grail if always crunched for time and don’t have time for a marinade or to soak items overnight. A pressure cooker can have a frozen pot roast ready to eat in 30 minutes, dry beans ready from scratch in just 45 or fresh rice cooked in 6 minutes.

It’s pretty much witchcraft when you get right down to it. But it’s because the cooker holds contents under pressure that makes this sorcery possible. The high-pressure steam inside the cooker raises water’s boiling point from 212, to 250. Forcing hotter than boiling water into the food for much faster cooking and very tender meats.

Where to Buy It

For $70, this electric pressure cooker by Presto is a great bang for your buck. It has adjustable heat and pressure settings and it doubles as a slow cooker as well. It also comes with a recipe book to help get you more comfortable working with a pressure cooker. Honestly, it’s the same as a slow cooker, set and forget. Delicious and quick one-pot meals. You’ll love the way it infuses flavors and tenderizes tough meats as though it was slow cooked for hours.

TIP: ALWAYS REMEMBER TO RELEASE THE STEAM BEFORE OPENING THE PRESSURE COOKER.  

Don’t forget that the contents inside are held under high amounts of pressure. If you don’t release the steam first, your cooker could explode upon opening and splash scorching, hot liquid all over you. So be careful!


6. Food Processor

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

Food processors are awesome for chopping, shredding, grinding, or pureeing almost any food. You may be thinking, why not just use my blender for that, it’s the same right? Wrong! While some tasks can be done with either of the kitchen appliances, most tasks are a better fit for one or the other.

Food processors are more fit for dishes that need to have chopped and separate ingredients like a chunky pico de gallo or have more texture like pesto or hummus. Whereas in a blender, all ingredients would be liquefied together which isn’t ideal for such foods.

Where to Buy It

Cuisinart is another trusted brand for kitchen appliances. Amazon offers this food processor at a solid $100. It comes with an adjustable slicing disc and a dough blade. It also has a pulse button so you have full control over how incorporated your dish becomes. You really can’t go wrong with a food processor.


7. Multicooker

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

Multicookers are exactly what they sound like. You can cook a multitude of different meals in a multi-cooker. You can even do cooking tasks like searing, sautéing, steam cook foods and more! If you’re a person who likes minimal clutter and enjoys jack of all trades kitchen appliances, then you’ll get a kick out of this one. You can make rice, brown rice, slow cook, make soup, steel cut oats. I can literally go on and on but you save you the gab, just go check out this article on all the awesome things you can do with a multi-cooker.

Where to Buy It

For a crazy low $35, you’re getting a pretty awesome deal. The Digital Multicooker by Aroma combines the duties of some of the kitchen appliances on this list into one hard working machine. Just like the other cookers, you can create entire meals all in one pot, making clean up easy too! The cooker also comes with a steaming tray and a rice spatula.

Also Read: 7 Natural Dishwashing Detergent Recipes to Keep Your Home Chemical-Free


8. Pasta Machine

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

Alright, so you’re probably like what the heck do I need a pasta machine for when I could just buy a pack of dry pasta from the store? And to be honest, the only people that ask that question are those that haven’t worked with freshly made pasta…yet.

Homemade pasta tastes and feels significantly different from boxed pasta but this isn’t to say that one is better than the other. Homemade pasta has a much softer and smoother texture than it’s dry counterpart. The best part about making your own pasta? You can customize it however you want with fresh herbs or oils. But to compare the two in terms of which is better is silly because they are both used for different dishes and specific sauces. You can really step your pasta game up by experimenting to pair a pasta sauce, with the perfect pasta shape.

Where to Buy It

This pasta machine will cost you about $35 and is awesome for first-time users and professional chefs alike. It comes with a fettuccine cut setting and adjustable rollers to thin out your dough to your liking. After you’ve rested your well-kneaded pasta dough, dust it with some flour and roll it out with your rolling pin. Then run it through the rollers a few times and cut away! Once you realize how easy this is to make fresh pasta at home, you’ll want to do it more and more!


9. Sous Vide

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

A who-da-what-now? Pronounced SOO-veed; sous vide is really fun and interesting kitchen appliance to have in your arsenal. It was passed down from the pros as a cooking technique that was used to achieve consistent results using controlled temperatures. Don’t worry, it’s easier to use than you think!

The sous vide cooks vacuum sealed foods to perfection by keeping the temperature of a water bath absolutely constant. The sealed foods are fully submerged in the water bath where they are left to slow cook for hours becoming incredibly tender and juicy. Watch this awesome video from Bon Appetit on how to use this unique kitchen gadget!

Where to Buy It

This Anora Precision Sous Vide is one of the higher priced kitchen appliances on this list at $100, but using this product will really set your dishes apart from others. The product heats and circulates the water in a pot to keep a constant set temperature; making overcooking the food pretty much impossible. You can even control the device from your phone! Adjust the temperature, or set a timer and you’ll get a notification letting you know when the food is ready!

Btw, even though sous vides are mainly used to make perfect steaks, it doesn’t have to stop there. You can also cube up that steak, and add it to a stew that you’re planning to make in that new slow cooker you’re about to buy. *cough cough* Or you can poach eggs, cook potatoes, even crème Brulee! Tons of recipes are available here to help inspire you.


10. Deep Fryer

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

Yes, you absolutely need a deep fryer. Just like most of the kitchen appliances in this list, a deep fryer holds temperatures at a constant. By now, you’ve probably picked up on that in order to yield great cooking results, constant heating and even cooking is key. This couldn’t be more true for frying. Deep fryers ensure that your food is fully submerged in the oil, so you get even cooking from the inside, out.

Not to mention that deep fryers are a much safer way to fry your foods. They typically come with lids to prevent hot oil from splashing out of a pan and onto an open fire. The long-handled wire baskets also keep your hands far away from the oil.

Where to Buy It

This $50 deep fryer from Hamilton Beach comes with one large and two medium baskets for cooking multiple foods at once. Adjust the oil temperature to where you need it for your dish and you’re good to go! It also has a lid to protect you from hot oil that could splash out. Once you have a deep fryer in your possession, you’ll see how much of a lifesaver it can be. Especially during clean up.

kitchen appliances

NOTE: If you’re not big on cooking large amounts of oil, I hear ya. Luckily, Amazon also has an air fryer by Chefman that is a wonderful alternative! Air fryers cook food by quickly circulating hot air evenly around the food. The speedy convection inside the air fryer allows for extra crispy results like it was just thrown in the deep fryer.


11. Dehydrator

kitchen appliances

Why You Need It

Dehydrators are seriously one of the coolest kitchen appliances on the market. At very low temperatures, dehydrators do exactly what its title ensues, they slowly extract all the liquid from a food. When you remove the moisture from a food, you can greatly extend its shelf life and intensify its flavors. You can dry strawberries, blueberries, mushrooms, meat, fish and you won’t believe what else you can dehydrate! These awesome dehydrator recipes from Weed Em and Reap will show you just what I mean.

Where to Buy It

Total Chef has an affordable ($50) dehydrator with 5 separate tiers for you to dehydrate your foods with. It also comes with some recipes to help get you started on your dehydration journey. The even, warm air distribution ensures consistent moisture removal, without loss of nutrients. Now, you can start making your own homemade snacks without any added sugars or preservatives. This is a tool that will just keep on giving.

And that’s a wrap! 11 Kitchen Appliances that you totally need in your kitchen cabinet armory. Not saying that if you don’t have these useful kitchen tools, you can’t be a chef; but it definitely will make it easier and will expand your culinary expertise.  Now go forth little chef, make me proud.

 

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