One of the keys to making simple meals for your family is the cooking method used. More importantly, it can come down to the cooking vessel. Even more specifically, small kitchen appliances are very effective at keeping life simple. There are so many small kitchen appliances on the market that one could clutter their counters, cupboards, and closets. This is counter productive to simplifying life, unless you have unlimited kitchen space. (And you enjoy caring for many items!)
I have tried MANY small kitchen appliances over the years. Each one was purchased for a specific purpose or on the recommendation of a trusted friend. In an effort to simplify my life and reduce the number of kitchen items I had to wash, maintain, and store I began a Phase Down™ of my kitchen. (If you aren’t familiar with the Phase Down Lifestyle find out more.)
Phasing down my significant stash of small kitchen appliances was daunting in my mind. I didn’t even want to think about it! So I left this task for last. In reality it wasn’t a difficult undertaking. I listed everything I owned and its purpose(s) and believe it or not, I was able to reduce my supply to five!
The five remaining small kitchen appliances satisfy all my needs, including keeping the heat down in my kitchen during the summer. Since I do not cook large meals most nights, I rely on these little beauties to make meal prep and cooking super simple, yet full of nutrition and serious yumminess. Another key point worth mentioning is that if needed I could continue providing meals for my family without the use of a stove.
5 Must Have Small Kitchen Appliances.
- Crockpot/Slow Cooker Most people do not know that a slow cooker has the ability to do so much more than one pot meals. I can bake bread, entire meals, baked potatoes, and more! I admit, I am a recovering crockpot addict. Before my kitchen Phase Down™, I owned *gulp* 9 of these wonderful devices. Yes, NINE. What I can tell you from experience is that if you do not own one of these, purchase one that has at least three settings, and forgo the sleek and popular digital programmers. They really aren’t worth the money. This is the one I have trusted for Years!
- Electric Skillet Not only is this small kitchen appliance often overlooked, but it also has many purposes beyond pancakes, grilled cheese, and stir fry. Bet you didn’t know that you can bake cookies in an electric skillet! The skillet I use can make a meal that serves family and company. Like most small kitchen cooking appliances, you can prepare an entire meal for your family without heating up your kitchen.
- Kitchen Aid This appliance is the bees knees for prep and mixing! Consequently, the most usage my Kitchen Aid gets by me is during baking sessions, which I do regularly throughout the autumn and winter months. That said, my daughter loves making desserts, so she actually uses this one almost daily. If you can afford the bigger model, it’s worth the upgrade.
- Instant Pot I fought purchasing this kitchen appliance for a long time. For some reason I didn’t believe that any one appliance could do all of the functions it claimed to perform. WRONG! If I had to rid myself of all kitchen appliances, save one, this would be the one. No Question About It! Yes, the Instant Pot is that amazing. It can do soups, yogurt, pressure cook, bake, make popcorn, brown, bake, cook non-one pot dump style meals. I fell in love with my 8 quart Instant Pot and bought the 6 quart Instant Pot for my daughter in law! (Her family is smaller.)
- Nutri Ninja I have owned several food processors and blenders over the years. The good ones are quite heavy and take up quite a bit of space. I actually purchased the Nutri Ninja Bowl Duo for my son to make nutritional drinks with whole foods. I didn’t think I would ever use it, except for a smoothie. This is one powerful little appliance! I no longer own a blender or food processor because this little guy serves the functions of both of those!
That’s it! These are the only small kitchen appliances I own. Quite honestly, I have simplified meals and cooking to a point that I typically only cook one traditional complex meal every 10-14 days. Aside from that I use one of the four of these appliances on a daily basis offering me little reason to use the stove top or oven.
I do own one other gadget, that some might consider a small kitchen appliance (although I do not), that our family could not live without. We use it at least 15-20 times per day. Guess what it is? Nope. Not a microwave. (I only use our microwave to melt butter, reheat food, and store bread, but I consider this a major kitchen appliance.) It’s our electric tea kettle. I am an avid tea drinker. However, we also use this for other tasks such as cooking soba noodles, hot cocoa, jello, ravioli, oatmeal, etc.
Waffle Iron Waffles are quick and easy to make. The benefit of a waffle iron is that you can cook other dishes with this appliance. With supervision, it is an excellent appliance for kids. This is the model we owned. Should I ever let my kids talk me into another one, I would buy the same model. It’s excellent and has adjustable heat!
Cuisinart I no longer own a large food processor, because my family size has been reduced and our Nutri Ninja Bowl Duo meets our needs. Since I do not have to prepare as large a quantity of food at once, I gave my Cuisinart Food Processor to a new home. However, having used several over the years, this is the one I found to be the most efficient, easy, and durable. I used it for 15 years without a hiccup!
Have a question about any of my Must Have small kitchen appliances? Wondering how I bake bread in a crockpot or cookies in an electric skillet? Have a recipe or meal idea you would like to see converted to being cooked with on of these appliances? Let me know!