How to pick the right small appliances for your kitchen

Forget the dishwasher, fridge and stove for a moment – let’s take a deep dive into the world of small kitchen appliances. Here’s how to pick the right ones for your kitchen.

Story by: David Renwick

While your large kitchen appliances play an important role in how your kitchen functions, it’s the small appliances that make food preparation, entertaining guests and even preparing a simple cup of coffee that much easier.

Here are some of the most popular small kitchen appliances and features you can expect on current models.

Toasters

Modern toasters can do far more than just toast a slice of bread. On certain models from DeLonghi, for example, there are multiple settings for things like progressive browning, reheating and even toasting one side of a bagel.

Breville, meanwhile, offers a toaster with an integrated LED progress bar, so you know exactly how long the toasting process is going to take. Oh, and it also automatically raises the toast once it’s finished.


Delonghi Toasters pack in a number of excellent blue, home, interior design, small appliance, black
Delonghi Toasters pack in a number of excellent features!

Coffee machines

Perhaps the small appliance with the most options, coffee machines now are a far cry from the basic filter coffee machines of the past. Sure, you can still buy fairly basic appliances to quickly whip up a cup of the good stuff, but new models from companies like Nespresso allow you to create a barista-grade cappuccino in your own kitchen.

using one of the company’s coffee pods, Nespresso’s Lattissima One creates the espresso shot as well as the silky frothed milk – all without you having to lift a finger. There are also a number of coffee pods available with different intensities and flavour profiles.

If you’d rather a more traditional cup of coffee, plungers and drip coffee machines are still an excellent option with a number of models available.

Nespresso coffee machines can give you barista-grade coffee home appliance, product, small appliance, technology, gray
Nespresso coffee machines can give you barista-grade coffee at home

Jugs

New kettles do far more than just boil water. As well as being available in a range of colours and material finishes, jugs also pack in useful features. Certain models can keep water at a desired temperature, show you the temperature on a digital display and save temperature settings.

Breville’s Smart Kettle has preset options for different types of tea and a soft open lid to prevent steam racing out and scalding your skin.

Blenders

A staple of any well-equipped kitchen, the blender is useful for pureeing foods, creaming soups and creating delicious gravies. Unlike jugs and toasters, however, there hasn’t been the same sort of innovation in the blender space.

Instead, there are now a number of smaller, more powerful blenders available, including the Magic Bullet and Nutri Bullet. The focus of these appliances is on ease of use, as they often include to-go cups that you attach to the bladed part of the blender. Once attached, you create your smoothie or shake, detach the bladed section and pop on a portable lid.

Electric frypans

Electric frypans (also known as electric skillets) aren’t an entirely necessary kitchen appliance, but they can prove quite useful if the food you’re cooking requires a steady temperature. Unlike the stove, these appliances are far more adept at maintaining consistent temperatures, making them great for pancakes as well as most fried foods.

Sunbeam’s Classic Banquet electric frypan is an excellent example of the kinds of features you can expect to find in one of these appliances. There are a number of heat settings, a glass lid and teflon coating.

Food processors

As with blenders, there hasn’t been much innovation when it comes to food processors. At the higher end of the market, you’ll find models like Sunbeam’s Cafe Series, which is adept at grating, variable slicing, julienne and shredding. It also uses a stainless steel interlock to avoid food catching and building up.

Shop around

When purchasing appliances for your kitchen, the key thing is to shop around – and stick to the most reputable brands. By paying for cheaper, no-name appliances, you run the risk of buying appliances unable to keep up with the demands of food preparation, or failing after a very short period of time.

If you’d like more appliance advice, head to our dedicated section.

Jul 31, 2018
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