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The ultimate guide to small appliances

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If you spend a lot of time baking cookies, casseroles and everything in between, having a well-stocked kitchen can save you a lot of time. Stand mixers and hand mixers, for example, can automate the tedious mixing process, while a food processor can chop, chop or grind ingredients with just the push of a button.

At Select, we want to work smarter, not harder. We regularly consult with chefs, restaurateurs and other culinary experts about small kitchen appliances that may be of interest to home cooks, ranging from slow cookers and toasters to coffee makers and waffle irons. Below, we’ve compiled our expert advice on small kitchen appliances into a handy guide and rounded up some top rated and expert recommended products in our articles.

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What to Consider When Buying Small Appliances

Small appliances are usually placed on the kitchen counter or stored in a cabinet when not in use. For some, counter and cabinet space is limited, so you need to consider your kitchen needs before deciding which gadgets to buy. If you’re not going to be using something, it doesn’t belong in your kitchen, the experts told us in our guide to organizing a small kitchen space.

Another factor to consider is versatility. Some appliances, like food processors and stand mixers, can be used for both baking and baking with the right accessories. In our guide to waffle irons, for example, the experts noted that you can use the machine to cook hash browns, omelets, quesadillas, macaroni and cheese, and more.

The best small appliances for your kitchen

From stand mixers to air fryers, here are some top rated and expert-recommended small appliances to consider if you’re looking to upgrade your current cooking setup.

The best small appliances for baking and cooking

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer

The stand mixer is the workhorse of the kitchen: with the right accessories, it can do everything from kneading dough to shredding meat. KitchenAid is one of the most established names in the stand mixer space, and while its mixers are the most expensive, experts told us they are worth the money. The Artisan model has 10 speed settings and comes with three attachments: a flat beater, a dough hook and a 6-thread whisk. The mixer head tilts upwards, making it easy to remove the bowl and beaters.

KitchenAid Ultra Power 5-Speed ​​Hand Mixer

If you have limited kitchen space or don’t cook enough to justify purchasing a stand mixer, a hand mixer is another good option. Hand mixers aren’t as powerful as stand mixers and require a bit more manual labor, but they perform similar tasks and take up minimal space in drawers. KitchenAid is a good basic option with five speed settings – dishwasher-safe mixers eject easily with the push of a button.

Ninja Professional Plus Food Processor

A food processor is similar to a blender, except you don’t need to include liquid ingredients in your mix when using one. Cooking experts we spoke to said they are good at making sauces, chopping herbs, slicing vegetables, and doing other chores around the kitchen.

Food processors vary in capacity, but 8 cups is usually the standard size. This one from Ninja has a capacity of 9 cups and is programmed with four settings that automatically adjust the speed according to the recipe. “I appreciate the attachments, they have great replacement policies and warranties, and their processors come with blades that fit bread and cookie doughs,” Insurance Manager Victoria Abdelhady previously said. culinary for HelloFresh.

Instant Vortex 4-in-1 Basket Air Fryer

Air fryers use hot air rather than oil to cook food to perfection. Many of these are more than just air fryers – this one from Instant Pot can also cook, roast and reheat food. The temperature can easily be adjusted from 95 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the basket can hold up to 6 gallons of food.

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Flip-Up Waffle Maker

If you want to prepare large amounts of food at one time, this iron can cook two Belgian waffles at once and beep when they are finished cooking. The six-setting control knob on the base also lets you decide how crispy you want your waffles.

Best small appliances for making coffee

Breville Precision Brewer

This Breville automatic coffee maker has six preset brewing modes, including a “Gold Cup” mode that brews coffee to temperature standards set by the Specialty Coffee Association. If you prefer to adjust the settings manually, the machine has precise digital temperature control and three flow rates to control the acidity and sweetness levels of your coffee.

Baratza Virtuoso + conical burr coffee grinder

A good coffee grinder is a key part of a solid brew – the machine breaks the coffee beans into small pieces so that their flavor can be properly extracted. There are two types of grinders on the market – blade grinders and burr grinders – but experts recommend the latter for a more uniform grinding process.

Jiyoon Han, a certified Q Grader coffee sommelier at Bean & Bean Coffee, specifically suggested this conical burr grinder from Baratza, noting that it can “grind coffee well at a fairly reasonable price for buying a grinder. that can last a lifetime. “It has 40 grind settings for different styles of coffee and a digital timer that can be programmed down to a tenth of a second.

Gaggia Classic Pro semi-automatic espresso machine

If espresso is your coffee drink of choice, the Gaggia Classic is a “no-frills machine that will get the job done,” noted Graham Peeples, director of beverages at Methodical Coffee, in our guide to the espresso machine. The machine comes with a built-in steam wand for frothing milk, but since it only has one boiler, you have to wait a bit after brewing your espresso to use it.

OXO cold brew coffee maker

Cold brew coffee is prepared by immersing ground coffee in room temperature or cold water for about 18 hours. While you can brew a cold brew in a carafe, some people prefer to use a coffee maker to brew larger batches. OXO’s also has a “rainmaker” function which distributes the water more evenly over the beans before letting them rest and soak.

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