Small Kitchen Appliances

Make the right choices for your kitchen

Small kitchen appliances may be easier to choose than your big-ticket items, like a new fridge or kitchen cabinets, but making the right choices requires a little foresight. If you don't want to end up with cupboards full of unused gadgets, think about which kitchen small appliances will work in your room.

Consider Your Space

While it would be nice to have a gadget for every kitchen need, most people don't have enough space to house numerous appliances. When it comes to making space, you really only have two convenient choices: storing in a cupboard or placing on your countertop.

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Countertop appliances are convenient because they're always out when you need them, but they do eat into your workspace. It's a better idea to leave out only the frequently used appliances. Nowadays, items like toasters and coffee makers have streamlined and narrow designs, so you can easily work them into your countertop layout.

Storing compact kitchen appliances in cabinets or cupboards is a better option. Many gadgets aren't particularly attractive, so you may not want to incorporate them into your design scheme. Just remember that every appliance you put in takes up space you could be using for something else. So think twice before you decide on that high-tech apple peeler or electric meat shaver!

Top Kitchen Small Appliances:

Toaster

A high-quality electric toaster is a priceless small kitchen appliance. If your design tastes are as finicky as your taste buds when it comes to choosing toasters, you'll be happy to know that the practical and aesthetic options available can suit almost any decor and toasting demand.

You can choose a 2 slice toaster, a 4 slice toaster (depending on the size of your family) or a bagel toaster if your breakfast inclinations lean that way. You could also try the latest trend: conveyor toasters, which give an even toasting all over the bread, rather than occasionally just browning the edges like toasters of the past. You could even find a radio toaster combo, and start your morning off with some toast and tunes! For style, a basic stainless steel toaster is always a classic, but a pink or blue retro toaster will give your room some kick. For the kids, you could try a Hello Kitty toaster, a Mickey Mouse toaster or another fun design.

Blender

If summer drinks or morning smoothies are your thing, keeping a blender close at hand is a must in your kitchen. These days, blenders are designed to be attractive, so you can leave them on your counter without worrying about marring the look of your kitchen. While a food blender is probably your most rugged-looking device and will take up a lot of space, a small cordless blender (battery operated blender) or portable blender will combine style with space-saving design. Smoothie blenders and bar blenders are also small, but may not perform well with bigger jobs. When it comes to the finish, a white, black or stainless steel blender is a neutral choice, but more daring reds, pinks and blues are coming into style.

A hand blender, also known as an immersion blender, is a great choice if you don't want a bulky appliance on your counter. These blenders can tuck away in a drawer or cupboard when you don't need them. Keep in mind that they're better suited to mixing ingredients, rather than chopping food up and blending. You may want to save this device for blending soups rather than making smoothies.

Coffee Maker

Many people live for their coffee, so choosing the best coffee maker for your needs is key. For some, a 4 cup coffee maker is barely large enough while others can get by with a one cup coffee maker (also called single cup coffee maker). If you've got two coffee lovers in the house but can't agree on a blend, a dual coffee maker can solve the problem – they're available in both single-cup and full-pot varieties, so quantity isn't a problem. Finally, if you've got someone with sophisticated coffee tastes, a cappuccino or espresso coffee maker or a combo coffee maker could be a great choice.

While style matters in a coffee maker – a white, black or stainless steel coffee maker is always a safe choice – it's really the features and accessories that are most important. Most people opt for a programmable coffee maker (also known as automatic coffee makers) so coffee can be ready first thing in the morning. A coffee maker grinder combo is a great choice for those who like fresh beans but want to limit themselves on kitchen gadgets. A thermal coffee maker is the best choice for keeping coffee warm.

Kettle

Although it's not as popular as a coffee maker, tea drinkers know the value of a stovetop tea kettle or an electric kettle. From a practical standpoint, an electric kettle is quicker and more energy efficient. These kettles are streamlined in design, taking up little counter space, and the kettle itself plugs into the wall. Similar to these is the cordless kettle, which fits into an electric base that plugs into the wall. This type of kettle gives you more freedom to move around, which can be handy if you use it when cooking. It also makes it easy to refill the kettle at the kitchen sink.

Many people prefer the look of stovetop tea kettles in vintage or traditional finishes. A copper kettle or a cast iron kettle looks great in a country kitchen, but you can find modern patterns or classic stainless steel finishes to match any decor. Stovetop kettles often take longer to heat up and may cost you more in energy, but like cordless kettles, they give you freedom of mobility.

Twice is Nice

If you're an incurable gadget guru who's really short on space, try some multitasking combo devices in your kitchen. A blender / food processor combo can save you the cost and space of two small kitchen appliances. Or you can shoot higher and combine a small appliance with a larger one – a microwave oven / toaster combo means you don't have to clutter up your counter with an extra gadget.

Small appliance shopping can be addictive, but remember, an item is only a time saver if you'll actually use it. If it takes more time to dig a gadget out of a cupboard and set it up than it would to do the job by hand, then you're not doing yourself any favors when it comes to cutting down time and annoyance in the kitchen.

Instead, make smart product purchases and spend some time thinking about space before you commit to a new small appliance. With the right ones complementing your kitchen design or stowed neatly in your cupboards, you'll have a space and the tools that work for you, not against you!