Here are the most common kitchen appliances that are most likely to be useful to you, based on their frequency of use and ability to save you both time and money.
Fridge, Stove, and Oven
These are the big 3, the ones that you typically can’t live without. They are your primary appliances that will be used almost every day in every kitchen. The fridge keeps your food and drinks cold; it keeps them from going bad. The money that you save in preserving your perishables alone is worth it. With the stove and the oven, these are where your perishables become tasty entrées. It’s not really a kitchen if you don’t have these three.
Unless you want to slog through your morning routine without coffee and wait until you get to the office, you’ll need one. If you’re not a caffeine hound like the rest of us, having a method to brew a fresh cup of coffee is still essential, as offering a cup of coffee to a guest is standard practice in polite society. While most people go for the ease of a counter-top coffeemaker, there are alternatives including keeping a French press or a percolator on hand.
If you’re cooking for one, you can probably forego this modern kitchen staple, if you’re willing to do the dishes. However, if you have a busy family eating up to three meals a day in your kitchen, living without a dishwasher is a good way to waste hours of your day, every day.
If you spend an hour each day washing and drying dishes, that’s over 2 full weeks of each year spent doing nothing but the dishes. Who has time for that? A dishwasher saves you time, energy, water, and money.
While many people think of a microwave as nothing more than a modern convenience that contributes to laziness, a microwave is one of the most useful and cost-saving items you’ll have in your kitchen. Being able to quickly reheat leftovers with the press of a few buttons increases the likelihood that your leftovers are going to be eaten, many of which would probably be thrown out anyway.
You can actually make toast without a toaster, but it’s not worth the trouble. A simple toaster can be purchased for less than a dinner out for two, and they are incredibly useful, even if it’s just for breakfasts. Frozen waffles, toast, and breakfast sandwiches are done in minutes, without having to turn on the oven and heat the whole kitchen, saving energy and time. If you make use of it once a month or more, it’s worth the investment.
There are some things that you just can’t do by hand. Pureeing foods, crushing ice, and mixing drinks or milkshakes just aren’t possible without one. Like toasters, a simple model that can handle most of your household needs is inexpensive and well worth the money.
Avoid the countertop mixer unless you bake regularly. While most mixing needs can be done by hand, having an electric hand mixer will save time and your mixing arm. There are a few things like meringue or whipping fresh cream that you just aren’t likely to be able to do by hand. When you’re finished, cleaning the removable mixing blades is as simple as washing a fork or a knife.
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While this one is debatable, it still makes the list due to the time saving and stress reducing abilities of these magical devices. You simply add ingredients to it in the morning, and by dinnertime, your house smells fantastic and you have nothing to do but dish it up. They’re perfect for busy weeknights with kids, nights you have to work late, or when you’re entertaining guests but aren’t sure exactly when they will arrive. Most now come with a timer feature which will turn it down to a warming setting once they’re done cooking, so your food is ready whenever you are.