My Favorite Small Kitchen Appliances
If you're in de-cluttering mode, the last thing you want is extra kitchen gadgets laying around, let alone find places to store them. Many items from my kitchen were donated to charity over the years because they were rarely used, and I'll bet you're in the same boat.
Design your own kitchen with the things you actually use, and store the ones you're unsure about for a set period of time, marking the box with a "Use Or Donate By" date. This can help your kitchen feel a lot more roomy.
Here are my picks for the best small kitchen appliances, and there's a few that may surprise you.
Kitchen Stand Mixers
If you're a serious chef, baker or bread maker, the KitchenAid Artisan Series Stand Mixer is one of the best small kitchen appliances you could invest in, and it's made in America. It packs the most horsepower, has some of the best reviews and color choices. My mom loves hers so much she leaves it out all the time! The best part is you can turn it on and walk away, letting the machine do all the heavy kneading whipping, mashing, etc. It retails for $349. but you can save a lot by using this link.
This one may take you by surprise since it did me, but dried fruit has become a big deal at our house, and is the preferred dessert among adults and kids! Truly one of the best small kitchen appliances we've ever had is our Excalibur 2900 9-Tray Food Dehydrator, shown here after I've filled the trays.
I'm talking about pure dried fruit, not the super sugary versions at the store that are filled with extra calories and preserved with sulfur dioxide. Our favorites are dried pineapples, granny smith apples, pears and bananas, with their taffy like consistency and delicate sweetness.
Drying fruits, veggies, and herbs at home allows you to save even more money because you can buy in bulk, preserve garden produce, and use up ripe fruit before it spoils.
Properly dried food can be stored for months without using electricity, bulky jars or cans, and gives you an emergency ready food supply, trail mix, or camping chow. In order to preserve the natural digestive enzymes and food flavor, set the temperature at 95-105 degrees.
Keep in mind that dried fruits need to be reconstituted for babies and very young children, since it presents a choking hazard.
One of the best small kitchen appliances in Europe a couple years ago, has now become quite a hit here in the US. SodaStream Soda Makers fit on your counter and use refillable gas canister to carbonate water. They also make naturally flavored syrups sweetened with cane sugar, as well as diet versions without aspartame. Even if you're not a soda drinker, this is excellent for making sparkling or flavored waters.
Planet friendly, you just mix just the right amount of syrup into each glass, and add your gassed water, so there's no waste, and best of all ~ no trash or heavy bottles to lug around!
Sherbet, Sorbet, Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream Maker
Did you ever have sorbet or home made ice cream in a restaurant an pay $5. for what seems like a spoonful? You can make it better at home, for a fraction of what store bought costs! Imagine making you're very own passion fruit, tangerine, blood orange or strawberry sorbet, made with ingredients you can pronounce, and packed with flavor, vitamins and live enzymes.
How about home made coconut ice cream, mango sherbert or frozen greek yogurt? That's why the Cuisinart 1.5 Qt Ice Cream Maker is our families list of best small kitchen appliances. Costco has this item in the warehouse for $29.99 (which is great price!) but you can also pick it up from my Amazon store by clicking on one of the photo links on this page.
FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer
We find this to be the best small kitchen appliances for freezing or storing food because it allows you to vacuum the air out, avoiding ice crystals and freezer burn. It's also great for storing coffee, cereals and other foods using their special containers.
The Food Saver Vacuum Sealer can also be used to: save a bottle of wine once it's been opened, keep coffee, nuts, chesses, leftovers, etc. fresh longer. You can also use the marinating tray to infuse tremendous flavor in minutes rather than hours in the fridge.
FYI: the plastic accessory trays have a tendency to crack over time (probably from the vacuum pressure) and a lot of others have had issues with these. Still, it works better than how we used to marinade in Ziploc bags, so we'll keep using it and hope they fix the design.
Blender, Food Processor, Or Both?
Who among us can live without a blender or food processor these days? How else could you puree veggies for delicious soups and sauces or make fruit smoothies? You may be able to get by with one or the other, depending on the type of foods you like to eat and the type of cooking you do.
We'd been using a small food processor for making pestos and a blender for pureeing fruits for home made sorbets, pulverizing hard veggies like raw carrots, crushing ice, etc. Then I found the Kitchen Aid 5 Speed Hand Blender!
Did you know that your blender can also be used to quickly decant wine? Yep, I read it in Bloomberg News of all places, and all it takes 30 to 60 seconds to perfectly aerate a bottle of wine, making it tastes a lot more expensive. Better keep the lid on tight!
For quick cappuccino and steamers without an espresso machine try this! Use regular milk with a shot of pure vanilla extract (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) and a spoon of sugar, heat it to scalding and whip it with a hand blender to froth it. Add it to your coffee for an instant cappuccino! This is also a great treat for kids similar to what Starbucks sells as it's "steamer". Just make sure it's not too hot for the little ones.
Burr Type Coffee Bean Grinder
Fresh ground coffee not only has the best flavor, but you have a lot more control over your finished product. Being fabulously frugal, we start with custom roasted, organic, fair trade coffee beans from Costco ($12.50 for 2.5 lbs.) and use a fine grind for intense flavor.
We found that Burr type coffee grinders give the best flavor and are more convenient, with beans and ground coffee stored right in the machine. FYI: It's best to grind your beans the night before if you want to let others sleep in :)
What's your pick for best small kitchen appliances? Drop us a note and share your kitchen stories.
Note: Best Small Kitchen Appliances is based solely on my opinion, plus that of friends and family. I make no guarantees/warranties. If you choose to buy from a link on this website, I earn a very small commission. Thank You for your support, and most importantly, for sharing us with your friends and family.