While there are many kitchen appliances available and marketing makes you think you need them all, you don’t.
A decade ago I was a new homeowner, set to purchase the appliances for my very first kitchen and left confused by which ones I needed, which were a fad, and which we’re completely and utterly useless.
This is the detailed guide I wish I’d have had back then.
I’ve broken this guide down into two key areas; the first covers what I believe to be the essential kitchen appliances. The ones that you simply can’t go without.
The second section, however, covers the extras. These are kitchen appliances that can make cooking better, easier, quicker etc.
Essential Kitchen Appliances You Should Buy
Our kitchens wouldn’t function without some appliances and in my opinion, those appliances are;
A fridge helps to preserve food for longer, keeping it at a set temperature and avoiding food born illness. As such these appliances are essential for any kitchen.
Since the 1970s, fridges have continued to evolve and today are available in a variety of capacities and finishes to suit various family sizes and price points.
If you’re looking to store food long term then a freezer is an essential kitchen appliance. While I try to cook 80% of our meals fresh from the pantry and fridge, I do occasionally turn to freezer meals, leftovers or frozen ingredients.
Freezers can come detached as single appliances or together as part of a fridge-freezer combination. The option you choose is likely only going to depend on the space and format of your kitchen as the finish and pricing of single appliances and a fridge freezer combo is much the same.
Including a dishwasher in this list of essential appliances is controversial, I know. However, given the appliances affordability and time-saving abilities, it’s something I’d encourage all homeowners to consider purchasing for their kitchen.
Dishwashers come in a number of different sizes and can either be freestanding or integrated depending on your budget and the layout of your kitchen.
While some minor plumbing is involved, DIYers could likely install one themselves after following a handful of Youtube tutorials.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that an oven has made it to the list of must-have kitchen appliances. After all, ovens feature essential cooking features such as roasting, baking, defrosting and preheating.
Ovens can be powered by either gas or electricity depending on your preferred method, and much like dishwashers are available in either a freestanding or integrated format depending on your requirements.
Cooking enthusiasts like myself may opt for a larger oven or even a duel oven in order to make large or multiple meals at one time using the appliance.
Much like a dishwasher, including an Instant Pot on the list of essential kitchen appliances is controversial. However, the versatility of this appliance makes it something I believe all kitchen-lovers should consider purchasing.
Given that an Instant Pot can cook using between 7 and 11 different ways (depending on the model purchased) the appliance is relatively affordable at between $89.99 and $199.99 and takes up a small footprint in the kitchen (making it perfect for college dorms).
If you’re single or a couple then a small Instant Pot is likely going to suit your needs really well. However, if you’re a growing family then you’ll likely want to look at either the 8 or 10-quart models instead.
Additional Kitchen Appliances That Make Cooking Easier
There are some kitchen appliances that aren’t essential but can make cooking easier, quicker and more enjoyable. These kitchen appliances are perfect if you’re looking to fill a gap in your cooking needs and have the budget to spare.
A microwave is the kitchen appliance definition of convenience as this relatively small appliance can help you cook an entire meal in under five minutes.
While microwaves aren’t necessary kitchen appliances, they can speed up the cooking process, even when cooking from scratch. Better still they are incredibly affordable and can now regularly be purchased for under $100.
Air Fryers are a fantastic healthy alternative to deep fat frying and work by combining hot air and a tablespoon of cooking oil.
While air fryers are commonly used for fries and meats, many fans of the appliance have pushed it to its limits and found new creative ways to cook a variety of foods including eggs, cakes and croutons.
Electric kettles are designed to conveniently boil water without the need for a pan and stovetop.
This boiled water can then be used for a variety of purposes, such as hot drinks and cooking.
While electric kettles are relatively affordable (under $40) they also lack versatility which sees many homeowners turn to boiled water taps or the traditional pan on the stove method instead.
A toaster is both a small and affordable kitchen appliance, however, its lack of versatility in the kitchen don’t make it suitable for everyone.
That’s because the majority of toasters can only do just that, toast. This form of cooking can then only be applied to bread, pop-tarts or pizza pockets.
However, those looking for the toasting ability with increased versatility may turn to a toaster oven instead.
While toaster ovens are more expensive they come with the ability to cook more foods including; bread, chicken nuggets, biscuits or pizza pockets.
If you’re a coffee lover then purchasing a coffee maker for your home is likely going to be essential.
However, while these countertop appliances may help you save money when compared to a daily Starbucks most models don’t come cheap. In fact, coffee makers with the ability to grind beans automatically or brew a variety of drinks such as a cappuccino or latte regularly retail for upwards of $1,000.
A rice cooker is a unique electrical kitchen appliance that can cook rice to perfection without the need for a stove.
The appliance is available in various colours and sizes and generally costs between $30 and $100 depending on the make and model.
However, unless you’re cooking rice more than once a week, this appliance is likely going to be overkill.
A food processor is an appliance commonly used with a slicer blade inside, designed to cut, slice or chop foods into different sizes.
Unsurprisingly then, a food processor is a perfect appliance for those who love to cook meals from scratch as it almost works like a second pair of hands, chopping ingredients quickly and efficiently while you get on with other tasks.
Juicers are fantastic kitchen appliances that have the ability to extract juice from fruits, vegetables and herbs.
There are various models of juicers available in the market today including; centrifugal juicers, masticating juicers and triturating juicers.
The way in which each juicer works varies dramatically (as does the price) therefore you’ll need to spend a significant amount of time researching the right juicer for you before going ahead and making an investment.
Water purifiers are the oldest kitchen appliance on this list and date back to the 1700s.
These appliances do a fantastic job of removing impurities from our drinking water and are available as single appliances or embedded into high-end refrigerators.
Most filters used in the water purifiers are made of activated carbon, which effectively removes chlorine and organic compounds from water.
Various forms of filtration media are also available for purifying water; these include KDF (Kinetic Degradation Fluxion), silver impregnated carbon blocks or ceramic candle filters.
However, unlike many other appliances on this list, water filters have both an initial and ongoing cost as the filter inside the appliance will need to be replaced regularly for the purification to continue.
The cost of a replacement filter can vary dramatically depending on the brand; however, I can usually get a six month supply from Costco for around $30.
If you enjoy baking, then a stand mixer is a kitchen appliance you can’t do without.
While stand mixers may look complicated, they’re actually pretty straightforward to use. However, the bad thing is that stand mixers generally cost upwards of $100, with premium models topping $500.
If you enjoy cooking from scratch, look for a stand mixer with attachments that could make your preparation easier. Stand mixer attachments include; a slicer/shredder, pasta maker, sausage stuffer and even an ice cream maker.
I’ve owned a premium model Kitchen Aid stand mixer for upwards of 10 years now, and while this is an expensive appliance, it has stood the test of time.
Blenders are great kitchen appliances for those who enjoy making smoothies, dips and soups at home.
The cost of a blender can range significantly. With budget models available for under $50 and premium models costing upwards of $300.
The key to getting a great price on a blender is to look for the best deals and sales over extended periods of time.
However, if you’re planning on using your blender for a variety of ingredients then investing in a high-end model will likely be money well spent.