Best kitchen appliances: Jane de Graaff shares the top five appliances every budding chef needs in their kitchen

I spend my days either in and around my kitchen or writing about cooking in the kitchen, so it’s pretty safe to say I know what I’m talking about when it comes to kitchen essentials. If you’re looking to hone your cooking skills or want to make sure your kitchen has everything you need for the next time a delicious recipe tickles your fancy, here are the five best appliances no kitchen should be without. .

NOTE: Prices correct at time of publication.

air fryer

I wasn’t into air fryers until I started using one for work several years ago. Then it was like a switch had been flipped for me.

Basically, they’re just mini ovens that can get super hot very quickly, giving you the ability to brown and crisp things at lightning speeds that you’d usually have to wait for the oven to heat up. Due to its size, it is easier to keep control of the crisping process and maintain constant airflow – think: extra crispy fries, schnitzel and crispy salmon. So yeah, it’s a time-saving gadget that I love.

I have is the Breville Smart Oven. It’s a benchtop oven that’s also an air fryer, which is really handy because I use the oven function for all sorts of things, but it’s the air fryer function that seals the deal for me. May I add that the roasting and pizza functions are also excellent. It is one of the most versatile devices I have.

Most air fryers are great, but it’s the larger size of this one that allows me to feed the family or cook large amounts of stuff that smaller ones can’t do in one session. If you’re buying an air fryer and planning to use it to feed a family of more than two, I highly recommend getting one of the larger models.

READ MORE: The best airfryers to spend your money on

rice cooker

I have the simplest rice cooker you can imagine. I strongly believe that everyone should master cooking rice in a pot on the stovetop, but if you have a rice cooker, you’ll never accidentally burn it or cook it again. It’s a great gadget for anyone who gets distracted in the kitchen, which is pretty much everyone. A rice cooker is a no-drama appliance that pays you back time and time again with perfect rice without even thinking about it. Avoid everything with extra bells and whistles, all you need is a cook and keep warm function and it will instantly up your rice game.

Pod coffee machine

I love a cup of tea throughout the day, but I just can’t start my day off right without a coffee. My husband has an espresso machine which he loves, but I just don’t have the patience to properly grind it, heat it up, and make sure it’s well maintained. I’m more than happy to pay a professional barista to take care of these things when buying coffee at a cafe. So, I’m a big fan of coffee pods when I’m at home in my own kitchen and to start my mornings off right. I also love that so many specialty coffees now have their own pods, and luckily they fit my Breville pod machine.

I can make any type of coffee with no problem and it also froths milk for lattes at the same time. It’s honestly one of the most used gadgets in my kitchen.

There’s a nice, quiet joy to being able to brew your perfect coffee first thing in the morning while the day is still peaceful and being able to get it every time.

Stand mixer with accessories

Baking is just a joy when you have a good stand mixer. I have one Cooking aid which I love because it makes whipping meringue and batter a snap, and creates the silkiest buttercreams. Its steady and powerful beat really helps get air into your ingredients and the kneading function for the dough also saves you time.

They’re also great to look at in all their colors, but aesthetics aside, a powerful stand mixer with plenty of mixing bowls and accessories is a great addition to any kitchen.

Learn more about additional attachments. The pasta rolling attachment is worth adding to your machine, as it helps make your pasta from scratch without needing an extra set of hands to roll it out. It also creates consistency in your pasta. I’m also a fan of the sausage chopping and filling attachments and the ice cream bowl attachment – not necessarily for ice cream. Nothing like an impromptu frozen yogurt when you have good seasonal fruits. And it only takes a few minutes to do.

Accessories allow for many different ways to explore food-making at home when you’re feeling creative. And great tools really help the process.

Add this to your Christmas wish list…

Mini chopper and hand blender

I have a mini cordless hand blender and food processor, again from KitchenAid. Being cordless, it is extremely convenient. I keep it charged so I can just grab it and use it anytime. It’s perfect for preparing small batches of dip, salad dressing, crushed nuts and spice blends or even a quick salsa. Due to its small size, I find I use it more often to avoid ending up with a big washer and turning the process into a big production.

It really helps me get the most out of leftovers because I can quickly chop them up and turn them into something completely new. In fact, because it’s small and handy, it’s often my go-to for any recipe testing I do, as I’ll be making small batches of test dishes before making a full recipe.

It is also the most convenient way to chop large amounts of herbs.

Get one for your kitchen, immediately!

Karl M. Bailey