The 10 Best Small Kitchen Appliances 2022
Reduce cooking time without sacrificing counter space.
Usually, we think of appliances as big, bulky tools that cost hundreds (or thousands) of dollars and take up a lot of coveted space in our homes. Anyone who’s spent months shopping for a washer and dryer can tell you that it’s a dispassionate, boring experience that requires so much research it’ll feel like you’re preparing to write an essay or study for an exam. When we’re comparing ovens or worrying about the cost of vacuum cleaners, it’s easy to get burned out and give up buying appliances for good.
But before you leave the grill and start cooking over an open fire instead of buying a new toaster oven, we’re here to remind you that choosing these appliances can be fun. Really fun, actually. Many small devices are cute (we love any opportunity to accessorize), efficient, and quite affordable. They free up a lot of space, are easy to store, and are great for keeping your space well-equipped if you’re moving to a smaller home after emptying your nest or undertaking a post-retirement move.
We especially love a good, space-saving, old-fashioned kitchen appliance. They easily perform pesky everyday tasks like chopping vegetables (we’re looking at you, food processor) and kneading dough; this way we can spare our energy for the fun and creative parts of cooking instead of the boring and repetitive parts. Plus, small appliances can also offer little perks you didn’t know you needed: if you’ve never frothed milk for your morning coffee or air-fried potatoes perfectly crispy, now it’s time to treat yourself.
Some of these choices can be used every day, but most can be stored in a pantry or cabinet. Oh, and if our recommendations have you reassessing your kitchen space, we can also help you declutter with our favorite multi-purpose cookware. And if you can’t wait to empty that disastrous Tupperware drawer, we have solutions for that too.
10 best small kitchen appliances
If you’re still using a traditional kettle, say goodbye to child care. Seriously, this electric version will change your life, since you can boil water without worrying about a hot flame. We admit this kettle is a bit of a splurge, but it has its benefits. It heats water very quickly, which is ideal for when you’ve missed your alarm and are in a hurry to get to work, but still need your morning tea. It can keep water hot for over an hour, which means you can prepare complex dishes that require water at a certain temperature. And this kettle gets plenty of bonus points for being simply stunning with its sleek Nordic-style design that makes us want to get up and sing “I’m a little teapot” to it, dance moves included. But if it’s seriously over your budget, skip the luxury option and grab the more affordable one. Amazon version.
Buy here: $165
This blender is also a bit of an investment, but it’s a durable and stylish set that will help you cut down on washing up. KCM’s Katie P. owns this set and reports that “there’s a large carafe for making drinks and smoothies (which has a lid you can drink from), and a smaller one that you can also use for making sauces and soups. The little one also has a lid, so you can use the actual mixing container for storage after removing the blade. Since this moonshine blender works as both food storage and a drinking vessel, we’re on board. Additionally, Katie also confirms that the blender “literally chops and blends anything in a minute or less.”
Buy here: $185
Slow cooker/Slow cooker
You can’t go wrong with a classic slow cooker. This tried and tested kitchen favorite is as versatile as it is easy to use. Toss together the ingredients for your favorite soups, stews, beans, meat dishes, or lasagna (yes, that’s right, lasagna), turn on the appropriate setting, and call it a day. You can leave the slow cooker unattended while you work, run errands, or relax around the house. And there are thousands and thousands of recipes available online (for free!) specifically designed for this device.
Buy here: $40
Who says a toaster oven has to be an ugly presence that you have to accessorize? If you’re tired of staring at a bulky, uninspiring appliance while your English muffins crisp up, opt for this beautiful Balmuda toaster oven. Several reviewers say it makes the toast fluffy and moist on the inside but super crispy on the outside – and it looks good by doing it. If you still want a little more for your money, we have to recommend this toaster oven which also serves as an air dryer.
Buy here: $300
Not to be repetitive, but if you haven’t jumped on the air fry bandwagon, we hope you join us as soon as possible. This thing is a wonderful addition to any kitchen: it can crisp, roast, reheat and dehydrate a wide variety of foods. If you use it to “fry” your food, you’ll use about 70% less fat than traditional frying methods. Diana from KCM owns one and she easily stores it on top of her fridge when not in use.
Buy here: $100
If you read our kitchen recommendationsyou probably noticed that we kind of (OK, totally) love milk frothers. They seem to have been designed for one purpose, but they are quite versatile. You can use this one to froth milk, of course, but you can also easily use it to mix powders into your drinks, whether it’s Ovaltine or Collagen. Plus, if you’re short on a shaker but need to make a cocktail, this tool will do the trick. Katie P. has one and adds that it “stays charged forever”. We also like that you can easily toss this frother in a drawer when not in use, though that’s certainly a sight for sore eyes.
Buy here: $20
This microwave is designed for those of us who love a retro moment (really, if you were a Mad Men addict in the early 2010s, this one’s for you). It’s a poppy little appliance that reminds us of a vintage Cadillac, but it also heats up food quickly. Buyers say it’s great for fitting into small spaces, but can still fit a large plate with ease. One reviewer recommends it for its affordability and class: “This microwave ticks a lot of boxes for me: compact size, retro design, ease of use, efficient heating, and a fun baby blue color. The price makes this microwave a great value for a small living space in style.
Buy here: $70
If you’re still using an old, heavy food processor with a dull, single-use blade, it’s time to upgrade. This food processor can mix, chop, whisk (using a whisk accessory), and mash potatoes. And the best part is that this device is rechargeable, so you’ll get rid of excess cables cluttering up your cooking space. Katie P. returns with another glowing recommendation: “I have a very small kitchen, so this food processor often moves from my counter to the stove, whatever free surface I have. It can chop, dice and mix, but it also has an attachment that can be used to whip liquids. I used it to make fresh whipped cream in seconds last week!”
Buy here: $100
If you’ve ever abandoned a baking recipe because you just don’t feel like kneading, an electric stand mixer is a total game-changer. This mixer comes with a dough hook, flat beater, and whisk attachments, so it can help you tackle all kinds of projects (cakes, cookies, doughs, cookie dough, whipped cream, etc.) . And it’s a pretty polished device: Buyers say it’s fairly quiet and has suction cups attached to the bottom to keep it from wobbling around your counter or table.
Buy here: $91
Electric bottle opener
We gave up on learning how to properly maneuver an old-school corkscrew a long time ago. Get to your wine faster with an electric bottle opener, like this one from Cuisinart, which has thousands of positive reviews. Not only does it quickly and effortlessly remove the cork from your wine, but it also vacuum seals it if you have any left, which will preserve the rest of the bottle. Say goodbye to wasted wine!
Buy here: $40