The Best Small Kitchen Appliances for 2022

Here are our favorites, including the Breville Compact Smart Oven, which we love for its versatility.

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Best Small Kitchen Appliances for 2022
Courtesy of Amazon

Small appliances have a lot going for them: relatively inexpensive, easy to store, and infinitely useful. A few well-chosen gadgets will make a small kitchen more functional, and upgrading to a new model of an immersion blender or sous vide machine, for example, can surprise you with how much it improves your routine. From essentials to tools worth splurging on, our picks for the best small kitchen appliances take up minimal space with maximum usefulness.

Stand Mixer: KitchenAid KSM150PS Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Artisan 5 Qt. Stand Mixer KSM150PS

Courtesy of Macys

This KitchenAid stand mixer is a staple appliance, capable of incorporating dry and wet ingredients, seamlessly creaming sugar and butter, and much more with its 10-speed slide control. Its five-quart stainless steel bowl can hold dough for multiple loaves of bread or batches of cookies. Not to mention, add-ons include everything from a meat grinder to a pasta extruder. Trade the beater for the dough hook attachment to knead bread, while a balloon whisk will fluff up egg whites for meringues in no time.

The hardest part of owning a KitchenAid may be choosing which shade to buy. It easily wipes down with a wet sponge or towel, and the stainless steel bowl and beaters are, of course, dishwasher safe. Also, note that it can be quite tall, so be sure to measure cabinets and counter heights for storage and use.

Toaster Oven: Breville Compact Smart Oven Toaster Oven

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breville compact smart oven

Courtesy of Breville

Compact is the name of the game with the Breville Compact Smart Oven, which heats quickly and can efficiently cook everything from cookies to roasted chicken thanks to smart technology. Though smaller than other toaster ovens, it has eight settings: bake, broil, roast, toast, bagel, pizza, cookies, and reheat. Its LCD display and non-stick interior are easy to clean, which comes in handy when you're pressed for time.

Air Fryer: Philips Kitchen Appliances Premium Digital Airfryer

Philips Kitchen Appliances Premium Digital Airfryer (3-Quart)

Amazon

Air fryers make food taste indulgent in almost no time, and this one requires no preheating. Simply press power, choose one of four presets on its easy-to-read digital interface, and you're ready to start cooking. This compact air fryer cooks up to four portions of food at a time or about three quarts. This version also has proprietary technology that removes excess fat, making the interior easier to clean.

Microwave: Breville The Smooth Wave Microwave

breville-smooth-wave-microwave

Courtesy of Amazon

Microwaves may not be the cool, new small appliance anymore, but many of us take for granted that they can heat foods at different levels of intensity depending on the results you're looking for. The Smooth Wave from Breville makes this easy with Sensor iQ technology to adjust power levels based on the food inside. For a foolproof cooking method, check the LCD display and choose one of 15 presets ready for anything.

Multi-Cooker: Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 6-Quart Pressure Cooker

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Instant Pot Pro 6 qt 10-in-1 Slow Cooker/Pressure Cooker

Amazon

Pressure cooking has been used for years, but more settings and safety features, such as a locking lid and overheat protection, have helped multi-cookers become beloved kitchen fixtures. The Instant Pot Pro Pressure Cooker has programmed pre-sets for everything from the most tender ribs to rice to yogurt. This six-quart version makes up to six portions. Cleaning is easy, as the stainless-steel cooking pot is dishwasher safe.

Personal Blender: Ninja BN401 Nutri Blender Pro with Auto-iQ

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Ninja Nutri Blender with Auto-iQ (BL480D)

Courtesy of Amazon

For smoothie sippers on the go, nothing beats the Ninja Nutri-Blender Pro. The 1,100 watt motor blends even the toughest of ingredients, like whole kale and assorted veggies. The Nutri-Blender comes with two presets that combine blending, pulsing, and the occasional pause to make things seamless. It comes with two single-serve cups and spout lids that hold up to 24 ounces.

Food Processor: Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

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Cuisinart DFP-14BCNY 14-Cup Food Processor

Amazon

A powerful food processor is indispensable. This 14-cup Cuisinart has an extra-wide feed tube on top of its lid that makes adding ingredients easy and safe – whether it's drizzling in olive oil to make mayonnaise or feeding a whole vegetable through one of its attachments. The processor includes both a slicing disk and shredding disk, which are great for gratins, latkes, and zucchini fritters. It also has touchless features, like the tare button.

Espresso Machine: Breville The Barista Express Espresso Machine

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Breville The Barista Express Espresso Machine

Breville

For the coffee lover looking for the best at-home brew, the Breville Barista Express leads the way in innovation. Choose one of 16 settings for the integrated conical burr grinder and watch those perfectly ground beans deposit right into the portafilter. Every step is precisely designed to produce the best espresso, starting with digital temperature control (PID) followed by low pressure pre-infusion and gradually increased pressure for optimal flavor extraction. Finish up with a little micro-foam from the manual steam wand to perfect your latte art, and enjoy.

Electric Kettle: Zwilling Enfinigy Electric Kettle Pro

4.8
Zwilling Electric Kettle

 Courtesy of Food52

An electric kettle will make your hot beverage-brewing routine more efficient, especially when it has six pre-set temperature settings for everything from coffee to cocoa to tea, like the Zwilling Enfinigy. This German-engineered electric kettle has a sleek design and a brushed stainless steel outer layer in silver, pink, black, and gold. Electric kettles can get pretty hot, but thanks to dual-walled insulation, this easy-to-use water boiler is cool to the touch.

Hand Mixer: Breville Handy Mix Scraper Hand Mixer

4.5
Breville BHM800SIL Handy Mix Scraper Hand Mixer, Silver

Amazon

No room for a stand mixer? The Breville Handy Mix Scraper offers nine speed settings in a compact package. Unlike those old models that clanged and banged, this one has rubber beaters for better mixing and scraping without the added noise factor. It comes with all the bells and whistles, from an ergonomic handle to dough hooks to balloon whisks. Best of all, the mixer automatically calibrates to the perfect speed based on your choice of attachment.

Rice Cooker: Aroma Housewares ARC-994SB Rice & Grain Cooker

Aroma Housewares ARC-994SB Rice & Grain Cooker

Amazon

A rice cooker will probably change your life, or at the very least what you cook for dinner. This one has eight pre-programmed settings for everything from rice to stews to steamed veggies or even cakes, the sky is the limit. An included steam tray allows for simultaneous steaming which means that you can gently steam veggies while your rice cooks away. Like other multi-cookers, the Aroma allows for sautéing ingredients before slow cooking or steaming but with the added feature of a programmable delay timer that is good for up to 15 hours.

Immersion Circulator: Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano

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Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano

Amazon

Using a sous vide machine to reverse-sear meat or make soft-boiled eggs has gained a lot of traction. This handy device, also called an immersion circulator, is a programable stick that, once submerged into a pot of water, gently heats and maintains the temperature. It's known as one of the most consistent cooking methods. Set and forget the an app for easy use.

Immersion Blender: Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender

Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender

Immersion blenders have come a long way over the years, and this model from Breville has all of the up-to-speed features we look for. The control grip has adjustable speeds and uses a trigger pull to operate the blades. Ribbing near the blade reduces suction and increases control for the most efficient blending possible. Made for use in larger pots and bowls, this model can be submerged in liquid up to eight inches. Plus, the bell-shaped base protects pots and pans from scratches.

Toaster: Cuisinart CPT-180P1 4-Slice Classic Metal Toaster

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Cuisinart CPT-180P1 4-Slice Classic Metal Toaster

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: Extra wide toasting slots that easily fit bagels, pastries and more.

Cons: Measurements are only in fractions.

Whether you're a whole grain toast, baguette, or a bagel person, the right toaster for the job is essential. The Cuisinart Classic 4-Slice Toaster has extra-large toasting slots for all sorts of baked goods. Adjust the two browning dials to one of six settings, including defrost or dual reheat. The brushed stainless steel exterior with black and polished chrome accents would fit into any sleek kitchen.

Small Wine Fridge: Cuisinart CWC-800CEN Private Reserve 8-Bottle Wine Cellar

cuisinart-8-bottle-wine-chiller-private-reserve

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Why have a wine cellar when you can have a wine fridge right in the kitchen? Complete with a LED touchscreen to easily control temperature and interior light, this unit doesn't require much energy to keep up to eight bottles chilled. You can also use it to store olive oil or anything else that's temperature sensitive.

Factors to Consider

Warranties

Always check out what sort of warranty the manufacturer offers. Many require registration on the manufacturer's site, so hold on to the receipt until all the details have been entered. An extended warranty may not matter as much when the price tag is low. Items like a stand mixer can last a long time when well taken care of and stored. Replacement parts are worth the effort.

Use

The most important factor in shopping for a new small appliance is how much use it will get. For example, if you don't bake, you likely won't reach for a KitchenAid stand mixer, and that's OK. Also, consider where you'll store the appliance, whether it's on the counter, in a cabinet, or in a storage closet outside of the kitchen. The more difficult an appliance is to access, the less likely you are to use it. That said, you may only use certain appliances, such as an ice cream maker, every once in a while.

Innovations

Technology has come a long way over the years, and it may be time to invest in a new microwave or toaster oven that doesn't take up as much space but provides you with all of the same usefulness and more. Newer models with sleek digital LCD screens can be helpful, while additional features like add-ons and attachments make upgrading a no-brainer.

Care and Cleaning

Most small appliances have removable parts that are easy to clean either by hand or in a dishwasher. Always read the manufacturer's instructions, and be careful when using harsh or abrasive cleaning products. Most times, a warm, soapy sponge or towel will do just fine. For blades or any sharp object, try to always hand wash (with a little caution!) as hot water can warp or damage the metal's integrity. Whenever working with food, the sooner you clean up debris the better. Dry, crusted food is a lot harder to remove than fresh food.

Q+A

How do you display small kitchen appliances?

To keep your kitchen from looking cluttered, and to keep counter space available, choose a treasured two to three appliances to leave on the counter, according toGrace Atwood of The Stripe. "I try to keep everything nice and tidy, so the only two things that are always out are my Pebble Ice Maker and my Miele coffee machine," says Atwood. While your instinct may be to choose which appliances you display based on looks, also consider the ones you use the most.

How do you store small appliances?

Storing small appliances doesn't have to be difficult: you really only need to clean and dry them before you return them to the cabinet or counter. That said, a temperature-controlled environment is the best place to keep them in shape – don't store small appliances in the garage, even if wrapped up in their packaging, as the elements can damage them even in an outdoor closet. If you need more storage space for small appliances, consider a kitchen cart.

How do you dispose of small appliances?

Never toss a small appliance into the trash can. "I give them away or I take them to the recycling center," says Atwood. Both state and local governments run recycling programs, while organizations and companies like Best Buy and Good Will recycle (or refurbish) small appliances. Just confirm whether your items are accepted at a particular place before bringing them.

Our Expertise

Alissa Fitzgerald is a chef, recipe developer, and food writer with over 15 years of experience in the food industry. For this piece, she interviewed Grace Atwood, founder, and voice of The Stripe, to find out what the pros look for in small appliances. She then used their insights, market research, and her own expertise to curate this list.

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