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10 Kitchen appliances that make life easier

After a hectic day, the last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But you don’t always want to eat out or get takeout, and you know it’s better for you to eat fresh, healthy meals. Lucky for us, there is a wide selection of useful kitchen appliances that make life easier and can save you time and effort every day.

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How can I make life easier in the kitchen?

Like most ongoing tasks, the best way to make life easier in the kitchen is by pre-planning. Make it a habit to set aside an hour or two to plan out your meals for the next week, two weeks or month – whatever works best for you. 

Once you know what you’re planning to cook, you know what ingredients you’ll need. You can use this meal plan to develop your shopping list. 

If meal planning is not really your thing and you’d rather save time, Prep Dish makes healthy cooking quick, easy and enjoyable. Prep Dish is a healthy subscription based meal plan service developed by chef & dietitian Allison Schaaf.

When you sign up for Prep Dish, you’ll receive a weekly email that contains your menu for the week. In addition, you’ll receive an organized grocery list and easy to follow instructions for prepping your meals ahead of time.

To save even more time and make grocery shopping easier, you can use Instacart to order your groceries. Their personal shoppers hand pick the products you love from your local stores and offer same-day delivery in as little as 1 hour. Why shop if you don’t have to?

Once you have planned your meals and acquired all the ingredients you need, it’s just a matter of deciding which kitchen appliance will make your life easiest for each meal or recipe. 

What is the most important kitchen appliance?

I did an informal survey of 30 of my friends, asking them what their most important kitchen appliance was and why. With 9 votes, the most useful kitchen appliance was their coffee maker or kettle for their morning coffee or tea. I have to agree with them, as my morning coffee helps me start my day on the right foot. As one respondent wrote, ‘without coffee in the morning, nothing else works.’

For the coffee lover, the most popular coffee maker was the Keurig Coffee Maker. It’s the most convenient coffee maker available and is very simple to use. Just make sure there’s water in the reservoir, put your cup on the drip plate, put your k-cup in the holder, press a button and wait a minute or two for your hot, delicious coffee! There’s a wide variety of flavors available so you can brew what you like when you like.

The runner up for coffee lovers was the Nespresso Coffee Maker. Like the Keurig, it brews your coffee quickly and simply with the touch of a button. The most impressive feature of the Nespresso is its froth (or crema) that gives you that authentic espresso experience. Choose your favorite flavor, insert the capsule, place your mug and press start. Before you know it, you will be enjoying your barista quality coffee without barely lifting a finger.

Finally, for the tea lovers and those who like to keep things simple, an electric kettle was the must-have kitchen appliance that made their lives easier. Not only does an electric kettle heat up faster than a pot on the stove for your favorite hot beverage, it also shuts off automatically when the water boils. For versatility and really quick meals, you can also use an instant kettle to boil water for instant oatmeal, pasta, rice and noodles. I’ve even used mine to make boxed stuffing for holidays.

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Pin text reads "10 useful kitchen appliances that make life easier." Background images of coffee maker, electric pressure cooker, kettle, food processor, hot sandwich maker, toaster, slow cooker and air fryer - recommended tools to make cooking easier.

What kitchen appliances make life easier?

There are so many kitchen appliances that make life easier. The trick is to choose one that:

  • is easy to clean (because you don’t want to spend more time cleaning it than using it)
  • saves you time (which is the whole point of buying it)
  • you will actually use (how many times have you bought something only for it to collect dust in your cupboard?)

With so many useful kitchen gadgets and appliances available, selecting one that meets these three criteria can be a bit daunting. But if you choose the right ones, you can make cooking so much easier without breaking the bank. Let’s face it, you can’t avoid the fact that you have to eat (and cook) every single day, but you can make cooking easier with these handy kitchen appliances.

Air Fryer

With 7 votes, the next most useful kitchen appliance is an air fryer. If you love the taste of fried food but hate the mess and hassle of a deep fryer, you can air fry your chicken wings and fries at the same time with the Ninja Foodi 6-in-1. For ultimate convenience, you can even set it to have both items finish cooking at the same time. 

But this is more than just an air fryer – it has 5 additional functions – Air Broil, Roast, Reheat, Dehydrate and Bake. 

You can melt cheese on your burgers or brown the top of your meal with the Air Broil setting. Roast vegetables or meat with the Roast setting, or reheat your leftovers with the Reheat setting. The Dehydrate setting allows you to make veggie chips or fruit snacks with your air fryer. You can even bake some of your favorite desserts with the Bake setting with a few tweaks to the original recipe.

I love this kitchen appliance and I use it almost daily, especially in the summer when I don’t want to heat up the house. Most of our regular meal rotation can be cooked or reheated in it. My favorite treat is to set the reheat function to 400 to reheat leftover takeout fries and make them hot and crispy. I’ve even started to buy extra fries from the local fry truck and freeze them just so I can restore them to their original deliciousness.

It’s easy to clean the baskets and plates and you can cook two items at the same time.  One of my friends listed an additional benefit to her air fryer – ‘If I’m honest, one of the things that I love most is that it encourages the teens in my house to cook for themselves more.’ That’s a pretty solid recommendation right there!

Instant Pot

With 6 votes, the next most practical kitchen appliance that makes life easier is the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker is so much more than a pressure cooker. 

You can use this instant pot to make awesome cheesecakes, keep food warm for get togethers, saute, sous vide your favorite meat, steam rice, sterilize bottles and jars, and even produce your own yogurt. It also has a slow cook function, but I find my slow cooker heats up more evenly so I don’t use my Instant Pot for this.

I have to admit I was a little nervous when I first got my Instant Pot. Everyone has a story of the old fashioned stovetop pressure cookers exploding, leaving the kitchen a disastrous mess. But I overcame my fear quickly and performed the water test. It was successful and taught me the basics of how steam release works.

I use my Instant Pot a few times a week. My favorite uses for this kitchen appliance are for perfectly cooked rice every time, boiled eggs for egg salad and deviled eggs, and making rich, creamy yogurt. It’s also handy for those times I forget to take a frozen chicken or roast out of the freezer – 90 minutes or less in the instant pot gets the job done (plus time for the pot to come to pressure and time for steam release). And if you are a soup or stew lover (or both), this is the appliance you need for easy, quick meals.

The Instant Pot is a convenient set it and forget it kitchen appliance. You don’t have to keep an eye on it and you can cook a complete meal relatively quickly. The stainless steel insert and lid are easy to clean and can even be put in the dishwasher. This checks all the boxes for a kitchen appliance that makes life easier.

Slow Cooker

Before there were air fryers and Instant Pots, there were slow cookers. I got my first one as a gift over 20 years ago and I still use my Crock Pot to this day.

On those busy days when you know you can’t squeeze in time to make dinner, there’s nothing easier to use than a slow cooker. You put your ingredients – fresh or frozen – in the pot in the morning, set the temperature and walk away. It does the cooking for you while you’re taking care of all your other competing priorities. It gets bonus points for the delicious smell of dinner cooking when you walk in the door.

There are many comfort foods you can cook in the slow cooker, including pork or beef roasts, chicken dishes, soups, stews, pasta sauces, casseroles, chilis and so much more. It really can’t be beat for simplicity at meal time. You can just throw a salad together, slice some crusty bread and have a delicious, homemade meal ready for you to eat when you get home.

Clean up is a breeze as the ceramic crock and glass lid are dishwasher safe. Even if you don’t have a dishwasher, hand washing is quick and easy. There’s nothing about my slow cooker that I don’t love and I recommend one for every home.

Food Processor

If prep work is the bane of your existence and you’re looking for a tool that can quickly and easily chop, slice, shred, grind, and purée almost any food, then a food processor is the kitchen appliance that will make your life easier. This Ninja Food Processor can even help you whip up a quick pizza dough, cookie dough or cake batter and can easily blend frozen fruits for smoothies or Margaritas.

This machine can chop tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and other vegetables, puree pumpkin, slice potatoes, shred zucchini and carrots and so much more. Know what you are eating with your own homemade salsas, dressings, dips, mayonnaise and pestos. You can even make your own almond milk and peanut butter.

I use my food processor once or twice a week to bulk prep upcoming meals. It’s especially handy when guests are expected and I’m cooking for more than just us. It’s easy to assemble, cleanup is quick and all parts are dishwasher safe. I hate chopping vegetables, so this is another favorite of mine.

Panini Press/Grill

If sandwiches are your go-to for a quick and easy meal, you know the most delicious sandwich is a hot sandwich. This Cuisinart Griddler is not only a panini press, it also doubles as a griddle and a grill. This machine will toast or grill both sides of your sandwich simultaneously while pressing it together, leaving your sandwich with a hot, dense, melty texture.

I use my panini press at least every other week for sandwiches. Until I got this handy machine, I had no idea there was such a wide variety of panini recipes. My favorite is capicolla, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves with a bit of honey mustard on a panini bun.

I also use the griddle side for weekend breakfasts including bacon and eggs, sausages, pancakes and hash brown potatoes. It’s also great for quesadillas and vegetables. The grill side is perfect for thick, juicy burgers and steaks when it’s too cold or rainy to grill outside.

The non-stick plates are slanted just enough for grease to flow into the drip tray. The drip tray, plates and scraping tool are easy to clean with hot, soapy water and are dishwasher safe.

What is the most useful kitchen appliance to make life easier?

Did you know that the toaster is the first electric kitchen appliance, invented in the 1890’s? It only toasted one side of the bread and the bread had to be turned manually. You also had to watch it carefully to keep it from burning the bread.

Nowadays, we have 2-slot toasters, 4-slot toasters and even toaster ovens. If you have kids, you’ll probably want to have a regular toaster as they can be operated by small children. If you’re looking for more functionality, a toaster oven may be for you.

Apart from our coffee maker (which isn’t used by everyone), our toaster is our most useful kitchen appliance. It gets used every day for a quick breakfast before heading out the door. Our toaster doesn’t take up much room on the counter and gives us perfectly browned toast every time.

My favorite kitchen appliance that makes life easier

While all the kitchen appliances listed above definitely make cooking easier, I have to say that the one kitchen appliance that really makes life easier is my Food Saver Vacuum Sealer. Having leftovers individually frozen makes it very convenient to serve up a meal in a few minutes.

Whenever I cook, I almost always cook extra. I package those extra servings with my Food Saver and put them in the freezer for future meals, without worrying about freezer burn. My family can grab one, heat it up and feed themselves without any effort on my part. That definitely makes my life easier!

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