In the modern world, we have so many more amenities available to us than any other era in history– especially in the kitchen. Built-in kitchen appliances once revolutionized the cooking world, but since then, technology has advanced, and kitchen appliances are smaller and more energy-efficient than ever. Billions of people around the world make use of countertop appliances simply because they save time and make cooking easier; for example, rather than spending ten minutes mashing boiled potatoes, it’s much easier to run them through the food processor for a few seconds. With such a wide selection of plug-in appliances, it’s hard to know which ones are actually useful, but we have made the decision easier with this list of the 7 most-used countertop appliances:
1. Coffee Maker
A coffee maker is a classic kitchen staple; who didn’t grow up with one of these in their house? You could use a french-press to make fresh coffee, but using an electric coffee maker ensures that you save much-needed personal time in the morning, and prevents your coffee from being grainy. On top of all that, digital coffee makers can be prepped the night before and set to brew coffee at the time you wake up, so you can rise to the smell of your favorite hot beverage.
2. Toaster or Toaster Oven
Another classic, especially during the breakfast hour, is the toaster. Toasters are great for more than just bread, however; they can be used to heat a variety of pre-cooked frozen foods and even to make hard taco shells. Countertop ovens are another variety of toaster with more uses; that is to say, you can make toast in them, and you could also use one to cook a small chicken. Even better, they are more energy efficient than your traditional oven, so using one to cook even just one meal a week could help cut down your utility bill.
3. Immersion Blender
Cooking with liquid ingredients is always a messy ordeal that leaves you with more dirty dishes than you want to wash. Thankfully, with a handy little gadget called an immersion blender, it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than pouring hot soup into the blender, just plug your immersion blender in and blend it right in the cooking pot (being careful not to scratch the sides and edges, of course), or quickly mix up pancake batter without tiring your arms.
4. Food Processor
You could buy a blender, but why would you do that when a food processor is capable of making the smoothies you love, along with so much more? Food processors aren’t just for soft foods and liquids; they’re great for turning hearty herbs and vegetables into pesto, or reducing any kind of solid food. Additionally, because of their short, wide design, food processors are much easier to clean than traditional blenders.
5. Slow Cooker
If you’re always working and on-the-go, a slow cooker might just solve your problems in the kitchen. Just plug it in, fill it with the ingredients for your meal, set it on low, and forget about it until dinner time! This way, you can stay ahead of schedule; when you get home from work or play, dinner will already be done! Countertop appliances are all about convenience, and slow cookers are the definition of convenience.
6. Electric Grill or Electric Flat-Top
If you love to grill and the winter weather has you feeling deprived of your favorite foods, consider investing in an electric grill or flat-top. Burgers cooked in a pan are often greasy and crumbly, while oven-baked ribs just don’t have that caramelized exterior that makes grilled ribs to die for. An electric grill comes in two types — those with grooves to closely replicate an outdoor grill, and those which are flat and popular for cooking breakfast foods. Whichever type is suitable for you, an electric grill is great for bringing a little taste of summer into your home.
7. Food Preserving Vacuum-Sealer
When it comes to keeping your food fresh, zip-sealing plastic bags can be a hassle; they keep in small amounts of air, which allows bacteria to grow and food to go bad sooner than it should. To cut your food expenses, consider purchasing a food preserving vacuum-sealer; the plastic is more durable than that of plastic storage bags, and your food will stay fresh longer than ever before when it is completely protected from air and bacteria. What’s more, it’s great for freezer storage, too; the air-tight seal is great for preventing freezer burn. That’s why the vacuum sealer is so popular nowadays — it saves your money and food!
With the great versatility that countertop appliances have to offer, it’s easy to see why millions of people are using them; with the right use, countertop appliances can become staple appliances in your home. Countertop appliances are small and easy to store, as well as energy-efficient; they’re especially useful to people living in small quarters, like a studio apartment. They’re cheaper than bulky, traditional appliances, and save your precious time, money, and effort, which makes them, very obviously, well worth the purchase.