Whether you’re moving into your first place or you are upgrading to a new home, there’s no doubt you’re going to want to have a well-stocked kitchen; a space where you can prepare wholesome home-cooked meals. In order to do that, you’re going to need to have the right appliances. It goes without saying that a refrigerator, a stovetop, an oven, and a microwave are all essentials; but, what about countertop appliances?

As you browse through your local home furnishing store or search around online, you’re going to find that there is a dizzying array of countertop appliances to choose from. Bread machines, pasta makers, rice cookers; the list goes on and on. Do you need all of them? Unless you are planning on preparing food that requires these specialized appliances, you probably don’t need them. However, that being said, there are some countertop appliances that every kitchen DOES need.  

So, what appliances should you put in your shopping cart? Here’s a look at five must-have countertop appliances that every kitchen should have because, well, they’ll just make preparing healthful food more enjoyable and a lot easier.

A Blender

A blender of some sort is an absolute must. From milkshakes and smoothies to soups and sauces, a countertop blender is a handy appliance that can be used to make a wide assortment of beverages and food.

Of course, as with all countertop appliances, there are dozens of blenders to choose from. What will work best for you depends on your specific needs, including what you plan on making and the amount of space you have; however, in general, we recommend one that features a motor that’s no less than 500 watts. Additionally, you’ll want to opt for one that features a sturdy container that will be able to accommodate what you believe you’ll be using the appliance to make; a pitcher that’s made of either dense glass polycarbonate, as these materials will be able to withstand wear and tear. We also recommend a blender that features stainless steel blades and one that offers 4 to 10-speed settings; if it has less than 4, you’ll be pretty limited with what you can do, and anything more than 10 just isn’t necessary. A pulse button is also a definite must.

Options to Consider

Some of our favorite countertop blenders include:

KitchenAid KSB1570SL 5-Speed Blender with 56-Ounce BPA-Free Pitcher – Silver
  • Stainless Steel Blade
  • Intelli-Speed Motor Control
  • Soft Start Feature
  • Die Cast Metal Base
  • Varied settings to easily blend a variety of food

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A Toaster Oven

No matter what size your kitchen is, forego the standard toaster and pick a toaster oven instead. You can use this handy-dandy countertop appliance to heat up leftovers, bake frozen foods, like pizza and waffles, make hot open-faced sandwiches with delicious ooey-gooey cheese… You can even bake a small batch of homemade cookies or brownies. And of course, you can use a toaster oven to toast bread and bagels to perfection.

As you can probably imagine, there are tons of toaster ovens on the market. When selecting one, the amount of space on your countertop that you can dedicate to the appliance is important. As far as features go, it should have a temperature-adjustable toaster, broil, and oven setting. You’ll likely find yourself using this countertop appliance even more than you use your standard oven.

Options to Consider

Three of the best toaster ovens on the market include:

Black and Decker TO1313SBD 4-Slice Toaster Oven, Black
  • EvenToast Technology - The toaster oven interior is specially designed for even toasting of up to 4 slices of bread at a time.
  • 9 Pizza, 4 Slices of Bread - The compact toaster oven fits nicely on the countertop, while the curved interior makes room for 9 pizzas and 4 slices of bread.
  • Four Functions - The stainless steel toaster ovens cooking functions include: baking, broiling, toasting, and keeping food warm.
  • 30-Minute Timer - The timer includes precise toast settings and stay-on functionality.
  • Removable Crumb Tray - Keep the toaster oven clean with the convenient removable crumb tray.
  • Dimensions: 16.4 x 11.3 x 9.4 Inches

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

A Food Processor

Homemade peanut (or cashew, almond, walnut or any other type) butter; fresh hummus; light and airy mashed potatoes; fresh and healthy salad dressings; flour; ground meat… The list of things that you can make with a food processor goes on and on and on! This countertop appliance will really be the workhorse of your kitchen; you can use it to do slice and chop veggies or whip up some super creamy homemade whipped cream.

Like all other countertop appliances, you do need to consider the size. Additionally, we also recommend that you invest in a higher-end model; one that features a strong motor that can power through virtually anything, comes with at least a few accessories (a slicing and shredding disc and a dough blade, etc), a large bowl, and a lid with a feed tube, for example. High-end food processors may have a higher price tag, but they are definitely worth the cost, as you’ll more than likely get quite a lot of use out of it.

Options to Consider

Our top picks for the best food processors include:

KitchenAid KFP1466ER 14-Cup Food Processor with Exact Slice System and Dicing Kit – Empire Red
  • Industrys First hands-free commercial-style dicing kit slices then dices for effortless processing.
  • The externally adjustable ExactSlice System features optimized speeds, and an external lever that allows you to go from thick to thin with one slide of the lever.
  • hands-free commercial-style dicing kit slices then dices for effortless processing
  • externally adjustable ExactSlice System features optimized speeds, and an external lever that allows you to go from thick to thin with one slide of the lever
  • High, Low & Pulse speed options allow you to precisely and properly handle soft or hard ingredients with the touch of a button
  • 2-in-1 Feed Tube lets you use either the large or narrower opening during continuous slicing or shredding, depending on the size of the ingredients

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

A Slow Cooker

If you aren’t keen on the idea of slaving away over a hot stove, you just don’t have the time to dedicate to prepare intricate dishes, or you simply want to make cooking as easy as possible, then you’re definitely going to want a slow cooker in your kitchen.

This countertop appliance can be used to appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Make hearty stews, melt in your mouth roasts, heavenly puddings, tantalizing sauces – and so much more! Slow cookers are so easy to use, too! Just toss in the ingredients, turn it on, and in a few hours, your entire house will smell absolutely divine; and of course, you’ll have incredible meals and treats to sink your teeth into. What’s more; cleanup is a cinch! Just line the pot with a disposable slow cooker liner before you fill it (you can purchase them virtually anywhere), toss the liner when the food is done cooking, and give the appliance a quick washdown. That’s it!

Slow cookers are pretty basic appliances; they don’t require a ton of features or settings. As long as it has an adjustable temperature control, a timer, and a warm setting that will hold your food warm when it’s done cooking, that’s really all you need. We suggest going for one that has a clear lid so you can keep an eye on your food while it’s cooking, as well as dishwasher safe lid and pot.

Options to Consider

You’ll turn out some incredible dishes in any of the following slow cookers:

Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel
  • 6 quart capacity fits a 6 pounds roast and can serve 7+ people
  • Digital countdown control lets you program cook times anywhere from 30 minutes up to 20 hours
  • HIGH and LOW settings are perfect for making chilis, stews, sauces, and more
  • WARM setting keeps food at the perfect serving temperature
  • Removable round stoneware and lid are dishwasher safe

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

An Air Fryer

Last but not least on our list of the top five countertop appliances every kitchen must-have is the air fryer. If you love the crunchy goodness of fried foods but you loathe the idea of all the crease and extra calories it comes along with than an air fryer is definitely for you!

With this appliance, you can make healthy and delicious French fries, chicken fingers, chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and anything else you’d make with a traditional fryer – and they’ll taste just as delicious and will be way healthier, too! Plus, you won’t have to contend with the huge mess of changing out used oil or the pungent odor that a standard fryer produces. An air fryer can be used to make more than just standard fried fare; you can use this countertop appliance to make cookies, seafood, steak tidbits, and even hardboiled eggs! It’s really an all-in-one appliance that you’re bound to get tons of use out of.

Look for an air fryer that can accommodate the type and amount of food you plan on cooking in it. A 2 to 3 quart capacity is ideal for cooking dishes for up to 2 people; if you’re cooking for up to 5 people, a 5.3 quart air fryer should suffice; and, if you’re planning on using it to make meals for large gatherings or larger items – such as whole chickens – opt for an air fryer that has a capacity of at least 6 quarts. In addition to the size, features to look for include an adjustable thermostat and a timer; a dishwasher safe basket is a good idea, too.

Options to Consider

Of all the air fryers on the market, we were the most impressed with these three:

Oster Copper-Infused DuraCeramic 3.3-Quart Air Fryer
  • Hot air fryer features unique, innovative copper-infused DuraCeramicTM nonstick ceramic coating that wont flake or peel
  • Features a large basket with a 3.3-qt. capacity to hold multiple servings of favorite foods, so you can cook for the whole family
  • Uses 99.5% less oil compared to 4L deep fryers, so you can enjoy fried favorites in a healthier way
  • Air fryer oven features a 30 minute timer, temperature control up to 400 degrees, and an audible ready-to-eat alert; guide includes temperature settings for common dishes and info on oils to use with the fryer
  • Safe-to-touch handle and removable fry basket for easy cooking and cleaning
  • Cord storage for less clutter
  • PFOA- and PTFE-free; 1400W of power

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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the respective Amazon site that you are redirected to at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Wrap Up

And there you have it: our top five countertop appliances that every kitchen should have. Whether you only plan on making the basics or you are a passionate foodie, having these appliances in your kitchen will definitely make cooking a lot more enjoyable – and a lot easier!