Small Kitchen Appliances

Adding a few small appliances to your kitchen can make your time spent cooking an enjoyable experience

Small Kitchen Appliances

When deciding which small appliances are right for you think about the most common tasks you perform in the kitchen, how much available counter space you have, whether you are more concerned about cost or functionality, and whether there are any special features that are important to you.

Coffeemakers and Bean Grinders

Most models brew between 10 and 12 cups, though smaller 4-cup units are also available.

  • Thermal carafes keep coffee warm for hours without overheating or scorching
  • Pause-and-pour feature allows you to grab a cup of coffee before it is finished brewing
  • Models equipped with an alarm allow you to set up your coffee pot to brew automatically at a specific time
  • Espresso makers make café-style drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes
  • Bean grinders and coffee mills make it easy to grind coffee beans for a fresher flavor


Blenders are often used to make blended soups, smoothies, frozen drinks, dips and other items.

  • More powerful motors and ice-crushing capabilities are good for smoothies and other frozen drinks
  • Automatic power adjustment maintains a consistent speed under any load

Food Processors

Offers some of the same functionalities as blenders, but can also be used for other activities like chopping vegetables or grating cheese.

  • Usually includes a variety of attachments and accessories that perform different functions
  • Blender/food processor units combine the functionality of both appliances in one convenient machine


Mixers can either be handheld or mounted on a stand.

  • Handheld mixers tend to be more compact for easier storage.
  • Handheld mixers are used for everything from stirring a cake mix to making creamy mashed potatoes
  • Stand mixers can be used for all the same tasks, but don’t require holding
  • Stand mixers are good for mixing thicker ingredients, including kneading bread and other labor-intensive tasks

Specialty Appliances

Some small kitchen appliances are designed for specific tasks. Some of them can be used frequently, while others are designed for use during special events.

  • Ice cream and frozen yogurt makers create homemade frozen treats
  • Griddles and waffle makers create waffles, pancakes and more
  • Electric knives and meat slicers carve up roasts or prepare sandwich meats
  • Countertop grills grill burgers inside the kitchen
  • Popcorn makers pops theater-style popcorn
  • Pizza ovens perfectly cook authentic, delicious pizza

Toaster and Toaster Ovens

You can choose from the standard two-slice toaster or a family-sized eight-slice model. For more functionality, consider a versatile toaster oven that gives the same capabilities as a toaster with some of the features of an oven.

  • A cool-touch exterior helps prevent accidental burns
  • Lift levers make it easier to grab toast when it gets stuck
  • Toaster ovens with convection capabilities provide even more cooking versatility
  • Digital controls allow for more precise settings and results

Fryers, Steamers and Cookers

There are many appliances designed to help out with steaming, frying and cooking food.

  • Deep fryers safely heat oil to high temperatures to make French fries, wings, egg rolls and more
  • Slow cookers offer savory cooking with minimal effort
  • Combination units that provide boil, steam and fry capabilities offer added versatility

Selecting Small Kitchen Appliances

Use the chart below to learn about which small kitchen appliance is right for you.

Task Appliances Points to Consider

Brewing coffee and creating other coffee-based beverages

  • Bean Grinder / Coffee Mill
  • Coffeemaker
  • Espresso Machine
  • Programmable units brew coffee at a specified time
  • Espresso machines with a steaming wand heat and froth milk and other liquids
  • Adjustable coffee mills and grinders allow you to select how coarse or fine your grounds are

Chopping and slicing

  • Blender
  • Electric Knife
  • Food Processor
  • Meat Slicer
  • Food processor attachments with varying
    levels of thickness allow more cutting versatility
  • Cordless electric knives give you more freedom of movement

Grating and shredding

  • Food Processor
  • Multiple speeds allow you to adjust for different types of items


  • Blender
  • Food Processor
  • Automatic power adjustments maintain speed
    under any load
  • Blender/food processor combos offer more versatile use

Whipping, mixing and stirring

  • Blender
  • Handheld Mixer
  • Stand Mixer
  • Stand mixers can generally handle more demanding loads
  • Mixers with multiple attachments enable you to
    do more
  • Handheld blenders are ideal for soups and sauces

Indoor grilling

  • Countertop Grill
  • Electric Griddle
  • Precise temperature settings offer better cooking control
  • Indicator lights let you know when the surface is hot
  • Nonstick surfaces make cleanup easy

Making popcorn, pizza and other specialty items

  • Deep Fryer
  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Pizza Oven
  • Popcorn Maker
  • Rice Steamer
  • Waffle Maker
  • Ideal for those who frequently perform one specific kitchen task
  • Indicator lights on waffle irons and other devices let you know when your items are ready


  • Chocolate Fountain
  • Cotton Candy Machine
  • Fondue Set
  • Designed for special occasions and events
  • Good for those who regularly entertain

Toasting bread, bagels and other items

  • Toaster
  • Toaster Oven
  • Toaster ovens with multiple racks can accommodate more items


  • Slow Cooker
  • Toaster Oven
  • Capacity should be large enough to handle your biggest crowd


  • Boil/Steam/Fry Combo Unit
  • Deep Fryer
  • Enables safe, convenient cooking with oil
  • Precise temperature settings offer more control


  • Boil/Steam/Fry Combo Unit
  • Rice Cooker
  • Steamer
  • Some rice cookers can be converted to steam other food items


  • Digital Controls. Allow for more precise control.
  • Indicator Lights. Tells you when a unit is on, what settings have been selected, and when items have finished cooking.
  • Cord Storage. Provides built-in cord management.
  • Space Saving. Ideal for kitchen short on counter space. Look for below-cabinet and wall-mounted models.
  • Programmability. Can be set up to operate on their own for added convenience.
  • Nonstick Surfaces. Easier to clean and care for.
  • Decorative Colors and Design. Designs range from sleek, sophisticated stainless-steel exteriors to solid colors and patterns.