Back to Basics: 3 Kitchen Appliance Must-Haves

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With packing up to move to our new home this week, it has me thinking again about the kitchen basics. What kitchen essentials does any college kid, newly married couple, or just someone starting out in the kitchen, really need to get started?

First: A toaster oven. This little gem is really a great multi-tasking work horse. It will bake a potato, heat up leftovers and make toast. Considering that most people aren’t cooking for a family just starting out, this little oven works great for one or two and keeps costs down in the utility department too.

Staff Pick: BLACK+DECKER Counterop Convention Toaster Oven

Second: Blenders are a fantastic little marvel. Smoothies are one of my favorite and most often used quick, to go breakfast options, and I wouldn’t get very far if I didn’t have my blender to rely on! They also prove to be useful beyond mixing smoothies or drinks, but blenders can also puree soups, and chop softer ingredients as well.

Staff Pick: Blendtec Total Blender Classic, with FourSide Jar or NutriBullet Pro

 Third: Coffeemaker or hot pot. Keep your money and make your coffee at home! If you’re the parent of a college kid, I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough, LOL! The little hot pot is great for heating water for tea, hot cocoa or those dreadful instant noodles college kids consume by the truckload. (I certainly don’t condone this practice of eating those noodle cups, but it is a fact of life and part of the growing up process!)

Staff Pick: Hamilton Beach Single Serve Coffee Brewer and Full Pot Coffee Maker or Bodum CHAMBORD French Press Coffee Maker, Copper Classic Collection

So there you have it. There are several other appliances out there to be had, but that will come later. For me, walking into the appliance section of a store is like walking into a toy store. I love it, but we only need to start with a few and these 3 are definitely a good start!

What is the ONE kitchen appliance that you absolutely can’t do without?

11 Responses

  1. Food Processor- I use it for everything from chopping up nuts & vegetables, to mixing cheesecake batters. Have to dice onions or jalapenos for a large chilli feed or BBQ? Wash, cut in quarters, & a few pulses will have you ready to go without the tears or burn.

  2. my VitaMix! I think a toaster oven is a good choice, too. I don’t drink coffee, but my husband recently had coffee from a coffee press at a restaurant…thought it was great!

  3. …an inexpensive rice cooker. Just add liquid and grain (rice, quinoa, etc.) then depress the button. When the button pops up, perfectly cooked grain!
    Often includes a steamer!
    Starting at $15 but I’d advise shelling out another $5 or so to upgrade to a nonstick surface!

  4. Give me a sharp French Chef’s knife, chopping board, and a cast iron Dutch Oven. Everything else is frosting on the cake.

  5. Oh, my blender, for certain! I dislike making salads (I know, heresy!) so we often have a meat-and-potato (or rice) dinner and then follow it up with a smoothie, containing loads of spinach/lettuce, frozen banana slices, a spoonful of cocoa powder, a spoonful of peanut butter, a small scoop of veggie powder, some vanilla, milk…blend…presto! It’s veggies and dessert, all rolled into one. Love it!

  6. I love how you talk about the benefits of having a toaster oven if you’re living alone. My partner and I always find ourselves making too big of portions of things when we cook. We’ll have to look into getting a toaster over so we can cook smaller portions without hassle.

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