Workhorse Small Kitchen Appliances

Tools every home cook, baker, or chef needs for a modern, efficient kitchen including a mixer, blender, food processor, air fryer/convection oven, a pressure cooker, and a rice cooker.

Two of the best wedding presents Mike and I received circa 1980 were a KitchenAid Mixer and a Cuisinart Food Processor. The lift bowl mixer is still going strong. The design of the KitchenAid Pro-Custom KitchenAid mixer is most like my first and favorite machine. I am on my third Cuisinart, each lasting well over a decade and still working when passed along. 

I was terrified of using stove top pressure cookers (which I hear are safer now) because I saw one blow up as a child, spewing cabbage on the ceiling.  I've owned three electric ones. We received an Instant Pot a couple of years ago and we use it several times a week. I'm sold. Who can make dried beans or a pork shoulder into something wonderful in less than an hour? Me.

One of my sisters bought a Blend Tek over a decade ago and it's still going strong. I continue to use an Oster with a glass jar and have a Cuisinart immersion blender for soups and sauces. There are many great appliances that can do the job, some better than others. Like you, we cannot try them all.

One place we go for product reviews for our own shopping is Consumer Reports. Another is America's Test Kitchen. We recommend consulting their sites before making major purchases to ensure you are getting the best research available. Our product suggestions are based on our own experiences. Please let us know what you end up buying and how it is working for you by emailing

Stand Mixers

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers

Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - My two sisters both like their tilt head mixers. This is the one to put on the wedding registry or buy for the baker in your life.

7 Quart Pro-Line Stand Mixer (large capacity)

The 7 quart bowl Pro model makes double batches of cookies easily. 

My Kitchenaid mixer (similar to the Pro style above) is over 40 years old and I expect it will last another 40 years easily. Sturdy and heavy. 

Stand and Immersion Blenders

Blend Tec Classic 6 settings, 10 speeds

Ninja Blender

Oster 12 Speed Blender

Cuisinart Corded Immersion Blender

Food Processors

Cuisinart Pro-Custom 625 Motor 

I bought one of my sisters an Elemental Cuisinart as a present and she found it too hard to use. It was a bit stiff. The one above is easier for me and comes 

If I were shopping for both a blender and a food processor I'd consider this Ninja that uses one base to do it all. Our youngest sister has one purchased  many years ago. She says it is serviceable, and this is a better brand.

Air Fryer Convection Ovens

Ninja Foodie Oven/Fryer 10-1 This is the air fryer/toaster oven we use every day. Airfrying is easy to manage and exposes both sides of the food to hot circulating air. I can fit a Dutch oven or a 10 inch cast iron skillet with handle inside. It cook two things at once. Order a second air frying basket from a different company to air fry more at once.

The only downsides are small print on controls, tough to clean. 

Ninja 13-1 Oven/Fryer - This smaller capacity oven pack a lot of capabilities into a small space. It can fold up for countertop storage. Cannot hold larger food items.

Basket Fryers

Ninja Air 4 Qt. Fryer - popular style if you only want the basket style air fryer, not the oven.

You might want to look at this highly rated Dash basket fryer from Dash if you are in the market for a well priced basket fryer. There are Dash Tasti-CrispTM Air Fryer digital models available. We have not tried either yet so tell us what you think. 

Pressure Cookers

Instant Pot 7 in 1 Model One of the things I like most about this is that it has an easy to clean stainless steel pot, not a non-stick one that can scratch or burn. Cooks everything well and fast. At Amazon I've been able to buy pot lids, new rings for the seal, and other items to get the most out of this device. Both the others I had were more expensive and did not work as well.

Rice Cookers

Zojirushi 3-cup rice cooker (above) - Great for younger cooks. Our nieces use and make fried rice.

Zojirushi Induction Heat Rice Cooker and Warmer with 5.5 Cup Capacity - has menu of settings for different types of rice and porridge

We talked to the family members that own these models and the word is no downsides