Most Needed Small Appliance

Most Preferred Kintchen Applaiance

  • Food Processor

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Stand Mixer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Blender

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Pressure Cooker

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bread Machine

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Kitchen Scale

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ice Cream Maker

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Deep Fryer

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'm really curious as to what cooks think is the most necessary small kitchen appliance.

If you were starting your kitchen from scratch, for instance, what would be the first applance you buy? And why that one? Similarly, what would be your second and third choices?

For me, there's no question, a food processor would be the first appliance. I can't think of anything as versatile. Next would be a stand mixer. Third is a toss up. Probably a blender, for those rare jobs they do better than a food processor. But I'm more intrigues with mini-blenders then full sized ones.

How about everyone else?


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
A stick blender for sure.  Then a toaster oven.  Then a coffee grinder.
Joined Aug 9, 2010
First- Coffee maker- (how is that not on the list) second-coffee grinder, third stand mixer- If I could get coffee grinder and maker to be one appliance (this somehow works in my head) then I would add a toaster oven.

1) Coffee maker cuz I gots ta have my coffee!

1a)Coffee grinder because pre-ground coffee barely qualifies as coffee. And it would double as a spice mill. for that reason in the poll I rationalized and called it a blender.

2) Stand mixer- versatility, makes quick work of otherwise time consuming monotonous jobs, and your hands stay free.

3)Toaster oven- reheating is the name of the game, I find the toaster oven does a superior job for most baked goods than the microwave. Is that considered a small appliance? If so microwave would be #1. I'm going to rationalize that as a large appliance and therefore keep my conscience clear that I did not break the rules, I simply redefined them:)
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Boy Nurse: More than just in your head. I happened to be browsing coffee makers the other day, and noticed that Cuisinart has one that includes a built-in grinder. Which means there are probably others as well.

As to missing appliances: Note the "other" category in the poll. I thought that made more sense than running a list of 20 product types.


Joined Dec 14, 2006
My "other" is a waffle maker.  You can use a knife, or spoon, or bowl, or pot, or your hands for most of the other things on the list, but if you want waffles, you gotta have a waffle maker. 

Seriously, besides my waffle maker, I can't live without my bread machine, toaster, stand mixer, or crockpot.
Last edited:
Joined Oct 15, 2010
I think my most needed appliance is the stand mixer. I don't use it very often, but, there are things that I have to have the machine for and another appliance can't take its place. For example, I don't think I'll ever make marshmallow without a stand mixer. Kitchen scale is also important. For most stuff, I can use measuring cups, but for the more precise measurements, the scale is needed. I also like having my stick blender around as I just can't seem to bother with a blender. I've had several blenders around the pass 10+ years and they've all just sat and gathered dust. It's not that they aren't useful, I just don't usually make things (i.e. smoothies) that I can't just use the stick blender for.

Then, there are other appliances that I use often, for convenience. I can generally use something else in its place (perhaps another cooking method), but they make life easier. I use my rice cooker a lot as we consume rice often at home. The toaster oven and microwave get use a lot. I also do use the slow cooker regularly.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
I voted "Other". 

My hands come first.

Second, stick blender.  Equal second, microwave (if that classifies as small?)

Third. Blender.  Soup/smoothies, no better tool.

Fourth, Food Processor.

Food processors are a good backup (at home) when there's a lot of chopping/ grating etc for a big crowd and you don't have the time for it.  Just keep a sink full of hot soapy water handy and you can keep on a roll by cleaning it as you go.

Interesting results - good idea for a thread
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Living abroad for 35 years and most appliances being either nonexistent or too expensive, and the kitchens here being so small, over the years I've learned to adapt.  I have a flat thin metal plate (or sheet) with wires crossing it on top that you put on the gas fire and toast your bread on.  It takes up no space, so out went the toaster.  I have a stovetop waffle iron with long handles (swedish, cast iron, heart-shaped waffles), i have a food mill, used before i got the blender.  stuff like that. 

I did carry - IN MY SUITCASE - a kitchen aid mixer, and used it at least twice a week most of my life. (Over the years i';ve carried a set of cast iron pans, and other heavy stuff like tons of books, and this was BEFORE suitcases had wheels - anyone else old enough to remember that?!?).

I now have a blender and stick blender, a microwave (i use it to defrost, as one who cannot plan in advance what i'll feel like eating that night, and who for years had kids who might decide to stay with friends at supper and never knew till the last minute if they'd be home) and to soften butter for cake making, also because i like to bake on the spur of the moment (there's a low 90 watt function - i also use it to make ice cream softer, i hate hard ice cream)

I had a plunger type coffee maker for years - found one that was made like a thermos that kept the coffee warm but then got a Braun filter coffee pot. 

The 2 first years here, i had none of these and made all my cakes by hand, creaming, beating, whipping.  Good think i have strong arms.  But the kitchen aid mixer was the first and best of my appliances
Last edited:
Joined Dec 9, 2010
I don't think it's a "needed" small appliance but lately I have been wanting to try my hand at ice cream so that's why I choose it.
Joined Nov 24, 2010
In my house, it's microwave, hands down.  This magical radiation oven can not only make pretty lame brownies, but thaws, softens butter, boil water and dehydrates nori in humid summer.

My house does not have regular menu and meal options are decided at the last moment and always in need of quick thawing or frozen chickens, steaming broccoli / dumplings, and cooking hotdogs.  I suppose I could eliminate the use of the device only if I plan it ahead but it's so effective. Please do NOT cook bacon in microwaves.  Bacon is not meant to be healthy.  If you're worried about he bacon fat, you should stick to bacon bits, for I believe there is vegetarian version of it as well.

I don't really see the great use of food processor in my home, and I've got by with broken one cup processor for years.  I really only use it to make bread crumbs.

I use kitchen aid stand mixer more than any of the listed.  I used to use blenders to make home made dressing but the clean up was too much hassle now I use good old whisk.

I do not own a pressure cooker and I wish I did.  My mom cooked rice in pressure cooker and them were good. I never found bread machine attractive.  Kitchen scale comes in handy, although I think it's hard to call that an appliance. I suppose there are electric ones but there are also digital thermometer and timers as well which aren't considered to be appliances.

I wish I had ice cream maker, largely because I have never used one before.  Then I don't have to substitute sorbets with granitas and semifreddos for ice creams.

We don't have too much deep fried food and I always have hard time using all the left over oil from frying.  Pretty much only deep fried food we make is sweet and sour pork/chicken.  I've learn to pan fry everything, so that we don't waste oil. I have pan fried, onion rings, fries and battered chicken, pork, fish, and beef.  Why is it that I miss having the deep fryer from time to time?
Joined Oct 11, 2010
1) My Proctor Silex 1.5 cup Food Chopper  - because it's miniscule, perfect for combining two-person meal ingredients, hasn't keeled over after 3 years of regular use and cost around $14.  Before I acquired it I'd used a Hamilton Beach chopper of the same size that cost double and only lasted 7 months.  It's perfect for purifying any real vegetables I want to put in chilis and soups so that my super-finicky husband doesn't realize there's actual onions and garlic instead of powder in the dish.

2) My Hamilton Beach hand mixer - It's a 225 watt, 6-speed mixer with a 'burst' feature and retractable cord my Dad got me in 2006.  After frequent use it's still going strong and has had zero issues.  I haven't owned any other hand mixers but as the expression goes, 'if it ain't broke...'.

3) My microwave - a Sharp Carousel from around 1990.  It has its own stand and was a hand-me-down from my Mom.  Everything still works beautifully (including the carousel and all the buttons) and even though it takes up roughly the same amount of space as a refrigerator, I will allow it to live out the remainder of its long life in my home and marvel appreciatively at its longevity.
Last edited:
Joined Feb 1, 2007
A big surprise, for me, is how highly blenders score so far.

No, I'm not surprised that blenders are an important appliance. But if you use our search function, there is, relatively speaking, little discussin about them. Especially when compared to, say, stand mixers and food processors.
Joined Dec 13, 2010
These aren't appliances in the strictest sense, but my knives are my most used and favorite kitchen item.  I rarely use my stand mixer or my food processor (although I do use them from time to time)....but when cooking, two or three of my knives seem to get used more than anything (other than the stove. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
Joined Oct 9, 2008
I ended up voting for the food processor, but in fact it's not what I use most. Thing is, that's not what you asked: you asked what is the one thing I would want if I were setting up from scratch, and there the versatility of the processor wins.

I actually use the stand mixer more often, but that's because I'm lazy and use it to make bread dough. I can make it by hand, and do all summer (in Vermont, where I don't have a stand mixer), but I can't be bothered if I have the mixer.

I do have a snazzy thing that's basically a stick blender and mini-food-processor in one: you can attach the immersion blender thing or a post that goes into this little prep bowl with a blade. That's useful.

Blender, no. I use it less and less these days. I don't like bread machines. I've been trying to get rid of two deep fryers for years: people keep giving them to me, but I'd rather fry in a pot with a thermometer and be able to see what I'm doing. Ice cream makers are fun, but honestly I don't use mine much. I would not go without my scale -- love that thing -- but it wouldn't be the first thing I'd replace.

Basically my take is that everything here is totally optional, but if money is not at issue and I have to pick one and only one, I suspect I'd end up using the processor more than other things. But the stand mixer is a close second.

Knives don't count, because they're not optional. A kitchen without knives is an oxymoron.
Joined Aug 18, 2007
I chose kitchen scales, as I couldnt bake without them...I have American cups and use them with American recipes, but I'm not comfortable without Lbs and oz's

I've also never been au fait with metric. Thankfully, most retailers in the UK still use imperial as well as metric weights and measures
Joined Dec 13, 2010
Knives don't count, because they're not optional. A kitchen without knives is an oxymoron.
Well I could prety much live without a stand mixer or food processor - they are convenient (and I don't want to give them up) but I produced a lot of good food prior to having either.  I used to whip my cream and meringues with a my younger days /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif. 
Joined Feb 1, 2007
While I agree that none of these appliances are absolutely necessary, they do make the job a lot easier at times.

Knives, whisks, stirring spoons, etc. are all necessary parts of the well-stocked kitchen. But those are the subjects of a different thread, I reckon. Looking just at actual appliances, though, which would you consider the most indispensible?
Joined Nov 27, 2010
For me, probably the stick blender.  Coupled with a good sieve, I make sauces, soups, dressings and other emulsions very quickly.  For most everything else, I just do it by hand.  

Dough only takes me a few minutes.  Chopping, with decent technique, is actually quicker for me than bothering with a food processor.  I like the food mill better than the food processor for tomatoes, potatoes, etc.  I have a hand-crank old-school pasta maker that I use.

But, no way could I puree/emulsify things like I can with my stick blender, so I choose that.  I love my Kitchenaid stand mixer too, but I don't use it every day.
Top Bottom