Insignia Air Fryer Lead

Anyone can appreciate being able to get meals done more quickly, and with less effort, and there are many small appliances that can help you achieve this. While you might not think you need any of these small appliances or believe you don’t have the space to accommodate them, you’d be surprised to learn of the different ways they can come in handy. Not to mention how often you would likely use them.

So which small appliances fit the bill and can make your life easier in the kitchen? I’ll break it down, touching on each small appliance individually.

Stand Mixer

Kitchenaid artisan mixer

Whether you bake a lot or just every now and then, a stand mixer is a useful small appliance to have. Most people think of stand mixers as only being useful to do things like mix cake batter or cream butter and sugar. But they can do much more than that.

Most stand mixers come with various attachments, including one for standard mixing as well as one for whipping and another for kneading dough. With the whipping attachment, pour in some heavy whipping cream and let the machine do the work. It will turn the liquid into delicious homemade whipped cream for your ice cream sundaes, cake, hot chocolate, or fruit. Or, whip meringue to make a delicious pie. With virtually any recipe that calls for whipping ingredients, a stand mixer will save you not only time but also the effort of manually doing it with a wire whip. (Whipping manually takes good arm strength!) Whether I’m making bread or pizza dough, cake batter, and especially for holiday cooking baking, my stand mixer saved time and effort. I whip butter for shortbread cookies for a good 30 minutes while I tend to other tasks. There’s no way I could make them so soft and buttery without a stand mixer. For kneading dough, even though I like to finish the process by hand, I always start with a stand mixer so I only need to do a few minutes of kneading versus 10-15.


Holiday entertaining holiday entertaining main

Multicookers make cooking easier thanks to the many “dump and go” recipes. With these, literally dump meat, vegetables, potatoes, broth, and spices or other ingredients in, press and button, and leave. But they also make cooking faster.

With a multicooker like the Instant Pot, you can cook meat that would normally have to be slow cooked for hours in a fraction of the time. Pulled pork, for example, could be done in 45 minutes. Want to cook corn on the cob as a last-minute side dish? A couple minutes in the Pot and they’re done.

They also make cooking easier because you can get things done without having to keep an eye on the cook. This allows you to take care of other chores or activities while food is cooking. Many keep the food warm inside once cooking is done so you don’t have to rush to remove the food once the timer goes off.

I still cook often in my oven and stovetop. But I have a series of quick meals in my weekly rotation that I make exclusively in the Instant Pot. And when we need a side dish in a rush, the Instant Pot is the go-to for quick mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, steamed vegetables, or creamy mac and cheese. I have had many occasions when we needed a quick side dish and the Instant Pot is always a saviour, allowing me to bake potatoes, cook vegetables, or whip up a quick mac and cheese in record time.

Air fryer

!Ultima Cosa Dual Digital Air Fryer 8L review 15

One of the newest additions to my kitchen is an air fryer. I use one that can only make small batches of food at a time, but there are plenty of larger-sized air fryers that you can use to make a full meal plus sides. I have the Instant Pot Air Fryer Lid that fits atop my Instant Pot, which is a nice option if your concern is a lack of counter space. It comes with its own base, but you could also stack it on top of your Instant Pot to save room. It can also more easily be stored in a cupboard than a full-sized air fryer.

While the primary draw for these small appliances is to enjoy traditionally fried foods in a much healthier way, using little to no oil, they can also make cooking faster and easier. When you don’t know what to cook, pop some chicken breasts, nuggets, pork chops, or sliced potatoes into the air fryer and have a delicious and healthy meal in no time. Air fryers also work wonderfully for reheating food. It does a better job than a microwave for tasks like this, which can result in your leftover chicken balls from Chinese take-out the night before becoming soggy. We recently had Chinese take-out, and reheating chicken wings, egg rolls, and chicken balls took just four minutes. The oven might require the same amount of time, or just a tad longer, but it takes time to preheat then longer to reheat.

In most cases with an air fryer, you don’t have to worry about marinating meat and poultry for hours beforehand: add a nice dry rub, spray the tray with a bit of oil (if it’s even needed), and fry up dinner.

I’ve tried everything from homemade French fries and chicken nuggets in my air fryer, to pork chops and veal as well as reheating leftovers. A quick favourite is a chicken breasts lathered with mayonnaise and coated with bread crumbs for fried chicken. You can get really creative not just for meals but snacks, too. Just want to save time and pop in frozen, store-bought French fries and chicken fingers? You’ll get a nicer, crispier texture, and won’t have to worry about preheating.

Food processor

Vitamix Ascent food processor

If you love to make soups, stews, stir fries, and other dishes that require a ton of prep, including chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables and other ingredients, a food processor will be a dream to have. It’s was number-one item on my kitchen wish list last year, and I’m happy to report that Santa brought me one last Christmas and I have been using it ever since.

A food processor can do so much more than people realize. It can not only chop, slice, and grind, but also mince, puree, mix and blend, shred, grate, and even knead bread dough. When it comes to prepping everything from garlic for a dip (which you could also mix right in the food processor) to chopping nuts for a pecan-crusted salmon, a food processor will simplify, and speed up, the process. One of my favourite desserts to make around certain holidays is homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The entire process is simple except for one task: grating 2+ cups of carrots really does a number on my arms! Using a food processor makes this task a breeze. I also use mine for making big batches of kale and edamame dip, which has become a favourite snack of late.

Heated blender

Couple with heated blender pouring dip

Yes, there is a category of blenders that can actually heat your food as well as mix it. For soup and stew lovers, these are a dream. Once you cook things like potatoes, squash, or other starches and vegetables, you can pop them inside of one of these, blend and heat, then add your proteins and other items you want, or leave it at a nice, smooth texture. I made butternut squash soup this way and it was absolutely heavenly. The blender saved time for heating and left me with a gorgeous flavour and texture. This is great for things like hot nacho dip or spinach dip as well for a party or your own TV binge watching night in. Not only is the cook and heating process fast, but so is clean-up since you do everything in one machine.

vegetable slicer


Not only can a slicer or shredder help simplify cooking, it can also lead to nicer presentations. You get uniform, perfectly cut pieces of fruits, vegetables, or even meats for a charcuterie board, salad, or even as garnish for a dish. Simply cut the vegetables, like carrots, into smaller pieces (no need to worry about cutting nicely or evenly), insert into the chute, then watch as it comes out the other side as perfectly grated or cut pieces.

In addition to standalone machines, there are also slicing and shredding attachments for stand mixers, like those from KitchenAid. These use the mixer’s handy Attachment Hub to screw right into the machine and tackle the task with ease.

Panini press

Breville toaster panini press

After a recent family vacation to Rome, Italy, we’re all about the paninis. I’d love to be able to make great ones at home, and heat them up. An indoor grill or sandwich maker is the perfect appliance to help you make restaurant or food truck quality sandwiches at home. My son has always been averse to cold sandwiches in his school lunches, and he isn’t a fan of deli meats. But after trying to paninis in Italy, he’s game to trying some salami, prosciutto, and mortadella with cheese in a panini. A sandwich maker would make it possible to warm these up and get those lovely grills marks.

Waffle maker

Cuisinart Belgian waffle maker

Sometimes, it’s nice to have an indulgent breakfast or even dinner. Waffles are super fun to make but they aren’t really possible without a waffle maker. With the right one, you can mix up some ingredients, pour the batter in, press down, and have a delicious, hot Sunday morning breakfast in minutes. With a good non-stick model, clean-up simply requires wiping the machine down before putting it away. We have a nice compact one that we store in the cupboard until we’re ready to use it for the occasional breakfast. I usually make a big batch at a time then freeze them so we can pop one in the toaster when my son needs a quick snack or breakfast. But I’d love to upgrade to a Belgian waffle maker for those thick and fluffy kinds.

Chef Robot

Chef Robot on table

This is one specific small kitchen appliance, but it’s a pretty cool one. The Chef Robot smart food processor and multicooker is a high-tech machine that can cook, chop, saute, and steam, all in one. It has a touchscreen you can use to set the time, temperature, and speed for chopping, and you can even follow along with recipes. It’s the perfect small appliance for both those who don’t know how to cook and those who do, but want an all-in-one machine that can do it all. Check out my review for more details on how it works.

These small appliances really can make cooking faster and easier

There are plenty of small appliances that make cooking faster and easier. And I’d rank all these at the top of the list. They have all either found a home in my kitchen, they’re on my wish list to buy in the future, or they’re items I know friends and family with differing cooking skills would love.

When I’m baking, my stand mixer is always in use. And especially during the holiday season, the mixer does a lot of the grunt work. This allows me to focus on cutting, decorating, and packaging. For quick dinners or side dishes in a pinch, I always resort to my multicooker. And using the pressure cooker function is a weekly occurrence in my household. It’s used for “set and forget” and “dump and go” meals. Some of the most popular ones include delicious short ribs cooked to perfection in 35 minutes and BBQ pork chops.

I couldn’t be happier with the results from my air fryer. Homemade French fries are a matter of washing and cutting fresh potatoes, tossing them in some salt and olive oil, and frying. But interestingly, I most frequently use it to reheat food. My newest addition, the food processor, has cut down prep time for meal-making considerably, but I use it even for homemade snacks.

You’ll find all of these small appliances worth considering to help make things quicker and easier in your kitchen, too.

Check out a wide selection of small appliances that making cooking faster and easier at Best Buy Online

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.


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