appliances to simplify holiday cooking

I don’t know about you, but I love the holiday season (rainy west coast weather aside). I love decorating my tree, sending thoughtful cards, selecting and wrapping gifts, and most of all, hosting and attending as many lunches, brunches, dinners and cocktail parties as possible. However, whether I’m preparing a full meal or simply baking cookies to bring to a friend’s home, each event requires that I spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cooking, but when there are so many other wonderful things to spend time doing during the holidays, I like to take shortcuts wherever I can. If you too want to spend more time out of the kitchen than in it this holiday season, these five appliances will help you do just that.


A stand mixer will do the work for you

stand mixer for holiday cookingIn full disclosure, I don’t personally own a stand mixer, but have been coveting one for some time. Whenever I visit my parents and see my mom bust out her KitchenAid Ultra Power Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, I’m pretty sure I literally turn green with envy. Why? Because with this handy appliance, you can simply toss in your ingredients and let the mixer do the hard work while you tackle another task.

The KitchenAid Stand Mixer is especially ideal for baking all those holiday cookies. Between its flat beater and dough hook, you can whip up delicious and decadent treats in no time, all without breaking a sweat. You can also add additional attachments like a pasta roller or spiralizer to make your cooking even more efficient.


Make the most of your time with a slow cooker

holiday cooking crock-potMy Crock-Pot Slow Cooker is my go-to appliance this time of year. There are so many delicious comfort foods I love to make, but for the most part I need to spend hours monitoring them while they cook. With a slow cooker, you can simply add your ingredients in the morning, turn it on, forget about it, and come home to a delicious home cooked meal.

I’ve already whipped up my favourite soup this season and let my slow cooker do all the work while I tended to other things like cleaning and laundry. A slow cooker is also perfect for those semi-last-minute invites to holiday potluck parties. When you get home from work, toss in some basic ingredients (like pre-made meatballs and a jar of grape jelly) and spend the rest of your evening relaxing, knowing you’ll be bringing a stand out dish to the party.


Take the pressure off with a pressure cooker

instant pot holiday cooking Similar to a slow cooker, a pressure cooker allows you to whip up delicious appetizers, entrees and side dishes, but alleviates you from the stress that comes with monitoring your concoctions as they cook. Plus using a pressure cooker like Instant Pot 9-in-1 Duo Plus Electric Pressure Cooker leaves your oven free for things like a mouth-watering roast or delicious holiday turkey. It also acts as a slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté steamer and can even bake a cake, so is a true time saver for the holiday season.


Reduce chopping time with a food processor

Breville Food Processor A food processor can effectively act as your own personal sous chef in the kitchen. Take for example this aptly named Sous Chef Food Processor from Breville. Equipped with a 3-in-1 chute, it makes easy work of slicing, dicing, and shredding all those veggies for your soups, stews, and side dishes. Plus its adjustable slicing disc has 24 settings so you can customize the thickness of your slices from 3mm to 8mm. That means no more manual chopping, and in turn means a whole lot of time saved prepping your favourite holiday dishes.


Double up with a toaster oven

Toaster Oven Holiday CookingWhen you’ve got multiple dishes to prepare at one time, having a second countertop oven can be a real lifesaver. Toaster ovens like the Smart Oven Pro Convection Oven from Breville sit on your countertop, but free up much needed oven space when you are cooking a holiday feast, and can do everything from toast to roast to reheat and keep warm. So whether you simply need to keep those mashed potatoes toasty while your turkey is cooking, or you need to bake two things at the same time at different temperatures, a toaster oven has you covered!


Holiday cooking doesn’t have to be stressful, nor does it need to take up all your spare time. With one or more of these handy kitchen appliances, you’ll be able to win over your friends and family with both your creations and your conversation. Happy holidays!

Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.