The best small appliance gifts for people who get excited about those
The joy of cooking doesn't require large appliances
Preparing a hearty meal hardly ever requires a walk-in fridge, a dual-fuel range or the most expensive preparation tools. While that sometimes comes in handy, for the most part, all it requires is passion, culinary vision and simple tools to get the job done.
If your loved one enjoys preparing meals, baking sweet treats or just being busy in the kitchen, a small appliance as a gift will go a long way. Depending on their cooking preference, there are several gadgets to choose from, spanning the entire process from preparation and serving to ensuring after-dinner treats. You'd be surprised how far an excellent spatula or stainless steel mixing bowl set goes.
Best coffee makers and accessories
Wake up the best way possible with a cup of freshly brewed coffee that you made yourself. This espresso machine has a 64-ounce capacity, can do one or two shots per cup, and has a steamer on the side to froth up some delicious milk.
For coffee in a hurry, this personal coffee maker is an excellent gift for those who need to arrive on time. It uses K-Cup coffee pods to produce a single serving quickly and efficiently, and it's also compatible with reusable pods if you want to try your own blends. It brews 6 to 12 ounces per cup.
When guests come over, or you have a bit more time in the morning to brew yourself a treat, this electronic milk frother is an excellent choice. All you have to do is pour in the milk, turn the dial for your preference and decant into your drink.
Dairy milk is widely available and relatively affordable, but plant-based milk is sometimes difficult to track down or prohibitively expensive. This is the perfect gift for vegetarians or vegans who want to make their own milk from almonds. It comes with detailed instructions and is easy to use.
Best drink machines
It’s surprising that the humble SodaStream is still going strong decades after its initial release. Anybody who was a teenager in the '80s and '90s either had one in their home or knew someone who did. Either way, it’s an excellent way to make your own fizzy drinks at home. It comes with two gas canisters, two refillable bottles and two flavor syrups.
Not everybody wakes up with a cup of coffee, and if you are looking for a gift for one of those people, this juicer will be a treat. It has a 3-inch chute at the top for whole fruits and vegetables, almost instantly turning them into a delicious early-morning drink. It comes with a 25-ounce jug and a cleaning brush.
Best stand mixers
Every house should have an excellent-quality stand mixer for baking, and this one is a great option. The mixing bowl has a capacity of 4 quarts, and it comes with three attachments: a dough hook, a whisk and a flat beater. The machine has seven power settings and is easy to clean.
If space is limited in the kitchen, this compact stand mixer is what you’ll need. It has a 7-quart mixing bowl, a built-in scale to accurately measure ingredients, and comes with the standard beater, whisk and dough hook. The best part? Its built-in Wi-Fi pairs with your phone so you can keep track of the mixing process.
If you are out of ideas on what to get a loved one, you can’t go wrong with a NutriBullet, especially if they enjoy making their own smoothies or preparing healthy food. The blender has a 64-ounce receptacle with a wide opening to accommodate large fruits and vegetables and blends them into delicious drinks in seconds.
Perfect for making soups from scratch, this hand blender is a must-have accessory in any kitchen. It has a four-point stainless steel blade that slices through almost anything with ease, and the variable speed motor ensures that you get the perfect consistency throughout.
Is there a better way to cook than putting all the ingredients into one pot and letting it do its thing? But this is no ordinary instant pot — it has 11 functions, including slow cooking, steaming, roasting and dehydrating. The best part? This pressure cooker has a built-in air fryer.
Air frying food is much healthier than cooking with gallons of oil, and this gadget from Ninja is a good choice. The two-basket fryer has a combined capacity of 8 quarts and is large enough to fry up to 4 pounds of fries or chicken wings. Its six functions include roasting, baking, reheating and dehydrating.
COSORI is one of the best-known names when it comes to air fryers, and this gadget proves why. It has a large 5.8-quart tray (big enough for a whole 5-pound chicken) and 12 functions activated by a single button press. It comes with a cookbook and access to many online recipes.
Best ice cream makers and accessories
We’re heading into winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare yourself for when summer rolls around again. You’ll be the highlight of the neighborhood when you make your own ice cream on the first sweltering days. And who says you can't enjoy frozen treats all year long? The gadget has seven functions and, in addition to making ice cream, is perfect for milkshakes, gelatos and sorbet.
After you’ve made your delectable ice cream, you’ll need a container to store it in, and that’s where these chillers come in handy. Made from food-grade stainless steel, it features the company’s Therma-S’well technology with triple-layered, vacuum-insulated construction. That means the 16-ounce container is condensation-free and will stay frozen for up to four hours.
Best appliances for making breakfast foods
Start the weekend on the right foot and put smiles on faces with this waffle maker that’s incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is prepare the batter and carefully pour it over the hot plate. A dial on the top controls the amount of browning; once done, just lift it onto a plate.
Crepes are super easy to prepare, and if you teach your kids hows to safely use a crepe maker, you’ll never have to make breakfast over a weekend again. This machine has a 12-inch flat surface for a perfect batter pour and comes with a wooden spreader to smooth it out while browning. It has adjustable temperature settings and can also be used for eggs.
If you prefer hard-boiled or poached eggs for breakfast, this egg-shaped cooker is the only gadget you’ll need. It’s super easy to operate, with no settings except the on/off switch. It hard-boils 10 eggs at a time, and it comes with a four-egg poaching tray and a three-egg omelet tray.
No breakfast is complete without a few slices of toast. Toasting seems easy, but if you don’t get the setting correct, you’ll get wildly different browning results. While not only looking cool, this retro toaster promises to deliver perfect toast every time.
More of the best small appliances
Keeping your ingredients in an airtight container after opening is crucial to food safety and freshness. Glass or plastic holders can only go so far and take more space than necessary. However, an excellent vacuum sealer like this one instantly seals in the flavor and moisture, keeping food fresher for longer.
A hand mixer is a simple yet essential tool in any kitchen. They're incredibly versatile, and this one has nine speeds to accurately mix batter. It comes with four mixing accessories, including dough hooks, a whisk and a blending rod. The mixer has a soft-touch rubber handle and a beater ejection button.
If you have nothing to do in the kitchen, you don’t have to watch the paint dry. You can watch water boil in this see-through glass kettle. The cordless kettle sits on a base that connects to a wall socket, and it has a capacity of 33 ounces. For added visibility, the base glows with a soft blue illumination when operational.
This small microwave oven is perfect for apartments or dorm rooms and features an adorable retro design. It has a 0.9-feet capacity with several cooking features, such as defrost, reheat and auto cook, as well as a timer. The glass turntable is 10.5 inches, and a pull handle opens the door.
You've got to have plenty of ice on hand for holiday cocktails and beyond. This ice maker is an excellent choice, as it produces frozen water cubes of up to 26 pounds per day. It’s small enough to fit on a countertop and has a 0.45-gallon water reservoir.
When done correctly, sous vide cooking produces incredibly good-tasting food. However, if the water isn’t at the right temperature, your red meat or chicken will be undercooked or tough. This cooker is the perfect choice for anybody who wants perfectly made food every time. It circulates the water to the exact temperature you set, and it comes with several recipes.
There are few things that can make your stomach rumble more than the smell of freshly baked bread. If your loved one is an aspiring baker, there is no better gift than this bread-making machine from Cuisinart. It has customizable settings and produces a loaf of up to 2 pounds. There are several browning options, including a removable kneading paddle and bread pan.
A food processor can work miracles in the kitchen, and this one makes an excellent gift. The “stack-and-snap” setup makes it easy to change out parts and blades for different ingredients, and it has a large opening for bigger fruits and vegetables. The sealed bowl has a 12-cup capacity, and it has five processing methods.
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.