It can be hard to find the time to prepare a decent meal at the end of the day. Luckily, there are several small appliances available that can help you whip up a home-cooked meal without much effort. Check out this list of products that make it easier to prepare dinner—or any meal for that matter.
An air fryer isn’t just for frying foods—think of this small appliance as a quick and powerful convection oven. Air fryers use hot air and no grease to create the taste of fried foods, but they can also heat up frozen foods, make crispy potatoes, and cook up delicious chicken wings and steak. But you may have to cook in small batches because the baskets of many air fryers hold much less than a traditional oven does. But there are larger air fryers on the market that can even cook a whole turkey at once.
Owning a multi-cooker is like having several appliances in one—it can saute, steam, roast, bake, and more, and can replace other small appliances like your slow cooker, air fryer, rice cooker, bread maker, and even your conventional oven. When used as a pressure cooker, a multi-cooker can dramatically cut down foods’ required cooking time. A multi-cooker can also simplify meal preparation, as most have preset settings for cooking foods like poultry, meat, and stews. Among the many foods you can prepare in your multi-cooker are risotto, baked beans, and mac and cheese.
With a convection oven, you can bake and cook foods like you would in a conventional oven but at faster speeds, and you can use this countertop appliance as a toaster too. A convection oven won’t heat up your kitchen like a traditional oven does and it uses less energy. This appliance can be perfect for baking small batches of cookies or reheating last night’s leftover pizza.
Preparing a meal in a slow cooker is one-pot cooking at its best. With a slow cooker, you can put all the ingredients for your recipe in your appliance in the morning, set a timer for how long and at what temperature setting your meal should cook, and come home to a steaming-hot meal in the evening. Some of the delicious recipes you can make in a slow cooker include soups, stews, roasts, and pulled pork.
Cooking rice in a pot on a stove is no easy feat—making rice on the stovetop requires extra attention as it can easily burn. But with a rice cooker, you simply put in your rice and water, set it to cook, and minutes later, you have perfectly cooked grains. A rice maker has a surprising number of other uses, including preparing oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, frittatas, and even banana bread!
An immersion blender is a handy portable blender that won’t take up counter space like a traditional blender does, is easy to clean, and is a powerhouse when it comes to blending and whipping up foods. Stick your immersion blender directly into your pot, bowl, or large measuring cup to blend soups, beat eggs, and make smoothies and milkshakes.
With an indoor grill, you don’t have to fire up your outdoor grill or withstand inclement weather to get the taste of grilled meats and vegetables year-round. With this kitchen tool, you can easily sear steaks, grill asparagus, or serve up tasty burgers.