Essential Countertop Appliances for Your Kitchen
Here are my ideas for today's most useful countertop appliances for cooking.
I have had several blenders over the years. This is the one I have now, a GE blender with 14 speeds. It grates, chops, minces, blends, etc. but I have found that the speed I use the most is the highest speed, blend. I also use the pulse feature when I need to control the speed.
Hand-held blenders are also called immersion blenders. They are great for pureeing soup directly in the pan. My daughter has one of these and it works great! The immersion blender is also a good investment if you don't have much counter space.
This is the bread machine I use. It's old, but Nana bought it for me from a friend that had 4 bread machines.
Bread machines do all the work for you. They can mix, knead, rise, punch down and bake. You add the ingredients and push "START." The aroma when it is baking is heavenly and you don't even need to heat up your kitchen.
This is my Black and Decker Slow Cooker. Most slow cookers are continous crockery cookers. They cook at a very low wattage. Mine has 3 fixed settings: low, high and keep warm. Some slow cookers have an automatic setting. (shifts from high to low automatically) Mine has a removable ceramic liner which makes cleaning a snap. Some do not have this feature.
The other kind of slow cooker is an Intermittent slow cooker. This type has the heating element located below the food container . It cycles on and off during cooking and has a dial that indicates temperatures in degrees. I do not have any recipes for this type of slow cooker.
This is my Hamilton Beach hand mixer. It is vintage 1970s gold and has 3 speeds, low, medium and high. It has been a good mixer for cakes and mashed potatoes. I would love to have one on a stand (my mother used to have one) but the price is prohibitive. The stand mixers have bread dough attachments and while you are mixing, you can walk away and work on something else.
This is my Hamilton Beach food processor. It can slice, shred and grate, like a blender, but the cleanup is easier. The only problem some might have is that it takes space to store it. It's too big to stay on the countertop.
The George Foreman grill I have is a little too small, unless I'm cooking for one person.
I use a griddle instead, when I have my sons over. My Presto griddle doesn't make those nice grill marks that the George Foreman does, but it works! This isn't really considered an indoor grill but if I don't want to heat up my kitchen with the broiler, I use it.
I don't have a toaster oven, but Nana swears by it. She lives alone, so she doesn't like to have the big oven on. These take little time to preheat and are good for baking small amounts of food.
They are also good for toasting 4 slices of bread at once. This is an appliance that would have to sit on the counter top to get good use out of it and I just don't have the space for it.
These are the counter top appliances that I use in my kitchen. In another hub, I will talk about cooking appliances, like the microwave. I hope this helps someone that is just learning to cook, getting their own place, getting married or maybe are off to college.