5 Small Appliances You Can’t Live Without

Photos by Jana Graham

 The vote is in! Here are 5 small appliances that you should have in your kitchen!

Jenny: I have to really love a small appliance to put it to use, as I am a simple pan and stove/oven kind of a girl. I will say; however, I could not live without my rice cooker. Add water, add rice, hit one button, and it cooks until it’s done. Even better, it just hangs out and stays warm until you are ready to use it. No boiling-over pots, overdone or underdone rice - it’s just done and waiting on the counter, allowing me to focus on whatever I’m cooking up to go over it.

Kim: Waring Pro Professional Waffle Maker - It always brings requests for a second waffle, please! It's easy for anyone to use. It beeps when heated and when waffles are finished (no guesswork!). Since it’s from the professional series it’s what the hotel buffets prefer for their overnight guests. My family and I just love this mouthwatering waffle mix. The buttermilk makes these a light and delicious breakfast or dinner treat. If you don't make a double batch you probably won't get to have one for yourself, as mine are eaten hot off the iron and seconds are always requested even with a full buffet of eggs, bacon, and fruit. Peanut butter, whipping cream and fruit are nice side additions to add, although the waffles taste wonderful hot off the press. My family all rush to dine when I tell them this is what’s on today's menu.

Stephanie: Instant Pot - I'm a busy working mom who's constantly on the run which makes healthy home-cooked meals a challenge. The Instant Pot has been a lifesaver. I love keeping the mess contained to one pot, and because you're pressure cooking meats and veggies, the moisture and nutrients are contained. You can brown meat, cook pasta, and even throw frozen chicken breasts in it. Our family's favorite recipe so far is Split Pea with Ham Soup. There's no need to soak the split peas beforehand, just throw them in dry, and the let the Instant Pot do the hard part. The soup is ready in 20 minutes.

Laurie: My crock-pot is my dinnertime lifeboat. I love being able to toss things in first thing in the morning (or even at lunchtime) and let the crock-pot do the work while I’m working! The house smells great as dinner time approaches. Even when there are a few last-minute additions or adjustments near the end of the cooking cycle, it’s still a time saver for a good home cooked meal. The meals taste great and it’s a one pot clean-up afterward. I use my beloved crock-pot at least once a week year 'round.

Becca: Air Fryer – We got an Air Fryer for Christmas last year (2017), and it's basically been my best friend ever since. Granted, we almost exclusively use it for French fries, but that alone has made this appliance worth the counter/cupboard space it consumes. Literally, no oil is needed, and the fries are still delightfully crispy, while offering the added bonus of getting to practice my food tossing/flipping skills, as I season and toss away while the fryer is working its magic.