Small Kitchen Appliances For You
This site is dedicated to helping you find, use and care for small kitchen appliances such as blenders, juicers, slow cookers, multi-use devices, and others. Today’s kitchens tend to be busy places with both parents working and children attending school. Getting everyone ready, having a good breakfast, preparing healthy lunches and knowing what’s for supper are everyday, stressful tasks. As well there are the social and physical activities such as sports, gym, yoga, arts and crafts, church, volunteering, and so on. I’d like to help by cutting down the time and effort it takes you to decide which small kitchen appliances will save you time, energy, and money, and best suit your individual needs.
You won’t need to do the research yourself. I review the best and most popular blenders, juicers, slow cookers, and multi-functional appliances so that you don’t have to.
Read about how these small kitchen appliances work in order to get the best use of them and to make them last longer. I also give tips on how to cook safely and efficiently with these devices. Lastly, I have included some really tasty recipes for you to enjoy:)
Small Appliance Definition
Wikipedia defines a small appliance as:
A small appliance or small domestic appliance is a portable or semi-portable machine, generally used on table-tops, counter-tops, or other platforms, to accomplish a household task.
Generally, then, a small kitchen appliance is a portable or semi-portable machine that is used in the kitchen.
8 Things To Look For In Small Kitchen Appliances
What are the most important things to look for in a small kitchen appliance? Often when looking for a small kitchen appliance you might be influenced by a number of factors such as the appearance, the price, the discount, the marketing hype, etc. All of these are important but are mostly emotional considerations.
Here are the 8 things that I consider most important:
Brand – how long have they been in business?
In order to determine the reliability and durability of a product, you need to know how long the brand has been around and its reputation. That’s not to say a new brand is not reliable and the product will not last as long. However, it is much easier to determine the reputation of a brand that has been around for 20+ years vs one that is new. I review products from all brands but always add a caution note to recently introduced brands. Also, from time to time I revisit and update my reviews so that you can be assured of the most recent information available.
Reliability – how well does it work?
No matter how attractive it looks on your counter. Or, no matter how sexy this device makes you look and feel when you are slaving away in the kitchen making your next meal. You bought your small kitchen appliance in order to use it. You want it to do the job you purchased it to do, each and every time you use it. In my restaurant, the last thing I need is for an appliance to fail when it is most needed. For me, it means an unhappy customer, lost time and possibly lost revenue. All these are unacceptable outcomes. For you, it means frustration, lost time and a ruined meal at probably the worst possible moment. Also unacceptable outcomes for you.
This is why reliability is very high on my list of important factors for rating small kitchen appliances.
Durability – how well does it stand the test of time?
Durability means how well your device stands up to the use to which you will put it. It doesn’t mean how long it will last in years because you might only use it once in a while. But, you might use it daily, several times a day. And you might use it for either light duty or heavy duty jobs.
However you use it, the criteria for durability is does it do what you ask of it consistently over a reasonable period of time?
Durability is also affected by how well you take care of your small kitchen appliances. Do you use them according to the manufacturers’ instructions? Do you clean them as soon as possible after use? This is a factor that I cannot account for, it’s up to you. However, I will point out in my reviews any manufacturers’ warnings and customers’ experiences that can cause premature failure.
Performance – does it do what you bought it for?
Performance means does it do what you want it to do? Does the blender make smooth enough smoothies quickly enough for you? Are the juices produced by your juicer clear enough and is all the juice possible extracted from the pulp? What about that slow cooker or instant pot? Are the meals cooked to your liking?
Some of this is down to you, of course. Follow the manufacturers’ instructions and you should be getting the advertised performance.
However, I can only review based on the power, speed (if applicable), temperature rating, size, component design, and other relevant specifications which I will share with you. Although specs are important, the design is often more important. For example, the design of the blending container and the blades are more important to the blending process than power and speed. See my article “How Does A Blender Work?” to learn why.
In all my reviews I will point out the most significant pros and cons of each machine so you can make an informed decision on what to expect in the way of performance.
Ease of Use
Why is this so important? With all the reliability, durability, performance and fancy features in the world, if you can’t use it, it’s useless. If you have trouble assembling it, then it will sit in your cupboard gathering dust.
Most of us don’t have time to read the instructions. Even though I strongly recommend reading the manufacturers’ instructions, I completely understand how limited and precious is your time. That’s why I will read the instructions for you and point out any important points in the owners’ manuals that you should know.
Your time is very valuable. None of us want to spend that time disassembling a complicated device or scrubbing in hard to reach places. That’s why cleaning ease plays such an important role in my reviews.
I will always let you know in my review how easy it is to assemble/disassemble and clean an appliance and what parts, if any, are dishwasher-safe. I also point out handy tips that make your cleaning chores easier, read “Tip #1 Easy way to clean your blender” in my article “How To Use A Blender – Smoothies And More” for some examples.
Materials – what is it made of?
The materials used in the manufacture of small kitchen appliances can affect almost all of the above rating factors. They impact reliability, durability, ease of use, and cleaning ease.
Are the moving parts metal or plastic? Where parts are exposed to heat, are the materials heat resistant? Are the plastic parts that are in contact with food BPA-free? What are the materials used – plastic, metal, glass, ceramic? Are the correct materials used in the appropriate places?
Warranty and Customer Service
Warranty and Customer Service usually goes hand in hand with the Brand. A manufacturer that has been in business for many years understands that without good customer service and support, it will not stay in business for long.
And it isn’t just about how long the warranty is good for. What are the terms of the warranty? Is it a full warranty with shipping paid by the company, or is it a limited warranty where you are stuck paying for shipping costs that might add up to as much as or more than the original cost of the appliance?
Early failure of small kitchen appliances should not come as a surprise. Mistakes are unavoidable due to mass production techniques. To prevent any problems from reaching consumers at all would entail huge costs. That’s why warranties exist. Although usually, the rate of failure is not high, complaints are easily found on the internet because early failures create such a frustrating experience for the customer. How the company handles the complaints is the important criteria.
My reviews will always note whether or not it is evident that the manufacturer takes complaints seriously. A good company will answer all complaints with an offer to help, even after the warranty period has expired.
Conclusion – How I Review Small Kitchen Appliances
In conclusion, I rank small kitchen appliances base on:
- Brand – how well does it live up to its Brand name
- Reliability – does it consistently work as it’s supposed to
- Durability – will it continue working as it’s supposed to for a reasonable time according to the working conditions imposed
- Performance – how well does it do the job for which it was purchased/is it multi-functional
- Ease of Use – do the controls do what you expect
- Cleaning Ease – is it easy to assemble/disassemble and clean/is it self-cleaning
- Materials – are the materials used safe and suitable for your intended use
- Warranty and Customer Service – how responsive is the company to customer complaints/is support readily available
Finally, I will give bonus points for the emotional factors mentioned above i.e. appearance, price, available discounts and how well it lives up to its marketing hype.
I hope you find the articles and reviews helpful in choosing the right small kitchen appliances for you. Links on the review pages are available should you choose to buy the reviewed product or others that I recommend. Please read my FTC Compliance Statement. I am not paid for any product reviews nor is the product provided to me for the purpose of review. Thus, all of my reviews are totally my personal unbiased opinion based on research and/or personal experience.
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