7 Small Kitchen Appliances That Will Add Ease & Joy To Your Holiday Cooking

7 Small Kitchen Appliances That Will Add Ease & Joy To Your Holiday Cooking

13 minute read

We know how busy you are at this time of year. So, we're going to get right down to business on how to make this Thanksgiving joyful and efficient in the kitchen. 

There's no need to spend hours on manual labor in the kitchen. It's 2021, and we live in a land of convenience, innovation, and abundance! Let's express our gratitude by appreciating all we have and using what's available to us in a way that extends our love and kindness. Cooking a beautiful meal for the family is the perfect way to accomplish this.

Want a game-changer in your kitchen? A game-changer is something that shifts our usual way of doing things, either by simplifying a particular routine or task or making it more efficient. And the right appliance can be a game-changer by making certain cooking tasks snappier-than-usual business, which frees up time and hands for all the other must-dos on the big day.

Before we dive in, let's clear up some terminology.

An appliance is a device or piece of equipment designed to perform a specific task, typically a domestic one.

A small kitchen appliance then, is a small device or piece of equipment designed specifically for cooking-related tasks.

Typically, we regard appliances as electrical devices. However, many manual devices deserve status recognition as appliances. 

If you're short on time, use the following list to skip ahead to the specific appliance you're interested in. If you have 15 minutes to spare, read this guide from start to finish and get the low-down on our top 7 best small kitchen appliances of this year.


Immersion Blender

Multi Cooker

Toaster Oven

Indoor Grill

Electric Kettle

Food Processor

Potato Ricer

Best Small Kitchen Appliances 2021

#1 Immersion Blender

This is the best small kitchen appliance ever (in our books), especially for Thanksgiving prep. The immersion blender, also called a stick blender or hand blender, is small, compact, easy to clean, and ideal for singles, couples, and small families. It requires no hauling out from the back of your cupboard just to make a simple smoothie or baby food puree. It's a long, slender wand with a fierce blade. Submerge it, click on, and a few minutes later you have a silky smooth soup, smoothie, pudding, gravy (hello?!), pancake batter, and more. 


An immersion blender usually comes with a few different blades, including a chopper, blender, whisk, and milk frother. Twelve-speed functionality is pretty standard, but look for one that features a turbo speed setting for blending hard foods such as ice, nuts, grains, and meat. It should also include a beaker with a lid.

How It Works

Its immersion design allows you to blend ingredients in their original container. Attach the desired blade, immerse the wand directly into the bowl or pot, click 'on', and blend away. 

Why It's A Game-Changer

No transfer of ingredients into a large blender or otherwise is required, and it's ideal for blending small amounts of food quickly and easily. And whipped cream for that pumpkin pie needs no time at all with this weapon! Enjoy far less fuss this Thanksgiving.

PC Tip

We mentioned it as an extra feature, but we highly recommend that you make the turbo speed setting feature non-negotiable. It increases the versatility and convenience of the tool, and allows you to do those quick n' dirty jobs in a snap with little clean-up required. An extra tip: keep the blade submerged when blending to prevent spatter.

#2 Multi Cooker 

What was once the slow cooker can now be a jack of all trades! Also known as the InstaPot, Crock Pot, or air fryer, a multi cooker has a lot of names and takes care of almost every cooking task. If you love soups, casseroles, mac n' cheese, roasts, and stews and you have a busy life, a multi cooker is an ideal small kitchen appliance for you. 


One of the main considerations is the shape. Oval multi cookers accommodate large cuts of meat better than a circular appliance, so it all depends on what types of meals you expect to make with it. Since Thanksgiving and other holiday meals usually feature meat, an oval multi cooker is probably your best bet. Size factors in here too. The average size is about 4 liters, which can serve four or five people. 

How It Works

The beauty of the slow cooker is that it requires fewer instructions compared to other appliances. Add ingredients according to your recipe, select the cook setting you want, and let the magic happen. 

Why It's A Game-Changer

It's super versatile and virtually fool-proof. It can brown, steam, stew, hard-boil, pressure cook, simmer, and slow cook, all while you are working or simply spending your time doing something besides watching a pot (because we know that outcome!).

PC Tip

If you have a little extra time, we recommend sauteing meat and veggies before tossing them in the slow cooker as this helps to release more flavor.

#3 Toaster Oven

When oven real estate is at a premium during Thanksgiving, a toaster oven can be an absolute life saver, ie. game changer! It's great for taking care of the small stuff, and at the last minute too as it takes mere minutes for the oven to heat up. It's also useful for keeping sides warm in wait for everything else to reach completion. 


Our favorite feature about toaster ovens is the multiple cooking functions. Get yourself a Rolls Royce version and you'll find you almost never have to use your big oven except for large family gatherings. Most features are pretty standard, but some of the newer models have an air fry function. Standard toaster ovens include the following settings: bake, broil, toast, warm, and reheat.

How It Works

There's not much to it. Standard toaster ovens have a bake setting, which emanates radiant heat from the heating elements and metal walls. The warm air circulates, warms the food, and conducts heat from the baking pan to the food within. Depending on the make and model you choose, you'll have to become familiar with the different heat settings and cooking functions. 

Why It's A Game-Changer

It's a small second oven, which is an enormous help when you're hosting a big family holiday dinner, like at Thanksgiving. It can also keep those pies and tarts warm while you eat dinner.

PC Tip

Look for a model that features a defrost function. As a busy family, you can't always plan out what dinner is going to be. Sometimes, you have to pull chicken breasts out of the freezer at the last minute so you want to defrost them quickly and safely before cooking starts. 

#4 Indoor Grill

It's the middle of winter -- who wants to stand outside and grill? While you might be a winter enthusiast, maybe your partner doesn't enjoy it but they grill a meaner steak. Solution #1: indoor grill for this year's Christmas present (no need to mention any motives). Does food taste the same with an electric indoor grill? You may have to try it to believe it, but we think food tastes even better thanks to the built-in temperature controls that allow you to cook food to perfection. Keep meat tender and juicy and prevent overcooking? Check!


There is more than one type of indoor grill out there. In fact, there seem to be as many as there are toothpaste varieties! A multigrill is probably your best bet though it's likely to be more expensive. Hamilton Beach makes a 4-in-1 featuring an indoor grill, double griddle, griddle, and bacon cooker. Close it up for grilled sandwiches or open it up for a double grill surface. Whatever make and model you choose, look for one that has removable/interchangeable grill plates.

How It Works

It functions like an outdoor grill and operates like a stove top with temperature controls and an even cooking surface. Depending on the brand you choose, you can use it as an electric skillet as well as a top and bottom grilling press.

Why It's A Game-Changer

They heat up quickly with a more even cooking surface than a charcoal or propane powered outdoor grill. Most have removable grills that slide right into your dishwasher. 

PC Tip 

Find one that features a "kickstand" to help drain the grease.

#5 Electric Kettle

While it's not the most novel small kitchen appliance out there, it certainly stands the test of time. It prevents having to use your stovetop or microwave to boil water. An electric kettle is a far more efficient use of energy than the stovetop or microwave, especially when used for small tasks. It's a useful tool for raw veggies that are easy to overcook, like broccoli and cauliflower. Boil up water in a snap and give cruciferous veg a quick splash of heat to soften them up while maintaining their crunch. To avoid any confusion, don't put the veggies in the kettle! Rather pour freshly boiled water over them and allow them to sit for a couple minutes before straining.

How It Works

Perhaps the most uncomplicated appliance in your kitchen is the electric kettle, unless, that is, it features digital temperature settings! Fill it to your desired volume, preferably using filtered water, plug it in, and click 'on.' Depending on the model, you may have to set the temperature, in which case, follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Look for an electric kettle that includes a limescale filter in the spout, especially if you have hard water. Further, ensure that the filter is easy to remove and clean regularly. Water markings should include both minimum and maximum markings. A boil-dry function is an additional safety feature that automatically turns the kettle off if it doesn't contain enough water. In addition, multiple temperature settings prevent burnt tea, which has a lower threshold for heat than coffee (but of course, that depends on who you ask!).

Why It's A Game-Changer

It makes quick, energy-efficient work of tasks that should be quick and energy efficient. 

PC Tip

We advise great prudence when selecting the location for your electric kettle. Don't place it under or near a wooden cabinet as over time the steam will warp the wood or cause mildew to accumulate. Also beware of 'cool-touch' features with small hands around that may be apt to pick it up and risk being scalded by freshly boiled water. 

#6 Food Processor

Before there were food processors there were blenders. Standard blenders that had one setting: blending. And of course, there was also the manual knife and steady hand, followed by carpal-tunnel syndrome for the avid chef. Thankfully, we've gotten much more sophisticated with our food processing. Now we can put the blender to work on other more trivial culinary tasks, like making fruit smoothies, and save our chopping for more creative tasks. Leave the practical chopping and dicing to the food processor and enjoy greater uniformity of pieces. It's ideal for salad, soup, casserole prep, taco toppings, and making cauliflower rice.

How It Works

A food processor has three main parts: a bowl base, a lid, and blade with metal disc attachments. Depending on the brand, there are shredding and sliding discs that grate or shred food, and some include various sized holes that yield fine, medium, or coarse pieces. Push food through the feed tube using the separate pusher or plunger. 

Best Features

Look for a food processor that has a pulse function for those quick little bursts of power and smooth, easy-to-clean buttons.

Why It's A Game- Changer

Enjoy record-time chopping, slicing, dicing, shredding, and julienning with zero manual labor.

PC Tip 

Extra discs allow you to do more. Initially, these may seem like an unnecessary extra, but once you realize how much is possible, you'll be happy you went for it. If you want to stick to the minimum, ensure the brand you choose supports attachments. Also, we recommend hand-washing even the "dishwasher safe" discs.

#7 Potato Ricer 

kitchen appliance

Okay, technically a potato ricer is not an appliance by our modern definition, but once you use it, you'll have to disagree! This may be one of the most useful, game-changing inventions of the 21st century. No one knows when this manual potato-saving device was created, but it's a modern-day spin-off of the potato masher, which was invented in 1887. We can safely say, however, that a potato ricer is not a potato masher. A potato ricer prevents over-mashing, which the original manual masher does not (but it is a useful weapon for venting frustration on a pile of poor potatoes!)

How It Works 

Similar to a garlic press, a potato ricer has an open-close hinge movement that presses potatoes through small holes, preventing lumps and gluey mash.

Best Features

The holes should be small enough to prevent any lumps from getting through. In addition, look for a potato ricer that has extra-long handles, a silicone grip on the underside of the handle, as well as a hanging silicone knob jutting out from the ricer. Combined, these three features help maintain stability when positioning the instrument over a pot or bowl. Check out this unboxing review of Priority Chef's luxe potato ricer.

Why It's A Game-Changer 

They make getting creamy, whipped potatoes a cinch, and you can use it for mashing carrots, turnips, and other cooked root veggies.

PC Tip

Wash or at least soak it immediately after use to make cleaning easy.

Happy Thanksgiving Y'All…

Now that the practical stuff is taken care of, let's get to the heart of this holiday.

Real pilgrims make use of what's available with deep appreciation for the gifts bestowed unto us. Let's do the same, shall we? 

Here are a few tips for expressing our love, kindness, and gratitude this holiday season:

Whenever there is an opportunity to donate an old appliance to someone in need, let's take it. It helps someone else enjoy greater ease in their life.

Whenever there is an opportunity to reduce our consumption by buying second hand appliances, let's do it. It lessens the impact on our natural environment.

Whenever there is an opportunity to show kindness to a neighbour, a friend, a family member, or a stranger, let's not hesitate to do our best to make their days brighter. 

We hope this free guide has brought a breath of fresh air into your kitchen so you can get back to all that cooking and culinary art you love. If you have questions, comments, or other feedback, please feel free to contact us, or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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Priority Chef: Quality You Can Trust

At Priority Chef, we think that food prep and cooking should be a fun and rewarding endeavor, but that's only possible with the right tools. That's why we're focused on creating functional, high-quality kitchenware that you and your family will rely on for years.

We design, source, craft, and rigorously test each of our products to ensure the highest quality and convenience. From our family to yours, enjoy convenience and novelty in the kitchen, always at your fingertips!

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