Ultimate Kitchen Appliances Buying Guide

Ultimate Kitchen Appliances Buying Guide

There seems to be a purpose-built kitchen appliance for everything these days. The options seem limitless, leading to the inevitable challenge of managing benchtop and cupboard space and choosing the right tools for your needs. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the array of choices, offering insights into the benefits, uses, and suitability of popular kitchen appliances. From blenders to air fryers, kettles to food processors, coffee machines & grinders to toasters and kitchen mixers, we'll explore each category of the most popular kitchen appliances to help you make informed decisions and streamline your kitchen with only what you truly need.

Quick Links


Blenders have become indispensable in the modern kitchen, offering versatility in creating smoothies, soups, and sauces.

Used for

  • Smoothies, shakes, and juices.
  • Soups, sauces, and purees.
  • Nut butter and ice cream.

Benefits of owning a blender

  • Versatility: Blenders can handle a variety of tasks, from crushing ice to blending fruits and vegetables.
  • Time-Saving: Ideal for quick meal preparation and on-the-go snacks.
  • Nutrient Retention: Blending retains more nutrients compared to traditional cooking methods.

What to look for when buying a blender

  1. Motor Power and Performance: Look for blenders with a powerful motor for efficient blending of various ingredients. Higher wattage often correlates with better performance, allowing you to handle everything from smoothies to crushing ice.
  2. Variable Speed Settings and Pulse Function: Opt for blenders with variable speed settings to have control over blending consistency. A pulse function is also beneficial for quick bursts of power, enabling precise control, especially for tasks like chopping or mixing.
  3. Jar Material and Size: Consider the material and size of the blender jar. BPA-free materials are preferable, and the jar size should align with your typical batch sizes. Some blenders offer different jar options for versatility.

Should I invest in a blender? Checklist:

Do you frequently prepare smoothies or shakes?

Do you need a tool for quick meal prep?

Are you interested in incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet?

Best Brands for Kitchen Blenders

Nutribullet Blenders

Nutribullet has carved a niche for itself by focusing on nutrient extraction and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Renowned for their compact yet powerful blenders, Nutribullet emphasizes simplicity and effectiveness. Their blender designs often prioritise ease of use, making them suitable for both beginners and health enthusiasts.

Ninja Blenders

Ninja has gained a reputation for blending technology with versatility, providing blenders that go beyond the basics. Known for their robust and multi-functional designs, Ninja blenders often come equipped with various attachments, allowing users to explore diverse culinary techniques.

Smith & Nobel Blenders

Smith & Nobel brings a touch of elegance to the world of blenders, seamlessly merging sophisticated design with high performance. Their blenders often feature sleek aesthetics without compromising on functionality, catering to those who appreciate both style and substance in their kitchen appliances.

Air Fryers

Buying Air Fryers

Air fryers have gained popularity for their ability to cook crispy and delicious meals with less oil.

Used for

  • Crispy fries, chicken wings, and other fried favourites.
  • Roasted vegetables and meats.
  • Baked goods.

Benefits of owning an air fryer

  • Healthier Cooking: Requires less oil, reducing overall fat intake.
  • Time Efficiency: Cooks food faster than traditional ovens.
  • Versatility: Suitable for frying, roasting, and baking.

What to look for when buying an air fryer

  1. Capacity and Size: Choose an air fryer with an appropriate capacity for your household needs. Consider the size and form factor, ensuring it fits well in your kitchen space while providing enough room to cook the desired quantity of food.
  2. Temperature Control and Cooking Presets: Look for air fryers with adjustable temperature controls, allowing you to customize cooking temperatures for different recipes. Cooking presets for common dishes simplify the process, ensuring consistent results.
  3. Easy Cleaning Features: Consider air fryers with removable, dishwasher-safe components for easy cleaning. Non-stick coatings and accessible interiors contribute to hassle-free maintenance.

Should I invest in an air fryer? Checklist:

Do you enjoy fried foods with less oil?

Are you looking for a versatile cooking appliance?

Do you value quick and efficient meal preparation?

Best Brands for Air Fryers

Healthy Choice Air Fryers

Healthy Choice has established itself as a brand dedicated to health-conscious cooking. Healthy Choice air fryers are equipped with features that promote healthier frying, emphasising the use of minimal oil to achieve crispy and delicious results. Healthy Choice often integrates preset cooking programs and easy-to-use interfaces, making their air fryers accessible to a wide range of users.

Smith & Nobel Air Fryers

Smith & Nobel places a strong emphasis on manufacturing excellence. Smith & Nobel air fryers are crafted with precision, utilising durable materials that withstand the rigours of daily use. From intuitive controls to efficient heating elements, each component is designed to contribute to a seamless and reliable air frying process.


Kettles are a kitchen essential for boiling water quickly and efficiently.

Used for

  • Tea and coffee brewing.
  • Instant noodles and soups.
  • Cooking and baking.

Benefits of owning a kettle

  • Speed: Boils water faster than stove-top methods.
  • Energy Efficiency: Only heats the water needed.
  • Convenience: Ideal for tea, coffee, and cooking.

What to look for when buying a kettle

  1. Boiling Speed: Prioritise kettles with rapid boiling technology for quick and efficient water heating. This feature is particularly beneficial when you need hot water in a hurry.
  2. Temperature Control: Opt for kettles with temperature control settings, especially if you enjoy different types of teas or coffees. This allows you to heat water to specific temperatures for optimal brewing.
  3. Safety Features: Look for safety features such as automatic shut-off and boil-dry protection. These features enhance safety by turning off the kettle when the water reaches boiling point or if there's insufficient water.

Should I invest in a quality kettle? Checklist:

Do you consume tea or coffee regularly?

Are you looking for a quick and efficient way to boil water?

Do you engage in culinary activities that require hot water?

Best Brands for Kettles

Breville Kettles

Breville is synonymous with innovation, and its kettles exemplify this ethos. Known for sleek designs and advanced features, Breville kettles often come equipped with elements like rapid boiling technology and customisable temperature settings. The brand combines form and function, appealing to users who seek precision in their hot beverage preparation.

Russell Hobbs Kettles

Russell Hobbs maintains high manufacturing standards in the production of their kettles. The brand's dedication to reliability is reflected in the durability of their appliances. Russell Hobbs kettles are crafted with attention to detail, ensuring that users can enjoy a consistently reliable performance over the long term.

Food Processors

Choosing The Right Food Processor

Food processors are versatile kitchen workhorses designed for chopping, slicing, and blending.

Used for

  • Chopping vegetables, nuts, and herbs.
  • Slicing fruits and vegetables.
  • Making dough, sauces, and dips.

Benefits of owning a food processor

  • Time-Saving: Automates tedious tasks like chopping and slicing.
  • Versatility: Accommodates a variety of attachments for different tasks.
  • Consistency: Achieves uniform cuts for professional-looking dishes.

What to look for when buying a food processor

  1. Motor Power and Versatility: Consider the motor power and versatility of the food processor. A powerful motor handles various tasks, from chopping and slicing to kneading dough, providing a versatile kitchen companion.
  2. Multiple Attachments and Accessories: Opt for food processors with multiple attachments and accessories. This includes blades for different tasks, slicing and shredding discs, and dough blades, maximizing the range of tasks the food processor can perform.
  3. Bowl Capacity and Feed Tube Size: Assess the bowl capacity and feed tube size. A larger capacity allows for processing more significant quantities, and a wide feed tube accommodates larger ingredients, reducing the need for pre-cutting.

Should I invest in a food processor? Checklist:

Do you enjoy cooking from scratch?

Are you looking to save time on food preparation?

Do you frequently engage in tasks that involve chopping or slicing?

Best Brands for Food Processors

Smith & Nobel Food Processors

Smith & Nobel injects culinary ingenuity into its line of food processors, marrying advanced features with contemporary design. Renowned for sleek and modern appliances, their processors often incorporate innovative functionalities while maintaining an aesthetic appeal. Smith & Nobel places a premium on versatility, offering processors designed to streamline various kitchen tasks with efficiency.

Russell Hobbs Food Processors

Russell Hobbs seamlessly blends classic craftsmanship with contemporary functionality in its line of food processors. Russell Hobbs food processors showcase timeless designs, housing powerful and intuitive components. Russell Hobbs emphasises user-friendly interfaces and multifunctional capabilities, providing tools that marry tradition with modernity.

Coffee Machines & Grinders

For coffee enthusiasts, dedicated coffee machines and grinders can greatly enhance your morning brew.

Used for

  • Espresso, cappuccino, and lattes.
  • Drip coffee and pour-over.
  • Cold brew and French press.

Benefits of owning a coffee machine and grinder

  • Freshness: Grind coffee beans for a fresher taste.
  • Customisation: Control over grind size and brewing parameters.
  • Variety: Brew different styles, from espresso to drip coffee.

What to look for when buying a coffee machine

  1. Brewing Options and Customisation: Look for coffee machines that offer brewing options and customization features. Adjustable brew strength, temperature control, and the ability to make different coffee styles cater to varied preferences.
  2. Grind Size Options: If purchasing a coffee grinder, prioritize models with adjustable grind size options. Different brewing methods, such as espresso or French press, require specific grind sizes for optimal flavour extraction.
  3. Programmability and Timers: Consider coffee machines with programmability and timers. This feature allows you to set the machine to start brewing at a specific time, ensuring you wake up to a freshly brewed cup.

Should I invest in a coffee machine and grinder? Checklist:

Are you a coffee enthusiast seeking a customised brewing experience?

Do you prefer freshly ground coffee beans?

Do you enjoy experimenting with different coffee styles?

Best Brands for Coffee & Espresso Machines

Breville Coffee Machines

Breville consistently delivers coffee machines and grinders that cater to the discerning taste of coffee aficionados. Known for their sleek and high-tech designs, Breville's coffee appliances often feature advanced brewing technologies and customisable settings. The brand excels in creating an immersive coffee experience, from the grind size to the extraction process.

De'Longhi Coffee Machines

De'Longhi, rooted in Italian craftsmanship, is celebrated for creating coffee machines and coffee bean grinders that marry functionality with timeless elegance. De'Longhi coffee machines often boast sophisticated designs, blending seamlessly into any kitchen aesthetic. De'Longhi excels in providing coffee enthusiasts with intuitive controls and innovative features for a diverse range of coffee preparations.


Toasters are a kitchen staple for quick and easy breakfast or snack preparation.

Used for

  • Toasted bread, bagels, and English muffins.
  • Reheating leftover pizza or snacks.
  • Quick sandwich preparation.

Benefits of owning a toaster

  • Speed: Toasts bread, bagels, and pastries quickly.
  • Convenience: Easy to use for quick breakfast or snacks.
  • Versatility: Accommodates various bread types and thicknesses.

What to look for when buying a toaster

  1. Number of Slots and Width: Assess the number of slots in the toaster based on your household's needs. Additionally, consider the slot width to accommodate various bread sizes and thicknesses.
  2. Browning Control: Look for toasters with adjustable browning controls. This feature allows you to customize the level of toasting for different preferences, ensuring your toast is just the way you like it.
  3. Additional Features (Defrost, Reheat): Consider additional features like defrost and reheat functions. These features add versatility to the toaster, allowing you to toast frozen items or warm previously toasted items without additional browning.

Should I invest in a good-quality toaster? Checklist:

Do you enjoy toasted bread or bagels for breakfast?

Is quick and easy snack preparation important to you?

Do you value a versatile appliance for various bread types?

Best Brands for Toasters

Russell Hobbs Toasters

Russell Hobbs toasters often feature wide slots to accommodate various bread sizes, precise browning controls, and easy-to-use interfaces. Russell Hobbs excels in providing toasters that not only toast uniformly but also add a touch of timeless elegance to the kitchen.

Smith & Nobel Toasters

Smith & Nobel toasters may incorporate innovative elements such as one-touch buttons for defrosting or reheating, ensuring versatility in toasting options. The brand often focuses on user-friendly interfaces and streamlined designs, allowing for easy operation and cleaning.

Kitchen Mixers

Kitchen mixers are essential for baking enthusiasts, offering convenience and precision.

Read our comprehensive kitchen & stand mixers buying guide.

Used for

  • Cake and cookie batter.
  • Bread dough and pizza dough.
  • Whipping cream and egg whites.

Benefits of owning a kitchen mixer

  • Efficiency: Mixes ingredients thoroughly and quickly.
  • Versatility: Accommodates various attachments for different tasks.
  • Consistency: Ensures uniform and well-mixed batters.

What to look for when buying a mixer

  1. Motor Power and Bowl Capacity: Prioritise stand mixers with a powerful motor, ensuring they can handle various mixing tasks, including heavy dough. Assess the bowl capacity to match your typical batch sizes.
  2. Attachment Compatibility: Look for stand mixers that are compatible with a range of attachments. This allows you to expand the functionality of the mixer, performing tasks such as grinding, pasta making, or vegetable slicing.
  3. Tilt-Head or Bowl-Lift Design: Choose between a tilt-head or bowl-lift design based on your preferences and kitchen space. Tilt-head models are convenient for easy access to the bowl, while bowl-lift designs are suitable for handling large quantities of ingredients.

Should I invest in a kitchen mixer? Checklist:

Are you an avid baker or aspiring to be one?

Do you frequently engage in tasks that involve mixing or kneading?

Are you looking for a versatile appliance for baking needs?

Best Brands for Stand Mixers

Kenwood Stand Mixers

Kenwood kitchen mixers are known for their versatility, thanks to an array of attachments. From dough hooks for kneading to balloon whisks for whipping, Kenwood ensures that users can explore diverse culinary techniques with a single appliance. The brand's commitment to versatility makes its mixers an indispensable tool in the kitchen.

Healthy Choice Stand Mixers

Healthy Choice mixers are designed with affordability and efficiency in mind. These mixers often feature straightforward controls, multiple speed settings, and a compact design suitable for various kitchen spaces. Healthy Choice excels in providing mixers that offer essential functionalities without compromising on performance.

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Benchtop Appliances for Your Kitchen

Selecting the right kitchen appliances is crucial for optimising both functionality and aesthetics in your kitchen. Here are five tips to guide you in making informed choices that align with your culinary needs and space considerations:

Tip 1: Assess Your Cooking Habits and Needs

Before investing in benchtop appliances, evaluate your cooking habits and specific needs. Consider the types of meals you frequently prepare and the tasks involved. For example, if you often bake, a kitchen mixer or food processor may be essential. If you're a coffee enthusiast, a quality coffee machine might be a priority. Tailoring your appliance selection to your cooking habits ensures you invest in tools that enhance your daily culinary experience.

Tip 2: Consider the Available Space

Bench space is a valuable commodity in any kitchen. Measure your available countertop space and consider the dimensions of the appliances you're interested in. Opt for compact designs or multifunctional appliances that serve multiple purposes. This ensures that your kitchen remains organised and functional, with ample space for food preparation.

Tip 3: Research Brand Reputation and Features

Explore the reputation and features of different appliance brands. Look for brands known for reliability, durability, and innovation. Read customer reviews to gain insights into the performance and longevity of specific models. Consider the unique features each brand offers, such as preset programs, attachments, or technological advancements. Understanding brand reputations and product features will guide you in making informed decisions.

Tip 4: Prioritise Versatility and Multi-Functionality

Opt for benchtop appliances that offer versatility and multi-functionality. Choose appliances that can perform various tasks, reducing the need for multiple single-purpose devices. For example, a food processor with different attachments can handle chopping, slicing, and blending. A versatile appliance not only saves space but also adds convenience to your cooking routine.

Tip 5: Set a Realistic Budget

Establish a realistic budget for your benchtop appliances. Quality doesn't always correlate with high prices, so weigh the features, brand reputation, and your specific needs against the cost. Consider the long-term value of the appliance and how often you anticipate using it. This approach ensures you make cost-effective choices that align with your financial considerations.