I grew up in a busy house that was the go-to gathering place for my friends and family, so it's not surprising that I find myself the perpetual hostess in my adult life. Whether it's Friendsgiving or the Super Bowl, game night or an intimate dinner party, I'm the first to volunteer my home (and my time) up to the group, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't love every minute of it. That's in part because, over the years, I've figured out all the tips, tricks, and hacks that make hosting fun and easy, including which kitchen appliances every host needs.
I know what you're thinking: More appliances to add to the kitchen? Where will they all fit? But before you start stressing over appliance storage, hear me out. Kitchen appliances — whether they help with the prep work, cooking, or serving — can make the life of a host easier and less stressful, which makes the extra appliances worth every inch of the precious pantry space they take up.
Are you ready to become the best host you can be? Yay! Here are five kitchen appliances you need in your life.
1. A slow cooker
I'm a firm believer that every kind of cook should own a slow cooker, but that statement becomes especially true for anyone who regularly hosts gatherings. An appliance that you can not only cook in, but one you can also keep food warm in and serve out of, the slow cooker is one of the most versatile items you can have in your kitchen — and it makes hosting a breeze.
Whether you use it to effortlessly cook one dish while you labor over the rest of the meal, or rely on it to keep things warm (like dips, chili, or drinks!) during a long gathering, the slow cooker is a must-have for every host.
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2. An electric griddle
Have you ever tried to cook pancakes for a big group of people using your stovetop and a pan? If you have, you know it's an absolute nightmare. If you're a frequent brunch host, do yourself a huge favor and buy an electric griddle.
An easy-to-use, easy-to-clean, and easy-to-store kitchen appliance, the griddle is great for making big batches of breakfast foods like bacon, pancakes, and crepes — and it's also a useful tool for baking (see the first link below). Available in a variety of sizes, electric griddles have the added bonus of giving you more surfaces to cook on, for those hosting occasions when your traditional stovetop is full.
3. A food processor
A time-saving tool that makes slicing, dicing, and chopping a quick and easy task, the food processor is a priceless appliance in the kitchen. Making potato salad or pasta salad for a crowd? A food processor can break down all those carrots, celery sticks, and onions in no time. It can also help you make the best pesto your friends have ever had.
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4. A drip coffee maker
From stovetop espresso makers to single-serve coffee machines to French presses, there are a million different ways to make coffee, and many of them take up less space than a standard drip coffee maker. When you're making coffee for a crowd, however, volume is key.
You don't want to keep everyone waiting while you make one cup at a time. You could get a giant 30- or 42-cup coffee urn, but depending on your crowd, that might be excessive. At the very least, have a machine that can make a nine- or 12-cup pot at once. Trust me when I say that a good host always makes coffee at the end of a meal.
More on Coffee Makers
5. An electric tea kettle
You may have some people in the crowd who prefer tea over coffee. Water boils faster in an electric tea kettle than it does on the stove. And for those tea purists out there, it's much easier to really control the temperature of the water.
What other small appliances do you frequently use when you're hosting?