The Very Best Small Appliances You Can Buy in 2022

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aqua blue stand mixer mixing buttercream frosting on yellow tile countertop. Bowl of colored sprinkles in the background
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Prop Styling: JoJo Li

Quick! Name some of the small appliances you couldn’t live without. Out loud. Ready? We’re hearing lots of air fryers, toasters, blenders. Those are some of our most-used items, too! But which air fryer will give you perfectly crisp Brussels sprouts? Which toaster will pop out bread that’s golden to your exact liking? And which blender will churn out the smoothest smoothies? Oh, and which small appliances are just unnecessary? We spent months testing, tasting, and debating. In the end, we’ve come up with 10 small appliances for our 2022 list of Kitchn Essentials.

These are the small appliances we think can help every home cook. Our list includes a new Instant Pot model, a toaster and a toaster oven, and our new favorite immersion blender.

1 / 10
Best Multi-Cooker

The Instant Pot has come a long way since it first captured our hearts and minds (and bellies) all those years ago. This new version pairs sleek good looks (really) with ease of use (even for technophobes) and versatility (yes, it really will cook everything). It's also WiFi capable, meaning you can control it from your smartphone.

2 / 10
Best Slow Cooker
was $129.99

There's a lot of competition when it comes to slow cookers, but this one gets our vote for a few reasons: For starters, it has an intuitive digital interface, three cook settings, and an automatic keep-warm mode. Just as importantly, it cooks everything (beans! Chicken thighs! Soups!) perfectly, has an easy-to-handle ceramic pot, and it’s a cinch to clean, too.

3 / 10
Best Air Fryer
Williams Sonoma
was $259.95

Whether you want bar food, crispy veggies, or a simple dinner shortcut, the air fryer is there for you. In fact, it's become one of the most essential small appliances out there. And if you're going to get one, this mother of all air fryers is our top pick. It holds up to three quarts of food, has clear controls, and beat out other machines in our speed tests.

4 / 10
Best Toaster Oven
Williams Sonoma

If you just want evenly golden toast and that's all, check out our next pick. But if you're looking for something that can deliver consistently crisped bread and also bake cookies, roast an entire chicken, and more, this toaster oven is totally worth the splurge. Just know that you'll probably end up using this more than your actual oven.

5 / 10
Best Toaster
Williams Sonoma

Here we are for those who are Team Toaster. Two key features put this toaster over the top as the winner of our Best List testing: the “bit more” button, which adds a little more time to your toasting cycle, and the “lift and look” feature that allows you to pop the toast up mid-toast to check its progress.

6 / 10
Best Stand Mixer
was $449.99

This kitchen workhorse earns high marks from pretty much everyone on our team, including Associate Food Editor Cory Fernandez. "As someone who's usually content with the old-fashioned hand mixer, even I'll admit that a quality gadget like this one takes care of most of the heavy lifting when it comes to baking and mixing." Of course, it also won the top spot in our Best List testing.

7 / 10
Best Hand Mixer

For those times when you don't need heavy lifting, there's this budget-friendly hand mixer. It's ideal for smaller tasks — like whipping egg whites, making whipped cream, and mixing brownie batter — or really any time it's easier to bring the mixer to the bowl rather than vice versa. If you're wondering, we really do think you should have both on hand.

8 / 10
Best Food Processor
Bed Bath & Beyond

When it comes to food processors, our best advice is to pony up for this 14-cup model, which can handle everything you throw at it, including mirepoix, pizza dough, mayo, and more. It's super simple to operate, is precise and powerful, and will last for years and years.

9 / 10
Best Blender
was $629.95

Vitamix sets the bar for blenders, so the question is really: Which Vitamix should you get? Our top pick is this Professional Series blender, which easily whizzes up soups, smoothies, and salsas (and pretty much everything else). It has one of the most powerful motors on the market and comes with a seven-year warranty. Pro chefs often keep this in their restaurant kitchens, if that tells you anything.

10 / 10
Best Immersion Blender
Williams Sonoma
was $149.95

Silky-smooth soup, perfect mayo, and green smoothies in seconds — this immersion blender gets the job done with power to spare. Attachments easily twist on and off, the whole thing is comfortable to hold, and the cord is long enough that it doesn't ever get in the way. Bottom line? For ease and comfort, coupled with unbeatable power, this is our top pick.

How many of these Essentials do you have? Tell us in the comments below.