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Upgrade Your Dinner Game With the Best Countertop Kitchen Appliances

Top Pick: Insignia 8-Quart Multi-Function

Early last month, I decided to make something I loved but never made myself: pork belly. I bought the ingredients and made a plan but didn’t realize how long it would take to slowly braise. As I was wracking my brain for alternatives, I walked past the closet that held the pressure cooker that I purchased at the start of 2019 and barely used since then. The results blew my mind. My pork belly was packed full of flavor and tender in just 37 minutes, instead of the nearly three hours of cooking time that a more traditional route would have taken.

Kitchen appliances can be extremely useful in upgrading your cooking. These five are my personal favorites and are useful in a large number of recipes. If you haven’t stepped out of your comfort zone recently, these appliances will help you do that and take your cooking to the next level.

Best Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 6 Quart

Illustration for article titled Upgrade Your Dinner Game With the Best Countertop Kitchen Appliances
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 is one of the best-rated kitchen appliances, as well as one of the best-selling models on Amazon. Not only is it a pressure cooker, but it’s a sterilizer, slow cooker, yogurt maker, saute pan, rice cooker, and warmer. It’s super easy to clean with a fingerprint-resistant stainless steel lid and dishwasher-safe accessories. It’s one of the best appliances for meal prepping with a delayed start function that can be triggered up to 24 hours in advance.

Best Hand Blender: Amazon Basics Multi-Sped Immersion - Black

Illustration for article titled Upgrade Your Dinner Game With the Best Countertop Kitchen Appliances
Image: Hamilton Beach

Do you love hummus? How about creamy tomato basil soup? This immersion blender makes cooking creamy sauces and soups effortless. Just plug it in, place it into a hot pot of goodness, and then blend. In a few minutes, your ingredients will transform into a tasty puree. At an affordable price, this kitchen appliance is one of the most used tools in my kitchen. Thanks to its small size, it fits easily in my cabinet and is super easy to wash when you’re done.

Best Juicer: Hamilton Beach Premium Machine

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Graphic: Chaya Milchtein
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I bought a juicer for my fiancee, not myself, but hear me out. She used to buy juices every time we went to the grocery store, and the cost added up quickly. With this juicer, we save money and she continues to drink her favorite juices. With a wide shoot and powerful motor, the Hamilton Beach Premium juicer machine ensures that you won’t have to cut up or peel most fruit. Apples fit no problem. Add a bit of ginger and maybe an orange, and you have a refreshing juice for breakfast. Since every part is removable, this product is also easy to clean, even in the toughest spots.

Best Food Processor: Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Compact

Illustration for article titled Upgrade Your Dinner Game With the Best Countertop Kitchen Appliances
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Looking to spend less time prepping your food? Want to slice your veggies or puree your pesto without thinking twice? Then, this versatile Hamilton Beach food processor is for you. Its bowl has an 8-cup capacity, which is big enough to handle any job in your family’s kitchen and small enough for storage. This product has a large chute, able to fit whole foods including a large block of cheese. Its blades have two speeds, including pulse and 450W of power for whatever you’re cooking up.

Best Coffee Grinder: KitchenAid Blade - Onyx Black

Illustration for article titled Upgrade Your Dinner Game With the Best Countertop Kitchen Appliances
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Coffee experts say that it’s best to grind your own beans rather than rely on those already processed. The KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder is perfect for the writer or freelance, who formerly frequented their neighborhood coffee shop prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its stainless steel blades offer durability, able to grind enough beans to make 12 cups of coffee in one sitting. The 4-oz. stainless steel bowl has measurement marking, so you don’t even have to think about how much you’re poring. This bowl is also removable, allowing for a quick transfer to your coffee maker. The product also has a 1-year replacement warranty in case anything goes wrong.

This story was originally published by Chaya M. Milchtein on 08/18/2020 and updated with new information by Juliana Clark on 02/23/2021.

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Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, freelance writer, and empowerment speaker who's made it her mission to engage and empower people in her community and beyond.

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