When you begin a kitchen remodel, you most often focus on the design elements: the countertops, the backsplash, the cabinet hardware, etc. However, what your first priority should be is the appliances.
Without the right appliances, your kitchen is essentially useless. This guide will walk you through what appliances are absolutely essential — and which are just highly recommended to create the perfect kitchen for you.
Regardless of whether you are a professional chef or a frozen dinner aficionado, you can’t build a home without the following kitchen appliances:
Bare-bones fridges keep perishable food chilled, but newer and higher-end models do way more than that. You should look for a fridge that has enough shelf and drawer space to accommodate your food items. You might also want electric temperature controls, to make it easy to set the right amount of cold. Finally, if you are a tech-head, you can invest in a smart fridge that tracks your food and alerts you (or another smart home device) when something is running low.
You should know that the tiny freezer attached to most refrigerators simply isn’t enough, even for a household of two. It’s a good idea to invest in a separate freezer, which you can place in the laundry room or garage if you lack kitchen space. Both stand-up and chest-style freezers are good options.
Traditionally, the cooktop is part of a range that includes the oven, but more and more often, kitchen remodelers are separating the cooktop to give themselves more freedom to organize the kitchen. There are a bevy of cooktop options, from gas to electric coils to induction heating and more, and each has its pros and cons. You should choose based on how you like to cook and what kind of cookware you have. Check Cooking Time Journal for more interesting kitchen tools.
If you aren’t keen on placing a hood over your cooktop, you should check your state’s residential building codes; most likely, you are required to have some form of ventilation in the kitchen to channel smoke and steam out of the room. Even if it isn’t legally required, a hood will keep your room looking and smelling fresher for longer.
The current trend is to install not just one oven but two or three, stacked on a wall separate from the cooktop. Whether or not you choose to do this, you still need to consider oven features like whether you will have a gas or an electric oven, what your oven doors will look like, how you will control the temperature and more.
Since you are adding or upgrading the appliances to create a modern kitchen, it’s important that you add a dishwasher. Only the oldest, most outdated homes lack this appliance; while it is seen as a luxury to some, it is essential to include in a kitchen remodel.
In too many kitchens, the microwave is considered a countertop appliance. However, this tool has become so vital in home cooking that it is wise to make a space for it amongst your mounted cabinets. Not only will this free up valuable counter space, but it will also allow you to make your microwave less conspicuous in your kitchen.
Of course, there are plenty of necessary tools you don’t build into your kitchen. You should supplement with the following kitchen appliances, which can sit on top or be stored inside your cabinets.
A stand mixer is ideal because it has more power and flexibility. However, if you can’t afford a stand mixer — the price tag on the best models is high — you can make do with a hand mixer. If you are on a budget, it’s much better to invest in high-quality major appliances and save up later for better countertop tools.
A toaster oven is much more useful than a plain toaster. Toaster ovens can be used to heat up and cook more than just bread; they are handy appliances you can use when you don’t need the space — or don’t want the heat — of a full oven.
A blender is not a tool you want to you skimp on. When it comes to blenders, you get what you pay for, so it’s wise to invest in a recognized, quality brand like Vitamix or Ninja. Lower-quality blenders get stuck, burn up, crack and stop working with even the smallest tasks, so this is a countertop tool work splurging on.
It’s tempting to see the price of a food processor and assume you can just use your fancy blender, but in truth the tools provide completely different services. A food processor is a more advanced cooking tool than a blender, but if you want to use your kitchen to its fullest, you should invest in a food processor soon.
There you have it: the equipment necessary for a fully functioning kitchen. While some people might have unique needs, like a coffeemaker or a wine cooler, you should be able to make wonderful meals with hardly more than the machines listed above.