A chef is only as good as their tools.
Well, maybe that's not always true, but the appliances and gadgets you keep in the kitchen can have a big impact on your final product. But the question is: how do you know which ones you need?
We've put together this guide with the breakdown of the best tools to use for each meal, so you can impress your family and friends with your competence in the kitchen or simply take your meal prep to an impressive new level.
Start your morning on the right foot with a cup of coffee and a homemade crepe — after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Nespresso Vertuo machine by Breville: If you're like us, you can't survive your morning without a jolt of caffeine. This Nespresso machine simplifies the process, so you can have a steaming (and delicious) cup of coffee in hand shortly just minutes after stepping out of bed.
Le Creuset crepe pan: Hear us out — you should be making yourself homemade crêpes for breakfast. Extremely versatile, they can be as light or as rich as you want and can be sweet or savory. If you want crêpes like the ones you'd dine on at a café in Paris, this is the pan to get.
Who doesn't love brunch — especially when done right with the help of these.
Anova Culinary Sous Vide: No brunch is complete without a perfectly poached egg, and no egg is perfectly poached without a sous vide. This machine gives you the precise control needed to produce brunch-ready eggs of the perfect consistency.
Lodge cast iron skillet: You can use a cast iron skillet for pretty much anything, making this a useful tool all around. For brunch, we love using it for biscuits (great with poached eggs), sauteed veggies, or perfect crispy bacon.
Whether you meal prep for the week or keep frozen meals on deck, you can step up your lunchtime routine with these implements.
Amazon Smart Oven: We're eagerly awaiting Amazon's soon-to-be-released Smart Oven, which will be available on November 14. This four-in-one convection oven, microwave, air fryer, and food warmer can even scan select packaged foods and cook them according to the instructions automatically.
Pyrex bakeware set: What's noteworthy about Pyrex is that every piece comes with its own lid, so it's a baking pan and transportable storage dish all in one. These are oven-, microwave-, and freezer-safe, so they'll suit just about any kind of lunch.
When it comes to weeknight dinners, convenience is king. That's why we use pressure cooking appliances to get food ready quickly when we get home from work.
Instant Pot Duo: There's a reason why Instant Pots are a trending kitchen appliance right now (and have been for the past few years). These multi-cookers are the MVPs of the kitchen and can be used for a variety of cooking tasks. They're the working adult's best friend because they make after-work dinner prep a breeze.
Pressure cooker: For those who prefer a pressure cooking method without all the bells and whistles of the name-brand Instant Pot, a stovetop model does the trick.
No meal is complete without dessert, and these tools will have you looking forward to your after-dinner treat throughout the whole meal.
KitchenAid mixer: This is the ultimate dessert machine. You can use it to make cookies, cakes, brownies, ice cream — pretty much any dessert you can imagine. This is one of our most used (and most useful) kitchen appliances.
Cookie press: If cookies are your dessert of choice, a simple cookie press will help you churn out large batches of consistently delicious, perfectly shaped cookies.
If you're having guests over, a charcuterie board is a must. Not only does it make a striking centerpiece, but all the goodies you arrange on it will also entice guests to mingle as they nibble.
Cheese board: No charcuterie arrangement is complete without a fancy cheese board to show off your assortment of snacks.
Wine decanter: Class up your charcuterie spread with wine — and you need not splurge on a super expensive bottle. Pour your wine of choice into a decanter, allowing it to breathe about 30 minutes before serving, to make even bargain wines taste much more expensive.
Adding a workout to your day means you get to add another meal, too. Post-workout food makes working out worth it, after all.
Vitamix: If you're looking for optimum nutrition and efficiency after your workout (who isn't?), then you need a Vitamix. This powerful kitchen tool extracts maximum nutrition from the foods you blend and can easily handle frozen fruit, nuts, and hot foods like soups.
Juicer: For those who prefer juice rather than smoothies after a sweat session, a juicer will save you from having to hand-squeeze citrus. Plus, it'll help you get those much-needed servings of fruits and vegetables with ease.
Often, simple is best. If you find that you like to cook one-pot meals for yourself or your family, you can make things even easier with one of these tools.
Slow cooker: A Crock-Pot is a lazy meal prepper's best friend. All you have to do is prep your ingredients in the morning, put them in, and then return at the end of the day to a perfectly slow-cooked meal.
Dutch oven: For those who prefer to be more involved in the cooking process, a Dutch oven is a handy tool to have on hand, whether you're making macaroni and cheese, soup, braised meat, or even baked goods.
Rice can be used to round out every single meal, and it can be tricky to cook just right. There's no saving overcooked, mushy rice, and no one wants too much undercooked crunch. That's why is rice is a staple in your home, the following tools are musts.
Rice cooker: The best way to ensure perfectly fluffy rice every time is by using a device designed specifically for the task: a rice cooker. These are affordable machines that are worth it if you have space; plus, they double as a steamer.
Wok: Once you have perfect rice prepared, a wok will take your fried rice dishes to the next level. The wok's construction allows food to cook quickly at high heat without overcooking or sticking to the pan.
Sarah Pitts is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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