If you're moving into an apartment or a new house, there's no guarantee a microwave will be installed over the range. Fortunately, countertop microwaves are fairly affordable these days. You can pick up a new microwave for anywhere between $50 and $200.
If you're in an apartment, you may have restrictions on whether you can own a gas or charcoal grill. The next best thing is an indoor grill or a panini press. As a plus, you can cook just about anything on an indoor grill with less cleanup.
Hate coming home from work to spend hours cooking a meal? A slow cooker will quickly become your most cherished kitchen appliance.
There is an endless supply of "set-it-and-forget-it" slow-cooker recipes that you can start before you leave for work. When you get home that evening, you should have a piping hot meal ready to be eaten.
Slow cookers can be bought for as little as $15, but you can also purchase what is referred to as a multicooker (a combination of a pressure cooker and a slow cooker) for around $50. (We love the Instant Pot Smart!)
A blender is an indispensable tool in the kitchen. They can also vary wildly in price and quality.
For instance, some blenders are geared more toward individuals who just want a smoothie to throw back in the morning, while others come with larger carafes, more power and better blades for heavier workloads, such as making your own nut butter. And if you want to skip getting a coffee grinder, a blender will certainly work as a substitute -- just don't tell your coffee snob friends.
Depending on your needs, you can spend as little as $50 or upward of $700 for a quality blender.
If you're into baking, you shouldn't go without a stand mixer. It will significantly decrease the prep time for mixing batter, making your own frosting, kneading dough, making mashed potatoes and much more.
Stand mixers might start at just $20, but a high-end one will cost you around $250 or more.
If you're a nonstarter without your morning coffee, you'll definitely want to pick up one for your new kitchen. It's a great way to save money (in the long run), and depending on what type of coffee maker you buy, you can do more than just make coffee with it. Cup-based coffee makers can often make tea, hot chocolate and even meals.
The price of Keurigs have dropped over the years, and you can now buy one for under $100. However, if you want an SCAA-approved coffee maker, like the Oxo Barista Brain or Bonavita 1900TS, expect to pay between $130 and $200. Here are our favorite coffee makers.
The biggest bang for your buck when it comes to coffee made at home will come from a manual coffee maker, like an AeroPress, French press or a pour-over.
While they require a little more labor, the coffee they produce is often revered as some of the best you can get by coffee enthusiasts around the world. Of course, that also depends on the coffee you buy.
You can find press pots and pour-over cones for as little as $5, but even some of the most expensive manual coffee makers are still cheaper than midrange automatic brewers at only $40.
While a conical burr grinder is typically recommended for a consistent grind size, a blade grinder is both cheaper and has multiple uses. You can use a blade grinder to chop up nuts and spices. A decent burr grinder will set you back $90 and up, while a blade grinder can be had for as little as $10.
If you're on a budget, you can still get the quality of a burr coffee grinder without the hefty price tag by purchasing a manual hand mill. These typically come with a fine adjustment screw and a hopper for beans on the top. When you turn the handle, the coffee falls between the conical burrs, just like with an automatic grinder -- it just takes a little more time and elbow grease.
From making coffee to whipping up a quick oatmeal breakfast, having boiling hot water in an instant is a nice luxury to have. Of course, you can just throw a kettle on the stove, but electric kettles have become extremely affordable, and they tend to heat water quickly and efficiently.
It may seem silly, but smart speakers are ruling the kitchen. They can provide measurement conversions, operate as timers, help walk you through recipes, provide drink pairings or cocktail suggestions and, most importantly, keep you entertained while you cook.
Best of all, with the Echo Dot from Amazon, you can get a smart speaker in the kitchen for as little as $50.