Recipe books have a way of making every meal look simple and easy to create — but when you mix in complicated ingredients, rambunctious kids and crazy schedules, these simple recipes become more of a dream than a reality.
Consumer Reports digital lifestyle editor Elliot Weiler stopped by TODAY to show us how to combat these complications with five classic kitchen appliances.
Read on to see some noteworthy small kitchen solutions that are sure to make mealtime less of a hassle.
1. Air Fryer
Dinner just became a little easier with this oil-free air fryer. It's perfect for frying, grilling, baking or roasting your favorite meals. And when you're done, you can just throw the detachable pieces in the dishwasher.
With six preset options, you can make fries, nuggets, steak, poultry and fish ready with the press of a button. The removable drawer and food basket have a nonstick coating and are dishwasher safe — making cleanup a breeze.
With eight different functions, this pot could be the only one you ever need in the kitchen. You can use it to slow cook, sear, saute, cook rice, steam, roast, bake and warm your favorite meals.
Gone are the days of trying to guess whether your food is fully cooked. This multifunctional cooker has an LCD screen so you can customize the settings to cook your food to perfection. The screen even changes color to let you know when the cooker is pressurizing, cooking or releasing steam.
3. Slow Cooker
This Crock-Pot is a one-stop shop for your next potluck. Use the pot to cook, transport, warm and serve your specialties from removable stoneware.
Worries of overcooking your food are a thing of the past with this Hamilton Beach countertop addition. This slow cooker automatically shifts into the warm setting when your food is ready.
4. Toaster Oven
This toaster oven has an adjustable rack so you can even fit a 9-inch by 13-inch oven pan with handles. With a stainless steel exterior, it's sure to work well with any kitchen aesthetic.
Whether you're baking a pizza or warming up a side dish, this convection oven has "even heat" technology to make sure it cooks food thoroughly. Plus, the nonstick racks make cleanup quick and painless.
5. Food Processor
This triple threat item comes with attachments to turn it into a full-size blender, a single-serve smoothie cup or a food processor. With three smart settings, you can have salsa or soup in the blink of an eye (or rather the press of a button).
With multiple bowl sizes and blade options, this food processor holds up to any challenge. The control panel even features a blue LED light to guide you.
For more kitchen products, check out:
- 6 affordable, chef-recommended kitchen tools that instantly upgrade your cooking
- The only knives you need in your kitchen and how to use them
- 6 affordable products TODAY editors are absolutely loving this week