Part 2: List of Appliances you Need in the Home Kitchen

This list of appliances in the kitchen has been put together for people wondering what would be the required in the kitchen, especially when shifting into a new home.

It will be updated with newer gadgets that appear from time to time in the Indian market.

So having already seen the tips for layout of your kitchen and the storage organisation in Part 1 of the series on kitchen essentials, lets move forward.

The Appliance List

Many of the appliances mentioned here are essentials for a functioning kitchen. If you have a transferable job, or if the budget is limiting you, you can postpone buying some of some of them. Go through the list and the descriptions to come to your final decisions.

This post is not sponsored in any way, and the photographs are for illustrative purpose only. The brand can be chosen according to your budget and the availability.

Gas stove (or a cooking hob)

I prefer four burners because I can cook multiple things simultaneously, at a low heat. I like to have one super large burner for quick cooking.

The gas stove is the appliance you need to choose with care to suit your kitchen
If you have space, opt for the option with four stoves

A wide choice is available, pick one according to what you feel is right for you. Look for models that can be cleaned easily. Imagine some milk or tea has boiled over on the burner…is the one you are looking at going to be in the way of your scrubber or is it easy to clean?

Another tip is to measure your biggest vessels and see if they can actually get placed on adjacent stoves. If they cannot be used together, go for one that has the burners spaced more wide apart. When you have to cook up in a hurry, trust me, you will want the bigger utensils to work with you and not be forced to cook in smaller utensils.

Auto-igniting burners are great, though I don’t own one as I am comfortable using my gas lighter to start the flame.

Induction Stove Top

A device fast catching on is the induction cooking stove top. It runs on electricity and comes in many varieties. It is good for people who do not want the hassle of a gas connection, and prefer to work with electric current.

The disadvantage is that it requires a specific type of cookware, hence you should be careful about building your collection of saucepans, pots and pans. I am relatively comfortable with the gas burners, but I do recommend this device for people who need a single stove top.

The many options available for different kinds of cooking makes it an energy efficient device.

An Induction hotplate


It makes sense to go for a simple 165 L refrigerator when you have a small family. Fortunately all fridges are Frost-free now!


In case you go for a two-door refrigerator, remember it is more convenient if the freezer section is at the bottom. This is because you open the freezer section less frequently. So the section you do need to access more often, that is the main refrigerator compartment, will conveniently be at eye level.

Mixer and Grinder

This one is a must-have in the list of appliances, the beloved one that no Indian home can do without. It is available in various shapes, sizes and options. My mother always called it the mixie – it may be an affectionate term coined by the generation who earlier had to do their grinding using heavy stone implements instead!

A mixer grinder with its range of jars is one of the most important in the list of appliances

Most brands have options for 3-5 jars that can blend, grind, whip, mince etc. What you will use most often is the small jar that can grind up your dry ingredients and a medium one that can blend ingredients to make chutneys, pastes and other masalas. The more powerful the motor is, the more reliable it will be to do your heavy grinding, like the dosai batter.

Most South Indian homes possess the additional heavy-duty grinder for making the weekly quota of idli and dosai batter. But happily, this batter is also available readymade for the rest who wish to enjoy these delicacies!


All busy people need a handy blender. My personal favourite is the one that has jars that can be loaded, screwed shut and refrigerated, ready for a whiz the next morning for a nutritious breakfast smoothie.

A blender that is convenient is shown

I have not had much luck with the ones that have a long stem, with a blade at the end. I also find those a bit more difficult to clean.

A good option is to use one of the jars of your mixer for blending. However, if you grind chutney, or ginger, garlic and other strong flavours in them, the aroma will tend to percolate into your smoothie. Hence you will have to wash and rinse it thoroughly.

Food Processor

The food processor is your best friend in the kitchen to grate, julienne, finely chop, mince, puree and even knead dough. I did buy the juicer attachment, but I would not advise clear juice for anyone anymore. It is much better to blend the fruits or vegetables into a smoothie rather than discarding all the fibre, as we do in clear juices.

Food processor is of various kinds

I agree that a good knife and 10-15 minutes is all it takes to prep your veggies on most days. But for someone who is short of time, the processor is most useful. If you don’t mind working with your hands, you can avoid this appliance.


The microwave oven is an indispensable part of my kitchen and I think every busy person has to have one. There are some dishes that turn out great in a microwave oven, and we do cook those as well. Honestly though, our family uses it for heating up rather than for cooking food.

Microwaves are most useful among the list of appliances

Just be aware… a microwave oven is not good for baking, even if it does have the grill function. Whatever the sales person says, don’t be taken in! If the combination mode is present, you can make some great stuff, but it will not be able to replace a hot air oven (OTG) for your cakes and breads.

The only microwave oven that can decently bake is the one that clearly states it has a convection mode. If you don’t see this, don’t imagine it will somehow do the job.

I have covered more about choosing the right type of microwave oven for your kitchen in a separate post, coming soon.

Oven Toaster Grill (OTG)

OTGs are the hot air ovens, simple appliances that come in a myriad variety of sizes. I grew up seeing a round oven baking awesome cakes. It was happily used for each of our birthdays and Christmas. It was also borrowed by neighbours, at times returned with an extra smear of black where they carelessly left some cake batter drip…but it all added to the character of the light, portable and reliable device!

This oven is for you if

  1. you enjoy cakes and cookies and would like to try out options for healthy ones as breakfast, snacks or picnic meals.
  2. your microwave oven does not have the convection mode of cooking.
  3. you like to keep your food warm until it is ready to serve. You just have to pop all your warmed up or just cooked dishes (with their lids) in the racks until meal time, on the ‘keep warm’ function…a great boon for times when you have fussy guests!


  1. As you have just seen above, the convection mode in the microwave will be sufficient for your baking if you are not a compulsive baker like me! I have both as I bake a lot, and sometimes need the microwave oven simultaneously.
  2. A point to note is that the microwave mode will not work if you have just used the convection mode. You’ll have to wait for the oven to cool down.

Round oven:

Happily, for those who wish to get a simpler and cheaper oven, the round oven is still available in some stores and also online. Here is a quick ref check about it before you finally make up your mind.

A round oven that can be used in baking


  • Quick
  • Affordable
  • Beautiful browning
  • Amazing performance for cakes


  • Centre will not be heated up, hence only ‘bundt’ tins can be used. So you would get cakes shaped like doughnuts, with a hole in the centre.
  • No option for two tiered baking, so only one cake can be baked at a time.

The OTGs:

OTGs come in a variety of sizes. All have a top and/or bottom option for the heating element. Most also have a couple of options for the racks to be moved around and can accommodate two tiers of baking at a time. I find it useful to switch the tray positions, somewhere in the middle of cooking, to ensure even baking.

The most important item on the list of appliances if you like baking

Traditionally,  the heating had to be from the sides or the bottom for the perfect cake. It allowed it to rise and form a beautiful golden crust.

Well, each oven is different now, and the manufacturers suggest that you use both the burners while baking. You can try baking small cakes till you figure out what works best for you and your oven. Note it down for further reference. Soon you will be able to adjust the temperature/ timing given in the recipes according to your oven.

Pop-up Toaster

A pop up toaster is on display

Who can resist a piece of fresh toast done to golden perfection, smeared with some butter?  😏🤤This is an inexpensive gadget, and one that stays with you for years. Most toasters have a removable tray to make cleaning easier. Ensure you dust off the crumbs every time you use it, before putting it away.

Sandwich cum Grill cum Waffle maker

This tool in my kitchen is a game changer while entertaining hungry guests. And if I get besieged by childhood memories, this toaster is my go-to solution to re-create the nostalgia. The warm, crisp toasted bread and its filling gives out an aroma that wafts all over 🤗😍 The right kind of filling can also be packed for lunch or a picnic.

A range of sandwich toasters/ waffle maker is seen

You can go for one that allows multitasking (that is, changing the parts to cook waffles and sandwiches in the same machine). The best thing is that it can be cleaned and neatly stacked away till next time. Waffles for breakfast is a great option that you’ll enjoy if you have the choice.

Rice cooker

Every busy person needs this—all you have to do it to measure out the rice, clean it, add the correct amount of water, and switch to “Rice cooking”. (Don’t forget to flip the switch! You don’t want the rice to stare back at you, uncooked, when you reach for it at meal time!)

Two types of rice cookers are on a table

Voila! It will automatically switch off as soon as the rice is cooked. Cooking rice is a task that you will be doing almost every day, and with a bit of trial and error, you will get it to the consistency you like…soft, slightly uncooked or just right with each grain separate.

The best part? Add some water to the base of the vessel and boil a couple of potatoes in a dish under the one containing your rice. So both can get done at the same time! Yippee! Definitely a must-have among the list of appliances in any basic kitchen.

Pro Tip: Boiled potatoes are a handy and versatile thing to have in your fridge. Add it to your bread dough, or cook them up in a side dishes or stuff them in a paratha! If you like mung daal, it can also be soaked for an hour and cooked with the rice. This daal cooks faster than other varieties. This boiled daal can now be used for your recipes.

I love the variety of rice cookers available now, and you can pick the brand, size, the number of containers and even the steamer function, for simultaneous cooking. I purchased a small one for just INR 1500 online!

Pro Tip: ENSURE that there is a ‘keep warm’ function in your rice cooker. This lets you cook rice when convenient and you can enjoy hot rice even two hours later.

Air fryer/ Halogen oven

These gadgets are the touted answers to humankind’s cravings for fried food without the involvement of deep frying. Thus it is included in the list of appliances for a kitchen. Read on to decide whether you should go for this.

The air fryer is a simpler device, and has a small cavity into which you toss in quantities of food coated with a layer of oil. This converts the food into a very valiant attempt at replicating the flavours of the fried counterpart.

An air fryer is not the most important thing on the list of appliances, but it is convenient to use

Me, I always like valour and went along to get this for my house. There, I got swayed by the Halogen oven. Now this one can do air frying, as well as a wonderful imitation of a barbecue. I also saw recipes for doing one-stop cooking of meats and vegetables flourishing on the Net, and was charmed into going in for this. Check out my post (coming soon) on how I use the Halogen oven, for a practical demonstration.

A halogen oven

The pros of any of these devices is that you get to have the satisfaction of eating foods like finger chips without the concerns of deep frying. Additionally, any ready-to-eat food can be cooked to perfection… chicken wings, kebabs, nuggets, samosas, etc. are a breeze.

The cons of air frying is that you need to consume the food immediately, as it will tend to dry out after a while.

My take: If you have the space, go for any one of these appliances, you will not regret it. But it is not a high priority item.

Electric chimney

Many ask me, is it not a luxury? Do we really need this in the list of appliances? After all, earlier kitchens did without it.

My answer to all these anxious question askers:

If you can afford it, DO NOT HESITATE. It is especially critical in the smaller houses and open kitchen that we all are seeing as the trend nowadays.

Remember that the chimney –

  • prevents the odours from the kitchen from going all over the house
  • keeps your kitchen shelves, utensils, racks, tiles etc grease free

This is especially true for the Indian food, which involves smoke and frying and sauteing and the rest of the hoo-haa that finally brings awesome taste to the table. 😁


The geyser is a welcome addition for getting the dishes properly cleaned. Warm, soapy water is the panacea for all greasy utensils and it helps to ensure that they are hygienically ready for the next use.

This one is especially for areas where the winters are long and temperatures are such that it’s uncomfortable to work in cold water. Of course, it is totally avoidable in regions with moderate climate. In such cases, strike it off your list of appliances.


Still considered a luxury in India, it is an appliance that many will soon be turning to. The quality and ability of dishwashers has improved a lot and they are capable of dealing with utensils of all shapes and sizes. In addition, the dishes come out dry and ready to be put away!

I don’t have space for this machine, but I have used it for Indian foods elsewhere. It’s on my wish list of appliances I hope to get. If you think you’ll need it, plan for space for putting it or near your kitchen.

A fully loaded dish wahser

All we now need is for a device that will do that and also cook up our yummy meal for us— innovators, have you noted this point in our wish list? 🤪✍


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