My Favorite Cooking Appliances

I know many of you probably thought I’d lost my mind when I first moved to this apartment two years ago this month, and asked management to come get my stove. Yeah, I know you did!

But you know what, management is now talking about maybe putting in washer/dryer hook-ups, and even if they do and I had room again for a stove, I don’t want it. 

I know I made the right decision to get the European-styled washer/dryer-in-one that I hook up to my kitchen sink. It is very energy-efficient. And we’re just talking about laundry for one, after all.

But there wasn’t room for the stove and the washer/dryer, so the stove had to go.

Two years down the road, if I had to name my favorite cooking appliances, here are my choices.

1. Breville Smart Oven
Price: $249.99

I adore this little power house. I researched the heck out of toaster/convection ovens. And this one got rave reviews.

Now it gets rave reviews from me. Two years and it’s never let me down. 

I just now took brownies out of it. The back of the box said 45 minutes in a 8×8 glass pan. So I set my little old-fashioned timer, and came to sit down and read blogs while it cooked. 

Suddenly I smelled the brownies and not two seconds later, before I could even get in there, the oven let me know they were done and it shut off.

I checked the time. It had quite a bit of time left. But the Breville Smart oven is smarter than me or the timer or the back of the brownie box. And when it’s done, it just tells you and promptly turns off.

Now this beats the heck out of when I had an oven and would get in my car and go half a mile, then turn around and come back home because I couldn’t remember if I’d turned the stove off!

2. Magic Chef Microwave
Price: $74

I ordered it from Home Depot before I moved here, I guess about 3-4 years ago. And of course I wanted it. It’s red.

3. Presto Fold Away Electric Skillet
Price: $49

I just love this durable skillet. I eat a lot of veggie burgers, and this cooks them up in no time. 

Last week a fuse knocked out my microwave and Breville Smart oven. I moved the electric skillet to another outlet. But then I had my buns warming in the Breville

So I just put the buns on the electric skillet with my veggie burger and brown them there. Easy-peasy.

4. 4-quart Smart Pot Crock Pot
Price: $20


I put this on at night. And it goes off when it’s done. I’ve been cooking quite a bit of pork loin, then making barbecue sandwiches. I set the automatic timer for 10 hours if I’m cooking it at night; 8 hours if it’s day time for the pulled pork. And after that it switches to warm. 

Now when I ordered his, it had gone up a bit, and it was $24.95. He cooked his family pork loin doused with root beer like I do, then poured some barbecue sauce on it. And he said there wasn’t a drop left!

I have a casserole-sized crock pot, but really haven’t used it much. I also have an egg cooker a sweet reader named Charlotte sent me. And I ate eggs till I just about puked. (I can’t seem to find a photo of it. But I think she got it on QVC.)

It’s my favorite way to make eggs because they come out perfect every single time. 

And it also automatically goes off when the eggs are done! Yea! No eggs on the ceiling.

I also have a panini maker, but I seldom get it out. I brought it with me from Texas. It makes a hell of a panini sandwich though!

5. Cuisinart Panini Maker
Price: $99


6. Crock Pot Casserole Smart Pot
Price: $49


So now you know that I don’t eat TV dinners or take out all the time. I can cook anything I want and not heat up my apartment. Makes me a very happy camper.
Happy cooking!



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  1. You know, when you mentioned having the stove removed I was wondering how you managed. Well, it's obvious you manage very well! 🙂 I've often thought of buying a toaster oven since it's just me and would be so nice to have for our Texas summers. I love to cook and bake and have always had a penchant for small appliances. I don't cook as much as I used to so I've tried very hard to restrain myself from buying more. I do love my bread maker!


  2. Love all your kitchen goodies, I too have many I guess the one that gets no rest would be my electric frying pan and my electric chopper and seeing that summer is coming my electric snow cone machine will be very tired. I also have a little hot dog roaster that the children get a kick out of. Oh and I can't forget the blender , we do a lot of smoothies. With all your gadgets who needs a stone. The crockpot makes great baked potato's I just put it on early in the day and by 6 or so perfect baked potatoes I just pat them with a dab of butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Now Im looking at this cooking contraption that has a dome like thing on it and cooks perfectly in half the time, seen it on an infomercial late at night. [email protected] Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

  3. We make barbecue in our crock pot with Coca Cola and beabecues sauce and touch of brown sugar. Yum too! I am corious about the crock pot casserole size. I have considered it, but not sure. I have the same panini maker as you also. Sheila

  4. I need that oven!! Its just my husband and I and sometimes our son who lives with us, but usually never home for meals. I have to start saving. The last oven we had burned everything! Out in the trash it went! I have to try your pork recipe also. What exactly does the root beer do to the pork taste wise?

    1. I think the root beer gives it a little sweetness. But mostly there to make it moist in my opinion. I love the taste of it. Once you put barbecue sauce on it, you can't ever taste the root beer. So no worries there!

  5. Hi Brenda! Looks like all of your cooking needs covered. I would have said I couldn't have lived without a stove, but looks like you're convincing me you can! I had a little red microwave but left it in our condo in Texas which we sold last year. You're so nice to Israel and he is so nice to you! That's the way folks ought to treat each other. Now I'm craving a barbeque sandwich!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    1. This recipe is the easiest, and is good every time. Yes, lately I started making enough coffee for Israel to also have a cup. I gave him a coffee maker, but he likes my coffee. So many days just after he sees me open my blinds, he's at the door! Then there are days lately when we've gone to lunch and we alternate who pays. He drives my car because I'm having trouble with my ankle, so it's nice to get out and be driven around by someone who is such a good driver and thoughtful as well.

  6. Brenda, I'm with you. I love my crick pot for making barbecue sandwiches. In fact, I always use that exact same recipe you do. Turns out perfect every time. Just a reminder yo folks not to use diet root beer. Something to do with heating artificial sweeteners changes them up chemically to something quite bad for our body.

    I 'had' a Breville oven but foolishly gave it to my son when he bought and moved to his very first house. Haha! He loved using it at home and knew with the costs of new home-ownership, HD wouldn't have money to go out and buy one for himself. They are perfect for cooking and baking, aren't they?

    I may just have to go get another!

    I'm enjoying my day. The snow that was forecast hasn't arrived…yet. Maybe Mother Nature is smiling on my area!

    1. I vacillated over getting the more expensive Breville or the one under $200. I'm glad I went with the higher one. Someone had just given me a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma, so I used that!

  7. Thanks for the product reviews. My electric frying pan is getting older and pretty grungy. I think I have had it for over 15 years. I like the look of this one.

    And I love that your crock pot switches to warm when it is done cooking!!! This is always my dilemma. I put something in the crock pot when I am going to be gone for the day and then arrive home later than expected and the food is mush. I just replaced my crockpot with a cheapy, but I am bookmarking this for next time!!!!!

    1. Well this one was cheap at $20, though Walmart has raised the price a bit. My other one that I broke didn't have this feature. And the switch to warm is my favorite feature!

  8. I'm happy the Breville worked out. Ours is three years old now, and still great. In my opinion, it is the best small appliance for a small kitchen. Nice looking crock pot. xoxo Su

    1. I had another crock pot that was fairly new, and I broke it. Kind of glad now, because I like this one much better.

    1. Just get a good-sized pork loin. I have the butcher cut it and then have him take off all the fat, which is usually just on one side.

      I put it in my electric skillet with a few spices: seasoned salt, etc. Brown it all over. Then put it in your crock pot and pour a can of root beer over it. If it's really big, you might need 2 cans of root beer. Cook 8-10 hours on Low.

      When it's done, I take the pork out and drain all of the root beer out. (You could just drain it off.) Then I put it back in the crock pot and cut the pork apart. It will virtually fall apart. Then I pour how much barbecue sauce I like over it, warm a bit and it's done!

  9. We love our Breville Belgian waffle maker. We sent the pizza maker back. We have a toaster oven we use a lot, but it is an Oster. I have never tried making anything like brownies in it, but I use it for many other things, mostly toasting and reheating. It does keep the kitchen from heating up.

  10. Now that the four kids have left home we make much smaller meals…3 teen boys eat ALOT! We often use our toaster oven instead of the big oven. It cooks quicker and uses so much less energy as well as not heating up the whole kitchen! I have to look into the one you have since ours is older and not so smart! Lol

  11. Breville toaster oven lover here too! When my toaster went kaput my college aged daughter convinced me to try a toaster oven�� I found the red Breville online at William Sonoma and quickly ordered one. I cook salmon, roast veggies, bake pies , make pizzas, and toast bread in ours. So much smaller and easier to cook in!

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