In the market for a new cooker?
With so many cooking appliances available, finding one that fits your lifestyle, skill level, and kitchen décor can be difficult.
The right kind of cooker for your kitchen will elevate different foods into a fine dining experience.
From hot plates to rice cookers, you can boil, fry, roast, and more with these 17 different types of cookers you can add to your kitchen.
17 Different Types of Cookers for Any Cooking Space
Different kitchen appliances have different functions, allowing you to try various cooking styles.
Whether you're checking out new freestanding cookers or simply replacing an old appliance, you have an option!
We list 17 different types of cookers and their features to help you get started:
Give yourself perfectly crisp bread every morning with a toaster!
It's a must-have appliance for every household. A toaster uses hot electric elements to heat slices of bread.
It typically has an operational lever and two slots that can hold two slices of bread, but it can also have as many as eight slots.
Toasters come in two types: pop-up toasters that cause the toast to pop up when it's done and toaster oven that functions as an oven-toaster hybrid.
2. Toaster Oven
Speaking of toaster ovens, it's a great option if you're looking for a space-saving oven.
A toaster oven is a small kitchen appliance that can readily fit on your counter. What makes it stand out is that it preheats quickly with less energy.
It's basically a mini oven that can reheat frozen food and bake small batches of pastries.
Unlike a microwave which can result in soggy food, a toaster oven guarantees crispy toast every time.
3. Countertop Oven
If you want to level up your toaster oven, giving it even more functionality, a countertop oven might be for you!
It is generally larger than a toaster and can even provide convection cooking.
A countertop oven heats up faster than a conventional oven while expending less energy. Newbies can benefit when trying their hand at baking since they don't need to worry about utility bills.
Many countertop ovens come with the same features as traditional ovens.
The main difference is that it has a lower capacity for larger dishes.
4. Microwave Oven
A microwave oven can make quick meals for someone on the go or someone looking to heat last night's leftovers for a midnight snack.
Microwave ovens use microwaves that objects absorb and convert to heat.
These appliances make it incredibly convenient to reheat and cook food. It may not toast bread or make things crispy, but the quick, hands-free heating more than makes up for it.
Do note that you need microwave-safe utensils to ensure food and thermal safety.
5. Electric Grill
Because an electric grill doesn't produce fumes, it's the only type of grill that can be used indoors.
It's also more eco-friendly than gas grills because it uses less energy and emits no smoke.
Electric grills are designed with open-top grills and utilize electrical elements to grill your food. Many models also have tilted designs that help you drain grease effortlessly.
6. Panini Press
For a more specialized appliance, you can rely on a panini press, a cousin of the electric grill.
It's similar to a sandwich press that presses a sandwich down as it's heated. It's an ideal choice if you don't want to make a grilled cheese sandwich on the pan (no flipping!).
It distributes heat evenly and ensures that the whole sandwich gets grilled. With a panini press, you would typically use a flatbread like a baguette or focaccia.
Due to how niche it is, a panini maker only has limited uses, unlike a conventional sandwich press.
7. Electric Skillet
Cooking on the go has never been easier with an electric skillet!
Much like its cast iron counterpart, it not only fries but also roasts, steams, sautés, and more! With deeper skillets, you can even braise and stew.
If you need to prep something for potlucks and parties, an electric skillet is designed with sides that can hold large batches of food.
It's a versatile, multi-purpose appliance you'll want to use repeatedly.
8. Electric Griddle
With an electric griddle, you can grill any food to perfection!
Because it doesn't have flames that can be affected by air movement, electric griddles maintain temperature and distribute heat better than gas griddles.
They're great for dry heat cooking because they have wells on the sides of the cooking surface that catch grease.
They are also far more energy efficient but can take longer to heat up. Fortunately, it doesn't need an exhaust system like gas alternatives.
An electric griddle is an excellent choice if electricity is a cheaper utility in your area.
9. Slow Cooker
When preparing pot roast for your next get-together, you'll need a reliable appliance like a slow cooker or a crock pot that can simmer your dish for hours, even if left unattended.
A slow cooker is a glazed ceramic or porcelain cooking pot with electric heating elements.
The glass lid collects vapor that also provides a low-pressure seal.
Unlike a pressure cooker, there's no risk of a sudden pressure release with a slow cooker because it maintains atmospheric pressure.
10. Pressure Cooker
If you want to bypass the long wait time of the slow cooker, a pressure cooker is a great alternative!
Pressure cookers trap the steam emitted by the heat, increasing pressure to drive the boiling point of water to 212°F or 100°C.
The pressure creates high temperatures that allow food to cook quickly. It can cook rice, soften beans, and tenderize meat in record time.
11. Food Steamer
For health-conscious home cooks, there's no better appliance to add to your kitchen than a steamer.
You can use a food steamer for cooking vegetables, seafood, and other ingredients that need moisture retention to get the optimum taste.
It cooks food while maintaining most of the nutritional value at a faster rate without reducing size.
A food steamer generates steam, which allows for quicker heat transfer than hot air.
You can get food steamers with multiple compartments to steam different dishes on different tiers.
12. Rice Cooker
Cooking rice can be done on a cooktop, but you need to watch carefully to ensure it doesn't burn.
A rice cooker can cook different kinds of rice and grains. Rice is immersed in boiling water and tenderized.
Everything is automatic, so you leave your rice in the cooker and wait 30 minutes for hot, steaming rice!
On top of that, rice cookers also have a keep-warm function that is incredibly useful if you want to eat them later in the day.
13. Hot Plates
Maybe you want a simple tabletop appliance that can heat up food and drinks effectively. Maybe you don't have the space or budget for a hob unit yet.
Hot plates are worth looking into for lightweight cooking.
A hot plate has one or more electric or gas burners that work like a stovetop.
If you travel often, hot plates are also convenient enough to tug along to places without electricity.
14. Bread Maker
If you've ever wanted freshly-made bread from the comfort of your own home, a bread maker might be for you.
It includes a bread tin, stirring paddles, and a control panel that lets you bake fresh bread quickly and conveniently.
A bread maker also reduces kneading time to just 15 minutes.
Note that most bread makers have limited functionality and can't be used to make specialized types of bread (e.g., baguettes, glazed pastries).
That being said, it's a great kitchen addition for those big into baking.
15. Fondue Pot
Fondue is a crowd-pleaser that appeals to both children and adults alike.
A fondue pot is a tabletop vessel holding dipping sauces like cheese or chocolate. It's placed over a heat source to melt and warm food items.
Although it is commonly used for melted Swiss cheese, it can also heat broth and cook meat.
Complete fondue sets come with a portable heater, ingredient trays, and roasting forks for dipping.
16. Deep Fryer
Arguably America's favorite appliance, a deep fryer can whip up donuts, fries, and chicken wings!
You can probably make it with a deep fryer as long as it's greasy.
A basic deep fryer has a basket that can be lowered into a tank of oil and raised when you're done frying.
Deep frying involves submerging food into oil between 350 to 375°F (177 to 191°C). It fries food fast and ensures that all sides are cooked simultaneously.
17. Rapid Egg Cooker
Our last kitchen appliance is as specialized as it gets.
A rapid egg cooker is incredibly convenient if you cook eggs frequently, especially in large quantities.
You simply need to add water to the heating plate, place the eggs in the holder, and close it for perfectly boiled eggs every time!
It's a self-contained machine that reduces clean-up and messes.
What are the Different Types of Cookers?
Many people find it challenging to choose the right cooker for their kitchen because there are so many types of cookers!
You can find various models with different features that vary in price and design. It can seem overwhelming, but first, we must cover the difference between a cooker and an oven.
A freestanding cooker is an all-in-one appliance with a stovetop or hob on top and an oven below it.
Freestanding cookers are generally more affordable than built-in ovens and stovetop units.
A range cooker is a large, multi-functional unit that offers more flexibility for cooks. It can have up to five burners and 50% more storage than built-in ovens.
Advanced range cookers even have a self-cleaning oven that burns away grease and debris effortlessly.
You can often see stovetops and ovens sold as separate appliances. Ovens come in a range of options, including under-counter and eye-level, and can even have built-in ovens.
Gas, Electric, and Dual Fuel Cookers Explained
Cookers can be split into several categories based on their fuel type, installation process, and design. In a nutshell, there are three basic types of cookers:
- Gas cooker
- Electric cooker
- Dual fuel cooker
Let's look at how each cooking appliance stands out:
A gas hob is a preferred option by many because it provides instant heat. It's great for conventional cooking as it offers excellent control over the flame.
Gas-powered hobs are also reasonably economical, with many energy-efficient models that consume less gas. However, gas cookers are more complicated to clean than electric hobs.
One of the main advantages of a gas cooker is that the gas flame is visible. Unlike electric cookers, you can easily spot any problems with the burner.
With a freestanding cooker, the gas oven cavity will heat up quickly since most gas ovens don't come with fans.
Do note that because heat rises, the top of the oven will get hotter than the bottom.
As a result, you'll need to learn how to cook with different heat zones and use broiler pans to ensure air circulation.
Furthermore, you need to clean it regularly to remove grease and food residue. If you choose to get a gas hob, you also need to have a certified professional install it.
What I like
- Instant heat
- Temperature control
- Visible flames
What I Don't Like
- Uneven heating zones
- Difficult to clean
An electric cooker is worth considering if you don't have a gas connection at your home.
An electric oven may take longer to heat up compared to gas ovens, but it does provide better heat distribution.
When it comes to electric hobs, electric ceramic hobs tend to take longer to heat and cool down.
Go for an induction hob instead, which responds to heat adjustments instantly. Remember that you need iron or iron-based cooking options for induction cookers.
Because there are no visible flames during induction cooking, you must check the built-in indicators to know if the burners are hot.
Take note of the residual heat that remains on the induction hob after you cook food.
There are three variations of electric ovens:
- Convection ovens - You don't need to pre-heat convection ovens because hot air is evenly distributed by a fan and exhaust system. It results in a quicker cooking time.
- Conventional ovens - A conventional oven has electric heating elements that heat the top, bottom, and sides. As such, this type of oven needs to be preheated.
- Multifunction ovens - A multifunction oven combines the heating process and system of both ovens to allow for more versatility.
What I like
- Even heat distribution
- Easy to clean
- Energy efficient
What I Don't Like
- Requires ferrous pans
- A ceramic hob does not respond well to heat adjustments
- Relies on built-in heat indicators
Dual Fuel Cookers
If you want the benefits of a gas hob but the consistency of an electric oven, a freestanding dual-fuel cooker is a great option.
It's ideal for those who want to invest in range cookers, which provide immediate heat while maintaining even heating zones in the oven.
It's the best of both variations with this range cooker!
You can expect at least four high-efficiency gas hobs and one wok burner, a spacious oven cavity with automatic gas shut-off valves.
High-quality range cookers can also have a multifunction oven that comes with an electric grill.
What I like
- Uniform cooking heat
- Direct heat from flames
- Responsive temperature control
What I Don't Like
- Requires gas line AND sufficient voltage
Types of Electric Cookers
So, we've discussed electric ovens, but there are also different kinds of electric cookers on the market.
When looking at an electric cooker range, you can choose an induction hob, a ceramic hob, or a solid plate hob:
An induction cooker uses electromagnetism to cook food. It's electric-powered, but the heating element works magnetically.
Unlike gas stoves, it doesn't have visible flames but generates an electric current that heats up the pan.
When not in use, the hob will remain cold, which means it expends less energy than other hob types.
Almost all induction cooktops require cooking vessels made of ferrous metal like cast iron to work.
Solid Plate Hobs
Solid plate cooktops typically have four heating zones made up of electric coils that resemble traditional burners.
Similar to gas burners, solid plate hobs have knobs that make them easy to use. Should one of the plates malfunction, it can be readily unplugged and replaced with a new coil.
Among the different types of electric stoves, solid plate ones are the most affordable.
However, the main caveat with this type is that they are slow to respond to heat changes and can be challenging to clean.
Like a solid plate hob, a ceramic cooktop is electrically powered to produce heat under its ceramic glass surface. It includes advanced safety features and cleans easily.
Most top-quality ceramic glass hobs have temperature safety technology that prevents overheating and accidental burning.
Because of their sleek designs, ceramic cookers remain one of the most POPULAR electric stoves.
That being said, they can be difficult to clean and tend to scratch easily.
Single Oven vs Double Oven
When looking for the right oven, the main question you must ask yourself is: how often and how much do you cook?
If you rarely cook or live in a small household, a single oven should work well enough. Single ovens typically have an oven and a grill in one cavity.
On the other hand, if you have a LARGE family who loves cooking and hosting parties, a double oven is a better option.
Double ovens have two ovens in place of a storage drawer single ovens typically have. They have a main oven with electric or gas burners and grills on top.
The top oven is meant for pizzas and baking sheets, while the bottom one can contain a 20-pound turkey.
Keep in mind that double ovens do consume more energy than single ovens.
Below is a related question about cookers: If you’re looking for an eco-friendly range cooker, induction hobs are the most energy-efficient choice for cooking. An induction cooker doesn’t emit excess heat and concentrates all the energy in the pan. Certain models also have automatic shut-off technology that switches off the burner when a pan is absent.
Types Of Cookers FAQs
Below is a related question about cookers:
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly range cooker, induction hobs are the most energy-efficient choice for cooking.
An induction cooker doesn’t emit excess heat and concentrates all the energy in the pan.
Certain models also have automatic shut-off technology that switches off the burner when a pan is absent.
Finding a new cooker for your kitchen will depend on your cooking habits, preferences, and budget.
Some appliances are more specialized than others, so you need to consider which ones are worth investing in.
That being said, you can be sure there's a cooker for all sorts of cooking styles!