Will we always find you in the kitchen at parties? Then you'll love this one. It's the Kitchen Living category at the T3 Awards 2021! The winners here include our favourite fridge freezer, oven and dishwasher, as well as small appliances such as air fryers, toasters, action cameras and drones. Not really: they're in the Outdoor category, which will be announced separately.
We've all been spending more time in our kitchens then ever, this year – or at least those of us who haven't entirely shifted to an Ubereats-only diet have. These are the electrical essentials that you need to make kitchen living even more of a pleasure as things return to normal.
Best Kettle: KitchenAid 5KEK1722
Also going by the even more evocative name of KitchenAid Variable Temperature 1.7l kettle this is, you may be shocked to hear, a variable temperature kettle with a capacity of 1.7 litres. Unlike a lot of variable temp kettles, the heat controls and 'keep hot' button are located on the top of the handle, so the base is more svelte. Flick the switch and the cutaway portion is bathed in a blue light, so you can watch your water boil, should you so wish. As well as KitchenAid's classic 'Empire Red' shown here, the 5KEK1722 is available in a range of tasteful hues. Or at least, it is when you can find one on sale – excess demand and reduced supply have made this chic old boiler more difficult to track down than ever.
There's not an awful lot more to say about the KitchenAid 5KEK1722: it's a kettle. And a very nice one. In fact it is the best kettle as far as T3 is concerned. And now, time for a brew.
But before we get the tea out, just a quick word for the Highly Commended Russell Hobbs K65 Anniversary. This updated 1950s design icon still looks great, and it's very reasonably priced, too. And, obviously, it boils water and has a spout so you can pour it. And, may we say, what an elegant spout it is.
The Best Kettle shortlist
KitchenAid Variable Temperature kettle 5KEK1722
Russell Hobbs K65 Anniversary – Highly Commended
Russell Hobbs Colours Plus Kettle
Sage The Smart Kettle
Best Toaster: Dualit NewGen
The Dualit NewGen won this prize last year and it's won it again this year. And in fact, unless someone makes a significant breakthrough in the science of cooking bread in the next 12 months, there's every chance that it'll win again next year too. The reasons are many. You can have anything between 2 and 8 slots.Cleverly, a dial on all the larger versions of the NewGen lets you decide how many of those slots will be powered up during each toasting session.
The lever-activated toast ejector is genius, as it lets you see how your toast is getting on, without stopping the cooking. And the clockwork timer is rather good fun too. The elements are powerful enough to really toast your bread, as opposed to just lightly warming and browning it. For the true connoisseur of hot bread, there's simply nothing better.
The Best Toaster shortlist
Sage The Smart Toast
Russell Hobbs Legacy
Wolf 2-slice Toaster
Best Air Fryer: Philips Airfryer XXL
Air fryers have come from nowhere to be this year's must-have kitchen accessory – after you've got an Instant Pot-style pressure cooker, anyway. They enable families, couples and single people alike to cook 'fried' food in a much more healthy way, with little more than just a teaspoonful of oil.
Doing very much what its name suggests, the Philips Airfryer XXL is a very large air fryer. Big enough to get a whole chicken in, in fact. Philips has given it pleasingly precise controls and a nice, bright LED display, so cooking on it is an absolute breeze. Unlike a lot of air fryers it's also reasonably attractive looking, and easy to clean. That's why it's the best air fryer, for our money or, more accurately, for your money. Winner winner, whole fried chicken dinner.
• Read our Philips Airfryer XXL review
The Best Air Fryer shortlist
Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer
Wilko 4L Air Fryer
Tefal YV970840 Actifry Genius XL 2in1
Philips Airfryer XXL
Sage the Combi Wave 3 in 1
Best Fridge Freezer: Hisense RQ560N4WC1
Any fridge freezer worth its salt (or ice) has to balance capacity and value, with ideally some useful extra features thrown in on top. The Hisense RQ560N4WC1 is our T3 Awards 2021 winner for Best Fridge Freezer because it nails all of these at once.
Its four doors hide 289 litres of fridge space and 142 litres of frost-free freezer room, which should be enough even the largest households. Three different cooling zones and external touch controls with an LED display mean you can manage temperatures perfectly for different foods, and a water dispenser is always welcome.
And all for a price that won't break the bank. This tops our list of the best fridge freezers for good reason – it's simply an excellent mix of features and value. An award-winning mix, in fact, that absolutely puts it top of our list of the best fridge freezers.
The Best Fridge Freezer shortlist
Hotpoint HQ9 U1BL
Samsung RS8000 RS68A8820SL
Best Oven: Neff N 70 B57CR22N0B
This is a repeat winner – the Neff N 70 took home the award in 2020, and it remains the best oven at the T3 Awards 2021. This single oven is a good price, yet feels like you're getting something extra elite thanks to its great options and, of course, its famous Slide&Hide door.
The 71-litre capacity is great for most families, and its ability hold extremely precise temperatures evenly across the oven not only makes it ideal for baking (hence it being a staple in the Bake Off tent), but also for perfect roasts. In fact, the Circotherm tech even means you can cook different dishes at the same time without flavours mingling between them.
It's also fast to heat up, and it's easy to get things exactly right with its screen and clear controls. And there's a pyrolytic cleaning function for after you're done. A great tool makes performing even tricky tasks easy, and that's why Neff N 70 has taken the top spot in our guide to the best ovens.
The Best Oven shortlist
Beko AeroPerfect BBXIF22100S
Bosch Serie 8 HBG634BS1B
Neff N 70 B57CR22N0B
Best Dishwasher: Bosch SMS67MW00G
Any dishwasher can do the basics of getting dirt off crockery, as long as it applies enough water to the task. What we're looking for are smarter appliances that fit better into your life, and the Bosch SMS67MW00G achieves that, which is exactly why it's our T3 Awards 2021 winner for Best Dishwasher.
Take its SuperSilence mode, for example – if you need to run it while people will actually be in the kitchen (or in the living room in an open-plan home), it will run under 45dB – much lower than the 60dB of a normal conversation.
Or take its three-tier loading system, which has a small drawer at the very top for cutlery, leaving the bottom drawer more empty, so you can fit in more stuff to clean. And the top drawers's height is adjustable by up to 5cm even after its loaded, so you can fit in taller objects when necessary.
Then you've got the special glass programme, the IntensiveZone that really blasts pots and pans on the bottom shelf only and is more delicate with other areas, and Bosch's phenomenal PerfectDry feature, which much improves drying for those more troublesome objects.
The Best Dishwasher shortlist
Bosch Serie 2 SMS24AW01G
Bosch Serie 4 SPS4HKW45G
Bosch Serie 6 SMS67MW00G
Miele G7310 SCI