Summer time, and the Kitchen Living is easy. Here at the T3 Awards 2022, we are about to reward a large number of deserving winners, with everything from the best air fryer to the best cookware brand, with the best dishwasher to finish the evening off. If you've been thinking of upgrading your kitchen (again), this could be the ideal place to start.
Thanks to the influence of TikTok and, erm, covid lockdowns, people are more obsessed with their kitchens and their cooking than ever before. Air fryers have been the big story of the last year, but lots of people have been updating their key appliances such as washing machines, fridge freezers and ovens. That's both to have better cleaning, cooling and cooking but also to get greater energy efficiency – newer appliances nearly always use less water and power than those from 5-10 years ago.
The good news is, there are plenty of great products out there for you to upgrade to. For us, the following T3 Award winners are the cream of the crop, the icing on top and just gravy.
Best air fryer: Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo
Have you bought an air fryer yet? Millions have in the last year, but if you have resisted perhaps our T3 Award winner from Tower can tempt you. As you can see, it is large enough to cook an entire chicken to perfection, and with 10 cooking functions, it's as versatile as it is excellent. Like a lot of the best air fryers, it's also both affordable to buy and cheap to run, using much less electricity than a standard oven.
Possibly our favourite feature of the Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo is that it features a rotisserie – so deliciously old school! – but it's also superb at more commonplace air frying, roasting and baking. Up against extremely (and literally) hot competition, Tower's do-it-all device is the best air fryer of 2022.
Best Air Fryer shortlist
Ninja Foodi SmartLid OL750UK – HIGHLY COMMENDED, Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer, Philips Air Fryer XXL, Tower 10-in-1 Air Fryer Xpress Pro Combo, Ninja Foodi Dual Zone Air Fryer
Best Blender/Mixer: KitchenAid 2.1L Food Processor
This very handy food processor strikes the perfect balance in terms of size. It's nicely compact, but still large enough to be useful, and able to process large amounts of veg, cheese, soups and every other food you want to 'process'. The very handy selection of chopping attachments includes a julienning disc and a whisk, as well as the usual chopping blade and slicers and graters of various depths.
Made with KitchenAid's usual style, the 2.1L Food Processor also has some neat design touches. The way the bowl simply clicks into place is particularly good, and everything except the motor unit is dishwasher friendly. It's also perhaps surprisingly affordable for a KitchenAid device, the brand having taken a more democratic approach to pricing in recent years. Great stuff – take a look at more of our best food processors for further inspiration.
Best Blender/Mixer shortlist
KitchenAid 2.1L Food Processor, Sage the Kitchen Wizz Peel & Dice, KitchenAid Cordless Food Chopper, Nutribullet Magic Bullet Kitchen Express, Bosch MUM59340GB Kitchen Machine
Best Coffee Machine: Delonghi La Specialista Arte
This was a very tough decision, but Delonghi's machine eventually swung it with a combination of classic espresso machine functionality and some genius features that means mere mortals like us can use it, rather than just trained baristas.
With an excellent grinder up top and a surprisingly good steam wand at the end, the Specialista Arte has everything you need to make great coffee. The clever extras include simple and accurate dosing control and a clever attachment that makes filling and tamping the coffee filter basket mess-free and all but idiot-proof.
Pair the Delonghi La Specialista Arte with good quality coffee beans and you simply can't go wrong. It's also a very good looking machine, impressively compact, quite affordable and all the key parts seem very well made. It's easily the best bean to cup espresso machine we've tried, at its price.
Best Coffee Machine shortlist
Smeg BCC02, Sage The Bambino Plus, Sage The Barista Touch, Delonghi La Specialista Arte, Jura E8, Delonghi Primadonna Soul
Best Multicooker/Pressure Cooker: Ninja Foodi SmartLid OL750UK
This is hands-down my favourite 'gadget' of the year, if I can use that word for something so useful. Not only a great pressure cooker and multi cooker in the Instant Pot tradition, the Ninja SmartLid OL750UK is also a superb air fryer – and unlike other multi-cookers that pull double duty as an air fryer, you don't need to change the lid.
Also usable as a steam oven, among many other things, this kitchen Ninja really will help practically anyone get better at cooking. It's fast to heat up, cooks with excellent power efficiency, is easy to clean and it does basically everything. What's not to like?
We almost made this the winner of Best Air Fryer as well, but it definitely deserves the Best Multi-cooker crown.
Best Multicooker/Pressure Cooker shortlist
Ninja Foodi SmartLid OL750UK, Instant Pot Duo Crisp & Air Fryer, Instant Pot Duo, Sage The Fast Slow Pro, Tefal Cook4me Touch
Best Small Appliance Brand: Sage/Breville
Sage – or Breville as it's known outside of Europe, for reasons too confusing to go into here – has long been synonymous with T3's kitchen coverage, since the days when it was a magazine. So what more worthy first winner of this new T3 Award could there be? I love Sage's approach to innovation and design – practically everything they make has at least one killer feature that would not occur to rival brands, and they always push the envelope of what's possible.
The Pizzaiolo indoor pizza oven sums up what the brand is about. Great design, extreme ease of use and stunning results. Even the most ardent pizzaphile would struggle to tell that the pizzas from this beaut were cooked indoors, using electricity rather than outdoors over a roaring wood flame.
This year, as well as continuing to turn out great small appliances for cooking, Sage also found time to turn out a mechanised food composter and to start its own subscription coffee service, Beanz, providing top quality, freshly roasted beans from some of the UK and USA's most celebrated roasteries through the post. I can't wait to see what they do next.
- Check out Sage.com (links to Breville.com if you are not in the UK) (opens in new tab)
Best Small Appliance Brand shortlist
Smeg, Sage, KitchenAid, Instant Brands, Nutribullet, Bosch
Best Cookware Brand: Le Creuset
Another brand new T3 Award and another extremely well-qualified winner. Given its worldwide shopping and social media dominance, it would be hard to justify giving this gong to anyone but Le Creuset, much as we love all the other nominees.
The secret of Le Creuset's success – aside from excellent marketing and perhaps a little good fortune in that it became a lockdown TikTok and Instagram sensation – is that it makes excellent products in just about every cookware category one can think of. It goes without saying that the much-loved casseroles/Dutch ovens are of superb quality, but everything down to the coffee mugs and baking sheets maintains that mix of timeless style and excellent build quality.
- Visit Le Creuset's online domain (opens in new tab)
Best Cookware Brand shortlist
Le Creuset, Smeg, Samuel Groves, Our Place, Staub, ProCook
Best Washing Machine: Miele WEG 365
A textbook Miele combination of proven performance and premium build, the WEG 365 is not the newest washing machine in the world but it continues to prove its worth year after year. Able to clean gently and with great energy efficiency – it's A rated, or A+++ in old money – this Miele more than justifies its high-ish cost to be crowned best washing machine.
Best Washing Machine shortlist
Hisense WFQY1014EVJM, Miele WEG 365, AEG 9000 Series L9FEC966R, Bosch Serie 8 WAX32GH4GB, Indesit IWC 81483
Best Fridge Freezer: Hisense RQ560N4WC1
This four-door big boy provides an ice-cool combo of excellent cooling power, understated good looks and the sort of features that families love, from a water cooler tap to rapid freezing. It's all at a price that's right, too.
- See more of the best fridge freezers
- Plus the best American style fridge freezers
- Best fridges
- …and best freezers!
Best Fridge Freezer shortlist
Hisense RQ560N4WC1, Zanussi Bright Series 40 ZNME36FW0, Samsung RS8000, Beko CFG3582W, Hotpoint FFU4D, Haier FD 83 series 7
Best Wine Cooler Fridge: Russell Hobbs RH34WC1
There's no better way to keep your wine in the style it deserves than this Russell Hobbs cooler. It holds up to 34 bottles in its flexible shelving arrangement, with a temperature range if 5˚C to 18˚C – perfect for everything from keeping vintage reds at their best to chilling Prosecco for the weekend. The affordable price might surprise you as well. That's why it's our best wine cooler fridge winner for 2022.
Best Wine Cooler Fridge shortlist
Haier Wine Bank 50 series 7, Fisher & Paykel’s integrated column wine cabinet, Russell Hobbs RH34WC1, Comfee RCW46BG1, Hoover H-WINE 700 HWCB 60D
Best oven: Neff N 70 B57CR22N0B
Winning for what feels like the 19th year on the trot, this Great British Bake Off stalwart still more than delivers the goods. Come for the innovative slide-under door; stay for the consistent temperatures, easy controls and a range of useful cooking features that go way beyond just baking cakes – although it is a master of that too, of course.
- Discover more of the best ovens money can buy
Best Oven shortlist
Neff N 70 B57CR22N0B, Zanussi ZOD35660XK, Miele H7164BP, Bosch Serie 8 HBG634BS1B, Beko Aeroperfect BBXIF22100S, Smeg Galileo, Miele H2267-1BP
Best Dishwasher: Miele G 7110 SC
Rather like the Miele that wins Best Washing Machine (above), this typically well-built dishwasher is quite expensive on the face of it but should pay for itself by lasting longer, and giving you less hassle during its long working life. The Miele G 7110 SC can clean to an extremely hygienic standard, with up 99.99% of bacteria and 99.9% of viruses done away with, yet it is also extremely quiet and able to gently clean precious items such as glassware, or your Rolex (not confirmed). It's our best dishwasher award winner for all those reasons, and more.
Best Dishwasher shortlist
Bosch SMS67MW00G, Bosch Serie 2 SMS24AW01G, Miele G 7110 SC, Hisense HS520E40WUK, Bosch Serie 4 SMS46II01G