Best Black Friday Deals on Instant Pot and Other Small Appliances

It’s a good time to buy top-performing multi-cookers, air fryers, stand mixers, blenders, and other countertop gear

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Deeply discounted small appliances are often advertised as doorbusters on Black Friday to get you in the store. But if you push past the countertop electrics on sale for $20 or less and wander back to the small appliance section, you’re likely to find good deals on a variety of products that perform well in Consumer Reports' tests.

We looked at some early Black Friday flyers and other store promotions and found savings on a number of small appliances that have come through our labs.

Some stores are featuring the same items at the same price, while, in other cases, one retailer is offering a standout discount. And some stores, including JCPenney’s and Kohl’s, are offering early online sales starting the weekend before Thanksgiving—on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19, respectively.

But with the exception of Bed Bath & Beyond, which is closed on Thanksgiving, most of the retailers mentioned below start their sales sometime Thanksgiving Day.

More on Small Appliances

Keep in mind that prices can change, stock can run low or even sell out, and new deals will be introduced as Black Friday approaches.

“The sales momentum starts building and then goes over the top on Black Friday,” says Claudette Ennis, who analyzes the small appliance market for Consumer Reports.

We’ll continue to update our picks and add new retailers when they announce their deals between now and when you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast.

Air Fryers

NuWave Brio 36001
The deal: $79.99 at Target
Savings: $20
They’re called air fryers, but these countertop wonders don’t fry food. They're actually small convection ovens that rely on a fan to circulate hot air that cooks your food. At 2.6 quarts, the NuWave Brio has one of the smaller capacities of the 14 models we tested—the largest hold almost 6 quarts. Despite that, it rates very highly, earning an Excellent score for how easy it is to set the time and temperature. And though it’s quieter than some models, it’s a little more difficult to clean.

Power Air Fryer XL
The deal: $49.99 at Target; $69.99 at JCPenney; $79.99 at Kohl’s
Savings: Up to $70
This little number can be found on sale at a variety of prices, but the lowest we’ve seen is at Target. It earns an Excellent rating for cleaning, which we determine by cleaning both the food basket and the exterior of the fryer. It’s so-so on noise, but large families will appreciate its large capacity, 5.3 quarts, because you can cook dinner in bigger batches.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.


Ninja Professional kitchen system
The deal: $99.99 at Target on Nov. 22
Savings: $100
If smoothies are your morning pick-me-up, this Ninja blender is a good choice, especially at this price. And our members give the Ninja brand an Excellent score for owner satisfaction. We also judge this model to be very durable, so you can crush ice without worrying about damaging your machine. (In our durability test, we crush 45 batches of ice.) Like most of the Ninjas in our blender tests, it gets middling ratings for noise.

Ninja Professional 1,000-watt system
The deal: $59.99 at Target; $59.99 at JCPenney on Nov. 22
Savings: $40
At its list price, the 1,000-watt Ninja Professional NJ600 is a CR Best Buy, meaning it combines impressive performance and an appealing price. And for Black Friday, you can find the model marked down by 40 percent. The Ninja's removable blade helps make cleanup a cinch and is a reason this model rated Excellent in our convenience tests.

Nutri Ninja Pro personal blender
The deal: $59.99 at Target; $59.99 at JCPenney on Nov. 22
Savings: $60
This pint-sized personal blender is perfect for commuters who like to make their smoothies to go. It notches an Excellent score for puréeing and is very capable at other blender tasks, such as making smoothies and crushing ice. Although it’s small, it’s mighty and built to last. But again, like its brandmates, it’s fairly noisy.

Ninja BL770 Blender & Food Processor system
The deal: $99.99 at Best Buy; $129.99 at Macy’s on Nov. 22
Savings: Up to $120
Yep, another Ninja. This blender is part of a so-called food system because it comes with several attachments and different-sized containers, including a personal to-go cup. Despite all the various parts, we found it to be very convenient to use and clean, earning it an Excellent score. It does a workmanlike job on all normal blender tasks, puréeing, crushing ice, and making smoothies. But it’s even noisier than the other Ninjas in this roundup.

Ninja Personal Blender with Auto-iQ BL480
The deal: $59.99 at Best Buy on Nov. 22
Savings: $40
Ninja claims the Auto-IQ on this personal blender ensures that your food is blended perfectly every time. Though some of the blenders in our tests are a bit better at making smoothies and puréeing soup, this one performs consistently in all our blender tests and durability is Excellent.

Vitamix Explorian Series E310
The deal: $349.99 at Macy’s on Nov. 22
Savings: $88
Our members give Vitamix Excellent ratings for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. And it’s impressive in our performance tests, making a perfect purée and refreshing icy drinks. Across the board, Vitamix blenders are on the pricey side, so this deal brings the price down a bit. We find it to be durable but have one caution: It’s one of the noisiest Vitamix blenders in our tests.

Food Processor

Cuisinart Prep 11 Plus DLC-2011CHBY
The deal: $79.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond on Nov. 23
Savings: $120
The Cuisinart brand is so synonymous with food processors that some people refer to all food processors as Cuisinarts. If you want to own the real McCoy, this one is a good deal. It holds 11 cups and earns a Very Good rating at both chopping and shredding. It could be better at slicing, but it’s fairly quiet, comes with separate slicing and shredding discs, and has a special setting for kneading dough.


KitchenAid Classic Plus stand mixer
The deal: $199.99 at Kohl’s on Nov. 22
Savings: $120
If you’ve always coveted a KitchenAid stand mixer, Black Friday may be the time to find one at an attractive price, especially if you shop at Kohl’s, which is advertising at least four models. With its Excellent rating for mixing and quite capable whipping and kneading, you can see why this one is a classic. It’s not as quiet as some of its brandmates, but when used in short bursts, the noise shouldn’t bother you.

KitchenAid Professional stand mixer
The deal: $219.99 at Target on Nov. 22
Savings: $230
At less than half the regular price, the Professional is a good deal and won’t disappoint in the kitchen when you take it through its mixing paces. Whipping time is Excellent, and mixing and kneading are top-notch. It’s convenient to use and clean and is on par with the other KitchenAid stand mixers we test. But again, it’s noisy.

KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer
The deal: $279.99 at Macy’s; $279.99 at JCPenney on Nov. 22; $279.99 at Kohl’s
Savings: Up to $195
The KitchenAid Artisan popped up in a number of Black Friday sales, and all for about 40 percent off. It’s just as good as the other KitchenAid stand mixers in our tests and is a bit quieter than some, although you’ll still hear it working. Breadmakers should take note of the Excellent kneading score and can also rely on this model for mixing and whipping.

KitchenAid Pro 600 stand mixer
The deal: $199.99 at Kohl’s on Nov. 22
Savings: $100
Other KitchenAid stand mixers earn higher scores in our tests, but this one is no slouch. It rates Excellent for mixing and is just as capable at whipping and kneading. Like some of its brandmates, it’s on the noisier side. But at 6 quarts, it has one of the largest bowls, so it can handle big batches of cookie, cake, and bread dough with ease.

KitchenAid 4-speed hand mixer
The deal: $29.99 at Kohl’s on Nov. 22
Savings: $40
Not everyone has enough counter or storage space for a stand mixer. If that’s you, consider this attractive hand mixer from KitchenAid. The model we tested is red, but it comes in 14 other colors so that you can easily match your other appliances. As far as performance, it’s Excellent at mixing, though it could be a bit faster when whipping cream. Our testers find it easy to use and clean and, as for noise, it’s in the midrange of hand mixers.


Instant Pot DUO60 7-in-1
The deal: $69.95 at Target; $69.99 at Macy’s; $69.99 at Kohl’s on Nov. 22
Savings: Up to $70
No countertop appliance of late has quite captured cooks’ imaginations as the Instant Pot. We tested the 7-in-1, which is one of the earlier versions. Newer models have even more functions, but seven should be enough. We compared the Instant Pot with one of each appliance it’s meant to replace—a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, electric steamer, warming tray, and induction burner—and the results were mixed. Many of the face-offs ended in a tie, so if you want to jump on the Instant Pot bandwagon, go ahead.

Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker SCCPPC600-V1
The deal: $49.99 at Best Buy on Nov. 22
Savings: $50
It didn’t take long for the Instant Pot to have its imitators. Crock-Pot, for one, came out with a similar multi-cooker at a lower price. So of course we had to bring the Crock-Pot Express into our labs for a face-off with the Instant Pot. We found some differences, including the fact that the Crock-Pot is easier to clean because the inner pot is nonstick. The Instant Pot, however, makes better yogurt, but if that’s not in your cooking repertoire, then you’re likely to be happy with the Crock-Pot Express.

Sous Vide

Anova Precision Cooker with WiFi
The deal: $99.99 at Best Buy on Nov. 22
Savings: $60
When the sous vide phenomenon (cooking food in water using a plastic pouch or glass container) first came to the fore several years ago, the price of most machines was out of reach for many home cooks. But when standalone immersion circulators (which circulate and heat the water) came out, home cooks started experimenting with the cooking method. In our tests, the Anova maintains a set temperature and delivers Excellent results. Staffers raved about the juicy, tender pork loin and poultry we cooked.

Space Heaters

Dyson Hot+Cool fan/space heater
The deal: $279.99 at Target on Nov. 22
Savings: $170
Known for its vacuums, Dyson has introduced a number of stylish home appliances, including space heaters that look nothing like the boxy portables you’re used to. Like its vacuums, Dyson’s other products tend to be pricey, so it’s nice to come across a deal. The Hot+Cool can work with WiFi if you choose. As a heater, it’s Very Good at heating a standard-sized room in 15 minutes but could be better at spot heating when you want the warmth directed at just you. It’s very easy to use, but we found it noisy, so keep that in mind if it’s for a room where you watch television.

Dyson AM09 Air Multiple
The deal: $279.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond on Nov. 23
Savings: $170
The Dyson AM09 has been at or near the top of our space heater ratings for two years. It’s better than its brandmate at heating a room and directing heat at you, and it rated Very Good on our fire safety test, meaning that it poses little risk of igniting nearby materials, such as curtains or upholstery. It’s also quieter than the Hot+Cool, which is a bonus.

Mary H.J. Farrell

Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.