Making the most of a small kitchen often requires some clever solutions and space-saving appliances. With the right small kitchen appliances, you can whip up meals and baked goods without sacrificing counter and cabinet space. Here are some of the best appliances for small kitchens.
A good blender is a multifunctional appliance that can chopped, puree, and liquefy ingredients in seconds. For small kitchens, choose a personal blender with a small footprint but powerful performance. Models like the NutriBullet or Magic Bullet have compact designs but can pulverize fruits, vegetables, and ice into smoothies and shakes.
Toasters don’t take up much space but are useful for quick breakfasts and snacks. Go for a long, narrow toaster that can handle everything from bread to waffles and bagels. To save space, look for models that stand upright and have retractable cords.
An electric griddle offers a large cooking surface for pancakes, grilled sandwiches, and other foods. Because they’re flat, they can be easily stored in a cabinet or on the back of the counter when not in use. Opt for a smaller griddle, around 8 x 10 inches.
Air fryers are multifunctional appliances that can bake, roast, and “fry” foods with little to no oil. The best air fryers for small kitchens have a compact footprint with a 2-3 quart capacity. You’ll be able to cook small batches of fries, chicken wings, and more.
A rice cooker is an invaluable tool for whipping up perfect rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and more at the press of a button. They range in size from 3-10 cups. A 3-cup cooker takes up minimal counter space but can make rice for 2-3 portions.
An electric kettle heats water faster than a stovetop and takes up hardly any room. The best options have variable temperature settings for different types of tea and coffee. Opt for a compact kettle with a 1-2 liter capacity.
Hand mixers are lightweight and easy to store in a drawer or cabinet. While they’re not as powerful as stand mixers, they can handle most basic mixing, whipping, and beating tasks. Look for a hand mixer with multiple speed settings and attachments.
For set-it-and-forget-it meals, a 3-5 quart slow cooker is perfect for small kitchens. Slow cookers allow you to prep ingredients in the morning and come home to a hot, home-cooked meal. They’re useful for soups, stews, roasts, and more.
Counter-top mini ovens provide all the functions of a regular oven in a pint-sized appliance. They can bake, broil, toast, and keep foods warm. Mini ovens range from 0.5 to 5 cubic feet—a 2-3 cubic foot model can fit a 9 inch pizza or roast chicken.
Choosing the Right Small Appliances
When choosing which small appliances to add to your kitchen, consider what you cook most often. Opt for versatile tools that provide multiple functions, saving you space and cost. Here are some factors to keep in mind:
Your Most Common Cooking Tasks
Think about your go-to cooking activities. Do you bake bread and cookies frequently? An electric mixer and mini oven may be useful. Love smoothies and shakes? Invest in a personal blender. Cook a lot of rice or grains? A small rice cooker can help. Identify your habits to select the most practical tools.
Power and Capacity
While compact size is important, don’t sacrifice too much power and capacity. Look for appliances that can handle daily use and standard batch sizes. For example, a personal blender should be able to blend a single serving smoothie or shake. Also consider your available storage space for small appliances you’ll use less often.
Multi-purpose appliances like air fryers, electric griddles, and instant pots are excellent choices for small kitchens. Having tools that provide a variety of cooking functions will save you space and allow you to cook a wide range of recipes. Prioritize quality over quantity when selecting appliances.
Ease of Use and Storage
Appliances with simple controls and settings streamline cooking tasks. Ensure lids, attachments, and accessories can be easily stored without taking up a lot of room. Appliances that stand upright or stack neatly will maximize space. Retractable cords and handles also help keep countertops clear.
Buying too many appliances can be costly, so stick to the basics. Consider which tools will provide the most utility and versatility without breaking the bank. Often, one high-quality multi-use appliance is better than several niche appliances. Focus on investing in workhorse appliances you know you’ll use frequently.
Caring for Small Kitchen Appliances
To get the most out of your appliances, proper care and maintenance are essential. Here are some tips:
- Read the instruction manual to understand cleaning requirements. Some appliances have dishwasher safe parts.
- Unplug the appliance and let cool before cleaning. Use a damp cloth to wipe exterior surfaces. Avoid submerging appliances in water.
- For blenders, mixers and food processors, don’t let food bits dry on the blades or attachments. Rinse or wash right after using.
- Empty air fryer or slow cooker inserts after each use. Grease or food residue can build up and burn over time.
- Descale electric kettles and coffee makers monthly to prevent mineral buildup. Use a store-bought descaling solution or vinegar and water.
- Replace filters and parts as recommended by the manufacturer. Check components like blender gaskets, blender blades, and air fryer mesh periodically for damage.
- Don’t overload appliances. Leave some headspace for food to circulate during cooking. Overfilling can damage appliances.
- Give appliances space during operation. Avoid cramming items close together when in use so air can properly circulate.
With the right small appliances and proper care, you can cook just about anything in a petite kitchen. Choose versatile, functional tools to maximize your available space. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. With a little creativity, even the smallest kitchen can be a fully productive cooking space.