More and more people are discovering the benefits of tiny kitchens. Even the Property Brothers tackled tiny kitchen design in a recent episode. Too much space is not only time consuming and expensive, but generally annoying.
However, there are some aspects of a tiny kitchen that will test the reserve of even the most enthusiastic tiny homeowner. No one wants to cook in a kitchen that’s too small. Thankfully there are plenty of multi-use appliances that can free up space in a tiny kitchen.
Multi-cookers have become increasingly popular in the U.S. over the past year, with consumers spending $700 million on them in 2018. Think of a multi-cooker as every type of stove occupying an area of roughly 13X13 inches.
One of the great things about them is that there are so many different models available. Some are tall while others are wide, meaning you can easily find one that’s right for your kitchen.
This appliance can fry, steam, sauté, bake, roast, and do most variations of cooking such as slow cooking and pressure cooking.
Additionally, most models are pre-set for cooking foods like rice, soup, and chili. You can even purchase multi-cookers that offer different pressure settings and have a delayed timer, so you can cook more versatile meals at a time that suits you. When shopping for a multi-cooker, you’ll find they vary in size between two and eight-quartz.
The size you need will depend on your family’s requirements and how much space you’ve got in your kitchen. A two-quart multi-cooker is compact but will only feed a family of two, whereas an eight-quartz model will feed a family of six but will take up more room, so you need to weigh up both factors before making your purchase.
2. Microwave/Toaster Oven
Microwaves can cook many types of food, but not enough to sustain most homeowners. A toaster oven can pinch hit for the rest of the meals; however, a tiny kitchen may not have room for both. Good thing they now make combination microwave toaster ovens.
These microwave toaster oven combos can either be placed on your kitchen countertop or above your range. They’re particularly handy in small kitchens as you can cook a variety of foods in them, including whole chickens, stews, and cookies.
Unfortunately, according to Thrive Cuisine, there aren’t that many microwave toaster ovens on the market. This doesn’t mean that they’re of low quality: the Toshiba EC042A5C-BS, Sharp R1874T 850W, and Samsung MC12J8035CT come highly-recommended. All can make pizza just as easily as they can make popcorn.
There is one key factor to consider when shopping for a combination microwave toaster oven: that it’s a convection oven. Convection ovens cook food quicker and more evenly than non-convection ovens, giving you great tasting food time and time again, so it’s certainly something you want yours to provide.
3. Food Processor/Blender
Having a separate food processor and food blender is impossible for most homeowners with small kitchens. Thankfully, in the same way that microwaves and toaster ovens have been combined, so have food processors and blenders.
To get the most for your money, opt for a combo that provides the option to mix, chop, crush, puree, slice, and grate. These machines typically vary in size, offering between and 3 and 8 cups on average. In a small kitchen, it’s best to opt for one of the more compact versions so you can safely store it when it’s not in use.
One notable food processor/blender is the Oster Pro 1200, available for purchase from most major retailers. It’s only 14 inches tall and eight inches deep yet its blender jar can hold six cups while its processor cup can hold five. The Oster Pro 1200 and other processors/blender combos can make salsa, shakes, smoothies, sorbet, and can even crush ice and shred cheese. This appliance is a necessary addition to any on-the-go homeowner’s tiny kitchen.
Tiny homes with tiny kitchens are grabbing headlines across North America. However, there are drawbacks to tiny kitchens, particularly lack of space. But thanks to multi-use appliances like multi-cookers, microwave toaster ovens, and food processor/blender combos, tiny kitchen space can be multiplied.
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