Having a limited amount of living space can be annoying, especially in the kitchen. One of the ways around this is by having a few small appliances that serve multiple uses. This list will give you a few ideas and make your close quarters cooking a little easier.
Chances are you have a microwave already, but are you using it to its fullest potential in your small space? For most people microwave cooking is limited to boiling water, making popcorn and reheating leftovers. Many of us have tried more ambitious microwave meals only to end up with rubbery overcooked messes. However, in the last few years there have been a lot of advances made in materials that allow for better and more even cooking in the microwave. With some inexpensive and easily found microwave specific cooking containers it is possible to make certain foods taste great in only a few minutes. Anything that can be steamed or boiled can be made in the microwave in less time and with less mess.
2. Toaster Oven
A toaster oven is probably the largest item on the list and at first glance may seem overly bulky compared to a traditional toaster. The average toaster takes up about half as much space, but is limited only to toasting bread, bagels, or anything that can be on its side. As the name implies the toaster oven can act like an oven as well, making anything from toast to pizza in a small space. If you already have an oven a toaster oven can seem like overkill, but it saves a lot of time an energy for small cooking and reheating jobs. If you live in a dorm or an efficiency apartment without a kitchen area, a toaster oven can be a lifesaver and give you a real home cooked meal.
3. Crock Pot
A lot of people think of a crock pot as something that can make a nice stew or chilli, but has limited uses for real cooking. However, properly used a crock pot can make hundreds of meals with limited work in a small space. Besides soups and stews crock pots can be used to make roasts, meatloaf, ribs casseroles, mac and cheese and tons more. It can even be set up overnight with breakfast items so you can wake to a hot meal. Because its portable it can also be set up outside the kitchen giving you more space to work. All of this and it takes up the same space as a large pot. Making effective us of a crock pot can save you time, space and money.
4. Water Filter
Most people buy a water filter for taste or health reasons, but they can also be great space savers. A water filter and pitcher in your refrigerator eliminates your needs for bottled water, which can take up tons of space in your kitchen. In addition a filter gives you a reliable source of clean water to mix other drinks, meaning you can buy powdered versions of juices and sports drinks, saving more space in the cabinets. For those looking to save even more space, filters that attach directly to your faucet are now on the market.
5. George Foreman Grill
If you ever tried to make a burger or steak in a small kitchen you know it can be a challenge. Cooking any kind of fatty meat in a pan or oven where it is unable to drain can lead to a greasy mess. The Foreman grill is the perfect tool for this job. It cooks the meat evenly from both sides and allows any excess fat to drain into the tray. The controls are simple and clean up is a breeze. While its perfect for meat, the foreman grill can also be used for vegetables, toasting breads, grilling fruit or anything else you can think of. Pound for pound its the best cooking appliance for limited space and something every small kitchen should have.
Cooking in a small space is a matter of knowing what you need, maximizing the space you have and having appliances that can perform a variety of tasks. You may not need everything on this list, but just one or two items can make a big difference in your small kitchen.