Whether you live in an apartment or a smaller house, it's hard to want to spend a lot of time cooking if your lack of space is going to make everything a pain. Get excited about cooking again by leveraging your space with these clever gadgets for small kitchens.
Many cooks with small kitchens think they can't have a stand mixer. Not true. In fact, that's the one appliance you need. KitchenAid makes a variety of attachments that can turn your KitchenAid Stand Mixer into just about any device you need. It can grind meat, squeeze fresh juice, make purees, slice fruits and veggies into perfectly uniform shapes, grate cheese — using just the flat beater (not the whip), you can even use it to make shakes! (KitchenAid, $200 and up)
The attachments will take up some space, but you can fit most of the more awkward attachments on a single shelf in your cabinet (tip: keep the boxes to make stacking easier). For the mixing attachments, you can hang those either behind your mixer or in a cabinet on tiny hooks installed easily with a screwdriver (or in some cases, a special adhesive that comes with the hook). Or, you can buy the MixerMaid (Amazon, $13)
The best way to save space in a small kitchen is to have gadgets that serve more than one purpose, and this grill from George Foreman is a multitasking champ. It comes with two grill plates, a deep dish bake pan and a muffin/bake pan (meatloaf muffins anyone?). You can purchase up to seven additional plates to customize it to your needs. (Amazon, $112)
The Ninja Kitchen System is a less-expensive and lighter-weight alternative to the KitchenAid. It can do almost everything the stand mixer can do, but it's lightweight enough to be stored under the counter and pulled out when necessary. It also has quite a few attachments (including separate canister attachments for blending and chopping and two individual-size containers for making single servings).
The quality isn't quite as high as the KitchenAid, but it's still well reviewed. It's also likely to take up more than one shelf in your cabinet because it requires the additional canisters for certain types of work. But it's a great buy for cooks who value countertop space over storage space. (QVC, $121)
This workhorse functions as a slow-cooker, rice maker and steamer and does all tasks well. The 30-cup pot is a big advantage whether you're cooking for a large family or just want to make up a batch of your famous chili and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal later in the month.
The steaming tray allows you to steam veggies or meats while cooking rice or making other recipes that contain liquid below. The steamer also works well to steam dumplings (12 or 14 at a time), tamales (eight or 10 at a time) and other foods, though it's a bit small to do large batches.
In addition to multiple heat settings that give you a lot of control, it also has a one-touch sear setting (so you don't have to pull out the pan to sear meats before adding liquid), has a nonstick coating and features a tempered glass lid with an adjustable steam vent. Better yet, most of the parts are dishwasher-safe, and it takes up about as much space as a large saucepot when stored. (Amazon, $47)
Sometimes, the best solution to a small kitchen is to just give yourself more space. If a remodel is out of the question for you, check out these clever stand-alone kitchen designs from Kitchoo. The features vary based on the model you choose, but you can get your Kitchoo with anything from a sink, dishwasher, drawers and cabinets, burners, a microwave grill and more in a variety of colors. When it's not in use, it can be folded up and packed away so it's dual purpose is barely noticeable.
The Kitchoo isn't yet available in the U.S., but they're working on it and plan to have availability in the states soon. Stay tuned to their blog or social media pages to get the news the minute it breaks!
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