Shrinking homes and shoebox apartments are now the standard for homes all over the world. With less space available, how do you make the most out of the room you have in your kitchen? Maximizing efficiency! Luckily, as kitchens have gotten smaller, appliances have also cut down in size and even expanded in functions. So, let’s go over some basic must-haves to make the most of the kitchen you may have.
Table Top Toaster Oven (Or Airfryer)
If you aren’t moving into a 4-room flat or larger, chances are, your kitchen won’t have enough space for a full-sized oven. If you’re thinking of giving this millennium old contraption the boot, well think again. Behind the stove top, the oven is the most versatile cooking tool there is. You can cook just about anything as long as it fits in it.
Our recommendation is to get something that’s big enough to fit a full spring chicken in it (about 20-30L), that way it’s large enough to make a meal for 4, but small enough that it fits comfortably on any table top space you can find.
Plus, don’t worry about getting something very expensive either, table top toaster ovens like these may not have the temperature down to the exact degree, but a simple Cornell (image above) can get the job done and easily costs under $100.
If you’re looking for something a little more powerful, then try an airfryer instead. Working on the same principle as the oven (supply of dry heat), the airfryer speeds up the cooking process by continuously circulating the hot air all around. This process of cooking is just as healthy as oven baking but can be a lot faster.
There are loads of brands of airfyers in the market now, but again, you probably won’t need to buy the most expensive brand-name one if you’re not planning on serving a full gourmet meal. Settle for a cheaper mayer and you can get them on websites like qoo10 or Lazada for under $100.
Microwave (Or a Microwave Oven)
If you don’t already have a microwave at home, you are in dire need of one. While an oven or airfryer is great at cooking things, a microwave is great at heating things up again. Reheating food can be the bane of any leftover meal, but with a microwave, the process gets simplified to pushing a single button.
Microwaves are not meant to be as powerful as ovens (or airfryers) in preparing a meal from scratch, so don’t expect to be able to replace your oven with a microwave and cook a raw piece of meat in it just as easily.
While there are microwave ovens as well, these will set you back around $200 – $300, and their oven function is really outclassed by even a simple 20L Cornell oven, so unless you’re really so tight on space, you’d be shelling out even more for a sub-par oven function.
The great part of microwaves is that these come much smaller than ovens and can sit comfortably inside the shelves of the kitchen, giving you more space on the counter top.
This one may be more relevant for those who are beginner cooks and aren’t sure how to cook meat, but even for more experienced cooks, a sous-vide machine is a great helper for preparing large meals with limited stoves and ovens.
Praised as a cooking hack, you can use the sous vide to make perfectly cooked meat 100% of the time. So if you’re rushing out a large dinner, the oven is occupied, the stoves are all used, then a sous vide is going to save you space and time. Just plop your sealed food into the water bath and take them out when you’re ready for them.
Coffee Pod Machine
You’ve probably seen or tried one of these machines before. The coffee pod has been one of the biggest steps forward for coffee lovers since they first started putting coffee in plastic bags.
Why you should get it? Perfectly prepared coffee every single time. While it may not be the artisanal coffee you may love so much, its probably good enough to be your morning cup of joe before you go. These machines are fast, easy to use and look great on your counter top, so even when you aren’t using them, they’re still doing something.
There’s a huge variety of different types of machines and their compatible pods, so which one you prefer is really up to which one makes the coffee that you like, but all these capsule machines are going to save you space on the table (be it in the living room or kitchen), and get your cup of coffee ready in seconds without making a mess.
Multi-Function Kitchen Machine
Imagine having a blender, food processor, mixer and even a juicer sitting on your counter top, or even cluttering up the cupboard space. With so many machines, its no wonder they started making a single machine which can do all that.
Multi-function kitchen machines are the heavy hitters of the home culinary world. With inserts and attachments from food processors, to blenders, juicers, whisks. You name it, it’s probably available as an attachment.
These multi-function tools are amazing for space, you only need enough space for one device, and you can keep the other attachments stored neatly under the counter for whenever they’re required. This way, you save space, not having to deal with the bodies of these additional devices, and just pack the attachments away neatly.
Because of the complexities of these machines and their extremely varies use, they don’t always come cheap. Big brands like Bosch and KitchenAid carry appliances with more functions and attachments (notably mixers and meat grinders) than cheaper models from Phillips or Kenwood, but you can also expect those from Bosch and KitchenAid to be heavier duty and pack a stronger punch.
Bonus: 3-in-1 Breakfast Station
While this may look gimmicky than actually useful, Nostalgia Electronics has successfully produced a well working 3-in-1 breakfast station which lives up to the appearance. Letting you prepare the basics for a full breakfast, toast, coffee and eggs all in one station, the whole machine has been pretty well thought out and works surprisingly well (given how many functions it has). The toaster even has an option for heating up frozen breakfast foods like waffles so you can have all your breakfast favourites prepared and ready right from the table itself.