When shopping for small kitchen appliances, we often have to limit ourselves with how many items we can actually have. Whether it is due to our limited budgets or simply a lack of cabinet or counter space, we have to pick a few selected items and rely on them for all of our cooking needs. So, what are the best items to purchase in this case? What appliances will maximize our cooking potential but minimize cost and space? Below is a list of appliances I recommend for small kitchens; all are versatile, serve dual functions, and are relatively affordable!
1. Dutch oven
Dutch ovens are great for cooking many different recipes in your kitchen. With the ability to saute vegetables on the stove top, roast chicken in the oven, or make chili over a campfire, these babies can really do it all. Obviously a top of the line Le Creuset Dutch oven for $300+ may be too much of an investment for a first apartment, but there are more affordable options! Check out this one from Target or this one from the Martha Stewart line at Macy’s, and then go online for tons of tasty recipes using a Dutch oven.
2. Toaster oven
These are really versatile, especially now that they are able to do more than toast your bread! Newer toaster ovens can bake sweets, pizza, and broil side dishes. They are a perfect addition to those tiny apartment kitchens that come with a cook top but no oven. Check out this one from Crate and Barrel that has four settings to choose from.
From making protein shakes to smoothies, blenders are great for making quick meals on the go! A blender with multiple settings can also act as a food processor, where you can mince vegetables, mix ingredients together to make soups, or make a killer pesto sauce! Check out this new blender that has the settings to act as both appliances.
4. Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are basically magic, at least to me because I was never great at cooking rice in a pot on the stove. Many of the newer ones have multiple settings for different types of rice, but did you know that some of them come with compartments for steaming vegetables? Check out this rice cooker that let’s you enjoy both perfect rice and steamed vegetables all within one appliance!
5. Slow Cooker a/k/a Crockpot
Last but not least, slow cookers are great for cooking stews, serving warm beverages for a dinner party, and even making homemade macaroni and cheese! They’re the ultimate cold weather appliance. Throw some soup or stew ingredients in before work, and come home to a hot dinner ready to serve! With the popularity rising for crockpots, there are lots of options for every budget and size, from $20 up. I would recommend this one I purchased from Target. Start out with this post for recipes you can make with your crockpot and find many more easy and delicious options online.