While this year kept us at home, it also forced many to confront a sometimes inconvenient, but always necessary task: cooking. For those who have to work with obscenely small kitchens, that can be an unwieldy undertaking. What was easily avoided in the pre-COVID-19 world, with neighborhood restaurants and takeout joints, has now become almost unavoidable as more lockdowns and restrictions loom.
Whether you’re throwing together a quick-and-easy lunch or making a decadent three-course dinner, here are some tools that will help you make the most of your small kitchen.
Stop buying and using mismatched prep bowls. Instead, purchase a set of nesting prep bowls that you can use to whip up a big batch of homemade cookies or whisk together a salad dressing — and neatly tuck away in your cabinets after. For an even more satisfying space-saving option, get Joseph Joseph’s Nest 9 Plus Bowl Set which stacks 2 mixing bowls, a colander, a mesh sieve and various measuring cups all in one.
Buy Now: Joseph Joseph Nest™ 9 Plus Bowl Set
Snap-On Foldable Strainer
While a clunky colander might seem like a necessary kitchen staple, it doesn’t have to take up so much space. Replace your cumbersome kitchen tool with a sleeker, foldable clip-on strainer. Just snap on the flexible silicone gadget to the lip of a pot or bowl of any size, pour out the water in your kitchen sink and stow it away in any small drawer.
Flexible Cutting Mats
If your thick plastic cutting boards and dense wood chopping blocks are taking up way too much cabinet space, you might want to consider getting thin, flexible cutting mats. The durable cutting board will allow you to tackle anything from meats to a tough butternut squash without scratching your countertop. Then, simply slip this kitchen necessity into whatever space you have available.
Reusable Food Covers and Food Wraps
Instead of wasting space and fussing with plastic wrap, you can use an eco-friendly alternative with reusable food covers, like the ones made by unwasted and Etee. These washable silicone food covers will easily stretch over the top of any dish to create an airtight, leak-proof seal, while the food wraps will easily cling to any plate or bowl. With these reusable storage items, you can toss your cluttered tupperware and use virtually any dish to store leftovers.
Magnetic Knife Strip
Instead of a treacherous knife drawer or a dense block to store your blades, save space with a magnetic knife strip. This simple kitchen organizational tool will hold any metal utensil and protect them from the damage of being jumbled together. But if a strip of steel doesn’t go with your aesthetic, wooDsom offers commercial-grade magnetic knife strips custom-made from nine different wood species in various sizes to display your fine cutting tools.
Magnetic Spice Jars
Growing spice collection getting out of control? No more drawers or shelves to keep them handy? Try storing your spices on a fridge or a metal sheet with magnetic spice jars, like the beautiful glass hexagon-shaped containers from Geniss Spice. Born from the Gneiss Spice founder’s own frustration with her tiny Brooklyn apartment, these magnetic jars will keep your spices organized, accessible and stylish.
Digital Food Scale
If you want to do away with measuring spoons and cups, some swear all you need in the kitchen is a food scale. With more precision and utility, a digital food scale like Ozeri’s Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale will quickly measure the volume or weight of anything from a cup of flour to a bowl of chicken thighs. Additionally, one food scale for all your measuring needs means fewer dishes to store and clean.
Mini Food Chopper
Do you have little to no counter space? Then, a mini food chopper may just be the tool you need. With this small but mighty kitchen appliance, you can dice your onions and mince your garlic in a fraction of the time it would take to chop by hand, all in a very limited space. And if that’s still too big for your minuscule kitchen, KitchenAid’s new Cordless 5 Cup Food Chopper means you’re not anchored to an electric outlet, allowing you to turn any flat surface in any room into some much-needed prep space.
While having cookware for all of one’s needs is any chef’s dream, it can be a nightmare for those cramped in a tiny apartment. But, don’t let a small kitchen stop you from cooking your most ambitious dishes—just get one pan that does it all. Our Place’s innovative Always Pan boasts of replacing eight traditional pieces of cookware with a single unit in six different muted tones that is better suited to compliment a stove or kitchen table instead of a cabinet.
Buy Now: Our Place Always Pan
If you’re in the market for one do-it-all appliance for a tiny apartment, get an immersion blender. This slim kitchen appliance can be extremely versatile if you purchase one with multiple attachments, like the Breville All in One Processing Station, which comes with an s-blade, a whisk, a mashing leg, a slicing disk, a food processing bowl and more. Blend, mash, whisk and slice at various speed settings with the flip of a switch.
Mandoline Slicer with Interchangeable Blades
If you’re a minimalist when it comes to appliances, a small, but versatile, mandoline slicer could fit all your slicing needs. With a mandoline slicer like OXO’s Good Grips, easily slice cucumbers, julienne carrots, grate cheese, or spiralize zucchini by hand—and it can capture all your prepped ingredients in the storage container below.