Think you need a kitchen to cook healthy meals? Think again! These 10 spectacular small appliances let you cook incredible meals without ever turning on an oven or a stove! Whip up delicious drinks, cook 3-course meals, and even bake cakes, all without ever stepping foot into an actual kitchen!
Once upon a time, as a newly married 23-year-old hiding out in my Navy husband’s barracks, I learned how to cook without a kitchen. We had a fridge, a microwave, and a hot plate. That’s it. Still, I think we did pretty well in the meal department! Mind you, I was thrilled when we moved into housing and I had an actual kitchen again, but we made do. Fast-forward nearly 20 years, there are even more options for those living without a kitchen! In fact, even though I have a full-size kitchen now, I rarely turn on my oven or stove thanks to modern cooking technology!
I have most of the appliances on this list. The others are high on my wish-list. Whether you have a kitchen and just don’t feel like turning on the stove, or you’re living in a kitchen-less efficiency, a basement apartment, or even a dorm room (just check the rules), you can cook amazing meals with these 10 small appliances! Let’s check them out!
10 Appliances That Let You Cook Amazing Meals Without a Kitchen
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1. Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ
I wrote about the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ in a sponsored post last month and shared just how many things you could do with it. Check out that full review here. I use this baby like crazy! Aside from making the delicious meals from the cookbook using the Auto-iQ, I also use it almost daily for smaller things, like sauteing perogies or baking pizza bagels. It’s like having four kitchen appliances in one: a slow cooker, a stove top, a small oven, and a steamer. The inner pot is super easy to clean, even when I forget about it overnight. I am madly in love with it!
2. Bestek Electric Pressure Cooker
Another one that I reviewed in the middle of last year, I still use my Bestek Pressure Cooker regularly. It can do almost everything that the more popular brand can do but costs quite a bit less. I mostly use it as a pressure cooker to make one-pot meals, but you can also use it to bake cakes, brown meats, cook rice, and more.
3. Philips Air Fryer
I’ve had my Philips Air Fryer for a few years now. At one point, we were using it two or three times a day! I have an older model and while it still works fantastic, I admit that I am kind of lusting after a newer model. The XL in particular has caught my eye. If that one is out of your price range, Philips makes a bunch of different models to fit just about every budget. I use mine to quickly “fry” up chicken tenders, french fries, even to make grilled cheese sandwiches! Definitely a lot healthier than deep-frying foods.
4. Keurig Coffee Maker
While the Keurig is a master at making coffee (something I personally could not survive without), that’s not the only reason it made this list. You can use it to make soup, too! I’m not just talking about running hot water into one of those little Cup O Soups. My husband uses it to add water to regular cans of soup, too. He swears that he doesn’t even need to turn on the stove when it does it that way. It’s also perfect for oatmeal. I’ve even heard that you can make pasta with it (although I’m skeptical about that). If you’re super short on space, I have the Keurig K-Compact™ Coffee Maker. It does everything the standard models do but takes up less space.
5. George Foreman Grill
These babies have been around a long time, and we’ve been using them pretty much since day one. In fact, our ancient George Foreman grill was going strong last year until my cat knocked it off the counter and broke it. I replaced it with a slightly bigger and newer model. Cooking on the Foreman is supposed to be healthier because it removes a lot of the fat, but that’s not why we love it. It’s perfect for cooking everything from turkey burgers to chicken. If you have the space, I recommend the larger 9-serving family model. That way, you can cook dinner for everyone all at once. They’re pretty inexpensive compared to other small kitchen appliances.
6. Convection Oven
This is one that we’ve never had. Toaster ovens, yes, but an actual convection oven, no. While I thought they were basically the same thing, it’s my understanding that you can do a lot more in a convection oven. I would go with the Oster Extra Large Convection Oven because it’s a nice mid-range model with all the major features that you’ll need. It’s big enough to bake two large pizzas and it has an auto shut-off for a little more peace of mind. I think everyone will be buying auto shut-off stuff after last week’s episode of This is Us! A convection oven lets you cook pretty much anything you’d bake in a regular oven, except I think it does it a bit faster.
7. Countertop Induction Burner
While you can make almost everything under the sun in the above appliances, sometimes you just need a regular stove top. If you’re on a tight budget, you could get a plain old electric ring burner pretty cheap. I prefer induction burners, though. The Secura is the best-selling model on Amazon, so I’m thinking that’s the best bet. I like that it has a built-in timer. It gets super hot, too. Up to 460 F.
8. Bullet Blender & Mixer
Whether it’s the original Magic Bullet, the Nutribullet, or the Ninja blender, the “bullet-style” mixer and blender is a must for a small kitchen. My grandmother got me the original Magic Bullet over 10 years ago and I still use it regularly. The price has dropped a lot since it first came out, making it the ideal choice for those on a budget. I love it because it’s super compact, yet does pretty much everything a full-size blender can do, including making smoothies. If you want something with more options and have a bit more wiggly room in your budget, you might want to go with the Nutri Ninja Auto-iQ Blender, though. Like the Auto-iQ cooking system, it has a bunch of “set it and forget it” recipes. I’m seriously considering upgrading to this model.
9. Waffle Iron
With a good waffle iron, you can make everything from cake to sandwiches to, of course, waffles. We have a Belgian Waffle Maker, which isn’t ideal for experimenting. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but the waffles are a little too big for things like sandwiches. I suggest something like the 3-in-1 waffle maker from Black+Decker. It’s fairly inexpensive. With it, you can make the obvious (waffles) as well as use it as a griddle for things like pancakes and eggs.
10. Sous Vide Precision Cooker
So, I’ve never heard of this until like five minutes ago, but I’m including it because it has a crazy amount of reviews on Amazon. The Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker isn’t really a stand-alone appliance, but you can use it in any pot, so it would go along great with the induction burner. If you don’t know what sous vide means, I suggest checking out this post, it explains it better than I could. Apparently, it’s some magical device that lets you cook food, then walk away and not worry about whether it’s overcooking. It’s for people like me who are incapable of monitoring more than one pot or pan at a time. Seriously, if I’m trying to make, say, mac & cheese and perogies, one is going to get ruined.
With the right combination of these 10 small appliances, you can make pretty much anything under the sun. What’s the right combination? Well, that depends on what you like to cook! Also, I didn’t include the microwave because it’s just a bit too obvious. Everyone has one, right? Besides, I was focusing on ways to cook things that you’d normally make in the oven or on the stove.
Do you have any favorite small appliances that you use to cook amazing meals? Tell me all about them!