Is your apartment ill equipped for cooking? Are you currently renting an apartment that doesn’t have a kitchen? Perhaps it’s a studio, or a teeny one-bedroom configuration that’s too small for traditional kitchen appliances?
Whatever the reason for your current food and beverage lifestyle dilemma, we’ve got solutions! If you’ve grown weary of calling for take-out from one of those ubiquitous restaurant services, we’ve got the scoop on how to squash your hunger pangs without needing to tip the delivery guy.
Get these 6 small-space cooking necessities
Here’s how you can functionally prepare food with tools and everyday basics. Go minimalist (and even retro if you like)! To start, make a couple of these purchases that won’t break the bank.
1. Convection oven
Options are plenty in this category, so definitely shop around for quality and price. Costs start at $160 and go up from there. Some of the portable countertop convection ovens even come with versatile cooking styles, including the ability to bake on a tray, grill with a griddle, toast, rotisserie, broil and roast.
While dimensions are compact for fitting easily in your space, some actually have a 30-quart capacity, so you could throw a party and cook for all your friends.
2. Induction cooktop
With a cool-to-the touch feature, an 1800-watt induction cooktop portable countertop burner is purposefully designed to cook food fast. Cost is around $60.
One note of caution: You’ll require the right kind of cookware that’s technically deemed as “induction ready.” If a magnet sticks to the bottom of the cookware, then you know it’s good to go.
3. Slow cooker
Set it and forget it!
A slow cooker is a great substitute for roasting in a standard oven. The better ones even include digital timers that allow you to set when you want to start and stop cooking. And the best part? You can throw everything in before you leave for work and have a delicious meal waiting for you when you return home!
Basic slow cookers will set you back about $40.
4. Compact fridge
Love stainless steel? You can get a compact fridge with a stainless steel aesthetic that’s 3.3 cubic feet (or less). Even a compact-size fridge is Energy Star® compliant, which is a good thing if you’re looking to keep electric bills low. Features could include tempered glass shelves for max space and versatility. Cost is just under $250.
Kind of old school, and yet, so budget-friendly it’s hard not to gravitate toward what you know will work from previous experience. Nowadays, you can even find high performing microwaves that cost less than $100. But if you want a stainless steel exterior and other upgrades, including sensor-cooking controls, price could go upwards of $300.
Most have digital controls and an LED display with a clock and a kitchen timer. Conveniences include express cooking functions with one-touch buttons for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen veggies, beverages and more.
6. Hot plate
That’s right, let’s go retro with a good old-fashioned hot plate with a single or double burner. Nothing fancy here, starting as low as $20, these handy musts still work wonders when you’re hungry and wish you could heat something out of a can, throw together an easy veggie stir fry in a wok or simply put a kettle on.
No matter the size of your apartment, any or all of these small electrics should do the trick and give you an option to keep groceries cold and also provide food prep you can count on.