There are moments in life where bigger isn't necessarily better, especially when it comes to appliances. In recent times, there has been a growing trend of portable kitchen gadgets, which you can take anywhere from your home, and work, to even your next big adventure.
With their small size, these appliances can be good space-saving solutions, which are practical for people who live in tiny homes or camper vans. Not to mention, they can be easier to transport when you're moving to your next rental.
In general, tiny kitchen appliances can also be very eco-friendly and take up significantly less water and electricity to run. So, if you're not planning to use this appliance very often or just want to cut back on your utility bills, it makes sense to just get a tiny one.
So whether you're a tiny homeowner, a budget RV traveler, or an avid camper, here are some tiny appliances that you should consider adding to your list of things to try.
What to consider before buying your tiny appliances
Before buying any tiny appliance, one of the key considerations you should think about is if you should probably get the full-sized appliance instead. While it can be costly upfront, full-sized appliances can be more cost-effective for those who travel with large groups frequently. For luxury camper van owners, larger appliances may definitely be worth the spend.
If you're sure that your need for tiny appliances won't change anytime soon, the next thing you should consider is budget. In some cases, it's best to spend extra on trusted brands or those with extended warranties. For example, if you're going to be traveling with your tiny appliance, it's best to get those that will be covered where you're headed or have authorized repair centers within reach. After all, it can be more costly to keep buying a new tiny appliance that breaks frequently.
Depending on if you're planning to use it on a campsite using solar panels, inside your car, or with plugs across various countries, you're going to want to consider how you're going to power your device. With this, it's best to invest in voltage converters or plug adaptors, if you plan to charge them outside your vehicle. In addition, battery-powered appliances can also be a great way to survive a power outage.
Lastly, you need to check for any size and weight specifications. Should your tiny appliance be integrated into a semi-permanent spot on your RV, stored in a regular vehicle, or occasionally brought on a flight, it's best to make sure it fits any restrictions.
If you could only buy one tiny kitchen appliance, an electric kettle should be the one you purchase. To start with, hot water can be used for cooking food, like blanching vegetables, making soup, or prepping pasta.
Instead of buying a LifeStraw, boiling water is also a good way to help kill bacteria from possibly contaminated water. Although you can definitely buy a mobile coffee maker, an electric kettle works for other drinks like tea, hot chocolate, or milk as well. You can even set them to turn on right before you're scheduled to go on a sunrise hike.
Aside from this, there are a variety of other practical uses for having hot water as well, especially when it comes to cleaning. With hot water, you can easily remove grease from pans, disinfect surfaces after cooking, or even do laundry to remove tough stains.
Not to mention, hot water is perfect for hot showers or baths, which feel amazing after a long day of being outdoors. You can even use it to wash pets after a hike to prevent them from making your car dirty.
Mini blenders and food processors
Because of its versatility as a kitchen tool, mini blenders and food processors are some of the most practical tiny appliances you can purchase. If you're big on fitness and constantly watching your macros, mini blenders can help you make protein shakes and keep your muscle growth on track, even on the go. You can also make healthy smoothies packed with nutrients.
For young parents looking to get off store-bought baby food, food processors are also a great way to make healthy baby food while you're on the road. Instead of relying on what baby food you can get from the grocery store, you can make fresh blends from steamed fruits and vegetables from the local farmer's market.
Gracious hosts who love throwing parties with RV neighbors and having people over can also benefit from blending everything from salad dressings, sauces, and salsas to frozen cocktails. When using your mini blender and food processor, just make sure to clean it thoroughly to make sure flavors are kept separate and dry it well to prevent the blades from rusting.
For many ethnic households, rice cookers are standard kitchen appliances to have in their homes. Aside from its vast culinary uses, rice is a relatively easy-to-access grain with high nutritional value and long shelf life. However, the rice cooker, as an appliance, also offers a lot of versatility.
While it's designed to cook rice, rice cookers can also be used to cook a variety of grains, including quinoa, bulgur, and couscous. Alternatively, legumes like lentils and split peas can also be prepared in a rice cooker. You can even cook pasta, porridge, and oatmeal.
If you're not a fan of carbs, even the tiniest rice cookers can be used to steam vegetables, dumplings, and a variety of dim sum. In fact, some rice cookers even come with accessories that are designed for this purpose.
For those running after a protein quota, you can easily make hard or soft-boil eggs inside a rice cooker too. A tiny rice cooker is also a convenient way to cook one-pot meals and keep leftovers warm, so you'll never have to eat a cold meal again.
Portable stovetops and induction cookers
While some people are happy to survive on a soup or two during a road trip, some can't survive without the joys of fried, simmered, or grilled food. With a portable stovetop, you can continue to eat cooked food, even in the middle of nowhere. For campers, portable stovetops are a great way to eat while on the road, even without electricity or during emergencies.
On the other hand, if you have a power station with you, induction cooker owners don't have to wait so long before their pans are ready to be used. Unlike gas stoves, you can also enjoy more precise temperature control, which is great for dishes where the heat level makes all the difference. Because induction cookers don't produce open flames, they're also a lot safer for people traveling with children, so you're also less likely to accidentally burn the campsite down.
Compared to gas stoves, induction cookers also produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional gas stoves. Due to its smooth surface, they're also easier to clean, which makes them top choices for people who want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors than cleaning.
While cooking and eating are all great experiences, cleaning dishes is never usually on anyone's list of favorite things to do. For large families, investing in dishwashers can be a game-changer for gatherings, but they're not always the best solution for single-person households, small families, or even people who live on the road. Thankfully, you can purchase a tabletop dishwasher instead.
Often referred to as a countertop or compact dishwasher, the tabletop dishwasher is a more compact version of the traditional dishwasher with a few key differences, which make it a perfect tiny appliance for your life of adventure.
First, tabletop dishwashers are typically designed for small kitchens and with minimal installation requirements. Often, you can either connect them to your existing kitchen faucet or manually pour water into it for every cycle.
Second, tabletop dishwashers are usually overall cheaper to own and use on a day-to-day basis. In most cases, tabletop dishwashers are designed to use water and energy more efficiently than traditional dishwashers. If you constantly find yourself in areas that don't have steady water sources, having a tabletop dishwasher can help you ration the water you have in your RV until the next stop.
Third, tabletop dishwashers can have alternative uses, such as a storage rack when not in use. In fact, some tabletop dishwasher models can even be used to cook seafood.