To begin my investigation into the world of compact countertop appliances, I thought I’d first measure my own countertop. The verdict: 18 inches wide with a depth of 15 inches. My kitchen is small–not suburbia small, but city small–with a tiny refrigerator, an oven that barely fits a small baking sheet, and flatware drawers of odd dimensions. Since I need every inch of the countertop as prep space, my kitchen cannot afford a single stationary countertop appliance; they all go back into cupboards and drawers and anywhere I can shove them.
Here is our selection of countertop appliances, where no single dimension breaches my own 18-inch requirement. Have a favorite small countertop appliance to share? We want to hear your suggestions in the Comments section below.
Toasters & Toaster Ovens
Above: As thick as an average cookbook, Japanese company Plus Minus Zero’s 1-Slice Toaster in white is 6.6 by 8.8 by 3.1 inches; $67.79 at Amazon.
Above: The Breville Bit More 2-Slice Toaster is one of the smallest among two-slice toasters, measuring 7.75 by 11.25 by 8 inches. The electrical cord stores up inside the toaster from below, which could prove useful if it can’t live on the counter full time; $79.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: While difficult to source, the Plus Minus Zero Vertical Toaster Oven, from Naoto Fukasawa, is as slim as they come (8.8 by 9.5 by 11.7 inches). It can be found in both black and white (shown) through various dealers on eBay in the range of $275 to $320.
Above: A great two-in-one appliance, especially for kitchens lacking a proper or functional oven, is Cuisinart’s Compact Toaster Oven Broiler; it measures 8 by 15 by 13 inches and is $49.99 at Amazon.
Above: Naoto Fukasawa’s pop-up toaster will retail for $95 at Muji in Palo Alto, California, and other Muji locations this fall. Contact Muji for more information.
Blenders & Juicers
Above: Available in as many colors as a Birkin handbag, the Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor has a three-cup capacity and measures 5.9 by 10.2 by 8.4 inches; $35.99 at Amazon.
Above: As someone whose large Vitamix is dissected into parts and stored in various cupboards (in the interest of space), I wish I had purchased the Vitamix S55 Personal Blender instead. It measures 6 by 9 by 16 inches and includes two containers (both a 20- and 40-fluid-ounce size); $449.95 at Williams-Sonoma.
Above: The L’Equip Mini Pulp Ejection Juicer has a funny, nostalgic look–like the juicer your great aunt passed down to your mother or the sort of kitchen appliance you’d see in a 1970s-era French film. Nonetheless, it measures 7.5 by 13.5 by 11.5 inches; small proportions for a decent juicer with a 480-watt motor; $109.99 at Sears. For more, see our post 10 Easy Pieces: Juicers.
Above: The smallest microwave we’re able to source is the iWavecube Personal Desktop Microwave Oven (10 by 10.5 by 12 inches) for $129.99 at Amazon.
Above: Whirlpool’s 0.5 Cubic Foot Countertop Microwave is a compact 13.75 by 15.38 by 14.13 inches and is available in black, silver, and white (shown) for $139 at Home Depot.
Above: LG’s 0.7 Cubic Foot Compact Microwave is a little wider than the largest MacBook Pro; it’s 10.13 by 17.9 by 12.25 inches and costs $99.99 at Syn Mart.
Above: The Zojirushi Micom Rice Warmer and Cooker has compact dimensions of 9.88 by 13.25 by 8.5 inches; $99.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Above: The Naoto Fukasawa–designed rice cooker is 7.3 inches tall and 8.2 inches wide; $195, bamboo paddle included, available at Muji in Palo Alto, California. Contact Muji for more information.
Above: For the avid tea drinker, an electric kettle is a countertop essential. The Universal Expert Electric Kettle is an appealing option at 7.8 by 6.6 by 10.3 inches; $90 at West Elm.
Looking for major appliances for a small space? See 10 Easy Pieces: Favorite Appliances for Small Kitchens for a set of ranges, refrigerators, and more. For more functional inspiration, sift through all our Small-Space Living posts.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on April 29, 2015, as part of our issue The Organized Kitchen.