Essential Tiny House Appliances

This Christmas my favorite Belgian tiny house builder gifted me the most excellent kitchen appliance. He knew it was essential to any tiny house kitchen. He realized I needed it after going an entire year without homemade hummus. It was…a three piece immersion blender! I can’t fully express in a post how ecstatic I was to receive this appliance. It not only acts like a blender on a stick, which is incredibly convenient, it also has a whisk and small food processor attachment. The following night I made 14 bean garlic hummus and plenty of vanilla whipped cream. There is nothing I love better than homemade whipped cream in my coffee and hummus on my morning bagel. Needless to say I’ve been in the kitchen more! This appliance is so handy because it is compact, fitting neatly in our spice rack, and provides the action of three separate appliances in one. The attachments are unobtrusive and easy to store. Besides being  a lot less bulky, it’s also much easier to clean an immersion blender than a regular blender. It’s truly an excellent tool in a tiny house. So all this excitement got me thinking, what else is useful to a kitchen the size of a sailboat galley? Here are a few answers from La Cocina de La Casita.


1. Pressure Cookers

Today’s pressure cookers are modern, readily usable and safe cooking appliances. We bought a small pressure cooker from the Spanish company Fagor and it’s incredible. We can cook something as simple as brown rice or as complicated as seafood stew in twenty minutes.  Newer models also come with better safety features and cookbooks to help get you started. I had never used a pressure cooker before we lived in La Casita and now I never want to go without one. The one disadvantage is bulk. Our cooker is the largest of our kitchen necessities but it makes up for it in practicality, especially when it saves us money on propane every month.


2. Collapsible Accessories

Our silicon strainer is my favorite kitchen accessory. It reduces to the width of a badminton racket, allowing for storage practically anywhere in our kitchen. We also had collapsible measuring cups but unfortunately those were lost in a move. They would have been super handy in La Casita. Basically, any item in your tiny kitchen that you deem a necessity try to kind it in its collapsible edition!


3. Fridge

We decided from the beginning of our build that we wanted a fridge. We debated about going without, which Cedric has done throughout his life living on boats, but I was not quite ready to discard the convenience of the fridge. So we decided on a cooler type model that has a top open design that could run off 12 volt. It a great fridge but there are a couple disadvantages: it’s fairly small and it is not dual purpose. By that I mean it can be a fridge or a freezer but not both. If you can’t go without ice in your beverages or ice cream in your freezer I would recommend more of a mini fridge unit with an incorporated freezer.

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4. Multi-Tools

The blender we now have is practical, expanding the functionality of our kitchen to that of a kitchen 10X the size. Essentially, it’s a blender, an electric beater and a food processor but in a much more compact design. The attachments are easily stored and accessed allowing us more flexibility in our cooking space.  Another tool we find helpful is our Japanese kitchen knife outfitted with interchangeable blades. It comes with several blades that cover the spectrum of your basic kitchen knife set. It’s compact, fitting in a specially made case to protect the steel. An excellent piece of kitchen ware!


5. A Vase of Flowers

This isn’t so much a tool as an accessory but having flowers in the kitchen is always inspiring. The flash of color adds to the sensory experience of cooking a delicious dinner and for me, enhances happiness. We’ve learned that small touches make a big difference in a tiny space.


Your Turn!

What other appliances would you recommend to a small space dweller?


  1. Great ideas! I already have the collapsible measuring cups, and now will look for the strainer. I also have an immersible blender/mincer, but no food processor attachment. I do have a tiny food processor that meets my needs and is really quite small.

    Question: are the knives the Kershaw brand? I looked long and hard for what you show, and from what their website says, the knives used to be made in Japan, but no longer are. The picture they show of one of their sets looks very much the same as yours.


    • The knives are Kershaw/Kai brand, stainless steel made in Japan. Cedric found them in a pile of discarded rubbish on the street! Probably the most epic street find he says he’s ever had.

  2. Actually, there are now 12-volt cooler type refrigerators that have both a freezer and a refrigerator compartment. Whynter and Engel both make models. They are pricey, however. The Whynter lets you set the temperature of each section independently so you could make it all fridge or all freezer. I’ve been researching them for use in a van to RV conversion.

  3. I’m not in my tiny house yet, hopefully in the next 6 months. I plan on using solar for electricity so certain appliances like blenders and juicers could be too much of a burden on my initial system. I am really excited to have found that there is a manual Juicer out there that seems to work pretty well. I’m sure I will find a good manual blender as well. The juicer is called the “Healthy Juicer Manual” just in case anyone was wondering.

    • We have a Samson juicer that is excellent. We just found out they make a manual version as well which we would prefer!

    • Check out Lehman’s. They have a whole section of kitchen hand cranked tools.

  4. I love, love, love you mini fridge, and it’s installation. I’ve been looking for something similar. Can you tell me the maker or model number?


  5. I’d need a microwave for all my cooking needs. The internet has been swell to find recipes to convert from stove top to microwave preparations.

  6. We have a flatpack grater which folds out into a square grater and slicer. Generally I go for manual e.g graters, peelers, whisks etc as they are smaller, it saves electricity and gives you a little workout!

  7. I’m with Grant above regarding the mini fridge. I understand a chest freezer that is only allowed to run the compressor to maintain the temp of a fridge is extremely efficient, but the smallest I’ve seen on Amazon are at least 30″ high and run on AC. Yours looks perfect, can we have more info? Thanks.

    • Hi Wade! Our fridge is the Engel Drop-In AC/Dc Fridge/Freezer 42 Qt. with detached compressor. It is solar panel/wind generator compatible. It is L16.54″ x W10.4″ x D15″ and fits enough groceries for a week. It has a freezing ability of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to below 0. It’s really worked out well for us and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a flexible fridge appliance that can run off-grid.

      • I love this company. I found what I believe your unit is here:

        They even have a “do it yourself” kit. I would love to use one of these to make my own super efficient, build in fridge.

  8. Just discovered your fantabulous site! Staying up way late drool…uh, pouring over the articles.
    I like @Lucy ‘s statement above about going with a lot of manual/ old fashioned kitchen tools: like my great grandmother used. I’m also not a fanatic about it. The immersion blender looks like a must. (don’t think small; think tiny)
    One appliance I’d probably have to have (since I’m still in the dreaming stage) is a combo microwave/convection oven. Saw them first on a youtube video of korean apartments. There’s one here:

    Down side: VERY pricy. Haven’t checked anything like Craigslist or ebay or anything. But like I said, I’m still dreaming so there aren’t any limits yet. Write abundantly then edit is kind of my approach…

    • I have totally been there Jeff! I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read from start to finish on tiny houses.

  9. I really need to get one of these. I am tired of pouring my soup into my countertop blender to blend it smooth and then pouring it back into the pot. It makes a hell of a mess.

  10. Wow, they look very beautiful.
    I like that Flowers. ^_^

  11. I have been hunting and hunting for a tiny range hood. I need one that is exactly 18inches. Any idea where I can find one?

  12. I have been looking for smaller fridge and stove. I bought a home that was built in the 50’s 735 sq ft, the kitchen is only 11×10, very tiny. When I bought the home previous had massive size fridge, washer and dryer and stove in the kitchen. Well got rid of the dryer, put in a clothesline, dishwasher I don’t use and want it to be gone. I want to get a smaller fridge/freezer without breaking the bank to put in that dishwasher spot. Really the stove has got to go as well, I am one person use maybe two burners and the oven a handful of times throughout the year. A much smaller stove would be perfect.

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