Mental Floss

10 Space-Saving Kitchen Appliances and Accessories That Won’t Clutter Your Counter

Molly Gregory
Keurig/Instant Pot/Cuisinart
Keurig/Instant Pot/Cuisinart / Keurig/Instant Pot/Cuisinart
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No kitchen is complete without a range of appliances to take care of your baking, frying, and caffeine needs, but all of those gadgets and gizmos can quickly eat up precious counter space. To help you get your favorite chopping spot back, we’ve put together a list of space-saving devices that will keep you organized without forcing you to sacrifice any of your favorite cooking accessories. Whether you’re looking to maximize space in a tiny kitchen or invest in tools that combine multiple appliances into one, these will stop you from throwing in the towel and have you saying “kiss the cook” instead.

1. Instant Pot; $100


The Instant Pot is a must for any cook with a small kitchen. This gadget is a pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker all in one—saving you counter space and minimizing the extra dishes to clean after your meal. As a bonus, this Instant Pot comes with a free app that has more than 1000 recipes for all levels of cooking. For a higher-end option that also includes an air fryer, try the Ninja 9-in-1 pressure cooker, a great alternative for those who like their dinners on the crispy side.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Gourmia Collapsible Travel Kettle; $20


Scrap your bulky tea kettle in favor of a brewing device that fits pretty much anywhere. Gourmia’s collapsible electric travel kettle can boil up to four cups of water when it’s in use, and snap into a palm-sized disc when it’s not. Made from durable food-grade silicone, the kettle has safety features like lid-lock and auto shut-off, ensuring your water won’t boil over. This space-saving device can travel easily from your tiny studio to your office, making it the perfect solution for a tea fix anytime.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Cuisinart Toaster Oven/Air Fryer; $200


Why buy two kitchen gadgets when you can get both of them in one? At just over a foot in length, width, and height, the Cuisinart toaster oven/air fryer combo bakes, broils, toasts, and fries all of your favorite foods. Even with its compact size, the oven can fit up to three pounds of chicken wings or a 12-inch pizza, so it works whether you’re cooking for one or for a group of friends. Complete with an oven rack, baking pan, and air fryer basket, you (almost) won’t need any other appliances with this in your arsenal.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus Food Processor; $80


Food processors are a necessary evil. They’re incredible time savers—finely chopping in seconds what could take hours by hand—but they also tend to be big and clunky. Luckily, Cuisinart has a food processor that will save you both time and precious prep space. Designed in Italy (practically guaranteeing fantastic pesto), the Mini Prep Plus can both chop and grind up to 24 ounces of ingredients via its special auto-reversing smart blade. It’s dishwasher safe, too, saving you room in the sink in addition to the counter.

Buy it: Amazon

5. KitchenAid Hand Blender; $50-$60

KitchenAid/Best Buy

Another gadget that takes up a ton of unnecessary space? A blender. But before you start sacrificing your homemade smoothies, check out this inventive hand blender from KitchenAid. This compact device has two speeds and three settings—blending, pureeing, and crushing—giving you the option of adding ice to your favorite drink recipes. Included with the blender is a three-cup blending jar with a lid, so you can take your smoothie on the go.

Buy it: Best Buy, Amazon

6. Dash Compact Hand Mixer; $20


Unless you’re a baking fiend, a big electric mixer is probably not high on your list of appliance must-buys. Dash’s compact mixer will change that. It has three simple speeds for easily mixing, blending, or whipping all kinds of treats, ideal for even the most novice bakers. When you’re finished with your dessert creation, you can snap the beaters directly into the mixer’s handles for convenient, space-saving storage. Now you can have your cake (and workspace) and eat it, too.

Buy it: Amazon

7. GE Portable Dishwasher; $685

G.E./Best Buy

One of the best tools in the kitchen just might be the dishwasher. After all, they save time, water, and space for dirty dishes. If your kitchen doesn’t have a dishwasher, GE has a portable, stainless steel model that will make your cleanup dreams come true. The dishwasher can fit up to eight place settings (pretty impressive for an 18-inch machine), and it runs on three wash cycles with the option to sanitize for germ-killing power. The dishwasher also has an autosense feature that measures the soil levels of each load, so it can self-adjust for a flawless wash every time. It's also small enough to easily move out of the way if you have to, yet sturdy enough to act as additional counter space for placing serving trays or smaller appliances.

Buy it: Best Buy

8. Bialetti Moka Express Espresso Maker; $40


Espresso machines can be bulky and expensive, while a daily espresso shot at your local coffee shop can quickly drain your wallet. To save money while still getting your caffeine kick, Bialetti makes a portable espresso kettle that, at only $40, pretty much pays for itself. All you have to do is fill the bottom compartment with water, pack the inner funnel with coffee, and set it to boil. You’ll be left with delicious espresso in just three minutes…and plenty of room where that fancier machine might have sat.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Keurig K-Duo Plus; $181


If you’re more of a traditional coffee drinker, Keurig makes a handy device that gives you the option of brewing a single-serve K-cup when you're in a rush or a full pot of coffee on days you're lounging at home, basically eliminating the need for stuffing multiple coffee machines into your already cramped cabinets. The K-Duo Plus can brew 12 ounces of coffee per mug or up to 12 cups of coffee per carafe, so it's ready to take care of the coffee needs of your brunch crew, too. Both brewing sections attach to the same 60-ounce water reservoir, making it perfect for the coffee lover looking to cut down on clutter.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Over-Sink Dish Drying Rack; $85


One of the biggest kitchen space stealers is a dish rack, which can take up an entire cutting board’s worth of square footage. Investing in an over-the-sink dish rack takes advantage of vertical space instead. This stainless-steel drying rack from Pusdon comes in two different sizes, so you can choose the one best suited to your sink. With a variety of different compartments that can hold everything from cutting boards to kitchen knives, it’s a versatile tool that will keep you organized and clutter-free.

Buy it: Amazon