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23 Clever Ways To Make It Easier To Cook In A Teeny Tiny Kitchen

For when *one* cook is too many cooks in the kitchen, tbh.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Use a low-key constant odor neutralizer 24/7 in both your kitchen AND adjacent areas. Plus, close the doors to other rooms to avoid stinking up the whole joint.

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Find one (maybe even two!) that works for your sitch so you won't have to cosplay in your home as Edward Air Freshener Hands.

Get them from Amazon: Moso charcoal air-purifying bag for $7.99 and pack of three Enviroscent bursts for $5.99.

2. Be prepared for a smoke alarm to go off because it will happen. Crack a window -- but keep out the bugs -- with an adjustable window screen.

If you're in an apartment, we're betting your exhaust fan is NOT vented to the outside, which totally defeats the purpose of an exhaust fan. So you need one of these screens at the ready. (Speaking from experience, here.)Promising Review: "Works really well for kitchen windows that cannot be opened that high. Strong enough to prop open the window." --M. FergusonGet it from Amazon for $11.49+ (available in 10 sizes).
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If you're in an apartment, we're betting your exhaust fan is NOT vented to the outside, which totally defeats the purpose of an exhaust fan. So you need one of these screens at the ready. (Speaking from experience, here.)

Promising Review: "Works really well for kitchen windows that cannot be opened that high. Strong enough to prop open the window." --M. Ferguson

Get it from Amazon for $11.49+ (available in 10 sizes).

3. Safely work the oven with these oven-rack guards -- despite the weird yoga required of you to actually put something in there.

These heat-resistant silicone guards are safe up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit and can be cut to size.Promising Review: "Got these for my fearless legally blind mom. She's bumped them a couple times and they are fairly cool to the touch. No more burns from the oven racks." --K. PlochGet a set of two from Amazon for $10.
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These heat-resistant silicone guards are safe up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit and can be cut to size.

Promising Review: "Got these for my fearless legally blind mom. She's bumped them a couple times and they are fairly cool to the touch. No more burns from the oven racks." --K. Ploch

Get a set of two from Amazon for $10.

4. Swap out space-hogging appliances you can't live without for smaller versions, like this mini George Foreman grill that stores upright in a teensy bit of space.

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It's time to break up with that hand-me-down George Foreman your mom gave you when she upgraded a few years back.

Promising Review: "Cooks burgers in five to seven minutes. I would recommend to any dorm-living individual who can handle cleaning it. I will say it gets very hot and the heat is unjustifiable; that's a downside as well as good for thicker meats. Generally I have cooked sandwiches, quesadillas, burgers and hot dogs. I personally like to position a small fan next to it so the small amount of smoke goes outside. (Avoid the fire alarm.)" --Just Another Reviewer!

Get it from Amazon for $17.49.

Check out our picks for small, affordable kitchen appliances.

5. And if you must seek out countertop appliances, choose tall ones you'll use often, like this compact food steamer.

This model steams food separately, so you can get your protein and veggies just right at the same time.Promising Review: "It really simplifies cooking. I steam my protein on the bottom bowl, my veggies on the top. It's fast, easy to clean, and you can just plug it in and set the timer. It's great for when you just want to forget about it for awhile. I typically cook for just myself, and five quarts is the perfect size. This might be too small for someone that wants to cook larger portions. This is not meant to cook grains -- it's meant for larger vegetables and pieces of proteins. If you want something that will also cook rice, buy a rice cooker." --KarmalilyGet it from Amazon for $18.80.
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This model steams food separately, so you can get your protein and veggies just right at the same time.

Promising Review: "It really simplifies cooking. I steam my protein on the bottom bowl, my veggies on the top. It's fast, easy to clean, and you can just plug it in and set the timer. It's great for when you just want to forget about it for awhile. I typically cook for just myself, and five quarts is the perfect size. This might be too small for someone that wants to cook larger portions. This is not meant to cook grains -- it's meant for larger vegetables and pieces of proteins. If you want something that will also cook rice, buy a rice cooker." --Karmalily

Get it from Amazon for $18.80.

6. But make room for multi-tasking appliances like the Instant Pot, a Pinterest-famous programmable pressure cooker with 18K+ Amazon reviews.

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It does the work of seven kitchen appliances in the space of one, including a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt marker and warmer. And all the mouthwatering customer photos reveal a mere glimpse into the realm of Instant Pot possibilities. Read about how one BuzzFeeder put it to the test here.

Promising Review: "There are so many people who say they can't cook, but I swear I'm on a whole new level of not being able to cook. This little appliance helps expand our menu and I have learned to do so much with it. I will sum up in a nutshell, I love how easy it is and when I throw everything in, it comes out done. No stirring and not many messy dishes. I still don't love it for meats, (which I don't eat much of anyway), but I think that's just a matter of needing to experiment more with them. I seriously can't believe how many foods can be cooked in here!" --Aundrea

Get it from Amazon for $99.94+ (available in two sizes).

7. Put your Kitchenaid mixer fund toward a budget-friendly immersion blender set that's easy to clean and store.

And maybe take a vacation with the remaining money?! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This set comes with a blending stick, processor/chopper bowl, whisk, and 800ml container, and has five speeds.Promising Review: "I have never owned an immersion blender and after using this one I wish I would have had one before now. I used it to beat eggs for an omelet. They were so light and fluffy. Be sure to use the deeper container when using the wisk or a big bowl to keep food from splashing out. It is very powerful and easy use. I really like that all the attachments are easy to assemble. The chopper bottom and the taller container have removable slip grips." --Julie DelzellGet them from Amazon for $42.99.
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And maybe take a vacation with the remaining money?! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ This set comes with a blending stick, processor/chopper bowl, whisk, and 800ml container, and has five speeds.

Promising Review: "I have never owned an immersion blender and after using this one I wish I would have had one before now. I used it to beat eggs for an omelet. They were so light and fluffy. Be sure to use the deeper container when using the wisk or a big bowl to keep food from splashing out. It is very powerful and easy use. I really like that all the attachments are easy to assemble. The chopper bottom and the taller container have removable slip grips." --Julie Delzell

Get them from Amazon for $42.99.

8. Arrange spice bottles on the inside of a cabinet beside your stovetop for easy access with these cheap-but-handy clips.

Tracking down the paprika is annoying, even the tiniest of kitchens.Promising Review: "Bought this item so that I could maybe have a little more space in my cupboard. They work really well. Just be mindful when placing them. Once they are on, you really don't want to have to remove them. They do stick very well. I have not had any problems with them becoming detached. They have been up in my cabinet for a while now. I have a few glass containers that are not giving me any problem, but don't put a lot of heavy items on the same one. I tried to space them out a bit." --CatieGet a set for 20 bottles from Amazon for $10.99.
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Tracking down the paprika is annoying, even the tiniest of kitchens.

Promising Review: "Bought this item so that I could maybe have a little more space in my cupboard. They work really well. Just be mindful when placing them. Once they are on, you really don't want to have to remove them. They do stick very well. I have not had any problems with them becoming detached. They have been up in my cabinet for a while now. I have a few glass containers that are not giving me any problem, but don't put a lot of heavy items on the same one. I tried to space them out a bit." --Catie

Get a set for 20 bottles from Amazon for $10.99.

9. Peel and stick on this magnetic knife rack to put your sharpest tools within reach of y-o-u (not kids!)—it'll also free up drawer space for other things.

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And because it doesn't require screws to mount, it's safe on nearly any kind of surface...even on the floor tile they're trying to pass as wall tile on the hideous backsplash in your rental!

Promising Review: "Most magnetic knife holders are mounted with screws to the wall, but I needed one on a ceramic-tile wall. I did not want to drill holes, so I got this one, designed to be put up with adhesive. I thoroughly cleaned the wall and attached two of them, (to get a longer holder). Easy to mount, (I used a level to keep it level). It's been a couple of weeks and so far so good, it holds quite well and holds my heavy knives and whisks." --RD74

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

And check out more space-saving ways to use a magnetic knife rack from The Kitchn.

10. Make use of the underside of your cabinets with a wine rack so you have more room to work your culinary magic.

Sometimes you just need easy access to wine to add to your fondue. Or your wine glass.Promising Review: "I actually bought this rack to store water bottles. I don't have a ton of counter/under-cabinet space, so I am using it inside of one of my cabinets. I attached it with mounting tape to the underside of a shelf and it is perfect. I'm sure mounting tape wouldn't work for wine bottles, but if you are looking for a creative way to store empty water bottles without damaging your cabinets!" --CJTalbs Get it from Amazon for $29.95.
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Sometimes you just need easy access to wine to add to your fondue. Or your wine glass.

Promising Review: "I actually bought this rack to store water bottles. I don't have a ton of counter/under-cabinet space, so I am using it inside of one of my cabinets. I attached it with mounting tape to the underside of a shelf and it is perfect. I'm sure mounting tape wouldn't work for wine bottles, but if you are looking for a creative way to store empty water bottles without damaging your cabinets!" --CJTalbs

Get it from Amazon for $29.95.

11. And put your current drink on your kitchen backsplash instead of your countertop with this suction-cup drink caddy that you can use in the shower, too.

Yep, it also works for wine glasses!Promising Review: "We have an Airstream and had been looking for wine and beverage holders that would work with the stainless interior walls. After looking at many competitors, we decided to give SipCaddy a try because it wasn't permanent and we were worried about leaving any marks to the interior. I have to say that they work perfectly and have lived up to their description. The suction cup mount has a firm hold and we haven't had any spills or accidents. We also have used them in our little boat and again they have worked like a charm. A+++" --Dale RisenhooverGet it from Amazon for $13.95 (available in six colors).
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Yep, it also works for wine glasses!

Promising Review: "We have an Airstream and had been looking for wine and beverage holders that would work with the stainless interior walls. After looking at many competitors, we decided to give SipCaddy a try because it wasn't permanent and we were worried about leaving any marks to the interior. I have to say that they work perfectly and have lived up to their description. The suction cup mount has a firm hold and we haven't had any spills or accidents. We also have used them in our little boat and again they have worked like a charm. A+++" --Dale Risenhoover

Get it from Amazon for $13.95 (available in six colors).

12. Get some kitchen essentials that can do both, like this over-the-sink cutting board that's also a colander.

Aka, one less thing taking up precious food-prep space.Promising Review: "I have very limited counter space. If there's any dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter, cooking is a struggle. BUT, this cutting board goes over the sink, so I can wash my veggies and fruits, cut them up, and toss them into the strainer." --Julie LorenzoGet it from Amazon for $19.99.
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Aka, one less thing taking up precious food-prep space.

Promising Review: "I have very limited counter space. If there's any dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter, cooking is a struggle. BUT, this cutting board goes over the sink, so I can wash my veggies and fruits, cut them up, and toss them into the strainer." --Julie Lorenzo

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

13. Clean as you go (it truly helps!), and make a roll-up dish-drying rack your new personal assistant.

The mat is made of silicone-coated steel so it won't scratch your nice countertops.Promising Review: "There are six people in my family and that also means A LOT of dishes...ALL FOR ME TO WASH. Funny how that happens. I have one dishwasher and a counter dish drainer too. I should have enough space to drain dishes, but not when each kid has to have a new dish or plate every second for yet another snack. Enter this. Holy crap! It is brilliant! It dries my dishes quickly, allowing air flow. The slats allow me to stand up my dishes to dry because the edge of the plate has something to butt up to. It's great for washing my fruits and veggies, especially when my sink is full and I don't want to deal with it first, I can use this thing like a countertop. If I ever had to evacuate my house, I would grab this no joke, even before grabbing my husband!" --K. FishmanGet it from Amazon for $23.98.
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The mat is made of silicone-coated steel so it won't scratch your nice countertops.

Promising Review: "There are six people in my family and that also means A LOT of dishes...ALL FOR ME TO WASH. Funny how that happens. I have one dishwasher and a counter dish drainer too. I should have enough space to drain dishes, but not when each kid has to have a new dish or plate every second for yet another snack. Enter this. Holy crap! It is brilliant! It dries my dishes quickly, allowing air flow. The slats allow me to stand up my dishes to dry because the edge of the plate has something to butt up to. It's great for washing my fruits and veggies, especially when my sink is full and I don't want to deal with it first, I can use this thing like a countertop. If I ever had to evacuate my house, I would grab this no joke, even before grabbing my husband!" --K. Fishman

Get it from Amazon for $23.98.

14. Or, make every vertical inch count with this two-tier drying rack befitting a family.

Promising Review: "When you have a tiny kitchen and house as I do, this thing is a must. It's beautiful, sturdy, and spacious. I was worried about it blocking my window, but because it's fairly adjustable all around this isn't an issue. Worth every penny I spent on it, though I do second the comments about the utensil rack being less than ideal. I honestly usually lay them flat anyways, so it's not a deal breaker for me. I also feel this item can be used to display your better dishes." --Appy - EllaGet it from Amazon for $69.99 (available in three more sizes).
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Promising Review: "When you have a tiny kitchen and house as I do, this thing is a must. It's beautiful, sturdy, and spacious. I was worried about it blocking my window, but because it's fairly adjustable all around this isn't an issue. Worth every penny I spent on it, though I do second the comments about the utensil rack being less than ideal. I honestly usually lay them flat anyways, so it's not a deal breaker for me. I also feel this item can be used to display your better dishes." --Appy - Ella

Get it from Amazon for $69.99 (available in three more sizes).

15. Eke out some more food prep room with this tempered-glass counter that you can set over some (cool) burners or a sink.

It stays secure with four heat-resistant, non-slip silicone coated feet that won't hurt your cooktop or countertop.Promising Review: "I just moved into a place with a smaller kitchen than I'm used to and found myself with barely any usable counter space because my Breville toaster oven took up all the space. I looked around for something I could keep on my stovetop so that I could move the toaster oven there. After ruling out plastic and wood cutting boards and stove toppers, I discovered this. The tempered glass means it's sturdy enough to hold my oven and heat-resistant enough to keep on my stove top, even while the oven is in use. It's the perfect size to hold my toaster oven and I like that the silicone feet are tall enough to clear the burners." --TamGet it from Amazon for $20.99 (also available in clear).
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It stays secure with four heat-resistant, non-slip silicone coated feet that won't hurt your cooktop or countertop.

Promising Review: "I just moved into a place with a smaller kitchen than I'm used to and found myself with barely any usable counter space because my Breville toaster oven took up all the space. I looked around for something I could keep on my stovetop so that I could move the toaster oven there. After ruling out plastic and wood cutting boards and stove toppers, I discovered this. The tempered glass means it's sturdy enough to hold my oven and heat-resistant enough to keep on my stove top, even while the oven is in use. It's the perfect size to hold my toaster oven and I like that the silicone feet are tall enough to clear the burners." --Tam

Get it from Amazon for $20.99 (also available in clear).

16. Expand the range of your, well, range, with this portable induction cooktop.

It even shuts off automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected. Safety first! Then noms.Promising Review: "We recently purchased this cooktop for my 93-year-old father who is living with us. He has always enjoyed cooking and needed a small, flame-free way to cook in his area in our home, as he is now on oxygen. He has made hard-boiled eggs for deviled eggs, fried breakfast steaks, and scrambled eggs. This would be a great unit for anyone needing an auxiliary burner or a college student without kitchen facilities." --Diane BernardiGet it from Amazon for $49.99.
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It even shuts off automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected. Safety first! Then noms.

Promising Review: "We recently purchased this cooktop for my 93-year-old father who is living with us. He has always enjoyed cooking and needed a small, flame-free way to cook in his area in our home, as he is now on oxygen. He has made hard-boiled eggs for deviled eggs, fried breakfast steaks, and scrambled eggs. This would be a great unit for anyone needing an auxiliary burner or a college student without kitchen facilities." --Diane Bernardi

Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

17. Kick the garbage bowl habit -- sorry, Rachael Ray -- and toss your in-progress trash below the counter thanks to a kitchen-cabinet trash clip.

Promising Review: "It's silly how much I love this little gadget. My family is always hanging bags off of cabinet knobs to use for trash. The way they hang when placed that way makes it difficult to easily toss trash so that it actuality gets into the bag. You end up needing to hold open the bag with one hand and drop the trash in with the other ideally, but of course in reality what they do is try to stuff it in with one hand and half the time trash ends up in the floor under the bag instead of in the bag. Somehow they manage not to notice and so I come home to paper towels and wrappers on the floor. With this hanger, that hardly happens. It's nice to be able to hang a bag on any cabinet, even ones with no knobs and that have closed handles. Makes it convenient to have a trash nearby when preparing food, etc. I may have to pick up one or two more for the bathroom and my daughter's dorm room." --Lisa G. OwensGet it from Amazon for $1.99 (bags not included).
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Promising Review: "It's silly how much I love this little gadget. My family is always hanging bags off of cabinet knobs to use for trash. The way they hang when placed that way makes it difficult to easily toss trash so that it actuality gets into the bag. You end up needing to hold open the bag with one hand and drop the trash in with the other ideally, but of course in reality what they do is try to stuff it in with one hand and half the time trash ends up in the floor under the bag instead of in the bag. Somehow they manage not to notice and so I come home to paper towels and wrappers on the floor. With this hanger, that hardly happens. It's nice to be able to hang a bag on any cabinet, even ones with no knobs and that have closed handles. Makes it convenient to have a trash nearby when preparing food, etc. I may have to pick up one or two more for the bathroom and my daughter's dorm room." --Lisa G. Owens

Get it from Amazon for $1.99 (bags not included).

18. Mount a paper towel holder underneath your cabinet so you won't risk knocking a roll over and causing spills on the countertop.

Promising Review: "You can firmly yank a piece of paper towel off this holder and the roll won't fall off. It's sturdy. My husband installed it in our mudroom; it only took about five minutes. It measures 13 1/8" X 2 1/4". Underneath cabinets is ideal. It may not work as well vertically on a wall, but horizontally on a wall would probably be fine. Honestly, this is a good choice." --Noah and Laura HelenihiGet it from Amazon for $5.84.
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Promising Review: "You can firmly yank a piece of paper towel off this holder and the roll won't fall off. It's sturdy. My husband installed it in our mudroom; it only took about five minutes. It measures 13 1/8" X 2 1/4". Underneath cabinets is ideal. It may not work as well vertically on a wall, but horizontally on a wall would probably be fine. Honestly, this is a good choice." --Noah and Laura Helenihi

Get it from Amazon for $5.84.

19. Let a hand-powered chopper the size of a small bowl stand in for your food processing needs, (unless you need a food processor for like, feeding an army).

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And then store it with your ~actual~ bowls when it's not in use.

Promising Review: "We absolutely love this chopper! Even my 4-year-old is crazy about it! We plop in her strawberries and she pulls it three times and they are perfect! I love to do all my tomatoes in there so I don't lose all the juice! This is a must-have for every kitchen! Fast and it works! Easy clean up!" --April

Get it from Amazon for $15.19.

20. Let everything reach room temp with this three-tier cooling rack that has plenty of room to allow for air flow.

As far as storage goes, this is easy to assemble and take apart 'til next time you need it.Promising Review: "I have been baking and cooking for 31 years now. This is my second cooling rack and it has one more shelf than the old one. I SO should not have waited this long to replace! If you're in the market for one, or considering it for a cook you adore, it is a handy tool that has some versatility." --TheBowdensGet it from Amazon for $13.01.
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As far as storage goes, this is easy to assemble and take apart 'til next time you need it.

Promising Review: "I have been baking and cooking for 31 years now. This is my second cooling rack and it has one more shelf than the old one. I SO should not have waited this long to replace! If you're in the market for one, or considering it for a cook you adore, it is a handy tool that has some versatility." --TheBowdens

Get it from Amazon for $13.01.

21. Invest in a set of nesting mixing bowls that are, wait for it....taller than they are wide, so they're big enough for mixing but take up a wee bit of countertop space.

Promising Review: "They look nice enough to hold food on a table or to be used as food prep. I love that the glass is clear but heavy, thick, and without side seams. I love the tall shape as they take up less table and fridge space. Pasta salads, fresh fruit, and fruit salads are my favorite things to serve in these bowls. The only thing on my wish list would be lids." --TenaciousTangoGet them from Amazon for $46.99+ (also available with silicone bases).
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Promising Review: "They look nice enough to hold food on a table or to be used as food prep. I love that the glass is clear but heavy, thick, and without side seams. I love the tall shape as they take up less table and fridge space. Pasta salads, fresh fruit, and fruit salads are my favorite things to serve in these bowls. The only thing on my wish list would be lids." --TenaciousTango

Get them from Amazon for $46.99+ (also available with silicone bases).

22. Rely on a rolling, collapsible kitchen cart in desperate times that you can store away when you don't need it.

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Promising Review: "I have looked for a long time for a folding cart that was strong enough to hold my Kitchenaid mixer. It arrived in time to prepare Thanksgiving dinner in a small galley kitchen. I could not have prepared such a meal without this wonderful cart." --Anathea Ashley

Get it from Amazon for $83.17 (also available with expert assembly for +$162.49).

23. And a baby gate to keep teetering tots and curious pets out from underneath your feet while you get to work.

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Promising Review: "Out of the box it appear to be 'warped' but it is actually designed that way on purpose so you can tighten it and create the proper amount of tension. I had it assembled and working in less than 10 minutes. It is durable, strong, and fits my door opening perfectly. I have two five month old golden retrievers who destroyed the two wooden gates we had before I found this one. They can't chew through this gate, nor are they able to knock it down through brute force!" --Nancy McMullen

Get it from Amazon for $32+ (available in two sizes).

Now you're ready to work it like Julia, except in a tenth of the space.

WGBH

Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.