Living in an RV, van, camper, boat or tiny house sure has space limitations; especially in the kitchen. But if you prepare and cook whole meals or just want the luxury of push-button technology, trying to find the right kitchen appliances can be a challenge. Well, after years of the RV lifestyle and camping experience, we figured out what works in small kitchens.
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see what kitchen appliances do well in small RV kitchens and boat galleys. Our recommendations can also be applied to tiny homes and apartments!
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TOP SMALL KITCHEN APPLIANCES FOR RV’s and CAMPERS
WHAT’S IN THIS ARTICLE?
Mini Prep Plus Food Processor
Why cry over chopping onions when we can just chop ’em in no time in this mini 3-cup food processor. But also, I particularly don’t want to spend my precious time chopping, cutting and smashing when instead, I can do it all in a simple little machine that’s perfect for the RV kitchen or boat galley!
I found this adorable mini 3-cup food processor (with 24 ounce BPA-free bowl) that chops and grinds! It does the same jobs as those big boys but in a much smaller scale. And what we love about it is not only it’s compact size but it uses only 250 watts so it’s perfect for when we’re boondocking or living off the grid.
This cute mini food processor is the perfect little helper for small food preparation; from chopping herbs to finely grinding hard cheeses. Its versatility lies in the special auto reversing smart blade making it versatile!
Seriously, who has room for a big heavy blender in their RV, boat or tiny home? A compact multi-use immersion blender can be used to make delicious makings such as salsa, pesto, pancake batter, smoothies, cheese sauce, homemade tomato sauce, hollandaise sauce, whipped cream, apple butter, various Indian dishes, soups and cakes. An immersion blender can also be used for light chopping.
Know what else it’s great for? Mixing creamy cocktails! It uses only 500 watts so you don’t have to worry about blowing a fuse or circuit.
Smoothie Maker and Drink Blender
We love our NutriBullet blender and smoothie maker because it has more extraction power, convenience, and more functionality! With its 1200 Watt motor, pre-programmed pulse cycle and hands-free auto shut-off. It shuts off automatically after optimum extraction. It even further pulverizes the toughest of ingredients including fresh turmeric root, Blackberry seeds, wheat grass, and greens. We make salsa, purees, and smoothies until the cows come home!
Whats great is we set ours on our counter in the corner so it’s within easy reach. It includes 2 Comfort Lip Rings, 2 Flip-top lids, user manual and recipe book with pocket nutritionist.
This little battery-operated milk frother is worth a million bucks in our small RV kitchen! It’s one of the most used kitchen tools that can do so much more than just froth milk. I use it as my bullet proof coffee mixer because it dissipates the coconut oil, butter and whole whipping cream into a rich creamy texture. But did you know you can also whip bullet proof coffee, mocha, matcha, frappe, latte and cappuccino? And, I even use it to whip up a couple eggs, gravy and thin batter!
Such a cool inexpensive little appliance that I keep in my kitchen drawer. I even take it with me when we stay overnight in hotels or when I go away to a friend or family’s home. All it takes is a few AAA batteries and voila!
If you have been following our blog and social media, you’d know that I started with our ultimate favorite of kitchen appliances; the Instant Pot!
We started using an Instant Pot about a year before transitioning to full-time RVing. After we started our RV adventures, our Instant Pot pressure cooker became our most-used kitchen appliance and for good reasons. We can cook seven different ways and turn out amazing meals without having to wait several hours to serve. Some of our favorite dishes have been cooked in our Instant Pot. In our fifth wheel, we used the 6 quart. We also added to our cooking tool collection an Accessory Kit for our 6 quart Instant Pot.
However, now that we are in a much smaller RV with less storage space, our smaller 3 quart Instant Pot is just the ticket for meal preparation and cooking. The 3 quart has more cooking features. To enhance our cooking methods, we also use our 3 quart Instant Pot accessory kit.
Check out our Instant Pot product review!
Here’s a list of some Instant Pot Accessories you can purchase to enhance your meal preparation:
For the 6 Quart Instant Pot
For the 3 Quart Instant Pot
If you’re not into the Instant Pot cooking methods mentioned earlier in this article, then perhaps a 6 quart Crock Pot is more towards your liking. The Crock-Pot Slow Cooker comes with a countdown digital timer. You can customize your cooking time and temperature by setting the timer anywhere from 30 minutes and 20 hours on the High, Low, or Warm settings. The digital timer counts down the remaining time so you can coordinate side dish preparation and have a complete meal ready when you are. If you’re not around when time runs out, this countdown expert will automatically shift to warm, maintaining temperature and flavor. The crock is removable for tabletop serving and easy cleaning.
Oh, and the cool thing is it comes with a 16 ounce Little Dipper Warmer which is perfect for cooking hot dips, BBQ smokies, fondue, and even a can of soup!
You don’t have to be a super chef in a big kitchen to enjoy your favorite foods and meals! Air Fryers are easy to use, easy to clean, fast, versatile and convenient. We make all our fried favorites without the oil and hassle of messy deep frying. As heat is circulated by a powerful fan, food cooks and gets that amazing deep-fried taste and texture using 95% less oil and grease than deep frying.
Our air fryer comes with preset programming to air fry, roast, bake and reheat all our foodie favorites. We can air fry juicy chicken wings, salmon, and shrimp! Ours can fit a 4 pound whole chicken and comes out looking and tasting like a rotisserie chicken! In our air fryer, we also roast cauliflower bites, brussel sprouts, asparagus and other healthy vegetables. Oh, and our mini pizzas come out like magic!
We also got a complete air fryer accessory kit so we can make all of our favorite dishes and snacks.
This 11″ nonstick electric skillet is perfect for cooking for two! It’s high sidewalls and tempered glass cover make it ideal for any one-pan meal. It roasts, fries, grills, stews, bakes, and makes casseroles.
Its’ automatic controls maintains the proper cooking temperature. Oh and it saves energy which is a big bonus for those with limited power capability in RVs and Boats. It’s even more efficient than using an induction or electric range burner or oven at 120 volts, 1000 watts.
Multi-Function Breakfast Station
Small kitchens lack countertop space so having counter clutter is a no-no. We’ve found the perfect kitchen multi-tool of kitchen appliances! And we love it because it does three jobs in one.
This innovative small 3-in-1 countertop kitchen appliance makes a complete breakfast with just one appliance. Enjoy a cup of coffee with the 3-cup coffee maker. Then treat your family and guests to a variety of breakfast meats and eggs cooked on the large non-stick griddle. The multi-functioning toaster holds up to four slices of bread at a time. It’s perfect for 7-inch frozen pizzas, hot sandwiches, desserts and more. For added safety, a 30-minute timer is included with automatic shut off.
The multi-function toaster oven has a 30-minute timer with a glass door and can fit up to 4 slices of bread, a 7-inch pizza and can be used to make casseroles, cookies and other delicious meals
The coffeemaker brews up to 3 cups at a time in minutes so you can enjoy a cup of coffee while your food cooks. Comes with a glass carafe, a coffee scoop and a reusable filter
The large non-stick griddle offers plenty of room to fry eggs, omelets, pancakes, sausages, bacon, hashbrowns and other breakfast foods – and comes with a glass lid
When the meal is done, the griddle and oven tray remove for easy cleanup.
Sometimes, using our hard-installed propane cooktop in our motorhome kitchen may not be feasible. There are times I want to cook messy dishes or frying bacon or chicken. Or, it’s just too nice outside to be stuck inside standing belly up to the our RV kitchen counter. So that’s when I pull out my portable cooktop or hot plate.
The question is if I want to plug into electric or if we’re parked off the grid and don’t want to drain our RV batteries. So, we have the best of both worlds! We have our electric induction cooktop. Now, just an FYI, when using an induction cooktop, we needed to buy the appropriate induction-safe cookware but all is well because I can use them on both cooking surfaces.
Check out our induction cooktop product review:
Also read our product review for our induction safe cookware:
Electric Hot Plate
Another option is an inexpensive electric hot plate. You can use a single burner 1500 watt hot plate or if you’d like to cook with two pans, an 1800 watt double burner hot plate. Again, like the other cooktops, you can take these outdoors but you must be hooked up to electricity to operate these cooktops. So, you need a good quality outdoor extension cord to plug into an electrical source. Personally, we plug our appliances directly into your RV site power pedestal instead of our RV for safety precautions and to not blow a fuse in our motorhome.
But there are other portable cooktop options. There’s a portable butane stove that heats by a butane gas cylinder. And, it has a nice protective carrying case that you can take camping, to the beach or just out to the picnic table.
A regular propane camp stove is also a great must have for your outdoor camping supplies. We use ours when we want to cook messy foods that splatter such as frying bacon, hamburgers, sausages, etc. Camp stoves are essential to also keep smelly cooking outside of your RV.
BLOGGER’s NOTE: ALWAYS be safe and attentive to using any heating appliance. Never leave unattended or in reach of children or pets. Always practice safe kitchen cooking fire safety.
Electric Hot Water Kettle
If you don’t have a propane gas or induction stovetop or range to boil water, an unbreakable electric hot water kettle that is BPA-free with stainless steel interior, is the perfect small kitchen appliance for your RV, boat or tiny home.
Not only does it boil water but it also purifies water! Why pay for bottled water that’s nothing but reclaimed and reprocessed tap water anyway? No more plastic water bottles clogging up landfills or your own trash can. Not to mention, bottled water is up to 3000 times more expensive than regular tap water!
This 1.7 liter electric hot water kettle runs on 1100W (120V) that boils water at 160 ℉, effectively killing all pathogens and bacteria present in it. It has a removable easy-to-clean spout filter. And it’s cord is long enough to reach some of those hard to reach outlets oftentimes seen in tiny kitchens.
SAFETY NOTE: The electric kettle might reach the boiling point faster at higher altitudes due to the fluctuation of temperature. Hence, the kettle might not shut off on its own. Also, kettle body may get extremely hot during operation. Only use the handle to lift and pour. Also, it’s wise to place your electric kettle on a solid surface on your countertop like a wood bread board.
This compact espresso machine with milk frother also makes cappuccino and lattes! The milk steamer makes this coffee machine versatile and practical in making any, and all of your favorite hot beverages. This compact size espresso maker’s design is a perfect fit for RV, camper, boat or tiny kitchen. The Drip tray and plastic components including the frother wand are removable for easy cleaning.
This 3.5 Bar espresso machine is easy to use with a single knob for all operations, it rapidly and professionally extracts 4 shots of velvety smooth hot espresso (167F-199F) in 2 mins. It enables you to enjoy your favorite kinds of coffee such as cappuccinos and lattes at home, at work, or any place you like. Never be without your favorite beverages it again as it only takes one twist of a knob to enjoy your favorite hot drinks. The milk steamer turns milk or milk substitutes into soft rich foam in 40 seconds for a creamy cappuccino and so much more.
Relax and enjoy a solitary hot beverage or make multiple drinks to enjoy with others, all done fast and efficiently.
And we love the foil cutter too. No more damaging my kitchen knives trying to break the foil seals! And because of it’s lightweight slender construction, it fits easily in our kitchen drawer.
This cool compact single serve coffee brewer is perfect for small kitchens and tiny living for half the price of those over-rated “K” brand coffee brewing systems. It offers you a fresh and hot 5-12 ounce cup of coffee in minutes at anytime you need it. What’s fantastic about this coffee brewer is it uses reusable stainless mesh filters instead of those disposable K-cups that end up in the landfills!
It comes with an illuminated brew switch and an automatic shut-off feature, which turns it off after the brewing cycle is complete. The stylish and compact structure is perfect for any restricted space, such as RVs, boats and tiny homes. This brewer makes having a morning cup or afternoon pick-me-up easier than ever.
But if single-serve K cup brewing systems aren’t your game and you’d rather opt for the French Press, check out ours guide to perfect French Press coffee article.
Wine Bottle Opener
If you’re a wine lover like us, having a wine bottle opener is one of the most important kitchen appliances to keep in an RV. While those hand-operated corkscrews work, sometimes if you don’t align the screw right you’re going to be cursing at it because the cork breaks.
We found this awesome rechargeable battery-operated wine bottle opener that unplugs our wine bottles flawlessly! The built in rechargeable lithium battery, electric wine opener can remove cork in 7 seconds and charges in less than 2.5 hours. A full charge can open up to 60 bottles which is important to those like ourselves for RV boondocking and living off the grid! It does come with a 100-240V DC cord to recharge.
If you enjoy cold beverages, you appreciate freshly made ice cubes. But some motorhomes and campers don’t have the space in their refrigerator to hold a few ice cube trays. However, kitchen appliance technology has taken ice making by storm with electric ice makers. You can make ice in a matter of minutes instead of waiting for your ice cubes to freeze overnight.
So, this just proves that you can have the whole kitchen sink and more when living small in a motorhome, camper, van, boat or even tiny home! You don’t have to sacrifice luxury to live minimally.
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