Induction cooking is a great choice for a tiny house

Induction cooking uses magnetic energy to heat your pans instead of a fire or heating coils. It’s a very efficient way to cook as the pan heats up almost immediately and you have very fine control over the temperature.

The biggest upside to using this style of cooking in a tiny house is that it doesn’t heat up your whole house. We used to have an Airstream trailer that we loved. It came with a propane stovetop, very similar to ones I’ve seen in pictures of tiny homes. The problem was that whenever we used it, it would get really hot in the trailer. During the winter, this was great. Summer…not so much.

There is lots of information on induction cooking over on the Wikipedia.

The one “catch” with induction cooking is that your pots and pans need to be “ferromagnetic,” or able to hold a magnet to the bottom. No aluminum or copper. You can find pans made with multiple layers of metals including copper and aluminum that will work on an induction cooktop — the key is that one or more of the layers has to be ferromagnetic. I have since fallen out of love with my aluminum non-stick pans and back in love with my old cast-iron pans. They work great on an induction surface.

All induction cooktops are electric and typically around 1300 watts which is less than most hair dryers. This means that it in order to use these off the grid, you would need a substantial enough inverter to handle the load. For totally off-grid cooking, propane probably has the advantage. However, if you plan to be on the grid or have a substantial power supply (generator, solar+batteries, etc.) - induction is great!

We decided on a single built-in unit and a single portable unit (in case we need it).

Pros:

  • Very efficient
  • Excellent temperature control
  • Does NOT heat up the whole house

Cons:

  • Requires ferromagnetic cookware (cast-iron, steel, etc.)
  • Probably not suited to off-grid living unless you have a genset or big solar install

Sharp SuperSteam Microwave Oven

When looking at oven options for a tiny kitchen, you’ll probably find yourself deciding between conventional convection or microwave options. Well, Sharp has added a third: Steam. My wife has a friend who was always talking about their new dedicated steam oven. It cooks with, that’s right, steam. Throw some fresh veggies in a pan; throw the pan in the oven; 15 minutes later you have perfectly steamed veggies.

The Sharp SuperSteam oven combines a steam oven with a microwave and convection cooking. So, you get all three in one fairly small, but very heavy device. This was our choice for our tiny kitchen. We tried it out at home first, before installing it in the “project.” It was very easy to use and cleanup was a breeze.

The oven has a computer in it that already knows how to cook lots of items — even full meals. Just put the ingredients in the oven, fill the water tank and dial up the setting on the front. The oven does the rest. As Mr. Popeil used to say, “Set it, and forget it!”

We love our SuperSteam oven and think it’s a great option for tiny kitchens.

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