Part of our new tiny home product review series, Tiny Stuff!
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When it comes to tiny house cooking, efficiency is the everything. Portable, light-weight and easy to store cooktops, like Avalon Bay Square Induction Cooktop are perfect for small spaces, from tiny houses to van conversions
I cook every day in my tiny house kitchen. Almost no cooking experience involves less than two burners on my stovetop. That’s why I chose an apartment size range for the flexibility to cook any meal I wish. For Thanksgiving two years ago, I pushed it to its limits by using all four burners, the oven, and the broiler drawer. But not every tiny dweller loves to cook as much as I do. In fact, some of dear van life friends relish the one pot dinner. I have to admit, I am envious of their minimal dishwashing needs. When my friend James was preparing to move into his tiny house on wheels, he put dot stickers on everything he used in his loft apartment for two months. He discovered that he never used his oven. As a result, he put a washer/dryer combo in his kitchen instead and used a cooktop and microwave for cooking.
Depending on your cooking needs and available storage space, an induction cooktop could be a perfect fit for your tiny home.
Avalon Bay asked me to review their Square Induction Cooktop. I ‘fired it up’ to cook up one of my favorite snacks, sauteed sweet potatoes. It has several cooking temperatures, between 140°F to 465°F and several power modes, from 300 watts to the 1800 watts. I set it at 1200 watts and 300°F, which was really my best guess at the correct temperature. I’m used to monitoring the flame on my propane range with low, medium and high settings. In no time, my sweet potatoes were golden brown and lightly crisp, just how I like it. I really loved how evenly the pieces were cooked. That’s one of the top benefits of induction cooking, how it uniformly distributes heat in all directions across the burner and your pan. Induction uses electromagnetic energy to directly heat pots and pans. While gas and electric cooktops heat indirectly, using either a heating element or burner to heat cookware from underneath. The induction cooking process is more efficient with less wasted energy. Pans heat faster and temperature control is more precise, but the cooktop itself doesn’t get super hot, making extra easy to clean.
Another great aspect of this cooktip is how easy it is to store. It’s compact and light-weight, just over five pounds, and can store easily in a tiny home cabinet, drawer or on a shelf. As much as I like the Avalon Bay Square Induction Cooktop, my passion for cooking elaborate meals isn’t going away. Fortunately, my good friends, Emily and Greg (on Instagram: @LoveAdventureTravel) are looking for a small-space cooking solution for their van conversion, so we’re giving the cooktop to them.
Would an induction cooktop, or two, be right for your tiny home? Share in the comments below.
-Alexis Stephens, cofounder Tiny House Expedition