Tiny House Refrigerators and Portable Induction Burners!

Great Vancouver Tiny House Meetup tonight! At least fifteen people showed up, many for the first time. There is a general feeling that we are just at the cusp of huge mainstream interest, which is both exciting and a little scary. 

It's funny, I've been researching all things tiny house for about three years for my own purposes, but realized tonight that I have accidentally become a bit of a source for information about tiny houses to those folks who are a little newer on the scene.  I'm really glad to be able to help out because there is just so much information out there that it can be a bit intimidating and I am also huge fan of not re-inventing the wheel. 

I'll lay a few of my better-researched tips on yez right now...

Compact fridges

Do not buy one that has only one door for both the refrigerator and freezer sections. Your ice cream will melt. You will be sad. Get one with separate freezer and refrigerator sections and a door for each. Get a flat-back model and make sure to account for the space needed on the back and sides of the unit for proper operation when designing the space for it. 

I'm actually getting two identical compact models and stacking them one above the other in a cabinet because I have not been able to find a well-reviewed apartment-sized model that will fit where it needs to go. Remember that refrigerator specs give depth dimensions with the handle and without the handle and make sure you are looking at the 'with handle' number to see how far it will be projecting into your limited space.

Follow the installation instructions very carefully. Make sure your tiny house and thus your fridge is level as that will affect its operation.

Portable Induction Burners

There are a gazillion companies manufacturing these portable induction units; Fagor, Salton, Panda, Hannex, Max Burton, True Induction, Waring, Vollrath, etc.

I'm going to go with the Vollrath 59500P Mirage Pro Countertop Induction Range, 14-inch. Since this sucker is around $400, I will probably buy a $90 Salton from London Drugs at first, then upgrade to the Vollrath as soon as I can.

Generally the best-reviewed units are Fagor, Max Burton, Waring, True Induction and Vollrath. Things to consider are; does fan noise bug you? Do you have to micro-manage stuff that simmers? Can you not abide plastic sides that may melt if a hot pot touches them? Will you have it on its own dedicated 30 amp breaker to avoid breaker issues? Double burner or single? More shiny spaceman or utilitarian kitchen style?

Basically the reason people use these for tiny houses is because there is no open flame, no gas hookup required, and of course, the miraculous fact that they live happily in a drawer and only sully your tiny, tiny counter space when you are actually cooking with them

Get two single burners and only use one or two as needed. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure I'll be only using one burner a lot of the time. With a toaster oven and either a microwave, crockpot or rice cooker you can use to reheat things, you can get by with one or two burners pretty easily. Plus you don't need any burners to survive solely on Hime or Shirakiku Black Sesame or Green Tea ice cream which I fully intend to do at least 50% of my time on this delicious planet.

Little Miss Crow

All art and photos are copyright isabella legosi mori unless otherwise credited. Please check out my builder's site camerabuildings.com

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The fridge in my apartment might be a good fit for you -- it's tall (67 5/8"), but narrow (23 7/16"). It's a Blomberg BRFB 1040, and is the combined size of the two fridges you're looking at. Best of all, it's counter-depth (23 5/8") so it doesn't stick out. The bottom half is a freezer and the top is the fridge. I live in the Commercial Drive area, so you're more than welcome to drop by for a coffee and check it out for yourself :-)
2014-06-13, Claudia

Oooh, that does look nice! I am dealing with a 20" depth rather than the standard 24" though, so I'm having to stick with the compact models that have a 19" depth.
2014-06-13, Little Miss Crow

That's too bad, but I think you're smart to go with the 20" depth. Another option is to live without a fridge like they do at rowdykittens, but it'd be good to do a trial run first to see if that would work for you. (It's a little more suited to vegetarians who don't mind shopping more frequently.)
2014-06-13, Claudia

Ooooo, can't live without a freezer for my decadent smoothie habits...gotta have my frozen bananas and almond milk in the fridge =)
2014-06-15, Little Miss Crow

Great meeting you today! As promised, here is the info about the appliances I mentioned. The small convertible fridge/freezer is the EdgeStar CRF150SS and the portable cooktop is the Delfino DLHP708 Stainless Steel Infrared Cooking Range. I haven't used the former, but I definitely can attest to the latter since I used it as my only stove the entire time I lived in that tiny garage-turned-apartment :-)
2014-07-10, Claudia

Nice! I will stick with induction for the burner, but might get one of the EdgeStar units in addition to the Haier refrigerator, as I dig the versatility of being able to switch from fridge to freezer as needed. Thank you so much for the info, great meeting you at the meetup, and hope to see you at the next one in August!
2014-07-11, Little Miss Crow

Thanks for this article. I read it some time ago, and gave it some serious thought, and have decided to go with a chest freezer. I, too, love ice cream and smoothies, and the occasional frozen dinner from Trader Joe's. The deciding factor is that I live alone and my gallon of milk goes bad. lol I can freeze my milk in smaller quantities, and I can also enjoy pesto from my summer-grown basil in the middle of the dreary and long winter, along with smoothies from my own raspberries, blueberries and strawberries any time all year long.
I have a Breville oven, too, and am buying an induction plate to accompany my butane stove from the Asian grocery store, so that I can make my stir fry without tripping a breaker.
I'm moving in March, and will spend February finishing the painting and staining, and loading my personal belongings in, and closing out the rest of the house I live in now in March. Moving the garden is the biggest job of all, I'm thinking. Ozmyrrah is the name of the house. It's a 'pleasant blend of delightful aromas.' It's also called the Color Box.
Congratulations on your move and recent media coverage. Every bit helps!
2015-01-24, Jane on Whidbey

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