5 of the most ingenious countertop appliances for kitchens you probably didn't even know existed

These kitchen countertop appliances are the best thing since sliced bread, and we're not talking toasters

A kitchen with pastel blue cabinetry and marble countertop and backsplash
(Image credit: Caffe Latte)

Whether you're looking for smarter ways to cook or you're simply a sucker for a new gadget, there's a whole host of countertop kitchen appliances out there you probably want to know about. We're not talking toasters, kettles, and coffee machines, though. We're talking the more obscure and inventive devices that you've probably never even heard of. 

Besides just being seriously cool, these items all have practicality at heart. Perhaps your galley kitchen means you lack the space for a freezer or dishwasher, or maybe you're looking for innovative new tech that makes it easier to cook quickly and efficiently for your large family. Whatever the case may be, there's probably a solution to your problems out there. 

Worried about cluttering your countertops? Most of these compact appliances will easily store away, or they could be integrated into an appliance garage if you really want to be smart about your modern kitchen design. Here we take a look at the five best countertop appliances you probably never knew you needed, until now.

1. Ice maker 

Does your kitchen lack space for a full-fledged freezer? Or maybe you find yourself constantly short of ice from those countless iced coffees... Whatever the case may be, you don't need a fitted freezer in order to have ice. Plug-in ice makers have come a long way, with sleek, compact designs that will look totally inconspicuous on your kitchen countertop.

2. Dishwasher

There's no denying the fact that a dishwasher will save your life, and once you've lived in a house that has one, it's hard to turn back. The time and effort your save by having one really doesn't compare to much else, and lots of modern ones are actually more energy and water efficient than hand washing as well. 

If you don't have the space or budget to install a regular dishwasher, a countertop version offers a great alternative. You'd be surprised at how little space they take up, too. The smart appliance below from Black & Decker - an Amazon Choice - measures just 21.5"D x 21.7"W x 17.2"H, meaning it will fit perfectly at the end of your countertop. The sleek, contemporary design and LED display won't compromise your clean kitchen aesthetic, either.

3. Cocktail maker

If you consider yourself somewhat of a cocktail connoisseur, chances are you might already have one of these already. Alternatively, if you like a tipple of an evening but lack the space for an entire home bar, they're the next best thing. Cocktail machines like this one, from Bartesian, take the guesswork out of measuring, shaking, and pouring. You can create endless craft cocktails to your desired strength, flavored with the help of a cocktail capsule. The results are enough to give a professional mixologist a run for their money. 

4. Rotating pizza oven 

There are few things I want in life, but a rotating pizza oven is one of them. There's nothing more frustrating than running out of room in the oven when cooking a Friday cheat-feast, forced to sacrifice cold oven fries for hot pizza, or vice versa. Some of us can all but dream of having a wood-fired pizza oven in the backyard, but this nifty little invention is certainly going to see more use. This one from Presto is perfect for cooking your frozen finger food and actually saves as much as 60 percent more energy compared to a conventional oven. 

5. Breakfast maker 

Let's be honest, cooking a hearty breakfast for the whole family is never simple. There's always mess, grease splatters, and the clean up mission takes twice as long as it does to cook the meal itself. If you want to make your morning routines as easy as possible, a compact breakfast station is a worthy investment. 

While on the larger side as a countertop appliance, it allows you prepare coffee, toast and eggs all at once, and it will keep all the components warm, too. It's like bring a hotel breakfast straight to your kitchen. 

Lilith Hudson
News Editor

Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.