Fully Equipped Kitchenette: Explained, Once and For All

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When most people hear or read the words “fully equipped kitchenette” their expectations are very different from reality. I know this because I used to be one of those people. In this article I’ll explain what qualifies a kitchenette as “fully equipped”. I’ll also clear up any questions regarding the expression “fully equipped kitchenette”.

A fully equipped kitchenette has more appliances than the average kitchenette. Besides a mini refrigerator and microwave, an equipped kitchenette might feature a range (oven + stove) and slightly more counter space for conveniently cooking meals.

If you’re eager to learn more about fully equipped kitchenettes, I highly recommend you keep reading. In this article, I’ll explain the differences between a regular kitchenette and one that’s fully equipped. I’ll also delve into the benefits of a fully equipped kitchenette, so let’s get started. 

What Is a Kitchenette? How Is It Different from a Fully Equipped Kitchenette?

Kitchenettes Defined

You’re familiar with kitchens, but not kitchenettes. Allow me to clarify.

A kitchenette is a kitchen but on a smaller scale. There’s no one specific size for kitchenettes, but they’re regularly tiny. 

In New York, the NYC building code states that kitchenettes measure approximately 80 feet squared or 7.4 meters squared. That should give you an example of the space afforded to you in a kitchenette. 

Due to the compressed size of a kitchenette, the appliances that are outfitted in this space are usually just as small. For example, rather than a full-sized refrigerator, a kitchenette would likely feature a mini fridge. 

What’s also notable about kitchenettes is what they’re lacking. Kitchenettes might have counters, or they might not. If they do have a counter, it’s usually a very small space that’s lightyears away from the full counters seen in many kitchens.

Even if your kitchenette does have a counter, the space might already be filled. You need a sink, after all. 

The lack of appliances is another trademark of a kitchenette. Some truly innovative kitchenettes have a sink/stovetop burner/mini fridge all built into one, as seen hereOpens in a new tab..

In most cases though, you have to sacrifice one appliance for another.

That usually means a kitchenette has no stove, or if it does, then you get two burners max, as seen in the combo appliance above. 

Ovens are exceedingly rare in kitchenettes as well. By plugging in a microwave on what little counter space you have, you can almost make up for it.

Kitchenettes are regularly seen in studio apartments and college dormitories across the world. In extended-stay hotels, you’ll likely have access to a kitchenette.

Even some office buildings have kitchenettes rather than full kitchens for their employees, often in the employee break room.

Regular Kitchenettes vs. Fully Equipped Kitchenettes

Now that you understand the basics of kitchenettes, I can talk about what a fully equipped kitchenette means

A fully equipped kitchenette turns the idea of a regular kitchenette on its head. The equipped kitchenette still features roughly the same amount of space, but sometimes slightly more to accommodate the range of appliances. 

Usually, through combo appliances like explained above, you have more of the amenities you need for your day-to-day life in a fully equipped kitchenette. 

Rather than having to use a microwave to unevenly cook your food, you might have access to a small oven. Your stovetop would be larger so you can cook more.

Like a fully equipped kitchen, the idea of a fully equipped kitchenette is to give you more of the tools you need to prep and cook food efficiently. In the case of a kitchenette, that’s despite not having all the space of a regular kitchen. 

Why Do I Need a Fully Equipped Kitchenette?

If you have a kitchenette and you’re wondering if you should upgrade it so it’s fully loaded, I say, unequivocally, yes, especially if your budget allows. 

Here are some benefits of a fully equipped kitchenette that ought to convince you. 

No More Foregoing Appliances

Have you found yourself resorting to using a clothing iron to make grilled cheeses one too many times? That’s a sign that you’re missing out on key appliances such as a stove and an ovenOpens in a new tab.

If you’re staying at a hotel for a week or two on business or pleasure and your kitchenette is sans these appliances, that’s not a big deal. You’ll probably be dining out for most of your stay anyway. If you need to whip up a basic breakfast or lunch at the hotel, the kitchenette would suffice. 

For more permanent living situations though, such as an apartment or a college dorm, you can’t cook using a clothing iron or a microwave forever. 

Clothing irons, as I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, are not cooking tools. Each time you use them for purposes other than what they’re intended for, you’re putting your own health at risk as a fire could start.

 Sure, your grilled cheese (or s’mores or even an omelet) came out fine this time, but what about the next time? It’s not worth the risk. 

Microwaves don’t cook evenly, as I stated before. This is an issue that befalls even high-end microwaves. 

The reason comes down to physics. Microwaves operate on electromagnetic waves. By increasing the rate of waves produced–such as by microwaving food for several minutes–what results are dead spots.

Dead spots ensure that your food rarely comes out from the micro completely cooked the first time. Yet continuously nuking your meal in the micro can cause the cooked areas to start burning.

Using these faulty appliances is no way to enjoy a meal. Even though the range in your fully equipped kitchenette might not be the biggest, you’ll at least have one. 

Still Easy to Clean

One of the biggest benefits of a kitchenette is that its small size makes it easy to clean. You can be in and out of the kitchenette having cleaned everything in 10 to 20 minutes, maybe a half-hour if you need to get some deep-cleaning in. 

Since the size of your kitchen might only moderately increase with a fully loaded kitchenette (if it increases at all), you won’t need to dedicate much extra time to keep the area tidy. 

Yes, you’ll probably have a stovetop to clean now, and if your oven doesn’t have a self-cleaning feature, you’ll need to wipe down its interior with white vinegar from time to time as well. 

The extra 10 or 15 minutes of time added to your routine is a small price to pay for more amenities and appliances!

No Need for Extra Space

Kitchenettes are a space-saving measure so the rest of your apartment or dormitory feels breathable and spacious. 

Thanks to the wonders of combination appliances, having a fully equipped kitchenette doesn’t mean halving your living space. You’ll feel like you’re having your cake and eating it too! 

Access to Higher-Quality Meals 

A 2013 book called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Examining the Evidence to Define Benefit AccuracyOpens in a new tab. that was written in conjunction with the Committee on Examination of the Adequacy of Food Resources and SNAP Allotments, the Committee on National Statistics, the Food and Nutrition Board, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council examined why we eat the foods we do.

The book identified a variety of factors, including taste preferences, social and personal factors, employment, culture, time, skills, and food prices. 

One factor that came up in the book was food storage and preparation equipment. 

According to the book: “The committee reviewed evidence on the impact of having the food storage and preparation equipment and appliances needed to prepare a healthy diet…the committee found a paucity of research studies measuring the impact of a lack of food storage and cooking equipment in homes on the ability to prepare healthy meals.”

The book then goes on to describe a study from 2008 on homeless families. The families had temporary housing at the time of the study, but the housing lacked food preparation and storage equipment. 

According to the book, “the study found that not having adequate food preparation equipment resulted in the families resorting to consuming more unhealthy foods, such as sweetened beverages, candy, cookies, and chips.”

This makes sense considering the above foods are all easily accessible and often inexpensive. You don’t have to cook chips; they’re ready to eat right out of the bag.

If you don’t have a stove or an oven for cooking or even a microwave, these types of foods become much more convenient and can quickly take the place of much more nutritional options.

Eating a nutritionally poor diet can cause you to become overweight, then obese. Obesity carries with it many health risks, including cancer (various types), sleep apnea, breathing issues, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, stroke, and coronary heart disease.

When people have kitchen space to store, prepare, and eat nutritious meals because they have access to a fully equipped kitchenette, it can become easier to prioritize healthful eating for themselves and their loved ones.

Thank you for sharing!

Catherine Cruzz

I first fell in love with all things kitchen when I was growing up and working alongside my father in Florida at our family's appliance service and installation company. Many years later, and thousands of miles away from family I was enjoying a wonderful experience at a culinary school in Pennsylvania. That’s when I realized that along with my passion for holidays and cooking, I was still just as interested in the appliances, kitchenware, and cookware that I grew up around.

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