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A cook top that lets you keep your counterspace

Newly designed smart cook top can be stored against the wall when it's not in use

Since when could you store your cooktop next to your cutting board?

Cooking in small kitchens is no easy task, and manufacturers have valiantly attempted to make things easier for space-challenged chefs by creating gadgets that keep counters clear. Tupperware has become more stackable, bowls have become collapsible, and scales are wall-mountable. But did you predict the addition of a removable cook top to that arsenal? I certainly didn't, at least in this capacity.

The Vesta Cook Top designed by Matthias Pinkert of Germany solves space issues by letting you fold it up into a vertical position when it's not in use. This means that you can lay down your cutting board, roll out dough, and cook your entire meal on the same small section of counter space. Instead of trying to negotiate your kitchen counters and appliances around a stove, you can set the stove anywhere you want until you're ready to cook with it.

Pinkert says the Vesta also includes an RFID scanner, which can read the chips that may eventually replace bar codes in many products. These chips could contain information about cooking times, recipes, and cooking temperatures. In a culinary world where everything is becoming digital and automated, a cook top such as this fits right in. And since it can be stowed away (in contrast to some of the other space-hogging concept kitchen appliance sets), it lets chefs with space issues join in on the fun.