When you show people in your kitchen ask, “Where’s the rest?” We got it. If you live in a big city, it is not uncommon to find kitchens crowded in hallways and former closets. If your kitchen is so small that you need to store the bread vertically so that it does not protrude into the living room, then this is the guide for you.
You may have trouble placing your chef’s knives in a confined space. Maybe your beloved Dutch oven is standing in the middle of the floor. If so, we have some creative storage solutions and fun-sized dishes that WIRED writers loved and tested. Do you need inspiration after perfecting your settings? Don’t forget to check out our other shopping guides, including the best cookbooks and the best pots and pans.
Updated January 2022: We swapped Standard 36-inch pot rack, which we love, for the Wallniture Lyon stand, as the Cooks Standard is currently out of stock everywhere. We’ve also added Gneiss Spice magnetic spice jars, a Hamilton Beach 3-cup mini food processor, a Le Creuset plate for small utensils, a mini set of radish cooking tools and an Ebern Designs Aliecia hanging fruit basket.
Maximize storage space
- Start with shelves for hangers. Placing these pots and pans on the wall will free up valuable space in drawers and cabinets. If you don’t have room for a shelf, a hanging bar will get your pan, pots and wax out of the way.
- Mount a wooden knife bar to your wall. The magnets that catch the knives are hidden under the wood, so it is less likely that your knife blades will chip or blunt than with an all-metal bar. Skip the block of knives on the work surface – not only will it take up space on the counter, but it will also blunt the blades of your knives faster.
- Wall shelves for spices it also frees up a lot of closet space. Buy a bare rack and supply it with good spices, like a selection from Burlap & Barrel. Spices are one area to spend money on; the difference in quality is noticeable. WIRED product reviewer and writer Louryn Strampe sticks magnetic spice jars in her fridge. She likes Gneiss Spice, which comes in a ready-made kit. You can also specify the spices you want.
- If you do not have enough space in the drawers, store your cooking utensils in dishes. This Le Creuset Utensil Crock ($ 55) has plenty of room to hold all your spoons, spatulas and grippers.
- Hanging fruit baskets This means that you will not have to use valuable space to store fresh fruits and vegetables. Leave the tomatoes, potatoes and stone fruits out of the fridge.
Combine (and reduce) your dishes
- How often do you actually use that quesadilla or steamer basket? One multicooker can replace several less frequently used machines. The Instant Pot for ($ 89) is the most famous, but there are other multivarcs worth a look.
- Dutch oven, such as this enamel from the Lodge ($ 80), can replace several pots or disposable machines. I used my Dutch oven to steam oysters, bake cornbread, slow cook stews and grill.
- WIRED reviewer and writer Louryn Strampe prepares most of her meals at Great Jones’ Deep Cut ($ 90). hybrid pan it is a cross between a frying pan, a frying pan and a frying pan. “It doesn’t shine in one area compared to any other,” she says, “but it’s solid, it heats up evenly, and the stainless steel surface is easy to clean in the dishwasher.” WIRED food writer Joe Ray recommends a similar multi-purpose option lähde: All Clad.
- You don’t need so many knives. Discard a set of 10-inch knives: an 8- or 9-inch cooking knife, a smaller baking knife, a bread knife and maybe a few special blades will suffice. Or consider replacing them all with a general purpose Chinese caidao. For more information, see our guide to buying knives for chefs.
- If the space in the drawers is limited, you can even reduce your hand tools. Senior Associate Review Editor Adrienne So got the pair small pliers in a custom-made cooking kit for her six-year-old daughter, but she quickly discovered that they are useful for everything from turning sausages to tossing noodles and serving salad at a table in narrow frames. “I also use her little salad dressing broom, her little mixing spoon and her little spatula much more often than I’d like to admit,” says So. “Little tools forever!”
- Consider a small food processor if you do not have enough space to prepare to handle the knife safely. The Hamilton Beach Mini Food Processor ($ 19) can slice and slice up to three cups of ingredients at a time. WIRED reviewer and writer Medea Giordano has had her own for three years and especially likes to use it to make fresh pasta sauce.
Add preparation surfaces
- Cutting boards take up a ton of space when preparing meals. Buy one that’s made to fit over your sink, like this Catskill Craftsmen maple cutting board ($ 27). Hardwood, like the maple used here, is easier on knives than bamboo.
- Mount the table with the leaves down to a nearby wall. IKEA Bjursta ($ 45) is 3 meters of space for a counter that goes down and down when not in use.
- Burner covers can add space on your hob. Use them to make room for additional cutting boards or accessories. This Prosumer’s Choice bamboo workstation ($ 60) can cover half of your hob – get two for a continuous flat surface on all four burners.
- Buy a rolling trolley. Most are usually 48 inches long, but if you are in a small kitchen, you will be better off with 36 inches or less. You can push it into the corner of your kitchen next door and turn it over when you need more space, and then roll it out when you’re not using it. Auxiliary carts can also move where you need them.
How to move around in the kitchen
- Here are some tips from WIRED senior writer and product reviewer Scott Gilbertson, who has worked in the restaurant industry for six years and knows how to handle narrow cooking spaces:
- You don’t have to expose everything as if you were presenting a culinary show. “I think there’s an idea that you always have to cook at mise en place, where everything is arranged and ready to work,” says Gilbertson. “Take what you need off the shelf, use it and put it away.”
- Clean while cooking. Do you have a minute to wait for the sauce to settle in the pan? Wipe that counter. Throw those eggshells. It’s not just the secret of chefs and cooks to make cleaning later less intimidating and tedious. It will also reduce clutter that builds up by the time you finish preparing your meal.
- If you share your cramped kitchen, it is important to communicate whenever one or both of you handle food, pots or cooking utensils. Just say “out loud” when you pass someone in the kitchen handling that cutter or holding a tube of hot pasta.
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