The Best Gear for Small Kitchens (2023): Storage, Cookware, and Other Tips
Is your kitchen so small that while you serve tapas, individuals suppose it is a full meal? Is it so tiny that while you give of us the tour, you’ve got them stand in place and spin round? Is it so miniature that you just would not even be capable of match this intro inside your paltry cupboards? Then this information’s for you. As tempting as it’s to declare all hope misplaced and rationalize consuming out evening and day, you and I each know it is loads more healthy and cheaper to cook dinner for your self.
As somebody who lives in New York City, I do know a factor or two about small kitchens. Over the years, we have examined varied items of furnishings and different kitchen gear to assist make cooking in a small house simpler (and saner). Don’t overlook to take a look at our different shopping for guides, together with the Best Cookbooks and Best Pots and Pans.
Updated February 2023: We’ve added new objects, together with espresso makers, cast-iron cookware, and storage options.
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Maximize Storage Space
There are magnets hidden beneath the wooden, wall-mounted bar that maintain the knives, so it will not chip or uninteresting your knife blades like an all-metal bar. Skip the countertop knife block—not solely does it take up counter house, nevertheless it additionally dulls the knife blades extra shortly.
Getting these pots and pans onto the wall will liberate treasured drawer and cupboard house. This bamboo and aluminum rack holds as much as 30 kilos, however even with a full set of stainless-steel cookware and cast-iron skillets, mine has been rock-solid and sturdy. If you are mounting into drywall and not studs, choose up some E-Z Anchors. If you do not have room for a shelf, a hanging bar will nonetheless get skillets, saucepans, and woks out of your approach.
If you are low on drawer house, retailer your cooking utensils in a ceramic container. This has sufficient room to carry all of your spoons, spatulas, and tongs and is out there in a number of colours. You may get the 1-quart model for $35.
Wall-mounted spice racks additionally liberate plenty of cupboard house. You can inventory it up along with your spices and different bits and bobs. This one is fabricated from ash wooden and is available in a set of two (although you’ll be able to decide for a single one if you would like).
WIRED evaluations editor Julian Chokkattu has been utilizing the StoveShelf for a few month and loves it. It’s a sensible approach to avoid wasting counter house, and it is simple to wash. This is only a sheet of metallic with magnets on the base, and it sticks to the highest of a range, making it tremendous straightforward to put in. You’ll want to verify this a part of your range is metallic and not plastic, and that there aren’t any buttons or switches that could be blocked (like an oven mild). The rear guard ensures that nothing falls into that hole between your range and the wall. I’d be certain to keep away from placing any cooking oil there.
You need not use treasured counter house to retailer recent fruit and greens. Leave your tomatoes, potatoes, and stone fruit out of the fridge and regain some prep house for knife dealing with and mixing bowls.
Here’s one other one which WIRED evaluations editor Julian Chokkattu purchased final yr. This pantry storage system clearly will take up some flooring house, however for those who can swing it, it can save you a lot counter house, and it is particularly nice for anybody with restricted cupboards. It’s daunting at first as a result of it is available in what looks like 1,000,000 items; it took Julian round 4 hours to finish with no points. But within the greater than 5 months he is had it, it is labored completely and has been a boon to protecting his kitchen much less chaotic. The doorways shut magnetically. Just be certain to measure the peak of the cabinets to verify your spices and different pantry objects will match.
Rather than use a wall-mounted spice rack, WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe sticks magnetic spice jars to her fridge. She likes Gneiss Spice, which is available in a number of ready-made kits. You may specify the spices you need.
Consolidate (and Downsize) Your Cookware
A Dutch oven can substitute a number of single-use pots or machines. I’ve used mine to steam oysters, slow-cook stews, and make barbecue, and the sturdy, nonstick enameled floor requires much less care and consideration than naked forged iron, though I want a non-enamel one for baking bread.
Forget the Keurig or Mr. Coffee that hogs up counter house even when it is idle. An AeroPress makes better-tasting espresso, and it may be rinsed and stowed away in a drawer afterwards. We additionally just like the Hario Pour-Over Coffee Dripper for $25 and the Frieling 23-fluid ounce Stainless Steel French Press for $120. I’ve used each for years. They’ll by no means put on out, and they make nice espresso.
How typically do you actually use that quesadilla maker or steaming basket? One multicooker can substitute a number of specialised machines. Aside from being a strain cooker, steamer, sauté pan, rice cooker, yogurt maker, meals hotter, and gradual cooker, it has 13 customizable settings for pressure-cooking every little thing from beans to soup to poultry. Read our Best Multicookers information for extra suggestions.
We get it. A KitchenSupport Stand Mixer on the countertop is the mark of refinement and envy. But it takes up plenty of beneficial house. Consider a hand mixer you’ll be able to stash inside a cupboard or drawer as a substitute. I’ve had no hassle powering via thick dough with this KitchenSupport hand mixer, and it spins quick sufficient to make whipped cream.
Ditch the pancake griddle for this multipurpose stovetop griddle. You need to take care when cleansing it to not strip the end off, and it’s a must to season it after every wash with food-grade oil, however forged iron makes for an exquisite cooking floor that heats evenly. Beyond pancakes, you’ll be able to cook dinner burgers, pork chops, steaks, eggs, bacon, and extra—and then stash it in a cupboard while you’re accomplished.
You do not want that many knives. Ditch the 10-inch knife set: An 8- or 9-inch chef’s knife, a smaller paring knife, a bread knife, and possibly a few specialty blades will suffice. This general-purpose chef’s knife is advisable as our best choice for most individuals in our chef’s knife shopping for information, because of its skill to carry an edge and its near-nonstick floor. You may additionally substitute the chef’s knife with a general-purpose cleaver, like this one for $85.
WIRED reviewer Louryn Strampe makes most of her meals on this cross between a skillet, a frying pan, and a sautée pan. “It doesn’t shine in one area over any other,” she says, “but it’s sturdy, it heats up evenly, and the stainless-steel surface cleans up easily in the dishwasher.”
If you do not have sufficient prep house to deal with a knife safely, a meals processor can slice and cube as much as three cups of components at a time. WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano loves utilizing hers to make recent pasta sauce.
Add Prep Surfaces
Cutting boards take up a ton of room throughout meal preparation. Buy one which’s made to suit over your sink, like this strong maple reducing board. Hardwood is simpler in your knife blades than bamboo, too.
Mounting a drop-leaf desk to a close-by wall can liberate house in the course of your kitchen and make it simpler to stroll round. Aside from providing a spot to eat, it is 20 by 36 inches of extra counter house that swings down and away when not in use.
Burner covers add house to your cooktop by making a spot to set down an additional reducing board or utensils. This bamboo workstation can cowl half your stovetop. Get two for a steady flat floor over all 4 burners.
For a tiny kitchen, persist with a rolling kitchen cart that measures 36 inches (91 cm) extensive or much less, comparable to this one which measures slightly below 30 inches (76 cm). It has a strong butcher-block prime, three hooks for oven mitts and hanging utensils, and locking wheels. You can tuck it right into a nook of your kitchen and wheel it out while you want extra counter house.
How to Move within the Kitchen
Here are some suggestions from WIRED senior author Scott Gilbertson, who labored within the restaurant trade for six years and is aware of his approach round tight cooking areas: