Tips for an efficient kitchen
We have a guest post for you today which includes some items from John Lewis. It’s quite pertinent as well as we’ve been enjoying our cooking and baking recently here, so without further ado, here it is:
When you’re prepping and cooking meals, you should be able to locate the items you need with speed and efficiency: that means no more digging around in the pantry to find that jar of tomato sauce or pulling down that glass blender from the top shelves of your cupboards. Organise your kitchen to streamline the cooking, clean-up, and storage processes by implementing these simple tips:
Think in zones
Dividing your kitchen up into zones will help you to better visualise where each item of your kitchen belongs. There are three basic zones to consider: the cooking/prep area, the clean-up area, and the storage area. Ideally, you should be able to find everything you need for your current task without leaving the zone you’re in, so make sure items are stored in the spot they are used.
- Prep/cooking: The prep/cooking area should extend from the refrigerator to your oven unit and contain everything from cutting boards, measuring cups, and mixing bowls to pots, pans, and bake ware.
- Clean-up: The clean-up zone is located near the sink and dishwasher and contains the majority of your dishes and cleaning products.
- Storage: Usually defined as the refrigerator/pantry area, the storage zone will contain the majority of your food itemsâ€”both perishable and non-perishable. In the pantry, consider using baskets to group all the ingredients you need to make a certain meal, including side dishes and dessert, to help reduce prep time.
Think in terms of the kitchen triangle.
Regardless of size, your kitchen layout should create an easy flow between the prep/cooking, clean-up, and storage areas. Smaller kitchens may use a single-line or L-shaped layout, while bigger kitchens have the advantage of utilising a U-shaped layout, which designates an entire wall to each the cooking, clean-up, and storage zones, or adding an island to increase prep and storage areas.
Put essentials in easy reach
Let’s face it: some items are more important than others, and they’re the ones that should be stored between eye and waist levels. One great way to quickly identify cooking and clean-up essentials is to keep them in plain sight: consider using exposed shelving or keeping your wooden spoons, mixers, and spatulas in a hanging rack above the stove or a bowl beside it. Some people find that cupboards with glass panels make it easier to find what they want to use when they want to use it. And remember: never store heavy pots and pans in high cupboardsâ€”retrieving them from high shelves not only requires a good bit of effort, it can be dangerous as well. It’s better to keep them in a storage unit below or beside the stove instead.
Let gadgets and appliances make your life easier.
The ideal kitchen allows you to streamline tasks so that you can use your time more efficiently. As such, consider investing in high quality appliances that will make your job easier. A dishwasher is a must-have in the modern kitchen, as it allows you to wash about 12 place settings with very little manual effort, while stoves with six burners and double ovens allow you to cut down on cooking time. Some handy gadgets that are worth your investment for reducing prep time include choppers and grinders, food processors, slow cookers, and hot trays.