Big Cook, Little Kitchen: 19 Tips for Cooking in a Small Space | Modern Mummy

Friday, 1 September 2017

Big Cook, Little Kitchen: 19 Tips for Cooking in a Small Space

If you're a big-ideas chef, a small kitchen can really take the wind out of your cooking sails. With limited counter space, multiple step recipes can be a real challenge, and in some cases totally impossible. It would be unimaginable for most of us to prepare a gourmet meal of seven courses in a teeny tiny kitchen space. 

When kitchen space is limited it’s hard to get enthusiastic about cooking for large numbers. But don’t feel downhearted. Many great cooks have survived the challenges of small kitchens.

Here are 19 great tips to help you cook up a storm without feeling compromised by the lack of space. Some of the best dishes around the world have been produced in small kitchens.
  1. Your first job is to declutter. A minimalist approach will help your small kitchen feel bigger. Work your way methodically around your kitchen and clean each drawer and shelf one step at a time. Get rid of any kitchen items you don’t use. Clear everything from worktops – it’s valuable work space.
  1. It could be time to update your kitchen. Modern kitchen units have much smarter storage ideas incorporated into their design, which could give you the extra space you need to leave countertops clutter free. Magic corner units utilise every spare bit of space for storage. A kitchen designer, like The Brighton Kitchen Co, will be able to help you make clever use of your space.
  1. Hang pots from the ceiling. It adds a funky style, and prevents large pans from taking up cupboard or countertop space.
  1. Add a magnetic strip to store knives on the wall. It’s a convenient, easy-to-reach storage idea.
  1. Get an over the sink cutting board. Stove top cutting boards work well too for prep before you start cooking. This is a great way of extending your countertop space while you are prepping.
  1. Get acquainted with one-pot, ta-da recipes. The cast iron pan and a large Le Creuset casserole dish are a must. Pot roasts and stews with veg thrown in are delicious, as are stir fries, curries and risottos. Try these 20 fabulous and easy one-pot recipes reviewed in The Guardian: part one // part two // part three
  1. Prep food before guests arrive. With one-pot cooking you can have all of your prep utensils and pans cleared away before guest arrive, giving you time to enjoy a cheeky aperitif.
  1. Keep a minimal pantry to maximise kitchen utensil storage space. Shops are open 24/7 these days so it’s easy to pick up ingredients as you need them. Hoorah, no more big weekly shops.
  1. Go high with storage shelves. Slim long-line shelves will help to make your kitchen space feel bigger and keep kitchen items off of your work surfaces. 
  1. Keep a collapsible step ladder for hard-to-reach shelves.
  1. Pick a mirrored splashback to give you the illusion of more space.
  1. Keep décor light and bright. Darker colours draw in the walls and make spaces feel smaller.
  1. A butchers block is a great portable idea. It can be moved around to create the perfect kitchen triangle when you are getting creative in the kitchen.
  1. Say goodbye to single-use kitchen items. Everything you own needs to do at least 3 different jobs!
  1. Forget about bulky microwaves and humungous food processors. Compact kitchen items are adequate. You are allowed a small food processor.
  1. Be organised. Chaos just doesn’t work in the small kitchen.
  1. Make more of ‘bring a dish’ entertaining, then you only have to make one or two things. It’s the way to go.
  1. Clean as you go to maximise free countertop space. Wipe spills and rinse utensils for re-use. Wash and put away things you no longer need as you go too. It makes the aftermath clean-up a breeze.
  1. Use a collapsible camping table for extra worktop space. It’s a great solution for increasing worktop space when you’re determined to tackle more complex dishes.
You don’t have to lose your cooking mojo because of a lack of space (trust me, I know!). I hope that these space-saving tips and pointers to some great one-pot dishes, liberates the big cook in you!


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