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Fresh Berry
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Chef Pete

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Simple Ways to Improve the Functionality of Your Home Kitchen

May 2, 2012
(12) Comments on this post

It’s no secret that we all spend a great deal of time in our kitchens, either by choice or necessity.

And that time can be either a pleasure or a curse depending on how much we enjoy cooking or how well our home kitchens are equipped.

Having said that, while it truly is a blessing to have a fantastic range or the state of the art kitchen appliances, making your kitchen a more enjoyable place to cook isn’t always about the expensive “metal boxes” that make things hot and keep things cold. Sometimes, rather inexpensive accessories and tools can add greatly to your enjoyment of cooking or minimally, make it less of a chore.

Not all of my suggestions can work for everyone or every space; certainly you have to be mindful of small children, pets and whatever size constraints you may have in your own kitchen.

Here are some suggestions:

Edit, discard or donate.

Tons of space may be taken up by things in your cupboards that you’ve never used and probably never will. From wedding gifts to impulsive QVC gizmo’s, get rid of stuff you’ve never or will never use. Donate it and you’ll win twice.

Consider hanging things up in clear view. Nothing is as aggravating as rummaging through a poorly lit, cluttered kitchen cabinet on your hands and knees to find a pot, pan or bowl. Hanging some of your most used pots, pans or devices in plain view can be a decorative and interesting addition to your kitchen.

Music in the kitchen. With today’s access to tunes and even wireless speaker technology (I love my Sonos ® wireless system) singing and dancing your way through a casserole recipe has never been more easily done.

Rugs or at least some anti-fatigue flooring can relieve the stress and put a spring in your step as you move about. Keeping your feet and back happy in the kitchen is an important key to enjoying your time there.

My “Secret” kitchen weapons for creating kitchen efficiency and beating the clock to dinner.

  • A good quality, sharp knife (you hear this over and over again by the “pros” and there’s a reason why. It’s the most valuable investment you can make.
  • Knife Magnet Strip. If you don’t have small kids or pets on the counter, a wall mounted magnetic knife strip is about as convenient as it gets. And it’s decorative.
  • Large mixing bowls. Everyone seems to have small and medium size bowls and it’s aggravating when you’re tossing or mixing something of a larger size.
  • More is better. It’s a waste of time to continually be washing and cleaning your only whisk, rubber spatula or ladle. Consider a crock with NOTHING but colorful spatulas and spoons of different sizes and colors and keep plenty of cooking tongs, ladles and whisks in another. Like a bouquet of flowers, they’ll brighten up your kitchen and your outlook on cooking.
  • A BIG cutting board. It’s impossible to keep most chopping or cutting projects on the cutting boards most people keep in their kitchens. A board of at least 18” x 24” is a must! And if you buy a nice one, it can also be a decorative accessory to your kitchen counter.
  • Have seasoning salt and a good peppermill out on the counter and adjacent to where you cook. It saves time and looks like you mean business!
  • And as for clean-up and storage, I’m personally in favor of 18” wide commercial grade plastic film and foil. It’s a one step, never miss, always have enough coverage over nearly anything you need to wrap, wrap.
  • Zip Loc containers. 1 Quart size. I love, love, love these containers and should have bought stock in the company years ago. No doubt, they’ve made money from me.
  • Lastly, if you can afford it, treat yourself to some decent cookware but that’s for another time, and another blog.

What are your all time favorite home kitchen gadgets and time savings devices?

12 Comments

Heide Piccirilli said :
289 weeks ago

I'm feeling kinda' good right about now. I have, indeed, used a few of your suggestions for creating a more user friendly, efficient kitchen. But I did it before I read your article! I feel reassured that someone with your experience and talent thinks that my hanging saute pans, lots of bright colored utensils and tongs can be viewed as decorative AND functional at the same time. Reply...

Chef Pete said :
288 weeks ago

Well Heide I'm feelin kinda good right about now myself then! Great minds think alike! I hope you have enjoyed your kitchen more since your "transformation" and are merrily cooking away and appreciating the views. Bon Appetite!

Fab5: Pantry Essentials from Nino Salvaggio {+$50 Gift Card Giveaway} said :
287 weeks ago

[...] Of course Pete shared tons of other great tips, too. Check out more on one of his recent blog posts here. [...] Reply...

Catherine said :
287 weeks ago

I loved all your great tips at the recent Nino's social media event. I wanted to share this post and didn't find any share buttons. Considering adding them to your blog. Reply...

Chef Pete said :
287 weeks ago

Hey Catherine, and you're right! I pointed this out to our IT folks and their working on it! And while I've got you here, thanks for attending the #ninospantry event. It was wonderful to meet you! Pete

Raihan said :
287 weeks ago

Those plastic saortge tubs have been a lifesaver for me. You can get a lot into them, and stack them in your closets, and even in your garage with no worries that mice will damage your things.Try buying one of those rolling butcher block islands for your kitchen. They come in different sizes, and have shelving/storage. You could keep it in another part of the house with all your baking necessities, and then roll it into the kitchen when needed for extra counter space. Reply...

Chef Pete said :
284 weeks ago

Absolutely right on Raihan! If you have the space, a portable kitchen butcher block is a fabulous way to expand your kitchen's capabilities while also expanding storage. They also make a halfway decent portable bar and service stand.

Hate cooking in your kitchen? Find out how to love it with tips from Nino Salvaggio’s [+$50 gift card giveaway!] | The Mom with Moxie said :
287 weeks ago

[...] Of course Pete shared tons of other great tips, too. Check out more on one of his recent blog posts here. [...] Reply...

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