Cooking at home is quickly falling by the wayside in favour of eating out or picking up packaged foods. According to the Harvard Business Review, only 15 per cent of Americans said they love to cook, 50 per cent said they actually hate it and 35 per cent are ambivalent about it.
If you fall into one of those categories, it could be a lack of understanding of how to cook up tasty meals on a regular basis, or because your kitchen isn’t functioning at peak efficiency. Instead of letting your kitchen get you down and keep you from tackling cooking head-on, use these five simple tricks to make your kitchen function better. You might even discover a newfound love of cooking.
Get the right tools
Revolutionize your kitchen and how you function within it by choosing the right tools from the start. From a quality chef’s knife to pressure cookers, you need top-notch tools to keep your kitchen running smoothly. Audit your time in the kitchen to figure out if you prefer prepping and chopping fresh produce for quality meals, or are looking for quick but tasty meals and prioritize your tools accordingly. For example, someone who loves to bake would likely benefit from a Kitchen Aid mixer, while someone who loves pasta can invest in saucepans to master their creations.
Create more counter space
You don’t need a total kitchen remodel to get the counter space you need. A rolling island quickly adds counter space any place you need it. And as a bonus, you can use the island as a bar cart to serve your guests once dinner is prepared and cooking. But for a super frugal option to extend counter space, use an oversized cutting board and place on top of your stovetop or sink. You’ve instantly transformed your counter space without committing to an expensive overhaul.
Whether you already have a large kitchen or have a tiny galley kitchen nestled in your cosy apartment, you can maximize your space by going vertical. Mount a cork board or magnetic kitchen rack to your kitchen wall and instantly create more storage and organizational space. Wire wall shelves are also key to getting your spices and dishes in order. Keep your everyday tools like spatulas, knives and seasoning nearby so you can easily reach for what you need. Going vertical is also a great way to clear out your kitchen cupboards and drawers with unnecessary items so you can maximize the space you do have instead of fighting against it.
Tame your clutter
A cluttered kitchen can turn cooking into a stressful event where you can’t quite get anything in order. Instead, embrace a minimal mindset when it comes to your kitchen. Get a basket to store mail and clutter that needs to be addressed on a weekly basis. Next, take inventory of what’s in your drawers and cabinets. Clear out duplicates of kitchen scissors, dull knives and chipped plates you just don’t use anymore. The more you can weed out anything that’s not necessary to your kitchen, the more room you’ll have to breathe and whip up your culinary creations.
Tackle your pain points
Now that your kitchen is running more efficiently, take a step back and evaluate your true pain points. Do you tense up every time you have to dig out the pots and pans? Maybe you need a hanging rack to organize them. Do you loathe cleaning-up? You may need non-stick spray pans and recipes that require fewer tools and mess to create the dishes you want. Work through a typical afternoon in your kitchen and take notes on what you want to change from a more efficient fridge to a better chopping board.
Making your kitchen function better is all about simplifying your experience in the kitchen whether you’re cooking complicated entrees or just grabbing a snack. From quality chef knives to a quality mixer and storage space, reinventing your kitchen can be simple, fun and cost-effective.