Storing Kitchenware the Smart Way
Most kitchens contain a variety of cookware; plan storage so those items used every day are given prime storage space. Store special equipment, such as cake pans, where they will not obstruct access to frequently used pieces.
Prime storage space is the most easily accessed – usually somewhere between knee and eye level. Pans, large dishes, and utensils that you use at least once a day should be stored on shelving that does not necessitate stretching up or bending down to remove. Place large and heavy pans in cabinetry beneath countertops where lifting will not be a problem.
Access to corner cabinets is notoriously awkward, but pull-out fittings and Lazy-Susans allow the contents to be easily seen and selected. Special finishes, such as non-stick coatings, ridged skillets, and copper, can be damaged if pans are stacked on top of each other. Instead, store them on their sides in pan-racks fitted in deep shelves.
Displaying or hiding items
The patina of copper pans and the gleam of stainless steel utensils look simple and efficient and add an eclectic element to kitchen decor – but choose what you show with care, and keep chipped, worn, and stained kitchenware out of sight. Whatever you choose to display, make sure that it is regularly cleaned as dust and grease will soon dull the finish.
The key to accessible storage is to plan the width and height of fittings so that items are organized and quick to find. Simple solutions are often the best: for example, a compact knife block, wall-mounted magnetic knife holder, or utensils • hanging from a rack suspended over the food preparation area all function efficiently, keeping items visible but unobtrusive. As with all activity areas, store everyday items within easy reach so that it is possible to work with the minimum of effort.
A practical solution to keeping an attractive display visible while reducing the need for regular cleaning is to choose one or two sections of wall cabinetry fitted with clear or opaque glass fronts. Individual compartments give a sense of order to decorative as well as functional items; their big advantage is that they prevent items knocking against each other and items can be removed without lifting other pieces out of the way. However, they are more expensive than shelving and are not as adaptable.
When suspending pans from a hanging rack, choose a design with a grid shelf above or set aside a separate cabinet drawer below to store the corresponding lids.
Choose a series of graduated drawers beneath the stove to store pans, utensils, knives, oven mittens, and trivets that are needed while cooking.
1 Utilize every inch of space by paying particular attention to awkward areas. This two-part, pull-out, unit houses everyday items at the front, while special equipment at the back is reached once the front section is opened to the side.
2 Space above head height is often underused. A hanging rock or shelves provide room for pans, utensils, or seasonings to be suspended above the food preparation area or island.
3 Heavy, cumbersome pans need to be placed in sturdy drawers with smooth runners. The shallow drawer sides make lifting and removing pans easier.
It is surprising how even clean pans can mark shelves when they are put away. Choose a laminate or other washable finish that can be cleaned quickly and easily.
Use thick shelf and drawer liners for dishes and glassware as they will absorb knocks and can be replaced once they become greasy or grimy
Chopping, rinsing, & mixing
Everyday food preparation tasks require well-planned areas where access to the sink is quick and easy, allowing several activities to be in progress at the same time. Choose a durable countertop with either an integral or separate chopping block that is tough enough to take the heaviest wear.
Allow a long, clear area of a counter for chopping, mixing, and other food preparation tasks. Plan the stretch of the counter so the sink is toward one end and the stove toward the other. Do not cram the appliances to the movement when using them; allow space at either end so that hot pans can be placed down next to the stove and dishes can be drained to one side of the sink. Whether you prefer a solid wood surface for chopping everything or a series of dense, color-coded plastic boards for preparing different ingredients, make sure that they can be stored on or near the counter and that they can be easily cleaned, without joins or seals to trap dirt.
Enthusiastic cooks who spend a lot of time in the kitchen will want the highest quality equipment to deal with a wide range of preparation tasks. It is important to plan efficient storage so that equipment does not clutter the chopping, rinsing, and mixing areas when not in use. Consider the advantages of a built-in marble slab for rolling pastry and a butcher’s block for chopping and slicing. Making them an integral part of the countertop eliminates the need for separate boards. Stainless steel is a hygienic, durable, and multipurpose material and the choice for professional and contemporary kitchens. It can be used for a full-length, seamless counter, with sink, draining board, and backsplash, that is easy to clean after use.
Consider the advantages of a built-in marble slab for rolling pastry and a butcher’s block for chopping and slicing. Making them an integral part of the countertop eliminates the need for separate boards. Stainless steel is a hygienic, durable, and multipurpose material and the choice for professional and contemporary kitchens. It can be used for a full-length, seamless counter, with sink, draining board, and backsplash, that is easy to clean after use.
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