Meta-Post: Kitchen Efficency

I think your kitchen is probably set up for inefficiency. Look, I know I’ve never seen your kitchen, but I’m pretty sure about this. It takes you longer to make things than it needs to, and you move around the kitchen more than you have to.

How do I know?

It’s not your fault. Most kitchens are designed by people who have never held a job in any sort of professional kitchen, and frankly, you have to have both the experience of understanding how professional kitchen efficiency works, and some serious experience with translating that into the home kitchen, before you even see how to set up the place to maximize the space. So you’re fighting against a poor set-up.

Second, the well-designed kitchen changes dramatically depending on your point in life. Your storage needs when you have a baby in the house are completely different from what you need when the kid is a teenager, and it’s nearly impossible to design a kitchen that accommodates all potential family configurations.

Despite these structural obstacles, there are things you can do to improve your kitchen.

When I first move into a place (and I’ve moved into 7 in the last 12 years), I tend to look at the kitchen and begin by putting things where they fit. And this holds a certain sort of logic, but it quickly becomes useless. First, be willing to put your things into odd places, if it means that you have to move less while cooking.

Maybe you’ve heard of the “kitchen triangle?” It’s the triangle created by drawing a line from your refrigerator to your sink, to your stove. Your goal is to make the lines as short as possible, and to locate all the items you use regularly inside the triangle. These items include: plates/bowls/glassware, knives, cutting boards, flatware, and pots/pans. First, try to get all those items into the triangle. If there is still room, go for some frequently used pantry items, esp salt and pepper, stock, grains, flour and sugar, and any snackables that you would add to lunches. Next add mixing bowls, collanders, baking dishes, and measuring cups. If there is still room, your triangle is probably too big.

Things that clearly belong outside the triangle include crockpots, steamers, ramekins, most serving dishes, and most pantry items.Clean is not the same as organized. See above.


About christianathomas

I'm a working mother of two trying to make eating well fit into our hectic lives. I also used to own a completely chaotic bakery. Follow me for tips and tricks on how to get more whole foods into your diet.
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