With the boom in Tiny Houses and the ever-increasing cost of living in major cities around the country, having a small kitchen is a reality for many. Whether it’s because you’re a broke college grad working an entry level job with a micro-apartment, or one of the hyper-conscious few, reducing your footprint by downsizing, here are the Top-5 kitchen indulgences to keep your cooking gourmet, and your sanity in check.
Cutting Boards that Fit Just Right
A solid wooden cutting board can’t be beat, but if you have a tiny kitchen space is at a premium. Consider finding a board that fits lengthwise across your sink, but is still skinny enough to slide end first in to the basin for washing. A long board that stretches across other dead space like your sink will increase your workspace when you’re not using the faucet. Additionally, stock your workspace with a couple of small boards for cutting aromatics like garlic, and raw meats, separately from your fresh veggies.
A Good Knife
Just one. If you’re working with a small kitchen, you may only keep one knife on hand. Make it an 8-inch chef’s knife of good quality, like Wusthof Classic or J.A. Henckles brands. If you feel you could have one or two knives, do yourself a favor and get high end pairing knife to compliment your chef’s knife.
A Cast Iron Pan/Dutch Oven & 10 inch Skillet
Roasting, sautéing, baking, boiling, if I could have one large pot it would be a large cast iron Le Creuset with an oven safe lid. In fact, I’ve had one for 14 years and I expect it will last another few decades. These masterpieces of the oven are so versatile. You’ll use it for boiling pasta, or making a roast. Sautee onions before adding ingredients for soup, or mash your potatoes right inside. It’s a beast and it’s worth it. Along with your large cast iron, I recommend one 10-inch stainless steel skillet. This pan is lighter and wider and good for sauces, sautéing fish and just a good back up when your cast-iron is otherwise occupied.
1 Rimmed Baking Sheet
This will be your baking go-to. Use it for cookies, slab pies or brownies. Need to make a cake? Try a sponge that you quarter and layer after baking. Make sure you have parchment paper on hand for stick-free baking, and you’ll look professional in no time.
A Cuisinart Food Processor
Perhaps the bulkiest of your kitchen must-haves, a food processor can be used for everything from making pie dough to pureeing sauces. This workhorse is available with extra blades. Consider that you might grate cheese once moment and pulse hummus the next. It’s a worthwhile investment for your kitchen stash. There are smaller versions available on the market, but you may opt for a regular size, giving up a little more room in favor of this appliances holding capacity.
What ever you do in your small space, have fun. Cooking should not only feed our bellies, it should feed our souls, and a small kitchen shouldn’t limit that joy.