Content Updated October 3, 2007
When your kitchen is organized, cooking is fun.
Food Preparation Center
Clear Counter Space
You need a very big section of counter space with no clutter on it for rolling out dough and other tasks that take up so much room. Also, having less clutter makes cleanup much easier. If you tend to roll out cookies, knead bread dough, or make candy frequently, you may want to make sure that your counter space in this area is smooth. If you can’t replace your countertop, try getting a big, smooth, stone slab.
Sink for Food Only
If you can’t afford to put a special sink in just for food use or don’t have the space for it, skip this, but if you can do it, you’ll thank yourself for it. You’ll never have to worry about it being filled with dishes
Try to keep all the food together. I highly recommend having your pantry or food cabinets next to the refrigerator. When you have your food in or near your food preparation center, you can quickly grab what you need and put it right back, so you don’t end up with a counter covered with ingredients.
All of your knives, kitchen shears, etc. should be ready to go. A magnetic strip or a wooden block knife holder work perfectly for keeping your knives from getting banged around, which dulls the blades. Sharp knives make a happy cook.
I’m a big fan of wood and metal utensils. I like to avoid plastic whenever possible. Wood and metal are more attractive, more functional, more environmentally friendly, healthier to use, and always heat resistant.
Scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and other measuring devices are handiest in this center.
Misc. Food Prep.
Whatever food prep. gadgets you have should go in this center as well. Mashers, rolling pins, etc.
Again, metal and glass win out over plastic. I used plastic for years, but when I made the switch to metal and glass, I wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. Both can go in the microwave, placed in the oven, put on top of a pot of steaming water for melting chocolate or cheese slowly, and abused without much damage. Plus they’re much more attractive than plastic. You can even serve food in them at a dinner party. Try doing all of that with a plastic bowl without watching it melt or embarrass you. I high suggest buying quality items that are designed for oven and microwave use.
Cookware and Bakeware
You’re going to cook all that food, and it’s much easier to have the cookware and bakeware right there when you’re ready to put the food on it.