small kitchen

You don’t need to have a kitchen island in order to create an oasis of good food for your friends and family. We’ve got some expert advice that will help you maximize space and get the most out of the room that brings everyone together.

Be Choosy – That bread machine or rice steamer was a good idea at the time, but after awhile may have dropped out of everyday use. Avery, featured on thekitchn.com for what she can do in a kitchen that’s too small for even a stove, recommends that you make sure you love each and every item in your kitchen – everything else can go.

Mise en Place – That’s French for “get ‘er done,” or for making sure all the preparation for a meal is done in advance. This way you can re-use the same surface for different tasks, like chopping or measuring, and you’re completely ready to go when it’s time to start cooking. And having two sets of measuring spoons is an inexpensive way to cut down on the time you spend at the sink.

Quality over Quantity – The best knife is a sharp one. When space is at a premium, one good knife in a drawer is a much better choice that several unused (and unloved!) ones in a butcher block on the counter.

Size It Up – Those pre-packaged sets of pots and pans can look like a bargain, until you take a good look at the sizes in the assortment. Many of them will be too small to be used regularly, so you’re better off buying a couple of war horses – say, a good non-stick skillet, a Dutch oven and a cast-iron pan that works both on the stove and in the oven – that will save you space and money over the long run.

The Eyes Have ItIna Garten, TV’s Barefoot Contessa, stores baking sheets in a tall wicker basket at the edge of her kitchen, along with her cutting boards and cooling racks, so she can look down and easily see which one she’d like to use next.