I have, like many people, a tiny kitchen. I would say microscopic, except that I've seen the kitchens in some of my friends' New York apartments, and by comparison, mine is palatial. This is definitely not the first small kitchen I've lived with, which is funny considering how much I love food and cooking -- and since I'm a renter, I'm pretty much stuck with what I've got. So how do you make the most of a small kitchen if you can't (or don't want to) remodel?
Downsize your fridge
This might seem painful, but I promise, it's not. You don't need to live with a dorm fridge, but a medium-size between full-scale models and minis can be a great compromise that allows you to keep fresh food without taking up so much space. The smaller the fridge, the more room you'll have, and that's good news for you.
Downsize your appliances
Do you really need a dishwasher? That's a lot of space in a small kitchen, and if it's just you and a partner, you might be better off washing your dishes by hand and freeing up some serious cabinet space. Alternatively, consider a dishwasher drawer, a scaled-down dishwasher with less capacity and a much smaller footprint.
How about all those other appliances? Sit down and think about how often you use them, and whether their functions could be combined or replaced. Remember: the less stuff you have, the more room you have to work. Thus, you might get rid of your ricecooker and stick with stovetop rice, for example. Mount the appliances you really need on slideout trays and tuck them into counter-level cabinets so you can pull them out when you need them, and hide them when you don't.
Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, you can have your microwave and oven in the same unit. Pretty cool, right? They're pricey, but they work effectively for microwaving food when you need to quickly heat it, and when you're ready to make a roast, flip the oven to convection mode (incidentally, a fantastic way to achieve even heating and browning on roast foods) and get ready to roll!
Slim your stove
Don't be put off. You don't have to choose between an ineffective and frustrating "apartment stove" or two-burner monstrosity, because you can have a high quality stove with some serious cooking capacity and a small footprint. Better yet, if you're using a combination oven, consider just getting a range top, and using the space beneath for storage. Talk to your Houston plumber about gas plumbing options for a high-end gas range.
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