Author Topic: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?  (Read 48269 times)

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« on: January 07, 2013, 12:26:14 PM »
I just bough a condo with my girlfriend and now is the first time we can really do what we want in our home and we are extremely excited!

As a somewhat mustachian couple (we are working on this) we are cooking a lot of meals at home and since I want to practice my DIY skills also, I thought upgrading our kitchen would be the best way to do it. I'm thinking upgrading as in usability and ease of use, not necessarily the looks of the kitchen. So far I have little things I can think of that would make the kitchen a nicer place :

- Soft dampers/silent rails for the drawers. The current ones are noisy!
- Drawer for the trash can, these seem really popular in newer kitchens and make throwing stuff while chopping/preparing easier when placed properly http://houseandhome.com/sites/houseandhome.com/files/images/blog-isabella-favaro-aya-kitchens-garbage-drawers.jpeg
- Of course all the accessories : nice pans, pots, knifes and chopping board

I'm still not sure what could be done to make our storing of pots and pans nicer because now they're all piled up in a cabinet and it's kind of messy taking them out.

What are your things that you *need* to have in a kitchen in order to make it nicer to work with?

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 12:52:19 PM »
What are your things that you *need* to have in a kitchen in order to make it nicer to work with?

Facepunch coming...making your kitchen "nicer to work with" by adding stupid things like drawer dampers and trash can drawers is totally antithetical to being mustachian.

What do you need? Probably what you already have. As far as organizing pots & pans, lid racks for the door of your cabinet help a lot. My mom has these for her baking pans and I'm thinking about getting them too; they're also nice for cutting boards. I'd think long and hard though about which of these things might actually make you cook more and more efficiently and which are just fluffy upgrades to waste money on.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 01:15:33 PM »
After having a couple shitty kitchens in different apartments this is one place of the condo where I want to pimp it out just a bit. Of course I'm not doing it just for the sake of spending money, I'm going the DIY route and want to keep the costs low for this but I figure there are a few things in a kitchen that makes it better. Also, the girlfriend would love it, can't argue with that!

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8223
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 01:17:15 PM »
I'm still not sure what could be done to make our storing of pots and pans nicer because now they're all piled up in a cabinet and it's kind of messy taking them out.
er to work with?

We solved this problem with one of these.  Hangs over part of our kitchen island, and they come in tons of styles.  Room for storing the 20 quart giant pot and big skillet up on top, and all of the daily use pans hang down below.

We paid $35 for ours, but a more creative type could probably rig something up for half that with hardware store parts.  And now we have tons more storage space.


starbuck

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 358
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Small Town Connecticut
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 01:41:51 PM »
Pegboard! Pegboard is fantastic for storing pots and pans and other hanging stuff, like colanders and tongs. I've got a piece mounted right next to the stove. Lids are on a lid rack mounted on the wall as well. Our kitchen is the one room in the house that has a vaulted ceiling, and no decent place for a pot rack. My cast iron pan and tea kettle just live on top of the stove.

Our kitchen's not NYC-small or anything, but we had to get pretty clever with storage and arranging, especially since we tore out a cabinet to install a dishwasher. I usually have a bowl on the counter for food waste if it's compost season, otherwise I just scrape stuff off the cutting board into the trash can that's two feet to the left. There was a small (8 inch?) gap between the stove and wall. There was a strip of countertop that was installed there, but nothing underneath. My husband installed a little shelf that is just right for storing cutting boards and sheet pans.

I'm a big fan of open shelving, because I find it easiest to cook when everything is easily accessible. Also, I find it more enjoyble to cook when the counter is clear. If it's not something used very regularly, it doesn't get to sit on the counter. Less clutter/unused stuff makes a big difference. Basically, just use your kitchen for awhile as is, and keep an eye out for things that are frustrating, in the wrong place, not enough storage. Then get creative. Much better to tweak your space gradually.

Also, I love having a radio in the kitchen. NPR in the morning, dance party in the evening. But this may be non-essential for you.

jdisc

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 02:13:22 PM »
A few years back I built a pot rack out of an old bicycle wheel. It looked cool (in my opinion) and you could spin it around to grab whatever pot/pan you needed. I just put a single bolt through the hub and anchored into the joist above and added a few SS hooks. Worked great for about 5 years but the eccentric loading (a big cast iron pan threw the thing off balance) eventually weakened the bolt and the whole thing came crashing down one evening. Luckily no one was underneath cause it must have weight 50-60 pounds.

I considered remounting it with 3 or 4 hooks (effectively creating something similar to what sol posted) but we decided to go with a metal pegboard instead. Works great and a 2 x 6 section holds about as many pots as the wheel did and everyone in the house feels a bit safer.

As far a trash cans, I prefer one that sits out and can be moved around to a convenient location (the spot where you need to sweep the peelings off the counter). Only problem with this method is that it's really nice to have one with a foot operated lid and those are expensive. We bit the bullet and bought a Simple Human for 100$ or so but it's at least 7-8 years old now and still operating flawlessly.

For pots and pans I recommend yard/garage/stoop sales. I think almost every piece of cookwear we have is 2nd hand including Le Crusette, All-Clad, and a great collection of cast iron.

Blackbomber

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 02:29:52 PM »
I'm in the middle of a complete (down to studs and joists) kitchen remodel. I went whole hog with all of the soft close stuff I thought was so cool in other people's kitchens. I've only got one wall of cabinets up (still cooking in garage), and I'm already tired of them. The doors have adjustable closing, and even at the weaker setting are still annoyingly slow. And I actually miss the thud. I hope they break in and get faster. Or maybe I'll get used to it. Either way, I wish I'd skipped that.

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 02:34:54 PM »
Pegboard!

Reminds me of Julia Child's kitchen. See both sides of the oven.



As for noisy drawers, any chance you could fix them with WD-40 and some tinkering?

As for a trash can cabinet, see if there's a Habitat ReStore near you, or you could also make it yourself. (Click on images for instructions.)




mugwump

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Location: North Metro Denver
  • FI and watching my 'stache grow.
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 02:36:03 PM »
I thought essential meant a knife, a skillet, a stewpot, a cutting board, and a baking pan. ;-) Oh, and a few bowls and spoons.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 02:38:30 PM »
I'm in the middle of a complete (down to studs and joists) kitchen remodel. I went whole hog with all of the soft close stuff I thought was so cool in other people's kitchens. I've only got one wall of cabinets up (still cooking in garage), and I'm already tired of them. The doors have adjustable closing, and even at the weaker setting are still annoyingly slow. And I actually miss the thud. I hope they break in and get faster. Or maybe I'll get used to it. Either way, I wish I'd skipped that.
I was thinking of using these kind : http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p133/larrylwill/closer1.jpg
They are around a dollar each and you don't need to change the rails/hinges. You can still slam the drawers shut and the little damper slows the drawer down at the last moment before completely closing.

If you used slow closing rails and hinges, I can see how this could become annoying.

I thought essential meant a knife, a skillet, a stewpot, a cutting board, and a baking pan. ;-) Oh, and a few bowls and spoons.

Well yeah not that kind of essentials. I was thinking more in terms of if we're cooking a lot, we better make cooking an enjoyable experience and make our kitchen nice to use.

tooqk4u22

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2182
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 02:42:30 PM »
I thought essential meant a knife, a skillet, a stewpot, a cutting board, and a baking pan. ;-) Oh, and a few bowls and spoons.

+1 and go cast iron. 

As for noisy drawers, any chance you could fix them with WD-40 and some tinkering?

You can also buy some clear rubber stops http://www.lowes.com/pd_66956-255-4184195N_0__ but it will cost you a couple of dollars ;)

Blackbomber

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 02:57:03 PM »
I was thinking of using these kind : http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p133/larrylwill/closer1.jpg
They are around a dollar each and you don't need to change the rails/hinges. You can still slam the drawers shut and the little damper slows the drawer down at the last moment before completely closing.

If you used slow closing rails and hinges, I can see how this could become annoying.

I did, and they are. I went TOTALLY un-mustachian, and got the pre-assembled to order units from American Woodmark. Interestingly, I've seen the type of closure you describe on some Craft Maid cabinets, and I think I like them better. And of course they seem easy to retrofit to an existing piece. Plus you can't argue with the price. I'm not one to quibble with spending a little more to get something that feels nicer. So even if they aren't necessary, it's money well spent, in my book. I've never had any kind of soft close before, so I think I need to just give it more time. I think it's because my natural reflex is to manually gently close everything, so this new way is counter-intuitive.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8223
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 03:16:01 PM »
I went whole hog with all of the soft close stuff I thought was so col in other people's kitchens. I've only got one wall of cabinets up (still cooking in garage), and I'm already tired of them. The doors have adjustable closing, and even at the weaker setting are still annoyingly slow. And I actually miss the thud. I hope they break in and get faster.

Man, talk about first world problems.  Sometimes I think the rest of you aren't reading the same blog that I'm reading.

TDES anyone?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 09:12:39 PM by sol »

Kenoryn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 05:57:26 PM »
The kitchen I grew up in had extra-deep counters. I didn't realize until I bought a house and designed my own kitchen that they weren't normal counters. Man, I wish I had them now! Excellent for rolling pastry, pizza dough etc. And you can store things on the counter and still have counter space. However, if, like me, you make a lot of pies and want a good rolling space, a wide island would work just as well. (That's what I'm putting in my kitchen - next winter's project.)

I agree a kitchen that's comfortable to work in is a good investment. It just needs to have a good level of usability though, and enough storage that you can keep stuff put away and it's not cluttered. Fancy gadgets and things most people never use. Sturdy, reliable things that will last are key (a few people have mentioned cast iron - I also really like the new ceramic 'non-stick' stuff that's coming out everywhere these days - less heavy, easier to clean. Paderno ones come with 25-yr warranty so I'm guessing it lasts. Silicon baking stuff is great too. Glass measuring cups, not plastic. Etc.) 

If you're doing any new shelves or cabinets, most useful things in my kitchen are a) a shelf above the stove where I can put salt, pepper, & oils, b) a spice rack or drawer with tiered shelves so you can find your spices easily (you could build some tiered shelves to put in a regular cabinet), and c) a tall, narrow cabinet that can store baking trays, cutting boards, pizza pans etc. upright so they're easy to get to and you don't have to dig them noisily out from under the stove. The other project I'm looking forward to but haven't started yet is some small shelves on the cabinets on either side of my sink, in front of the window, for some potted herbs. I recommend some kind of small herb garden in your kitchen with the things you use most.

If you're doing any baking, and if you don't already have one, invest in a good pastry blender - as in the hand tool. Probably $3 or so. ;) Makes a good potato masher too. My most beloved kitchen tool.

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 08:15:57 PM »

Man, talk about first world problems.  Sometimes I think the rest of you aren't reading the same blog that I'm reading.

TDES anyone?

I've never even HEARD of "drawer noise dampeners" until now.  Unless they cost... $0.50 or so, I will promptly forget about them again.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 08:40:13 PM »
I've never even HEARD of "drawer noise dampeners" until now.  Unless they cost... $0.50 or so, I will promptly forget about them again.

There are two things you can do I believe : soft close rails and cabinet hinges, so for an existing kitchen that means replacing each rail and hinge and they are expensive.

Alternatively just install these small hydraulic stoppers that cost very little and are perfect for installing on existing drawers and cabinets. I found them on amazon for about $2.50 each (http://www.amazon.com/Soft-Close-Cabinet-Door-Damper/dp/B0074DXNMI) but I'm sure you can find ones at around $.50~$1 each on ebay or somewhere else.


happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4630
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 04:26:11 AM »
Crikey, I 'm really a moderate mustachian, but I'm with Sol on this one (except I don't know what TDES means).

Work in the current kitchen awhile before you make any changes. Figure out work flow etc.

Bins in cupboards etc = hard to clean = dark yukky grungy bits = cockroaches - IMO!

As few as possible "customised gizmos" as possible e.g. build in spice rack in drawers etc. Cost an arm and a leg and you don't need them.

FitStash

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 82
  • Location: Virginia
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 08:34:30 AM »
Crikey, I 'm really a moderate mustachian, but I'm with Sol on this one (except I don't know what TDES means).

I think he just meant Tiny Detail Exaggeration Syndrome from the recent MMM post.

Blackbomber

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 08:46:50 AM »
I went whole hog with all of the soft close stuff I thought was so col in other people's kitchens. I've only got one wall of cabinets up (still cooking in garage), and I'm already tired of them. The doors have adjustable closing, and even at the weaker setting are still annoyingly slow. And I actually miss the thud. I hope they break in and get faster.

Man, talk about first world problems.  Sometimes I think the rest of you aren't reading the same blog that I'm reading.

TDES anyone?

I am. And I'm very much "in training." Thanks for putting things in back in perspective. It wasn't my intention to focus so intently on a detail, but I tend to get off track that way. I guess what I meant to say is save on the closures, and buy (or make) a potrack.

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 08:47:20 AM »
Man, talk about first world problems.  Sometimes I think the rest of you aren't reading the same blog that I'm reading.

I thought Blackbomber's comment was reasonable. He overspent on a kitchen, and then he didn't even like the result. It was a warning that you might not even like the fancy stuff.

As for having nice stuff, MMM himself has a nice house presumably with a nice kitchen, he just does all the work himself and buys materials from Craigslist and ReStore or trades for them. Obviously there's a point after which any remodel is un-Mustachian, no matter the approach (if you can score a Viking range for $100, you should probably re-sell it), but if someone wants a nice kitchen, they can have it in a Mustachian way.

As few as possible "customised gizmos" as possible e.g. build in spice rack in drawers etc. Cost an arm and a leg and you don't need them.

If you build them yourself, special storage can be worth it in one particular way: you can store a heck of a lot more in a small space, reducing the amount of cabinetry you need. You can make your kitchen storage incredibly dense but still easily accessible this way.

How to Build Under-Cabinet Drawers @ Family Handyman

Cabinet Rollouts

Our kitchen is pretty bad, and I want to remodel it at some point, but it'll be fine for the next few years as we build up some more savings. Kitchen remodels are out of the question for fledgling Mustachians!

shadowmoss

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1020
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2013, 09:40:34 AM »
The cabinet rollouts are the primary thing I want for my pots and pans.  Really all my storage.  It would seem to make the back sections of cabinets accessible.  Doing it yourself would be awesome.

Forcus

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 714
  • Location: Central Illinois
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2013, 09:44:49 AM »

Man, talk about first world problems.  Sometimes I think the rest of you aren't reading the same blog that I'm reading.

TDES anyone?

LOL... or the alternate, slightly less kosher, "White People Problems"

Kenoryn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2013, 10:26:16 AM »
As few as possible "customised gizmos" as possible e.g. build in spice rack in drawers etc. Cost an arm and a leg and you don't need them.

Not true - I think a tiered spice rack for in a drawer might be a 2-hour project, at most, and virtually free if you had some scrap wood to use. Or a back-of-cabinet-door spice rack, that would be easy too.

Nothing un-mustachian about having fun building things you'll enjoy, or investing time now to save you time later, or learning/developing skills. There are lots of great easy DIY, cheap-or-free projects you can do for a kitchen that will help you work more efficiently and make the most of your time there, and encourage you to use it more often! I think it's a win-win-win.

In my old kitchen I also had risers in the backs of deep cupboards so you could see & reach the things at the back without removing things at the front. Those were handy & would be very simple to build, & help you make the most of storage space. Rollouts would accomplish the same thing but unless you build your own drawer slides would be more expensive.

If you like the rustic look you could probably get pallets for free and make pallet shelves. I made some of those for my sister for Christmas & stocked them with homemade soup mixes and baking mixes and potted herbs.
http://ana-white.com/2010/04/hack-5-minutes-and-free.html

Better Homes & Gardens' website has lots of DIY storage & organization ideas that are worth browsing.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 10:32:47 AM »
If you like the rustic look you could probably get pallets for free and make pallet shelves. I made some of those for my sister for Christmas & stocked them with homemade soup mixes and baking mixes and potted herbs.
http://ana-white.com/2010/04/hack-5-minutes-and-free.html

These are awesome.

catmustache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
  • I jumped out of a plane once. So there's that.
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2013, 12:19:05 PM »
As few as possible "customised gizmos" as possible e.g. build in spice rack in drawers etc. Cost an arm and a leg and you don't need them.

Not true - I think a tiered spice rack for in a drawer might be a 2-hour project, at most, and virtually free if you had some scrap wood to use. Or a back-of-cabinet-door spice rack, that would be easy too.

Nothing un-mustachian about having fun building things you'll enjoy, or investing time now to save you time later, or learning/developing skills. There are lots of great easy DIY, cheap-or-free projects you can do for a kitchen that will help you work more efficiently and make the most of your time there, and encourage you to use it more often! I think it's a win-win-win.


I think that's true. If you have the money and the time, why not make your living space more enjoyable? I think it only gets unmustachian when you start going into debt for things you don't really need . I am a brand new mustachian, so take that with a grain of salt.

That being said, I think a spice rack for a closet is helpful (my husband made one for under $5 to help me organize my spices in alphabetical order) and some form of pantry are great for kitchens and make it easier to find and cook ingredients. Oh. Also a rack under the sink to keep cleaning supplies has also been helpful.

kt

  • Guest
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2013, 01:05:44 PM »
on a much much smaller scale, my recommendation is  a silicon spatula. mine cost about a pound, less food waste because it gets almost everything out of the pan, pots are then easier to wash up, water gets dirty less quickly and less worry about bad stuff going down the drain.

Matt K

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
  • Location: Canada
    • Krull Photography
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2013, 01:11:24 PM »
Four things are essential in my 'mustachian' kitchen:
  • A Sense of adventure - Jamacian Jerk Chicken and Mashed Yuca? Sounds fantastic! ... what's a yuca?
  • A willingness to do it yourelf - Sure I can buy a frozen lasagna, but you don't need a side order of catheter with your pasta!
  • A willingness to make do - it's really a compromise of the first two, but be willing to substitute or create whatever you need. Don't have the fancy kitchen grinder? No problem, a cutting board, large knife, and patience works wonders. Don't have collander? A towel can work (for most things)! Don't have allspice? ntmeg, cinamon, corriander, and a few other spices you do have will make a fine substitute.
  • Music - radio, cd, mp3, or just signing off key; gotta keep the mood light and the energy flowing.

Thankfully my mustachian kitchen is easy to store and easy to pack. I can bring it anywhere! Camping, a friend's place, it doesn't matter; it goes where ever I go.

The proper tools are fantastic and make a difference, but the right attitude makes all the world of a difference.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2013, 02:33:08 PM »
The proper tools are fantastic and make a difference, but the right attitude makes all the world of a difference.

Well said! This is so true for almost every subject in life.

chucklesmcgee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2013, 03:05:27 PM »
Keep space as clear as possible- the easiest (and cheapest) way to have a nice looking kitchen is to keep stuff off the counters. It's way too easy to buy a bunch of silly one-use appliances, containers for utensils, cereal boxes, recipe holder stands, dish-drying trays have them occupy all sorts of real estate. Unless you're absolutely certain you'll use an appliance an average of twice a week it's probably best to go without it or figure out a place to store it if you really need it.

The only appliance I keep out is a Blendtec blender, which I've used over 300 times in the last 6 months.




tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2013, 05:09:43 PM »
Keep space as clear as possible- the easiest (and cheapest) way to have a nice looking kitchen is to keep stuff off the counters. It's way too easy to buy a bunch of silly one-use appliances, containers for utensils, cereal boxes, recipe holder stands, dish-drying trays have them occupy all sorts of real estate. Unless you're absolutely certain you'll use an appliance an average of twice a week it's probably best to go without it or figure out a place to store it if you really need it.

The only appliance I keep out is a Blendtec blender, which I've used over 300 times in the last 6 months.

I agree with this wholeheartedly, and always feel somewhat embarrassed about the appliances that live so conspicuously on my counter -- blender, food processor, and stand mixer-- but I use at least 2 out of 3 every day for meals, baking, and bulk food prep. If I didn't do that, I'd likely ditch the mixer and the blender, and keep just the processor, but add an immersion blender.

Because of all this baking I'm now doing (replacements for previously purchased items -- bread, granola bars, cheese crackers, etc.), I just pulled all the most common ingredients out of the cabinets and set up a baking area on one of the counters, using presentable dry goods containers scavenged from other areas in the kitchen. The three necessary appliances are immediately adjacent for easy access. It all goes much faster now and clean-up is very speedy.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2013, 07:57:09 PM »
We had our kitchen remodeled, and I insisted on keeping the working part pretty close together -- we went from a galley to something larger, but I am glad I kept the fridge-sink-stove pretty near one another.  I also thought about sequencing (they are in that order as that's the order I typically work in), and am glad I did.  Our counters are tile (installed by us and great because you can put hot stuff directly on the counter), but between the fridge and the sink is a slab of butcher block that, again, I am so glad we had put in.  I work on it all the time.  Below it (just under some fairly narrow drawers) there is a large, sturdy board (not butcher block) that can be pulled out; it's the depth of the counters (so basically just a board insert that slides out like a drawer).  Again, love it -- great for stacking groceries on when I bring them home or stuff on when I get it out, or for working on while seated (and it just rolls back in when not in use.

Other than that, my kitchen equipment is guided by the following principles:  I don't generally want one-function items (the coffee maker is, I'll admit, an exception, but an oft-used oned); I want decent quality multipurpose equipment.  For us that includes a reasonable-sized toaster oven that gets a fair amount of use (more than the big oven, in fact), a Kitchen Aid mixer (with a food grinder attachment), a fairly standard assortment of pots & pans, decently sharp knives, and standard cooking equipment (wooden spoons, ladle, spatula).  Oh, and a crockpot.  DS has a pizza stone and paddle, which I'm not too excited about, but anything that DH wants for cooking he can have.  We do have a contraption to hang pots from, a small rack on the wall for lids, and a magnetic bar on the wall that holds commonly used spices (decanted into metal tins, labeled with me having written on them using a Sharpie) and has hooks off which measuring cups hang.  Oh, and a 6 (?) piece set of the kind of stoneware you can put in a hot oven to roast stuff and not worrying about it cracking.

I've lived over the years (grad school, etc.) with cheap and/or ill-suited to my needs cookware, but at some point I realized it's precisely because I don't much like to cook (or otherwise prepare food) that it makes sense (for me) to pay more for decent quality (not fancy) equipment.  Also, over the years of our marriage we've used gifting occasions (birthdays, Christmas) to buy kitchenware for each other. 

Kenoryn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Location: Ontario, Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2013, 08:51:58 AM »
Oh, and a 6 (?) piece set of the kind of stoneware you can put in a hot oven to roast stuff and not worrying about it cracking.

I can vouch for that. A few years ago I was working in the kitchen & had a glass casserole dish I was preparing to use sitting on the stove (due to lack of counter space - counter space is important!) I went to turn on the stove for something else and turned on the wrong element - the one under the casserole dish. I realized a few seconds later what I had done and turned off the element and moved the casserole onto a cooling rack. It seemed fine, and I went back to chopping stuff next to it, thinking I had averted disaster. About two minutes later, it exploded. That was scary. I just got a couple of little cuts on my hand - fortunately was wearing long sleeves and it exploded along sort of a horizontal plane instead of upward. But my whole kitchen was covered in tiny shards of broken glass. Lots of fun to clean up!

jba302

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2013, 11:13:39 AM »
What are your things that you *need* to have in a kitchen in order to make it nicer to work with?

Were I to get a do-over, I would get the following things in the best quality I could stomach:

4 knifes - a 9" chef, a little paring, a boning knife, and a bread knife.
Immersion blender
Copper (with interior clad) saute pan and 2 pots (small, medium)
food processor with a couple extras instead of adding a normal blender
stand mixer (I really love my kitchenaid because it's 10 years old and still going strong, plus I love the attachments :) )
A kitchen scale instead of the seemingly unnatural number of measuring items we have laying around, which also improves measuring accuracy

The rest of the stuff (big pot for boiling water, cast iron pans, cutting boards, mixing bowls etc) just don't matter as much for quality for our cooking the ways those things have. Good utensils are nice for not melting and snapping due to shitty glue too I spose.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #33 on: January 09, 2013, 12:29:13 PM »
  • Read "Gear For Your Kitchen" by Alton Brown.
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.
  • Except for particular name-brand stuff (Le Creuset, All-Clad, KitchenAid stand mixers, etc.), a restaurant supply store is a better place to shop than stores like Bed Bath and Beyond. (Used would be better still, of course.)


mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #34 on: January 09, 2013, 02:24:28 PM »
  • Read "Gear For Your Kitchen" by Alton Brown.
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.
  • Except for particular name-brand stuff (Le Creuset, All-Clad, KitchenAid stand mixers, etc.), a restaurant supply store is a better place to shop than stores like Bed Bath and Beyond. (Used would be better still, of course.)

I have that knife and I think it's fantastic, especially for the price, though I've personally never used a knife that was more expensive.

gecko10x

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 420
    • SawyerPF
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #35 on: January 09, 2013, 03:25:30 PM »
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.

Not sure I can get on board with this. While I've not used this particular knife, I can't imagine it would compare favorably to my Shun that I picked up ~5yrs ago for about $120. While it was FAR more money than I had ever spent on a knife, it's a dream to use sharp. I'm not sure I'd recommend spending that kind of money, but I would recommend a good knife sharpener (something like this).

c

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 300
  • Location: NYC
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #36 on: January 09, 2013, 05:20:28 PM »
We have a tiny kitchen and I'm planning a remodel. I'm hoping to do most of it myself. Storage is a main concern for me. I don't have that much stuff, but space fills up quickly. I'm planning doing the baseboard storage, which seems really simple to DIY and the kitchen sink face storage http://www.cabinetparts.com/c/kitchen-sink-front-trays-and-hinges

There's very limited counter space, so the ideal is to have everything put away somewhere where it's easy to take out.

We one knife http://www.chefsresource.com/8chefknifglo.html?gclid=CMCossvA3LQCFQ2i4AodHSwAyw and we use this for everything except peeling vegetables, we have a veg peeler for that. Technically I would have had that knife for 6 years, but it got stolen during a move so I replaced it. It's really comfortable to use. Very occasionally I wish I had a serrated knife, but there's not much of a need as we rarely eat bread.

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #37 on: January 09, 2013, 05:43:17 PM »
We have a tiny kitchen and I'm planning a remodel. I'm hoping to do most of it myself. Storage is a main concern for me. I don't have that much stuff, but space fills up quickly. I'm planning doing the baseboard storage, which seems really simple to DIY and the kitchen sink face storage http://www.cabinetparts.com/c/kitchen-sink-front-trays-and-hinges

There's very limited counter space, so the ideal is to have everything put away somewhere where it's easy to take out.

This is neat! And it really costs next to nothing if you DIY

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #38 on: January 09, 2013, 05:51:50 PM »
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.

Not sure I can get on board with this. While I've not used this particular knife, I can't imagine it would compare favorably to my Shun that I picked up ~5yrs ago for about $120. While it was FAR more money than I had ever spent on a knife, it's a dream to use sharp. I'm not sure I'd recommend spending that kind of money, but I would recommend a good knife sharpener (something like this).

Victorinox actually makes fantastic knives. They'll dull a little quicker than your Shun due to the slightly softer steel, but on the flip side they'll also sharpen easier. Just like everything else in life, the properties of steel lie on a continuum and the knife manufacturer must choose a balance of properties which they think will make a good knife. There's no magic steel that will take a perfect edge in five passes and hold it forever. There's probably a little extra something, whether it be a fancy alloy or a proprietary forging process, added to the Shun, but at that point you're up into law-of-diminishing-returns / tiny-detail-exaggeration-syndrome territory. Sharp is sharp, and the Victorinox can be just as sharp as the Shun if cared for properly.

I must admit though that I dropped $120 on the Global G2 linked in the post two above mine. Besides that it will last the rest of my life (though I expect the Victorinox would as well), it also fits me very well (important because I cook a whole bunch and don't like blisters) and is light in the hand (important because I can use the Global in place of a paring knife), so the cost was justified to me.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #39 on: January 09, 2013, 08:08:00 PM »
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.

Not sure I can get on board with this. While I've not used this particular knife, I can't imagine it would compare favorably to my Shun that I picked up ~5yrs ago for about $120. While it was FAR more money than I had ever spent on a knife, it's a dream to use sharp. I'm not sure I'd recommend spending that kind of money, but I would recommend a good knife sharpener (something like this).

Note that I didn't say it's the best knife, just that it's good. It sure blows anything else out of the water on value for money, though!

I have compared it to my mom's expensive Wusthof knife, and I don't think I'm missing out on much.

mlipps

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2013, 07:41:41 AM »
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.

Not sure I can get on board with this. While I've not used this particular knife, I can't imagine it would compare favorably to my Shun that I picked up ~5yrs ago for about $120. While it was FAR more money than I had ever spent on a knife, it's a dream to use sharp. I'm not sure I'd recommend spending that kind of money, but I would recommend a good knife sharpener (something like this).

The first thing I cut when I got my Victorinox was a watermelon. I sliced it in half with next to zero pressure. It's a good value.

Norman Johnson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Moving around, currently in Florida!
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #41 on: January 10, 2013, 08:07:27 AM »
What are your things that you *need* to have in a kitchen in order to make it nicer to work with?

Well, I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. It sat on my counter for a couple of years before I realised what I could do with it, now I use it all the time. I cook more, we eat out less, we win! Do you need one? I don't know! It depends on how much you think you would use it, if ever.

One thing I do wish I had in my small kitchen was more counter space!

Kriegsspiel

  • Guest
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #42 on: January 10, 2013, 04:27:19 PM »
I just got a pressure cooker for Christmas, and after using it a few times, I gotta admit, it's pretty great.  You only really need the heat on until it reaches pressure, so you don't have sustained heat for any longer than a couple minutes, which adds up after a while.  You can also use it as a pot instead of a regular one. 

Midwest

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1326
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2013, 11:19:05 AM »
I built slide out shelves for some of our cabinets.   Makes the space much more useful and much cheaper than buying the shelves from a third party.  Once caveat, if you use full extenion slides, expect to spend some time adjusting.  Cheap upgrade with big increase in function.

That might help with your pots and your trashcan (assuming you want it in the cabinet).

Khao

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 185
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Montreal - Canada
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2013, 12:17:16 PM »
I built slide out shelves for some of our cabinets.   Makes the space much more useful and much cheaper than buying the shelves from a third party.  Once caveat, if you use full extenion slides, expect to spend some time adjusting.  Cheap upgrade with big increase in function.

That might help with your pots and your trashcan (assuming you want it in the cabinet).

I was thinking slide out shelves would be great for all the big items that are hard to arrange neatly in a normal cabinet with little shelves. Seems like this is also a very easy and cheap DIY thing to do! I'll keep this one on my list and see after a couple weeks of cooking if it would be nice or simply overkill.

jwystup

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 84
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2013, 03:56:38 PM »
you need: a kitchen that isn't laid out like mine! jk. it's laid out okay, but it takes up 1/2 the room, as it's an "eat in" kitchen. But it's adjacent to the dining room and we don't even have a table in it! Ugh! And it would be a small kitchen if it DID take up the rest of the space! Give me some more counters! /rant

As far as stocking up on kitchen essentials:
- I'd buy glass, stainless, cast iron, etc whenever you can. Basically buy things like your grandparents would've had back in the day, not the cheap shit that is made nowadays. The good stuff will last forever!
- Don't buy gimmicky gadgets, for the most part you can make whatever they're making with what you have
- I love my kitchen aid stand mixer. This is dependent on how you cook though. If you do a lot from scratch you can get some awesome attachments. I just got the meat grinder/sausage stuffer and the pasta press for christmas (they're EXPENSIVE though, a lot are more than I paid for the mixer!). If you do get one, check out ebay- I got one used for $130 and they're over $300 new!

For kitchen re-do-ing, I plan on doing all of the fancypants things with the cabinets, but I plan to use ana white's plans and build it all from scratch! It'll be a few years before we can do it but we have a huge 2.5 car garage that we don't park in so I can take my time and build it all before tearing out the existing kitchen. I definitely want lots of drawers on the bottom cabinets. I really like those sink front things, I'll have to do that too :) Oh, just another night of me daydreaming a about what my future kitchen will look like...

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1033
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2013, 07:53:04 PM »
Oh, two more things I just thought of.  I do have an Oxo good grips swivel peeler for carrots, potatos, and such, that I adore.  Sure, it's an absurd luxury, but it works tremendously more smoothly than any other peeler I have ever owned, and even if it did cost ~5 times as much as any other peeler ditto (in the $10 range), it was a splurge I find well worth it.

Also I have 3 pairs of scissors in my kitchen at different spots so that basically no matter where I am standing I can grab scissors.  With today's packaging (or are my fingers getting old and weak?), this is a useful "surplus," IMO (and reasonable quality scissors are cheap!).

spider1204

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 244
  • Location: Lexington, KY

Erica/NWEdible

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 881
    • Northwest Edible Life - life on garden time
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #48 on: January 13, 2013, 01:20:30 AM »
Quote
  • This is a good knife; you don't have to spend $150+ on a forged one.
  • Except for particular name-brand stuff (Le Creuset, All-Clad, KitchenAid stand mixers, etc.), a restaurant supply store is a better place to shop than stores like Bed Bath and Beyond. (Used would be better still, of course.)

Before you do anything else, go read An Everlasting Meal which is the best philosophical introduction to actually cooking for oneself that I have read since MFK Fischer. This book is everything writing about economical cookery should be, and after 10+ years as a professional cook I learned a ton from it.

After you've done that, you can get your wizbang stuff.

Victorinox are pretty common in pro kitchens as the community knives. They are good enough, but I'd pack in my shuns and wusthofs for a full day o' slicing. Whatever your blade, keep it sharp. Pay someone $3 to sharpen it every 6 months, or get a wetstone. Do not buy one of those god-awful roller sharpeners.

A big pot, a cast iron skillet and dutch oven will get you 80% of the way to food greatness. A good food processor and stick blender make life a million times easier. More sheetpans are always good. Restaurant supply store or Costco for those. Lots of mason jars for storing everything. Whisks, high heat spatulas, wooden spoons, spring loaded tongs. Some stainless bowls.

Layout: a wider walkway is a gracious luxury. Countertop space. A pull out faucet. A refrigerator that is the right size for your family. Someplace to store food away like a squirrel, a cupboard or a pantry area.

Worsted Skeins

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 384
Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2013, 06:20:16 AM »
I will second a large pot (stock or soup kettle) for the Mustachian kitchen.  Not only this is useful for making stock or soup, but it doubles as a small batch water boiling canner so that one can take advantage of seasonal food.