Finding Hidden Kitchen Prep Space With Only 4 Basic Tools
Meal prep can be challenging because most of us don’t have the kitchen of our dreams, nor do we have maid service. Competing for counter space are microwaves, toasters, mixers, blenders, food processors, canisters, dirty dishes, clean dishes, and anything else flat spaces attract. Somewhere in there, I promise, is hidden kitchen prep space for you to utilize, and I know you want to find that, because flat space is at a premium in most kitchens. I’m going to show you how to rethink your tools and get the most mileage from your
- cutting board
With these basic, inexpensive tools you can cut your prep time down and stop going crazy over lack of counter space.
First, head to IKEA for a $10 shopping spree and pick up the
- Idealisk colander
- Idealisk strainer
If you live on more than pizza delivery, you should already own a basic cutting board and knife.
Why You Need The Idealisk Colander
You may have noticed my strainer has a wider mesh than the Idealisk, but it’s the same design otherwise. Even with shipping, the Idealisk colander is worth adding to your kitchen. I own 2 and give this to young adults moving out, because it’s just that much better than other colanders.
Not sure why I’m going on about it? Here’s why it’s a big deal. It doesn’t sit down in your sink which means a major score for food safety. Unless you’re bleaching your sink regularly (as in daily), there’s nasty bacteria around that drain. That alone is a pretty great reason for this colander. Soap alone doesn’t kill the bacteria around sink drains, folks. However, the retractable arms hold it in place while you pour a pot of boiling water over it also mean convenience and safety. This is the the best designed colander available in my book, and it’s so inexpensive.
Make Your Tools Work As One
I admit I didn’t realize immediately how to optimize this to its fullest. I have a background in restaurants, but I stepped away from the industry to be a full-time mother. One day it just hit me how these fit together for maximum efficiency in tight spaces.
Of course you already use the colander for rinsing pasta, but your strainer may be bouncing around, taking up space, and generally getting in the way. But combined these two have superpowers! Look how they fit together!
That’s just the beginning of our prep party. Let’s make room on the dance floor for their buddy, cutting board, and now you’ve created counter space and a tight work triangle, the most efficient kitchen system.
Add their neighbor, knife, and have a full on prep party. Rinse, cut, drain – and if you want to peel, the disposal is hungry and at your beck and call.
Messy Kitchen Cheats
I’m not peeling, so I could get away with a few things in my left sink as long as I kept the rinsing strictly to the right sink. You don’t want anything from dirties to splash onto the food. In a pinch, you could put a clean Pyrex pan under the colander as a barrier, because sometimes life is crazy, and we don’t want drive-thru yet another night. Am I right?
Cutting Class – (Safety Tip)
Place the cutting board so the sink forms a “T” support under it for stability. If you have an extra long cutting board, that’s even better. I do have one, but I wanted to test this with my smallest board for the purpose of this post. Make sure to use a thick board that has no flex to it.
I know you’re probably thinking this doesn’t look easier than using a stainless bowl to the side of the sink, but it is because
- There is more economy of movement
- This is creating counter space not demanding it
- This lets the water drain
So it’s as easy as that! No counter space needed, compact work area, slice until you’re done, and it’s 1 trip to pour the veggies into the pot. Your dirties are already at the sink. Now that’s efficient!
I’d love to hear how have you combined kitchen tools to increase their productivity and make simple items workhorses! Please share your ideas in the comments!