How to Cook During a Kitchen Remodel
The Benefits and Challenges of a Kitchen Remodel
Are you considering remodeling your kitchen? It’s a great idea, not only because it can increase your enjoyment of your home, but also because it offers a significant return on investment: over 80 percent, by some estimates. Even as you are dreaming of a new kitchen, though, it has to have occurred to you that cooking during kitchen renovation is going to be a challenge. Here, we offer some tips on how to continue to prepare meals, even when your kitchen is under construction.
Create a Kitchenette
Sure, ordering in can be fun, but you certainly don’t want to do that every night for the length of your renovation. It’s much better to set up a temporary kitchen, where you can store some food, prepare simple meals and clean up afterwards easily. To do this, designate a spot in your house, with a sturdy surface, where you will be able to wash and dry dishes and have an accessible plug for appliances. You can use a bathroom or laundry room sink, or if it’s more convenient, just set up a plastic wash tub to use. Gather all the tools you will need, including pots, pans, plates, knives, utensils, a cutting board, can opener, mixing bowl, spatula, and wooden spoon. Find space to store these supplies, even if it’s just a large, lidded tote or a bookshelf. Plan to store food stuffs, too, including non-perishable items and pantry staples. Depending on your budget, it may be worth getting a mini fridge, to keep your perishables close at hand, especially if you are not able to keep your refrigerator plugged in during the renovation. If your temporary kitchen is carpeted, be sure to use a drop cloth, to avoid ruining the carpet.
Use Countertop Appliances
You would be amazed at the number of meals you can prepare using only an Instant Pot, slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven, electric teakettle, and portable hot pot stove. Add a blender, and you have just about everything you could possibly need to prepare a meal! You don’t have to use all of these, of course, and you can customize your kitchenette to fit the way your family eats and meet your needs for the length of your kitchen remodel.
Cook in Advance
Assuming you still have access to your freezer, it is smart to prepare meals ahead of time and freeze them. That way, all you need to do is defrost and heat them, and you are ready to serve dinner. It pays to do some advanced planning, looking for recipes that freeze well, like soups, stews, cooked grains, lasagna, and casseroles, and freeze them in small portions so they will defrost quickly and be easier to warm.
Plan Simple Meals
While you are meal planning, make sure to choose some “no cook” meals, to make it easier on yourself. Have snacks that can be easily stored and just as easily grabbed when someone is hungry. When you cook, make enough to have leftovers the next day, to save on labor.
Be a Smart Shopper
Shop in a way that helps minimize kitchen prep work. Buy vegetables that are pre-washed or even pre-prepared, like chopped or cubed vegetables. When you can buy things pre-cooked without wrecking your budget or sacrificing flavor, do that, too. Choose store-bought sauces and dips, like pesto, marinara, and hummus, to reduce the amount of work you will have to do in a makeshift kitchenette.
Clean as You Go
A kitchen remodel can be overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel that even more when the place is a mess. In a smaller kitchenette, a mess can accumulate quickly, so it’s best to clean as you go. This also gives you more room to eat or prepare the next meal. Having a bathroom or laundry room sink can make washing dishes easier, but if you don’t try setting up two wash tubs, one with soapy water and one with clear. That way, you can wash and rinse fairly easily. If you’re worried about the rinse water becoming dirty, empty it and replace the water as you go along.
Remember that this remodel is something that is eventually going to be well worth it, and try to just let yourself go with the process. Keep a sense of humor, and be patient, not only with the remodel, but with each other. Things might go wrong, but this is something you chose to do, and it will make your life better in the long run.
Capitol Design Build Makes Kitchen Renovation Easier
When it’s time to remodel your kitchen, Capitol Design Build can help. In fact, we will even provide you with a temporary kitchen, including a small cabinet, countertop, microwave, and refrigerator, to use during your kitchen renovation. We’ve been performing custom remodeling since 1989 and building custom, high-end homes in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area since 1998. We serve businesses and individuals in Virginia, Washington D.C, and Maryland, meeting every need from kitchen renovation and bathroom remodeling to custom home design and building. With experience spanning many disciplines, including engineering, design, remodeling, construction, and customer service, we look forward to working with you. Feel free to shop our website, call us at (703) 436-6919, or contact us online for a free, no-obligation estimate.