Kitchenettes are tricky to handle, but cooking in a limited space is manageable. It takes some getting used to, especially if you were raised in a home with a larger kitchen, or have lived in apartments with larger kitchen space. Cooking in an apartment kitchenette puts your organizational and cooking skills to the test, but you should enjoy it. Here are just a few tips to help you get more pleasure and be safe:
Tip #1 – Use Ingredients that Don’t Stink
One of the main issues with kitchenettes is that the smell of anything you cook will quickly spread throughout the apartment, and just linger. That’s due to limited air circulation, and to avoid it, you should limit your options for what you cook. If it’s just you living in the apartment, and you can tolerate any smell, then you can skip this tip. However, if you’re having others over, or if you live with others, consider using ingredients that don’t “stink,” such as fresh fish or a pot of beans.
Tip #2 – Swap Microwave for Toaster/Convection Oven
Kitchenettes often come with a microwave, but that doesn’t mean you have to use one. A toaster and convection oven is lighter than a microwave, and can take up less space. It also doesn’t radiate the food you warm up or cook. You will have to wait longer for foods to heat up, but it’s a much healthier way to heat meals. You can also bake casseroles, muffins and any meal you want in a convection oven. Buy one that is stainless steel for durability and for a healthy way of cooking.
Tip #3 – Find an Alternative Food Preparation Station
Even though you’re working in limited space, you can still apply money saving principles to cooking meals in kitchenettes. For example, cooking and freezing a lot of meals once or twice a month or weekly will save you time and money. It’s tough to assemble all the ingredients, prepare the foods and package it when you’re working in tiny kitchen space. You can solve that problem by putting a table in another room for food preparation. Buy a long, rectangular table at a hardware store that folds. When you’re ready for your large cooking tasks, bring out the table and get to work. Put it up when you’re done.
Tip #4 – Choose Foods with Shorter Cooking Times
You may only have a hotplate to work with, which means you can cook one thing at a time. The most efficient way to cook is to use other equipment in addition to the hot plate, but also to cook foods on the hot plate that don’t take as long. For example, if you have a choice between cooking beans on the hot plate for chili, which takes hours, and buying healthy canned beans, then the latter is a better choice. You’ll shrink your cooking time to make the chili, which gets you out of the kitchenette faster.
Don’t forget to practice hospitality with others in your apartment. Kitchenettes have not stopped renters like you from cooking for others and enjoying their company.