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Five Fundamentals for a Gourmet Kitchen

 

 
 
A Reuters/Ipsos poll from January 2017 discovered 30% of Americans are eating out less than they had just three months prior. If you find yourself eating in more or trying meal kits, don’t let your kitchen become a hindrance on your adventurous cooking. You don’t need a huge, high-end kitchen to cook like a gourmet chef. A highly functional kitchen makes for a gourmet kitchen. Focus on these five areas to improve the functionality of your kitchen, and you'll feel like a cooking connoisseur in no time.
 
Sensible Design
 
   
     
  Function starts with design. Your kitchen layout should be conducive to moving about your main work stations. A good guideline for that has been the work triangle.

The kitchen work triangle focuses on the appropriate spacing of your sink, refrigerator, and cooking appliance. Joining the center of each creates three legs of a triangle. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends keeping four feet of space between the centers of each, but no more than nine feet. It is also recommended that no major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.

When accounting for multiple sinks, separate cooktops and ovens, or more than one person cooking and prepping at a time, you will need to re-evaluate the triangle. If you can’t change the flow of your kitchen, just keep in mind the distance between work stations and divide work so that you aren’t interrupting the flow of others. Adding a pot filler could help limit trips between your cook space and sink.
 
     
Prep and Entertaining Space
 
In addition to the distance between your appliances and sink, think about the area needed for prep and entertaining. If you have a large amount of countertop space in your kitchen, consider adding a prep sink to limit trips or to allow for multiple people to cook and prep at one time. If you are limited with a smaller footprint, make the most of your cutting space by mounting knives to the wall rather than taking up countertops with a butcher block set. Find a cutting board that can securely fit across or inside your sink. Not only will this remove the need for a spot on the countertop, but you can then easily dispose of scraps if you have a disposal.

For entertaining, presentation is key. A clean kitchen is a presentable kitchen. To aid in cleaning, consider non-porous surfaces throughout, such as quartz for your countertops. If you can’t make major upgrades to your kitchen, splurging on something like nice serving ware creates a high-end look without the significant financial commitment. Think tall with tiered serving trays, especially if counter space is at a premium. Find a multi-use kitchen cart that not only provides storage and extra counter space, but also has an overhang for stools.
 
 
Commercial-grade fixtures and appliances
 
A great flow around your fixtures and appliances won’t help matters much if those items don’t function well. Gourmet kitchen appliances and fixtures should keep food at the right temperature and perform better and faster all around.

Quality food requires the appropriate temperature for storing and cooking. Make sure your refrigerator is working properly and food is dated. For cooking, many cooks prefer gas stoves because of the instant flame and the better control of the temperature. However, if a gas stove is just not possible, get to know your appliances well to understand where you need to adjust cook times and plan accordingly. If you can’t make any big changes to your appliances, add appliance pulls for a more updated and high-end look. In addition to the refrigerator and stovetop, consider upgrading your faucet or faucets. Changing out a faucet is pretty simple and can add a whole lot of functionality to your space for prep and cleanup . Adding a faucet with a hand spray provides extended reach and extra maneuverability.
 
 
Ventilation
 
   
     
  When bringing the heat with commercial-grade appliances, you’ll also need to properly ventilate your cooking space. Ventilation will help to keep your kitchen clean by preventing grease and steam from being spread all over the room. Plus, setting off the smoke detector doesn’t really scream "gourmet cooking in progress ."

When determining which range hood is best for your kitchen, you will need to take into account the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of the range hood. This measurement indicates how much air a fan can ventilate per minute. Your range hood should be able to completely cycle the air in your kitchen every 4 minutes. To determine the CFM, you’ll need to multiply the length, width, and height of your kitchen to find the cubic feet. Then divide that by four to get the CFM rating.

CFM is also calculated differently for electric and gas stoves. Electric stoves require 100 CFM per 10” of width. The heat emitted from gas stovetops are measured in BTUs. Divide the BTUs by 100.

The highest of the numbers from either the stovetop CFM measurement or the kitchen dimensions is the minimum CFM your range hood should meet. We’d recommend going beyond the minimum to result in more air being exhausted and cleaned faster.
 
     
Organization
 
   
     
  Gourmet cooking typically requires a lot of cooking supplies and utensils. Having these items easy to access, yet also not cluttering your space, is critical. If you aren’t blessed with enough cabinet space, think up. Add open, vertical shelving in areas that are currently unused, like the side of a cabinet. Mount spice jars to cabinet doors or under the cabinets using magnetic jars and strips. Hang your nice pots and pans from the ceiling. Empty oils and vinegars into stylish jars that also match your look; they can be kept out for quick use and decor. For pieces that have to sit out on your counter, find ones that fit your design style and coordinate with colors of appliances. If you have a more modern design, opt for sleek, enclosed storage jars. Meanwhile, a more rustic design style might utilize open galvanized tins or wired baskets for extra storage.