Kitchen Utensils

Julie_MI_Z5October 26, 2005

Where do you keep your kitchen utensils? We donÂt have drawer space in the kitchen, so things like spatulas and spoons are in a crock on the microwave, and things like sharp knives are in a long narrow basket on a shelf over the stove (the kids are taller than me, but I still keep the knives "up high" LOL). The knife basket seems to have inherited extra sharp thingsÂradish cutters maybe? And maybe I can get rid of some knives, too.

New plan: Put the utensils we donÂt use in a dated shoe box in the cabinet over the refrigerator. If DH doesnÂt get them out in the next year, itÂs "safe" to throw them out (he does most of the cooking, but still has trouble letting go of anything "good" whether we use it or not).

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Spatula, spoons, etc. hang on a rack by the stove, within easy reach. Knives snd their steel are in an under-counter block. Miscellaneous (there really isn't that much -- kitchen shears, potholders, toothpicks, corkscrew, etc.) are in a drawer. That's it. I'm pretty ruthless about acquiring gadgets in the first place -- and about tossing them out (recycling, actually) if I find I don't use them.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 8:27AM
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The utensils I use daily are in a crock next to the stove. The serving spoons, the occasionally-used stuff, and clunky things like tongs, kitchen scissors and the pizza cutter live in the drawer next to the oven. The sharp knives are there, too, though I do have one of those magnetic knife strips that go on the wall that I want to hang up now that my kids are older and it wouldn't be a hazard.

I've tried to limit what I keep, and there's still room in the utensil drawer at the moment.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 9:03AM
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My utensils are all in drawers because I'm lucky to have enough drawer space. I have organized the smaller "odd" sometimes needed utensils into their own baskets in one drawer. This one thing has helped me so much because before I would go searching for something I thought I owned but could never find.

I lived in one apartment that had the 2 tiniest drawers in the kitchen and that was it. Even my cutlery holder was too big for the drawers. I ended up using a wicker basket holder that has 5 baskets to hold all my utensils.

At one of the Parade of Homes I went to, there was a beautiful bowl that was used for all the spatulas, etc. I had tried to find this size throughout the years but could not until just last week. There is a pottery maker in my town that I finally went into out of curiousity. He had the exact shape I've been seeking. It's called a tall bowl. When I move, I will have him make me one to hold my utensils that I do use often enough because I know I'll never have this much drawer space again.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 10:23AM
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I have adequate drawer space in this kitchen, but I haven't always, so I know it can be frustrating. The biggest help was weeding out the unused items.

I have a nice crock next to the stove for anything I use while cooking at the stovetop. The knives are in a wooden block which has a little holder thingy for the scissors.

Unlike Steve, I have to have my pot holders right out in the open. Can't spend time pulling open the drawer. I group items with how I use them. All of the mixing items are in one place, serving items together, etc. My DH can never seem to keep my system straight because it is so different from his mother's. I mean, why not keep the plates right next to the stove. What's the point in walking across the room for them?

My kitchen is old looking, with a 1950's stove, so I have the old fashioned canisters and breadbox on the counters. I only keep flour and coffee on the counter so I use the smaller ones to keep some items handy, but out of sight.

I keep kitchen towels in a basket under the sink. That's where you are standing with your hands dripping, right? Not keeping those in drawers freed up a bunch of space.

I also like those items which you can retro-fit shelves with sliding drawer components. Easier to put a basket in that a pull out than have it on a regular shelf.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Sort of a utensil - pot holders - I thought I'd contribute that I have a new place to put these. I inherited a short-sided trifle bowl (about a 9" bowl with a pedestal bottom), and have started using it on the counter next to the range to keep a stack of potholders in. It is great! Keeps them handy yet contained, and the small pedestal bottom doesn't take up a ton of space. I'm now keeping all three of the pedestal footed bowls/stands that I have out on the countertop and in use. They are very easy to clean around.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 3:48PM
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ooh, I like that pedestal-bowl idea, caseyb! I may try something like that for my potholders, which are currently perched on a ledge-like stretch of counter.

I keep meaning to set up hooks on this one wall; I'll have to get around to that.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 4:27PM
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I like pedestal bowls too, but use most of mine for the refrigerator where I really need to conserve space. Your right casey about that small footprint being easy to clean around!

I have a champagne bucket with an insert for two bottles, next to my stove. It's great; the insert gives me four compartments so I can organize my spatulas, wooden spoons, ladles, etc. accordingly. I have some spoons, spreaders, etc. in a small pitcher on a lazy susan topping the island. I also have a magnetic knife block there and paper towels, so I can reach them from three sides of my kitchen without having to go far.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 5:35PM
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The hanging utensils and trifle bowl ideas sound nice, but we have a very small kitchen with no wall space and no counter space. The crock for utensils sits on top of the microwave next to the stove; not ideal (I would prefer to have it out of sight) but it works.

I need to find out about a magnetic knife holder!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 5:16AM
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We have a very small kitchen, too. Luckily, I have 2 small cabinets on either side of and nothing above the stove. So I keep a crock with large spoons, spatulas, rolling pins, etc. on one small counter next to the stove. The small drawer under this has knives. The counter on the other side of the stove has the toaster oven on top and misc. utensils (measuring cups, garlic press, bottle opener, steamer, egg slicer, peeler, grater) in the drawer underneath. Pans and bowls are in the cabinet under that. I put wood strips with hooks along the side of this cabinet to hold frying pans. Above the stove I made a wooden thing - 2 long 8?" wide boards attached at a 90 degree angle - a shelf for decorative stuff above (that stuff was just in storage wasting space before), and a board along the wall with evenly spaced dowels below. I have pots, collander, cooling racks, a large pot cover and some pot holders hanging off these dowels. Then more pot holders hanging on a hook off to the side above the crock pot. The only reason I have to move when I'm cooking is to get something out of the fridge - one nice thing about a small kitchen:) Then in a smaller crock next to the fridge, I have pie server, spatula, pizza cutter, ice cream scoop. I have a scissors in a holder on the wall and an electric can opener attahed under a cabinet. That's pretty much it for gadgets. No more room - good thing!

I guess I always try to think about where I DO have space, not where I don't - if you don't have drawers or wall space, do you have cabinets with bottoms that you could attach something to? Sides of cabinets that you could put hooks on? Extra space in another room for storage? (I have a bureau in the dining room with towels, table cloths, hot plates, etc. I also have shelves under a desk in the office that I use like a pantry with extra food). Can you hang things inside cabinet doors?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:00AM
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Not a smidge of extra wall space in the kitchen. The one cabinet that has an "end" is where our calendar is. I think I would be happiest if my kitchen was bare and nothing was in sight. My wish list includes a pantry.

Good news: Last night I sorted out the spatula crock on the microwave AND the knife basket over the stove. The things I'm keeping for now went in a shoe box in a high cabinet. Got rid of some old knives (no doubt inherited from dead relatives), and flung a bag of cookie cutters I don't like from the high cabinet. Slow progress, but a step forward.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 8:57PM
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We have a pretty small kitchen. It's much better since remodeling, though, since there was no counter space next to the stove when we moved in. Now we have a small counter on one side of the stove. I have a crock on it with spoons, spatulas, etc. I also have a knife block there. It has space for larger knives & a pair of shears only. My MIL has one of the huge knife blocks that also holds several steak knives. I didn't want to take up the counter space with one that large. Flatware & misc. things like the corkscrew & ice cream scoop are in a drawer below that in a cutlery tray.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 1:18PM
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in my small kitchen, I now have a 9" cabinet by the stove; the drawer holds all the stuff that WAS in the crock; the bottom holds the griddle, tater-tots pan, grill pan, and broiler.

That little drawer has forced me to ditch most of my other stove-top utensils. I really only need 6, but I think I have 8: 2 flat flipping spatulas, 2 wooden spoons, 2 tongs, 1 pasta claw (used for serving, but this is the only place it fits), 1 ladle (ditto).

I'm lucky; there's also a drawer near the main prep space, so I use it for the prep utensils and other non-stove utensils: measuring spoons, ice cream scoop, small paring knives, etc. And on the other end of the kitchen (it's not THAT big), there's a drawer that holds all the baking utensils.

I really am glad I pared WAY down on the stovetop utensils! And I'm glad they're not in a crock anymore. It looked messy enough, but WAS even messier--all the stuff kept getting coated w/ grease, etc.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 12:34PM
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What is this and what is it for? Found it in my grandmothers kitchen afterr she passed and cant figure it out. Driving me crazy. :)
See link.


Here is a link that might be useful: Utensil pics

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I have a ceramic crock in which I store the most often-used spatulas, wooden spoons, etc. I also have two drawewrs full of miscellaneous utensils not used so often, such as measuring spoons and corkscrew.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 11:51AM
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Wow, pcthiker, never saw anything like that before. Hope someone here knows what it is. Very curious.
Kathy G in MI

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 9:45AM
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I think that is a tool for strawberries - you know, for getting out the tops. I forget the name. Can't swear to it though.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 10:41AM
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I have a crock next to the stove for spatula's and slotted spoons and wooden spoons. I store my knives next to the kitchen sink on one of those wonderful magnetic knife holders that is attached to the wall. I don't know how I ever lived without it. I had always wanted one, and finally ordered one from Amazon a few months ago.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 12:09AM
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Have you thought about sending the pictures to Cooks Illustrated? They have a small feature occasionally where they figure what an old kitchen tool is for.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 8:46AM
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