Flour and Sugar Drawers or Bins

MichelleDTMarch 18, 2012

Do you have flour and sugar drawers/bins integrated in your cabinets? I saw this on the Pioneer Woman's site.

If you have a version, would you share pics?

I really want to do this in the baking center.

Thanks in advance.

Michelle

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Linelle

I like the idea of this, esp. all clean and brand-new, but I would worry about funkiness over time. And ants. And moths. Oh, the horror!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 4:21PM
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remodelfla

Here's a thread on this topic from a few months back

Here is a link that might be useful: flour bins

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 4:31PM
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Poohpup

I've gotta agree with linelle. I'd be concerned they'd be a pain to clean and keep pest free. They look cool though.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 4:32PM
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MichelleDT

Thanks for the link to the other thread. Looks like a couple different options. Bay leaves - yet another use to keep the bugs away although I don't have an issue with ants or other bugs in the house today other than the occasional spider in the fall or a pesky fly when Mister leaves the slider screen cracked.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 4:49PM
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marcia59

I would think it would be very hard to rotate your stock. That is, to make sure you're using up the last bits of the old stuff before you start in on your new stuff. Things go bad eventually, particularly flour. If you're working directly from the original packaging, it's obviously easy. You finish one package before you start the next. I keep some items like this in canisters on the counter. I certainly see the appeal of getting that stuff off the counter. But when I'm getting down to the very bottom of a canister of flour, if I'm not going to finish it completely before I open the new package, I empty the last little bits of flour into a bowl, pour the new bag of flour into the canister and pour the old flour on top, to make sure it gets used rather than just aging at the bottom of the canister. And every couple of bags, I throw the canister in the dishwasher, just on general principles.

Now, if drawers like that came with a removable liner so that you were actually putting the flour, etc into something that could be lifted out, emptied, washed, etc, I think that would be different.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 5:15PM
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2LittleFishies

Looks awesome but I agree with the other posts. Removable liners would be great.
In my baking station i plan to have a drawer where I'll line up my tall Tupperware containers with flour, sugar etc. but they have lids. They are wide enough to dip my measuring cups into.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 6:13PM
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Poohpup

Another possibility is to have glass fronts where the flour is "sandwiched" between the glass and some kind of back. Then you could have the look you like without the potential issues of cleaning and bugs. You could keep your closed flour and such behind the pretty glass fronts. I've seen people do this with pasta. If that doesn't make sense, I'll try to find some pictures.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 6:57PM
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MichelleDT

Poohpup,

Can't visualize that...I was hoping for it to be functional so all I have to do is scoop the flour and sugar from the bin to the scale and move on with baking. I would think that I could find drawers or inserts that could be removed for cleaning but perhaps not. I have to do some more research.

Canisters would work but Mister does not like the look or counter clutter. He does enjoy the results of the baking tho. ;-)

M

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 7:09PM
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waterdamage

I see the appeal. I would definitely worry about moths etc.

For us, canisters on an upper corner lazy susan work better. We like to keep small amounts of lots of different kinds of flours and sugars.

Hope you can find what you're looking for.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:21PM
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Linelle

I don't have an issue with ants

Famous last words. Sorry, I don't think anyone really expects ants, but making all that sugar so accessible is way too inviting to those little buggers.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:13PM
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desertsteph

"I've gotta agree with linelle.'

me too.

I've seen PW's bins but remember she probably goes thru a huge bag of flour in a week or 2. I haven't used 5 lbs in 3 yrs! obviously, not for me! I keep mine in the freezer.

I just threw out a 1lb box of sugar i know has been in my cabinet for over 2 yrs.

I've seen the 'display' fronts on drawers. I think someone posted some here a good time back. Maybe someone remembers who/when and can pull it up. They were to the front and left of her cabs - facing away from the kitchen proper - so the 'display' was visible from the eating area/DR?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:14PM
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Poohpup

Talking about drawers like these. Only instead of pasta, you could have flour, sugar, etc. Then you could have anything you wanted behind the display inside the drawers. Removable bins, canisters, bags of flours, whatever.

mediterranean kitchen design by austin interior designer Richens Designs, Inc.

traditional kitchen design by chicago architect Becker Architects Limited

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 9:24PM
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ci_lantro

Several years ago there was a picture floating around the kitchen forum where a GW'er had used stainless steel steam table inserts/ pans (and solid lids) for flour/ sugar, etc. As I recall, these were fitted into a drawer.

These type of pans are also available in clear plastic.

Anyway, I thought it was such a great idea & worth passing on. Hopefully, someone else will remember these and maybe has saved a photo that they can share.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:35AM
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AnnaA

That famous question - if you could do it all over again, what would you have done different? For me, I keep most of my baking supplies in the frig - the open bags of flour, nuts, etc, for fear of bugs. Takes lots of space since I bake using lots of alternative flours. I wish I would have created a little mini frig, similar to a wine frig, in my baking center, just to free up big frig space and have the convenience (& safety) that MichelleDT seems to be after.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:18AM
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MichelleDT

Thanks Poohpup - I get it now.

Ci_lantro - Great idea to use the steel insert pans and I have seen them in clear plastic which would be better so contents are easily identified....easy to scoop and clean too.

There will be a refrigerator in the pantry as well as a freezer so I guess the plastic bins could be stored there too.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 11:01AM
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davidro1

As ci_lantro posted, once you find these steam pans you will also find plastic ones. There are two kinds of plastic: oven-ready, and cheap regular plastic.

keywords for web search : Sixth size steam pans

If I had to do it all over again, I would find a way to put a row of sixth size steam pans along the wall, under the counter, using a strip of wood countertop material with cutout holes for each opening. This makes my total counter a bit larger than a 26" counter depth. Blum / Ikea drawers need 20 in. to 21 inches.

Each pan would be for a different purpose. Mix and match over time. Two or three of them could be like a garbage chute, one for compostables, one for other stuff, etc.

The restaurant industry uses them for serving hot OR refrigerated food.

If I had to do it all over again, in 20 years from now, AND if I had an unlimited amount of time and money to force things to happen, in preparation for the big date I would make arrangements to have undermount "steam" pans for COLD things, refrigerated. Talk about handy. Counter_sunk accessible cheeses, hummus, broccoli, rapini, whatever you like.

The restaurant industry already does this.
keywords for web search: commercial sandwich fridge

About sugar:
If I had to do it all over again, in 20 years from now, AND if I had an unlimited amount of time and money to force things to happen, in preparation for the big date I would make arrangements to have sugar be dispensed from a nozzle in one of the wallmount cabinets (upper cabinets), and I would ensure that not one grain of sugar ever got loose. I don't know how this would be done, but I know what I want.

About flour:
It is not a problem to use a closed storage container. I believe that flour is too bugworthy to store safely in an open container for years on end.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:06PM
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LilFlowers MJLN

I haven't read anyone else's posts and just wanted to give my 2 cents about these drawers. I don't think I would want them in my kitchen. I think of the scene in "Anne of Green Gables" where she is baking something and finds a dead rat in the flour and bakes anyway only to stop them from eating right before they put it in their mouth. My containers that I use for flour and sugar get dingy over time. I can just about imagine how these would look even after cleaning them every time it was emptied. I can also imagine one of my 4 boys would think of the flour as snow and lay their toys in there for me to find when I'm trying to bake something. I love the way these look but know that they aren't right for me. Oh and let's not talk about the humidity that we have in the Louisianian parts. The sugar would be extremely hard. I do, however, like the idea of a full pullout drawer with all the items that I need for baking right at my disposal in the island across from the oven.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:21PM
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ci_lantro

David--You can still buy the tin sugar & flour sifter bins like were used in the old Hoosier cabinets. There are several configurations and 2 or 3 different sizes available.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoosier Flour & Sugar Sifter Bins

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 6:52PM
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MichelleDT

Ci_lantro - thanks for that link....that would be perfect mounted on the wall, solves the first in, first out problem and can be cleaned easier than a drawer.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:24PM
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marcolo

There is a ready-made, rather vintage-looking wooden rack with custom containers that you can get in the UK for flour, sugar, spices in jars and various sundries. It's pretty cute looking, comes in multiple colors and seems to seal up tightly IIRC. Anybody remember what I mean? I emailed the woman once, and she does ship to the US. They're about $1500.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:38PM
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marcolo

Found it!

Available from a UK website.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:54PM
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MichelleDT

From the hoosier sifter details:

"Please note that we do not recommend you use these bins for food products. Their intended use is for the restoration of antique kitchen cabinets."

:-(

The cabinet from the UK is cute.

M

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:26PM
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ci_lantro

Well, crap. I didn't notice that. Just found that site today. Wonder what the heck those bins are made out of?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Poohpup

Ohhhh . . . . . . I think Deedles needs those in her kitchen with her awesome range!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 9:30PM
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edie_g

What a great idea, AnnaA. During the summer, I keep all extra flours, baking supplies and beans in the fridge.

The first drawer under my baking counter is a double one. I have 2 6 qt. cambro containers for flour and sugar; 3 cracker jars for brown sugar, baking soda, and corn meal; and other jars for baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and vanilla The 2nd drawer holds bread flour, WW flour, masa, confectioner's sugar, cocoa and other baking supplies.

It is easy to open the drawer, take off the lid and scoop from the container without removing it from the drawer. So handy (and no bugs or countertop canisters).

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 11:25PM
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lalithar

I investigated the vintage-y wall mounted Flour containers as well. You can also just buy the containers and get your cabinet guy to make something like this. But the problem again was lack of airtight storage. I am looking into these custom inserts made of food safe poly that can have a lid like a bread drawer. But my mom made a good comment that it is a lot more convenient to be able to get all the containers on the counter and measure into the bowl or scale. If the flour or sugar are in the drawers, then it will mean bending down multiple times and possibility of spills. If the deeper drawers could be the top drawer, then maybe the ergonomics will be better.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:29AM
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MichelleDT

Edie_g - can you post a picture of your drawers? I just ordered a couple Cambro containers while I ponder what to do for a final solution.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:40AM
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modthyrth

Aw, it was love at first sight for the wall dispensers that ci_lantro posted! Really, Kennedy Hardware? Really? Not recommended for food products...grumble...(**&%&... Why the *bleep* make them, then?

Such brief elation, so quickly are hopes dashed.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:04AM
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zelmar

I wanted my baking canisters on the counter without having the clutter and the additional items to clean around. We put a tall cabinet into our baking area with a pull out shelf at counter height. I pull out the shelf with all of my most-used baking ingredients on it and leave it out the entire time I'm baking. Then it tucks away when I'm done.

I prefer this to a drawer because I don't want to open and close a drawer every time I want more flour (unless it's out of the way enough that it can be left open.) I also prefer to be dipping and measuring closer to my eye level--less potential for spilling and less bending. If a drawer is too wide, you have to be careful of the impact if you plan to have others working in the kitchen with you. Will the other person have to move every time you want something in the drawer?

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:14AM
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ci_lantro

Re--those sifter containers from Kennedy Hdwe--I got to wondering if that disclaimer about not recommending for food products is just some legal CYA. Maybe because they don't have NSF seal of approval or something? Might be worth a call to Kennedy for more info?

Anyway, this discussion made me realize something positive about my crummy old kitchen. I have one of those pie-cut lazy susans, the kind where the door is fixed to the susan, like the image on the left...

I keep my sugar & flour canisters on the susan...open the susan and use out of the canister w/o ever removing it from the shelf. Really is a handy arrangement except for the fact that the susan is across the kitchen from where I have room for the mixer. :(

I only keep all-purpose flour there; the other specialty flours are stored in refrigerator or freezer. So, in a MNO (money no object!) Kitchen, refrig/ freezer drawers would be nice in the baking area.

I'm figuring that I'll use the Cambro type containers in a drawer in the new kitchen unless a better solution pops up. (I nixed a susan in favor of a huge blind corner cabinet that we have already built.) The Cambros will be at about the same height as the they would be on the Susan which is a convenient height for me (I'm an average 'almost' 5'5''.)

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:23AM
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mtnfever

davidro1, The Galley Sink that plllog mentions in the DAT Steampunk thread might work for some of the ''wants'' that you mentioned, although in 20 yrs when you remodel I'm sure there'll be improvements lol.

I put a link to a wall-mount food dispenser that could be used for flour. If you have a pantry wall adjoining your counter, how cool to have the bin through the wall. Cleanable too.

Lots of interesting things to look at on this topic, thanks for posting the topic MichelleDT!

cheers

Here is a link that might be useful: gravity-feed food wall dispenser

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:30PM
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Debbi Branka

I'm getting those drawers in my island. Originally we had planned on potatoes and onions, but now we're considering just putting a bit in the front between the glass and a divider, and having the "real" stuff behind. I'm having an issue with pulls/knobs that will fit mine though.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 2:52PM
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edie_g

Sorry, Michelle, I don't have any pics.
We're DIYers and while the kitchen is functional, we're slooowly working on a long punch list.

My baking counter is 48" wide and 34" high.
I have 2 drawer stacks: 21" with 3 drawers (top one is double height) which hold the flours and other supplies, and 27" with 4 drawers: top 2 hold baking spices and utensils, 3rd one is for mixing bowls and measuring cups, 4th one stores baking pans/sheets/racks.

I love the 48" width; would not want it to be any smaller. I stand in front of the 27" stack and can easily access everything in the 21".

I spent ages measuring my stuff and figuring out how to arrange things for the way I cook. Time well spent.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:57PM
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itsdonnagail

any of you figure out how to get this look without the downsides?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:47PM
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writersblock

Since this thread got a bump, the answer to why they say not to use the hoosier bins for flour is that they are made of soldered tin and the solder may contain lead.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 12:13AM
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Awnmyown

I didn't do the display bins, but instead of using my built-in cabinet garbage bins for garbage, I made one pull-out garbage drawer dedicated to my flour and sugar. Those pull-out garbage bins are a food-safe plastic (I investigated) and you can buy lids that seal to keep the flour and sugar from being invaded by bugs.

Granted if you don't bake a ton it's not too useful, but I can go through 5 lbs of flour in under a month, so I love it. I always run the bin empty, wash it out and then restock. Works great!! And it's super easy to roll it out, scoop and roll it away. Especially with dirty hands, and it's RIGHT next to my standmixer, so convenience is everything.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:12PM
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sjhockeyfan325

if you don't bake a ton it's not too useful, but I can go through 5 lbs of flour in under a month, so I love it

I'm glad you do, but since you use 5 lbs of flour a month, wouldn't it be just as easy to have a 5-lb. canister? How many 5-lb bags of flour does a trash can hold?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 1:16PM
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