Microwave in the pantry

mrspeteNovember 14, 2012

I'm kicking around the idea of having the microwave in the pantry. I'm not sure whether I like or dislike the idea. My thoughts:

- The pantry is connected to the kitchen (not across the hall or similar, as I see in some plans), and the refrigerator is near the pantry door; thus, getting a plate of food and walking to the microwave would be a matter of steps.

- The pantry is plenty large enough to hold the microwave without sacrafice of space.

- We could plan a special shelf at an appropriate level.

- I do not tend to cook in the microwave much. I use it to melt butter or to warm leftovers. A baked potato every couple weeks, popcorn on a fairly frequent basis.

Benefit: In a small kitchen, I don't have to give up any counter space for the microwave. Microwaves aren't particularly attractive, even if built in.

Experiences?

Thanks in advance.

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maryl1

I think it would work out fine for your situation and it is convenient enough to access. I moved my microwave down into the basement kitchen when we renovated for many of the same reasons - I don't use it very often and I didn't want to give up counterspace for it as I have a small galley kitchen. I don't miss having it in the kitchen at all.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:16AM
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willtv

Our situation sounds almost identical to yours.
Our walk-in pantry is also connected directly to the kitchen.
Since we too use the MW for melting butter and re-heating leftovers, we did just as you're suggesting.
It's been 2 years since we completed the kitchen reno and it has worked out well.
Here's a shot of the pantry followed by a shot of the kitchen to pantry entryway.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 11:37AM
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localeater

I am in the midst of our kitchen project. During our demolition we used our microwave more and since my pantry had an outlet in it I put the microwave there. I was/am toying with the idea of leaving it there. But what I don't like about it is it makes my pantry smell like food, and this is even though we use it very rarely. I end up leaving the pantry door open to get the smell out. My pantry is rather tight normally, it maintains a cool temperature all summer long, perhaps this is why the smell is an issue for me. Before I committed permanently I would try reheating a slice of pizza in your microwave in the pantry even if it was only in there on the floor with an extension cord.
I also tried my rice cooker in there and that was a complete fail as it made the space very humid. Now my bread machine is staying there however.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:11PM
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aimskitchen

I was going to move the micro into the pantry, because I didn't want it over my cooktop or taking up valuable counter space. In trying to find a space for it though, we realized we had "dead" space in the back of the peninsula, where we could tuck the micro and a drawer under the counter. This way it's near the table, out of traffic and not taking up pantry space either. However, I still think it's a great idea to put it in the pantry if it works for you. I had been thinking, originally, of something like this:
http://smallnotebook.org/2011/10/20/open-kitchen-pantry-remodel-and-how-to-keep-it-pretty/

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 12:34PM
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wi-sailorgirl

We put ours in the microwave for pretty much the exact reasons you mention: we have a small kitchen so anything off the counter is good, they are ugly and we don't use it very often. That was one of the better decisions we've made. When we redo our kitchen we're just going to leave it in there because it works so well. We've not had any problems with food smells.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 3:39PM
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sawallis

We also have a small kitchen with practically no counter space, so ours is in the pantry closet. When we moved into the house we thought the previous owners were crazy for having a plug in the pantry, but honestly it's one of my favorite things about the kitchen. I don't do major cooking in it, but have never had any problems with food smells lingering in there.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:34PM
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mrspete

WillTV, Yes, our pantry will be "connected" to the kitchen much as yours is. No door, spaces only steps away. I'm glad to hear your endorsement of this idea.

LocalEater, I hadn't considered food smells. Moving the microwave in there and giving it a chance is an excellent idea. I am planning to store most of my appliances in the pantry, but things like the rice cooker are lightweight and can be moved back and forth easily.

AimsKitchen, Good idea, but I have no space similar to what you're describing.

WiSailor and AustinAggie, Thanks for verifying that it's a do-able idea.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:03PM
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sixtyohno

My micro is on shelf in the hallway/laundry area that adjoins the kitchen. I warm tea and melt butter and occasionally defrost something. Actually, these days I defrost in the sink under running water. I also wanted clear counters and a clean line of cabinets.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 10:00PM
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mtpam2

I don't know how you wouldn't get food smells in your pantry when you are using the microwave there. We use our microwave to reheat left-overs on a daily basis - mostly for lunches, as well as melting butter and cooking vegetables, so we wouldn't want it out of the kitchen proper - but we can certainly "smell" whatever has been warmed up. Of course our microwave is older, so maybe the newer ones keep the smell contained better?

I suppose it could depend on how strong a smell the food you are reheating has, but I can't imagine that the smell of microwave popcorn wouldn't linger! JMHO

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:30AM
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gayl

I have my microwave in my pantry and I love it. Unike you,I have a large kitchen and large pantry,but I am not a big microwave user and just didn't want to build it in in the kitchen, then have an issue in a few years if the same sized micro wasn't available for a replacement when needed. My pantry is easy to access and I had a shelf built in for it with shelves underneath. I have never been sorry I did this..

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 1:44AM
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ArchitectMamma

We are planning to put the microwave in the pantry to free up desperately needed counter space. We have a small Emerson that is "dorm" size and will fit on a 13" deep shelf. I think it is going to be great and glad to hear others are happy with that set up as well. I didn't have a microwave for 10 years so that is how little I use it and frankly you can do just about everything just as quickly on the range, you just have to wash a pan.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:37PM
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ArchitectMamma

We are planning to put the microwave in the pantry to free up desperately needed counter space. We have a small Emerson that is "dorm" size and will fit on a 13" deep shelf. I think it is going to be great and glad to hear others are happy with that set up as well. I didn't have a microwave for 10 years so that is how little I use it and frankly you can do just about everything just as quickly on the range, you just have to wash a pan.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 12:38PM
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mary9915

We also have our microwave in the pantry. We don't have a small kitchen, but I like empty counters.

I haven't noticed any odors from it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:25PM
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mrspete

mtpam2, Now that it's been brought to my attention, I agree that it's logical to assume food smells would linger in the pantry a bit. Perhaps the real question is, "Do you mind food smells lingering in the pantry?" For me, the answer is no. I don't mind. My pantry/kitchen will be open to one another -- no door, but a big, open space -- so I think food smells from the kitchen will migrate into the pantry. I can imagine that someone with a smaller, closed-off pantry would feel differently.

ArchitectMama, As I consider it, I think I'd be fine with a dorm-sized microwave. I have a larger one now, and I really don't use it for much. As long as I could fit in a dinner plate (for leftovers), I think I'd be fine with a smaller unit. I'm glad to have thought through this idea. I was just assuming I'd keep the size I have now.

Mary9915, I understand where you're coming from. Although our kitchen won't be large and spacious, we do have enough room to include the things that matter to us -- but I don't want to take up space with things I rarely use. I also like the idea of clean countertops.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 2:52PM
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allison0704

I had our trim carpenter build the pantry out to my specs. A table was built on the 3rd wall (based on a garden potting bench I had torn out of a magazine article). The toaster and microwave are on the table top. The thing I like best is having a place to put grocery bags for unpacking. It also provides a place for plate when toaster sandwich or bowl for pouring cereal. All of our food is stored in the pantry (nothing but spices and cooking oils in the kitchen area).

I love my pantry. It holds a lot more than it appears in pictures. The right side shelves are deeper (built over/around an HVAC return). There is way more on the shelves now.

Here is a link that might be useful: my pantry - last 2 pictures

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:24PM
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segbrown

Ours isn't in a pantry, but it's in a hutch. Just another idea, for anyone interested. I love having it behind doors

Doors shut:

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 6:54PM
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