advantage of prepping near main (only) sink

illinigirlDecember 16, 2013

going back and forth many times about my kitchen layout and one thing that keeps creeping back in my head is the disadvantage it would be to prep near a dedicated prep sink and then have to relocate the dirty prep items to the cleanup sink later. I love the idea of prepping and then putting all the dirty things (especially when baking) into the cleanup sink so they are right near the dishwasher for loading.

Has anyone have this similar thought process? How close in general should a prep sink or a prep space in general be to the cleanup ease the cleanup part of prep?

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That's not an advantage at all in a multi cook household where you have someone helping you. When you've got two people in the kitchen, one does the main prep, another does the secondary prep, and also moves the dirties into the cleanup sink. Ideally, the two sinks aren't terribly far apart. No more than 10'. Often, it works best for them to be across the aisle from each other and end up about 5'-6' apart with just enough offset that the two work stations aren't butt to butt.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 7:48PM
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I would want them near each other across the aisle as GD says, when either working alone or with others. Few steps back and over isn't a big deal, imo.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Fori is not pleased

It's what I've always LIKED to do but often--especially when entertaining--there's so much yet-to-be-cleaned-up stuff by the sink that I end up wandering anyway.

I also like to cook with the dishwasher open (drawer style--less painful) so I can put stuff directly in.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Gd that sounds nice to have a helper like that.... I have yet to experience such a thing though.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 8:16PM
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I work in my kitchen by myself. I WAS going to have a second sink, mostly to keep my MIL out of my workspace when she needed to fill her glass, or other sink needs. It sounds sort of petty, but she is large, and has balance problems, and instead of just moving on past me, she would grab the counter and STOP, as if I would just knock her down.

Mute now, as she has moved in with her sister. So, I have one sink, right in the middle of my space, and have yet to feel like I NEED a second sink. My kitchen is a U-shape, 14 feet wide, and about 10 feet deep. Not big, but plenty for a one old cook kitchen!!


    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 9:55PM
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I agree with above posters. Whether or not you need a second sink depends on how many people are in your household and how much you entertain. I have one on the island right across from the main sink. I prep next to the main sink for all the reasons you mention but I also have kids and the occasional extended family member or sitter or someone at the house.

Contrary to convention, I put my filtered water on the island sink. That way, anyone can help themselves and be out of my way. Occasionally, when both my husband and I are prepping, we will use both sinks for prepping or I will be cleaning in the main sink and he can rinse veggies or do other things on the island. We tend not to wash a lot of things in the prep sink because I will just do more of the washing in the main sink or put things into the DW. However, I might go back to using the steel wool for small pots with burnt stuff but only in the stainless steel prep sink as I am worried about scratching the fire clay sink accidentally.

For large parties, I can see the prep sink being very useful. Some say, they even just fill it with ice and use it to hold beer/wine.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 10:10PM
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I never heard of prep sinks before I found this forum, so I don't have one. But I have 2 separate bowls next to each other with a single faucet. The counter begins with DW, then 18" trash (raised DW, so needed some cab b/w DW and sink), then the 2 bowls and 45" prep followed by the cooktop.

As I'm the only cook and very rarely get help, only for cleaning the table, I very happy with this arrangement. If you don't have anyone helping you and don't expect one in the future, you may consider something similar to this.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 5:59AM
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I have only one sink. If I did have a "prep" sink it would mostly be used for getting a drink of water or hand washing. I can't imagine prepping with some of the small prep sinks I see. I think most of the prep takes place on the counter next to the sink, not actually in the sink. So you could have a person on each side of the sink if needed.

edited for mistakes

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Tue, Dec 17, 13 at 14:00

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 8:19AM
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I also had never heard of a prep sink before coming to GW. I can't imagine having one unless I had help in the kitchen, which, alas, has never quite been the situation. I would have to rethink the entire process of prep/cook/clean. I've always been a clean as I go person and I don't even think about the breakdown or categorization of steps along the way.

Now that I have a large, single-bowl sink, there's room for everything. I tend to use the half closest to my adjacent counter for prep and the other half for stuff waiting to be rinsed/cleaned. In a small G-shaped kitchen/cockpit, it's a functional and convenient setup with everything one step away.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Holly- Kay

If you are an only cook you probably don't need a prep sink. I don't have one and I don't need a prep sink as I am the only cook even on holidays. My kitchen is small and I do my prep on the island. I literally just have to turn around and there is the sink. I can't believe the ease of preparing a meal now. Before starting my reno I lamented having a small kitchen but the great layout has made me realize that this kitchen is exactly what I need.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 12:06PM
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A primary goal of my remodel was getting a 2nd sink. My dh does a lot of the clean up in our kitchen, but I also clean as I prep. Sometimes I set aside cutting boards, knives, measuring cups/spoons by the prep sink which I may or may not use again before washing them. The prep sink is also a great place to put something that is thawing or draining. It used to bother me to have someone come and clean something or wash hands near those kinds of "waiting" things; having clean-up in a separate sink eliminates that stress and the stress of trying to get water (for a pot, or to drink) while someone else is washing stuff.
Moving things from the prep to the clean-up sink hasn't been a big problem even though I have to walk around a corner of my island to do it. I have the option to wash at the prep sink if I want to (soap dispensers at both), or to take things to "his" sink and clear mine for the next task.
If we had unlimited money and did more entertaining, I'd have put in a 3rd sink near a beverage station/bar. But two is the right number for our family.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2013 at 5:06PM
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95% of the time I am the only cook and cleaner in my kitchen. I have two sinks and I LOVE this arrangement. I always hated prepping over dirty dishes. I only prep at the cleanup sink now if I've put a coat of finish on my walnut island and need to stay off of it for the evening.

The advantages of a prep sink are many. Some have been mentioned already. Another, however, is the fact that the prep sink is closer to the food (pantry and fridge) than the cleanup sink is. I don't understand using a cleanup sink for prep in a properly designed kitchen.

For dirty prep dishes, utensils, etc., I usually set them next to the prep sink and then carry them over in a group as I have a second when I've put a completed dish in the oven or put the prepped food to cook on the rangetop. I've usually got a big prep bowl from mixing something or the other so I just throw the measuring cups/spoons and small prep bowls inside that so its simple to carry to the cleanup sink.

My prep sink is small, but it's mighty. :)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 1:18AM
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