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What is in a minimalist kitchen?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
I went through my cupboards a few days ago, and donated and tossed a lot of stuff.. I have 6 family members, yet I have found that even if a home has many bedrooms that does not mean they necessarily have a bigger kitchen..:

So I questioned each and every thing I kept.. so here's the task..

I will give you a fridge and an oven as a freebie.. (since most kitchens come with them in my experience).. but the rest of your kitchen items must fit withing the following limits: (Want to play?~!)

Only three small appliances (microwave, blender, toaster, toaster oven, mixer, crockpot, rice cooker, coffeemaker, etc)

Only three bakeware items (cake pan, muffin pan, cookie sheet, dutch oven, etc)

Only three cookware items (pasta pot, tea pot, sauce pan, skillet, etc)

1 mixing bowl

3 SMALL "you picks" (measuring cup? rolling pin? a special holiday item? What would you make room for?)

I will assume you need 1 plate, bowl, cup for each family member, and some mixing spoons/spatulas, but what would be minimalist for you here?

Please put brand names as well if you have a preference!
post #2 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
Only three small appliances (microwave, blender, toaster, toaster oven, mixer, crockpot, rice cooker, coffeemaker, etc)
Ok- so I figured that I could make toast in the oven if I had to, and I rarely have owned a mixer, so I definitely could do without that.. but dp is Asian, so the
rice cooker is priority number 1
I could live without a microwave, but I really like smoothies, so I need to keep my blender, and crockpot (which I would have to say must be one of the bigger size ones- I have one that has the lid latch on thing so I can easily use it for potlatches, etc).. so there's my three..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
Only three bakeware items (cake pan, muffin pan, cookie sheet, dutch oven, etc)
I actually use most of my bakeware from Pampered chef and romertopf..

so I would need

Romertopf clay baker (big enough for a whole chicken- although I am not sure what I would do come Thanksgiving- because the turkey size one is kind of ridiculous for chickens..

pyrex glass cake pan 13 by 9 (I COULD bake a turkey in here with the bag on it, so I guess that would work) plus I can bake cakes, muffin squares, etc in this. Could also be used for casseroles..

pampered chef stoneware brownie pan- I actually use this as a cookie sheet since the sides are rather short- can also be used for pizza, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
Only three cookware items (pasta pot, tea pot, sauce pan, skillet, etc)
Since I would no longer have a coffee pot, I suppose i would need a stove top coffee pot

stainless steel pasta pot (deep and also good for soup)

cast iron skillet- deep and large with lid for omelets and stir fry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
1 mixing bowl
pyrex bowl- the one with the lid and dividers- good for salad bowl, mixing bowl, and potlatches.. is oven safe, so I could also use for casseroles or round cakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
3 SMALL "you picks" (measuring cup? rolling pin? a special holiday item? What would you make room for?)
the pampered chef measuring cup with lid- can be used for food storage, can be used as a mixing bowl (they have 4 cup size or 2 cup size) seems to have a lot of multiple uses in my house

I don't ever use a rolling pin- if I can't flatten it with my hands or a fork, then it just isn't going to be flat..

a glass pitcher (I had one for a wedding present and LOVED it!)

hmmm.. set of refrigerator boxes! Pyrex sells them as a set, and come in a couple of different sizes- I have baked bread in the largest size. Mostly I use these for leftover storage
post #3 of 42
lol, minimalist doesn't have to be ridiculous! here's what's in my realistic minimalist kitchen. we're a family of four.

six plates, six bowls, about 12 glasses, a few mugs and the sparse remains of what used to be 8 place settings of flatware
two modest-sized platters and three serving bowls
pitcher which doubles as a flower vase
cake stand - i use it several times a year, it's stashed above the fridge, and our platters are rectangular so i really need a round cake stand! okay . . . maybe not.

dish pan and drying rack, dish soap decanted into handsoap dispenser to serve both purposes
small stack of dish rags, small stack of dish towels

cooking utensils: bamboo spoons, metal spatula, silicone spatula, silicone basting brush, measuring cups and spoons, glass 2c measuring cup for liquids, glass 8c measuring cup / batter bowl which is my sole mixing bowl, pizza cutter, veggie peeler, manual juicer, set of knives.
large cutting board and small cutting board.
one jelly roll pan and two cooling racks (i'd like a muffin tin though too!)
one glass casserole dish and a set of glass dishes i both bake in and use for leftovers
two stock pots, a saucepan with a steamer insert, and two frying pans
two colanders (could get rid of one!)
tea pot

i could get rid of: espresso maker (dh's), crockpot, toaster and hand mixer. we have no other small appliances.

i really think this list is pretty basic for a family that cooks and eats at home.
post #4 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
lol, minimalist doesn't have to be ridiculous! here's what's in my realistic minimalist kitchen. we're a family of four.
I wasn't trying to be ridiculous.. I was trying to fit into my rather small kitchen and trying to figure out what had to go and what had to stay.. and it got me to thinking.. I have a neighbor that has moved across country about every 3-4 years.. and she started fresh at each location.. what would I think was important enough to replace? So I started thinking about it from there.. no ridiculousness intended

I have been in this house for 1 year and since I have been here, I have made do with two cookware items.. a large skillet and a large pasta pot.. so seeing that I CAN make do with less, even feeding a family of 6, I guess I realized I was hanging on to a lot of "other" stuff that I really could do without.
post #5 of 42
you're right. i'm sorry! i wasn't trying to call you ridiculous - just my initial reaction to a quite short list. i bet someone else would look at my list of what i do and do not have, and think, "how can you live without xyz?! why would you ever want to?!" it wasn't a helpful comment and i apologize. i think this is going to be a fun thread and i'm excited to see what everyone else finds essential!
post #6 of 42
I don't think I could really do this since I cook dinners for 6-8 on a daily basis. I use more cookware items than 3 at a time just to make a meal. For tonights dinner, I'm using the grill pan that came with the stove for chicken. I'll use a big pot to boil perogies and then a frying pan to saute them with onions. Then I'll need a medium pot to steam the veggies. That's 4 things for a pretty simple dinner around here.

Only three small appliances (microwave, blender, toaster, toaster oven, mixer, crockpot, rice cooker, coffeemaker, etc) -- We'd have to have mixer (kitchen aid), toaster and microwave.

Only three bakeware items (cake pan, muffin pan, cookie sheet, dutch oven, etc) -- Muffin tin, cookie sheet (airbake), 9x13 cake pan (pyrex)

Only three cookware items (pasta pot, tea pot, sauce pan, skillet, etc) -- large frying pan, large pot, medium pot. I love my paderno pots and wouldn't really want to give any of them up.

1 mixing bowl -- I'd better make it a big one then. Really, I need at least 2. How are you supposed to bake when you need to mix dry, then wet, then combine?

3 SMALL "you picks" (measuring cup? rolling pin? a special holiday item? What would you make room for?) -- bodum coffee pot, set of measuring cups (pyrex), and pampered chef measuring spoons (tsp and tbsp)

I will assume you need 1 plate, bowl, cup for each family member, and some mixing spoons/spatulas, but what would be minimalist for you here? -- I'm already fairly minimalist here. I only keep the cutlery that fits in the one drawer in my kitchen plus the ceramic container that sits next to the stove. We have enough plates and cutlery to feed up to 12 people, but we do actually do that at least once a month on average. We already fed 10-11 people here 4 times this month and 2 times last month and I'm feeding 8 people here nightly this month before we go back to our regular 6. We only have 6 mugs though, because we're not big hot drink drinkers (except me).

I'm not that minimalist, but everything I have in my kitchen I use, and it all fits in there. There's not much point to me in being so minimalist that I'm inconvenienced by not having enough items to bake or cook or serve a meal.
post #7 of 42
I will give you a fridge and an oven as a freebie: thanks but I'm dumping the oven in favor of a toaster oven.

Only three small appliances: microwave, rice cooker (doubles as steamer), counter top burner, preferably induction.

Only three bakeware items: glass 8x8 pan

Only three cookware items: pasta pot, skillet

1 mixing bowl: pampered chef one with measurements marked on the sides made of ovenproof glass. Yay for dome-shaped cakes!

3 SMALL "you picks": chef's knife, cutting board, silicone spatula/spoon


Oh, and I'd only consider going that minimalist if I moved to a one-room home.
post #8 of 42
I'd sooner go with an assortment of "mini" appliances than limit myself to just three. An immersion blender AND a mini food processor AND a hand held mixer AND a normal sized blender will take up about the same total storage space as one "restaurant quality" Kitchen-Aid food processor with a blender attachment. If you've got limited pots and mixing bowls, the immersion blender makes a lot of sense (so you can avoid dirtying another pot if you want to make a creamy soup.)

Plus a whole lot depends on how much food you actually prepare yourself. If you live in Manhatten and eat out 14-20 meals a week, you won't even need a kitchen. If you're doing all your own bread baking from scratch, you'll need at least 2 mixing bowls plus a good amount of baking pans. And if you're too skimpy with the bakeware, you'll end up using a lot of foil pans. Corningware is nice because it can be used on the stovetop AND in the oven. And if you have sets of things that nest together, it really doens't add all that much storage space to have 3 mixing bowls (small, medium, and large) rather than just one, 4 cookie sheets that stack together, a set of cake pans that include 2 square pans that fit inside one larger rectangular pan (and that can fit over the cookie sheet in the drawer under the stove), etc.

But, back to the little game you've set up:

I'd get a blender, mixer, and crock pot. I suppose you could really skip all the "small appliances" and use a knife and a hand held grater instead of the food processor, and a whisk or handheld egg beater in place of the blender, and the oven in place of the toaster and crock pot. But then you'd be heating up the big oven for small things much of the time, and you'd have no way to cook if the oven broke.

Pots: I'd get a medium frying pan, a small saucepan, a medium sized pot, and a large stock/pasta pot (I realize this is 4 pots/pans but they all stack inside one another! Skip the small pot if you want to be strict.) For baking you need a set of cookie sheets (which I'm counting as one item ),and two casserole dishes that you can also bake weirdly shaped cakes in.

I'd get 2 mixing bowls (that can double as serving bowls), a colander, a grater, a good set of knives, a spatula, a ladle, and a large cooking/serving spoon, and one set of dry measuring cups and spoons, plus one liquid measuring cup. I guess I could skip the dry measuring cups if needed. And I'd have 2 sets of dishes/glasses/forks/etc per person, not just one. This gives you some "wiggle room" if something breaks or isn't washed IMMEDIATELY, or you have guests.
post #9 of 42
this is interesting because we're actually downsizing to move into an RV next summer.

3 appliances: my current appliances in order of use are coffee pot, blender, hot pot, microwave, bread machine, waffle maker & hand blender. We can live without the coffee pot if DH goes with the French Press. We use the hot pot a lot because it's fast. In an RV, it will be more efficient to use electricity than a propane stove. I suppose I could learn to make bread in an oven, but I really love my bread machine, so that would be a switch. And we make waffles a lot, but I suppose we could stick to pancakes, if pressed. I can definitely live without a microwave, and I've never had a toaster oven or crock pot in my life! So, that concludes as blender (I want a vitamix, but I have a new Oster), hot pot (the one Alton Brown has), and bread machine. In the RV, however, I will need to have an ice maker - there is a portable one that makes ice in 10 minutes that I'm anxious to have!!! (we love ice)

3 bakeware: big pyrex cake pan, loaf pan, cookie sheet. I think I can make anything we need with those items.

3 cookware: cast iron skillet, large pan, soup pot/dutch oven (I have a Fiestaware pan with a lid that is oven safe - or good for soups)

1 mixing bowl: that's hard! I use mixing bowls for everything! I like my stainless steel ones, personally. But we have small mixing bowls that are part of our everyday dishes, for the kids - so those would work for cooking, doubling their function.

Extras: cutting board, good knives & a steamer insert. Not sure how to function without a colander, though. I have a Williams Sonoma staiinless colander that we've used literally every day since we got it as a wedding present 11 years ago! Ohno - I forgot measuring cups & teaspoons! I like the sliding teaspoons that I think are from Williams Sonoma. I would pick the 4-cup glass measuring cup, which could double as a mixing bowl. Need something for dry-measuring, too ... this is hard! Instead of a hand mixer, we have found that this gadget works surprisingly well! ((oops, forgot about the French Press! I guess my extras can NOT be limited to 3))

Wooden spoon set, whisk, and a spatula, and I guess that's all.

I am slowly accumulating stainless steel dishware for everyone - family of 5, expecting to have enough dishes for 12. Big drinking cups are a must. We eat dinner on large bowls instead of plates, and most snacking is done in small cups or bowls. A ceramic mug for everyone plus a couple for guests ... cooking vessels can serve as serving dishes.

And a million cloth napkins

--janis
post #10 of 42
One mixing bowl is not enough, ime. For most baking, you need at least two, to add the dry to the wet.

I like to cook a lot, and I've absolutely gotten by well enough with a handheld beater and a toaster being the only appliances. I do like my stand mixer now that I have one though, and the food processor gets some use.

I've found that I reasonably need 2 smallish sauce pans, one really bit pot, and at least two skillets. I like the dutch oven too.

For baking, one muffin, one 9x13, one 8x8 (or 9x9), 2 cookie sheets, one loaf pan good too.
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by umbrella View Post
One mixing bowl is not enough, ime. For most baking, you need at least two, to add the dry to the wet.
I think some other posters mentioned this as well.. but the measuring cups I use (pampered chef) which I listed above really are large enough to mix in.. so with a mixing bowl and a large measuring cup I can actually do a wet and a dry bowl.. dp finds it challenging, and when he cooks he dirties nearly every dish in teh house!
post #12 of 42
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrabbit View Post
So, that concludes as blender (I want a vitamix, but I have a new Oster), hot pot (the one Alton Brown has), and bread machine.
Can you provide a link to a hot pot? I am not sure that I know what it is..
post #13 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinoikoi View Post
Can you provide a link to a hot pot? I am not sure that I know what it is..
http://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-6.../dp/B0000667GU

My mom actually got me hooked on this. I had one in college, that was plastic. Love this one much more. We mostly use it for water, but we've used it for broth & it does a decent job of hard boiling 2-3 eggs.

We boil the water for pasta (small portion) and other types of cooking - then transfer the water to stove top pan. It's amazingly fast. If you have an electric stove, it would be a huge energy savings. I sacrifice counter space for it. But while I 'could' live without it, I do find it extremely useful. We have had it for 1.5 years and use it almost every day - more than the microwave!

--janis
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by umbrella View Post
One mixing bowl is not enough, ime. For most baking, you need at least two, to add the dry to the wet.
I've always used just one, it's the way my mother taught me. When making cookies etc, mix wet ingredients well. Then put flour in on top of it (don't mix yet!) sprinkle in salt, baking soda, spices etc over top of the flour. Mix the dry ingredients around then start mixing everything, wet and dry together. If your dry ingredients tend to clump, be sure to use a sifter. It's easy!
post #15 of 42
Ooh, I'll play.

Microwave, blender and mixer (Kitchen Aid).

Casserole dish (Pyrex), cookie sheet, roasting pan.

Large skillet, pasta pot, sauce pan (all Rachael Ray).

1 mixing bowl

Measuring cup (Pyrex), measuring spoons, cookie cutters.

Wooden spoon, spatula, pancake flipper, strainer spoon, ladle, tongs, potato masher, veggie peeler, can opener, grater, ice cream scoop, corn on the cob holder thingies (what are those called anyway?), my Santoku knife and a paring knife. Yeah, not minimalist here, but I use all of these at least weekly, most of them daily.

I could personally do without a microwave but dp wouldn't go for that. I do need a colander though. And a set of dry measuring cups would be nice.
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post
I've always used just one, it's the way my mother taught me. When making cookies etc, mix wet ingredients well. Then put flour in on top of it (don't mix yet!) sprinkle in salt, baking soda, spices etc over top of the flour. Mix the dry ingredients around then start mixing everything, wet and dry together. If your dry ingredients tend to clump, be sure to use a sifter. It's easy!
this is really helpful - thanks! I need a new sifter now - what type do you use?
--janis
post #17 of 42
Only three small appliances (microwave, blender, toaster, toaster oven, mixer, crockpot, rice cooker, coffeemaker, etc)

1. Vitamix
2. KitchenAid stand mixer
3. (any brand) toaster oven

Only three bakeware items (cake pan, muffin pan, cookie sheet, dutch oven, etc)

1. silicone muffin pan (works great for freezer items as well as baking items)
2. jelly roll pan (very short sides; can be used as cookie sheet or things that need a bit of a lip to contain them)
3. 9x13 glass baking dish (multi-purpose)

Only three cookware items (pasta pot, tea pot, sauce pan, skillet, etc)

1. large stainless steel skillet (Premiere 2100; we LOVE our cookware!)
2. medium SS sauce pan (Premiere 2100)
3. XL SS stock pot (Premiere 2100)

1 mixing bowl

3 SMALL "you picks" (measuring cup? rolling pin? a special holiday item? What would you make room for?)

1. large SS bowl with lid
2. glass measuring cup with lid
3. dry measuring cup & spoon set

I will assume you need 1 plate, bowl, cup for each family member, and some mixing spoons/spatulas, but what would be minimalist for you here?

We have service for 8 and are a family of 3. Our table seats 8 comfortably and we like to entertain. All of our dishes fit on one shelf, so I'm good.

Your game is fun. However, I find these limits rather unrealistic. Like others have mentioned, you can get more items for the same space by purchasing stacking/nesting sets. In any case, I judge our kitchen as minimalist since we use every single item in it and everything has a place and fits comfortably. The counters are not cluttered and nothing is on the floor, except the recycling bin. (Trash is under the sink.) Nothing falls out on you when any cabinet is open. Our fridge has a wine rack on top and a pretty basket that serves many purposes (bread basket when served at meals, lunch container holder during school sessions, napkin holder during parties, etc).
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post
I've always used just one, it's the way my mother taught me. When making cookies etc, mix wet ingredients well. Then put flour in on top of it (don't mix yet!) sprinkle in salt, baking soda, spices etc over top of the flour. Mix the dry ingredients around then start mixing everything, wet and dry together. If your dry ingredients tend to clump, be sure to use a sifter. It's easy!
Or mix all the dry ingredients, then make a well in the flour add the wet ingredients and stir them in the well before mixing them with the dry ingredients.
post #19 of 42
Hmmmm. I typed in the following, and now I'm going to think over what I could and couldn't cook with this.


--- Small appliances:

Microwave, mixer, and electric kettle. The electric kettle seems silly since I could use a pot, but I use it every day.

--- Cookware:

I have a Le Creuset thing that's shaped like a frying pan but has two small handles instead of one big one, and has a lid. So it can serve as a frying pan, a casserole, a pie dish, and it's good enough to present at the table. So, that.

And one not-too-large heavy pot with a tight-fitting glass lid, for making rice.

And one quite large pot, for boiling pasta and vegetables.

--- Bakeware:

Two big baking sheets.

One cake pan.

--- Mixing bowl:

I'd take my giant Pyrex cup, so that it supports mix and measure and pour.

--- Smalls:

Potato peeler. One of those tied-together sets of measuring spoons. Stack (I'm cheating) of glass mise en place bowls.

--- Prepware:

You didn't include anything for prep. I demand prep stuff. So, I'm going to cheat and claim one large plastic cutting board, one large knife, and one small knife.

Crayfish
post #20 of 42
Only three small appliances
Bread maker, toaster, coffeemaker, crockpot
It's the best I can do. They're all necessary. I'm living without a toaster now and it's a PITA. Using the oven takes longer and uses more electricity. I do use the others weekly.

Only three bakeware items
I can't cut back to far here, either. 2 cookie sheets, 2 round cake pans (to make a stacked cake for birthdays) 2 muffin pans

We bake a lot to have semi healthy goodies around. We make birthday cakes for birthdays, muffins and cookies for snacks/desserts, pies at Thanksgiving/Christmas could be make in round cake pans (my mom does this when she runs out of pie plates).

Only three cookware items
Large pot, medium pot, frying pan

1 med to large mixing bowl

3 SMALL "you picks"
Measuring cup, measuring spoons, rolling pin

Others not listed:
potato peeler
handheld grater
pizza cutter (it's worth it and can be used for more than just cutting pizza)
1 spatula
1 ladle
1 big knife
1 small knife
cutting board
1 large to medium sized strainer
2 wooden mixing spoons
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