THE SMALL KITCHEN

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THE PROBLEMS and THE SOLUTIONS

                                                     SMALL KITCHEN IDEAS

Condos have small kitchens and I needed to make use of every inch since I delve in many different types of cooking.   I had to think more vertical than horizontal because countertops get loaded up and unusable real quick. 

 My condo-minimum is in a high rise, top fifth floor, and a wonderful view of the worlds worst golfers.  My kitchen is actually 8.5x14 according to the plans, before adding a refrigerator, stove, pantry, 24” counters and so forth.  That leaves me with 7 x 12 usable. I had to think out of the box and add duality, something that can do two jobs.  

  • I went vertical on things.   
  • I added two rolling tables which I stacked, welded together for height.  
  • Hangers for the pots, pans and tools
  • And a medium prep table I found at SAM’s to which I added a granite top I found. I use the granite top as an island. 
  • Anyway, being used to restaurant kitchens, most are a lot smaller than you would imagine.  
  • I faced the foreboding future of no room. 
  • I had to Improvise Taste, Adapt Dry Food,  and Overcome odors.  Semper Fi, Chefs!


Electric Cooking  —  A Sears four electric burner stove didn’t appeal to me, I always had natural gas and no chance of gas since this is a very solid bunker concrete condo fireproof with computers linked to the fire department and maintained by stringent rules and fines. 

I achieved the temps I need by using a Burton burner and the main reason my pots are steel.

No fire, no grill on your terrace and you get fined — not the Condos idea, it was the fire chefs idea. And it trips our alarms but I sleep good at night.

On the other hand based on my knowledge of some of my neighbors, some bordering “ Legally idiotic”  if this place had gas, the building would be blown up and gone by now. 

I actually had to bust a door open when a neighbor left her stove on high and went to use the dumpster dumbwaiter drop and her door locked behind her.  Watching the burning through her front window. We were lucky.

Survival —  And Solutions  —    I’m in hurricane country and live on the top floor (5)  I do keep a midsize two burner Sterno and a two port grill propane stove called a tailgater in my garage closet for the eventual real emergency like our hurricanes .  And I don’t give a hoot if it’s a disaster like a hurricane, and no power for days,  the fire chief will be busy elsewhere.  

Being high up on a golf course, and basically on an island surrounded by water and ponds means the problem is access rather than survival.  Strength —  My condo is total concrete and rebar with hurricane bulletproof double windows.  

If we go dead on electricity,  and go out for several days, I can still eat and boil water with a thirty day supply of food not requiring refrigeration, mostly  dried dehydrated sealed survival foods.  

I have a canoe in the garage, if it gets real bad, and water during a hurricane is not a problem if you can boil it.  We  fill the bathtubs for flushing and a 100 foot cord and bucket steal water from the pool for the toilet, It’s good to be the top floor, poop goes vertically southbound.

I also have four cases of drinking water in 20 oz. bottles on shelves in my garage.  If contamination is present.  Power might get partially restored and then one of my two circuits is live. My solution was…  “ Drum roll”  a pair of real Burton 1800 watt Induction burners, with no electricity I have the dual Sterno setup and the tailgater.


Third Problem - Storage  —  For the pots and pans, Herbs and Spices, tools, etc.  

The Rack —  A Rolling Rack NSF also found at SAM’s made this part simple.  NSF carts made of chrome shelving and modified to what I needed.   All on rollers so that I can slide them out of the kitchen for steam mop cleanliness.  Holds six pots and the top is herbs and spices, I mounted a small three shelf wall rack to the right side under the handle for small bottles. The left side is used to hang strainers and colanders.   

The second or taller cart is two of the shelf units melded together. I had an extra I bought for someone who never picked it up and worse didn't pay for it.  I dumped her real quick,  took the wheels off the cart and off to the hardware store and melded two into one six feet tall.

I now had a four shelf double cart that can roll in and out for cleaning hosting a second microwave, storage and plenty of hanging space. The magnetic knife holder finds my tongs and small veggie tools

These two units fill up the corner nicely and give me free work space in the kitchen. I gave up using the kitchen in conjunction with eating other than just the two of us or snacks, as it’s laid out really bad for consumption of real guests or larger meals.  The cutting Island with two barstools is snack and prep time.


Counter Problem  -  Work Room  —  The third most common problem Condos present is surface or counter top area and this part of the deal will cost a few dollars. 

The other surfaces, countertops are all Corian so thats OK,  but I wanted something I can "dough on".  I took this table, courtesy of Sam's Club, an NSF prep table, and found a vendor with small ends of Granite remnants. 

I wanted dark granite so dough shows.  Add polished, rounded edges and corners, delivered for under two hundred dollars.

In the photo on the shelf is one of the 1800 watt induction plates and my larger 14.5-inch WOK and the beauty of the Burton burner is that it provides ample heat for the bigger WOK. 

Don’t try this with those two for 99.00 dollar “But Wait” Chinese lookalikes as shown on TV. There is a world of difference in these Bruton heaters.   It also stores my Rice Cooker and Crock Pot  when not needed.

Every inch gets used but used well, thats the mantra. The wok can go on the induction burner since it is steel and the burner reaches to 400-500 plus degree easily.  It is lightning on this Burton. The other half can then hold the Cuisinart 15 inch electric skillet and thats double what the stove can do.  I still have four burners for smaller jobs.

08/21/2021   aljacobsladder.com