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How to cook during kitchen remodel? Do you enjoy cooking? If you answered yes, you probably understand the frustration of remodeling and trying to live without your stove, refrigerator, or sink.
I’ve been caught in this situation and have tried many things to survive while the construction workers are in my kitchen. In doing so, I have gained a lot of experience, and in this article, we will look at a list of ways you can use to manage during the days and weeks of having no access to your cooking area.
I’ve found that a home renovation can be particularly disruptive, especially if you love making a home-cooked meal. It can be hard to find a good place to store those boxes of Ziploc bags and other small kitchen supplies while there is a full-blown remodel happening in your kitchen. It is also hard to keep the food supply going.
How do you prepare for a kitchen remodel?
You’ve been dreaming of remodeling your kitchen. Cabinets, countertops, and everything else it takes to make it the kitchen of your dreams are on the top of your to-do list. However, you probably haven’t (yet) thought about what happens when you set out to remodel the kitchen.
Proper preparation makes life easier. Planning reduces inconveniences. Your kitchen will be shut down for a few days, and you need a plan for food, storage, and appliances. The meal plans should include a list of recipes for meals that can be made in advance; ingredients purchased ahead of time, and other factors that will affect your family’s ability to eat well during this time.
Is it better to cook during remodeling instead of ordering take-out?
If planning looks like a lot of work, eating takeout food might be the better option. But this is not always the case. Besides the monotony of the food, it might make a dent in your pocket. Cooking meals at home will save you the additional cost, and if eating healthy is a priority, then cooking is the better alternative for you.
Cooking without a kitchen, how is it done?
As you start your kitchen remodel, you may feel like all the cooking options are out of reach. But don’t stress! You can do plenty of things to ensure your family still gets fed while your kitchen is being worked on.
Don’t worry about what you can’t do. Focus on what you can do. We know that for some people, this is easier said than done (and for others, it’s just a way of life). But when it comes to cooking during a remodel, it’s important not to get overwhelmed by all the stuff that needs doing and focus instead on what you’re capable of doing right now—and only right now.
Tips for cooking during a kitchen renovation
When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, there’s only one question: how will you cook during the process? If you ask me, there are few things worse than getting home after a long day of work and realizing that there’s nothing in the house to eat and no way to cook what little food there might be. The answer? Don’t let this happen to make fewer mistakes!
To help you survive your kitchen remodel without starving or resorting to takeout every night, here are some tips on making your time in a construction zone as delicious as possible (even if it involves ordering out).
- Get Organized
- Set up a temporary kitchenette
- Use your outdoor space
- Choose easy recipes and embrace one-pot meals
- Use multipurpose appliances
Your first step in surviving a kitchen renovation is to ensure that you’ve got your project well-planned and properly organized. This means that you should have a timeline with set dates for the remodel and a visual plan of what the new kitchen will look like when it’s done.
The next course of action is to plan for your cooking. The dining room might become a haven to store all the appliances and dishes. You can also set up a makeshift kitchen to keep your bearings while the kitchen renovation is ongoing. The organization will make every other thing fall in place.
Set up a temporary kitchen in another room.
After having a plan in mind, the next step will be to set up a temporary kitchen in another room. You can use the dining area or clear out your spare bedroom. The reason for having a temporary kitchen is to prepare meals easily. You can also move the dining table nearby, so it all ties together easily. It might be inconvenient, but it sure beats not having a meal.
Make use of your outdoor space.
If you’re lucky enough to have an outside space or a clean garage, use it! Grills and camp stoves are a great way to cook without fussing with pots and pans on the stovetop. They’re also great for cooking burgers, steaks, chicken (assuming your grill has removable grates), or other foods that don’t need to be cooked in liquid.
Grilling vegetables is also a good way to avoid having them go mushy—since they don’t require heat as intense as cooking meat. I cut a variety of veggies and grilled: zucchini slices brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, mushrooms brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, and an instant pot of green peppers stuffed with mini mozzarella balls before grilling until lightly charred. This way, we enjoyed a family meal while our kitchen reno was ongoing.
Embrace the one-pot meal
Rather than trying to cook multiple things at once on the stovetop or in the oven, choose instant pot quick and easy meals.
Usually, trying to cook multiple dishes at once can be tempting when you’re stuck during a kitchen reno without a stovetop or oven. Please don’t do it! This will only make your life difficult. Instead, focus on one-pot meals that utilize the slow cooker, toaster oven, or microwave.
These dishes are more suited to this type of setting; they’re easy enough to make while you’re still living amidst construction chaos, but they also lend themselves well to reheating later when things have calmed down, and you’ve got time again.
Easy meal ideas during a kitchen remodel
When you’re remodeling your kitchen, the last thing you want to consider is what and how to cook dinner. Some easy meal ideas include soups, stews, pasta dishes, and casseroles.
The key is to choose recipes that are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. Also, consider food that does not require intense meal prepping and that you can make on one pan or sheet tray.
For example, if you’re making chicken breasts, buy boneless skinless ones and then slice them into strips or cubes. Cook them in a skillet or on a sheet tray with olive oil and spices like garlic powder, paprika, and cumin. Then refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them.
Another method you can never go wrong with is a slow cooker, crock pot, or instant pot. For instance, if you’re making rice, cook it ahead of time and store it in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator so that all you have to do is reheat it when you get home from work.
Also, consider buying some easy-to-prepare sides like salad greens, carrots, and mushrooms — they’ll help round out your meals without requiring much attention while working on other things around the house.
Choose multipurpose appliances to get the job done while saving space.
To save space and time, choose appliances that serve multiple purposes. A countertop oven such as a toaster oven is an example of a multipurpose appliance that allows you to bake, toast, roast, and broil. If you’re doing a lot of cooking during the kitchen renovation process, a slow cooker or instant pot can be used for soups, stews, and chili.
A microwave is also great for reheating leftovers or cooking vegetables without heating the kitchen—you can place your veggies in a microwave-safe dish with some water on top and heat them on high until they’re cooked through (this takes approximately 5 minutes).
Another great idea is to get a secondary fridge. And use it. I know this seems obvious, but it’s amazing how many people respond to the news of a kitchen renovation by buying an enormous subzero freezer to hold all their perishables and to eat freezer meals. At the same time, they live out of takeout containers for three months. So, buy yourself a small refrigerator with room for milk, drinks, pre-made salads, and snacks like yogurt or cheese sticks.
Use an appliance garage to keep your microwave, toaster, and other cooking appliances handy.
Use an appliance garage to keep your microwave, toaster, and other cooking appliances handy while they’re not in use. The appliance garage will keep them clean (and out of sight) when not in use. If both appliances are small enough, you could also find a temporary home for them in a nearby closet or pantry or even on an unused shelf in the laundry room or garage.
When in doubt, the order in
Sometimes the best and stress-free way to deal with cooking during construction or renovation is not to do it at all. Plan to order pizza or Chinese food at least once or twice during your kitchen renovation.
This might seem like a cop-out, but think of it this way: You can’t expect your contractor to take care of everything. There’s no point in trying to keep up with every step of your project while also trying to stay on top of meal prep.
How to clean up and wash dishes after cooking
At this point, we have gotten so caught up in preparing our favorite recipes that we forget that we need to clean up afterward. While the kitchen renovation is ongoing and the kitchen sink is predisposed, you can wash dirty dishes in the bathroom sink or any other sink. I hope this makes it easier for you.
Hopefully, the tips we highlighted here will be helpful for those of you who are in the midst of a kitchen renovation. We know that it can be easy to forget about meal prep—after all, you’re dealing with moving and renovations, and there are plenty of other things to worry about. But you must keep eating healthy throughout this process.
The best and healthiest way to eat during a kitchen renovation is to plan and employ other creative ideas. This will save you time and money and help keep things as close to normal as possible while your home undergoes major changes.