Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kitchen Kit

When we were looking at houses two years ago, we had an upgraded version of our share housing checklist. The share house was a simple list, must have a deck (The Wife) and must have a gas stove (me). They were the deal breakers. We once moved in with two likely lads that brought their own, a wooden toilet seat and a tin roof for listening to Brisbane's summer storms. Since i'd been cooking in the worlds smallest kitchen, with a dodgy oven to boot, I started a new checklist, one of large expansive kitchens with bench space and pantries and ...... Alas not to be.

I managed to move into a house with an even smaller kitchen and a electric oven. Damn. Considering the trade off, 10 acres of land, fantastic view, I'm not that unhappy, especially as a realization dawned on me. "this kitchen has no redeemable features, its small, uneven, the sink is the wrong size, no bench space, no storage space and if it was a ships galley in the 1700's the cook would have led a mutiny." But that means that it gives me a perfect excuse to tear it down and start again, which has led to many a daydream, what would my perfect kitchen have, given no financial or guilt constraints?

The Bench - I do a lot of pasta and pizza, so half the bench tops would be marble or stainless for kneading and rolling those brilliant floury creations. The other half would be end grain hardwood timber, something that i could use as one giant chopping board. I already have a home made butchers block that is similar, you can see it in the pasta clip and it is the best thing I've ever made.

The Knife - I have ok knives, the best is one i gave to my mate and steal back every time i sharpen it for him, but I'd really like one of these. I've handled one and it's not just pretty looks, the balance and feel is extraordinary.

The Oven - I cant decide between this or an ex commercial oven. This looks pretty sweet, but they are way over priced. With a decent oven though I can teach myself to bake so I'd need a...

Mixer - I know that some people find this a bit wanky, but i love a bit of kit that you can leave out as art instead of having to put away. These Kitchenaid mixers are bloody well built, but check this out, its taking it to the next level.

I've also been looking at some old cream separators on ebay that would fall into that category. Beautiful

The Larder - I'm hoping to start the cheese crusade this year, so a big walk in, earth sheltered larder for storing home made bacon, cheese and prosciutto in.

The Coffee Machine - Got this one, a nespresso, because it pumps out quality, consistent coffee without me having to do a barista course.

Hanging Rack - If possible I'll have as much as i can up top. Its so much easier to get to. A mate of mine a pretty handy with a welder, so it will be a spec job, which will probably end up a tenth of the price of one off the shelf.

I already have my commercial grade pots, a good nonstick frypan would be handy i guess.

The Wife - No, i have a wife and she works quite well, but she wants a dishwasher and microwave. I can concede the dishwasher, but I hate microwaves, but not so much I'd risk the wrath of The Wife. Besides, if I can hide it in some tricked up cupboard, I'll never know its there.

There is heaps i would have forgotten, so toss some ideas in the pot for me, what would you like in your kitchen?


  1. I've got a hangy thing in the kitchen. It looks pretty good, but it's completely home built, and before I engaged a welder at all, I'd consider this option.

    The rectangular frame is made from old hardwood 2x4 from the renovation of the house. I ran a sander over them, just enough to remove the splinters and bring up some of the wood underneath without taking away too much of the aged patina. I used dowel pegs to join the corners and put a wee reinforcing angle in each corner so it didn't wobble.

    Then I got an old mesh gate -- galvanised metal, rectangular mesh. The metal is probably four or five mil; the rectangles are maybe fifty by one hundred mil. Used an angle grinder to cut a piece that fit my frame, then sprayed it matt black. I anchored it to the top of the frame with simple fencing staples. Then I put a big eyelet on each corner, attached some heavy chain, and connected the chains to heavy eyes that I drilled right through the ceiling beams in the kitchen.

    One of these days I'll spray the chains black too, but they're not really a problem. The whole thing is strong enough for me to swing from it if desired, height-adjustable (what with the chain and eye system) and cost me fuck-all since I salvaged the timber and the old gate. Looks like a bought one, too.

  2. Add a couple of leather cuffs, some larder items and some willing connoisseurs and you'd have yourself a swingingly deluxe kitchen apparatus!

  3. What about a quality exhaust fan? I would be thinking about one of those as well, oh and I think I would go for a commercial quality six burner gas stove under it.

  4. Gas is the goods. Unfortunately as with yourself it's been a victim of compromise with the last couple of places we've rented or bought. For heat control there's not much to come near it - though those induction setups are interesting.

    Our new place - we bought last month - has a much bigger and more open kitchen/dining adjoining the lounge, which is fine in theory. Problem is people seem to think I want them to join me in there when I'm cooking. I thought having a larger more welcoming kitchen would be great - now I wish they'd bugger off and let me cook in peace!

    Knives are key. The old man was (is) very good at finding good knives in second hand shops, markets etc. He managed to pick up a couple of Green River knives from a retired butcher which have kept him in good stead - really nice steel in those. His main one was sharpened so often over the years it ended up like a thin wafer, but it was amazing for slicing and filleting.

  5. I forgot proper bacon slicer, but i'll pick one up from work.
    The kitchen is the hub of our house, always. This one has this little breakfast bar where people can sit, but i can't get someone to peel taters or chop herbs, it so small i can touch everything in the kitchen from one spot.
    the new kitchen will have a squarish shape with cooker in the middle i reckon, so i can have up to 4 at once, and a bifold window and servery so that if everyone is out on the deck or spa i'm not completely out of it.

  6. Gas is the go...

    Re: Knives those Japanese samurai blades are pretty good grasshopper but the Furi set is also pretty bloody fantastic piece of kit and designed by a bloke from Brisbane too.

    If you need some heavy duty cookware make sure you get at least one decent pot from Le Crueset. Nothing better for long slow cooking.

  7. Furi is good gear, I've owned one but ended up giving it to the bro in law, it was just a bit too light.
    I have a dreampot for slow cooking, but given unlimited funds i'd get one of those le crueset, they are awesome

  8. Always wanted a cool looking ceramic knife, but they don't seem all that practical.

    I like hanging racks, my aunt and uncle have a wooden wagon wheel suspended by chains which is pretty nice. Problem is, I always feel I have to wash everything before I use it.

  9. Got one smaller Furi utility knife and one good german cook's knife (the actual brandname is slightly scary with all the genetic research that happens around me: Zwillinge).

    I'm almost gobsmacked by the hanging thing pictured here, and Flinthart's description of his. I have substantial kitchen remodelling on the project list, and that's definitely going in.