Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dream Home 2.0 Kitchen Cutting Station

The knife has been the most basic tool of the kitchen since the Neolithic era. It lets you get things ready for the application of heat which is cooking.

I don't like walking around the kitchen with a big knife when the little one is around and there is a lot of time wasted going to the sink and back to wash it for the next item.

So what makes up a good kitchen cutting station:
• First, it has to be at a good height. If you are close to average the typical countertop is fine. You are looking for your arms to be bent at a comfortable angle, if it is too far away then stacking a few cutting boards can help if you are too short a few rubber mats can help.
• Easy access to the sink, The cutting station should be on the same counter as the sink, that way you can clean the knife without swinging it where people can be walking. Since food is always cleaned before use anyway, having the sink right there also saves quite a bit of time.
• Storage for knives and cutting boards is essential, there is no point to having to walk across the kitchen to bring it to the right place to use it. I like a knife block with horizontal slots since the blades won't be resting on anything and dulling. With separate cutting boards for vegetables and meat keeping them someplace is important too.
• Plenty of counter space for freedom of movement. The space for cutting should be 36-48 inches (91-122 cm) wide. That gives you plenty of elbow room when the knives are moving and you have a pile of ingredients. Ideally, I want enough space on both sides to have a half sheet pan to hold raw ingredients on one side and prepared ingredients on the other. At least having handy access to plates and bowls for finished goods is great.
• A place to put a cookbook to check on ingredient amounts would be great too.
• For cleanup, a place for paper towels, and sanitizer to kill those nasty germs should be handy too.
• Placement, the cutting station should be closer to the food storage are then the serving area because you are going to be preparing food and often cooking it rather then serving it directly.

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