How To Navigate a Small Kitchen, From Soup to Nuts

“Darling, I love you, but give me Park Avenue.” The famous line from the theme song of Green Acres perfectly describes my desire to never move too far from a city. There’s always something to do and lots of great restaurants, and it’s pretty easy to get from one place to the other.

But cities have at least one downside: small kitchens. From their tiny size, odd layouts and almost nonexistent storage, city kitchens can be hard to navigate, especially if you love to cook. But here are five tips that can make your small kitchen easier to cook in.

Just the Essentials: Yes, that large mandolin could make cutting carrots easier, and who wouldn’t love a spiralizer for zoodles, but ask yourself: Do I really need them? While it may be nice to have, in a small kitchen you have space for only the essentials. Don’t worry, though! A good knife set and some pots and pans can really take you far.

Get Some Storage: If you must have a few extra kitchen gadgets or you have virtually no cabinets at all, buy some extra storage with a kitchen cart, which can give you more space and a place to sit.

Plan it Out: Before you start making a meal, consider planning it out first. While everyone loves trying a new recipe, it may have too many moving parts to effectively make in your tiny kitchen. This doesn’t mean you can’t make it, but consider simplifying it so that you don’t end up chopping some onions in your living room.

One-Pot Meals: One-pot or pan meals are a staple in small kitchens. Not only will you be able to make a simple and delicious meal, but it also means a quick and easy clean-up.

Food Safety Basics: Regardless of how large or small your kitchen, remember basic food safety principles. Separate ready-to-eat foods away from raw meats, use a food thermometer to ensure cooked meats have reached a safe internal temperature, wash every cooking surface before and after meal-prep, and chill cooked and perishable foods to prevent the growth of foodborne pathogens

With these tips, you can have your cake and eat it too, small kitchen and all.