Tell us if this sounds familiar:
You’re making a big meal, and the recipe calls for, let’s say, cayenne pepper.
But when you head to your spice cabinet, you realize you left the cayenne in a different cabinet, next to the flour. You reach for the salt, and then remember it’s still on your counter. And so on, and so on…
If you spend a lot of time searching your cabinets for ingredients you know are there but just can’t find, it may be time to create your own cook’s pantry.
Here are a few pantry storage ideas to get your started.
What Should My Pantry Look Like?
While there aren't any pantry design rules carved into a stone, there are a few things you can do to make life easier:
- Your pantry should be close to your refrigerator and your food prep area.
- Refrigerators and pantries should be at the edge of the kitchen so that people coming into the kitchen to get snacks or drinks can do so without disrupting the working part of the kitchen. This is especially true for families with children.
- When installing shelves in your pantry, aim for a depth of 14 inches, 16 at the most.
- The height between the shelves should be six to eight inches for cans and bottles, 12 to 14 inches for general storage and 16 to 18 inches for bulk storage.
- If you install shelves that are above eye level, keep them stepped back so that the things you keep there are visible without the help of a stool or ladder.
- The aisle in your pantry should allow for at least three feet of walking room, or 42 inches if you have a "two cook" kitchen.
- While there aren't any hard and fast rules for pantry design, there are for storage. Make sure you store items on a shelf in a single layer, with nothing behind or on top of anything else.
What Should I Keep In My Pantry?
Once you've installed a new pantry, you have room to eat richer, healthier meals. Here's a few things you may want to include:
Grains, nuts, and pasta – A mix of whole grains can add texture to your meals. Pasta is always a good choice, but now that your pantry remodeling project is complete, branch out a bit with things like couscous. And nuts are a good source of protein and healthy fat, while serving as a quality substitute to less healthy snacks.
Legumes and seeds – "Legume" is a catch all phrase that covers beans, lentils, alfalfa and other plant-based foods. These are typically a good, inexpensive form of protein.
Basic seasonings – The right seasoning can make a meal. Make room for aromatics – garlics, onions and shallots – as well as fresh and dried herbs.
Would a pantry remodeling project improve the look of your kitchen? Contact Closets & Cabinetry for a free assessment. Our team will work with you and your family to create a pantry that's organized and meets the needs of your kitchen.