Temporary kitchen while renovating

We are about to tear down our family room and kitchen for a major renovation, which is looking like it might take 2-3 months. We're not moving out over that time, so I need to set up a temp kitchen and pantry in our living room for a family with 3 hungry teenagers! If anyone has "lived" through a similar situation, and has some tips, I'd be very grateful to hear them.

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16 Comments

AntoniaJames January 29, 2015
Fill your freezer now with family favorites that can be warmed in the microwave; also, components of dishes that can be cooked in the slow cooker, e.g., browned meat + aromatics in sauce, that can then be plopped into the slow cooker with vegetables to make stews, etc. Just having one or two of those meals a week will make a big difference. I didn't buy any new appliances when we did our remodel, which had me working out of the dining room for about 8 weeks. I used our crock pot, microwave, panini press and waffle maker a lot! It was quite the adventure - sort of fun really, but then, I'm always game for challenges of that sort. ;o) P.S. We did not use any disposable plates or utensils. It would have depressed me beyond words to do that.
 
Sam1148 January 29, 2015
One of the things you can do for a counter top is take off some closet doors and put them on saw horses. Then use some easily removable shelf liner to protect them. Then you will have extra counter space for all the appliances you be using: Electric Kettle, slow cooker, microwave, toaster oven..etc.

One thing to remember about hot plate cooking if you're using a gas table top burner is that heat comes up around the side of a pot---so be sure to leave enough room around the edges of a table top burner so you don't scotch things---I once melted part of a microwave by using a portable gas burner topped with a small steel griddle a bit too close to to the microwave door.
 
DDlizzy January 29, 2015
We didn't use disposables; I just couldn't bear the idea of all that waste. I washed dishes in the bathtub with little to no trouble.
 
Lynette January 29, 2015
I know what you mean about disposables - I'm not a fan either. But I'm thinking of getting eco-friendly paper ones, not plastic, and buying in bulk. I don't think i could bear plastic cutlery so we'll use regular, and wash them in a tub. But our bathtub is so low, and I've had back problems before, so best not to tempt fate and try using it to wash dishes! :)
 
cranberry January 29, 2015
We used many of the suggestions above, but also used an electric frying pan (we did not have a portable cooktop) and a toaster oven a lot.
 
Lynette January 29, 2015
Thanks. Yes, my mother has offered us her electric frypan, and I'm thinking of how I can make our favourite meals in it. :)
 
Andigol January 29, 2015
Good idea to do this when the weather is decent and bbq outdoors using disposables as much as possible. You will really appreciate your kitchen !
 
Lynette January 29, 2015
Thanks. Yes, we have the bbq ready to go. It's still summer here, so mostly warm days. I'm excited about the new kitchen, but it's such a long way off! :)
 
em-i-lis January 27, 2015
I second the microwave and temp cooktop. We bought the Waring electric double burner one and cooked well on it for six weeks. Two friends have also used it (and the microwave; bought for $20 on Craig's List) for their kitchen renovations. Also, utilize your grill if you have one!!
We had our fridge and dishwasher moved to another room so that they were still usable. You can ask your contractor if that's possible!
 
Lynette January 28, 2015
We're definitely moving the fridge but hadn't thought about the dishwasher - will ask about that! I don't know what Craigslist is (I'm in Australia), but guessing its a second-hand classifieds website? Thanks for those great suggestions! :)
 
dinner A. January 27, 2015
My parents used a standalone convection oven (and a separate microwave) a lot when remodeling their kitchen.
To avoid generating mountains of trash, maybe consider getting one of the small portable dishwashers that can hook up to a sink faucet? There are probably quite a few available cheaply on your local Craigslist.
 
Lynette January 27, 2015
Great ideas - thank you! :)
 
TobiT January 26, 2015
Sam1148 recently posted on just this issue in response to a question I asked a week or so ago about kitchen remodels. He had some great suggestions. Search hotline for "kitchen" tag and it should come up.
 
Lynette January 27, 2015
Thank you - I'll have a look! I only just joined the site this week, so missed that post. Cheers.
 
davidpdx January 26, 2015
We have gone through two kitchen remodels, so here are a few thoughts. If you do not have one, invest in a microwave oven; even better, one with a convection oven capability. An induction cooktop would be useful, too. We moved our fridge to the living room. Unless you enjoy doing dishes in the bathtub, get a lot of disposable tableware--plates, glasses, etc. That said, a sizable garbage can and plastic bags are necessities. If you have a freezer, stock up on home-prepared meals in advance of the remodel.
 
Lynette January 27, 2015
Thanks for those suggestions! We're thinking of using disposable stuff for the time being, and we have a slow cooker so hopefully we'll manage to plan some meals ahead of time! I'm thinking we might use an old bookcase for a pantry too. Thanks!
 
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