HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure
TELL US

Need suggestions on organizing my cooking utensils

l
La Dolce Vita Oct 3, 2006 04:43 AM

As I've become more adept at cooking, I've amassed a collection of utensils. I don't just have a few silicone scrapers, I have about 10. Ditto for the clamshell tongs. I have half a dozen whisks of various sizes. Eight ice-cream scoops. And then there are the microplane graters, and all the baking cups and measuring spoons.

Here's the problem. My utensil drawer is a mess, and I spend way too much time trying to locate stuff when I need it in a hurry. It drives me nuts to rummage through a drawer for serving utensils when my guests are seated at the table.

I thought about hanging as much as possible on the backsplash of the stove. What do you think? Is having the tongs and whisks neatly arranged behind the stove practical? Does it look okay?

I also thought about installing a bunch of hooks on the inside of an upper cabinet door to hang everything, so that the kitchen doesn't look too cluttered. Opinions? Suggestions?

  1. Kitchen Imp Oct 3, 2006 05:51 AM

    I have a ton of wooden spoons and spatulas of various sizes, plus whisks and metal stirring spoons and other cooking implements. I have them organized within arm's reach of the stove on my counter, in really lovely brightly-colored ceramic pitchers that I picked up at garage sales. It actually looks kind of elegant. (Of course if you have very limited counter space it's not such a good idea, but if you have deep counters it works nicely.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kitchen Imp
      Michele4466 Oct 3, 2006 04:10 PM

      I love the look of a beautiful pitcher or cool looking canister (depending on the look and tone of your kitchen) with your most used items alongside the cook top, as long as they are in good shape. I agree about hanging them on the wall looking like a garage.

      We just moved into our house a few months ago and part of the draw of this house was the recently renovated kitchen. I cannot wait to hit the garage sales for new/old pitchers and canisters to add to the kitchen.

      As for the drawers, I am lucky to have big, wide utensil drawers. I tend to use wire silverware organizers for all utensils that have been relegated to drawer status... if you search target-like stores, you can find various sizes that should accomodate your needs.

    2. m
      ML8000 Oct 3, 2006 07:27 AM

      Don't have nearly as many as you...probably 3 of each except for knives. I put my "most used" untensils in a stainless steel canister (that I picked up at restro supply place) near the cook top. All the other "sometimes used" or specialty untensils go into the drawer. Thinking of putting up a magnetic knife strip up.

      1. chowser Oct 3, 2006 11:18 AM

        Do you use them all? Sounds like something from Mission Organization, where you identify the ones you use most and get rid of the rest, or at least put the ones you use somewhere else. I have the most used in a container on the counter, like ML8000, and the rest put away.

        I know the look of having all your utensils on a board behind the countertop is popular but I don't like it. It makes it look garage-like.

        1. TexasToast Oct 3, 2006 11:52 AM

          I just have a few, and I'll "organize" them like so:

          http://www.royaldoulton.com/website/m...

          TT

          1. JoanN Oct 3, 2006 12:01 PM

            I have a fairly small Manhattan kitchen, but I did have sufficient wall space to put up a 2 X 4 foot pegboard. That's where I hang measuring cups, peelers, funnels, poultry shears, mostly anything that can be hung. Spatulas and spoons are in decorative pots on the butcher block table.

            I would never put utensils on the backsplash of the stove. The way I cook, they'd be coated with grease most of the time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JoanN
              m
              ML8000 Oct 3, 2006 04:46 PM

              Those steel mesh fry screens are pretty helpful. They really do keep the grease from flying.

              1. re: ML8000
                JoanN Oct 3, 2006 05:29 PM

                I know. I have two of them. Now, if I could only remember to use them! LOL

            2. johnb Oct 3, 2006 04:29 PM

              I wouldn't hang them behind a cabinet door. Every time you open or close the door you'll have a tremendous clattering noise, which will become old very fast.

              1. s
                Sherri Oct 3, 2006 05:01 PM

                Another vote for using pitchers and crocks -- I organize by type of utensil. All the whisks are together, wooden spoons & scrapers separate from metal spoons, tongs in one, spatulas in another, etc. I'm lucky enough to have ample counter space but when I wasn't so fortunate (in a very old 900 sq ft house w/ the world's tiniest kitchen), I used 2 magnetic wall-mounted strips - one for knives, the other for most-used metal utensils.

                These rows of white ironstone pitchers and crocks surround the counter area by the cooktop. I prize the SS blacksplash for its utility and do not want it cluttered (although I admit to hanging one pair of tongs on the oven handle for my convenience).

                1. Candy Oct 3, 2006 05:09 PM

                  I use a champange bucket to hold rubber scrapers, wooden spoons and forks, tongs etc. I use a smaller crock for whisks. Both are next to my cooktop. I have 2 drawers fitted with horizontal knife racks which are also next to the cook top and then I have two drawers where I keep can openers, eggg slicers and other miscellaneous items which are not used as often.

                  1. rumgum Oct 3, 2006 06:09 PM

                    great post. I use a medium size flower pot for my bigger spoons, ladles, spatulas, etc. I have another canister strictly for wooden spoons and spatulas. Doesn't solve any space but I organize like Sherri above, by type of utensil.

                    1. PBSF Oct 3, 2006 08:46 PM

                      I have almost as many utensils as you do and I've packed about 2/3 of them away. I go with the canister/flower pot on the counter. I have two and those store everything I need. A small tray for can openers, peelers, measuring spoons and very short items. I hate drawers and especially hooks...a real hassel to reach for and to put things away.

                      1. m
                        maureen Oct 7, 2006 05:46 AM

                        This sounds like my house. In my last apartment I hung a length of copper tubing under the upper cabinets along one wall and hung all my hangable utensils from that tube. Another time I found a great 3 level rack that hung from the ceiling, attached hooks on the rack and hung my utensils on that. My current apartment the ceiling is too high so I found some straight sided round baskets that holds the tall things, and cobalt blue sturdy large glasses that hold shorter things (all my spatulas are in one, wooden spoons in another, etc). They all sit next to the stove. I have one very deep drawer which has all the small stuff in those rectangular plastic dividers that hook onto each other.

                        1. LindaWhit Oct 7, 2006 01:42 PM

                          I don't have quite so many utensils as you, although I probably have you beat for old wooden spoons - I probably have about 25 of them I've collected via antique stores or eBay. I detest the flimsy pine wooden utensils sold in stores now - my spoons are all well-loved used hardwood spoons.

                          I use enamel containers - berry pots, coffee pots, milk carriers - that I've purchased at antique stores. All in shades of cobalt blue, since that's the main color I use in my kitchen. One exclusively for some frequently used wooden spoons that sits in the French enamel milk carrier on a shelf that runs just above the counter/sink area in front of a large sliding window. Other wooden spoons used less frequently are stored in either a wooden spoon holder or an old-fashioned enamel salt box with the lid propped up.

                          Otherwise, the spatulas, tongs, and white hard plastic slotted spoons, ladle, etc. are split between the berry pot and the coffeepot.

                          Here are examples of what I use (with the lid off):

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/FRENCH-ENAMELWARE-coffee-pot-blue_W0QQitemZ130032949999QQihZ003QQcategoryZ977QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Blue-Enamelware-Graniteware-Kettle-Camping_W0QQitemZ230033918790QQihZ013QQcategoryZ977QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

                          http://cgi.ebay.com/RARE-Blue-white-s...

                          Show Hidden Posts