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Makeshift kitchen during restoration or remodel

When doing a [godawful] long kitchen project, where do you set up your makeshift kitchen and what items do you find most useful?

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  1. That's tough. If you have a garage or shop a few steps outside, and it has a sink, benchspace, and a beer fridge, you're set without messing up your laundry or baths. Even better if it has a 220V receptacle for a range. Otherwise, hotplate and MW/toasteroven.

    Psssst! If you may find your SO more motivated to get the project done faster with the beer fridge all tied up.

    Or maybe it's a stretch to go outside in the winter in Kansas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kaleokahu

      We were able to set up a temporary kitchen in our basement, using the utility sink in the laundry room for clean up. We moved (or to be more accurate, our contractor moved) the old fridge into the basement for the duration of the project, and even put a couple of the cabinet bases from the gutted kitchen down there. We had a MW, toaster, and coffee maker too, although we mainly did a lot o carry-out food until the weather warmed up & grilling was feasible. Biggest problem was the house is old and this was before we rewired the electrical in the basement; ended up that there was not enough juice to both brew coffee and run the MW or toaster at the same time, so we were constanly blowing circuit breakers. Of course, we were in the basement, so we were only a few steps away from the fuse box to reset the circuits

    2. We moved the fridge and microwave into the dining room, and used an electric skillet for cooking. Our skillet had a cover, so we could use it for braises, as well as for frying and things you might use a saute pan for. I don't remember what we did about a sink, although we had plenty of bathrooms. I do remember we went through A LOT of paper plates, cutlery, and towels during that time.

      1 Reply
      1. re: E_M

        ditto on everything. Fridge and microwave in the dining room and one of those two coil hotplates on top of the micro for cooking. We did a lot of takeout! and we really didn't try to wash stuff if we didn't have to. Lots of paper and plastic. Ours was only four weeks so it was bearable. But I hated washing stuff in the bathroom sink so the paper and plastic was worth it.

      2. In addition to the things mentioned, I also had a two burner hot plate. I covered the dining table with multiple layers of protection and kept it there. With that, the MW and toaster oven, we weren't in bad shape. The worst part was washing dishes in the bathtub. I was lucky though. Mine was only six weeks as we weren't even living there when the worst of it was occurring.

        1 Reply
        1. re: c oliver

          This is an up coming event, so I have particular interest in this thread. Most of the work will be contracted, but I'm doing my fair share as well, plan on some vacation time.

          Anyway, we have a jacuzzi tub, I wonder if that works like a dish washer? Just fill it up and turn on the jets. Otherwise we're going to use up a lot of trees for paper plates.

          Planning on the two burnner camp stove to provide a little relief. But that has to be used outside and not in this weather, that's for sure. The freezer is moving to the garage and the old fridge is moving into the laundry room where the freezer is now.

        2. Make good use of your bbq grill :)
          dishes can be done like a camping setup, one bin with water/soap for washing, another for rinsing.
          hopefully it's not too cold out for that

          1 Reply
          1. re: cannibal

            I live in snow country and it's never too bad to use the grill. Doing dishes would be something else though. My bathroom sinks were too small to use, hence the tub. Paper plates for ALOT of things.

          2. Washing in a bathroom sink or bathtub/shower gets real old real fast--it kills your back. If you have someplace to hook up a cheap laundry sink--with legs and add a faucet for about $65--it can save you many painful nights. Especially if your sink with be out of commission for a long time. Believe me, this sink can make it all bearable.