Cooking in a Tiny House
We love to cook. Okay, L loves to cook and Tim likes to cook (sometimes). We are firm believers in meal prepping. Despite having a small space to meal prep in, we have found ways to make it possible. Like almost everything in life, there are learning curves. Today, we talk about some of those learning curves of cooking in a tiny house.
Our Fridge is TINY
We discuss what we will cook for the week and make our grocery list. Why? The fridge is not mini nor full-sized. It’s somewhere in between and is probably most comparable in overall size to the average freezer of a top/bottom fridge.
We have a Google Keep note labeled “grocery list” and this allows us to have our grocery list on our phones so we can bring it with us to the store. We have divided up the store from the left and right sides and used the list to pick up what items we need. This cuts our time in half at the grocery store and stops us from impulse buying.
When we discuss what we will cook for the week, we pick out 3 main meals to prep for that week. For instance, we will say let’s have tilapia with asparagus, mozzarella stuffed meatballs, and chicken with rice. Very quick and easy meals that we can prep out.
Then we go to the store with our list of ingredients and purchase just those items. This limits our budget and makes us stick to eating only what we have on hand.
There isn’t much different from cooking in a tiny house versus a regular except that main concept called space.
Our fridge consists of three small shelves and one drawer for fruits/veggies. Our freezer is half the size of a regular freezer. This means we have to be very careful about what we buy.
Prior to going tiny, I rampantly overbought groceries, partly because I absolutely love purchasing fresh produce. I’d meal prep more than I could eat in a week and end up freezing some of the food for future. In the tiny house, we have to budget our fridge and freezer space wisely.
Our Oven is TINY
Tiny house, tiny fridge, tiny oven…you get the idea. The oven is quite mini, but I would not want to rough it without one.
It can fit a banana bread pan or one 9×9 pan (not both at the same time). It can also fit half a pizza! We have worked around this. We break a frozen pizza in half and cook each individually.
We make two small pans of lasagna instead of one big pan. We use our slow cooker when we can. We bake cookies by the half dozen.
It’s all about being creative. On a side note…we found a great way to store our spices: a magnetic board! Our jars attach right to the magnetic board and we take them off when we need them. This is immensely helpful in saving space and the smaller sized containers help us to keep our seasoning fresh.
The Countertop is a Conundrum
As you might imagine, our countertop space is pretty limited, too. Cooking in the kitchen is one of the things we hate about tiny house living.
We have to be intentional when chopping up veggies and meats and think through the order in which we will cook. If the stove is in use, literally half the countertop space is consumed, because the cover that goes over the stove top doubles as chopping space.
Also, if we use a lot of utensils or bowls while preparing food, the tiny sink will be full in no time, and then there’s no space for washing/drying dishes. We often have enough room to prep and cook, but not enough to portion out the food, so the landing of our stairs doubles nicely as a table top.
Our original plan with the cutting board was to have it slide out from the little space above the washer and dryer. Only thing is, the washer/dryer heats up. So we moved the cutting board to the top of the fridge and take it down when we need to use it.
We also have another idea of next to our sink creating a fold up table/countertop. It would work on a hinge so we could bring it up or down when needed without impeding our stair space.
As you can see, it’s all about being creative and having multi-purpose items or functionality.
Cook Up Possibilities
Overall, cooking in a tiny house is all about being creative and intentional. We split up our meal prepping into two days. Sometimes we cook one meal for the week on a Sunday and the other meal for the week on Monday in order to spread things out and keep the kitchen from becoming overwhelmingly crowded.
It’s also always nice to have a pizza on hand or another frozen entree. When you just don’t feel like eating your meal prepped items or ate all of them without getting groceries; throw in a pizza and relax for the night.
It is easiest if one of us cooks at a time, otherwise we end up with…wait for it…too many cooks in the kitchen!
Space is what we make it. We make the food a meal and the house a home. Bon appetit!
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