From cooking dinner for your family to hosting a dinner party, the kitchen is the heart of your home. Considering how much time you spend in your kitchen, remodeling this space can add great functionality and significant value to your home. But a kitchen remodel takes time, and depending on the project size, you might not be able to use the space for several months.
At times, one thing to consider during a kitchen remodeling project is how I will feed my family during construction. Take-out can get old quickly, but the good news is, with proper planning, you can cook easy meals at home, even during a kitchen remodel.
How To Cook Without A Kitchen
Figuring out how to cook without your kitchen can be overwhelming if you don't know where to start. As you begin planning, the first step is finding out what tools you might need to make this process easier. Many appliances nowadays can make cooking without a full kitchen much less stressful. You might think the list of tools you'll need will be a mile long during your kitchen remodeling project. But keeping it simple is the best way to ensure you don't add unnecessary clutter to your workspace. Many helpful appliances, tools, and other gadgets can make your life easier. To save space, stick to one or two appliances that best fit your needs.
Helpful Kitchen Appliances
When choosing which kitchen appliances you'll use during the renovation, consider which ones are multipurpose. For example, an Instant Pot might fit your family's needs since it can function as both a pressure cooker and a slow cooker. To get you started, here are some of the most useful appliances to have on hand during a remodel:
The Instant Pot is an excellent tool when you don't have access to a regular stove or other appliances. Unlike a slow cooker like the Crockpot, the Instant Pot can complete simple meals in less than an hour. Many Instant Pots also have a slow cook option, and a saute option so that you can make a variety of meals, and cleanup is simple. The Instant Pot also doesn't take up much room, so it can easily be placed in a separate workspace if you don't have access to your kitchen cabinets.
The Crock Pot is an essential kitchen tool, especially if you'll be out of the house for most of the day. Crock Pot meals can be prepped and frozen ahead of time, so all you need to do is dump the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning. Everything from tacos to stew is perfect for this appliance. Depending on your meal, some meals are best cooked on low for 8-10 hours, while others can cook on high for 4-6 hours. The best part is with a few simple steps in the morning; your meal will be ready when you get home at the end of the day.
An air fryer is another appliance that has become popular for kitchen use. The air fryer is also great for making quick meals on the healthier side. Air fryers provide a more nutritious option because they make your food crisp like it was deep fried but without the oil. Air fryer recipes are plentiful, but if you are cooking a large amount, unlike a slow cooker, you might have to cook in batches due to the limited capacity of the air fryer.
You might be used to only using a blender for things like smoothies. Did you know that high-powered blenders are also great for making various meals, such as soups or stews? You can also make batter for pancakes or waffles in a blender.
The microwave is the one appliance most people already have in their kitchen. Many don't realize how frequently they use the microwave every day. If you know you'll be reheating a lot of meals, or even popping popcorn for movie night, make sure you have access to this staple during the remodel.
You certainly don't need every kitchen appliance on this list to make it through the remodel. But if you pick one or two, that would be useful; you can keep the nights where you order delivery pizza to a minimum.
Tips For Planning Ahead
The key to maintaining your routine during a remodel is planning. No matter how long your kitchen remodel takes, there will be some inconveniences. Here are some tips to take into consideration before starting work on your kitchen remodel:
Designate a Space For Prepping and Cooking Meals
One of the most challenging parts of cooking during a kitchen remodel is feeling like you don't have enough room. But even with very little space in the kitchen to work with, creating a temporary space for kitchen prep will make your life much easier.
Store Some Freezer Meals
If you know when the remodeling project will start, most recipes can be prepared or made ahead of time and then frozen. Putting them in the Crock Pot or other slow cooker is often feasible when they're frozen.
Keep It Simple
Experimenting in the kitchen can be an enjoyable experience, but not during a kitchen remodel. It's best to keep things simple to avoid creating more work for yourself. Eating or cooking with products you usually eat is okay during your remodeling project. Remember, a kitchen remodeling project may take a little while, but it will not be forever.
Don't Hesitate to Repeat Meals
If the remodeling project takes several weeks, don't feel you need to devise a different meal for each night. Even if you have a week's worth of recipes with some slight variations, you can keep your family fed throughout the remodeling process.
Keep the process simple by creating a list of recipes to work with and then switch out some of the ingredients each week. If you designate a space to cook and plan your meals ahead of time, you'll save yourself a lot of trouble once the kitchen remodel begins.
Quick Breakfast and Lunch Ideas
Making three meals a day without a full kitchen can become burdensome, so having some ideas for quick meals can make your life simpler during this time. Here are some ideas for quick breakfast meals:
Eggs can be a go-to and staple in your meal rotation, both for easy breakfast meals and for a snack. You don't even need a stovetop to make them since it's effortless to make perfect hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot.
As long as you have a blender on hand, smoothies can be a great breakfast, especially when you're on the go. If you don't have the space to store fresh fruit, frozen fruit is perfect to have on the go. Even easier, smoothie packets are easy to store and can make delicious smoothies with just a few ingredients. You can buy smoothie packets pre-made, or you can make them yourself ahead of time.
With just a microwave, oatmeal can be another simple meal for breakfast. You can use pantry staples such as honey or brown sugar to sweeten the oatmeal, and if you have extras to add, such as fresh fruit, you can add variety to keep it interesting.
Whether you're having lunch at home or packing it to eat on the go, here are some quick lunch ideas:
Yes, salads can seem like the kind of meal that gets boring after a while, but with some variety, you'll find that they're a simple lunch to add to your rotation. For example, preparing a fresh salad like an avocado greek salad can be made in a few minutes with a small list of ingredients.
Wraps or sandwiches
When it comes to prepping wraps or sandwiches for lunch, the possibilities are endless. Focus on what's easy, simple, and long-lasting. From buying deli meats such as turkey or ham to making chicken salad, wraps and sandwiches are quick and easy to prepare.
Easy Weeknight Dinner Recipes
Once you've decided what appliances to use during the kitchen remodel, it's time to plan your meals. To help you get started, here are some easy weeknight dinner recipes for the Instant Pot and the Crock Pot:
Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Ribs
- Instant Pot Lasagna
- Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
Crock Pot Recipes
- Crock Pot Chicken Tacos
- Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- Crock Pot Vegetarian Chili
- Crock Pot Baked Potatoes
Cooking at home during a kitchen remodel can seem like a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be as complicated as you think. Successfully surviving a kitchen remodeling project is being proactive during the planning process.