A vision perpetually deferred
October 8, 2015 4:29 PM   Subscribe

Rose Eveleth writing in Eater's Future Week: Why the 'Kitchen of the Future' Always Fails Us.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (57 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
The thing that's always bugged me about futuristic kitchens is that apparently people in the future don't own things. There's never any storage. ANd don't get me started on things that pop out of countertops. They're terrible. You can't use the counter or the storage space, it's the worse of both worlds.

The article mentions the sexism angle, but I think the whole solution-looking-for-a-problem angle is just as valid. Of course Corning wants the all-glass kitchen, complete with glass pots. Having owned glass pots they were interesting but I sure don't miss them.

Actual kitchens of the future are what you get if you buy an Eichler home in California... and while they're beautiful, they're tiny, hard to deal with and impossible to remodel. Not only has the future arrived, it's not going anywhere and you better deal with it.
posted by GuyZero at 4:44 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


What any baseline kitchen needs, apart from standard plumbing and large appliances, and whatever small appliances of your choice:
- plenty of storage (cabinets/drawers/pantry)
- plenty of counter space made of easily-maintained material
- plenty of light
- plenty of room to work
- plenty of electrical outlets, all GFCI
- plenty of ventilation - ideally to the outside
- a view to the living and/or dining room so you don't feel sequestered from life
- PLENTY of room for the inevitable large number of people who will gather there at every party
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:47 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Here's another way to think about it all. If you're reading this, you're likely a kitchen user yourself. Imagine your dream kitchen, something with every invention and bell and whistle you might want."

1) A floor vent I can sweep dirt into (they already make these I just don't have one).

2) A kid fridge. I mocked these so mercilessly but then I discovered a friend has one and OMG WANT. It is basically a glass-front wine fridge that you fill with kid-friendly healthy snacks (carrot sticks, apples) and water containers/juice boxes, that the kids can HELP THEMSELVES TO WITHOUT BOTHERING YOU OR MESSING UP YOUR FRIDGE. This seems hyper-specific to having children, but some company could come out with interchangeable shelves that let you turn it into a beer-and-soda fridge, or a wine fridge, or a small freezer, when you no longer want it as a kid-fridge.

When I renovated my bathroom I had the toe kick of the bathroom sink vanity turned into a pull-out step (sort-of like this), which cost me about $80 and is MY FAVORITE THING EVER since I no longer spend agonizing minutes holding up toddlers in one arm while washing their dirty dirty hands with the other. THEY PULL OUT THE STEP AND CAN REACH THE SINK. They get a little taller, they can turn it on. I do not trip over a stupid stepstool six times a day (I can just kick the drawer back in when they leave it extended, which they actually don't very often). The is the kind of thing I want in my kitchen of the future -- not fancier appliances, but things that actually improve little bits of my life and remove some of the small hassles.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:48 PM on October 8, 2015 [18 favorites]


Bow down before your Egg Master!
posted by XMLicious at 4:54 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


All any kitchen needs, apart from standard plumbing and large appliances, and whatever small appliances of your choice:

You left out the Penates shrine, what kind of barbarian household are you running?
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:56 PM on October 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


I want an Aga. So basically, the kitchen of seventy years ago.
posted by annathea at 5:03 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


i haven't finished the article yet, but as soon as the author mentioned the "design for dreaming" short i had to go find the mst3k version
posted by burgerrr at 5:07 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


You left out the Penates shrine, what kind of barbarian household are you running?

A non-Roman one, so...barbarian, yeah.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:17 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Things I want in a kitchen: Fuck you double basin sinks you garbage design. No one washes dishes like that anymore god dammit!

Gas range
Adequate light
posted by Ferreous at 5:20 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Seriously though The kitchen of the Future that I want is an enormous farmhouse kitchen. Essentially the kitchen of the very much past. Lots of counter space, or room for a table and hopefully a walk in pantry
posted by Ferreous at 5:23 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wish my faucet wouldn't drip all day!
(Aim high, Sister!)
I wish my refrigerator door would close, and STAAAY closed!
I wish I had a stove whose piiilot light was aaallways lit!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:29 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


My dream kitchen is kind of a half-memory of something I saw on an old Jamie Oliver show: he was cooking in what was essentially a broken-down garden shed with an ancient cast-iron stove in the center of it. I swear he was sitting on an overturned 5-gallon plastic bucket and chopping vegetables on an old shingle or something, and winging peelings onto the dirt floor to be carried off by vermin in the night. The contrast with the Corning kitchen of the future could not be more stark.
posted by sriracha at 5:35 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


God help the poor bastard with a glass top stove...
posted by Ferreous at 5:37 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


As a person who recently bought a glass top stove, it has a lot of advantages over a traditional electric burner stove or the gas one I had years ago, but yeah, don't drop a brick on it I guess.
posted by GuyZero at 5:43 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


The kitchen of the Future that I want is an enormous farmhouse kitchen. Essentially the kitchen of the very much past. Lots of counter space, or room for a table and hopefully a walk in pantry

I live in an area with a lot of nineteenth-century houses, and indeed the kitchens are great, with tons of cupboard space. (From a modern, forced-air heated POV, though, it's not so great when the kitchen is also the largest room in the house.) Ironically, my twentieth-century house has lots of cupboard space in the kitchen--cupboards that go up to the twelve-foot ceiling. I can't reach the top shelves with a ladder, even. (Multiple contractor/handymen types have come to the house, looked at the cupboards, looked at me, and then looked completely baffled.)

Most of these futuristic kitchens presume a stay-at-home wife/mother with nothing better to do all day than to clean all the snappy surfaces that pick up fingerprints and show all the dirt. Personally, as a kid I always dreamed of having a kitchen with a mesh floor so that I could just sweep all the dirt onto the ground beneath the house, but I concede that that's not hugely practical.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:47 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Right now I have a kitchen that is a wonderful size, but horribly and inefficiently laid out, with very little storage space and mediocre appliances. If we own the house long enough, it will be a real pleasure to redo the layout in order to fix such obvious problems, though it is both puzzling and frustrating that someone spent time and money building it wrong during some previous remodel.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:52 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


though it is both puzzling and frustrating that someone spent time and money building it wrong during some previous remodel.

A MILLION TIMES THIS

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ACOUSTICAL DROP CEILINGS WERE A GOOD IDEA IN A VICTORIAN HOUSE'S KITCHEN?

WHY WOULD YOU PUT THE STOVE SO THAT IT GETS HIDDEN BEHIND THE BACK DOOR WHEN IT OPENS?

WHY CUT OFF A GALLEY KITCHEN BY INSTALLING HIGH CABINETS ON BOTH SIDE OF THE ONE OPEN END?

so. many. questions.
posted by GuyZero at 5:57 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


And why install a popcorn stucco ceiling in a kitchen???? I mean, why do that in any room but most especially why do that in the room with a lot of steam and smoke and grease?! Ahem.

That article was super interesting. I need everything to be self-cleaning more than I need to see a recipe projected on a wall. Robot cleaners will solve a large number of my #workingmotherproblems
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:05 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


My dream kitchen has two sinks, each of a different height, and counters that are either high or normal. That way I won't have my back aching after chopping or doing dishes. (Or I could end up with a dishwasher and not have to worry about that, I suppose.)

Other than that- a gas stove, I've seen glass top stoves break. A good fridge. Places to hang things.

If I'm going to be cooking, I am going to be cooking, there is nothing that the kitchen can do in the future that it cannot do now, except clean itself afterwards. Tupperware that would let you know when the food in it is going bad, or even better, about to go bad (maybe with a color change) would actually be useful. But as the article described, these are solutions looking for problems.
posted by Hactar at 6:08 PM on October 8, 2015


Gas stove are the best. How else am I going to stick peppers directly into an open flame?
posted by Ferreous at 6:10 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that more generally, a lot of the predictive failures come from too much focus on what might be possible, versus what might actually be desirable. Flying cars are the perfect example: they've been the wave of the future since forever, but c'mon people, even shortly after the first manned flight it must have been obvious what a bad idea they would be. So too is it with kitchens: lots of predictions about things that could be done, but almost no consideration for whether anyone (even anyone living at the time of the prediction) would actually want this stuff.

Futurism is a lot more successful when it focuses on what people might actually benefit from, as opposed to what science might make possible.
posted by tocts at 6:11 PM on October 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Guy Zero, are you my housemate? If so, could I remind you about mopping the stairs? Also, sorry about your ice cream.
posted by Frowner at 6:12 PM on October 8, 2015


When I close my eyes and try to think of my ideal kitchen, it always seems to look like Mrs. Bridges's kitchen from Upstairs, Downstairs, only with a gas stove instead of wood and a refrigerator and freezer instead of a larder.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:33 PM on October 8, 2015


Fuck you double basin sinks you garbage design. No one washes dishes like that anymore god dammit!

Waitaminute - I love washing up. And I love doing it over double sinks. Basin? Sure. Why not?
When I bought my house (built 1957) it had huge 80's-90's appliances in it, and felt cramped. We switched out to a 24" stove and a small 11 cu. ft. fridge. Now, our 'small' kitchen is perfect. We were moving from an apartment that had an old 1930's era Philco fridge so it actually seemed to be a step up.
posted by eclectist at 7:44 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


My dream kitchen has a stove with hobs far enough apart I can actually use two 12" skillets at once. I want to find the assholes who decided that 10" on center is fine for stoves, in a world with 12" pans (and recipes that call for them, and Test Kitchens that recommend them, and so on), and I want to beat them with the pans I can't use on my stove without either rendering at least one burner useless or cooking everything off center (or both). Assholes.
posted by fedward at 8:08 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah that's annoying though it's fairly rare that I'll need 4x12" pans. Usually I can get away with a few smaller ones. I"m not running a dinner service in my kitchen. Also though I'm somewhat spoiled on modern stove levels, I grew up cooking on a dilapidated version of one of these Temperamental to say the least.
posted by Ferreous at 8:45 PM on October 8, 2015


A hood, you guys. I wish I had a hood again. I constantly set off the smoke detector and the whole place smells of greens and garlic all the time. In China we at least had sliding doors to seal the kitchen off, but that's not very American party style.
posted by MsDaniB at 8:47 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


A hood that vents to somewhere outdoors at least and not to "the level of my hairline."
posted by Ferreous at 8:50 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


T MsDaniB, for blocking some smells, try a curtain that extends about 1/3-1/2 way down the kitchen door. That seems to keep out the more nasty oil smells that tend to come out of cooking without completely blocking the doors off
posted by Ferreous at 8:55 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey, how about knives that (a) never get dull, but (b) don't shatter if you happen to drop them?

Also cookware that distributes heat perfectly evenly, regardless of what sort of stove it's on...and the handles are shaped comfortably and never get hot.

And thermometers that have remote sensors with cables that stand up properly to roasting temperatures and being pinched and being accidentally dunked in water, so that you're not having to constantly replace them for nearly as much as the whole item costs.

In other words, it's not just the overall construction and design of the room, but the tools we use in it that need to do a decent damn job without wearing out too soon and without costing two arms and three legs.

Put that in your future and smoke it!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:28 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


try a curtain that extends about 1/3-1/2 way down the kitchen door

Door? Thinking back over my kitchens, precious few have even admitted the possibility of a door-like substance.
posted by wotsac at 9:51 PM on October 8, 2015


A toaster that looks at the colour of the toast and gets it how you want but never lets it burn.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:09 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


When we upgraded our 1983-era sorta-Soviet-bloc "style" stove and fridge recently, we went with new Whirlpool fridge and stove. So far, the french-door fridge has been a nightmare of poorly designed arbitrarily freezing or too-warm food and drink that never finds a good place
to be. But, BUT, the glass-top stove that was really reluctantly purchased (space and price-point issues) has been a stud, by far the best stove I've ever used - perfectly insulated, hot-as-the-sun top burners for flat-bottom wok cookery, etc.
posted by Chitownfats at 10:33 PM on October 8, 2015


The convertible sink. A thousand times. A sink that can be covered with any variety of standard-sized, regular-grade, commonly available sheet pans or cutting boards. Open and utile when needed for tasks from rinsing zucchini to washing large/long objects, yet convertible to variable counter space depending on user preference.
posted by Graygorey at 11:09 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's easy to look back at these films and laugh at both their presentation and predictions. Monsanto thought all homes would be full of plastic furniture and dishes, GM predicted a kitchen where, with the push of a button, a whole cake gets mixed and baked without a single human measure or stir.

My Ikea kitchen is in fact completely encased with melamine, a plastic, (even the worktops), and I also have a £50 breadmaker machine that kneads and bakes and even adds the raisins, while I'm asleep...
posted by colie at 11:43 PM on October 8, 2015


GuyZero: "though it is both puzzling and frustrating that someone spent time and money building it wrong during some previous remodel.

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ACOUSTICAL DROP CEILINGS WERE A GOOD IDEA IN A VICTORIAN HOUSE'S KITCHEN?
"

What, you want the whines of your starving orphans bothering your guests?

And it is not a kitchen of the future unless you use a friendly-AI inhabited jetpack to get in your freezer that uses SCIENCE! not to make crystals in your ice cream.
posted by Samizdata at 11:48 PM on October 8, 2015


I re-did my kitchen several years ago and am pretty happy with it. Appliances are produced to meet specific price points. There's no real reason my gas stove couldn't have the grates that go all the way across the stove except that that feature is for more expensive models. And that kind of spending tends to be all about displaying status.

Why does every stove drawer ever made work so poorly and jam so consistently?
posted by theora55 at 6:51 AM on October 9, 2015


My family is learning Dutch from the washing machine. My toddler has switched the language of the display. We can't switch it back...
posted by alasdair at 7:01 AM on October 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Kitchen of the future? Yes, I want my pantry and fridge to track my items; but not for some foolish "hey, remember to buy milk!" nonsense.

No, here's what I need from you, kitchen.. I need you to go look at all the food items I have, including leftovers.

I need you to sort them in the order they need to be used in before they go bad.

I need you to go out to this fantastic global information network of ours, and consult your fancy-pants machine learning algorithms to tell me (or, i suppose, my harried wife) what to cook for dinner that will satisfy at least three of the six people in this house with what we've got, and what we need to use now, and get it the hell done in the next 30 minutes.

Because Meal Planning is Bullshit.
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:07 AM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


I could also use a goddamn set of smoke detectors that understood when I was cooking. (I actually gave up and replaced the main level ones near the kitchen with 135 degree F heat sensors instead of smoke sensors, because I've had it directly up to here with that nonsense.)
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:08 AM on October 9, 2015


But seriously, here's what I think the perfect futuristic kitchen would contain:

  • A freezer.
  • A microwave/heating oven.
  • A dishwasher.

    The freezer should be full of inexpensive but nutritious frozen packets of mains and vegetables. These can be grabbed, tossed into the oven, and you press one button, which reads the RFID tags on the packets and cooks appropriately. The packet food should not be chock full of sugar and salt and fat, because that is bad for us.

    When the machine goes ping you decant the food, eat it, and throw the plastic packet containers in the recycling or bin: they are all the same recyclable plastic, or so lightweight that landfill is better (because they are dirty).

    Then we can get on with writing our novels and playing with our children. And by "we" I mean typically "women."

    To be crystal clear: if you want to have a big kitchen and do cooking, then that's AWESOME, and I celebrate your cooking. But I have NO INTEREST in it. My wife, like me has an interest in having healthy food, but again NO INTEREST in cooking. Nor the cleaning that goes with it. We're not better than you. Or worse than you. Just different.

    You can add in those huge coffee-making machines or bread machines too, if you like. And somewhere for the milk. But the absolute core functions - making food, serving it, cleaning up afterwards - are handled by the system above.

    Healthy, inexpensive food (mostly vegetables and pulses, great!) with minimum preparation and clean-up time. That's what we want. We have lots of the bits - ready meals, freezers, microwaves - but it's not all put together quite right - too expensive, too much added sugar and salt and fat. Come on technology!

  • posted by alasdair at 7:12 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


    alasdair: yes, this would also be a suitable kitchen of the future.
    posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 7:20 AM on October 9, 2015


    I think my favorite line in the article was this one:

    Here's how many times I saw anything about keeping the kitchen clean in all the future-home videos I've watched: Not once.

    Because hell to the yes, I fucking hate cleaning up after cooking. I love cooking, I love enjoying my meals when I go all-out on something out of Julia Child's books, but then when it's over, I mean, I've already done all that work and now I have to do MORE work to clean it all up? (And I'm a single guy so there's no one else to farm it out to.)

    (It's also possible I'm just a lazy whiner.)
    posted by dnash at 8:51 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


    I could also use a goddamn set of smoke detectors that understood when I was cooking.

    I have this problem a LOT in my small apartment. Actually I think I've seen a new "smart" smoke detector, one of those WiFi-enabled types - I forget the brand name but it sounded like it had a setting where you could tell it to chill out for a period of time when you're cooking. I don't think it would "know" it on its own, but definitely a step in the right direction.
    posted by dnash at 8:55 AM on October 9, 2015


    It's also possible I'm just a lazy whiner.

    No it isn't! In fact, that gets to the fundamental question at the core of this article-- why are the people designing these kitchens so bizarrely unaware of what actual human beings want and need?

    What do people want and need? Kitchens that make cooking/life easier. What do these corporations keep producing? Kitchens that make nothing easier, and instead make "solutions" to nonexistent problems, and also sometimes that make currently easy things even harder.

    Great article-- thanks for posting, We had a deal, Kyle!
    posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:00 AM on October 9, 2015


    why are the people designing these kitchens so bizarrely unaware of what actual human beings want and need?

    So as much as I think futurism is stupid, there is sort of a point.

    When you go crazy and blue-sky everything you may come up with a few actually good ideas.

    Like an all-glass kitchen is a terrible idea.

    But the glass-topped induction cooktop I just bought? It's pretty amazing.

    I think if you take the approach that these aren't actually meant to be practical kitchens any more than Paris runways fashions aren't meant to be worn as daily office wear you might be OK. They're crazy ideas. Maybe one idea in the whole kitchen-of-the-future is actually useful. And maybe that's OK. (it's a damn sight better than the shit renovations I've seen in old houses)

    I actually did just design a kitchen and it's almost done, so here's what my kitchen-of-the-future-today looks like:

    * attention to layout first and foremost. design for actual things you do in the kitchen. make use of things like blind corners effectively. we have a dedicated spot for the dog's bowls so they're not always underfoot where you trip over them.
    * sustainable materials. a quartz countertop that's 70% recycled materials. Tiles that are 50%+ recycled materials, locally made. Bamboo cabinetry because I like the look but also because it's a more sustainable material. (and floor tile from china that's not recycled because I don't have an infinite budget. I'm no martyr. But maybe I could have got something better like marmoleum)
    * light. Like seriously, dark kitchens are terrible. but led light which is super efficient!
    * drawers not cabinets wherever possible because stuff gets lost in the back of cabinets. Modern drawer technology is amazing.
    * storage that strikes a balance between being purpose-built (a cabinet with vertical dividers for baking sheets) and storage that's generic and re-purposable.

    Like others have noted, the kitchen of the future isn't better because it's made of lexan and ceramics, it's better because someone spent some time thinking about the kitchen, who uses it and how it's used.
    posted by GuyZero at 9:53 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


    To be fair to the 50s plastics futurists, the biggest single change in kitchens in the last 50 years could well be the dominance of Teflon. Maybe not if you're a foodie, but most people cook everything in non-stick pans.
    posted by colie at 10:20 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


    A smart stove is still just a machine; it doesn't know what you want until you teach it. Neither does the fork that tracks your calorie intake, or the cup that monitors your hydration, or the fridge that wants to tell you when it's time to buy more milk or eggs. ... "Every gadget is asking what's this? What's this?"
    Reminds me of this Youtube classic.
    posted by clawsoon at 12:47 PM on October 9, 2015


    Here's how many times I saw anything about keeping the kitchen clean in all the future-home videos I've watched: Not once.

    I was thinking about this just last night, as I did some baking and then had to deal with the sink installed by the DIY-loving previous owner (not quite correctly but that's a different issue). Which, because of its material and construction, is almost impossible to clean fully with any cleansers and/or equipment known to humankind. How hard is it to think about "ease of cleaning"?

    As a kid, I also dreamed of eating off nothing but paper plates, to avoid doing dishes. This sink makes me contemplate that dream with great nostalgia.
    posted by thomas j wise at 1:44 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Maybe not if you're a foodie, but most people cook everything in non-stick pans.

    We needed new pots because we bought an induction cooktop (I might as well cook over a burning pile of money but that's a separate issue) and my wife wanted straight stainless instead of nonstick. I said good, she could clean them then.

    We bought nonstick.
    posted by GuyZero at 2:14 PM on October 9, 2015


    Stainless steel isn't particularly hard to wash though.
    posted by Ferreous at 6:03 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


    Stainless steel is a revelation for searing, my home cooking went from standard issue to "foodie grade" when I acquired a single nice pan and read up on protein techniques. I know cast iron is king but for most practical purposes like searing steaks and pork chops and having fond for a pan sauce, I love stainless, it's always ready to rock in about eight minutes on my crappy stove. For French toast and such I definitely go nonstick.

    Yesterday I mistakenly crisped up tortillas on stainless. It did a marvelous job but the oil was cooked on so much that I nearly sprained my ankle building leverage to hand scrub it. Of course I was being dumb and using a scrubbing sponge instead of steel wool but I hate bringing that into the kitchen.
    posted by aydeejones at 9:30 PM on October 9, 2015


    Oh my god this is a thread for me.

    Dream kitchen includes:

    - taps that are operated by feet or knees
    - oven-mounted ovens, not this stupid bend over crap
    - LARGE sinks
    - something we had at one house: big cupboard area for appliances, with a flip-up-to-counter-height shelf that brings your e.g. food processor up to usable height (with a plug INSIDE the cabinet)
    - under-counter refrigeration
    - HOOD
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:00 PM on October 9, 2015


    If you ever have stuff in stainless steel that's actually stuck on, just boil some water over it and scrape with a wooden spoon. Easy fix.
    posted by Ferreous at 5:10 AM on October 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


    If we're talking about stainless, I'd like fully clad, three-ply stainless cookware (e.g. All-Clad) that has rolled edges so you can pour neatly from it, and that has skillets that take the same size lids as the stockpot and sauté pans. My old cookware had a sandwich bottom so it sucked for cooking with gas, but it got the edges and lids right. The fully clad stuff I got to replace it is nice on the gas stove, but none of the lids fit the skillets, and pouring from a saucepan inevitably results in a mess.

    But also: anything you can't get off stainless with water and a spatula you can probably remove with Barkeeper's Friend and a scrubber. I have a 99¢ scraper I use for cleaning (to keep from killing all my spatulas) and it's rare I need to use anything else. I mostly use the Barkeeper's Friend if the stainless starts to look too dull, even after regular cleaning.

    I do all the dishes and I have a slight preference for two-basin sinks, but I have learned to settle for a dishpan in one large basin. I would like that large basin to have a mostly flat bottom, though, not one that's all rounded and sloped. Those rounded, sloped ones result in too much broken stemware.

    So yes, the problem with the kitchens of the future is that none of them really address the actual manufacturing and operational problems with the kitchens of the present, they just add new shit that breaks. Give me cookware with consistent lids, give me a stove that accommodates that cookware, give me an oven with sensibly spaced racks, give me a sink that doesn't contribute to breakage, give me a faucet with high enough flow I don't have to wait three minutes for hot water, give me outlets with adequate current for my countertop appliances, and give me storage so I can actually own a stand mixer. I mean, really. Give me an ergonomic, practical kitchen, which can be made using current technology, and forget all that other crap.
    posted by fedward at 7:54 AM on October 10, 2015


    If you ever have stuff in stainless steel that's actually stuck on, just boil some water over it and scrape with a wooden spoon.

    Also, something that has really simplified keeping my cast iron in top shape, but also works for my stainless steel wok: as soon as you're done cooking, transfer the food to a serving bowl, then take it right to the sink and scrub it out. If it isn't dried-on and is a little warm, the stuff comes off with just a few wipes, like 20 seconds is all it takes. If you let it sit for very long to dry out and get cold, that's the problem.
    posted by AzraelBrown at 8:49 AM on October 10, 2015


    Deglazing works well too, with the bonus of having a tasty fancy-pants sauce at the end of it!

    Just be careful about salting it, since there's likely already salt in it from whatever you were cooking.
    posted by Greg_Ace at 9:30 AM on October 10, 2015


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