If you’ve ever watched a reality TV show featuring a kitchen remodel, you know it’s not for the faint of heart. Taking on a kitchen remodel is one thing, but how about surviving one with your sanity intact? Today we’re laying out some of the basics on how to survive your kitchen renovation, tips for cooking without a stove and some easy recipes to get you through the chaos!
How to Survive A Kitchen Renovation
1. Establish a temporary kitchen.
If possible set up a temporary kitchen area in another location, preferably an area with a sink. This is a great way to still be able to clean dishes, prep small meals and just have a working area for everyday meals like breakfast and lunch. These smaller meals may not require the same amount of prepping as dinner, but it’s nice to have a solid surface to pour milk into cereal, instead of doing so on the couch cushions.
2. Consolidate essential kitchen items.
Get a large clear storage bin and place frequently used kitchen items in it. That way you have easy access to them in your temporary kitchen space. Utensils, spices, plates, paper goods like napkins and other cookware are some examples. Another clear storage bin for cleaning and other household supplies will also come in handy, too.
3. Stock up on paper plates.
There’s truly nothing worse than trying to do dishes in a bathroom sink (or tub!). For the short duration of your renovation, consider skipping the green option and going with practical one. Keep in mind, it’s only temporary!
4. Familiarize yourself with alternative cooking methods.
Consider buying a single burner cook top, especially if you’re going to be out of your kitchen for a while. There are many ways to cook without a stove, but certainly for longer renovation periods, having access to a single burner could be a game changer. And it won’t hurt to familiarize yourself with recipes that can be prepped in a microwave or toaster oven. We can help you out with that down below!
5. Prep and freeze meals before you lose your stove top.
If you’ll have access to a freezer during the renovation, make meals ahead of time and freeze them in small containers for easy thawing and microwaving. It may feel like a lot of extra work upfront, but you’ll thank yourself later.
6. Kitchen renos make quite a mess: cover your floors.
Protect your floors from the point of entry into the house to the renovation site. This will save you from having to mop those floors a hundred times before you can get all of the renovation dust and footprints off of those floors again.
7. On the same note, tape up plastic sheets.
Tape off the renovation area with plastic sheets and painters tape to keep as much of the construction dust and mess contained as you can.
8. Get organized before you dive in on demo day.
Starting a renovation without an organized plan of attack will cause unnecessary stress throughout the process. Know what you want before you begin and budget appropriately. Here are a few topics we’ve covered that may help you prepare for your kitchen renovation:
- How to Plan a DIY Home Renovation + Budget Spreadsheet
- How to Renovate a House in the Most Stress-Free Way Possible
- How to Pick Kitchen Countertops You’ll Love for Years to Come
- Choosing the Right Paint Colors + Design Inspiration
Cooking Methods To Rely On During a Kitchen Renovation
If you’ve watched those renovation reality showers, you know that the worst part is not being able to cook! We are all so accustomed to being able to cook on our stoves and in our ovens, but what happens when we can’t?
Surprisingly, there are many ways to cook without a stove when you don’t have access to one! Here are a few cooking methods to fall back on:
- Slow cooker or instant pot
- Toaster oven
- No cooking required (sandwiches, salads, take out, pizza, etc.)
Our Favorite Recipes to Make During a Kitchen Renovation (No Stove Needed!)
Crock Pot Meals
There are about a million different crock pot meals out there, including side dishes, desserts, main dishes and even drinks! Relying on a crock pot during a renovation is certain to decrease the stress and leave your family with a delicious meal to enjoy!
Loaded Baked Potatoes in the Microwave
Baked potatoes: a simple way to enjoy a flavor filled meal without a stove! Microwaving baked potatoes is quick and doesn’t compromise the flavor, especially when you add all of your favorite fixings. A few ideas: sour cream, chives, bacon, cheddar cheese–the basics. But don’t be afraid to load it up with extras like chili (made in a crock pot or bought from the store premade), chopped lunch meat, frozen veggies (thawed ahead of time), avocado, salsa, and more!
Meals Using a Rotisserie Chicken
Buying a rotisserie chicken (or a few) during a kitchen renovation is a great way to still enjoy a healthy, filling and delicious family meal when you don’t have access to a stove. Watch the video for a few incredibly easy (and delicious!) recipe ideas using a rotisserie chicken.
There are so many hearty salad options out there, many of which require no cooking at all. Think outside the box when it comes to your protein options — things like hard boiled eggs (which can be purchased pre-cooked at the store), grilled chicken (frozen options available at the grocery store) or even just beefing up your salad with cheese or nuts for protein! Eating a hearty, fresh salad can do a lot for the soul, especially in the midst of a kitchen renovation.
Grilled Meat and Veggies
Take the family away from the renovation and into the backyard for an evening of grilling! If you don’t have your own grill, visit a nearby park with one. Grill your favorite kind of meat and veggies and enjoy some fresh air away from the renovation dust.
Microwave Mug Meals
We may have Pinterest to thank for bringing this trend to the forefront, but there are surprisingly a million things you can cook in a coffee mug. Mug cakes became really popular a few years ago, but you can also make things like soup in a mug, mac and cheese, and even meat loaf.
One of my family’s favorite things to do when the weather is nice is to enjoy a picnic in the park. Picnics are another great way to get out of the renovation mess and enjoy a fun meal, al fresco! Pick up an assortment of lunch meats, cheeses, crackers or bread and fruits to enjoy outside. If the weather isn’t nice enough to eat outside, lay a blanket down in the living room and enjoy a picnic inside the house. A change of scenery and away from the norm is the perfect way to distract and entertain a family during a renovation.
Suggest a potluck dinner to a friend! They’ll know you can’t host, so have it at a friend’s house or public outdoor space. Invite friends to all bring a dish and suddenly you’ll have a variety of items to choose from–some which may have even been cooked on a stove! This is a great way to gather with friends and also get a great meal out of it. Offer to bring something that requires no cooking, like a dessert or a fruit side dish.
These tips, recipes and ideas should make your kitchen renovation just a bit easier to get through and enjoy! What is your favorite stoveless recipe? Share with us in the comments below!