5 Super-Smart Organizers These Professional Chefs Swear By

updated Sep 22, 2020
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Chef Cooking Food In Commercial Kitchen
Credit: Alto Images/Stocksy

We are endlessly fascinated with professional restaurant kitchens. They’re often tiny spaces, and yet the chefs inside can churn out award-winning menu items. Sure, these top-notch dishes are mostly the result of skill, creativity, and hard work — but we think a lot has to do with smart organization, too. After all, chefs have to be able to make these spaces work so that they can work. That’s why we asked five professional chefs to share their favorite organizing tools. Let’s take a look.

1. OXO Good Grips 5-Piece POP Container Set

Jessica Randhawa, the head chef and recipe creator at The Forked Spoon, says no chef’s kitchen is complete without a set of reliable, airtight dry food storage containers. “Airtight storage containers are designed to keep foods fresh for extended periods, which ultimately reduces food waste and saves money,” she says. 

The trick to keeping food fresh for the longest period possible, Randhawa says, is choosing the right-sized container. “Minimizing air volume and airflow with the airtight container is the ultimate goal,” she says. “Therefore, it’s best to buy multiple-sized airtight containers so you have the right container for the right job.”

Buy: OXO Good Grips 5-Piece POP Container Set, $49.99

2. BINO Stackable Plastic Organizer Storage Bins

A well-organized freezer is essential to make sure you’re not buying food you already have buried deep in there. Randhawa swears by clear, freezer-safe bins to keep her space divided for better organization. 

“The bins themselves should be appropriately labeled in your freezer so family members know where to put items properly after use or when loading them with new things,” she says. “Also, it helps to have various bins of different sizes for specific foods, depending on personal preferences for freezer foods.”

Buy: BINO Stackable Plastic Organizer Storage Bins, $17.99

3. Modern Innovations 16-Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar

Chef Mark Jenner, founder of FoodFireFriends, says his favorite organizational tool in the kitchen is a magnetic knife strip. “It helps keep your knives safe and sharp, and they’re always in hand’s reach,” he says. Beyond just knives you can stick anything metal on the magnetic strip — and your kitchen will look extra savvy when all your tools are on display. 

Buy: Modern Innovations 16 Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar, $17.99

4. Lemecima Kitchen Rack Magnetic Refrigerator Storage Organizer

Storing spices can be complicated, simply because the average kitchen houses a lot of them. Like most of us, Rachel Whitfield, a chef, spice and seasoning blend developer, and founder of Chef Curl Ardee, needs to be able to reach for spices in a pinch (pun intended). That’s why she keeps a magnetic spice and seasoning rack on the side of her refrigerator. 

“This rack is perfect for kitchens where stoves are near the fridge, and it holds several bottles,” she says. “With a paper towel rack at the bottom, this rack is a dream for the chef who hates clutter but always wants to keep their blends nearby.”

Buy: Lemecima Kitchen Rack Magnetic Refrigerator Storage Organizer, $26.99

5. Azar Displays Pegboard

“Whenever I go and work at a new place, I set up my organizational system first,” says Trinidad Ocotl, who currently works as the manager of Monty’s Blue Plate Diner in Madison, Wisconsin, and has logged more hours in the kitchen than most of us ever will. “I buy a peg board and use hooks to put all the tools on the wall so I don’t lose the things in the drawers.” He does the same thing at home. Being able to see exactly what he has and, more importantly, exactly where it is, enables him to focus his energy on cooking rather than shuffling through drawers. 

Buy: Azar Displays Pegboard, $39.18 for two