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The kitchen is a room within an apartment , a catering facility or a facility for communal catering, which is mainly used for the preparation and partially for the storage of meals. In addition to its pure function as a place for the preparation of food, the kitchen has repeatedly been a determining element in the development of living forms and a reflection of social structures in the course of its development history. The term kitchen is derived from the Old High German chúchina , which in turn goes back to the late Latin cocina / coquina , a derivation of the classic Latin coquus "cook".

historical development

Neolithic food and cooking utensils
Kitchen with stove and oven of a Roman inn ( Mansio ) in the Roman villa of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler

Neolithic and ancient times

The first verifiable structures of a kitchen, i.e. an area for food preparation that can be distinguished from a pure fireplace, can be found in excavation finds of the pre-ceramic Neolithic A structures of Jericho from around 8350 BC. Chr. To 7370 BC These consisted of very simple clay ovens , open fireplaces and grinding stones in the inner courtyards of the thatched mud huts of this early urban settlement. It is assumed that these "proto kitchens" are used jointly by the family groups living in the surrounding huts. In pre-ceramic epochs there were no sufficiently resistant cookware, so food was either baked or roasted over the fire (over the fire or in the ashes), or heated with heated stones in calabashes or leather hoses.

In the old city-states of Anatolia such as Çatalhöyük around 7000 BC. Kitchens were also found as separate stoves and open fireplaces in the mud houses. According to the excavation finds known so far, these are simple clay ovens that were distributed in separate rooms or in separate building structures.

In Mesopotamia the stoves ( called kinûnu in Akkadian ) consisted of raised hobs made of mud bricks and open fireplaces, which were mostly in the open air. Furthermore, simple ovens were ( Sumerian tinûnu used) whose shape and name to today's Indian Tandurs or the Arab Tannur forwards ovens. Flatbread, the main food of the Mesopotamians, was baked on the outside of these clay ovens, but also in the ashes on the stoves. Due to the warm climate, these stoves did not have to perform any additional task as a heat source. Cuneiform tablets of the Akkadians , dating from around 1750 BC. Are dated, give a good insight into the equipment of these kitchens.

In ancient Greece , the architecture of the residential buildings was mostly characterized by the atrium style, a covered, but otherwise open patio here mostly served as a kitchen. Only in the houses of the affluent population was the kitchen in a separate room, usually right next to a bathroom, so that both rooms could be heated at the same time by the kitchen fire. Often there was a small separate room behind the kitchen to store food and kitchen utensils.

In the Roman Empire , the simple city dwellers mostly did not have their own kitchens. Increasingly, the oven for making bread in the kitchens of the Romans was replaced by centralized bakeries and disappeared from the houses. There were large public kitchens in the cities for preparing food. In some of these there were small, mobile stoves made of bronze, on which a fire could be made for cooking. The kitchens of the wealthy Romans were relatively well equipped. In a Roman villa, the kitchen was usually part of the main building, but designed as a separate room. This was done on the one hand for practical reasons to limit smoke development, on the other hand for sociological reasons, since the kitchen was run exclusively by slaves . The hearth was typically on the floor by a wall, sometimes raised a little so that you could cook on your knees. There were no flues or chimneys.

middle Ages

Medieval kitchen with stove and spatula, depiction around 1505
Old black kitchen with kitchen utensils
Marienburg kitchen

Early European longhouses did not have their own kitchen, but an open fireplace under the highest point of the building. Between this mostly deepened and stone-lined fireplace and the entrance area of ​​the house was the “kitchen area” in which the meals were prepared, and this was mostly also the space for the grinder . Instead of a chimney, a hole in the roof served as an outlet for the smoke. In addition to cooking, this fireplace also served as a heat and light source for these one-room houses. Similar designs can be found in longhouses of later cultures such as the Iroquois of North America.

In the larger homesteads of the European nobles, the kitchen was often in a separate and partially recessed building in order to keep the main house, which was used for representative purposes, free of smoke. In the Motten of the 9th century, this building could also have been located in the outer bailey.

The first known hearth ovens in Japan date from the Kofun period (3rd - 6th centuries). These stoves ( called kamado ) were made of mortar and clay. They were fired through a hole in the front and had another opening on the top into which a pot could be hung with its rim. These hearth ovens were used to cook rice, for example. This type of hearth furnace remained in use for centuries. An open hearth , which was fired with charcoal, served as a second stove (called irori ). Side dishes were prepared on this and it also served as a heat source. Such fireplaces can be found up to the Edo period (17th – 19th centuries).

Throughout the Middle Ages , the kitchen remained largely untouched by the architectural changes of the time. Open fire was the only way to heat food. European kitchens were dark, sooty, and smoky. Hence their common names " Rauchküche " or "Schwarzküche". In the European cities of the 10th – 12th In the early 1900s, kitchens still used an open hearth in the middle of the room. In wealthy households, the kitchen was often relocated to the first floor because stables and storage rooms were set up on the ground floor. In castles and monasteries, the kitchens and work rooms were separated from the living quarters, so the stove could no longer be used as a heat source, which led to the spread of early forms of the tiled stove. Last but not least, the classical works of Roman writers that existed in monasteries led to the adoption of ancient forms and construction methods, such as in the St. Gallen monastery with several large kitchens, breweries and special facilities for preparing food for larger groups of pilgrims.

At the same time, in Japanese homes, the kitchen became a separate room within the building.

With the advent of the chimney, the stove was moved from the center of the room to a wall and the first brick stoves were built. The fire was lit on the stove surface and a cavity under the stove served as a storage and drying area for the required firewood. To direct the smoke into the chimney, a so-called draft fire was used, in which a strong piece of wood created a stream of warm air that pulled up into the chimney and let the smoke be drawn off through the chimney . The ceramic pots used almost exclusively in the past have been increasingly replaced by pots made of iron, bronze and copper, as hanging kettles or as three-legged pots, so-called grapes . Cooking was done on the kettle hook over the fire, the pot was hung on a kettle saw and hung higher or lower if necessary. Furthermore, pots and pans on iron tripods, the pan dogs, were placed over the fire or in the glowing ashes. This enabled the temperature to be better controlled compared to previous types of stoves, which led to a further development of the art of cooking and also to a further development of kitchen equipment. The chimney also served as a smokehouse, in which sausages and ham were “hung in the smoke”.

Roast, poultry and other dishes were still cooked on a spit over an open fire or embers. Leonardo da Vinci invented a mechanical rotisserie spit that turned the rotisserie spit by means of a wind turbine in the chimney and the rising warm air. This system found widespread use in wealthier homes during the Renaissance.

Throughout the Middle Ages, cooking with an open fire in the kitchens, especially in the cities with their closely packed wooden houses, was always a starting point for large conflagrations and thus a danger for the city and its residents. For this reason, regulations have been issued to minimize this risk. In old chronicles the consequences of such fires are described drastically.

With the beginning of the late Middle Ages , kitchens in Europe largely lost their heating function. The fireplace in the kitchen was increasingly being replaced by tiled stoves , which were still fired from the kitchen, but were now in the next room, i.e. the living room . This meant that this room was smoke-free and could be used as a representation room and to display one's own wealth. In the upper-class buildings, the servants did the cooking and the kitchen was therefore more and more removed from the dining rooms. In some cases, therefore, simple food elevators were set up, especially in palaces and castles, in order to move the finished dishes from the kitchen to the dining rooms. In simpler houses, the one- room solution lasted a long time or a kitchen was used in the entrance area of ​​the house. Some houses also had a black kitchen in a separate extension.

The medieval black kitchen was preserved for a long time, especially as a farmer's kitchen or in the homes of the poor. In some, mainly rural areas, such kitchens were in use until the middle of the 20th century. Houses of this type often only have a very simple chimney clad with wood and clay, which directs the smoke directly into the roof structure. There is the smokehouse where sausages and ham hang in the smoke and are cold smoked. The smoke also acts as a good impregnation agent for the wooden beams of the roof stalls against pests.

Renaissance and transition to baroque

Italian cuisine.jpg

Little or nothing changed for the kitchen of the common people; the open table stove with the high exhaust in a separate area of ​​the house was still used.

In stately homes, the kitchen reflects the beginning of a change in lifestyle. Representation and presentation became a style-defining element and the kitchens also reflect this change. The extended equipment of the Renaissance kitchens can be reconstructed on the basis of the traditional cookbooks from this period and the dishes contained therein (which were of course dishes from the courtly and middle-class environment, since no recipes were handed down in writing from rural kitchens of the time).

These now not only include the table stove with a system of skewers for different tasks, but also often a separate oven for pies and cakes, a sink for preparing roots and fish, large mortars in which food and spices could be crushed (e.g. poultry meat for a Blancmanger, or peeled almonds for almond milk, an important ingredient in Lent dishes). There are now the first signs of specially manufactured kitchen furniture in the form of shelves and shelves for bowls, plates, kitchen utensils and tools (→ kitchen buffet ).

Around the middle of the 16th century, the previously open fireplace was often replaced by one that was walled on three sides, which also served to make better use of fuel. Sometimes such masonry stoves were covered with a perforated iron plate or a grid on which the cooking vessels then stood. However, this made new pot and pan shapes necessary, as the three-pegs that were previously used could no longer be used. Pots and pans with flat bottoms were created.

During this time, the large kitchens in the castles and palaces began to transform from pure food production facilities to diversified service companies, as an anticipation of the division in today's large catering kitchens , sub-areas were now outsourced to specialists, instead of the individual cook who prepared the dishes Prepared domination, a staff of cooks under the direction of a master cook entered. One of the most famous chefs of his time was François Vatel , who was responsible for countless sumptuous and lavish festive events at the most important courts in France from around 1650 to 1671. Large festival kitchens of this time occupy entire wings of the respective castles.

Baroque and Rococo

Kitchen pocket book Leipzig 1795.jpg

Around 1735, François de Cuvilliés the Elder developed the Castrol stove (or pot stove), a stove with a completely closed fire chamber that was covered with perforated iron plates. The name Castrol is derived from the French word "casseroles" for "saucepans". One of the first examples of this type of stove was installed in the kitchen of the Amalienburg in the Nymphenburg Palace Park in Munich . Around 1800 this construction principle was expanded by making holes in the cover plates into which the saucepans and kettles were hung. One of the key figures in the development of these so-called economy stoves was the American Benjamin Thompson , Count Rumford, who lives in Munich , after whom this stove is also called the Rumford stove . The cookware of that time consisted largely of cast iron and had conical walls that could be placed in the stoves made of iron rings. In the more upscale kitchens, tinned copper dishes were increasingly used for cooking.

One of the reasons for the development of such economy stoves with reduced fuel consumption was certainly the increasing urbanization and the resulting impoverishment of the urban population. In particular, Count Rumford, who among other things became known for the development of a soup recipe for the poorer classes and poor people, campaigned in this way for the design of inexpensive kitchen appliances. This made it possible in the cities to equip the kitchen with a stove, even for poorer shifts.

It was a courtly fashion to set up a show kitchen next to the kitchen in which meals were prepared, which, although fully functional, served to present collections of porcelain and faience. Margravine Sibylla Augusta had a show kitchen set up in her favorite porcelain palace near Rastatt, built between 1710 and 1711, directly under her personal living quarters, in which she presented her rich collection of faience and crockery. Since the kitchen was never used, it can be used to read the original state of kitchen equipment from the early 18th century. The idea of ​​equipping a state kitchen as a representation room came from Holland and was adopted by Protestant princesses and wealthy Nuremberg citizens. There were also garden kitchens that were only stocked with china and earthenware.

19th century

Kitchen of the Royal Pavilions in Brighton , 1826
Replica of the kitchen of a Majorcan country house

In the 16th to 18th centuries, the fathers' literature (see also home cooking ) only addressed the pater familias , a male director of larger rural households. In the 19th century, the technical equipment in households increased considerably, and the associated household literature became significantly more extensive.

Kitchen in the original condition of
Hünegg Castle, built between 1861 and 1863
Brick wood fire stove
Interior in Dausenau , drawing of the kitchen by the painter Carl Wilhelm Huebner , 1845
The gold-awarded Schindler kitchen from 1893

The kitchen (s, laundry room and kitchen) became the center of the bourgeois household of the 19th century. Whether the housewife was at the stove herself or whether she merely monitored the staff working there - the housewife's reputation depended on the kitchen. Cooking was increasingly scientifically made, the housewife should make knowledge of chemical and physical properties useful and useful. Dealing with a multitude of different materials that required a wide variety of care and cleaning, as well as the physical work that a household meant in times without running water and electricity, made housekeeping a demanding and time-consuming activity that required solid training and instruction . In the second half of the 19th century, women began to be perceived and addressed independently as housemothers or housewives. The associated new role of women as heads of households or externally (senior) house clerks was reflected in women's education and the domestic schools that were emerging at the time . The first housekeeping schools emerged from so-called traveling cookery courses, which typically took place in the winter half-year as a winter school with movable kitchen furniture. Stationary schools and associated teaching kitchens were only set up later.

Within a building, the kitchen should be designed in such a way that it is sufficiently large and that the various areas of activity can be well distributed in the room, and that it is bright, high and well ventilated. The kitchen should be accessible directly from the outside and as far away from the living space as possible so that family members, visitors or guests could neither perceive the smells nor the noises that typically arise during cooking. Water and fuel should be easily accessible, and appropriate storage rooms and pantries as close as possible to the kitchen itself.

The most important piece of equipment in the kitchen in the 19th century was the fireplace. Most of the time this was built in, so that the housewife had little choice but to come to terms with the model she found. More elaborate stoves were equipped with several cooking holes, a roasting oven, a drying oven and a water boat, were clad with easy-to-clean, polished iron or faience plates and could easily be heated with a single fire. The technically very sophisticated and elaborate versions with fire on grates inside, ash slides for easy disposal and controllable stove openings were not entirely wrongly called the cooking machine . The different types of firing, depending on the stove and fuel, had a significant influence on the cooking time - it was therefore necessary to familiarize yourself with the respective device and to calculate the cooking times individually.

Cooking utensils were usually made of tinned copper , the tinning of which could be renewed if necessary; the new nickel and aluminum dishes that appeared towards the end of the century were probably only available in very wealthy households. Earthenware, which could be bought cheaply, was increasingly viewed as unsavory because of its poor durability and heavy wear and tear. Cast iron pots and pans were also used, but not for starchy foods because of the discoloration caused by the iron, and less for actual cooking than for keeping warm or braising. Of tin and brass utensils they came because of the risk of poisoning from lead and verdigris increasingly clear during oxidized iron so-called " patent cookware " and " Email granité " affordable innovations represented.

The dishes for preparing dishes in the kitchen and for the dining table were mostly made of porcelain , but also made of earthenware , faience or enameled iron, silver and wood.

In front of the establishment of running water there were water buckets or cans in the kitchens, usually made of sheet metal painted on the inside with oil paint or made of wood. Warm water was produced and stored in the water boat integrated into the stove (so named for its oval shape). A small tap on the front of the stove made it easy to remove.

The cookery and housekeeping book Das Hauswesen by Maria Susanne Kübler , first published in 1850, suggests the following basic inventory as an example for a medium-sized household:

2-3 copper or tinned iron pots or casseroles, also called ports or pans, 2-3 large cast-iron water ports, 1 larger and 1 smaller pan of unoxidized iron, as well as 1 flat pancake pan. 1 larger and 1 smaller brass pan. 1 iron, copper or nickel or aluminum frying pan.
Also desirable: 1 copper tea kettle, 1 wire rack on four feet, 1-2 cast iron casseroles, 1 egg pan and matching lids for all pans.
Other necessary equipment: 1 serving spoon, 1-2 slotted spoons, 6 wooden cooking spoons, 2-3 iron or pewter tablespoons. Desirable: 1 ladle and 1 spoon holder.
Also: 1 large kitchen knife or carving knife , 1 small cleaning knife , 1 hash knife, 1 two-pronged meat fork , 2 ordinary forks, 2 coarser and 1 finer chopping needle . Desirable: 1 cleaver, 1-2 corer, one lemon squeezer , one bean slicer , 1 vegetable drills, 1 Chartreuse knife , 1 Salatseiher, 1 can opener.
And 1 messingner mortar , one big punch , 1 grater, one-piece spatula, 1 kitchen shovel, 1 salad slicer, one funnel, one pewter plates, one ax , one fire bucket , 1 tongs , some iron skillet rings with stems, 1-2 iron pull-cap, 1 scales with weights, 1-2 candlesticks, 1 kerosene lamp, 1 copper, well-tinned water bucket with water scoop and wooden lid, 1 enameled water bucket for cleaning, 1 tin food stretcher with rim.

In addition to these basic equipment, there should also be baking and pudding molds, whisks and waffle irons, as well as a pastry board, chopping board, salt barrel, earthen jugs, pots, bowls and glasses.

For cleaning and washing up, the kitchen needed a sink, washing-up tub, sand container, broom, small brush and floor brush. The stove and cooking utensils were mainly cleaned with sand, but also with lye and polished to prevent mold and rot in the food, the settlement of vermin and the oxidation of the metal surfaces.

From today's perspective, the other kitchen furniture, which is rather sparse, included:

“1 kitchen cupboard, with glass panes on top or with coarse canvas (cotton fabric) to let in air. However, this can also be done by cutting out round holes on both side walls and covering them with canvas. A box that contains a few drawers is very useful. 1 strong kitchen table with a beech or oak top or with a slate top and a drawer. 1-2 chairs; 1 stool, 1 small mirror. "

With increasing industrialization , the second half of the 19th century also brought some decisive changes to the design of the kitchen. The cities, which are growing in size due to urbanization, need not only a supply of drinking water, but also a regulated disposal of waste water. Running water and connection to the sewage system became more and more standard, especially in urban apartments. The stoves were initially still heated with wood or coal fires, but since the 1830s they have been improved by new construction methods such as the "Oberlin Stove" and comparable European constructions and made more compact designs accessible to smaller kitchens. By hanging the pots in the openings provided, they were heated evenly from all sides so that the heat could be used more efficiently, which in turn shortened the cooking time.

Although street lighting in large cities such as Berlin , London and Paris had been powered by gas since the 1820s and the first US patent for a gas stove was granted in 1825 , it took until the end of the 19th century for the gas supply network to be relatively well developed at the time in addition to lighting, it was also used for heating and cooking purposes. During the transition to the 20th century, electricity developed into an increasingly stronger alternative to gas, so that an electric stove was presented for the first time at the 1893 World Exhibition in Chicago . But here, too, acceptance was lagging behind. It was not until the 1930s that electric stoves began to be used in kitchens to a greater extent.

20th century

Before World War II

Frankfurt kitchen from 1926

As a result of industrialization, the kitchen was also increasingly technically upgraded and the laborious and labor-intensive work steps were at least partially made easier by new appliances. As a result, the employment of service personnel also decreased significantly, cookbooks and housekeeping books now devote special chapters to housekeeping without servants and dealing with wage waiters for special occasions. Such a book from 1936 lists the following devices as new labor-saving aids: central heating, house telephone for direct communication with the kitchen, vacuum cleaner, electric floor polisher, gas or electric stove, hot water boiler, pressure cooker, stainless steel knife, stepladder, food processor, gas lighter , Tea trolley . At the same time, however, it is warned against buying all innovations unseen, as many have proven to be impractical and difficult to clean.

The changed situation in the working population due to industrialization also meant great changes in the role of the kitchen. While the kitchen was the central social space of an apartment for a long time, the necessity of quick preparation of food came to the fore due to the construction of workers' settlements and the financial pressure to do paid work as a woman. This complete removal of women from kitchen work led to concepts such as that of the women's rights activist Lily Braun from 1901, according to which all tenants of an apartment building should leave the preparation of food in a central kitchen of the house. From around 1907, some houses with central kitchens were built, but the idea of ​​a shared kitchen was unsuccessful, so it soon disappeared. Well-known implementations of this concept were in Friedenau and Großlichterfelde (now part of Berlin ), where numerous three to four-story houses were built in a country house style.

Despite such unsuccessful attempts, efforts to optimize the architecture continued. So there were also kitchen concepts in the model houses of the Bauhaus that were integrated into the overall concept of the building. One of the best-known kitchen optimizations is the Frankfurt kitchen by the Viennese architect Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky from 1926, who analyzed the work steps in the kitchen according to the Taylor system and was supposed to facilitate kitchen work through the optimized arrangement of kitchen furniture and cooking accessories. The kitchen concept was implemented on a large scale as part of the Neues Frankfurt residential building program, which is why it got its name. Further developments of the Frankfurt kitchen were the Swedish kitchen and the Swiss measurement system . The Munich-based cuisine of Hanna Löv should also sociological consider aspects and was a compromise between the Frankfurt cuisine and traditional kitchen designed, it was in dwellings of post trial settlement built in Munich.

Changes in kitchen design after World War II

Chipboard kitchen with "easy-care" surfaces from the 1950s

While systemic ideas from the prewar period were still focused on improving the product, after 1945 planning focused primarily on reducing costs in social housing and on the interests of a few providers in large numbers. This was true both in the west with residential complexes and in the east with the prefabricated buildings . Designers and architects had to submit to the style of "industrial construction". The process was supported by the electrical appliance manufacturers, who took standardized external dimensions, even though baking trays or hotplates were still arbitrarily dimensioned. For the user, the situation means that the devices can be easily exchanged from provider to provider. Formally, the influence of the Frankfurt kitchen from 1926 can still be recognized, which the fitted kitchen anticipates.

In terms of material, the inexpensive chipboard, which is pasted with melamine decors (e.g. from Resopal ), prevails. The cause are cost reasons. According to the Ökotest, the pollution of wood-based materials and their adhesives has been considered critical, including on well-known kitchen furniture, up until the present day.

Since the 1960s, steel kitchens have been limited to a luxury segment, as has stainless steel kitchens, although the latter find their way into large kitchens in a simple form.

Bachelors or apartment cupboard kitchen 1954–1976, industrial heritage collection Villa Haas

In 1954, Hermann Fehling took a different path for the heating and cooking appliance manufacturer Haas & Sohn (Sinn, Hessen). For the increasing number of individual households, he designed a "bachelor" or apartment cupboard kitchen, which could be mass-produced at low cost in a standardized manner.

While the built-in kitchen began its triumphal march through the apartments after the Second World War and became a defining element of the home furnishings, contradicting drafts and kitchen designs were thought through and proposed especially by Otl Aicher . In his books, Aicher tries to break the “dictates of the fitted kitchen” and to design kitchens “in which one can cook sensibly and with pleasure”.

In recent times, a trend (also driven by the industry in search of new sales areas for high-quality and high-priced kitchen equipment) is superficially leading away from the standardized fitted kitchen and towards a “designed eat-in kitchen with an individual character” (according to an advertising quote). This is also characterized by the adoption of special kitchen technology from gastronomy into the domestic kitchen, such as combi or steamers, bain maries (water bath cooker ), special grill plates , lava grills built into the work surface , additional gas burners for using a wok, etc. Behind the alleged Individualization is an enormous process of repression and concentration. Different products from different brands only differ in decors, not in the development process.

United States: Open kitchens
Open plan living-dining-kitchen area in a prefabricated house in New York State

In the United States, since the end of the Second World War, open layouts have increasingly prevailed, in which the kitchen was no longer separated by walls from the dining area and soon also from the living area. The starting point for this development was the loss of importance of the house staff, who in the 19th century were supposed to appear as invisible as possible in the kitchen. Already in the Craftsman style from 1905 to 1925, the formal dining room of Victorian architecture was replaced by a dining area integrated into the kitchen. From 1936, in the Usonians , Frank Lloyd Wright finally opened the kitchen to the living area. Even in current mainstream architecture, for example in the Millennium Mansions , single-family houses are dominated by open room plans in which the kitchen, dining and living areas form flowing transitions. The technical innovations that supported this include the invention of high-performance extractor hoods , which in American homes often conduct the fumes generated on the stove through a pipe into the open air. In the USA, kitchens are always permanently installed and residents do not take them with them when they move.

21st century kitchens

A rustic kitchen from Germany with softwood fronts. The elements exposed to moisture are made of stainless steel and natural stone.

Following the development of the previous 20th century, different surface materials (new for kitchens) are used to refine the kitchen. Aluminum, steel, and linoleum are a few examples of materials used in vertical surfaces. Even in medium-sized kitchens, elegant work surfaces are increasingly being built into kitchens (e.g. worktops made of natural stone or stainless steel). The imitation of high quality continues, for example the pasting of chipboard kitchens with thin stainless steel (to simulate a metal kitchen) or wood imitations (to simulate carpentry). Industrially manufactured mass products are giving way to more and more individual solutions with individual pieces, especially in the high-priced area.

The demographic development of the population and the parallel deteriorating financial situation of the old-age provision and social security funds encourage efforts in the field of ergonomic kitchen development. Kitchens with adjustable substructures can be adjusted in height, the substructures and superstructures in depth, so that regardless of age, body size or physical constitution, as many people as possible can cook dignified and independently for a lifetime.

Systematization of kitchens

Fitted kitchen made of wood-based materials, in a typical L-shape
High-quality kitchen unit made of stainless steel, also suitable for outdoor use
Modern restaurant kitchen with a central island
Field kettle

There are several characteristics by which one can distinguish and systematize kitchens. The most common breakdowns are:

  • according to the character or conception of the kitchen
  • according to the tasks of the kitchen
  • according to the size or capacity of the kitchen (e.g. large kitchen ); Important factors in the subdivision are the degree of processing of the food used, the breadth of the range and the degree of processing of the finished food. In addition, the requirements of the building, the form of the food offer or the serving and the cashier system, and the classification in quality categories all influence the assessment. Most of the systems relate to commercial food production without addressing the kitchens in private households . Kitchens are common in most areas of the food industry . Typical systematics of the hospitality industry are applied to industry and communal catering. Historically and regionally, there are differences between the technical and colloquial understandings.
  • Depending on the materials used, built-in kitchens are usually made of laminated wood-based materials for reasons of cost, only a few high-quality and in the professional sector use different steels

One possibility of differentiation is the separation of full kitchen and final kitchen :

  • Full kitchens are facilities that only process unprepared or roughly prepared food. On convenience foods is largely unnecessary in this. Due to the general modernization and the networking in the trade, this type of kitchen is hardly available in industrial nations. However, some large catering and hotel establishments have the technical and personnel requirements so that they can be classified in a group of "partial full kitchens".
  • The end kitchens are kitchens that only take on their own food production to a limited extent. Depending on the scope of the production process, a distinction is made:
    • Gar-Endküchen in which the method of preparation and follow-up completely, and the preparation can be applied to a limited extent
    • Sideboard-end kitchens in which the follow-up procedures are completely taken over. In combination kitchens , some preparation processes are also carried out to prepare meals (typically in larger restaurants and hotels)
    • Output kitchens in which only a few follow-up processes are taken over (typically in communal catering and event catering)
Ohio State Normal College teaching kitchen in 1913

Another differentiation is based on the amount of food and its quality level

with regard to the production process or effort. Colloquial terms were often adopted. Examples for this are:

  • Teaching and school kitchens that serve educational purposes. In school kitchens, only a few warm kitchen meals are often produced using simple exemplary processes such as boiling , frying , steaming and stewing . As teaching kitchens, they also serve to teach more complex procedures.
  • Company or factory kitchens, with a limited scope of production of a few dishes from the hot and cold kitchen. The selection is based on the possibilities of preparing and serving larger quantities of portions at the same time. Here you can also prepare pan-fried dishes such as sausage, steaks and schnitzel.
  • Hospital kitchens are characterized by their adaptation to the dietary requirements of the health food . For this purpose, the focus of the equipment is on the production of larger quantities of food using gentle cooking methods. In addition, they usually take over the supply of the employees as a company kitchen.
  • Restaurant and hotel kitchens vary greatly depending on the menu choices. In hotel kitchens, the focus is often on the preparation of breakfast dishes, event catering and the supply of travel groups, in which many identical dishes are prepared at the same time, in restaurants with an à la carte menu, on the other hand, the even production over several hours, usually from midday, determines construction until late in the evening.

While most kitchens are permanently installed in buildings, there are special forms such as field kitchens and board kitchens that are designed to be mobile.

Mobility of kitchen equipment

The question of whether kitchen equipment (especially built-in lines with water installations and large appliances such as stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, etc.) is an immobile part of the house or apartment or whether it is a mobile element that the resident brings in and closes again when moving out remove is answered differently in different countries. While in Germany and Austria kitchen facilities (possibly with the exception of the sink and stove) are generally considered mobile, in many other countries (Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Finland, the United States) they are considered immobile. Since the reusability of kitchen equipment in the subsequent accommodation may be impaired due to a different kitchen layout, it is common in Germany and Austria to make a transfer agreement with the subsequent owner or tenant and to leave the equipment behind on this basis.

See also

Portal: Eating and Drinking  - Overview of Wikipedia content on the subject of Eating and Drinking


  • Otl Aicher : The kitchen for cooking. Callwey Verlag, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-936896-18-6 .
  • Isabella Beeton : Book of Household Management. London 1861, facsimile London 2000.
  • Gertrud Benker : In old kitchens. Facilities - equipment - culinary art. Munich 1987.
  • Elizabeth Craig : Cookery Illustrated and Household Management. London 1936.
  • Alphons Silbermann : The kitchen in the living experience of Germans. A sociological study. Opladen 1995.
  • Elfie Miklautz, Herbert Lachmayer, Reinhard Eisendle (eds.): The kitchen: On the history of an architectural, social and imaginative space. Böhlau, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-205-99076-5 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Kitchen  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Kitchens  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. About the show kitchen in Schloss Favorite, Rastatt .
  2. Hans Jürgen Teuteberg: From housemother to housewife. Kitchen work in the 18th / 19th century in contemporary housekeeping literature. In: Hans Jürgen Teuteberg (ed.): The revolution at the dining table: new studies on food culture in the 19th – 20th centuries. Century. Franz Steiner Verlag, 2004, a. a. Pp. 116-119.
  3. a b Kübler , Das Hauswesen , p. 47 f.
  4. ^ A b Johannes Kramer: The rural domestic education system in Germany (= dissertation at the University of Erlangen). Fulda 1913, section Economic women's schools in the country, pp. 80–83.
  5. Ortrud Wörner-Heil: Noble women as pioneers of vocational training: rural housekeeping and the Reifensteiner Verband kassel university press GmbH, 2010.
  6. Beeton, p. 25.
  7. Kübler , Das Hauswesen , 49–51.
  8. Kübler , Das Hauswesen , pp. 48–52.
  9. Quoted from Kübler , Das Hauswesen , pp. 52–53.
  10. Quoted from Kübler , Das Hauswesen , p. 55.
  11. Craig, pp. 644-646.
  12. Werner Sell: The great change in grandmother's kitchen. ( Memento from February 7, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
  13. Where can I get a non-toxic kitchen? ( Memento from September 6, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  14. Manfred Rohatsch among others: Technology of food production. 1st edition, VEB Fachbuchverlag, Leipzig 1987, ISBN 3-343-00305-0 .
  15. Transfer. Retrieved May 30, 2020 .