7 Stand-Out Kitchen Hacks to Level Up Your Winter Cooking Game

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We hate to break it to you, but summer is well and truly over—cue the ugly crying GIF. But in good news, the season for snuggling by the fire—hot chocolate in hand—is upon us and frankly, we couldn’t be more ready. 

Along with mulled wine and marshmallow-like outerwear, winter brings with it some of the most mouth-watering eats imaginable. And whether you’re hosting a cozy dinner party or movie night with mates, the team over at Mitre 10 have you sorted for all things kitchen and homeware related. Prepare to impress this chilly season with seven winter kitchen hacks to woo the foodies in your life.   

Serve Looks (And Snacks)

Just because sunny long evening hours are no more, doesn’t mean we’re quite ready to give up on our cheese platters. So we’re here to help you serve looks (and snacks) with a dreamy customizable DIY platter. And did we mention it’s super simple too? 

Grab a generic shelf—we used this white melamine one—and two handles to add personality. These industrial stainless steel ones are always a winner. Measure out the handle points on your board and drill the holes, followed with a coat of primer. Once the primer has dried, add a touch of spice with your desired paint color—you can even get creative with painters tape and patterns if the inspiration strikes. Let the paint dry, install the handles, layer on some baking paper and load your board up with treats. Finite. 

A DIY Serving Tray

Roll With It 

Keep track of your shopping list, weekly to-dos and everything in-between with this cute take on brown baking paper. Cut a dowel to your desired length—you’ll want this to be longer than your baking paper. Mark a point at each end and ensure they’re aligned before drilling a hole in each point and inserting eye screws. Install two picture hooks on your wall, equal distance to the screws in your dowel. Slip on the brown baking paper, roll it out and secure it to the wall with magnets. Consider your shopping list fancy-ified.

DIY Baking Paper Roll Shopping List

Wine, But Make It Decor 

Transform your vino collection into kitchen decor with this quick and easy winter wine rack DIY. Grab a wooden plank and mark six level points on it for the hooks. Paint with your favourite colour—we opted for a classic white, which went on smoothly with a paint roller. Remove the backing from these Elfa round hooks, place them into the holes and you’re done. Now rack ‘em up, pour yourself a vino, and admire your work.   

Level Up Your Winter Cooking Game With 7 Stand-Out Kitchen Hacks

Create Some Ambiance

It’s true what they say, food is not just about the nosh, it’s also about the atmosphere. And there’s nothing that screams winter more than a roaring fire. But if like most Kiwis, you’re not blessed with a wood-burning fireplace, check out this rent-friendly hack. Flame-effect heaters easily plug into your wall outlet and come to life with magical flames and cozy heating. Some of them even look like retro fireplaces, adding to the ambiance. If you’re handy on the tools, have a go at building a mock-mantel to sit your heater under—simply search ‘DIY Fireplace Mantel’ on Pinterest and cue the inspiration

Cosy-Up The Bar Cart 

What’s better than a delicious hot drink on a cold winter night? A boozy hot drink, that’s what. It’s time to pimp out the bar cart of your dreams with a slow cooker to see you through the season. Deck out the rest of the bar cart with a set of stylish mugs, tipple toppings and a ladle. 

As for cozy cocktail, the options are endless. Mulled wine never goes amiss—particularly if you’re using Central Otago Pinot. Alternatively, try out a classic hot toddy with whiskey and  honey, or a decadent Baileys hot chocolate featuring a slab of Whittaker’s. Winning. 

Defrost With Warm Tones

Between granite benchtops, clinical tiles and white cabinets, it’s easy for a kitchen to feel cold. Inject a bit of personality into your cooking space with wood tones, which add a rich sense of history and warmth to any interior. Opt for practical uses of wood like floating shelves, which can be easily stained to match your style. Alternatively, incorporate warm metals such as gold, rose gold and brass. A no-brainer is to simply swap out cabinet handles with cozier options like this elegant brushed brass one or this tarnished pewter pull. Before you know it, Architectural Digest will be knocking on your door. 

Light It Up 

With the sun setting by 6pm these days, it’s all about the lighting when it comes to creating an inviting space this winter. You can’t go wrong with simple swaps—drape LED fairy lights across shelves or switch out your standard pendant lights for statement shades. However, one of the easiest but most effective hacks is to use remote-controlled puck lights to creatively uplight or downlight a space. Simply attach them to the top of cabinets to softly uplight a wall, or beneath cabinets to create task lighting for items stored on the counter. While you’re at it, dial up your dining table’s mood with a floor standing lamp. 

Go full master chef this Winter and upgrade your kitchen with these easy hacks. From designing a new serving tray to an easy wine rack for your favorite tipple, the team at Mitre 10 has you covered with everything you’ll need.

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