What is a Kitchen Cart?

Mary McMahon

A kitchen cart is a piece of movable furniture which has been designed specifically with the kitchen in mind. Kitchen carts typically have a number of shelves, racks, or drawers, along with a flat surface on top, and they are mounted on wheels, allowing cooks to easily move them around the kitchen as needed. Kitchen carts can be extremely useful, especially in a crowded kitchen, and they provide a very configurable workspace which many cooks greatly appreciate. Kitchen supply stores and many furniture shops carry kitchen carts in a medley of sizes and styles.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

Some people use a kitchen cart like a kitchen island, anchoring it in one place in the kitchen and not moving it. This is common in kitchens which have been poorly designed, with insufficient counter or shelving space; rather than tearing out the whole kitchen and reconfiguring it, a kitchen cart can simply be added to make the space more usable. Many people who rent like this option, as they cannot make any modifications to their kitchens.

The top of a kitchen cart is often made from a surface which can be used as a cutting board, such as a butcher's block. Some more deluxe versions might have marble tops, while plastic cutting boards and metal surfaces are not uncommon. It is also possible to find a kitchen cart with has been tiled, in which case people cannot cut things directly on the tile, but they can do things like slinging hot pans directly onto the kitchen cart without needing to worry about protecting the surface.

The surface of a kitchen cart expands the working counter space in a kitchen, while the space below can be used for kitchen storage. Kitchen carts may just have open racks, allowing people to stack things on the cart, but they can also have drawers for kitchen tools, spices, and other small oddments, or closed cabinets to protect the contents of the kitchen cart. Some also feature hooks to hold pans, pot-holders, kitchen towels, and so forth, making them readily accessible to users.

When considering kitchen carts for purchase, you may want to take one for a test drive to ensure that it is easy to move around, and think about how you might want to use it. Take the time to measure the storage space below, as you do not want to bring the cart home and find that it won't fit a crucial piece of kitchen equipment you were planning to store on it. You should also look for surfaces which can be easily cleaned, avoiding carts with carving and other features which create nooks and crannies. It is also often worth it to pay a little more for a kitchen cart with a butcher's block top, because this is the most flexible top available; it can withstand hot pots and pans, heavy blows from a cleaver, and other common hazards in the kitchen.

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