5 Expert Tips To Choose A Food Pantry

Food pantries offer a fantastic way to store non-perishable foods: cooking oils, crackers, nuts, pasta, canned foods, cereals, spices, soups, and many more. Buying food in bulk can save you money, which can compensate for the cost of your food pantry in the long run.

Sounds like a good idea? Follow these tips and choose a food pantry just right for your kitchen and cooking needs. Let's begin by convincing you to invest in a food pantry.

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Why Should I Get a Food Pantry?

These are the compelling reasons:

  • Saves money. Bulk purchases are priced cheaper than retail quantities, and you also avoid paying for the fancy packaging.
  • Reduce food waste. The US wastes 80 billion pounds of prepared food each year. Excess food from single-use retail packaging forms a large portion of this mountain of waste. By using only the quantity you need from your bulk food inventory, you avoid food waste.
  • Promote sustainability. Bulk purchase of food enables you to avoid the quantum plastic waste generated by food packaging.
  • Add to your kitchen chic. A carefully selected food pantry can enhance your kitchen's look and appeal.

Basic 2-door

This is your no-frills wooden pantry with storage shelves. Its twin doors are easy to operate, and often have magnets that keep the doors shut. This pantry rests on the floor and the height of shelves is easy to use without overstretching. Available in kitchen-friendly colors (white, grey, steel-grey, and darker shades), they will blend seamlessly with other kitchen furniture and interiors. 

Cape Cod Gray Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Rustic Gray Wood Storage Cabinet
Sienna Oak Finish Wood Storage Cabinet
White Wood Contemporary Kitchen Pantry
Red Solid Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Laricina White Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry

Multi-door with cabinets

This is a larger pantry with multiple compartments, cabinets, and drawers at the lower height, and a shelf in the mid-area to place kitchen appliances such as your microwave, juice-maker, grinder, and so on. You can beautify it with small planters and a couple of food photos!

This large storage capacity pantry will be good for you if:

  • You are a family and have different food habits that require a larger variety of bulk storage
  • You like socializing and frequently invite guests for dinner at short notice. Your ample bulk inventory will prevent any emergencies.
  • You need a multipurpose pantry that stores accessories, cutlery, crockery, napkins, and other kitchen essentials in one convenient unit.

This large and efficient food pantry is available in a wide range of finishes and will find its home in any kitchen.

Antique White Manufactured Wood Bar Cabinet
Pine Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Dark Cherry Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Distressed Gray Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
White Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Classic White Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry

Low-height with multiple storage facilities

This one is your amiable storage unit with a closed-door compartment, a shelf, and a pantry-top. Like the above multi-door style, this unit also takes in a variety of accessories and gadgets apart from food storage. However, its low height offers ample counter space not only to place gadgets but also to use them at a convenient, around 24" height. While the essentials can be easily stacked or piled on the shelf, your food items go into the closed-door compartment. A great balance of multi-level functional spaces!

On the flip side, the food compartment works in a stooping or squatting posture, which may be inconvenient and stressful for persons with back pain.

This style will blend better with other similar low or counter-top height furniture. Being wooden furniture, it matches almost all types of kitchens. Be careful to choose the finish that goes with your dominating kitchen tone.

Bonus benefit: this pantry is also a trolley; you can move it on its heavy-duty castors.

Brown White Solid Wood Kitchen Pantry
Melamine Veneer Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Crisp White Finish Wood Kitchen Pantry
Brown Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Medium Brown Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry
Espresso Manufactured Wood Kitchen Pantry

Single-door ventilated

This is a unique style that creates natural air circulation inside the food storage compartment. The design has wooden slats fixed to the door-frame with slight gaps for airflow. On the sides, you have planks at multiple heights to store the essentials and accessories. The appliances can go on the pantry-top.

This is a metal-wood combination pantry, with a metal frame and wooden body. A good way to make it stand out is to opt for a natural finish or French polish and let the wood's texture and grains show off! Match its woody appearance with other wooden décor items -- a slatted square wooden plant-holder, stools with wooden seats, and vinyl flooring with matching wood texture will host this pantry very well in your kitchen.

What is the Best Material for Food Pantries?

Wood rules! That's because:

  • Wooden furniture is synonymous with kitchen interiors. Below-the-counter cabinets, dinner-table sets, island bars… they are all mostly wooden. Your food pantry will make a worthy addition to your kitchen.
  • You can adorn wood with countless finishes that will fit any kitchen décor like a second skin. Staining, French polish, lacquer, and oil paint are some common methods.
  • Durability. For its reasonable cost, wood lasts as long as you want it to last
  • Wood interacts well with food. From toothpicks to vegetable chopping boards, wood is preferred in kitchens over other materials. Hence, having a wooden food pantry also gives you a scientific reason.

What Food Pantry Size to Choose?

You have a choice between tall and short pantries. Below, we have given their average dimensions with pros and cons for each type.

Tall pantries

72 ½"H X 30"W X 16 ¼"D

They will be your choice if you need a lot of storage space for your food and kitchen appliances. The big benefit of tall-sized pantries is that you can use your top shelf to store items that you don't want to be reached by your children, such as your chocolate stash.

Another advantage is that you will be able to store a lot of your food products at the eye level, not having to bend to get them.

Black Wood Tall Kitchen Pantry
Toffee Wood Tall Kitchen Pantry
Solid Manufactured Wood Tall Kitchen Pantry
Off White Wood Tall Kitchen Pantry
Honey Pine Solid Wood Tall Kitchen Pantry
White Manufactured Wood Tall Kitchen Pantry

Counter-top pantries

30"-31"H X 23"-24"W X 14 ¾"D

The counter-top height has the following advantages:

  • It is ergonomically more suitable than the tall pantries whose upper shelves are difficult-to-reach for persons of shorter height and physically challenged people.
  • Functionally, it matches well with kitchens, where most of the tasks are completed at the counter-top height. Cooking, chopping, eating, and operating microwaves, juicer, and coffee-maker -- it is all done at the convenient height of 24"-30".
  • You can operate comfortably in both sitting and standing positions.
Manufactured Wood Small Kitchen Pantry
White Manufactured Wood Small Kitchen Pantry
Chrome Metal Small Kitchen Pantry
Black Walnut Manufactured Wood Small Kitchen Pantry
Distressed White Manufactured Wood Small Kitchen Pantry
Manufactured Wood White Small Kitchen Pantry

What Style of Food Pantry Should I go for?

  • If you have a modern style kitchen, look for plain fronts with a glossy finish, possibly without handles. Clean lines and sharp edges will emphasize the distinctive modern decor.
  • Minimalistic pantries will work best in Scandinavian kitchens; the best colors for such interiors will be white, gray or light wood.
  • For mid-Century style, go for darker wood finish and retro designs; pantries on small bent legs are a perfect example for this type of decor.
  • Discolored wood or heavily decorated models will match a shabby chic kitchen.
  • And light wooden units with decorative handles and ornaments will find their place in French country style interior.

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.