In the kitchen collocations

In the kitchen collocations

In the kitchen collocations 

Kettle, cooker, oven, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, grill, fridge, toaster

leave the cooker on / turn the cooker on / off

Hang on a minute. I think I've left the cooker on. I'll just go and turn it off.

turn the oven to (200°) C

Turn the oven on low, and cook the casserole very slowly.

switch on the kettle

Could you switch the kettle on and make some tea?

empty the dishwasher

You’ll have to empty the dishwasher before you can put the dirty plates in.

put (clothes) in the washing machine

Don't leave your dirty clothes on the floor! Put them in the washing machine!

take (the meat) out of the freezer

That reminds me. I must take the chicken out of the freezer and defrost it for tonight's

put a slice of bread in the toaster

Could you put two slices of bread in the toaster for me, please?

put (the chicken) in the oven

Rub the chicken with garlic before putting it in the oven.

cook something under the grill

Cook the fish under a hot grill for 5 minutes.

put (clothes) in the washing machine

Is it OK if I put my dirty jeans in(to) the washing machine?

remove (the cake) from the oven

Remove the cakes from the oven, and allow them to cool before eating them.


The milk will go off quite quickly if you don't put it in the fridge.

Don't forget to chill the wine in the fridge.

Spoon the extra sauce into a jar and keep it in the fridge.

The meat should keep for a couple of days in the fridge.

Knife, fork, and spoon

put down your…

Peter! Put your knife and fork down, and wait until everybody has been served.

pick up…

I picked up my spoon and tried the soup, but I wasn't hungry.

hold your knife / fork / spoon

My brother is right-handed, but he holds his fork in his right hand, and his knife in his left!

a blunt knife

I can't peel the potatoes with this knife. It's far too blunt.

a serving spoon

Jane! Use the serving spoon to lift the vegetables onto your plate. not your fingers!

a sharp knife

You'll need a sharp knife to cut your steak. It's very tough.

a teaspoon

Have you got a teaspoon? I take sugar in my coffee.


Stir the soup occasionally with the wooden spoon.

Can you cut the melon in half with the kitchen knife, please?

I tried to pick the peas up with my fork but they kept falling off.

Beat the eggs and flour with a fork until the mixture is smooth.


Note these expressions:

  • Be careful you don't cut yourself with that knife!
  • I can't believe that some ten-year-old kids don't know how to use a knife and fork!



a locked cupboard

We keep all our medicines in a locked cupboard, well out of the reach of our kids.

clean out a cupboard

I found the missing key while I was cleaning out the cupboards.

fill a cupboard with (food)

We filled the cupboard with lots of food - more than enough to last the entire holiday.

put (cups) away in a cupboard

I folded the dish towels and put them away in the cupboard.

an empty cupboard

The cupboards were empty and there was nothing to eat in the whole house.


shelves collapse

The shelf collapsed under the weight of the plates. There were far too many on it!

put up shelves

I had to get my brother to put up some shelves in my kitchen. I'm useless at DIY!

put (the pots) on a shelf

Just put the cookery book back on the shelf above the fridge when you've finished.

get (a plate) down from a shelf

I can't reach the sugar on the top shelf. Could you get it down for me, please?


Food is placed on shelves in shops and supermarkets:

  • I got a job filling shelves at the local supermarket

‘Shelf life’ is the length of time a product such as food remains fresh for sale:

  • Strawberries have a very short shelf life. (They go bad quickly)


Pot and pan

fill a pot (with water)

Fill the pot with water, then bring it to the boil before adding the pasta.

cover a pot (with a lid)

Cover the pan with a lid, and let the stew cook slowly until the meat is tender.

clean a pot

I hate cleaning greasy pots and pans.

cook (the potatoes) in a pot

Cook the peas in that small pot over there.


I'm thinking of buying my mother a new set of pots and pans for her birthday.

I put the pot of soup on the cooker to heat it up.

The heat was too high and I burnt the bottom of the pot.

Remove the pot from the heat, and leave it to cool.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the meat and onions.


a teapot

Make tea in a teapot.

a chip pan

Fry chips in a chip pan.

a saucepan

Make a stew in a saucepan.

a frying pan

Fry eggs in a frying pan.

a soup pot

Serve the soup straight from the soup pot.

a flower pot

Put the plant in a flower pot.

a coffee pot

Serve the coffee in a coffee pot.

a cooking pot

Buy a new set of cooking pots.


Note these ways of describing food which is cooking in a pot or pan:

  • A pot of soup was simmering on the cooker; the sausages were sizzling in the frying pan.

Note this expression:

  • I left. the dirty pots and pans in the sink to soak.

A pot plant is one which you grow indoors in a pot - not outside in the garden.


drop a plate

I dropped one of my mother's favorite plates on the floor and it smashed. How can I tell her? She's going to be very upset.

heap food on your plate

We all rushed to the buffet and heaped food onto our plates. We were absolutely starving!

pile plates (in the sink)

At the end of the meal, we piled the dirty plates in the sink and left them overnight.

a waiter clears your plate away

When we had finished eating, the waitress cleared away our plates and brought coffee.


Could you get the soup plates, please. It's ready to serve.

Would you take away the dinner plates and bring some bowls for the sweet?

Waiter! This plate's dirty. Could you bring me a clean one, please?

He looked up from his empty plate and asked if there was any more paella.


fill a bowl with (cereal)

My daughter filled her bowl to the top with cornflakes, then poured milk over them.

empty (a packet) into a bowl

I opened the soup packet and emptied the contents into a bowl.

have a bowl of (rice)

I don't eat much for breakfast. I usually only have a small bowl of cereal.

lick your bowl clean

My five-year-old loves licking his bowl clean at the dinner table, but he knows not to do it if we have guests!


fill the sink with (water)

I filled the sink with hot soapy water to do the washing up.

put (the dishes) in the sink

Just put the unwashed dishes in the sink and we'll wash them in the morning.

pour (water) down the sink

The coffee tasted awful. so I poured it down the sink.

stand at the sink

When I arrived, Tom was standing at the sink. washing his socks.

use the sink / the sink is blocked

Don't use the sink at the moment - it's blocked  I'm waiting for the plumber to come and fix it.


If you clear the dishes from the table, I'll start the washing up.

I always wear rubber gloves when I'm washing the dishes.

There was a huge pile of unwashed dishes in the sink.

I grabbed a dish towel and helped to dry the dishes.

We stacked the clean dishes on the draining board by the sink.

Switch on the kettle and I'll make some tea.

Like most people, I hold my fork in my left hand.

Have you got a wooden spoon? I need to stir the soup in the pot.

We filled the cupboard with pasta and tinned food.

Could you help me to put up some shelves in the kitchen?

Cover the pot with a lid and leave it for 20 minutes.

The dinner plate was so hot I couldn't pick it up.

You can't use the sink. It’s blocked.

There's a pile of dirty dishes in the sink and it's not my turn to wash them!

This knife is blunt. Have you got a sharp one?

The cupboards are empty. We'll need to do some shopping.

Put the chicken in the oven and roast it for about two hours.

I accidentally dropped a flower pot on the floor.

Could you clear the dirty dishes from the table and load the dishwasher, please?

Has the kettle boiled yet? I'm dying for a cup of coffee.

Could you empty the washing machine and put the clothes in the tumble dryer?

I put a little oil in a large frying pan and then added the onions.

The kitchen sink was filled with soapy water.

Put the leftover salad in the fridge. We can have it for lunch tomorrow.

I hate washing dishes, but I don't mind drying them.

Put the soup pot on the cooker on a low heat.

Could you turn the oven to 180°C.

I cooked the fish slowly under the grill.

Fill the pot with water and put it on the cooker to boil.

Could you clear the dirty dishes from the table, please?

I must remember to take the meat out of the freezer for tonight's dinner.

Can you get me that pot from the top shelf? I can't reach it.

Put a couple of slices of bread in the toaster for me.

I poured the dirty water down the sink.

sliced the vegetables with a sharp knife.

Heat the soup up in a pot and serve immediately.

526  Aricles

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