Tips & Tricks
Welcome to the world of PantryChic, the only storage system that also dispenses your dry goods!
As you get started, here are some of the best tips and tricks for getting the most out of your PantryChic System learned from years of working with the units.
Prefer to watch a video? Check out our How to Videos!
Setting up your SmartCanisters for Success
**Keep in mind, not all ingredients are validated for the Small SmartCanisters as they have a smaller auger to drive more accuracy and are intended for smaller increment dispenses (think Tablespoons and teaspoons).**
While our large canisters are designed to contain a full 5-pound bag of flour or 4-pound bag of sugar, we know that some of you are filling from larger bags or will be re-filling before the unit is fully emptied.
If possible, try not to fill to the tippy top or press down to fit more product in the canister, or the mechanism can seize up. This won’t break the unit, but it will make the dispensing a bit harder for the machine and less smooth and efficient for you.
Be sure you always have your bowl on the unit before loading. Some true talk: We had two choices when designing the canisters…have a canister that was completely airtight with an auto-open function that would release a gram or less of product when being placed on the dispenser, or canister that would require manual opening once on the dispenser, with no loss of product. We decided it was worth it to keep things as easy as possible for you when using the machine, and so we went with the former. This means that you just need to remember to always have your bowl or container placed on the scale before you put your canisters on, to catch this little pinch of material that gets released when that airtight seal is broken. It only took a couple (okay, a couple dozen) times of forgetting and having granulated sugar end up on the countertop instead of in a bowl to become a habit.
Allow me to throw a little engineering knowledge your way!
When SmartCanisters sit on the base unit, they are "locked" in place by the gearing (& for the Small with the clips too) so that they have a solid connection with the motor. At times you may find that it requires a little more force to properly seat your SmartCanisters.
Have no fear! They will seat. Try these 2 things:
1.Don't be afraid to give it a little force. The gear on the SmartCanister needs to align with the coupler on the base unit (told you I will throw some engineering at you!).
2.If you find that your SmartCanister is still being stubborn, simply reach under and give the gear a little turn (that silver bolt-looking thing on the bottom of the canisters - back/middle to be exact) and try to reseat. This will do the trick! If not the first time, try again.
3.Reach out to us and let us walk you through it live. We're here to help (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can put your SmartCanisters on the TOP RACK (only) in the dishwasher, but your best bet is a strong sink faucet head.
Tip: to dry, turn the canister over and keep the bottom cap open (I use a spoon) so that it air-dries completely. If cleaning after storing a fine/cakey ingredient, you may want to use a baster brush to wipe away stuck ingredients under the auger before wetting (or after).
You just invested in a fancy system that will help you achieve those consistent results, now let's start you off on the right foot!
It is best to load your SmartCanisters with the freshest ingredients possible. To keep track of expiration dates, check out the Chefling app Pantry menu and add your expiration dates for your ingredients. The app will notify you when they are nearing expiration!
For Small SmartCanisters, when using powdered ingredients (Cocoa, cinnamon, baking powder, etc.) make sure to put the enclose shaker ball on top of the auger (that green screw-looking thing) before pouring in your ingredient. You'll thank me later as this helps circulate more of the ingredient inside for a successful dispensing experience. No need for the large canisters as they have 2 additional augers in them!
Need more than just the shaker ball? If you are dispensing a larger quantity from your small canister and you need to help push ingredients along through the auger, open the cover and with a brush or spoon gently move the ingredients towards the rotating auger.
Sugar and flour both attract and hold water! Did you know this? I sure didn’t. But once we started working with the canisters, we realized that these two essential ingredients are hygroscopic, which is fancy science for having a tendency to absorb moisture from the air.
The canisters are only airtight when flat on a surface, once they are on the dispenser the valve is open, so while it can be tempting to just leave your most-used canister right on top, if you do, your sugar can clump or your flour can get rancid. We keep our most used canisters on the counter right next to the dispenser, and the rest in our pantry for ease.
Always give a little shake before placing a canister on the unit. Being sure that the contents have not settled too much will give you a smoother dispensing of the ingredients, and the machine will not have to work as hard, which is better for it in the long run, just like the rest of us!
Firmly press the lids on the canister to assure you get that airtight seal.
Be sure to label your canisters. Whether you use one of the labeling systems from our accessories page (coming soon!), have your own label maker, or go all-in on the professional chef habit of using painter’s tape to mark containers, being able to see at a glance which is the baking powder and which the baking soda, along with the date that was the “best by” date on the original packaging will help you keep track of your pantry and ensure that all of your ingredients are being used during their highest quality time frame.
Use your canisters to help organize your freezer. PantryChic canisters are freezer safe. This is a godsend for ingredients like lesser-used flours, nuts or grains that have a tendency to spoil more quickly at room temperature. The streamlined stackable canisters make the most of freezer space, whether upright or chest freezer, and the airtight seal means your ingredients won’t pick up any off-flavors.
Let's get Cooking!
Make sure NOT TO TOUCH THE BOWL while dispensing. You will get an error message "replace bowl" if you play with the bowl as the scale is directly communicating with the microprocessor (fancy word for computer).
Embrace the concept of “Mise en Place”. This restaurant system, a fancy French way of saying “everything in its place” is really just a smart way to set yourself up for recipe success. By getting all of your ingredients out before starting your dish, you’ll find yourself working in a much more efficient manner. And PantryChic has your back.
Just bring out all of the canisters you will need for your recipe, and line them up in the order they are to be used in your recipe. That way you can just pop one on, dispense, remove and pop on the next one, and you’ll find you can measure out everything you need in mere moments, making those cookies up to twice as fast to get from your mixing bowl to your mouth!
The US is one of the few places that still does its recipe measurements by volume instead of by weight. Which means that when you pick up a fabulous cookbook during travels abroad, you might get home to realize that all the recipes are in metric. Sourcing your favorite recipes online from last season’s Great British Baking Show will likely give you metric weight recipes as well. PantryChic’s built-in scale can be used regardless of whether you are dispensing from the canisters, making it the perfect kitchen companion for all those recipes without having to do any mathematical conversions.
Toss away that sifter! The bonus of using the PantryChic system is that the same mechanism that allows for smooth and precise dispensing of ingredients, automatically aerates and removes clumps, so no need to take that extra step of sifting! Just add all of your dry ingredients to your bowl and give a quick stir with a whisk to combine.
For the tech-savvy
There are SO MANY amazing recipes at our fingertips today on the internet and via recipes apps. If you enjoy sourcing your recipes online, we encourage you to check out the Chefling app where you can not only discover recipes, BUT ALSO control your PantryChic System remotely!
If you prefer, you can assign your SmartCanisters, dispense & track your ingredients directly in the app! Find a recipe from a website, blogger or have your own? Just import it into the app and you'll see a fancy PantryChic logo right inside the recipe for you to easily prompt dispensing.
There are SO MANY amazing recipes at our fingertips today on the internet and via recipes apps. If you enjoy sourcing your recipes online, we encourage you to check out the Chefling app where you can not only discover recipes, BUT ALSO control your PantryChic System remotely! If you prefer, you can assign your SmartCanisters, dispense & track your ingredients directly in the app! Find a recipe from a website, blogger or have your own? Just import it into the app and you'll see a fancy PantryChic logo right inside the recipe for you to easily prompt dispensing.
Chefling can easily be downloaded from either the iOS App Store or Google Play (it has a white elephant with the green background). Once downloaded, assure that your PantryChic and phone Bluetooth connectivity is on and open up your app! When you're done personalizing your dietary preferences and set up your pantry, under the Profile menu sync your PantryChic System to the app.