Introduction: How to Use the Kitchen at TechShop San Francisco

If you're a member at TechShop, you've probably taken advantage of the unlimited coffee and popcorn. Maybe you've even used the microwave to "cook" some ramen noodles? But did anyone ever walk you through all the kitchen how-to's and etiquette to make you an awesome TechShop member? If not, this guide should help.

Step 1: Know How to Make Coffee

To avoid lapses in coffee availability, consider starting a pot when there's less than half of one left.

  • Remove the coffee packet / filter from the machine and dump it in the green compost bin
  • Replace it with a new coffee packet from the bottom drawer
  • Put an empty coffee carafe under the filter
  • Press the black button to start the brew

The machine is fast and the new pot will be ready in a couple of minutes.

Step 2: Know How to Make Popcorn

There always seems to be plenty of popcorn, but in case there isn't...

  • Fill one of the plastic drinking cups with popcorn kernels and dump them in the kettle inside the popcorn machine (see picture). Popcorn kernels can be found in the left overhead cabinet and there's usually a cup for measuring already in the jug of kernels
  • Also in the cabinet is a plastic cup used for measuring the oil. Fill it with 3 pumps of oil and dump that in the kettle as well
  • Close the lid of the kettle and the doors on the popcorn machine then flip the switch (pictured) to start heating up the kernels
  • It will take a few minutes for the popcorn to start popping. As it's popping, it will overflow onto the floor of the machine, then the popping will slow down and you'll have to flip the switch off and dump the remaining contents of the kettle to avoid it burning. You're trying to get as many kernels to pop as possible without leaving the heat on so long that you'll burn any. Rule of thumb is to wait until there's more than 3 seconds between pops, then call it done and dump the kettle
  • If you like, melt some butter from the freezer or fridge in a paper cup in the microwave then drizzle it over the top. Mix the popcorn with the scoop to distribute the buttery pieces then sprinkle salt over to taste. If the mood strikes you, say "I made it at TechShop" quietly and to yourself as you do this
  • Some people like the brewers yeast on the popcorn, and some don't. It's best to sprinkle that on your individual serving and not on the whole batch

Step 3: Know How to Be Respectful of Other People's Stuff

TechShop provides some disposable kitchen stuff for free, but a lot of the things in the cabinets and drawers belong to other members and people who work at TechShop. If you're not sure it's okay to use something, just ask.

Step 4: Know How to Keep Things Clean

If you'd like to put something in the fridge, be sure to label it with your name and the date that you put it in. Keep in mind that the fridge will be cleaned out every Friday morning.

If you're going to clean your dishes at TechShop, be mindful that there are sponges designated for certain messes in the kitchen (see picture). The sponge with all 4 corners intact is for doing dishes, the sponge with 1 corner clipped off is for wiping counters, and the sponge with 2 corners clipped off is for cleaning up gross stuff.