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It has been a really long time since I thought about what tools, utensils and gadgets I use in the kitchen. It just doesn’t occur to me as something to think about. I definitely do not spend much time in kitchenware stores looking for the next “thing” that I have to have. Basically, I am more of a minimalist when it comes to kitchen tools. You can find many, many, many kitchen tools to spend your money on, if you are so inclined. But really, you don’t need a whole lot of gadgets to prepare delicious, healthy, whole food, plant based meals. I find I get much more bang out of using my budget to check out new flavors, products and ingredients rather than some gadget that I will probably use only a few times and then wind up giving away, or worse, storing it it a drawer where it will take up more space than it is worth.
Here is a list of tools I use at least weekly. I lean toward stainless steel, ceramic glass, stone and wood as preferred materials. It doesn’t matter if I am batch cooking for the entire week, or working with a single ingredient in small amounts. The tools are pretty basic, and they are always the same. Here’s my list (Cue the off camera trumpets heralding the arrival of royalty).
Cookwarea set of heavy-as-you-can-comfortably-manage stainless steel pots and pans with lids includinga double boilera steamerslope sided skillet1 cast iron frying pan or flat griddle2 rimmed steel uncoated cookie sheets (it is great if you can find them the right size to sit side by side on one rack in your oven.)1 crock pot with ceramic insert and lidassorted glass and ceramic, pie plates, and oven safe bakeware1-2 springform pans, different sizes
Utensils1 set good quality knives including a chef’s knife (Keep ’em sharp! It will change you world.)1 set of wooden spoons, including 1 slotted spoon1 or 2 glass measuring cup(s) with gradations marked1 set of stainless steel measuring cups1 set of stainless steel measuring spoonscheese graternutmeg gratergarlic presselectronic/digital scalepepper millknife sharpenerwire whiskbench scraperpancake turner (aka metal spatula)2-3 silicone spatulas with blades of different sizes, lengths and shapes1 stainless steel colander1 stainless steel fine mesh sievetea balls/infusers
Gadgets/ Small Appliances1 spice grinder (electric, manual, or mortar and pestle)1 good to excellent blender (strong enough for making nut butters, smoothies, cream soups and sauces)1 citrus squeezer or reamer1 Mixmaster-type counter top mixer1 toaster oven (or a microwave oven, if you like)
Storage Containerscanning jars with snug fitting lidsglass containers available from Pyrex, Anchor Hocking, Rubbermaid, etc.Stoneware/ceramic containers often found at craft fairs and thrift stores