If I could only have one tool in the kitchen, I would choose a really good chef’s knife. If I could have two, I’d add a high speed blender.
With those two tools and basic cooking equipment (pans, bowls, silverware), I can whip up 90% of the things I love to cook and eat.
Thankfully, I do have the luxury of a few other tools that make my life in the kitchen easier, faster and more enjoyable. I thought you might like to know what kitchen tools, equipment and small appliances I use in my little kitchen and how they’re helpful to me. I’ve tried to link to each product on Amazon, so you can see all of the features and pricing. If you purchase something from one of these links, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.
Wusthof Pro 7 inch Santoku Knife – My favorite knife in the house. I use it almost every day. Little indentations on the sides of the blade keep the veggies from sticking to the blade when slicing and chopping. The ergonomic handle keeps me chopping without my hand hurting.
Amish Knives and Vegetable Peeler by Rada Cutlery – For most of my other cutting and chopping needs, I turn to my Amish knives. These are solid knives that last forever. A few of the ones I have were bought on a family trip to Missouri when I was a child, so they are easily 25+ years old and still going strong. The more recent members of my knife collection were bought at Sunny Valley Foods, an Amish store during a road trip to Liberty, KY.
They sharpen and clean easily. The serrated tomato knife and vegetable peeler both do their jobs better than any other similar tool I’ve owned. This is a starter kit from Amazon that has a very good assortment and includes a Regular Paring Knife, Vegetable Peeler, Tomato Slicer, Super Parer, 6″ Bread Knife, Cook’s Knife and Slicer. I have and use most of these knives on a regular basis.
BlendTec Blender with Wildside Jar – From smoothies to soups to hummus to vegan cheese sauce, this blender will pulverize anything into a smooth and silky concoction that makes you wanna lick the lid.
The Instant Pot is a versatile appliance I have only had the pleasure of getting to know the past few months. It has quickly become one of my favorite. First, let me start with all the things it does. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute pan, yogurt-maker, steamer, the list goes on.
Most frequently, I am using it to make beans from scratch. Twenty to forty-five minutes is all it takes to go from dry beans to a steaming pot of Cuban black beans or Mexican charro pinto beans. Lentils take even less time. It only takes one minute to cook quinoa! That’s the power of pressure cooking.
I’m a new convert to pressure cooking, it’s like a whole new world has opened up to me! I love it. If you have a favorite Instant Pot recipe, please link to it in the comments so I can check it out!
Pots and Pans
Calphalon Stainless Steel Saute Pan – This pan is big enough to saute up a Thai stir-fry or a delicious coconut curry.
Calphalon Stainless Steel Fry Pan, 12-inch – A versatile pan for smaller sautes.
Cast Iron Pans – I have several cast iron pans, both seasoned straight cast iron and enamel-coated. The are especially fantastic for preparing cornbread and biscuits. The enamel coated dutch oven I have I was given as a gift and it is used often for curries, rice and stews.
Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle – Good for grilling paninis, grilled vegetables, arepas, tortillas and more.
Non-Stick Griddle – This T-fal non-stick griddle is good for grilling pancakes without oil, heating up tortillas or browning potatoes without oil.
Non stick Wok – My go-to when making fried rice or stir-fried noodle dishes.
Silicone Baking Mats
Silpat or MIU France Silicone Baking Mats – Baking eggplant meatballs, garlic ginger lime marinated tofu and 3-ingredient cookies is a whole lot easier when you have either 1) silicone baking mats or 2) parchment paper. Nothing sticks to either one. Even the gooey-ist batter.
I use both in my house, just in case, but usually turn to the silicone baking mats because they are washable. They also work really well for rolling out dough, because, again, it doesn’t stick. Silpat brand were the first brand to come out with this product, I believe, but they are expensive. I have one Silpat mat that was given to me as a gift. My MIU France mats I purchased at Costco as a set and they work wonderfully! Never had an issue with them.
The two larger mats fit a half sheet size (17″ x 11.63″) baking/cookie sheet perfectly. The smaller one fits a quarter size (8.5″ x 11.5″) baking/cookie sheet perfectly. The quarter size pan also fits in a toaster oven, if you have one.
Colander and Strainer
Fine Mesh Strainer – Most grains and beans should be rinsed before cooking. With small grains, like quinoa and rice, this proves tricky because they fall out of the holes in a normal colander. So, I turn to a large, fine mesh strainer, so I can rinse several cups of rice at once.
Large Strainer/Colander – for pasta and rinsing vegetables
Food Processor – For quickly shredding carrots for carrot salad or processing drier mixes, like brown rice veggie burgers, which would have a tendency to get stuck in a blender.
Food Processor Mini – For whipping up small batches of pesto, hummus or salad dressings.
Both of my food processors are pretty old and going strong, so these are links to newer versions.
Immersion Blender – For blending soups without having to transfer them to a blender.
Tea and Coffee
Bodum French Press – We don’t drink coffee much, so keeping a large coffee pot on the counter is a waste of space. We keep a French Press on hand for company, mainly. You can use a French Press to steep tea also, but I wouldn’t suggest using the same press for both coffee and tea. Your tea will forever taste like coffee.
Old-Fashioned Stovetop Tea Kettle – I have a standard Copco stainless steel tea kettle that does not whistle, so I have to check it regularly to see if it’s boiling. It would be nice to have a whistling tea kettle like this one.
I’ll give you a tip for cleaning hard water deposits in your kettle without scrubbing: Add 1 cup white vinegar to the kettle and fill the rest of the way with water. Then, put it on the stove and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Then, pour it out into the sink and rinse well with water. All clean! No scrubbing.
Tea Infuser for Loose Leaf Tea – This tea infuser works well for most size mugs and cups and the mesh is fine enough that even teas with small pieces don’t fall through to the bottom of your cup. Another benefit to this infuser is that the tea has more room to move around and expand while it’s steeping. This will allow more flavor to infuse into your tea.
Tea Measuring Spoon – For perfect cup or pot of tea
Small Hand Tools
MicroPlane Zester – For zesting citrus fruits, like lemon, lime and orange. Zest adds so much flavor to baked goods and dishes!
Citrus Hand Juicer or Reamer – For juicing limes to add to pico de gallo. Or, lemons to add to hummus.
Here’s the whole wish list on Amazon, if you want to take a look at everything in one place.
Is there something you see as absolutely essential to a vegan kitchen? Please let me know in the comments below!
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