Now that I’ve finally gotten through all the tools that you may possibly need on your homestead (and still I didn’t hit them all). We can talk about what you need in your kitchen. There are some great blogs with advice out there already, but I want to collect this info here on my own blog so I can be sure to be able to find it again. The best blogs that I’ve found with information and the ones that I used to help me write this article are: Homestead Anywhere’s Essential Cooking Tools and Homestead.org’s Equip Your Homestead’s Kitchen.
The lists that I’ve been making are just lists to get you started. You will find that each Homestead is different and you will have different needs than I do or than any other homesteader. Please don’t feel that anything I share with you is written in stone or is a must for you to do or purchase.
My favorite tip from Christopher Fotta on Homestead.org is: “When buying things that will be used almost daily, buy the best that you can afford. This doesn’t mean you have to take out a loan, but the better quality you buy the longer it will last.”
Now onto the kitchen tools for your homestead:
- Pots and Pans: Aluminum and non-stick is not advised. It is better to invest in stainless steel (copper or aluminum core is fine) or cast iron. If you have metal sensitivities you may want to invest in glass cookware.
I personally love cast iron, you can use cast iron cookware on wood stoves, in an oven, or on a campfire.
The type, size, and number of pots and pans you will need depends on your personal situation. A single person will need fewer pieces and smaller pieces than a couple with several children.
- Knives: Every kitchen needs knives for food prep work. A set of good knives that is able to be cared for and sharpened will last you a long time if you care for them. I like the Rada Knives since they have a stainless steel handle that is made with the knife so you don’t have to worry about plastic or wood handles that can loosen over time. If you can only afford to invest in one or two good knives the most important knives are: chef’s knife, paring knife, bread knife, boning knife, and/or cleaver. Of course these knives also depend upon your lifestyle, if you don’t like breads or don’t cook them often, then you may not want to invest in a good bread knife, also if you are a vegetarian, then you probably won’t be using a boning knife or a cleaver. My personal favorite knife and one that I will always use is the santoku knife. I find it easier to use when chopping and dicing vegetables. However, I don’t know many people personally who use the santoku. So if you aren’t a fan of that type of knife I wouldn’t recommend it to you. Again, each person is different in what they prefer to use.
- Food Prep & Kitchen Utensils: There are tons of tools that can be used for food prep, and the majority of these tools are also ones that you may find come in handy during canning season.
Cutting Board – Type of material is up to your preferences, but my current favorite cutting board is bamboo.
Ice Cream Scoop
Manual Can Opener
Measuring Spoons & Cups
Of course the list of kitchen utensils that can be used is nearly endless, just use the above list as a starting point, if there are things that you won’t use, don’t invest in them, if something is not listed that you find you need in your kitchen, go for it.
- Bakeware: I recommend bakeware that is going to be long lasting, a lot of my bakeware are “antiques”. They are Pyrex dishes that I’ve found at yard sales and thrift shops from the 50’s through the 70’s. I use these dishes for baking all the time, they were made to last and they are also appealing to me visually. Just find some that is good quality and fits what you need. If you do a lot of casseroles then you will want a good variety of casserole dishes. If you use cookie sheets a lot then you’ll need a few different sizes of those, etc. You get the idea. Just invest in bakeware that is made from good material so that you don’t have to worry about replacing it in a year or so. Recently I made the mistake of making a whim purchase and bought a 3 piece set of cookie sheets on sale for a low low low price. They are so thin, that they warped with just one use in the oven and the oven temp was not above what the instructions said. *sigh*.
Some other bakeware items that you may want to consider are: pie plates, cake pans, muffin tins, loaf pans, roasting pan/rack, wire cooling rack. Again these are just what you will need/use in your kitchen. Don’t purchase an item if you aren’t going to use it. <- at this point you may be wondering why I keep repeating this sentiment, I am one who is distracted by shiny things and have had to go through and get rid of things keeping up cabinet space that I used maybe once if that. I am terrible for buying things knowing that I won’t use them, just because they are pretty or because someone else uses it a lot.
- Small Kitchen Appliances: Some people find that need or will use these appliances frequently:
Coffee Grinder (some can also be used for spices)
Popcorn Popper <-not something that I would use, but I have a neighbor that uses hers almost daily
- Storage Containers:
These are great for leftovers. I use various sized mason jars to store foods in the fridge and for dry goods in the pantry. However, what you use is up to you, I just recommend that you stay away from any plastic with BPA in it.
There are also many, many specialty kitchen items out there that you may be interested in. I just do not have the time or background with some of those items to go over them here. But please share your thoughts on what is needed in a Homesteading kitchen in the comments!