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My kitchen is small, but my obsession with kitchen tools and equipment is definitely not. Over the years, I’ve purchased many different kitchen tools and equipment for my plant-based kitchen, and this is a list of my top 20 favorites I can’t live without.
What I use– Vitamix 5300
I never thought I could love a blender as much as I love my Vitamix. Of all the kitchen tools I have, this is my favorite and most used.
The Vitamix is the Muhammad Ali of blenders. You can make juices, smoothies, almond milk, soups, nut & seed butters, different types of flour, pizza dough, dips, hummus, marinades, sauces, pestos, curries, ice creams, you name it. It’s a serious powerhouse and can handle anything you throw at it, literally.
What I use- Kitchen Mixer 5 qt. stand mixer- Aqua Sky
Does anyone else use their Kitchenaid mixer as the statement piece of the kitchen? Oh good, I’m not the only one. I am so in love with my mixer, particularly the color, that my husband and I usually refer to it as the “Kitchenaid Mixer” color. He even painted his VW van the color of my mixer (Aqua Sky).
However, I’m a bit sad that since redoing our kitchen, my Aqua blender no longer matches the decor. But luckily, my husband has enlisted the help of his friend to paint my mixer a light gray. I’m super excited to give it a makeover. =)
What I use- Kitchenaid 3 Speed Hand Blender
This Kitchenaid 3-Speed Hand Blender is an item that I didn’t know I was missing until I had it in my hands. Now I can’t imagine NOT having this beautiful piece of machinery.
This is the perfect solution to chopping onions or vegetables, or even pureeing soup (with the immersion blender attachment) and I use it constantly. I love how easy it is to use, and to clean. Just be careful about the sharp blade- I cut myself pretty bad the first time I cleaned it!
What I use– Cuisinart Food Processor
A food processor used to be my most used piece of equipment before I got my Vitamix, and I still use it quite a lot. If you can’t afford a Vitamix yet, a food processor is practically a necessity in a plant-based kitchen.
Many of the things you can do in a Vitamix, you can also do in a food processor. But not everything. For example, I wouldn’t make a smoothie in one of these. Or recipes such as my Cinnamon Almond Date Bites work WAY better in a food processor, as there is more room at the base for the ingredients to move around.
Pro tip: I would recommend changing blades every so often. A new blade makes this food processor work like new.
What I use– OXO cookie scooper
It’s not too often that I make cookies. Not because I don’t love them, but because I don’t trust myself to not eat the entire batch in one sitting. But when I do make them, I absolutely love to use my cookie scooper to properly measure each yummy cookie-to-be.
You can buy these in a variety of sizes, but I use the medium size the most. These are a must-have for me because they make cookies look perfect and what’s better than a perfectly shaped cookie?
6. Air Fryer
What I use- Copper Chef Crisper Tray
Air fryers are so in right now, but I just don’t have the space in my kitchen to buy another large-ish piece of equipment. So to make oil-free crispy food, I opted for this in-oven air fryer and it works great! And…for an amazing price.
I use it to cook roasted veggies, french fries, frozen foods, you name it. It’s also more compact and I can pack it away with my baking sheets/cutting boards.P
What I use– Pyrex 2 Cup Glass Measuring Cup
I have quite a few measuring cups in my kitchen, including 4 glass measuring cups of different sizes for liquids, and these collapsible measuring cups for dry goods. I love the collapsible because they are easy to store hanging on hooks in my cabinet or flat in a drawer.
8. Instant Pot
What I use- Instant Pot Lux 8 Quart
The Instant Pot is a hot item, and for good reason. You can use this one piece of equipment as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, or to sauté your veggies and more. To steam veggies, I use this Vegetable Steamer Basket inside of my IP which is super handy! I also make a mean batch of Chipotle Black Beans, and even oatmeal in my Instant Pot.
Pro tip: I have an older version of the Instant Pot and never have any issues with a “burn” message. However, I have heard some newer models require a little more hand-holding. Check out this article for tips to avoid the “burn”.
What I use– OXO Good Grips Measuring Spoons
Like measuring cups, I’m always finding myself looking for more measuring spoons. I have 2-3 sets that I use pretty consistently, but I really love these measuring spoons from OXO the best. The only downside is, they don’t hang in my pantry, but I do like how they are magnetized.
What I use– Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Santoku Knife
I have a lot of knives, but I thought I would highlight my absolute favorite knife in this list…my Kyocera Santoku knife. I really love the size (5 1/2 inches is perfect) and it works for 95% of my cutting needs.
Note: Be very careful not to cut this knife on anything other than food. I accidentally clipped the hole at the end of my cutting board with the knife and it broke a big piece off. Luckily Kyocera was kind enough to send me a brand new knife, no questions asked. =) But now I’m a bit more careful with this fragile, but powerful, knife.
11. Cutting Boards
What I use– Organic Bamboo Cutting Board
I have a variety of cutting boards in my kitchen. Some are basic, some are boring, some are pretty with chevron patterns, but they all basically do the same job. Get one. Or 10 like me.
What I use– Jumbo Wok, 14 inch
I make A LOT of Asian food (stir fries, curries, etc.) and this wok is one of my favorite pans in the kitchen. Because of its curved shape, the wok has different temperatures throughout which lends to more even cooking. This works well when stir frying veggies, tofu, etc.
What I use– Cuisinart Griddler 5
This is a new item in my kitchen, and I’m in love! This griddle/panini press is awesome for making all sorts of delicious plant-based panini sandwiches (with those fancy “grill lines”), but you can also use it for many other foods. You can try veggie burgers, burritos, pancakes, etc. and it also comes with a separate attachment for waffles. It’s also really easy to clean with removable grill plates.
What I use– OXO Good Grips Zester
Not only do I use this zester to zest a lemon or lime. I also use it to mince garlic; and it works like a charm! It’s one of my most used tools. You can also get a grater/zester in one…Cuisinart Boxed Grater.
What I use– Kitchenaid Spiralizer Attachment
I really love this spiralizer attachment, which fits right onto the end of my Kitchenaid mixer. I use it to make zucchini noodles and mix them in with spaghetti noodles, but it will also core, peel and slice your apples. And it’s just fun to use. If you don’t have a Kitchenaid mixer, you can use a standalone spiralizer.
16. Mandoline Slicer
What I use– Mandoline Slicer
The mandoline is key for peeling potatoes and that’s primarily what I use it for. Have you ever tried making scalloped potatoes by hand? Don’t. Get a mandoline.
What I use– OXO Good Grips Peeler
I use this peeler to peel ginger, potatoes, mangoes, you name it. Just be careful of the blade. For some reason, people tend to forget that a peeler has an actual sharp blade on it.
What I use- Crock Pot Slow Cooker
Happiness radiates out of me when I come home to a dinner that cooked itself! I mean, how amazing is that? If you don’t have a slow cooker and you are lazy with dinner like I sometimes am, this is a serious must.
I know I mentioned you could technically use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker (which I sometimes do) but I still love having this slow cooker as a standalone. First, an Instant Pot will not give you the same amazing food smell throughout your house like a slow cooker will, and it’s also nice to have BOTH when you want to use your Instant Pot and slow cooker at the same time.
19. Lemon Squeezer
What I use- Lemon Squeezer
The lemon squeezer is another necessity in my kitchen, since many recipes call for lemon or lime juice. This one in particular is great because the little holes keep out the seeds, and it’s powerful enough to get out every last drop.
What I use- 3-pack silicone whisk set
Early on in my cooking adventures, I knew that a whisk was an important tool to have in the kitchen. But it wasn’t until later that I realized that a baby whisk comes in REALLY handy for mixing salad dressings or sauces in small bowls. I highly recommend having a set of different sizes for all of your whisking needs.
Bonus Kitchen Tools:
It was really difficult to list only 20 kitchen tools, so I thought I’d add a few others worth mentioning:
- apple/corer/peeler (this is a game changer when making apple pie)
- Rubbermaid storage containers (they won’t leak!)
- various sizes of bowls (a necessity)
- wooden spoons and other large cutlery (a necessity)
- pizza cutter
- fine mesh strainer (super helpful for rinsing quinoa and more)
- colander/strainer (I like collapsable for easier storage)
- cookware set- pots and pans
- kitchen scale
- pepper mill
- kitchen scissors (great for cutting herbs)
So how many of these kitchen tools and equipment do you have in your kitchen?