What We Do,  What We Make

Homesteading Kitchen Essentials

The Making Life kitchen has been in full swing lately baking bread, making homemade tomato sauce, freezing fruits like strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and watermelon, and making tasty treats like cinnamon rolls and butter tarts.

I wanted to take a few moments to share with you some of the things that I use in my kitchen regularly that I think are homesteading kitchen essentials (or for anyone who regularly uses a kitchen).

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A Quick List of Homesteading Kitchen Essentials

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Why a Homestead Kitchen Needs a Food Processor

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A food processor is a small electric appliance that can be used for many different things such as chopping, shredding, slicing, mixing dough, pureeing, and more.

I use my food processor ALL the TIME.

Some of my favorite things to make with my food processor are:

  • Butter from fresh cream
  • Dough for pie crusts
  • Fresh salsa
  • Homemade hot sauce
  • Hummus
  • Peanut butter

We have a Black and Decker food processor that we’ve had for years. I think the exact model that we have is no longer for sale, but I imagine a new version would be good as well. It has done everything we’ve asked it to do without a problem.

Here are some other types that get great reviews on Amazon:

Ninja BN801 Professional Plus Kitchen System (comes with a blender and a food processor)

Cuisinart Elemental Small Food Processor

KitchenAid Food Processor

A Blender in a Homesteading Kitchen

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I know what you’re thinking. What do I need with a food processor AND a blender? Well — I use both because they serve different purposes. A blender is also a small electric appliance but its primary function is to turn solids into liquids.

What I like to use our blender for is to make:

  • Soup
  • Smoothies
  • Slushies
  • Milkshakes
  • Sauces

To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend the blender that we use, so I’ll share some other blenders that get great reviews on Amazon:

Vitamix Explorian Blender, Professional Grade (pricey)

Ninja Professional Blender

Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender

Cast Iron Skillets

Cast iron is something I’m especially passionate about, and you’ll find that many homesteaders are. Why is that? Well, for one thing, a cast iron skillet can be passed down through generations. It’s one of the few cookware items that get better with age.

Because I’m so passionate about it, let me tell you the reasons why I love my castiron:

  • If it’s well seasoned it’s generally nonstick. A few items may stick to it from time to time, but I usually don’t have too much trouble getting it clean again. If you keep seasoning it you’ll have a better time with it not sticking.
  • It doesn’t scratch up. Cast iron can take a lot. You can even use metal utensils on it without worrying about damaging it.
  • There are no weird chemicals. There has been some controversy over the years about whether or not Teflon used to coat many non-stick pans poses a health risk for you and your family. Some sources say it’s perfectly safe while others suggest that it could lead to health issues. The chemical of concern, PFOA, was phased out in 2013, but older cookware that you have in your home might have it. I have also heard anecdotally that once Teflon has been scratched that it could cause health issues. If this is a concern for you, you won’t have to worry about it with a cast iron pan or skillet.
  • They can go anywhere. Cast iron can be used on the stove, in the oven, or even over a fire making it highly versatile for whatever type of cooking we’re doing.

We use our cast iron almost every day, and some of our favorite things to make are:

  • Cast iron skillet pizza
  • Cornbread
  • Stir fry
  • Tacos
  • Biscuits
  • Fried chicken
  • Basically anything you would cook on a stove or bake in an oven

We commonly use Lodge cast iron and have been really happy with it.

Other popular brands for cast iron are:

You can also score vintage cast iron at auctions and yard sales.

A Good Set of Knives is a Homesteading Kitchen Essential

In a homesteading kitchen, you’re going to be cutting things all the time from vegetables to fruit, to meat, to bread, to whatever you make in your kitchen. You want a good sharp set of knives to help you get the job done quickly and efficiently.

We have been using a set of JA Henckels knives in our kitchen for many years. They’re a german company, but their knives can be purchased on Amazon.

In addition to a knife set, I also use kitchen shears regularly.

Some other favorite kitchen knives are:

Metal Spatulas

If you have cast iron cookware then I also recommend that you have metal spatulas. They’re perfect for making food and helping clean up cast iron. They won’t damage your cast iron either.

I don’t remember where we bought our metal spatulas, but this one on Amazon gets a lot of good reviews and it’s made in the USA if that’s something you care about when making purchases!

Dexter-Russell Stainless Steel Metal Spatula

Dehydrator

A dehydrator is one of my favorite homesteading kitchen tools. You can dehydrate SO many things! For instance, we used our dehydrator to dry citrus and we used the citrus to make a dried citrus wreath.

With our dehydrator, we’ve made zucchini chips, dried tomatoes, dried blueberries, jerky, dried apples, and dehydrated marshmallows. Although, I wouldn’t recommend dehydrated marshmallows. I was expecting Lucky Charms marshmallows but it wasn’t quite like that, but perhaps I did it wrong.

We use an Excalibur dehydrator, which we love, but there are other options as well, such as the:

Magic Mill Dehydrator

Vivo Home Dehydrator

Cosori Food Dehydrator

What you can dehydrate with a food dehydrator:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Fruit leather
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Mushrooms

Water Bath Canner

My friends, nothing will make you feel more like an accomplished homesteader than being able to preserve the foods you grow in your own garden.

A water bath canner is the best solution for your high-acid foods and pickled foods. Things you can in your water bath canner include:

  • Fruit
  • Jellies
  • Salsa
  • Pickles
  • Pickled foods
  • Tomatoes

What you need to can foods are:

Pressure Canner

Much like a water bath canner, a pressure canner can help you preserve food that you grow in your garden. Unlike a water bath canner, it can also allow you the option of canning low-acid foods.

Pressure canners are a little more intimidating for new canners because a pressure canner when used improperly can become dangerous. However, many home canners across the US safely use pressure canners without issue.

Some people may suggest water bath canning all products, but this does not properly reduce the risk of bacterial presence such as botulism in the foods.

The pressure canner is ideal for canning foods such as:

  • Meat
  • Vegetables (Unpickled)
  • Fish
  • Broths
  • Beans
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Chili

We have a Presto pressure canner, but there are many other options as well. Some of the most used brands are:

Food Grade Buckets

Ahh, food-grade buckets. The homestead kitchen isn’t quite complete without some bulk food items around. This is even more pronounced for those of us that have large families to feed. You’re going to be baking a lot, cooking a lot, and keeping some bulk food on hand saves money and time.

That’s where food-grade buckets come in handy! They’re the perfect receptacle for things like rice, flour, wheat, beans, and other dry goods.

For foods you intend on using relatively quickly, a gamma lid that can be opened easily for access is a must.

You can get food-grade buckets on Amazon, and they’re also available through Azure Standard, a bulk food supplier that we like to use for organic bulk foods.

Blackstone Griddle

I added a Blackstone Griddle as a bonus item mostly because it’s a little outside the kitchen, but it is a tool that is SO incredibly useful that I had to add it.

Whether you have a big family or not, a Blackstone Griddle will make cooking a lot of food quick and easy. Want a fresh stack of pancakes? It’ll take you far less time with a Blackstone than one at a time in a skillet.

Fry up a whole bunch of bacon, burgers, mixed veggies…. really anything. It’s beyond handy and I highly highly recommend one.

I would also recommend some of the handy tools that you can use with your Blackstone such as:

Blackstone 5 Piece Accessory Tool Kit

Blackstone Cleaner Kit

Blackstone Griddle Cover

What Are Your Homesteading Kitchen Essentials?

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What about you? What are your homesteading kitchen essentials? What are your regular kitchen essentials?

What could you not live without? What keeps your kitchen running every day?

Let us know in the comments below!

And as always, keep making, keep building, keep cooking, keep homesteading, keep doing whatever it is that makes you feel live and want to get up in the morning.

Hannah and Ned

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