Homestead Kitchen: Basic Essentials
A Solid Wood Cutting Board – I know a lot of people switched to plastic a few years back but did you know that a study from the University of Michigan found that “more bacteria are recovered from a used plastic surface than from a used wood surface.” Get yourself a good wooden cutting board, learn to care for it, and it will be a staple in your kitchen. Check out this maple cutting board!
Rolling Pin – No they aren’t just for chasing around the bad guys in old cartoons. I rolling pin is the tool for bakers, pie makers and those who like to roll and cut biscuits. I really like the French style rolling pins but whatever works for you is the one to get.
Good Set of Knives – A truly awesome set of knives can run you several hundred dollars; but when you can make the investment I suggest you do so. Until then consider a set that can, at least, be sharpened – like this.
A Mandolin Slicer – Ok, this may not qualify as an essential but my time is valuable and this shaves of a lot of it in the kitchen. Not to mention I get consistent thickness in all my slices – SCORE! I have this model and it has worked great. Just watch those fingers!
Stock Pot – A homesteader’s kitchen is not complete without a good (large) stockpot. From healthy bone broth to homemade cheese…you’re going to need one!
Cast Iron Dutch Oven – Really any good quality cast iron is going to be an asset to your homestead kitchen. But a dutch oven is so very versatile. You’ll be able to use it on your stove top, in the oven and over a campfire when needed. Treat your cast iron well and it can last a life time. I highly recommend you stick with the Lodge Dutch Oven or the Lodge Cast Iron Beginner’s Set.
Also see 12 Reasons You Should Be Cooking with Cast Iron.
Homestead Kitchen: Power Equipment
Food Processor – I went years without a food processor because I really didn’t see the necessity in having one. But let me tell you; if you’re cooking from scratch it never hurts to have some high-powered helpers. Once I really figured out all that my food processor could do, it never left the counter. I have this 8 Cup model and have not had any problems with it.
Canning Equipment – A lot of people will tell you that the All American Pressure Canner is the only way to go; but I’m still using my Presto Pressure Canner and happy to continue with it for now. You may want to consider a separate water bath canner I don’t see any need to when I can use your pressure canner for that as well. You’ll want to keep canning jars on hand as well and possibly a set of Tattler Reuseable Canning Lids. Don’t forget to pick up a canning kit!
Stand Mixer – I’d say this is the Kitchen Aid gold standard in most homestead kitchens. There are many uses beyond baking too. Now if the price is way beyond your budget I say, start scouring yard sales, thrift stores and Craigslist – that’s how I got mine!
Homestead Kitchen: A Few Luxury Items
The Instant Pot – I didn’t put the Instant Pot in power equipment simply because you can live without it…but I wouldn’t want to. I can make soups, stews, bone broth, pot roast in a fraction of the time AND the flavor is phenomenal! Not to mention it can replace your yogurt maker, rice maker, slow cooker and more. I love it, that is all.
Single Burner for Canning – This is one of the few single burners I found that can handle my full sized pressure canner.
Vacuum Sealer – It may be a luxury item for some but I do feel like this is an essential for the homestead kitchen to keep food fresh. I like this basic model.
Fermentation Kit – you don’t need this fermentation kit to ferment but it sure does help!
Grain Mill – Even if you are a grain-free home you can use a Grain Mill to grind wide variety of flours from wheat to almond to rye and more!