Essential Tools for The Homestead Kitchen
If you walk through the small appliance section of any store that sells these items, you will see a vast selection. However, when you are homesteading, you will only be able to use a fraction of them, since you will not have enough electricity to support the power draw it would require to run them all. As a longtime homesteader, I, Matthew Davies, find it much easier just to do things the old-fashioned way. Besides, popcorn always tasted better to me when it was popped on the stove rather than in a popcorn maker.
For all of the reasons listed above and undoubtedly more to follow, I present to you the tools you are going to need if you want to be successful in homesteading.
Cast iron kitchenware has been around for centuries. Sadly, there are only a few generations left that still use them. Cast iron had to step aside when the two-income family became necessary. The reason is that cast iron requires much more attention than the new non-stick variants. When you get a new cast iron item, you need to season it. This is something you don’t have to do with non-stick. However, it is a step that should not be missed.
When you are choosing your cast iron cookware, make sure you are not getting the enameled variant. While they do look very pretty, they do not lend themselves to being placed over an open flame. While the goal is never to have to cook over an open fire, you might find yourself needing to from time to time. Should you live in a place with a lot of rain, you will not have the solar power to provide you with the necessary energy to cook on the stovetop. This would require you to build a fire in order to cook dinner.
Not to worry, our ancestors cooked over open flames all the time. When I am “forced” to cook that way, I always find that it tastes so much better. If I am being honest, I kind of look forward to several rainy days in a row so that I can go cook outside again.
While this might sound like an unnecessary kitchen appliance, I can assure you it is not. When most people think of uses for a stand mixer, they think of whipping egg whites or cream and kneading bread. Pretty much everything else they use a different appliance for. What if I told you there were so many other things you can do with a stand mixer?
While it may not have been the case in the past, modern stand mixers now have several attachments to make them a much wiser investment. Below you will find a list of the things you can do with a stand mixer.
- Sausage Stuffer
- Grain Mill
- Ice Cream Maker
- Meat Grinder
- Pasta Roller
- Food Processor
With that many uses, you would have to be crazy not to get one. I use my stand mixer once a day for at least one meal. In my world, that means it is a tool that I can’t do without.
Every kitchen needs a good set of knives. If I had to suggest a set that would be best, I would say nothing more than 10 or 12 knives. There are not that many specialized knives. Below you will find a list of knives I think every kitchen should have and the reason for including it on this list.
- Chef’s Knife – There are two here that I suggest you have. I think you need to have an 8-inch and a 10-inch variant. Depending on what you are cutting, you will use the right one for the job. Generally speaking, I use the 8-inch knife for general chopping and the 10-inch one for cutting meat. The more blade you have, the less work you have to do. That is why you should use a larger knife for bigger jobs.
- Pairing knife – This knife picks up where the chef’s knife leaves off. If you have a job that requires more attention to detail, you will want to use this. It is too cumbersome to try and wield a chef’s knife for really small jobs.
- Serrated Knife – The number one reason for a serrated knife is for bread. Hence the reason it is generally called a bread knife. However, you can use it for any job that doesn’t suit your chef’s knife.
- Boning Knife – If you find yourself preparing fish often, you would be remiss if you didn’t have a boning knife. This is the perfect knife for any cutting that you need to move the blade around bones. It has a nice flexible edge that will make the job very easy.
- Honing Steel – I know this isn’t technically a knife, but I think that every knife block should have one. While it will not replace a real sharpening, it can keep your blades sharper longer.
- Steak Knives – Any set of knives worth their salt should include steak knives. Depending on the size of your family, six should be enough.
Since you will likely need to store things for longer than your suburban counterparts, you will want to make sure you have one of these useful tools. The point of a vacuum sealer is that it removes all the air from the packaging. Air is the number one thing that spoils food. As an added bonus, it makes storage a lot easier since it compacts the items placed in them.
I, Matthew Davies, hope that you have found this list useful. When I first started homesteading, I was unable to find a list of items that I would need in my kitchen. Therefore, I have saved you from the trials and tribulations that I faced. The more people that start to homestead, the more relevant articles like this become. I will be posting many more homestead related articles in the near future.