Low Tech Kitchen Swaps!
More and more, as I cook and work in my kitchen, I appreciate low tech tools and gadgets. Keep in mind that my kitchen is tiny! I don’t have the luxury of pulling out a big electric gadget for every kitchen task. I like gadgets that can do more than one task, and the simpler the better.
I also don’t like the idea of fancy gadgets taking up a big amount of space. We have a limited amount of storage space, so it doesn’t make sense to use it all up on bulky blenders and appliances that will only rarely be used.
We all have preferences, and so I’m perfectly fine if yours are different from mine. If you like having a lot of kitchen tools, and you find that you use them on a regular basis, then they are serving you well.
I, on the other hand, have to consider:
- time. (Taking out, assembling vs the time they save)
- space to store, space to use
- energy demands (we are off-grid and will be using solar power),
- clean-up ability
- ease of use
What I look for (with a few exceptions) are tools that are:
- Can perform more than one task
- Easy to clean up.
My favorite low tech kitchen swaps:
Swap out your electric chopper or food processor with:
- A sharp knife set. I love the Rada brand. They are very economical, and hold their edge reliably. In fact, I would be happy with just a Stubby Butcher, Tomato. and some Paring knives
- Rada knife sharpener. We use ours all of the time! It looks like a funky gadget made out of a piece of plastic and two washers, but it is the simplest tool to get your knives sharp and keep them that way! Just 3-4 quick swipes through and your knife will have a nice edge on it, and it’s less than ten bucks!
- A hand chopper, with a Plain edge or a Serrated Edge. These little tools are super handy for chopping olives, nuts, herbs, garlic, or anything that spreads out on the cutting board! I much prefer them to an electric chopper, and they’re easier than using a knife. And they’re great for baby food or pasta too!
- A good cutting board
Swap out the Instant Pot and Crock Pot with
- Presto Pressure Cooker
- A small pressure cooker can do beans quickly and cook them thoroughly, on the stove. We use ours often. A pressure cooker like this one also can cook potatoes in 8 minutes, vegetables, and many kinds of soups. In the Amazon, I found that every household owned one for cooking their beans, although theirs were usually aluminum. I prefer stainless steel for health reasons.
- Good set of sturdy pans for cooking rice, simmering, and baking. I prefer stainless steel, no Teflon, or a good cast iron skillet set.
- To slow cook, I still prefer a good enameled cast iron set that can be used on the range or in the oven. .
Swap out your popcorn popper for
- Hand crank popcorn popper
- Or just use a kettle on your stovetop! It’s delicious with coconut oil and a bit of salt!
Swap the stand mixer (or save it for a heavy cooking day) by grabbing a:
- Sturdy whisk
- Your hands, lol, for kneading bread. Most tools want to mimic your hands, anyway, so why not use what God gave you?
- Wooden spoons for stirring stiff batter
- Hand Pastry blender
- You can use a sturdy bowl or a bread kneading trough—that’s how bread makers over the years have made delicious homemade bread!
- Measuring mixing bowl. Honestly, with a good whisk and one of these, you can make so many items—whip up bake or pancake batter, measure liquids, beat eggs. Every time I go into our local Mennonite store, I see a beautiful pale yellow bowl. But the Pyrex one is nice because of the clear glass. Growing up, my mom had one of these made of Tupperware!
Swap out your blender?
Maybe…but that’s a hard one!
You can do many tasks by hand, but for me, the blender is where I draw the line. I’m holding onto my blender! It’s worth it for me to use our power to blend my smoothies, hummus, and pesto. I use my Vitamix all of the time for vegan cheese sauces and stuff like that, so that appliance has to stay! We can always run the generator for it!
That said, there are some things I use to swap for blender tasks at times, like:
- Mortar and pestle for herbs, garlic, and small blending tasks.
- Hand chopper (above) for nuts, olives and garlic in quantities. It is such a simple tool that cleans up in a flash, but makes the job super quick!
It’s all about choices—you choose what works for you—low tech or high tech!
Using low tech kitchen tools is a choice that I prefer, but I do realize to at many of the tech choices perform more than one task. I’ve heard wonderful things about the Instapot. I see so many recipes and tricks, but I just don’t want to add another electric appliance to my kitchen. We have to choose where we will use the power that we generate, which makes me very aware of our usage.
For me also, just taking out my cutting board and a sharp knife beats pulling out an appliance that I will have to clean up afterwards!
Did you ever consider that maybe I’m just lazy? I don’t enjoy cleaning appliances!
In addition to the low tech kitchen swaps I’ve mentioned, my off grid kitchen contains some simple tools that are easy clean-up, and simple to use.
You can see some of these at this post: 15 Homestead Kitchen Essentials
Hopefully you’ve come to see that you have options. If you are trying to be more frugal with your electricity usage, want less items on the counter, or just like simplicity, go ahead and think outside the appliance box! You can go old fashioned by using low tech kitchen swaps!
What high-tech kitchen items can you not live without?
What about some low tech gadgets that I’ve forgotten that you use every day?
Let us know so we can all keep learning!
Laurie, I don’t live off the grid, but I am totally with you on all you say! I am only cooking for one or two, so rather than a Vitamix, I have a Rocket blender that does so many things and takes up little space. And economy of space is so important when you have a galley kitchen, as I do. Thanks for a great post with lots of great reminders!
Hello, Laurie. All that you’ve listed are practical. I love how you put it. The simpler, the better. But they have to be useful.
I can live without a microwave oven. The oven toaster and the pan are there anyway. But what I discovered a good buy recently is the Imarflex food processor that we bought. The package has a blender with it. Very useful.
And I don’t even think about the microwave because we haven’t had one in forever!
My first thought was that I cannot live without my Nespresso coffee maker, but true be told, I am happy with a simple pour over plastic filter holder that you can probably get for a couple bucks.
Hello Laurie. I assume you may know about Lehman’s store in Ohio? They sell ONLY non-electric kitchen things, clothing, laundry products, etc. all require your energy to operate.
I have heard of them but kind of forgot!
I appreciate the reminder!
That’s a great resource!