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My Top 15 Real Food Kitchen Tools

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My 15 Favorite Kitchen Tools - www.ohlardy.com

There are quite a few kitchen tools that I think are a must have for a Real Food kitchen!

The proper tools can make preparing Real Food in the kitchen so much easier!  Whenever I help in other people's kitchen who do not have many of these supplies, I realize how helpful they are!

Some are pricey, some are reasonable, but they are all so, so worth it!  What are your favorite real food kitchen tools?

It was hard to narrow it down, but after thinking long and hard, here are my 15 favorite kitchen gadgets!


1.  Vitamix

Yes, a Vitamix is expensive.  I remember when I asked for it for Christmas, my husband looked at me and said, ‘You want a $500 blender?!'  It was so worth it!  I use it for smoothies, sauces, dressings, nut butters, hummus, soups, even to chop parmesan cheese.

2.  KitchenAid Stand Mixer

I keep this stand mixer on my counter at all times.  Perfect for mixing doughs, whipping cream, making marshmallows and so much more.  I don't even have many of the attachments yet but want to get them so I can grind meat, make pasta and make ice cream! 

3.  Toaster Oven

I use my toaster oven for so many things.  I use it for toast, of course.  I also use it to bake small items, heat up leftovers and more.  I just got the one above and it has been a good purchase!

4.  Chef's Knife

I love, love, love my Viking Chef's knife.  It is the knife I use most often in my kitchen.  I took a knife skills course years ago and fell in love with the heavy handled knife.  A chef's knife is a very personal choice.  Try a few out before you buy!

5.  Cutting Board

I love my Boos cutting board.  I just upgraded to this larger size one.  It looks beautiful on my counter so I never put it away.  With a little hand washing and regular oiling, you can keep it looking new for years to come!

I like these cutting boards for meat.  Easier to pop in the dishwasher to keep extra clean!

6.  Mason Jars

What's not to love about mason jars?  I use them for everything!  I store dried goods (nuts, beans, rice) in them.  I store leftovers and drinks in the refrigerator.  I use freezer safe ones for freezing leftovers and broths.  And, of course, I use them for fermenting.  My favorite jars are the wide mouth quart size, wide mouth pint size and the wide mouth pint and a half size.

7.  Dehydrator

I recently upgraded to a 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator and love it!  I dry fruits and vegetables, make fruit roll ups, dry soaked nuts, SCOBY snacks and more!  I can also use it as a yogurt maker, but I haven't gone there yet.

8.  Mixing Bowls

I have had this set of mixing bowls for almost 20 years.  I received them as a wedding gift and they have been fantastic.  I use them for all sorts of different things.  The variety of sizes is so helpful.

9.  Pots and Pans

I definitely stay away from non-stick, teflon coated pans at this point.  I go with stainless steel, cast iron or enameled cast iron for my pans.

Cast Iron

Cast Iron pans are a great tool and you can get a variety of sizes.  If properly seasoned, it will be as non-stick as those teflon coated pans.


I have a few stainless steel pots and pans.  I have 3 different sized saucepans, a sauté pan, a fry pan and a giant soup pot.  Here are some tips for making your stainless nonstick!

Enameled Cast Iron

These are pricey, enameled cast iron pans.  I have a dutch oven and a sauté pan.  The 5 1/2 quart dutch oven stays on my stove at all times.  Plus, they come in cool colors, so can be a fun decoration piece too!  😉  These will last a lifetime if properly cared for!

10.  Juicer

I do make juice quite often, a variety of fruit and veggie juices that my whole family enjoys.

11.  Crockpot

This crockpot is being used in my kitchen almost every day.  I use it to make bone broths (beef and chicken), chili, stews, pot roast and so many other yummy dishes!


12.  Silicone Tongs

I bought these silicone tongs years ago when I took a cooking class with some friends.  I use them for stir frying, flipping meat and more.  They are just a handy, easy tool.

13.  Wooden Spoons

Every kitchen needs a variety of wooden spoons.  What's not to love?

14.  Pyrex Storage

I have used these storage containers for years.  They fairly recently came out with bpa-free lids, too.  I love the round and the rectangular versions.  They can go from fridge to freezer.  I use them both to store and serve foods.

15.  Salt Cellar

Now that you have switched away from iodized, refined salt (right?) you need somewhere to store your amazing sea salt!  The salt cellar makes this so easy.  I keep a larger one by my stove and a small one on the kitchen table.  A great way to get your Celtic and Himalayan salt on your food.

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My 15 Favorite Kitchen Tools - www.ohlardy.com

I am sure I left out quite a few awesome kitchen tools!  What are your favorites?  What did I miss?  Leave your comments below!

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  1. I don’t understand how anyone can cook real food without a mortar and pestle! I use it several times daily and the flavours get better as the mortar ages.

    $500 blenders are great but I like my cookware as traditional and simple as it comes. Although I admit I’ve recently bought an Excalibur 9 tray, too 🙂

  2. I would add a carbon-steel wok (thanks to the book Stir-frying To The Sky’s Edge, by Grace Young, I finally know how to season it, care for it, and use it! Much as cast iron does, carbon steel wok’s add iron to your diet), and a pressure cooker. My mortar and pestle don’t get a great deal of use, but when I want them, I WANT them – lol! I use mine for any herbs or spices I like to keep whole, for freshness, or for ones we’ve grown and dried ourselves. Especially wonderful for rosemary. A minute under the pestle and you’ve got finely ground rosemary. Yum! Great post. I’m really glad I found your blog (through The Nourished Life on Facebook). It’s very informative, every time!

      1. Thanks so much!! A wok would be great in the kitchen! I do not have a pressure canner yet. Just bought a water bath canner 2 years ago. I would love to pressure can my bone broth! Thank you so much for stopping by! Hope you like what you find here!

  3. I agree with all on your list! The only one I don’t have is the excalibur..not that I haven’t drooled over it now and again. I’ve decided I first need to get my garden producing enough to actually have something to dehydrate. As of now, it is cheaper for me to buy organic dried fruit, than to purchase fruit and then dry it.

    1. Yes, I dehydrate a lot more in the summer when my garden and csa program is giving me plenty of produce! I had a cheaper brand of dehydrator for years and was so excited to upgrade! It is definitely something to drool over!

    1. Not really. I still use both. I make a lot of smoothie items in the Vitamix but sometimes I want fresh juice without the fiber. And, some items in the Vitamix (carrots for example) don’t make great ‘juices’. I like having both! But if I had to choose 1 I would choose the Vitamix because there are so many other things it is useful fore.

  4. I’ve been wishing for a grain mill, so I can sprout and grind my own flour. But I guess I would need a dehydrator first anyway, so it’ll just stay on the wishlist for awhile! We’ll get there eventually!

  5. I so covet the Vitamix but have a great blender that still kicks butt. Till it dies, I wait. Mason jars rule for me and wooden spoons too. I just bought this machine called an Instapot that is perfect! Pressure cooker/rice cooker/slow cooker functions rock. Learning to pressure cook bone broth to save time/energy. Fun post!

  6. My Instant Pot Duo! I make everything in it! Btw, jump into yogurt making! I make mine in my instant pot and it’s the best yogurt ever! You can also control everything that goes into it!!!

  7. Great list. Here’s my additions:
    ~Pampered Chef food chopper (great for getting out aggression/stress, too!)
    ~Pressure canner & cookers
    ~Pampered Chef Mix ‘n Chop
    ~Cuisinart food processor

  8. I have a cuisinart panini press, ninja blender, 3 cast iron pans that are about 40 years old were my moms, can’t go with out my pressure cooker

  9. I echo Liz. Recently bought an electric pressure cooker (Instantpot Duo). BEST.THING.EVER!!! I have yet to make yogurt in it, but I’ve heard raving reviews on using it as a yogurt maker. Since buying my PC, I use it much more often than my stovetop and oven. Great investment. Even for those without a lot of money. Amazon tends to make the IP on sale on Back Friday for $69. A slightly costly investment up front, but a HUGE savings over time (both in energy costs for using and saving time in making foods). It’s great for cooking rice quickly, dried beans, soups, stews, pasta, so on and so forth. Made a Low Country Boil for the first time ever in just a short amount of time. My kids LOVED it and have begged for it again and again. Pretty much threw everything in the pot, closed the lid, set the cook time, waited for it to come up to pressure (5-10 minutes) , cooked for 4 minutes (next time I’ll do 3 minutes), released pressure and served. All that can be done without me hovering over the pot. The waiting for the pressure to come up and cook the food did not need me to be present. Best part is, while it’s doing the work to cook, I can wash any prep dished and set the table since I don’t have to be hovering over a stove while things cook. Oh and hard/soft boiled eggs?!?! Best way to cook them ever. It takes a few minutes and the egg peels slide right off when you’re done. Even with farm fresh eggs.

  10. My all time favorite is my Bosch Mixer. The absolute BEST. Out shines the Kitchen Aid mixer every time. I’ve had it about 35 years and it’s still going strong. But the newer ones are sooo pretty! My newest buy is the Instant Pot Duo. Really happy with it. It does make really awesome yogurt. I make great fruit compote in one minute after reaching pressure. Nice addition to the yogurt and kefir. These two items replace the slow cooker, yogurt maker, pressure cooker, stand up kitchen mixer, food processor, blender (including a vita mix-that’s how good it is), rice cooker. So, if you’re looking for a mixer, compare the Bosch mixer before you make a decision. (no, I’m not getting paid by Bosch 🙂 ) I can do 4 loaves of bread, and the bigger bowl does 8. There’s a demo on the site that makes 408 cookies in one go. Ok, I’ll stop. I get excited talking about what my little work horse will do. Merry Christmas everyone.

  11. I like my cast iron skillets and dutch ovens. I also love my vaccumn sealer with the jar attachments that let you vaccumn seal foods in mason jars.

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