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The kitchen holds a special place in our homes, serving as the heart of family gatherings and the backdrop to countless cherished moments. It’s where we unwind with a glass of wine, share heartfelt conversations, and create delicious meals that bring joy to our lives.

Central to the homesteading lifestyle are the kitchen and the tools used. A well-equipped kitchen is the cornerstone of a homesteader’s journey toward self-sufficiency, enabling the preservation, preparation, and enjoyment of homegrown and homemade food.

Given the central role of the kitchen in our daily routines, it’s essential to have reliable tools that can withstand the demands of everyday use. These tools save us time and money by avoiding frequent replacements and spare us the inconvenience of sudden breakdowns.

From the cast iron pan to a dehydrator, let’s get into the must-have items that are key to this lifestyle and will stand the test of time.

1. Cast Iron Pans

cast iron pan

Cast iron pans are designed to last a lifetime. In fact, these pans get better with time. Cast iron is simply one of the toughest and best materials around. It’s durable, holds onto heat well, and gives you a reliable non-stick surface for cooking.

These pans are really versatile, too, covering all sorts of cooking like frying, baking, sautéing, broiling, and roasting. They’re the kind of thing you can pass down from generation to generation. Even if they get rusty, it is quite easy to revive it.

A cast iron pan is more than just a cooking utensil; it’s a timeless kitchen workhorse treasured by chefs and homesteaders alike. Forged from a single piece of iron, these pans are renowned for their durability and excellent heat retention. The hefty, thick cast iron structure ensures an even heat distribution, making it ideal for various cooking techniques.

2. Food Dehydrator

A dehydrator is a pivotal tool in a homesteader’s kitchen, efficiently preserving a bounty of foods. It works by gently removing moisture from food through a controlled heating process, drastically slowing down the growth of bacteria, yeast, and molds that cause food spoilage. The result is extended shelf life, retention of nutrients, and concentrated flavors.

Incorporating a dehydrator into your homesteading kitchen opens up a world of possibilities for food preservation. It’s an invaluable tool for extending the life of your garden’s harvest, reducing food waste, and providing nutritious, home-preserved snacks and ingredients all year round.

We recommend a dehydrator as a great tool for food preservation and making delicious snacks. We use our dehydrator to dry herbs, make garlic powder, and occasionally make fruit snacks or sun-dried tomatoes. You can read about why we like this dehydrator in our article about choosing a dehydrator. The NESCO is a simple dehydrator with simple functions (sense a trend here) that is affordable and easy to use.

3. Dutch Oven

white dutch oven pot

A Dutch Oven Pan holds a special place in every home cook’s kitchen due to its ability to distribute heat evenly and create perfectly cooked dishes. It’s a smart and valuable addition to your kitchen essentials. These pans come in handy for crafting soups, stews, and stocks, as well as for braising and sautéing. Once you have a Dutch oven, you will hold onto it for a very long time.

A Dutch oven, characterized by its heavy construction and tight-fitting lid, is a highly versatile cookware piece essential in a homesteading kitchen. It seamlessly transitions between stovetop and oven, making it perfect for a variety of cooking methods.

4. Instant Pot

making yogurt in an instant pot ingredients

We love our instant pot because it allows us to prepare wholesome, inexpensive meals night after night. In particular, we use our instant pot to prepare many dried beans and grains we buy in bulk. We also make broth and stock in the instant pot, as well as yogurt and tomato sauce.

5. Vitamix Blender

We love the versatile Vitamix Blender because it is powerful and reliable, without too many techy bells and whistles that could go wrong. We use it for smoothies, nut butter, flour, soup, and tomato sauce.

6. Pressure Canner

A pressure canner is essential for any homesteader looking to preserve a wide variety of foods, especially low-acid foods. Unlike water bath canning, which is sufficient for high-acid foods like fruits and pickles, a pressure canner is necessary for safely preserving low-acid foods like vegetables, meats, and fish.

Pressure canning preserves the taste and nutritional value of the food better than most other preservation methods. A pressure canner is a game-changer in a homesteader’s kitchen, expanding the range of foods that can be safely preserved and stored for long periods, enhancing food security and self-sufficiency.

7. Stovetop Espresso Pot (Moka Pot)

moka pot stovetop espresso coffee maker

While a high-end espresso machine is the go-to for many espresso lovers, not everyone can invest in one for home use. Stovetop kettles work by using steam pressure to push water through coffee grounds and into a separate chamber for serving.

They’re budget-friendly, easy to handle, and can quickly produce a strong cup of coffee in minutes. This pot is durable and will likely become a fixture in your kitchen for a long time.

8. Wooden Cutting Board

lemon balm on cutting board

A wooden cutting board is a must-have in any homesteading kitchen. Cutting boards will last a long time as long as they are properly taken care of. They are an essential part of a homesteader’s kitchen.

9. Quality Knives

set of kitchen knives knife

A quality kitchen knife, when maintained properly, is meant to last for a very long time. Keeping your knives sharp through regular sharpening is undoubtedly the key practice.

Treating them well involves gentle hand washing, meticulous drying, and avoiding the dishwasher to safeguard their condition.

10. Pyrex Bowls

pyrex bowls

Pyrex is about as durable as it gets. Created a century ago, Pyrex is crafted from nonporous glass that holds up against breaking, warping, or staining in situations where other containers might falter.

The storage containers and mixing bowls are designed to withstand the oven, microwave, fridge, freezer, and dishwasher without any issues. It’s no wonder your mom still keeps her Pyrex bowls in her kitchen – they’re built to last.

11. Box Grater


A simple all-metal grater is the kind of thing to last a really long time. Box graters are those must-have kitchen tools that can tackle more than just shredding cheese – they can transform various foods into strands and tiny pieces.

12. Manual Coffee Grinder

coffee pot and grinder

For coffee lovers, a coffee grinder is a must. Some might argue that the coffee tastes even better using a manual grinder.

Manual grinders are smaller and cheaper than automatic models. They’re portable, useful for travel and camping, and can work without electricity. Just ensure the inside parts or the grinding mechanism is made of ceramic or stainless steel for better durability.

13. Mortar and Pestle

mortar and pestle

The mortar and pestle is a kitchen staple used around the world. People have been using them for centuries across various culinary cultures. It is a solid investment. The ones crafted from materials like granite and marble are top-notch in quality and can serve you for a lifetime.

This tool is great for a homesteader who values traditional ingredients preparation methods. This simple yet effective tool is excellent for grinding spices and making pastes.

14. Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons

measuring spoons

Just think about how challenging baking would be if you had to rely on estimates. Fortunately, we have measuring cups. A reliable set of stainless steel cups and spoons can genuinely stand the test of time.

A good set of measuring cups is a kitchen staple that is functional and practical, unlike ceramic and plastic measuring cups.

15. Silverware Set

vintage silverware

Quality silverware, when properly maintained, doesn’t require frequent replacement. In fact, well-cared-for silverware can endure for multiple generations.

Silver forks, spoons, and bread knives are particularly adept at withstanding the test of time, making them valuable heirlooms that can be passed down through the years.

16. Mason Jars

Yarrow Oil in mason jar

With their timeless design and practical functionality, Mason jars are staples in the homesteading kitchen and are essential for canning and food storage.

You can use mason jars to store jams, preserves, spices and herbs. You can even store leftovers, homemade broths, fruits and vegetables, dry goods, and cleaning products in them.

Mason jars are designed for both water baths and pressure canning, making them ideal for preserving various foods.

17. Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls are fundamental to everyday cooking and baking in a homesteading kitchen, offering versatility and functionality. Available in a range of sizes and materials, they accommodate a variety of culinary tasks.

Mixing bowls are suitable for whisking eggs or mixing spices, and large ones are ideal for salad preparation or bread dough mixing; the size range covers all kitchen needs.

18. Grain Mill

In a homesteading kitchen, a grain mill is a valuable tool, allowing for grinding fresh flour from various grains. This process ensures maximum freshness, flavor, and nutritional value, unmatched by store-bought flour.

Grinding grains at home preserves more nutrients, especially the fragile vitamins and essential oils that can degrade in commercially milled flour. With a grain mill, home-milled flour is fresher, offering a richer flavor profile for all baking needs.

Owning a grain mill in your homesteading kitchen opens up a world of fresh, homemade flour possibilities. It allows for greater control over the quality and type of grains used in your baking.

19. Manual Can Opener

A manual can opener is a must-have tool in a homesteading kitchen. It’s simplicity and manual operation make it a dependable choice, especially when electric power is not an option, or you are living off the grid.

It’s a tool that combines reliability and practicality, perfectly aligning with the principles of self-sufficient living.

20. Sparkling Water Maker

We love saving money on seltzer AND avoiding all those plastic bottles and cans by making our own seltzer at home. We have owned one of these for years and use it to make seltzer, homemade soda, and cocktails almost daily.

21. Sheet Pans

You can use sheet pans for EVERYTHING, from breakfast scones to sheet pan dinners to desserts. These newly created Nordic Ware sheet pans with prism grids make releasing foods easier and help your foods crisp up with good air circulation.

22. Vacuum Sealer

When you’re freezing vegetables or portions of meat, you don’t want them to get freezer burn. That’s where a vacuum sealer comes in handy. These tools suck the air out of the bag, and they heat seal it. This means your food will last longer and taste better when you are ready to use it.


Equipping your kitchen with essential tools is key to embracing the self-sufficient homesteading lifestyle. Each item, from the robust grain mill to the eco-friendly solar oven, plays a vital role in preparing and preserving food, contributing to a sustainable way of living.

Remember, building a well-stocked homesteading kitchen doesn’t happen overnight; it’s a gradual process that grows with your journey.

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