You won’t believe it, but it turns out that vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters use pretty much the same kitchen appliances! Who would have thought that? Below I’ve listed 15 vegan kitchen tools and equipment that are essential in any vegan kitchen.
Actually, you will hardly have to buy anything new when you make the switch to vegan; you will already have most of it in your kitchen. So having to buy kitchen tools and equipment is not an excuse not to change your lifestyle!
Here we go.
According to chef Andy Wang from Knives Sensei, every cook needs a good knife, preferably three. A potato peeler, a serrated knife, and a 20 – 25 cm long chef’s knife. These are your most important kitchen tools so invest well if they are financially feasible for you. Also, have them sharpened regularly and be good to them.
2. Cutting Boards
I myself use wooden and plastic cutting boards. Plastic planks are useful if you need to cut food that gives off a lot of colors, such as beets or turmeric. This gets into the wood and is often difficult to get out again. I also prefer to cut food with strong flavors, such as garlic, on plastic because this will also get into the wood.
I often use wooden cutting boards for slicing bread or for making a nicely served dip board.
3. Food Processor
Besides the knives and cutting boards, I think this is the most used tool in my kitchen. I use it to make all kinds of things like dips, sauces, nut butters, my kickstart breakfast, pestos, hummus, and so on.
The bigger the food processor, the better, but often also the more expensive. I have now tried a number of kitchen machines and currently, I have the Ninja BN601. For me, this was worth the investment and if you are serious about this lifestyle I am sure it will be a good investment for you too.
To follow an entirely plant-based diet, you will need help from a good, strong blender. Why? Because there is a lot of food prep involved in plant-based recipes. But the best blender for vegans can’t just be any regular blender since you’re not dealing with just any ingredients.
If anything, there are stems, tough stalks, and lots of fiber to deal with. There are also lots of seeds and nuts to contend with. And if you’re into raw veganism, then that takes the blending challenge to a completely different level.
I have worn out quite a few blenders in the past when dealing with vegetables and other vegan food. The motor needs to be powerful enough to handle tough food, and my dream machine that I use now is the Vitamix 7500.
The Vitamix is a major investment, but well worth it. I use the blender to make smoothies, pancake batter, or anything else that doesn’t fit in my food processor.
Performance-wise, your blender will need to be versatile. (Think soft smoothies on one end of the spectrum and nut butter on the other.) And if soup is on the menu often, then something that can handle hot and cold ingredients simultaneously.
Read More: 12 vegan smoothie recipes
5. Hand Blender
Do you like creamy soup? Then a hand blender is a must-have in your kitchen tool arsenal. You can of course also pour the soup into a blender, but I have already spent an entire evening cleaning the walls (yes, the blender exploded, so to speak).
A hand blender is a small investment and sometimes even comes with a food processor.
6. Baking Tray, Baking Tin, Cake Tin, Baking Tray & Muffin Tin
If you love baking then these kitchen tools are not to be missed. I myself have a large baking tray, two casserole dishes that I use for lasagne and other oven dishes, a cake tin with which I can bake banana bread, and a muffin tin for muffins or cupcakes.
A springform is also useful if you want to bake a cake. Also, consider silicone baking tins, these do not need to be greased and are therefore useful if you do not want to add oil or fat to your recipes.
7. Baking Paper
Too often I had to scrape off the baking tray because I didn’t have baking paper in the house. This is extra inconvenient if you do not cook with oil. So make sure you always have baking paper at home.
Another tip for baking in baking tins without oil or fat: line your baking tins with baking paper.
For a rectangular baking pan, cut out all four corners from a sheet of baking paper and place the sheet in the baking pan. That way it doesn’t stick and you can pull it out of the mold in one movement. For a springform, cut a circle out of the baking paper so that what you are baking does not stick to the bottom.
Spatulas have also conquered their place in my kitchen. I have several types of wooden spatulas that I use to stir my food without damaging the pan. I also have a metal spatula that I can use to scrape caked-on residue from the pan.
And rubber or silicone spatulas come in handy when you want to get the last bits of batter or hummus out of the blender (and trust me, not a drop of this goodness is left behind!).
Handy for grating apples. Or ginger. Or the zest of a lemon. Or your turmeric root. I think you get it. This thing makes your life simpler. I promise.
Super handy for efficiently removing the skin from vegetables. Usually, I leave the skin around the vegetables (because it is tastier and healthier), but with some vegetables that just doesn’t work. Celeriac, for example, or butternut squash. Then such a peeler is very nice to have.
11. Sushi Mat
These mats can be bought in any supermarket for a few euros and are a lifesaver if you are going to make sushi. Sushi is a dish that is really great if you still have leftovers that you don’t know what to do with it. You roll it in nori, dip it in soy sauce with wasabi and enjoy. Get a sushi mat, CHECK!
12. Salad Spinner
Because I have a vegetable garden and I get a lot of lettuce, arugula, and endive from my own garden, this is full of sand and I have to rinse it thoroughly. A salad spinner is indispensable for me in the kitchen. If you always buy pre-packaged and washed lettuce yourself, then this may be unnecessary.
To clean leafy vegetables, lettuce, or fresh herbs by the way…
Fill a bowl with cold water, put the vegetables in it, and gently move it back and forth to get the sand off.
Drain in a colander and put them in the salad spinner to get all the water off.
Place the leaves between two sheets of kitchen paper or clean tea towels and then put them in a sealable bag.
Put it in the fridge and the vegetables will stay crispy for a week.
That’s why you want to have a salad spinner.
13. Bread Maker
Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread. Even people who stop eating bread for whatever reason will have to agree. But baking your own bread can be quite time-consuming. The dough must be kneaded well and it must rise.
It is easier to purchase a bread maker. I myself scored one at Lidl years ago and it still works. Unfortunately, that model is no longer available, but the brand I have is KBS Pro and I am very satisfied with that.
I can therefore wholeheartedly recommend this bread maker.
At the health food store, I get a ready-made bread baking mix (with wholemeal flour, yeast, and salt) and I add something different to the recipe every time. Nuts & raisin bread and sundried tomato-olive bread are my favorite.
Of course, every kitchen should have pans. I myself have several saucepans, a frying pan with non-stick coating, a pan to steam my vegetables, a wok, and a cast iron pan in which I can make soups and stews.
15. Ice cream maker
This is a hefty purchase where the more expensive, the more professional, and the more ice cream you can make at the same time.
However, the home, garden, and kitchen ice cream makers (which most of us are) can make ice with a cheap ice cream maker just fine. However, once you have tasted your homemade ice cream, you understand that it was well worth the investment! I have been using this Cuisinart ice cream maker for years and it is fantastic!
15 Essential Vegan Kitchen Tools: Final Thoughts
This list is far from complete, of course, but these are the vegan kitchen tools essentials that I use several times a week.
Do you have any good additions and/or tips to add to this list of kitchen tools? Feel free to send me a message and I will add it to this list!
Read More: Essential vegan foods for your pantry