Natural Kitchen Essentials List: My Most Used Tools and Appliances

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Natural and Organic Kitchen Items
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After I wrote about what I keep in my purse, I had several requests for a similar post about what my kitchen looks like and what appliances/health tools I regularly use. Below is the list I wish I’d had before I got married so I could have put most of these items on my wedding registry.

Natural Kitchen Items

I feel that it is important to note that I cook 2-3 times a day and we don’t often use a microwave. All of the items I have in my kitchen now are heavy duty and have multiple uses. Many of these items are pricey but we carefully budgeted for them and most have extended warranties. I should also note that because I am constantly experimenting with new recipes for the blog, I have some appliances and tools I would not have originally thought to register for or purchase.

1. Appliances/Big Items

Besides the usual refrigerator and oven/stove, I have a variety of small appliances that I use on a regular basis.

  • Vitamix: We have had a Vitamix since early in our marriage and it has been used multiple times a day for years! We use it daily for smoothies, sauces, blending coffee with healthy fats, chopping, etc. If I could only have one of the appliances on this list, I’d keep the Vitamix. While I really think a Vitamix beats all other blenders, here are my experiences with other blenders that also pass the test.
  • Food Processor (I have this one): I didn’t put this on my wedding registry because I thought “how much would I really use a machine that just chops and mixes?” Turns out, I would use it a lot. I thought it would be fun to chop everything by hand at first, which was true for a couple of years, but now when I cook for a crowd (just the family, not to mention guests) the food processor is really helpful. I also use this often for chopping items for soups, slicing cabbage for sauerkraut, pre-chopping salad items for the whole week, etc.
  • Mixer (I have this one): Another one I didn’t get early on because I didn’t think we’d use it much (especially since I don’t bake that often). While it is still not my most used kitchen tool, I do use it pretty often for blending things like homemade marshmallows or the dough for coconut flour biscuits, etc. Before we got this mixer, I just had the hand-mixer version and it worked really well too.
  • Dehydrator (I have this one): We went through several of the cheaper plastic type dehydrators but the Excalibur is considered the gold standard of dehydrators. Dehydrators are great for drying fruits and veggies, making beef jerky or salmon jerky, and more. My kids especially like apple chips made from dehydrated apples and strawberries. This appliance mainly gets used in the summer when there is excess produce that needs to be preserved.
  • Ice Cream Maker (I have this one): Not something I thought I would use all the time, but surprisingly we do. We make ice cream recipes like this strawberry gelato, or butter pecan ice cream, but this is also just a great way to get extra healthy fats and nutrients into my kids without a fight. I can even just blend watermelon and pour it in to make a sorbet. For ice creams, I try to add coconut oil, egg yolks, and butter for good fats.
  • Crock Pot/Slow Cooker (I have this one): This is one item I had from the beginning. I’ve actually gone through several cheaper ones that wore out before I finally sprung for a high-quality one. This particular Crock Pot is also supposed to be tested to be free of lead (which is supposedly present in the crock of some slow cookers).
  • Immersion Blender (I have this one): I use this all the time for pureeing soups in the pot, mixing pancake batter, etc.
  • Water Filter (We have this one): Not an appliance per se but we use this daily to filter our water for cooking and drinking as it is the best water filter option I’ve found. We used the Berkey Water Filter for years before we sprung for this 14-stage under-counter filtration system. The Berkey is still a great option if under the counter isn’t possible. If you’re wondering why a 14-stage water filter would be necessary, check out this post and you might be convinced.

2. Cookware and Bakeware

I cook all the time, so quality cookware is really important to me. I only use cookware that is natural/eco-friendly and also pretty easy to clean. This left only a few options, but my few versatile pieces get used all the time!

  • Instant Pot (I have this one): You know those last-minute dinner blues? The Instant Pot can cure them. It makes soups, stews, and casseroles, hard boils eggs, ferments yogurt, and the most tender cuts of meat you can imagine. Food is ready in about an hour or less, and you can even saute right in the pot before pressurizing, saving extra dirty pans. Try it, you’ll be glad you did! Check out my full review on Instant Pot models (and why it is a healthy way to cook) for more details.
  • Caraway – I use their 3 qt. saucepan several times a week as well as their frying pan to make eggs, crepes or fry up some veggies. They are easy to clean and are safe for the family without any toxic chemicals leaching into your food. I also use their bakeware when making desserts or breakfast muffins.
  • Ceramic Skillets (I have these): These cook evenly and are really easy to clean. The only downside is that they are breakable so I have to be careful when cleaning them. I use these especially for eggs as they don’t stick, but also for foods like stir-fries or meats. (Note: Ceramcor has offered to give WM readers a 10% discount on all orders. Here are the details.)
  • Always Pan – I love the Always Pan when I am making scrambled eggs, stir fry, or need to steam some veggies. The pan is very easy to clean and you can either wipe it down with a wet rag or throw it into the dishwasher.
  • Cast Iron: A few good cast iron skillets can last forever. I use these for anything that has to go from stove to oven or for meats, bacon, sausage, etc. Another advantage is that trace amounts of iron are left in food to boost the body’s iron levels.
  • Enameled Cast Iron: I have a Dutch oven and soup pot that are coated cast iron and use these for stove or oven roasting or cooking.
  • Large Stock Pot: I have a restaurant grade 5-gallon stock pot that I use for bone broth and for pre-cooking large batches of food.
  • Glass Baking Dishes: for everyday cooking and baking
  • Steel Food Service Baking Pans (I have these): Since we try to cook in bulk when possible and since I now often have to cook large amounts even for single meals, these come in handy. I use them for roasting veggies, cooking large amounts of food, and serving to large groups. They can also double as a roaster for large cuts of meat.

3. Kitchen Tools

Besides the bigger items like the appliances above, I have a variety of smaller kitchen items that I use all the time. I actually had a lot more of these smaller items and have weeded out single-use items, especially those that took up a lot of room. The ones that made the cut and that I still have:

  • A French Press (I have this one): is great for making coffee or tea without them coming in to contact with plastic like they would in many coffee makers. I also find that I like the flavor of coffee and teas made in a French press much better and this is much smaller to store than a full-size coffee pot. We also use a Chemex quite often and you can check out our whole coffee setup in this post.
  • A Fermentation Crock (I have this one): There is usually something in some stage of fermentation on my counter and a crock like this makes fermentation much easier. I use this most often for sauerkraut.
  • Quality Knives (I have these): Knives are still one of the most used items in my kitchen. From chopping veggies for omelets to meat or veggies for dinner, these get used all the time. I’ve even invested in teaching the kids to use them (with the help of this awesome online course) as it’s a valuable life skill.
  • Tea Kettle (I have a glass one, a cast iron one, and a steel one): We drink a lot of herbal tea in our house and I also just love the look of a tea kettle!
  • A Julienne Peeler (I have this set): I use this to peel carrots, sweet potatoes, zucchini, etc. into noodle shapes to use in place of regular noodles in recipes. This is also a job that my older kids can help with in meal prep.
  • A Crinkle Cutter (I have this one): Not too sharp and makes fun shapes so my kids can use them to help with meal prep. I keep this and a bamboo cutting board and the kids get to take turns helping cut veggies for meals. They also are able to get this out and a carrot or cucumber and cut slices for a snack whenever they want.
  • A Mandoline (I have this one): When I don’t feel like using the food processor, this is great to grate, slice, or cut (warning: it’s sharp!).
  • A Kitchen Thermometer (I have this one): For testing the temperature of meats, etc.
  • A Candy Thermometer (I have this one): For testing the temperature of mixtures for marshmallows and cough drops, etc.
  • Bamboo Cutting Boards (I have these): An eco-friendly alternative to plastic cutting boards and a less breakable alternative to glass cutting boards. I use these daily.
  • Bamboo Cooking Utensils (I have these): For use in anything I’m cooking.
Items for a Natural and Organic Kitchen - Registry Ideas

4. Random Items

5. Jars

I use jars for everything so they have a category of their own. We use them for storage, drinking glasses, fermenting things like beet kvass or water kefir, and salsa, as well as for second ferments of kombucha. I love glass jars and have a collection of sorts in my kitchen:

6. Other Items

In addition to these kitchen items, the following unusual items can often be found on my kitchen counter:

There are lots of other additional kitchen items, but these are by far the ones that I use the most regularly.

What’s in your kitchen? Are there any great kitchen tools that I’m missing out on? Do you have some of these same items? Share below!

My essential natural kitchen items, cooking tools and health appliances for my natural and organic kitchen. Also great ideas for a wedding registry list.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


163 responses to “Natural Kitchen Essentials List: My Most Used Tools and Appliances”

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      Katie uses enameled cast iron and steel baking pans instead of a roaster. It’s hard to find an electric one that doesn’t have non-stick coating or PFAS (I’ve yet to see one with a non-toxic inside).

  1. Tracey McConnell Avatar
    Tracey McConnell

    I’m on the hunt for a good/safe Wok and have been considering a carbon steel one through Made In. Do you have any recommendations?

  2. Pamela Avatar

    Is there an air fryer you recommend? It seems they all use toxic nonstick coating.

  3. Bonnie Avatar

    Hi, What kind of glass tea kettle do you use? The link wasn’t working. Would love to know! Thank you!

  4. Jenna Avatar

    I have the Always Pan and love it, but you’re not supposed to put in the dishwasher per manufacture instructions. And you really don’t need to, it’s super easy to clean!

  5. Nicole Avatar

    Thank you for posting? Do you have suggestions foe a healthier waffle iron?

  6. Alyssa Avatar

    I ordered the always pan but read it actually contains lead and other harmful chemicals —I will be sending it back .have you changed your stance on it?

  7. Lindsay Avatar

    I asked for this for Christmas and just opened it. I had wanted one ever since I learned about it through Traditional Cooking School (Wardee Harmon) but when I saw that wellness mama also “endorsed” it I was all in! However, I was really surprised to learn that it is made of plastic! Wellness mama, is this still the dehydrator you use/recommend?

  8. kristy cheever Avatar
    kristy cheever

    Hello! what do you wash your dishes with? I am trying to search sponge, but I am getting nada.

  9. Katie Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this list. I am just looking at it today (so I’m not sure if you will see this comment or not). I pulled it up because we are in the market for a new electric pancake griddle and I was hoping to see what you would recommend. Any you suggest on ones to look at, or tips for shopping? Thank you!

    1. Katie Wells Avatar

      That is tough since so many are non-stick. If found a ceramic one at a local store and it has been great but I can’t find a link to it online.

  10. Melissa Avatar

    The one thing I didn’t see mentioned was ice cube trays. We use a Berkey filter as well. I want to freeze Berkey water for ice cubes but I’m unsure if a silicone tray is safe or if I need to get a stainless steel one. If stainless steel, who is a reputable source. I’m not sure China SS is any safer than plastic and I know I don’t want to use plastic. Being healthy is sooo hard these days.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      Melissa I am following as I have this same question. Not sure how to see her response though.

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