Our self-made tiny home has a heart, and it’s our kitchen. As the primary cook responsible for three daily meals from scratch, I need the right tools for the job. However, with limited space, I can only keep the essentials. Here is a list of the essential tools that I regularly use to cook for my family
Feel free to check out my tiny house kitchen gadget essentials, but on this post, I’m going to share the tools that make cooking enjoyable and a little easier. Having the right tool for the right job is crucial to enjoying endless hours in the kitchen. I have split the list into four categories: food preparation, cookware, knives, and utensils.
I’m a firm believer that if you have quality over quantity, you can achieve better results without needing a whole bunch of stuff.
Our off grid cabin has open cabinetry, minimal storage, and the stove I use is a propane rv stove. So not only do things have to look nice because they are displayed on the counters and shelves but they need to be able to fit on my small oven. I’ll leave links to everything if you have a similar setup living in an rv , off grid, or just have a small kitchen.
This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Now lets get into the nitty gritty
Essential for a small kitchen. I have had my Joseph Joseph set for almost 10 years. Do I love that it’s made from plastic, no. But I do love the space saving efficiency that this set provides. It’s the only measuring spoon I have, sifter, and measuring cups. They all fit nicely inside a mixing bowl and I easily use this every day. Another nesting set I have are these nesting Pyrex bowls. Both sets fit great on my kitchen cabinets and I grab them multiple times a day.
2 cutting boards
I think two cutting boards are essential in the kitchen. A wooden cutting board to chop vegetables, fruit, cheese, or make a charcuterie on. A plastic cutting board is great for trimming or cutting meat that’s cooked or raw, chopping anything that leaves a stain such as turmeric, and also great for cutting garlic and onion. Mine live on my counter and I use them all day, everyday.
I think we can all agree it’s important to season your food. But living tiny, I don’t have the counter space to have a salt shaker for personal use at the dinner table as well as a big salt jar by the stove to season pasta water or vegetables. A friend had this mason jar lid and I had to buy it. This lid is great. Can be turned into the ultimate salt shaker or turn the lid to the pour setting to dump a large amount in a pot for something such as pasta water. This is my favorite salt shaker I’ve ever had.
Having everything in similar jars is amazing for cutting back on space. I have a lazy Susan that all my spices live on above my stove and these jars fit perfectly on them.
Because fresh ground pepper is the only way!
Stainless steel stock pot
After years of having a “non stick” pot, I finally took the plunge to stainless steel and I’ll never look back. I have one pot and I love this thing. Perfect for making pasta, sauces, making jam or jelly, and also large enough to make yogurt on. This is the perfect size for having only one pot. Very versatile.
Cast iron pan
The work horse in my kitchen. Cast iron pans are the only pans I own. So multi purpose and will last past my lifetime. From the cook top, oven, wood stove, or campfire. Cast iron is incredible. If you’re only able to have one pan, this is the pan for you. Easy to source at a thrift store for very little money, or buy new online. Cast iron is great for sautéing, frying, searing, melting butter, making frittatas, roasting chicken, the list goes on and on. Cast iron is incredible.
Always good to have at least one. From making stews, bone broth, to sour dough bread. Dutch ovens are always helpful to have.
9” pie tray
I have one pie tray and use it in a couple different way. From baking pot pies, fruit pies, pumpkin pies, or transporting a cake, I really couldn’t imagine not having it. I tend to only bake a 9” cake, slice in the half to make a double layer, then decorate it right in this pie tray, especially if I need to travel with it. And in order to cover it, I’ll just use a shower cap.
9” cake pan
I bake all my cakes in this one pan. Fill a little more than reccomended then you can make two layers out of one cake pan.
I use my muffin tray to make anything a grab and go snack. From brownies to banana walnut muffins. Make nutrient dense batter and pour in muffin tray to turn into a convenient snack.
Need I say more. Great for roasting vegetables, making cookies, and really anything. I love my rimmed baking trays that came with cooling racks. Way more multi purpose than a flat baking tray.
Save money on parchment paper and get yourself a silicone mat. I cut mine to fit my baking tray and once they dry after being washed, I put it back in the tray for the next time it’s ready to be used.
Game changer to covering anything that is circle. Pie dish, bowl, or a cooled pot. Such a kitchen hack. And way easier than fussing with plastic wrap.
In my opinion, you only need three knives. This knife is by far my favorite knife of all times. This is not your standard kitchen knife but I swear by it in my kitchen. It’s been my utility knife for the last 4 years. I actually stole it from my husband because I fell in love with it when he got it for our camping bin. It’s the perfect size, the blade is indestructible, and it’s my go to for so many things all day long. I grab this anytime I don’t need to chop a bunch of things. So applications such as cutting a lemon, cutting lasagna, pie, avocado, steak, or trimming meat. But also think outside of the kitchen. Opening up packages, making kindling for a campfire, or butcher a deer. This knife is incredible. I sharpen it real quick before doing any precision work and it never lets me down. Plus the handle is gripped which is super helpful when trimming meat.
An absolute must. My meal prep go to. Chopping lots of vegetables for dinner or cutting a chocolate bar to throw in brownies, you need a multi purpose knife. But be sure to sharpen your blades. It’ll make you a safer home chef, and make your job way easier.
Not only great for cutting bread but perfect for cutting cinnamon raisin English muffins, cakes, and sour dough bread.
The possibilities are endless. I use mason jars for everything. Drinking cups, food storage, fermenting, canning, flower vase, and so much more. We have every size that exist and they last forever. Easy to source from a thrift store, usually $1 a jar, and will last you forever.
Tip: you can label your lid with a water based marker and the ink come off when you wash the lid.
An absolute must. Will last you forever and really the only spoon you need. You can then find anywhere and even cheaper second hand.
The only spatula you need. It has a flexible blade so easy to maneuver under grilled cheese, steak, English muffins, pancakes, and really anything you need a spatula for. You won’t regret this purchase.
Stainless steel Tongs
An absolute must. From flipping steaks, bacon, flatbreads, or sausage links. Don’t waste your time with the rubber tongs, stainless steel are the only ones you need.
Do yourself a favor, and get a good strong whisk. Making pancakes, cookie or brownie dough will never be the same.