Have you ever wished you could have a collection of natural kitchen tools that last for decades? Finding sustainable kitchen tool replacements isn’t as difficult as you might think. Here’s a running list of 13 natural kitchen tools you can afford, even on a tight budget!
13 Natural Kitchen Tool Replacements
When I first decided to naturalize my kitchen, it didn’t take me long to realized it wasn’t going to happen overnight. Replacing kitchen items with sustainable options isn’t cheap and at the time, I had a very limited budget to work with.
And instead of giving up, I learned what was and what wasn’t healthy to have in my kitchen (goodbye plastic!), familiarized myself with the best natural brands and kept my eyes open for secondhand deals.
Five years later, I have a solid collection of sustainable kitchen tools that cost me very little to collect.
And if I could do it on an almost non-existent budget, so can you! Here’s a list of natural kitchen tools you can afford, provided you take it slow and easy.
Kitchen Tool 1: Stainless Steel Cooking Utensils
Stainless steel cooking utensils are a wonderful choice for the natural kitchen. Not only will steel spoons, flippers and ladles last for years (and likely outlive you!), but in purchasing these things, you can get rid of the plastic cooking utensils you currently use when preparing hot food on the stove top.
Go with stainless steel and then you’ll have to get rid of the nasty, non-stick frying pans (we’ll get onto that topic at tool #9).
Kitchen Tool 2: Food Prep Utensils
After a couple years of use, plastic (and rubber) handles often start to peel off of your kitchen tools. Have you noticed?
When I decided to set up a natural kitchen, I wanted a stainless steel peeler, a stainless steel whisk and a stainless steel potato masher with a wood handle.
Can you guess where I found these things? Think secondhand!
Kitchen Tool 3: Sustainable Measuring Cups and Spoons
Have you ever messed up on a recipe because the identification numbers wore off of your plastic measuring cups or spoons?
When you’re an avid home-cook, it only takes about 4-5 years! Did you know there’s a very simple way to remedy the situation?
Next time you’re at the thrift store, get yourself a set of stainless steel measuring cups and measuring spoons. They shouldn’t be too difficult to find.
Do this and you won’t have to worry about numbers wearing off. Not in your lifetime!
Oh, and a FYI? If the metal is a dusty-silver color and feels quite light, you’re probably dealing with aluminum. Avoid these measuring cups and go for the heavy weight, darker metal (aka stainless steel).
Kitchen Tool 4: Stainless Steel Garlic Press
Often garlic presses are made from aluminum (something you don’t want in your kitchen or food). Even the popular Pampered Chef garlic press is made with alum and finished with a silicone coating.
To create a natural kitchen, choose a stainless steel garlic press. And make sure it has round holes, instead of square. Square holes are much more difficult to clean out! The above press is supposed to be extra easy to clean because it has a special, removable insert.
Kitchen Tool 5: Enamel or Steel Funnel
If you do lots of canning or fermenting, you know how useful a good funnel can be. But most are made of plastic (and stain dreadfully over the years).
If you want to create a natural kitchen, keep your thrift shop eyes open for enamel or stainless steel funnels. Stay away from the light, dusty-white metal (aka aluminum).
Stainless steel funnels are still on my “to replace” list for the kitchen.
Kitchen Tool 6: Enamel or Stainless Steel Sieve
If you’re a from-scratch cook, you probably use a sieve more often than you realize. We know that most plastic (especially old plastic) isn’t good for us, especially when it comes in contact with acidic products like tomato juice, fruit juice, etc.
It’s not difficult to find enamel or stainless steel sieves.
Unlike plastic that stains over time, enamel or stainless steel will always look sharp and clean. In fact, metal sieves are so charming, you can even use them in the kitchen as part of your décor!
Kitchen Tool 7: Plastic-Free Mixing Bowls
Have you ever noticed how many mixing bowls are made of plastic material? Take the naturalness of your kitchen to another level by replacing your plastic mixing bowls with stainless steel, glass or these beautiful stoneware alternatives.
Kitchen Tool 8: Glass Citrus Juicer
Do you ever juice lemons? Limes? Or grapefruit? For years I had a cheap, white plastic juicer and used it quite often too.
But as I thought about it, I realized that running acidic lemon juice over old plastic probably wasn’t the best option and certainly not the most natural choice I could make. So the next time I went to the thrift store, I picked up a glass juicer for a few dollars.
And when it’s not in use, it sits on my open shelf as part of my kitchen décor.
Kitchen Tool 9: Cast Iron Frying Pans
Did you know that non-stick frying pans emit fumes that aren’t healthy for you to breathe in? Not only this, but you’re supposed to use plastic utensils on non-stick surfaces so that you don’t scratch or wear down the finish, exposing your food to the icky metals underneath.
Cast iron is usually the pan of choice when it comes to natural cookware and frying foods. Better yet, you can use stainless steel utensils on your iron pans.
But there is a trick to using cast iron and creating a non-stick finish. Click this link and I’ll teach you how to work with cast iron.
Kitchen Tool 10: Stainless Steel Cooking Pots
It always amazes me when I see cooking pots coated with a non-stick finish! It’s not difficult to find quality, stainless steel pots that will last you a lifetime.
When you’re making soups and stews, there’s nothing better (or more natural) than stainless steel. So get a quality set for yourself and bypass the cheap, non-stick stuff.
Kitchen Tool 11: Natural Baking Pans
Most cookie sheets, muffin tins, cake pans, bread pans, etc, are made from thin metal that is coated with “Teflon” (aka non-stick finish). Problem is, the metal underneath isn’t food grade (to the best of my knowledge) and pans are supposed to be tossed when the finish begins to peel up.
Frugal people have a hard time throwing their pans out, so they usually keep on, allowing unhealthy junk to leach into their healthy food. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We’re seeing more and more natural options appear on the market every year. Stoneware, stainless steel and even plain glass casserole and bread pans are becoming more common (and affordable).
Bake your good food in clean and natural pans!
Kitchen Tool 12: Lidded Baking Dishes
When it comes to lidded baking dishes, the simplest options are usually the best. Here in my kitchen, I try to stay away from glaze finishes as much as possible. No one really knows what’s in them.
Instead, I look for clear glass, clay bakers and of course, cast iron dutch ovens.
Kitchen Tool 13: Berkey Water Filter
Most simple household water filters are made from plastic. If you want a more natural alternative, Berkey water filters are where it’s at! The canister is make from stainless steel and the filters are made from charcoal. I’ve had my Berkey for over 5 years now. And I’ll never go back to a Brita or cheap water filter again!
There you have it, a running list of 13 natural kitchen tools you can afford, sustainable kitchen tools that last a lifetime. And really? These long-lasting tools will be the cheapest option in the long run!
Natural kitchen tools aren’t difficult to source and these things can often be found secondhand. So choose a few items from the list and start keeping your eyes open for some of these natural options. And slowly but surely, you’ll be able to swap out the unhealthy tools for more natural, long-lasting items!