What do you truly need in a minimalist keto kitchen? There are 6 cooking essentials for every kitchen, keto or not. They are: good quality chef’s knife, cutting board, measuring cups & spoons, a nonstick pan, a wooden or nylon stirring spoon, and a meat thermometer. That’s it! An instant pot or spiralizer are not required for your keto diet. In this post you’ll I’ll share these six basics, and how to decide if a kitchen gadget is a good purchase for you.
In this blog post you’ll find:
the minimalist rule you should follow
the 6 things you absolutely need in your keto kitchen
how to decide if you should buy a kitchen gadget or not
my personal kitchen essentials
6 Kitchen Gadgets Every Minimalist Keto Kitchen Needs
You know those articles you’ve seen, like “34 things you need in your keto kitchen or you’ll be kicked out of ketosis forever “?
This is not one of those posts. You may breathe a sigh of relief now.
There are actually very few kitchen gadgets you need to make delicious low carb meals. And the good news is you probably already have every single one of them.
My rule of minimalism (which should be yours too).
Before I tell you what those 6 kitchen essentials are, let’s review the guidelines of minimalism …
Keep the stuff you use often, and keep the things you love.
It’s really that simple. You get to decide what your kitchen essentials are. So your keto minimalist kitchen will look different from mine and from other keto eaters. And that’s totally ok.
The 6 kitchen gadgets every keto cook needs.
Here are what I believe to be the non-negotiable cooking essentials, whether you eat keto or not:
Good quality knife
Measuring cups and spoons
A wooden or plastic stirring spoon
I’ll bet you have all these things which is really good news! If not, I’ll tell you why these are important kitchen gadgets and I’ll link to them on Amazon which is where I do 95% of my shopping.
1 - Good quality knife.
Growing up my mom used a steak knife to cut everything. Actually I think she still does. Last I checked she does not own a chef’s knife which blows my mind. I can’t imagine cooking without one. I use it every single day.
You can spend up to $100 for a chef's knife - but you don't have to. There are lots of top-rated chef's knives on Amazon for us budget-minded people. True confession... I have this $94 Henkels chef knife that I bought when taking food classes in college. I don't use it. Instead I use this $16 knife.
With a good knife and a little practice you don’t need a food processor, mandoline slicer, or other fancy cutting tools.
If you’ve never had a proper chef’s knife or need help with your knife skills, I found this great video on YouTube to walk you through the basics.
2 - Cutting board.
No explanation needed, you just need a solid surface to cut on. The most popular types are wood, bamboo, or plastic.
I finally gave away my big, heavy, and bulky wooden cutting board because I never used it. I love my plastic OXO cutting board. It’s large enough for almost any food prep job, it’s lightweight, and cleans up in a snap. One side has grooves around the edge to catch juices from meat, so I always use that side for cutting protein. The other side I use for prepping fruits and veggies. Click to see the current price on Amazon.
3 - Nonstick pan.
A good-sized nonstick pan is truly versatile and you will use it almost daily in your cooking. I love this 12-inch pan from T-fal. It’s a great size, oven-safe, comes with a glass lid, and is super affordable. Click to see the current price on Amazon.
4 - Measuring cups and spoons.
I lumped these together because: #1 you probably already have them, and #2 you can usually find the two sold together as a set.
You don’t need anything fancy, but I do recommend finding a set that has the markings etched into the plastic or metal. I have two sets of plastic measuring cups and the markings have worn off both. Time for this minimalist to upgrade!
I found this awesome set on Amazon and you can click to find the current price. (Adding to my cart now!) The brightly colored handles are pretty and I love to surround myself with things that make me smile. They’re also super affordable at around $18.
4 - Cooking spoons.
I’ll be honest, I have a mish-mash of spoons, spatulas, and other —— spanning back decades! And you probably have spoons too.
If you’re just starting out, or want to upgrade, but I found this lovely set of 5 nylon stirring devices. It’s not totally minimalist, (especially the pasta spoon for keto!), but it’s a great beginner set. See them on Amazon here.
6 - Meat Thermometer
It’s actually kind of funny all the years I spent cooking and wondering why my steak was overdone or my chicken came out dry…again. It’s because I didn’t have a meat thermometer and overcooked the crap out of my food!
If you don’t have one, definitely invest the $5 to $15 for a simple, accurate, digital thermometer. Definitely get one, like the one in the photo, that has the proper meat temperatures written right on the gadget so you never have to remember if properly-cooked chicken is 160 or 165 degrees. (Hint: It’s 165.)
What else do you need in your keto minimalist kitchen?
OK, we've all seen them... keto kitchen gadgets some YouTube influencer insists we need. And I get it, it's fun to buy stuff. I do it occasionally. But a minimalist (keto) kitchen doesn't need a milk frother, waffle maker (and I've seen this on a keto list, I kid you not) or mortar and pestle. Really??
But you probably want more than just the 6 items I listed above. Remember the rule of minimalism, keep what use often and what you love. (And save the money you would have spent on an avocado slicer - because remember, that chef knife! - and use it to buy grass-fed beef).
Questions to ask yourself before making a purchase.
I recommend you ask yourself a few questions before you buy ANYTHING. Especially if you feel deep in your bones it could be an impulse purchase.
Do I even like to cook??
Do I see myself using this item every single week?
If I could buy this or a new pair of shoes, which would I choose?
Why do I need this?
Would something else work? like a regular ol' knife?
What problem is it solving specifically?
Be honest, do you see yourself using this item regularly for the next year?
I thought I had to have a spiralizer because I like zoodles and eat them often. So I bought one - yay!
I soon discovered it is a pain in the ass to use the damn thing. I still had to wash the zucchini (or whatever veggie), chop off the ends, fight to get it situated in the machine, fight to keep the machine from sliding off my kitchen counter, etc. It made me fussy every time I dragged the damn thing out of the cupboard.
Oh, and my grocery store sells zucchini, yellow squash, and butternut zoodles. Yours probably does too. Guess what I do now? Yep, I buy the ready-to-eat zoodles and gave the spiralizer away.
Not to say YOU shouldn’t buy a spiralizer. But just be honest with yourself about your motives. I wish I had given a little more thought to that impulse purchase.
My personal keto kitchen essentials.
Let me tell you about a few things I keep in my keto kitchen that I could live without, but don’t want to. These are my keto essentials. They likely won’t be yours but I’m listing them to help you to think about what would make you happy while cooking. (Other than having a personal chef do it, of course.)
My keto essentials:
Glass storage containers
6 quart pot with lid
Shock! There is not an Instant Pot on my list, nor a slow cooker. I have the crockpot but I don’t use it often and could let it go if I had to. I know everyone on social media raves about an Instant Pot but I don’t love cooking enough to need one at this point. Maybe in the future. I’m just not sold on the idea yet.
Let me tell you about why I love these 6 cooking gadgets and consider them to be essential for me.
Glass storage containers.
If you have a cupboard full of mismatched Tupperware it's time to declutter those puppies.
My husband doesn't often agree with me, but he shares my belief that glass storage containers with locking lids are one of the best purchases we ever made. Definitely look for ones with locking plastic lids. You can find them at Target, Walmart, and of course, Amazon.
Let me tell you a little secret about my mom. She is a total QVC junkie. She has this egg cooker and, every time I visit (I live across the country so it’s usually once a year), she tells me how amazing this thing is.
I always listen politely because I prefer fried eggs. And the crazy thing is I have never seen her use it!!
But my husband went on a “hard boiled egg for breakfast” kick about a year ago which continues to this day. I don’t make his eggs for him, lol, but I did buy him this egg cooker.
Ladies and gentlemen, his life has changed. He love it more than he loves me, I am sure. It makes perfectly hard boiled (also soft boiled) eggs without boiling water or setting a timer. And they peel perfectly. Every. Damn. Time.
Totally worth the $19 not to hear him bitch about chunks of egg coming off with the peels. If you love hard boiled eggs, click to change your life.
As excited as my hubby is over the egg cooker, that’s as over-the-moon in love I am with this lemon juicer! It certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of thing a minimalist would have in her kitchen, does it?
That’s where the “keep it if you love it” rule comes in.
I totally love homemade lemonade and I make it a glass at a time. I’m weird. I also love fresh lemon juice as a dressing for salads or sprinkled on veggies.
I used to use the Food Network trick of squeezing the lemon through your hands to filter the seeds but I always mucked it up and got seeds in my food and lemon juice on the counter. Also I’m not very strong so it was actually very little lemon juice all over the granite, and even less in my cup.
Enter this amazing little device and I couldn’t be happier. It’s about $15 on Amazon.
Christmas 2017 my mom sent me an air fryer. I sincerely hope she does not read this because I was honestly a little horrified. I don’t hate cooking but, as a wannabe minimalist, I don’t want anything unnecessary sitting on my kitchen counters. I had never in my life considered an air fryer. At the time I didn’t even know such a thing existed. If I did, I wouldn’t have wanted one.
But, as I said, my mom watches QVC. And she was sold, lol.
Fast forward a year and a half and this clunky gadget still sits on our kitchen counter. And I can’t imagine life without it. We use it ALL THE TIME. Like the egg cooker and the glass storage containers, my husband is 100% sold. In fact, he has gotten countless people at the office to buy one!
Here are just some of the things I cook in the air fryer: crispy chicken thighs, fish, shrimp, steaks - yes!, burgers, potatoes, meatballs, veggies of all kinds, pork roast, pork chops… the list is almost endless. Practically anything you would roast or fry can be cooked in an air fryer with a lot less fuss and less mess.
6 quart pot with lid.
This is perfect for soups and chilis. I use mine often. If you don’t have a slow cooker you can generally make any crockpot recipe in a large pot.
Look for a decent weight, nonstick finish, and a lid.
Finally, I have a mini blender. I don’t want a big ass blender because I’m not sure what I would use it for, to be honest.
The mini blender is a perfect size for individual portions of smoothies, or for whipping up sauces, like my favorite cilantro lemon sauce.
I don’t use this daily (or even weekly), but I go on keto smoothie kicks and definitely need a blender in my life.
Now you’ve seen what I believe are the 6 keto gadgets every kitchen, even a minimalist one, needs. And I’ve shared my 6 “can’t-live-withouts.”
This is what I want to offer to YOU. Be a critical thinker. Don’t jump on the kitchen gadgetry bandwagon just because everyone thinks you need the latest and the greatest.
What is right for you and your kitchen? Would you rather spend money on ice cream molds (no shit, I saw this on a keto kitchen list!), or buying organic produce?
There is no right or wrong answer, my minimalist friends. As with everything in your keto journey and in life, YOU get to decide.
Happy keto cooking!
—The Keto Minimalist
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