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Minimalist Kitchen Essentials

Updated on January 24, 2012

Number 100 -

Having begun my Hubpages experience five months ago, I'm rather surprised to have not run out of topics before reaching one hundred hubs, but here it is, the big 100. For such a feat, I'd like to shift back to what's gained me at least a little fame thus far, cooking! This time it's not a recipe, but rather a list of kitchen tools that I couldn't do without. My list of six valuable kitchen tools not only will save space by eliminating unnecessary equipment, they also make cooking easy and simple to clean. A clustered kitchen is a frustrating kitchen! Learn the basics tools needed for the minimalist kitchen.


I use both the Regular and Santoku Chef's Knife by Cutco.
I use both the Regular and Santoku Chef's Knife by Cutco.

#1. Chef's Knife -

One high quality chef's knife is worth more than ten butcher blocks full of inexpensive knives. A single chef's knife is responsible for most of the cutting done in a kitchen and can also be adapted to uses it was unintended for, so yea, it's important! I'm not saying to go out and ditch all of your knives, but choose wisely! A high quality chef's knife will stay sharp longer and will be very easy to resharpen if it starts to lose its edge. This is very important if you wish to maintain safety and consistency with every slice.

Mortar & Pestle with Fresh Ground Coffee Beans.
Mortar & Pestle with Fresh Ground Coffee Beans.

#2. Mortar and Pestle -

Ah, my big stone bowl! I love the primal feeling that overcomes me as I grind my ingredients. I use my mortar and pestle for a variety of uses, but most commonly it is used for grinding spices and making pesto, salad vinaigrette and marinades. Use a mortar and pestle to replace electric blenders, food processors and salt/pepper grinders.

Tip - Buying whole dried spices are not only more economical, they taste better because you grind them yourself!

Handle Free Rolling Pin
Handle Free Rolling Pin

#3. Rolling Pin -

No need for a pasta machine or a tortilla press when you can have a good old rolling pin! There's a lot of baked goods that need rolling out, and without a rolling pin, you'd really be lost. Sure, machines might be less work, but for $13, I'll keep my wooden pin. I use a solid pin that's bowed a little for use with flat dough and rounded pie crusts. You can use a rolling pin with handles, but I've found that they don't distribute the pressure evenly and are very prone to breaking off.

My Enameled Cast Iron Skillet
My Enameled Cast Iron Skillet

#4. Cast Iron Skillet

This one pan eliminates the need for a majority of pots and pans that come with a standard cookware set. Cast iron skillets can be used on the stove top for sauteing, frying and sauces. As an added bonus, cast iron skillets can also be used in the oven, making them super versatile. It's a perfect pan for recipes that need to start on the stove and finish in the oven! Although cast iron skillets are a pricey investment, the rewards are more than worth it.

Tip - Cast iron heats quickly and distributes heat more evenly for perfect cooked meals every time!

Stainless Steel Stockpot.
Stainless Steel Stockpot.
Heat Resistant Glass Bowls
Heat Resistant Glass Bowls

#5. Stockpot -

Really, the only thing that can't be done in a cast iron skillet is stocks, soups and boiling pasta. So, that's where the stockpot comes in! I use a stainless steel stockpot as it heats quickly and is made from materials that will long outlive myself. Unlike non-stick coated stockpots that eventually flake off their coating, stainless steel stockpots will retain their surface indefinitely. It's like new every time.

#6. Glass Bowls -

The last of my minimalist kitchen essentials are heat resistant glass bowls. I suppose that Pyrex is the most common glass bowl, but there are many similar brands much like the ones I have. Prep work is a breeze when you have an assortment of glass bowls to separate your ingredients into. Since they're also heat resistant, they can hold hot items and sauces without breaking or leaching anything into the food. Plastic bowls may be cheap, but you never know what they'll leach into your food. Keep it safe and go with glass.


Of course my kitchen has a few extra modern commodities, but these are my basics. Almost every meal that's produced in my kitchen has touched at least one of these essential kitchen tools. I appreciate all the support that I've recieved thus far at Hubpages! I hope you'll tune in for my next 100 hubs.

Now that I've shared my minimalist kitchen essentials, what couldn't you do without?


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I also love the plain old cast iron skillet for baking cornbread-peach cobbler. It really browns the bottom and edges. & I use a cast iron Dutch oven for stove top braised roasts and stews, and( my favorite) pea soup, that cook slow the way my Dutch gramma taught me. No fuss, just plain cookin'.

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Colorado

      teaches12345 - Cast iron is great I'm like you though, in the sense that I need more of it! My favorite baked chicken is slow cooked in the oven in a large cast iron skillet with a lid. Good stuff. I'm glad you enjoyed.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I need to stock my kitchen with more cast iron cookware. I have one small one that I use for frying eggs, and only eggs. I didn't know that they cooked evenly and could be used in the oven. Thanks for the tips. Enjoyed reading this hub.

    • Joe Macho profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Colorado

      Davenmidtown - Always appreciate your feedback Dave! Practical is what I do.

      Simone Smith - Thanks so much! You've been a great source of feedback Simone. You're really going to have to try and find a good Mortar and Pestle. Just something about those primal tools!

      phoenix2327 - Excellent! There's no need to go exotic. Just stay local, simple and fresh. I appreciate your comment.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Excellent. I've got all the essentials I need. Now all I need is more time and money to buy exotic foods so I can experiment more.

      Really liked this hub.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      First, congrats on 100 Hubs! That's a major milestone! How fantastic!

      Second, these really are excellent minimalist kitchen staples. I've lived by all of those things save the mortar and pestle (which I don't need as much since I rarely make sauces, grind spices, and make pesto). Great recommendations!

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      awesome article Joe! and Very well laid out and written. I like the fact that it is green and the methodology for making it practical!


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