The Best Tools for Your Paleo Kitchen

Now that you have a general idea what you’re supposed to eat in this new lifestyle and how to stock your larder, it’s time to start thinking about some basic tools with which to begin your new life. While it’s a little early to be thinking about fancy gadgets — you’re going to want a better idea of how you really want to eat before that kind of investment — some good old tried and true standards are going to be the best tools for your Paleo kitchen.

Ninja

When I moved in with my parents, my mother was using what she called a Ninja. I called it a blender. The difference between her term and mine is a great deal. I’m thinking $10 blender that only manages ice if you’re lucky. What she has is a fantastic blender, a food processor that does her slicing and dicing as well as shredding, and a 16-20 oz. smoothie maker. Nothing stops this thing. It has settings for straight blending, cutting or shredding. It has a special intuitive pulse setting. It goes from blender cup to blender jug to food processor very easily, and I have not once used this thing and been disappointed in it. I was getting along fine without a Ninja in my life. Now I’ll look at a meal project and say, “Yeah, I’ll just grab the Ninja. Smoothies. It makes them. Shredded carrots. Ditto. Want applesauce? No problem. I make my chili with peach purée. Purée has never been easier. It’s definitely worth the buy and can easily be purchased on Amazon.

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Stovetop Pans

Sauté pan: My mom uses stainless steel. She loves them. She takes excellent care of her pans, cleans them well, and uses them all the time.

I hate them.

Give me non-stick any day. I honestly tried my mom’s pans. I actually didn’t have a choice if I was planning to cook, but that’s beside the point. When I was finally working again, I went to the store and bought myself an 8″ nonstick sauté pan. This is for eggs, panfrying meat, sautéing veggies. It does everything Mom’s pans do but better. Okay, Mom doesn’t think so, and you may not, either. Whether it’s stainless steel, aluminum, non-stick or cast iron, you’re going to need a sauté pan. Get the size and type that you prefer. There is no right or wrong here.

Sauce pan: Not everything I cook is done in my saute pan, though I do give it a good effort. Soup, chili, sauces and even eggs will go in the sauce pan. Again, I don’t need a large one. It’s only me. In this case the pan is stainless steel, and again, it’s my mother’s, but I love this steel pan. I can do a quick sauté of my meat or of garlic and onion before cooking the rest of my meal.

Soup pot: What do I need a soup pot for if I have a sauce pan? More than just soup. I need it for stock (which, I’m not going to lie, my mother makes). Mom is not always going to be around to make bone broth for you. Invest in a good soup pot. It will come in handy.

Oven Pans

Broiler/roaster: If I put meat in the oven, it’s going under the broiler. I don’t do it because I want something non-fat. Paleo is not exactly a non-fat diet. I do it because it tastes good. It’s often a convenient way to cook when you have every burner on the stove in use. And if you’re roasting something for hours, nothing beats a good roaster than will fit two chickens and veggies to boot.

Muffin tins/bread pans: No, you aren’t eating grains, but these pans do a lot more than just bake bread. Muffin tins are great for mini quiches that will go in the freeze and check out this great banana bread recipe for the bread pan. If you have these pans, don’t throw them out because breads and sugar are out. Use them.

Cookie sheets: See the comment above. I have a wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipe on this site I have baked poultry cutlets and veggies on cookie sheets. Keep a hold of them.

Slowcooker

I can’t say enough about having a crock pot or about this one in particular. It can be programmed for a 10-hour cook time rather than just six or eight hours, and it immediately shifts to “Keep Warm” when the cooking is over. I can fit a good-sized chicken in it or a large roast, or enough food to feed a (very) small army. My slowcooker has always been utilized more in the winter, a season when getting home from work is not always going to be in the time I want due to traffic or weather or traffic because of the weather. What I’m never doing is sitting in traffic biting my nails because I know I was suppose to be home to turn off the slowcooker an hour ago. I know it’s switched over to “Keep Warm,” and my dinner will still be good eating when I arrive.

Get Some Good Knives

You’re going to need one that will cut through raw meat with no problem. You’re going to need a good paring knife. And you’re going to need a good vegetable knife for any slicing and dicing your Ninja doesn’t do. Make them sharp. Make them last. In my Paleo kitchen, the knives are the only thing I use as often as the pans.

Start with the basics. As you progress into your diet, you will discover what else you may want, be it electric skillets, kettles or gadgets. Only you know how you’re going to enjoy your Paleo meals. Only you know how you’re going to want to cook them. Make your kitchen a comfortable and convenient place for you — specificially you — to work so you can make use the tools you choose.

Author: Kelli Heitstuman-Tomko

Kelli Heitstuman-Tomko has a degree in journalism and is a published novelist. She has written on food, agriculture, business, crime and tourism. She has lived in Idaho, New Hampshire, Florida, Wyoming and Colorado. She currently resides in Fallon, Nevada.

18 thoughts on “The Best Tools for Your Paleo Kitchen”

  1. I am not cooker and not familiar with kitchen stuff. After reading your article, I learn something, such as Paleo and Ninja. The info is very useful for me to communicate with people and in the future, it will be helpful for me to arragne my own kitchen tools. I will certainly enjoy my Paleo meals.

  2. Hey Kelli! How are you? I’ve enjoyed reading this article as it’s interesting and informative. I liked the Ninja Mega Kitchen System and I wanna but it but I would like to ask a question before I do so. It’s absolutely affordable but is there any guaranteed warranty?

    Thanks in advance for answering my question. I’ll be waiting for the replay and thanks again for the detailed post. 

  3. Oh my goodness…when the student or unhealthy-eating-blog-reader is ready the Paleoish Lifestyle Website pops up!!!

    And includes:

    Ghirardelli chocolate

    Soda Pop replacements

    etc etc etc

    Your website content was so very easy to read and personable and non-diet-like which is exactly what I need – I have to creep up side-ways on big food changes as I’ve never done this before!

    I’m going to commit to reviewing your Website Weekly before I shop and see what happens for 2019!

    Thank you Paleoish!!!

    1. Absolutely. The only reason I went cold turkey on this lifestyle change was because I was desperate, and I do NOT recommend going cold turkey. But the items under my Favorite Things tab are the reason I made it through the first few months. If you sign up on my email list, I’ll send you a free beginners resource. 

  4. Hi. I actually have been thinking about getting a good food processor for me. I didn’t know that Ninja thing functions as one as well? I need a good food processor to slice/chop/shred/dice ingredients like carrots, potatoes, onions, etc. What do you recommend for a really good food processor that will do the job well?

    1. My mom uses this Ninja to do all of that. She is on a special diet for her liver, and one of the things she has to do is shred carrots, a half pound at a time. She uses this machine and it’s done in two minutes. And I’ve been impressed at how well it handles nearly rock hard substances like ice. Mom was using one of the smoothie cups to pulverize hard kibble (very hard kibble, it wouldn’t soften in warm broth!) dog food for her elderly dog. I’m using hers right now, but it’s on the top of my must-have list for when I move out. 

  5. I just love your article and the review of the Ninja. Every kitchen should definitely have one, i believe life will be made easy with this unique equipment. I was amazed when you mentioned it’s capacity to chop carrots with ease, regular blenders don’t find this task easy, it tells of the strength of the Ninja. The price is friendly too, I can’t wait to give it a try, especially for smoothies. Thanks once again, Kelli. Cheers

    1. I have a fantastic recipe for a Blueberry Mocha Smoothie on my website. Mom uses it for some vegetable smoothies. 

  6. Hi Kelli, thanks for sharing this informational article. I have the ninja blender. I must confess it’s another brainer value system for a reasonable price. I don’t really like kitchen chords though, so I love to really make cooking comfortable for myself. I’ll get a slowcooker before this week runs out. I’ll buy your recommendation Crock-Pot 6 Quart. 

    1. I’ve had several crock pots, but this one is my absolute favorite. I was a newspaper reporter for a little while, working with the police and in the courts, which can be very unpredictable, time wise. I had just bought one of these and I have had it ever since. I was so thrilled the first time I came home after a late court and story day and found that dinner wasn’t ruined because I’d been out and about for 12 hours.

  7. Hi there!

    Love this article!  Stock pots, Saute pans, Slow cookers!

    I do love your Mom too!…I just wanted to say I totally agree with her about using stainless steel cookware.  Tefal or non-stick pots are very bad for our health. Why?  Because in 2009 a family friend did a Saladmaster demonstration in my home with my Mom present.

    To cut a long story short, by the end of the presentation, we chucked all our non-stick pots and frying pans in the bin. We bought a set of Saladmaster pots setting Mom back $3000!  I never knew pots could be so expensive!

    But they are excellent and my health has not suffered since using them.  I use 4 pot in my home and Mom uses 3 pots.

    I like slow cookers but do not own one. Yet.  I do own a stockpot and like cooking Salmon fish heads in them.  Very tasty.  Since salmon heads are quite large, I can fit 3 in a stockpot.

    All in all a great article!

    1. I generally use stainless steel, but for some reason, I’m not happy with anything but non-stick for my sauté pan. Mom has had her steel pans for more than 40 years, I believe. Ever since I was very young.

  8. The name ninja blender sure seems amazing. I wonder what the idea is behind that name. It does look like a really good blender and would definitely get the job done. My current blender has been around for some time and would definitely need a change and I think a really good option would be the ninja blender.

    1. It’s been fantastic. Before I used my mother’s, I just avoided recipes that called for something to be processed or blended. But I’ve done a few things now with Mom’s.

  9. I am not cooker and not familiar with kitchen stuff. After reading your article, I learn something, such as Paleo and Ninja. The info is very useful for me to communicate with people and in the future, it will be helpful for me to arragne my own kitchen tools. I will certainly enjoy my Paleo meals. 

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