Vegan Kitchen Tools: 29 Essentials You Need

Vegan Kitchen Tools: The 29 Tools Your Vegan Kitchen Needs

Making the best vegan dishes often comes down to having the right vegan kitchen tools, as well as the best ingredients. While you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment to make the most basic dishes, like soup, pasta or salads, you’ll need the right vegan kitchen gadgets to make more complex dishes such as vegan cashew ricotta or chocolate kahlua brownie chunk ice cream.

How to Choose the Right Vegan Kitchen Tools

But how do you decide which vegan cooking tools you really need? I’ve boiled it down to the vegan kitchen appliances and the essential vegan cookware, vegan tools and vegan cooking utensils I use at least weekly, if not daily. Then, I’ve added some additional optional vegan kitchen items you can add to your kitchen if you want, or if you cook a lot of a particular dish (for example, a tofu press if you eat a lot of tofu). Choose from the menu below.

Menu

1. Best Vegan Kitchen Appliances
     1a. Blender
     1b. Food processor
     1c. Coffee/spice grinder
     1d. Immersion blender
2. Vegan cookware & bakeware
     2a. Vegan pots and pans
     2b. Carbon steel wok
     2c. Cast iron frying pan
     2d. Dutch oven
     2e. Bakeware, baking trays and roasting tins
3. Vegan kitchen accessories and essentials
     3a. Chef’s knife
     3b. Bamboo chopping board
     3c. Wooden spoon
     3d. Metal spatula
     3e. Vegetable scrubber & peeler
     3f. Measuring cups & spoons, measuring scales
     3g. Mixing bowls
     3h. Colander/sieve
     3i. Can opener
     3j. Nice to have vegan cooking supplies: garlic press, kitchen tongs, potato masher
4. Optional vegan gadgets for the kitchen
     4a. Slow cooker/crockpot
     4b. Instant pot
     4c. Ice cream maker
     4d. Air fryer
     4e. Dehydrator
     4f. Stand mixer
     4g. Spiraliser
     4h. Pasta machine or attachment
     4i. Tofu press

appliances

Vegan Kitchen Appliance Essentials

blender

Blender

Whether you like starting the day with a smoothie bowl, or you just want to be able to make smooth, creamy soups, gazpacho, cashew cream or your own non-dairy milk, a high-quality blender is one of those vegan kitchen must haves. I’ve put together a whole vegan blender buying guide. Click here to read it.

I use my blender (a Magimix) pretty much every day. I even took it to Croatia on a month-long trip with me. I know I’m a bit crazy in packing a huge, heavy, glass blender (and yes I did have to sacrifice a lot of clothing space in my bag for it) but I was thankful for it every day.

Click here to read my guide to the best vegan blenders.

Best mid-range option:

Magimix (Europe only) — for its strong motor and heat-resistant glass jug (you can blend hot soups in it)
Ninja — perfect for smoothies and crushed ice

Best professional option:

Vitamix — these will last a lifetime (my parents have had theirs for 25+ years) and the newest models are low-profile, meaning they fit easily under your counter. Click here to see the latest prices.

Click here to read my entire vegan blender buying guide.

food processor

Food processor

In terms of vegan kitchen appliance essentials, afood processor is right up there with a blender. Both are vegan kitchen gadgets I find completely indispensible. I use myfood processor several times a week, to whip up batches of hummus, vegan pesto, cashew cheese and other sauces.

Full-size food processors can also save you a lot of chopping, slicing and grating time with their various attachments to chop/slice/grate your veggies. 

Cuisinart’s my brand of choice…my parents have had their Cuisinart food processor for more than two decades! I put together an entire guide to buying a food processor, which you can find here

Click here to read my food processor buying guide.

Best mid-range to pro option: Cuisinart 14-cup food processor. Check the latest prices here.

Budget option:
A mini food processor, with a capacity of 3 cups, is perfect for making small to medium sized batches of hummus, pesto and sauces. It doesn’t come with attachments so you can’t chop vegetables in it, though.

Click here to read my guide to buying a food processor.

coffee grinder

Coffee/spice grinder

Coffee grinders are vegan kitchen gadgets you won’t want to miss. Inexpensive and easy to use, a coffee grinder will allow you to save many hours or your time making vegan cheese.

And if you love making curries, then nothing beats freshly ground spices.

It’s also an essential for coffee lovers (you can get two if you’re planning on using it for coffee and spices, or you can just clean it between uses by grinding rice in it – the rice will absorb any flavours from the spices so you don’t get those tastes in your coffee!). 

Click here to check the latest prices.

immersion

Immersion blender 

If you want to make vegan mayo, tartare sauce or aioli, or you want to puree creamy soups (and don’t have a blender that will blend up hot liquids), then an immersion blender (aka a hand blender or stick blender) is a great buy. 

Immersion blenders are inexpensive and easy to use–and this Braun model even comes with a whisk attachment.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

cookware

Vegan cookware and bakeware

vegan pots

Vegan pots and pans 

Worried about nonstick coating? I highly recommend stainless steel pots because that way you don’t have to try and work out which, if any, nonstick coatings are safe.

I once lived with very disgusting housemates who would constantly use my nonstick pots and pans, scrape them with metal spatulas (big no-no) and completely ruined the coating.

I discovered it one day when I made a big pot of rice and served the rice only to discover it was covered in pepper…except I hadn’t used pepper…and the pepper was bits of non-stick coating (so gross, and potentially bad for you).

Ever since then, I’ve used stainless steel pots and cast iron frying pans.

Rather than mess around trying to work out if you can find a green/safe/long-lasting nonstick coating, just buy stainless steel.

This stainless steel pots and pans set also works with induction cooking, and you can use metal spatulas and spoons with stainless steel without damaging it.

Cleanup is easy; they’re dishwasher safe or if you’ve burnt food onto it, scrape away with steel wool without fear of scratching the stainless steel.

Budget to Mid-range:
I suggest buying just a couple of stainless steel pots in different sizes. I own a pasta pot, a 3-quart saucepan and a small milk pan and that’s all I’ve needed for years (along with a wok and cast iron frying pan).

Pro:
If you do a lot of cooking, and have plenty of storage space in your kitchen, then go for this 12-piece stainless steel cookware set

carbon steel wok

Carbon steel wok (no non-stick coating!)

Did you know you can use woks to make pancakes, perfect-every-time crepes and to shallow fry? They’re way more than just a stir-fry utensil. For this reason I consider a wok an essential piece of vegan kitchen equipment.

Carbon steel is the traditional wok material of choices–and it’s lightweight, naturally nonstick and inexpensive.

I love my wok – when I moved into my first place with a kitchen, all I had was a saucepan, a wok, a set of knives and a wooden spoon, and I used the wok for everything I would have done in a frying pan.

You will need to season your wok and keep it seasoned but it’s easy, I promise! Read about it here

I recommend a flat-bottomed wok like this non coated flat-bottomed 14-inch carbon steel wok, because it is better suited to most stoves (rather than the rounded bottom woks) and it’s a perfect surface for making the most perfect pancakes you’ve ever cooked!

Click here to check the latest prices.

cast iron frying pan

 

Cast iron frying pan

Cast iron frying pans offer the best of every world: naturally nonstick and oven-safe, they work on all surfaces (including induction and campfires) and they even add iron to your food! Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive and will last for generations.

Although some people think they’re just for meat, I’ve found mine is perfect for vegan cooking. I use it to make pancakes, crispy kale, fried Chinese dumplings and just generally anything you’d normally make in a non-stick frying pan. Even better, it’s oven-safe so I’ll often start a meal on the stove in my cast iron frying pan and transfer it to the oven (like this vegan zucchini/courgette gratin).

Be sure to season and maintain yours properly.

Lodge makes the best cast iron pans and I recommend their 10 1/4 inch cast iron skillet. 

Click here to check the latest prices.

dutch oven

Dutch oven

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are perfect for casseroles or any dish that you need to start on the stove/hob and transfer to the oven. Plus, this Lodge Dutch oven even works on induction ranges.

Lodge cast iron products are incredibly durable and last generations.

Click here to check the latest prices.

bakeware

Bakeware

Depending on what and how frequently you bake, you may want an assortment of bakeware, from cookie sheets and roasting tins to cake tins and muffin trays. I roast a lot of veggies so I love my baking sheets.

However, when it comes time to replace my (nonstick) baking sheets I’m planning to reply them with ceramic/enamelled bakeware like this Le Creuset set, which features no nonstick coating, so you don’t have to worry about nonstick coating safety.

Click here to check the latest prices.

accessories

Vegan kitchen accessories & essentials

Chef’s knife

Chef’s knife

In the vegan kitchen, we don’t need to worry about knives as much as a kitchen where someone is preparing meat. You really only need two to three knives: a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife and, if you want it, a paring knife. You may want a couple of chef’s knives in different sizes, or just one for a minimalist kitchen. Consider materials, handles (knives with plastic handles may be more prone to break), whether you’ll be able to sharpen it and what feels comfortable in your hand. Cooking with a sharp knife is less dangerous than a blunt knife, so make sure you buy a sharp knife and maintain it.

Click here to check the latest prices.

chopping board

Bamboo chopping board

Vegan kitchens are easier to outfit than non-vegan kitchens; for example, you only need one chopping board. I recommend a wooden or bamboo chopping board like this (bamboo for its strength, durability and (relative) sustainability).

Click here to check the latest prices.

wooden spoon

Wooden spoon

Wooden spoons are the most versatile and used of all the needed vegan utensils in my kitchen. Wooden spoons are the perfect utensil for every dish, are very long-lasting and are a must in any kitchen. Make sure you have at least one wooden spoon.

Click here to check the latest prices.

appliances

Metal spatula

I recommend metal spatulas, rather than plastic, as long as you don’t have nonstick cookware that it could scratch (see vegan cookware section above), because plastic ones can be hard to clean, can melt and you have the concern of plastic and hot food/BPAs. Metal spatulas like this stainless steel spatula are easier to clean and last longer.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

vegetable scrubber

Vegetable scrubber & peeler

In terms of vegan cooking supplies, you can’t get much more basic for a vegetable-centric diet than a vegetable scrubber and/or peeler. Of course, you can use a paring knife rather than a vegetable peeler if preferred…or you can leave your vegetables unpeeled in most cases (skin-on potatoes are the best!). I recommend a stainless steel vegetable peeler like this because they are sturdier and longer-lasting than plastic ones. 

A vegetable scrubber is optional but is very useful if you buy potatoes or other root veggies from the farmer’s market that are covered in dirt and could use a good scrub. This vegetable scrubber looks durable and has two sets of bristles of varying hardness for use on hardier root vegetables and softer-skinned veggies. It has a beechwood handle and plant-based bristles made of tampico (from the agave plant) and union fiber (a mix of tampico/agave and palmyra bristles obtained from the palm tree).

Vegetable peeler: click here to check the latest prices.
Vegetable scrubber: click here to check the latest prices.

measuring cups

Measuring cups & spoons, measuring scales

Measuring cups and spoons and/or measuring scales are must-have vegan kitchen tools for anyone that plans to follow a recipe, ever, or to bake. Back in my student days, I used a mug and a teaspoon and tablespoon (‘borrowed’ from the campus dining hall) to measure everything, included cake recipes, but life is a little easier now I have measuring cups and measuring spoons. I recommend a Pyrex measuring cup because then you can measure out hot liquid (for soups or risottos) without worries of the glass cracking. I recommend metal measuring spoons (not plastic) for durability and ease of cleaning. If you do a lot of baking, or you’re based in Europe/UK, then you’ll likely want a measuring scale so you can measure ingredients by weight. 

Measuring cup: click here to check the latest prices.
Measuring spoons: click here to check the latest prices.
Measuring scale: click here to check the latest prices.

mixing bowls

Mixing bowl

I recommend a Pyrex mixing bowl, which will won’t crack if you add hot ingredients. It also doubles up as a nice salad bowl!

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

colander

Colander/sieveColander/sieve

A colander or sieve is a great addition to your vegan kitchen. I have one fine mesh sieve which works for many uses, like draining pasta, washing salad leaves and draining quinoa.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

can opener

Can opener

Can openers are almost falling out of use these days with so many cans coming with a tab opener on top, but if you do buy canned ingredients without openers, this can opener opens cans and blunts the edge so you can’t cut yourself on the lid edge.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

nice

Nice to have vegan cooking supplies: garlic press, kitchen tongs, potato masher

There are some additional vegan kitchen supplies that come in handy but aren’t needed, like a garlic press (I do use mine almost every day), kitchen tongs and a potato masher. If you steam a lot of veggies you might want a steamer insert, but I recommend instead getting a pasta potwith two parts (a pot and an inside steamer pot) which you can use for pasta and steaming vegetables. There are plenty of other single-use vegan cooking accessories (like cherry pitters) but I’m not a fan of single-use kitchen implements. Only buy these if you cook that particular ingredient or dish a lot.

optional vegan gadgets

Optional vegan gadgets for the kitchen

slow cooker

Slow cooker/crockpot

A crockpot/slow cooker can make your life much easier, particularly if you work long hours and would like to come home to a hot meal. Stick the ingredients in before you leave for work, and come home to a hot stew vegan curry. I love using mine overnight while I sleep to make caramelised onions or cooked beans. You’ll want to choose a size suitable for your household; this 8-quart Crockpot is a good size for most and the glass lid and stoneware insert are dishwasher-safe. You can even buy a vegan slow cooker cookbook

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

instant pot

Instant pot

Instant pots can make your cooking much easier. If you listen to the love for them all over the internet (where they have quite a cult following), you know they can cook dried beans in minutes (but safer than a traditional stovetop pressure cooker), they can make yoghurt, sterilise bottles, saute, act as a slow cooker and cook rice. If you want a machine that will simplify your cooking in many ways (and you have the space for it), the instant pot might be your new kitchen best friend. My dad loves his, particularly for cooking dried beans quickly (no more forgetting to soak them overnight). There are also many vegan instant pot cookbooks and sites.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

ice cream maker

Ice cream maker

An ice cream maker certainly isn’t a kitchen essential, but it’s a fun accessory if you love homemade ice cream. I love being able to create my own vegan ice cream flavours and to decide exactly what I want in my ice cream. I think the Cuisinart ICE range (which I have) offers the perfect balance of value and performance and after many hours of research, is what I opted for.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

air fryer

Air fryer

Air fryers are useful if you like a lot of fried foods, but want to make them in a healthier way. They became immensely popular a few years ago, and while I don’t own one, I know many vegans who adore theirs and making crispy, ‘fried’ style treats with much less oil. (It’s also less dangerous than deep frying in a pot of oil!). There are also vegan air fryer cookbooks you can get too.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

dehydrator

Dehydrator

A dehydrator is a very useful piece of kitchen equipment (perhaps a must-have) in a raw vegan kitchen. You can use it to dehydrate fruits and vegetables. It can also be used to make cashew cheese (but you don’t need it to make cashew cheese)!

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

stand

Stand mixer

A stand mixer will come in handy if you do a lot of baking, or if you plan to whip up fluffy vegan aquafaba meringues. They’re a pretty big investment and take up quite a lot of kitchen real estate, so I don’t have one (since i only bake a cake every couple of months and have a tiny kitchen). However, if you are into baking, and have the kitchen space, it’s a worthy investment and Kitchenaid mixers are the go-to appliance and will last many years. They also come in lots of nice hues to match your kitchen.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

spiraliser

Spiraliser

If you eat a lot of courgette noodles, a spiraliser comes in handy. I don’t but I often use the spiraliser to twist some carrot spirals on top of salads. If you have any wrist issues, you might want to opt for an electric model. If not, this model is what I have and is very inexpensive and very small (it will fit in any drawer).

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

pasta

Pasta machine

If you love fresh vegan ravioli and fresh pasta, then a pasta machine will come in very handy. Imperia is an Italian company that makes very long-lasting, sturdy metal manual models (I have this one). If you have a Kitchenaid stand mixer, you can also get a pasta maker attachment. If you plan on making ravioli, a ravioli stamp or ravioli mold will come in handy.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

tofu

Tofu press

Tofu presses make cooking tofu to perfection much easier. You should press the water out of tofu for most recipes; you can do this by creating a contraption made of heavy books and kitchen tools (how I usually do it), but a tofu press is easier and will result in tofu perfection every time.

Click here to check the latest prices.

 

 

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29 Best Vegan Kitchen Tools

5 thoughts on “Vegan Kitchen Tools: 29 Essentials You Need

  1. Joey

    I have secret dreams of owning a Vitamix. One day, maybe! I did manage to acquire a Dutch oven recently though – it had been used by two generations before me, so I’m hopeful it’ll last a bit longer yet!

    Reply
    1. Caitlin Galer-Unti Post author

      It’s definitely one of those dreams…me too! Two generations, wow! Where did you pick up your Dutch oven? Was it a hand-me-down or did you pick it up in a charity shop? I’m trying to slowly replace my bakeware as it wears out (I bought some not-so-sturdy stuff in the days before I considered how long-lasting items would be, and it’s giving out piece by piece). I’d love to replace it with stuff that will last generations!

      Reply
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