Our minimalist kitchen. The tools that make cooking (and our lives) easier

When we massively decluttered last summer, the room that needed the most work was the kitchen. It’s the smallest room in the house and just so you can have an idea of its size, only one person can be in at a time. So to do a purge, we first had to decide what we use most and what makes cooking easy for us.

And this is what stayed.

The best tools to have in a minimalist kitchen

1. Electric kettle

For any recipe that requires hot or boiling water, we have it available at the touch of a button. We also use it to make coffee – we just pour boiling water over ground coffee in a pot or even directly into a mug, stir and then let it sit for 10-15 min. No need for fancy coffee machines. We had ours* for five years now (bought it in Romania!), and it’s still going strong.

2. Hand blender

It’s small compared to other mixers or blenders, so it doesn’t take too much space. We use it to make soup (directly into the pot while it’s still cooking), hummus and any cake that requires smooth ingredients. For us, the hand mixer was a great discovery, and we love, love, love it. Here’s the one we use: Dualit Hand Blender*.

3. Smoothie maker

We own a Nutri Ninja*, I’m sure you know them, and you know how small they are. And you can get even smaller ones. We use it for protein shakes, smoothies and batter for pancakes or vegan omelette.

These are all our electric appliances

4. Electronic kitchen scale

This is what helps us follow recipes, and this is how we learned portion control. The scale is a good aid for anyone who wants to pay attention to how much they eat to lose or gain weight.

5. Non-stick stuff

We have one small non-stick saucepan for making porridge, a non-stick pan to fry with little or no oil and non-stick baking paper for anything that goes into the oven.

Only got 1sq foot in your kitchen? After massively decluttering our home, here's the essential kitchen tools that stayed. For all minimalists, but not only.

6. A colander

If you don’t want to spend money on a steamer, you don’t have to. Just put the colander on top of a pot with boiling water (without touching the water) and the veggies in the colander. Of course it has to be a decent size. We also use it for its main functionality, of course, draining water after boiling pasta or potatoes.

7. A cheesecloth

We don’t make cheese, but we use it to drain water out of grated courgettes.

8. A cheese grater (for veggies), garlic crusher and a good chef’s knife.

9. Food containers

Excellent for meal prep, storing food in the fridge or freezer, taking food with you at work. Try to get the ones that are safe for the microwave if you have one at the office.

10. Mason jars

Talking about containers, I also have to mention the jars. If we buy something that comes in a plastic bag (grains, nuts, seeds) we empty the content in a jar. We also try to buy loose a lot, so we do the shopping in a cloth bag (handmade by Alin) and store in our containers. It’s cleaner, easier to organize, safe for the food and less prone to kick the bag by mistake and have rice all over the kitchen floor.

When we decluttered, we gave away three big kitchen items: a 4-slice toaster and two food processors with all their accessories. We don’t miss them, and the stress of how much space they were taking was more significant than the benefits we got from them.

However, there are two things we’d like to add to our collection. One of them we’ll get just by moving into a new place in a month or so (stay tuned for a minimalist house move post), and that’s the microwave. It’s already there, and we’re going to make the most out of it. We’re hoping it will make food prep even easier and the morning porridge will be quicker. The second is a pressure cooker (this will have to buy) because we heard it makes cooking beans easier. We buy dry beans because it’s much cheaper than buying pre-cooked canned ones, but boiling them takes hours. None of the two would fit in our current kitchen, so until we move everything will stay the same.

What’s your must-have tool in the kitchen? What makes cooking easier for you?

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Need help decluttering? We have a few good articles that we wrote during our journey:

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