There isn't all that much difference in terms of cooking for a plant-based diet versus a non-vegan one, but there are a few appliances and gadgets out there that will make your life just that little bit easier.
Since we've become vegan, we've bought countless appliances and now have a pretty good idea on what works, what's essential, and what isn't all that necessary. Below is our list on what we think is a good collection of tools needed in order to kit-out your vegan kitchen, with some notes on if it's a must-have or not.
Let's get to it!
We would certainly put this item towards the bottom of our wish-list. We frankly rarely have a use for it. We don’t usually need to whip up aquafaba and usually do not bake by creaming vegan butter and sugar together. But if YOU love to do these things, this little electric hand mixer is helpful to have around the place. We love this one as it looks pretty stylish. It comes with dough hooks which should be able to manage light doughs.
We made soy milk at home with the help of a machine similar to this non-dairy milk maker, and it was great. Plus it really decreased the amount of waste we created! While the capacity is good, you may find yourself having to make it quite often if you drink a lot of soy milk.
Before buying a stand mixer, you need to really ask yourself how often you will be making bread, cinnamon rolls etc. You should also consider your counter space. Trust us: if you have to store it at the back of the cupboard, you will likely forget it's there and just never bother using it. However, you can find mixers quite well-priced these days if you decide you really need one.
We've had three air-fryers so far, and not because they broke. The first one, we had to leave behind when we moved to Canada from Thailand due to the difference in voltage. It was similar to this one. After arriving in Canada, we purchased one that was second hand and didn’t like it at all. It was at the cheaper end of the range and it simply didn’t crisp up things all that well. We decided to "upgrade" to this one here and we love it! We love how quick it is to heat up, and it provides excellent crispiness without much oil. It also has WIFI so you can get a notification on your phone when your fries are ready! How cool is that!!!
We love our glass kettle and use it many times a day. Not just for making tea and coffee, but also for getting that pasta water boiling so much more quickly.
I would put this in the ‘am I really going to use _____”? Again, not only do they take up a lot of space and are heavy (if you get a slow juicer) but if you are going to juice on a daily basis, be ready for lots of washing up, wiping of counters and quite a high cost of produce. Still, if this is your thing, then a juicer certainly can help achieve a healthier diet!
Now this may very well be a MUST-HAVE!! I simply LOVE my Instant Pot, and I use it nearly every day. Sometimes it's just to sauté and cook, but of course the pressure cook function is excellent as well. The Instant pot also has other functions like making yogurt (which I have done with homemade soy milk)! I love an electric pressure cooker over a stove top as you can just set-and-forget-it. It also has some very interesting accessories, including a lid which turns your pressure cooker into an air fryer. Talk about versatility!
Another absolute MUST-HAVE here. As a vegan, you'll be using a blender nearly every day. Again, after moving to Canada, we needed to buy another blender and we decided to stick with the Vitamix brand as we really appreciate a high powered blender to get those cashew creams perfectly smooth. It's also awesome for having smoothies without bits of vegetables in there! While it's not a cheap blender, you definitely get what you pay for, and the usage you'll get out of it does make for excellent value. You can also buy a reconditioned one directly from Vitamix and as I learned during our move, Vitamixes have a high resale value. I was able to sell mine even though it was 12 years old, and still in perfect working condition. This things are beasts!
To be honest, I didn’t re-purchase an immersion blender after moving to Canada (we had to sell our other one due to the voltage difference), but I very well might in future. In the meantime, I am satisfied with my Vitamix blender despite the extra washing up, and the back-and-forth between saucepan and blender when blending batches of soup. Writing this actually makes me want an immersion blender more! It certainly comes in helpful for delicious smooth soups during winter.
A digital scale is very helpful if you have European cookbooks that rely on weight measurements instead of cups. It's also very helpful if you are following a strict meal plan. I like this one as you can wipe it clean easily and there are no crevices to get food stuck in.
I loved my heavy-duty KitchenAid food processor in Bangkok, but again, I had to say goodbye to it when coming to Canada. I have since purchased a much smaller lightweight food processor which does the job just fine. I like this one for its nifty feature to scrape down the side of the bowl, which is super helpful when making nut butters, chopping small quantities or veggies, or making hummus.
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We'd love to hear from you! Do you have any questions? Ideas? Any awesome kitchen appliance we might have missed? Let us know and we might add them to a future article update!
Remember that this article is just one in our 3-part series on how to create the ultimate vegan kitchen, so do check out our other posts on the best utensils & tools, and the best time-saving gadgets.
Let's have a discussion in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!