One of the non-negotiable parts of a successful Whole30 is cooking real fresh meals at home. If you are new to cooking, this program will definitely force you out of your fast-food comfort zone and teach you some basic cooking skills. In this age of YouTube, learning to cook is as easy as watching someone on video.
What does a Whole30 kitchen look like? What tools are needed? Do you need to take out a second mortgage to stock a Whole30 kitchen? The answers to these questions are open counter space, basic functional gadgets, and no. For a stocked kitchen, there are gadgets/tools and appliances.
Cookware varies widely by personal preference. In my opinion, cookware and knives are the two things that people love or hate. It may take a while to learn what works for you, but this basic cookware line is affordable and it is not coated in Teflon, which is gross.
Until you know for sure that you like to cook (I cannot imagine NOT liking to cook, but I was raised to love it), I would not sink hundreds of dollars into commercial-grade brands. This is a GREAT starter set for $40.
No, these are not cookie sheets or to be used for cookies. Cookie sheets are thinner and not as heavy-duty as sheet pans. Sheet Pan dinners are a thing. You pile on vegetables, seasoned chicken thighs, and throw it in an oven. These will be your favorite things to have around. Nights when you are tired and hungry and can’t bear to look at another Pinterest creation, remember these sheet pans.
This is where the purists get involved. Knives are extremely individual to the user. If you are new to knives, I always recommend a chef’s knife. Check out some YouTube videos on how to use one without slicing a finger off. Don’t ask your Facebook group for the best knife. You will get 30 different answers and a lot of smugbrag.
I cook amazing meals with a rubber orange-handled Rachel Ray knife and a very expensive Wusthof and both see frequent use. However, I did go to a store to spend a lot of time holding and handling the Wusthof. Again, personal preference varies widely.
If you are just starting with building your kitchen, go to Target or check Amazon for great prices.
This is a time-saver and there will be plenty of salads and greens in your life next month. Throw the greens in, wash them in the basket, then spin out the water. Nobody likes soggy greens in their salads or stir fried meals.
This is useful for so many things. I prefer stainless steel over plastic. I use this to drain zucchini noodles, wash vegetables before cooking—vegetables that do not need spinning. My colander stays right under my cabinet for quick access.
I tried several versions of zesters before receiving this one as a gift. This is the BEST zester/microplane I’ve ever used. I do 3 things with it: zest citrus, grate whole nutmeg (it really makes a difference!), and fine grate parmesan or other hard cheese. Keep in mind, cheese is not Whole30 or Paleo.
These are “nice to have” but you can have a basic Whole30 set up without every one of these.
Food Processor AND/OR Blender
These are great for ricing cauliflower, grinding nuts and seeds, making mayo, etc. Check for recommendations from people you trust and check reviews. There are expensive ones and very reliable budget-friendly processors and blenders. I have both and I use both for different jobs.
This is one of those things that is not really an appliance but is more than a gadget. And, it is a large tool for limited purposes. However, vegetable noodles are a Whole30 staple for many and this is the BEST spiralizer I have found because it makes perfect spiral noodles.
And now, my 2 favorite things in my kitchen.
I should divide these into 2 separate items. I have both and I love both and use both often. The slow cooker “crock pot” for easy throw-in and go and I can leave the house with a slow cooker. I can also drag it to work (and I often do) for tailgate parties, teacher lunches, classroom hot cocoa and applesauce, etc. People can easily turn the knob to low or warm if I’ve forgotten about it while teaching 5 year olds and bbq sauce is pouring out of the top. (true story). In short terms, this is very user-friendly and I use my non-digital old-school crock pot for traveling. I use my digital timer/programmable one for home use.
My Instant Pot, however, is my favorite quick-cooking at home appliance, as I reviewed 2 years years ago. I can cook whole chickens, roasts, frozen vegetables, casseroles, spaghetti squash and the list continues. My Instant Pot is a 7-in-1 which means I can use it as a slow cooker. I do use the slow cooker function if I am staying home.
These two will make Whole30 easier and there are many resources and recipes available for both appliances.
If you need book suggestions for Whole30, check out my list.
Happy Whole30 2017!