10 Sustainable Kitchen Essentials

I have become so tired of low-quality items that only last a few months or years… This world has become so lax in quality and integrity. You can still find quality items, you just have to dig sometimes.

The items listed below can be used wherever, so if you’re a Modern Homesteader, someone who lives off the grid or just a normal human these kitchen essentials will serve you well for years to come.

Cast Iron Pans & Dutch Ovens

Cast Iron is one of my favorite materials for pans. It will last forever and you can use it on any cooking surface. Glass stovetops, Gas stoves, campfires, grills, and the oven!
Even if it gets rusty it can be restored and reused.
I had a cast iron pan for a couple of years before I actually used it. I was scared of it for some reason.

Once I started using it though, it’s always been my first choice for cooking.
Clean up is easy too. Place water in the dirty pan and heat on Medium/Low.

Once the water starts to boil dump it out in the sink and take a clean sponge to wipe out the stuck-on food.
If you need to, add some coarse salt and scrub the pan with a clean sponge, water, and salt.

Once clean, dry really well. Put it back on the stove, warm it on low, and pour olive oil into it to coat it. This will keep it from rusting. You can also use mineral oil or bacon grease to coat your cast iron pans.

Stainless Steel Pots & Pans

Stainless steel pans are just as important in my kitchen as cast iron is.
They last forever as well!

Pans that have coatings on them such as Teflon are toxic to humans and pets, I know they are nice because they are nonstick, but stainless steel pans are healthier as they aren’t coated in anything. Just warm, add oil or butter, and poof it’s nonstick! 🙂

Be sure to stay away from aluminum cookware. When heated, aluminum releases a toxic chemical that leaches into food. Stick with stainless.

Carbon Steel Knives

Sorry (not sorry) stainless steel, but carbon steel knives are my absolute favorite! Being that they have a higher carbon content than stainless knives they will rust very easily, but once you use one, you won’t be able to go back to the old stainless steel.

They hold an edge extremely well, so you won’t have to sharpen them often and they cut like butter.
Don’t worry about them rusting easily if you keep them clean and oiled it’s not an issue.

I’m going to be writing a post on carbon steel knives very soon, so stay tuned for that!

Wooden Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards are the best. They are sustainable since they are made out of a renewable resource and they can be re-purposed and reused for years.
Plastic and glass cutting boards will eat away at your knife blades. Glass cutting boards scare me because they can shatter and plastic cutting boards become dingy over time and are not always recyclable.
Wood is the best.
As with everything else I’ve mentioned, wash it right away and dry it by hand. If it’s looking too dry coat it with mineral oil or beeswax.
These are food-safe and will prevent cracking.


Whether you enjoy tea or coffee, or both, being able to boil water is essential. You really don’t need anything fancy to boil water, but a kettle makes it easier when pouring it into a cup!
The titanium kettle can be used over a campfire.

Glass Containers

You can use glass containers for everything! From cooking to storing food and it’s safer than plastic to warm food up in the microwave.

Slotted Fish Spatula

I use this for everything! Seriously, I’m considering getting a couple more to replace my old spatulas. I use them on the grill and over the campfire as well. Although, the handle is wood and they are short so be careful!

What I love about them is the shape makes them so easy to use on everything! Plus they are metal and wood, both materials are sustainable! For me, this is a kitchen essential because I use it every day for every meal!

Gravity Water Filtration

I have a post on these, but they are on this list because they’re essential!

We have been using the Alexapure system for a few years now and we love it!

We no longer have to buy gallon jugs of water, we just fill up glass jugs with our filtered water and use it for everything. Seriously, as long as we keep these filtration systems full, we’ll always have clean drinking water.

Manual Espresso Maker

When I was a coffee drinker, we used a manual espresso maker.
We loved it!
We had used an electric espresso maker but it died after a few years, not being able to find another one that we could afford, we stumbled upon the ROK manual espresso machine and it was amazing!
Here’s the cool thing, you can take it camping or to parties and have espresso wherever you are!

Beeswax Wraps

Plastic wrap is used for everything! I’ll admit, I’ve used it a lot in the past.
It’s convenient to wrap a plate or bowl and place it in the fridge.
Plastic wrap though is a single-use item. Maybe you could use it more than once, but good luck getting it back into a usable shape after it’s been crumpled or washed…
Beeswax wraps are a sustainable swap for plastic wrap. They are all-natural and can be reused again and again.

What are your favorite kitchen essentials? I’d love to read about them in the comments!

Whitney Stokes

Whitney is a naturalist who started Willowbottom.com in 2018 to encourage natural and sustainable living.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Meri

    Great products! I only own a handful of these, but now I have some inspiration for some others. Thank you!

  2. Teresa

    Love this post. Sustainable living is so important. Great inspo!

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