The kitchen is the heart of the home, the place where you nourish both the body and the soul. For me, making cooking easy and enjoyable is essential to living a more sustainable life as it allows me to create great meals, the majority of the time at least. Made in non-toxic, sustainable cookware from ingredients that I chose and know where most of it came from.
I’ve gathered our favourite sustainable cookware and utensils that make cooking enjoyable and fun, these are also tools that you’ll love for many years to come!
Essential Sustainable Cookware Sets
My mom, to this day, has a set of good quality stainless steel pots and pans that she’s had since moving into her first home over 50 years ago. If you buy a versatile set of good quality, thick based, stainless steel cookware, it really is a purchase for life. Don’t fall for the non-stick coated stuff as it’s not likely to last long, the coating will come off eventually and there are many stories about the toxicity of these coatings.
In my experience, the only reason why stainless steel may not last forever is if you leave them unattended on the stove as the bottom will buckle when it gets grossly overheated. This happened in our kitchen, we mourned our expensive Le Cruset pan for several months before eventually replacing it. Let’s say we won’t be doing that again!
Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron is sustainable cookware at its best as it’s toxin-free and durable. Although it will shed a minimal bit of iron into your food, which is a plus if are deficient, but could be an issue if you have too much. So take care in that respect.
Regularly seasoning your set will make sure stays non-stick. When buying cast iron cookware, look for brands without coatings as these can contain toxins.
These sturdy pots and pans will last for years if you look after them, you will most likely be able to pass them on to the next generation. They will work on induction hobs, electric or gas equally well, but mind not to put them in the dishwasher rather wash them with a bit of water and soap in the sink (don’t submerge them in water). This will help to maintain the non-stick qualities of your set.
Enamel Coated Cast Iron – Le Creuset
Coated cast iron sets give you the benefit of non-stick potentially without the toxins. We say potentially as not all coatings are created equal. Some can still leach chemicals into your food so make sure you double-check the specific brand for their safety testing information.
Le Creuset is a favourite in our house, they have been thoroughly safety tested and are made from 85% recycled iron and steel. These products don’t come cheap by any means, but you know what you’re buying and you know that it’s a quality product that can last a lifetime.
Cast iron sustainable cookware is a wonderful thing as mentioned above. It’s versatile and will work on induction hobs or it can go straight on the barbeque. Cook anything from a 30 min meal to an aromatic Italian sausage and bean casserole. You can get a seasoned or enamel-coated Dutch Oven, we’ve linked an enamel-coated option below.
Enamel Oven Roaster
An enamel oven roaster with lid is invaluable. I use mine to roast just about anything, given the versatility of the lid you can steam and slow cook in the oven for extra tender veggies and meats.
Granite Ware is made in the USA and is non toxic.
Enamel Self Basting Roaster with Lid
A Set of Good Quality Knives
Having a good set of basic knives can go a long way. You don’t need every possible option, just a solid basic set to get started is good and will save you a few tears next time you slice onions.
Whether you’re chopping a chunky pumpkin or portioning a high-welfare or organic chicken, a good set of knives makes easy work of a tedious task. Just mind your fingers, good knife skills will help you to keep your pointy ones intact.
We love Wusthof, they produce German precision knives that will last you many years if you treat them well. The company is still family-owned after 7 generations and each knife is hand-forged in their factory in Germany. This 3 piece set is a great starter set and comes with a Classic 20cm Cook’s Knife, Classic 16cm Utility Knife and Classic 9cm Paring Knife.
Durable Kitchenware for all Scenarios
Garlic Crush and Slice
The secret is to buy a garlic crusher and slicer that will last for many years. This steel option should stand the test of time.
Nested Mixing Bowls
Nested mixing bowls with lids are an absolute staple in my kitchen. It allows you to mix, bake and store a multitude of foods.
Pyrex Bake Set
No kitchen should be without a good set of Pyrex baking and roasting dishes. It’s an absolute must-have and can help reduce plastic.