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25 Powerless Appliances for Your Homestead Kitchen


25 Powerless Appliances for Your Homestead Kitchen

Image via Daveynin / CC BY 2.0

Kitchens are the hub of the home. They’re nearly always busy and so much of the daily chores are done there. From cleaning vegetables and eggs, to butchering, baking, and preserving, there’s tons of work happening there.

To make homestead life easier, it’s important to have your kitchen properly equipped with the right tools. Unfortunately, many modern kitchen appliances and gadgets use a lot of electricity. Thankfully for the off-grid homesteader or those looking to save on their electric bill, there are some awesome powerless options.

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1. Percolator

Want the best coffee? Make it like your grandparents did. They’re super easy to use, can be used without a filter, and are good for making coffee on a stovetop, wood stove, or even on an open fire.

2. Hand Crank Coffee Grinder

On the subject of delicious coffee, freshly ground is always best. Hand crank coffee grinders are pretty lovely to look at too!

3. Hand Crank Flour Mill

If you make bread you’ll want a flour mill. Freshly milled flour is delicious and many flour mills are made to be hand cranked with off grid folks in mind. Plus many of the hand crank versions can even handle nuts, making creating your own delicious nut butters simple.

4. Solar Oven

Solar ovens can be used to bake anything you would in a regular oven but they don’t use electricity! They’re perfect for summertime when you don’t want to be baking in the house with a modern oven or wood stove. They’re affordable to purchase or there are some excellent DIY plans available.

5. Hand Crank Mixer

While mixers may not be an absolute essential, they sure do make life a lot easier. There are hand crank versions available of simple dough mixers, or some people choose to convert modern stand mixers into hand crank mixers.

6. Manual Food Processor

If you preserve a lot of your own food, a quality hand crank food processor can save you tons of time. Especially chopping many different ingredients when canning or preserving large batches.

7. Solar Dehydrator

There’s nothing like a dehydrator for putting up the harvest. They’re great for vegetables, herbs, jerky, and even mushrooms! Traditional dehydrators do take quite a bit of electricity though. If you have limited electricity or want to save money solar dehydrators can be a great option.

8. Pasta Maker

While homemade pasta is delicious, hand-rolling and cutting noodles takes forever. With a pasta maker, it’s easy to make large batches of pasta so you can even dry some for later.

9. Meat Grinder

If you hunt,`raise your own livestock, or purchase meat in bulk, a meat grinder is an essential tool for your kitchen. Hand crank versions are easy to operate.

10. Stovetop Waffle Iron

Waffles are awesome and just because you’re off the grid doesn’t mean you can’t have them. Check out cast iron waffle irons for delicious, electricity-free waffles.

11. Butter Churn

If you’d like to make homemade butter, a churn can be a great investment. While it is possible to make butter just by shaking a jar, a butter churn is less tiring to use. Plus butter churns really give that old fashioned touch to your homestead kitchen.

12. Hand Crank Blender

Hand crank blenders may sound weird but they do work! If you’re a fan of hummus, smoothies, or pesto you’ll need a hand crank blender to go electricity-free.

13. Kitchen Scale

While they may not see a lot of use in your average person’s home, homesteaders often require scales in their kitchen. They’re great for super precise food preservation recipes or projects like soap making. Digital scales are nice but you’ll need a lot of batteries or an electricity source. Opt for an old fashioned scale to save money.

14. Rocket Stove

While they’re not ideal for indoor use unless you build one into your home, they can be awesome for a summertime outdoor kitchen. They’re super fuel efficient and easy to cook on.

15. Popcorn Popper

Even if you still have a microwave, popping your own popcorn rather than buying the microwaveable bags can save you tons of money. Poppers are cheap and are fun to use especially over a campfire.

16. Tea Kettle

Tea kettles are important for more than just tea drinkers. They’re much easier to pour from than a pot and can be used to fill hot water bottles on chilly nights, heat water for washing dishes, or heat water for hot chocolate and instant meals.

17. Stovetop Toaster

Toast is a breakfast staple for many families. Thankfully, stovetop toasters are super cheap and can be used on campfires, stovetops, or wood stoves without needing an outlet.

18. Dutch Oven

Almost anything is great cooked in a dutch oven. The heavy lids and thick sides heat evenly and seal in flavor perfect for soups, stews, breads, pies, and more. They can also be used right in an open fire.

19. Egg Beater

Egg beaters are good for much more than eggs! They’re the go-to appliance for whipping homemade dressings, sauces, mayonnaise, and whipped cream.

20. Can Opener

Electric can openers seem to have found their way into everyone’s kitchen. Purchase a hand operated one, save electricity, and get a little arm workout.

21. Water Filter

A quality water filter can help ensure your family is getting clean drinking water even if you’re sourcing water from a pond, stream, or well on your property.

22. Timer

Everyone is used to having a timer easily available on their oven or microwave, but when you’re working with powerless appliances it’s handy to have a small wind-up timer.

23. Mortar & Pestle

They’re beautiful and great for anything that needs to be crushed or ground. You can use them to smash up herbs or sauces/dips like guacamole.

24. Apple/Potato Peeler

If you do a lot of food preservation these peelers make work a lot faster.

25. Salad Spinner

For anyone who eats and grows a lot of greens, salad spinners are indispensable. When your greens are spun out well after washing, they’ll last longer when stored and dressings will stick better to leaves that aren’t too damp.

Who needs electric kitchen appliances when you’re a homesteader? These 25 power-free gadgets will help you cook from scratch, put up your harvest, and put awesome meals on the table without spending extra money on an electric bill.

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  1. Getting1 on March 17, 2020 at 11:24 am

    You forgot a madoline for slicing things thinly.

  2. Timothy on August 18, 2020 at 12:17 am

    Stainless steel tea ball.hotdog fork. Manual Popcorn popper. potato masher.

    • Lucie Cronje on September 26, 2020 at 2:59 am

      I love this list. Just plan or make sure you have a pantry to store it when not in use.

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