21 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have
If we lose power we will need at least these 21 vintage kitchen tools at the very least. I love going to antique stores and checking out items that I consider very useful if we have zero electricity. Actually, even if we don’t lose power I still use these tools today in my kitchen. Plus, I think some of these items will bring back a few good memories when grandma was in the kitchen cooking or baking.
My Grandma Made Lefse
I can still picture my great-grandma making Lefse, one of our favorite Norwegian family treats made with leftover mashed potatoes. Oh, my goodness, I better make some of that today, my mouth is watering for it. I like Lefse with butter and brown sugar. Let me know what traditional treats you enjoyed eating together as a family.
As a child, this is when I learned to cook from scratch. There were not many packaged items, except for bags of flour or sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices, how life has changed. We used the bags the flour came in for kitchen towels or made aprons out of them.
Nothing was ever wasted, ever. Now some of these items we use today, but some families have never used them. Let me know the vintage kitchen tools you love to use! And I want to share my grandmother’s Lefse recipe today!
- 4 cups mashed potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 cup sweet cream
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup flour (approximately-enough to roll lefse thin)
Boil the peeled potatoes, mash very fine and fluffy. Add the cream, butter, sugar, and salt. Beat again until light and fluffy. Add flour just before rolling out. Roll a piece of the dough as for pie crust, rolling as thin as possible. Bake in a frying pan until light brown, flipping to cook both sides. When baked, place on a table between cloth to keep them from drying out.
21 Vintage Kitchen Tools
1. Big Stainless Steel Bowl
I think I still have the two original ones I got when Mark and I were married almost 50 years ago. They are approximately 18 inches in diameter. Those bowls have been used for making bread, cookies, large salads, and cleaning the windows.
2. Potato Masher
I remember my mom having a pan like deal and we all took turns turning the handle to “mash” the potatoes. My grandmother preferred a ricer for her fluffy mashed potatoes. Even a few chunks are okay in my mashed potatoes. I’m fine even with the peelings on them as well. I just use this tool: Potato Masher
3. Ebelskiver Cast Iron Pan
I grew up on Ebelskivers, they are basically round balls of pancake batter. My mom had a cast iron pan. They are so yummy! Ebelskivers by Linda
4. Cast Iron Fry Pans
Did your mom save the bacon grease after frying bacon? I still do! I swear, cast iron pans make the very best scrambled eggs, cornbread, and homemade pizza dough too! Wow, I love cast iron pans! Pizza by Linda
5. Cast Iron Griddle
Who uses a griddle for pancakes, grilled cheese and so much more? I think I have three cast iron griddles. I love them!
6. Hand Mixer
I can still remember Mom having a SunBeam electric mixer sitting on the counter and she was so proud of that baby, no more hand mixing. But she still used her wire whipped hand-cranked mixer because it was easier to clean.
7. Whisk/Danish Whisk
Everyone needs a whisk to quickly stir those scrambled eggs, right? I can’t see any of the white stuff, I’m such a baby. I use my beloved Danish whisk all the time.
8. Egg Separator
I still remember my mom making seven-minute frosting after using an egg separator. I think I still have the yellow Tupperware one I’ve had for decades!
9. Can Opener
We can’t get by without a can opener. I love the hand-operated ones which I still use sometimes today. But I also remember when the electric can opener came out. WOW, happy day! “Church Key” Can Opener or Hand Cranked Opener
10. Large Soup Pot
Everyone needs a soup pot for soup or boiling water for a large pan of spaghetti!
11. Pancake Turner
I can still picture the skinny silver pancake turners my mom had. Now we have larger ones to flip pancakes, fried eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches.
12. Wooden Spoons
I always have wooden spoons in the crock sitting on my counter top to grab when I need one.
13. Pastry Cutter
I wish I could say I make great pies, but I don’t, I buy them. But, I still need one of these for my biscuits to cut in the butter.
14. Biscuits Cutters
I’m like addicted to collecting biscuit cutters at antique stores. I love all the different shapes.
15. Canisters On The Counter
Do you remember your mom or grandma having canisters sitting on the counter with flour, sugar, tea, and coffee written on them? I even had some, but then switched to plastic buckets with Gamma lids. The plastic buckets certainly aren’t as attractive, but the contents seem to stay fresh longer.
16. Rolling Pin
I can’t get by without a rolling pin or two. I use them for my cinnamon rolls, pasta, and biscuits. Cinnamon rolls by Linda
You can never have too many spatulas, right?
18. Meat Grinders
I love ham salad and my mom and dad made pork sausage with a meat grinder. I finally found my parent’s homemade pork sausage recipe! Here’s a manual meat grinder: Meat Grinder
19. Terracotta Brown Sugar Bear
Terra Cotta Bear Sugar Bear – it’s terracotta and soaked in water. It’s then placed in the brown sugar canister to keep the sugar “moist.”
20. Coffee Percolators
I have a couple of coffee percolators to make coffee or boil water. The ones I have you can use over a small fire. They would be great with a rocket stove or Kelly Kettle.
21. Vegetable Peelers
You can always use a couple of vegetable peelers, right? I use mine for carrots, potatoes, and cucumbers.
22. Pot Holders
You can never have too many of these!
This was a fun post for me to write today. Please share your memories of your vintage kitchen tools. I need to make a batch of cookies, what do you feel like baking this week? Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda
33 thoughts on “21 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have”
#8 – Egg Separator? Just wasted space in a small kitchen. Use the shells to separate the eggs.
#18 – I wish you’d shown a picture of the meat grinder. I have an ELECTRIC one but that won’t work when there’s no electricity. I want to see one that is Manually operated.
Good article. Thanks for posting.
Hi Appy Horsey, good point on the hand meat grinder! My mom had one and I can still picture it clamped on the countertop!! I use the egg shells to separate eggs as well. It is a bit easier to use the separator. Linda
Hi, Linda, I have at least one of all of those and one I couldn’t live without if I didn’t have power… hand crank grain mill. I couldn’t do any baking if I couldn’t grind my wheat! *BG* Although I could live without it, I also have a hand power sausage stuffer. Of course, you can always make sausage patties, as long as you have a hand crank meat grinder.
Well, this is a quickie, my dear… I have to get up to town this morning. Huge hugs, Mare
Hi Mare, you are such a good friend to me! Happy weekend! I love sausage! Linda
I have my grandmother’s potato masher, egg turner spatula and a harvest gold ice crusher that my grandparents used. The ice crusher is still in the original box. They’d take it out to use it, dry it and put it back in the box. Thank you for a wonderful article and a reminder of what we need to have.
In reference to the reply above, you can find manual meat grinders on Amazon or most any sporting goods stores. My mom used one of those to grind left over roast beef into a sandwich spread when I was little.
Hi Leah, oh my gosh, I LOVE your comment! I had several harvest gold items!! A dehydrator that was HUGE! And kitchen stove and frig! Oh, the great memories! I need to get a manual meat grinder. My mouth is watering thinking about a roast beef sandwich made with a meat grinder!! This is so fun for me today! Thank you, Linda
Thanks for the trip down memory lane 🙂
I have nearly all the things you listed plus a couple of things I inherited from my mother in law. Have her glass rolling pin and pudding basin (for traditional steamed puddings, English style) Never heard of the sugar bear, but my mom used the heal of the bread to keep her brown sugar soft. It was really tasty to eat the dry one when she put a fresh one in.
My cousin told me how to make egg coffee, cowboy style. You boil your water, throw in the ground coffee, and then crack an egg and throw it in, shell and all! The egg shell gives the coffee a smooth taste.and the grounds stick to the egg so they are.easy to dispose of. Off course you could also use a sieve and have the egg to eat. You’d fry it up in your cast iron pan with your bacon grease, right?
Another thing I’d add would be one of those can openers that makes a triangular hole . I’ve used on of those to make a simple heater by punching holes around the base.of #10 can.
Oh, I almost forgot one last heirloom. My father in law was a butcher. I have a couple of his old butcher knives. They don’t make em like that any more! (Well maybe they do, but it was fun to say) Both are full tang, thick blades but very sharp, about 70 years old, and not a speck of rust on them. They hold an edge better than any of my modern knives !
Hi Diane, oh my gosh, I love your comment! I vaguely remember seeing a glass rolling pin somewhere. I’ve never seen a pudding basin. The coffee trick is a good one!! The triangle can opener. I had to order a “church key” off of Amazon because I live in a town with very little options for purchasing REAL kitchen items. I bet those butcher knives are super nice!! I’m very picky about my knives because they have to be sharp. You are one lucky person to have gotten those! NO, they don’t make knives like they used too!! Love your comment, Linda
I have been collecting old kitchen tools for 40 years and I use them. Others that are useful are graters, a manual coffee grinder, a mortar and pestle, flour sifter, manual wheat grinder, a butter churn, and a heavy yellowware bowl (I think my bread dough rises better in it than stainless).
Hi Liz, this is awesome hearing you have been collecting kitchen tools for 40 years. OH MY GOSH, I had to Google yellowware bowl! I have never heard of one. THANK YOU! I’ve made bread for 50 years+ and never heard of that! I need to add these items to my list from everyone today. Thank you, Linda
Loved reading the comments! As my kids ‘age out’ of my home, I’ve started downsizing: while I’m ‘aging in place’ , lol! So, to accommodate both, I’ve taken down decor above my kitchen cabinets, now have, as decor, all these hand cooking tools. Lol, even a couple of Tupperware things from my mom (rip). I know my kids saw these being used but they want to use gadgets. Oh, and my guys are good cooks, but haven’t ever had to do stuff without power. Lol, they were offended when they saw I’d given away the omelette maker, the waffler. Both electric, btw. They never used either! Lol, my one son asked why I hadn’t given away my teapot…um maybe because it wasn’t electric? Yea, even for a rural Prepper type person, we need to keep stuff Real for the young ones
Cool: never heard of the danish whisk, but can see that I’d love it!!
I have had a hand chopper from pampered chef that’s most likely 30+ years old now. It gets a lot of use.
Bamboo cutting boards that are fairly new, about 3 years old, but WOW do they clean up better than the old wood cutting boards!! Also went to bamboo spoons instead of wooden ones.
I have my mom’s old hand salad/grater that has 3 attachments: grate, slice, curly….the old day answer to a food processor in some ways!!
Hi Janet, you are so lucky to have those bamboo boards and spoons. I love Pampered Chef stuff, I love quality over quantity. I bet that hand salad/grater is awesome!!! Linda
AppyHorsey, here’s a link for a meat grinder on Amazon: https://amzn.to/30ZI5OM
Hi Karl, thanks for sharing that link! They aren’t very expensive. It looks just like the one my mom had. Thank you, Linda
I have every one of those including the meat grinder. A vintage glass lined thermos is good too to keep coffee hot.
Hi Anna, I love hearing this, you rock! I remember those glass lined Thermos containers!! Love it, Linda
I collect old red handled cooking utensils. I love them. I normally don’t use them, but know in an emergency, they will be there for me.
Hi Kristen, oh my gosh, how awesome! How fun to go antique, garage sale hopping for them! Great idea! Linda
Can openers need to be emphasized even more for preppers since so many of the LTS items come in cans, commercial supermarket shelf sizes, #2.5 pantry, and #10 full size cans. I have good quality can openers squirreled away in each section of my LTS since I want to be ready if a can opener breaks. I also have a stash of P38 can openers as a last ditch measure, or as barter….
Drives my wife crazy, but I try to have backups for my backups. Although on that note I really should get another hand cranked grain mill since I’d hate to have to use a mortar and pestle to grind my wheat if my mill breaks and I can’t fix it!
Hi DMwalsh, you are my kind of prepper. I have backups for my backups!!! My husband probably wonders why we have so many can opener, too!! I have a really good hand crank mill. I make bread and I have so much wonderful hard white wheat! Life is good if we can grind! I’m with you on the mortar and pestle!! Great comment, Linda
Great article, Linda! I love my kitchen hand tools! I use my flour sifter for making bread and love the texture that extra step gives the loaves. The handcrank mixer makes the fluffiest scrambled eggs! We have 2 electric percolators,one for the kitchen, one for the camper,along with 2 stovetop/campfire versions for when there’s no electricity. And I use my stovetop tea kettle several times a week to make my favorite teas.
Hi BDN, you know I would rather have too many items (I’m not a Hoarder-LOL) than not be able to open a can. It’s the little things that will help us survive. Well, big things, too! LOL! I have a flour sifter and never use it. Thanks for the tip on the bread, I need to try that! Linda
I have and use most of those things fairly regularly so don’t really think of them as vintage. Or at least not any more “vintage” than I am. I don’t have an Ebilskiver pan but I do have some fancy cast iron baking pans. I don’t use an egg separator, just use the shells, and I don’t use my hand rotary mixer often. A Danish whisk is a fabulous device and a lot easier to clean than the other kind! I don’t drink coffee but I keep a Melita drip set handy for guests. Also have some little gadgets that make preparing fruit and vegetables for canning a lot easier.
Hi Alice, now I need to Google a Melita Drip!! I love kitchen gadgets, I’m going to be 70 so I’m probably vintage! I love cast iron pans! Great comment, Linda
The items on your list that I don’t have are:
ebelskiver pan (probably would never use it)
Danish whisk (something I would like to have but is not a high priority)
terracotta bear (hmm – I’ve never had a problem keeping my brown sugar soft)
I have my grandmother’s meat grinder (very old) and have used it to, as Leah says, grind cooked roast beef for sandwiches. It has (I think) 6 different grinder blades and I have used it to grind wheat in the past. It does a fine job as I can start with a larger blade and as the ground wheat comes out, sift it and go to a smaller blade. Takes a while but it works pretty well.
I used to use buckets for my flour and sugar and still do in my storage but for the counter, I have glass jars for smaller quantities. I keep flour, sugar, tea, coffee, popcorn, macaroni and beans in them. It does make an attractive display and I can always refill them from my storage containers.
Something missing from the list is good quality pot holders. Especially for the cast iron pans. Cheap pot holders just don’t work well on cast iron. I have quilted ones as well as a couple of silicon handle covers. While silicon is not “vintage” they are wonderful and can be tossed in the dishwasher if/when they get too grimy.
Also missing is a very good set of knives and a really good sharpening stone. If you get a good sharpening stone, you do need to learn how to use it. I have a whetstone as that is what I grew up watching my father use just about butchering time. Dull knives are much more dangerous than very sharp knives.
Hi Leanne, great comment! I just added pot holders. I need to add some really good knives to the list. The whetstone is a good idea as well! Linda
this was awesome read ! ALL !
have every thing mention & more !
love stuff that takes no ‘lectricy
hand food processor ? you forgot !
sometimes easy to use than draggin’out lectic !
GOTTA LOVE YOU !
COME ONTA” MY HOUSE !
Hi Daphne, I feel like singing now, “come onta my house”!! I love it! Linda
PRINTED OFF ! gonna do ! LEFSE
Hi Daphne, you will love making lefse! I like mine with butter and brown sugar. Linda
when i win the lottery i am gonna bring all my friends that i have found on here to
one place for one big party ! i have some awesome ones & you are one !
we can learn so much from one another & when we learn something new its a day not wasted
red ,yellow, blk ,white ,purple,pink what ever ,we all have something to share & love for one another !
Hi Daphne, oh wouldn’t that be wonderful to win the lottery???? Yes, indeed we learn from one another. Happy Sunday! Linda