15 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have

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If we lose power we will need at least these 15 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 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. 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. I’m going to share some of my old family recipes while using these tools. Now, some of these items we use today, but some families have never used them. Let me know your vintage kitchen tools you love to use!

15 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

Read More of My Articles  Four Things That Are Not Safe To Can At Home

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!

5.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.

6.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. Theresa reminded me about my beloved Danish whisk.

7.Egg Separator

I still remember my mom making seven-minute frosting after using an egg separator. I think I still have my yellow Tupperware one I’ve had for decades!

8.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!

9.Large Soup Pot

Everyone needs a soup pot for soup or boiling water for a large pan of spaghetti!

10.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.

11.Wooden Spoons

I always have wooden spoons in the crock sitting on my counter top to grab when I need one.

12.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.

Read More of My Articles  How To Clean And Maintain Your Cast Iron Cookware

13.Biscuits Cutters

I’m like addicted to collecting biscuit cutters at antique stores. I love all the different shapes.

14.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.

15.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


Thank you to OhioPrepper, I have so many spatulas, how did I forget those?

17.Meat Grinders

Thank you, Kathy, she reminded me about the meat grinders, I love ham salad and my mom and dad made a pork sausage, how did I forget this one?

18. Terracotta Brown Sugar Bear

Theresa reminded me about this one as well: 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”. Have one I’ve used for decades.

19. Coffee Percolators

Judy mentioned coffee percolators and popcorn poppers! Also, vegetable peelers.

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?

Lodge Cast Iron Griddle

Lodge Pizza Griddle

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  1. I’m new to the site, and I’m here because an article here was mentioned on another site. I have all of your listed tools; but, would mention a few more.
    First of all, all of our biscuit cutters get much more use as cookie cutters, and you’ll need some way to mix things, so good hand mixers both manual and electric would be useful, as would a whisk. When making scratch batter for pancakes, the whisk is indispensable as are a set of good spatulas and ladles.

    • You are so right about the biscuit cutters, I use them for cookie cutters as well. I better add spatulas!, Thank you, Linda

      • While perusing the site I thought of something else, especially if you do any canning. A Victorio or Squeezo strainer can make short work of anything from tomatoes to squash (after cooking) with little effort. My Victorio has helped to can hundreds of jars of tomato sauce and paste, as well as a bit of pumpkin.

  2. This does not pertain to todays article. I remember you saying you freeze bananas. Do you peel and freeze or wrap banana skin and all in aluminum foil? Would appreciate some guidance. While shopping yesterday, grocery store had sale on bananas. Would like to have some in reserve while the price is lower. Thank you for all the info.

    • Hi, Joan, this so funny, I buy so many bananas at the store, and yes people turn their heads. Here’s what I do, I peel them and I line as many bananas in a row that my knife can slice. I typically cut them into one-inch slices or chunks. Then I have freezer bags ready and fill them so I can still break the frozen bananas apart after freezing them. I have a very small hammer I tap them with if they won’t separate on my wooden cutting board. I barely have to hit them. My freezer is full of frozen bananas all the time! Linda

      • When I cut my bananas for freezing I put them on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a few hours before placing them in a bag. I can get them apart easily. without a hammer.

        • Hi Sharon, the hammer, I know it makes me laugh. When I started freezing bananas I put the slices on cookie sheets but I freeze so many, it’s crazy. I only need the hammer once in a while. LOL! I have like 9-10 huge bunches every 2 weeks I freeze for smoothies and Mark puts the fresh ones on his cereal every morning. Great tip, Linda

  3. I’m 62 and I’ve never used a pot masher or an egg separator.  But I still have canisters on my counter, flour & sugar & brown rice.  Not a coffee drinker.

    • Hi Debra, I always wondered why the canisters had the words, flour, sugar, coffee, and tea. I wonder why the designers didn’t put rice and brown sugar instead of coffee and tea. I just saw the cutest canisters at a thrift store. I remember cracking the eggs when I was younger and just used the shells to separate the yolk from the white. Great comment, Linda

  4. Oh my gosh! You’re Norwegian too! I have sooo many fond memories of all things Norwegian growing up. I’m 61 (for another 2 weeks!) and to this day, we still celebrate Christmas Eve like they do in Norway instead of Christmas morning. I have Norwegian traditions throughout the house, cook the traditional food and my husband has taken me to Norway several times to do genealogy work. I’ve found several sites online where I can get my Norwegian chocolate – Freia Melkesjokolade is the best! Now that you mention Lefse, I’ll have to get my ricer out and make some too.

    I loved all the tools you mentioned – I have them all and use them primarily every day. I will admit I use my KitchenAid mixer only because my arms get too tired mixing certain things. When my neighbor passed away, her kids let me go through her kitchen drawers and I got sooo many old time kitchen tools that they either didn’t know what they were or wouldn’t/couldn’t use them. Remember the hand beaters that you turned a handle on and the 2 beaters rotated? I love those! I’m looking for a good meat tenderizer in good shape next.

    Another good place to get “old” things in Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. They have the largest population of Amish so they really have alot of the older non electric items but newly made. The only downside is they’re still mostly made in China and they can be quite pricey. I watch for sales and the intermittent free shipping sales they have. It’s worth looking in to if you need something specific.

    You’re so spot on with your blog … I love reading it each day when the email comes.

    • Hi Robbie, oh my gosh, we are related somehow!! I have got to find that Norwegian chocolate. My Mom went to Norway several times, my one sister went a couple years ago and is going back next year. It’s not in my budget this year. I use my KitchenAid all the time too. Wow, you were so lucky to be able to go through your neighbor’s kitchen drawers. Some of those kitchen tools are not made as well today as they were back in the days. My dream would be to go see the Lehman’s store in Kidron, Ohio. I have seen the website pictures, oh my gosh!!! I bought my heavy duty fold up clothes dryer from Lehman’s, I love it! Thanks for your kind words, Linda

      • I have a clothesline I use all the time but we get freezing weather and snow in the winter so I can’t always use it. I, too, bought several sizes of those folding clothes racks from Lehmans. Luckily, I got a free shipping sale otherwise it would have been prohibitive. I’ve been to the store alot. We bought several oil lamps and oil and wicks to go with them. Most of my innovative canning supplies come from there too. There’s just endless ideas there. I wish we lived closer than Northern Nevada!

        • Hi, Rob, thanks for the tip on the free shipping. I see so many things in the catalog and online like I said that’s my dream to go see their store in person. They make the best folding clotheslines!!! Linda

      • Robbie & Linda,
        We’ll be making the annual trip to Lehman’s in the next month or so. It’s about a 2 hour drive and that area of Ohio, what we call Amish country, is pretty nice in the autumn. Unfortunately, Lehman’s has become a bit of a tourist destination over the years; but, it’s still well worth the trip if you’re anywhere in the area. If anyone does manage to make the trip, be sure and stop by “The Ashery Country Store” about 10 miles down the road. They have lots of bulk grains, spices, and the like.
        Also, where do I sign up for follow-up email and you regular missives?

        • Hi, OhioPrepper, I will try and add your email, all my readers get responses from me on my post and to their email. Thanks for the tip on the other store, I just love Amish food and Amish products. Linda P.S.check your email to confirm. op@theohioprepper.org

          • Thanks Linda,
            I got the subscription information and grabbed your checklist that looks a lot like several I already have. I’ve been doing the self reliant lifestyle for most of 40 years with my wife of 35 years fully involved also. We live in rural Ohio on some property with horse, goat, and chickens, surrounded by farmers of all sorts. I hope to gain and share information on your site.
            I spend a lot of time on MD Creekmore’s thesurvivalistblog.net using the same nom de plume.
            BTW, I was able to download the pdf file from your Dropbox link without entering the mentioned password.

          • Hi OhioPrepper, you shouldn’t need the drop box or password. Thank goodness you didn’t need the password. I thought I fixed that, I guess I better check for that one. Thanks so much. Glad to hear you and your wife have a property with some animals and neighbors that are farmers. You are blessed and so lucky! Lin

        • Ohio Prepper, I live about 2 hours from Lehman’s and take trips there about once a year, also. It is so much fun to go there. I also go to the Chicken factory, that is close (on the same road), and the cheese factories that aren’t too far from there. Makes for a fun day.

  5. Nancy Owens says:

    Cooler fall weather gets me thinking of xmas. Your reference to lefse got me going on a batch of krumkake and tomorrow I’ll be spending time on rossettes.

    • Hi, Nancy, I love making lefse! I know my moms was rolled much better than mine, but I still make it! I have never made Rosettes, I remember watching them being made. Oh, the Krumcakes filled with custard or whipped cream, bring it on! I love your comment, great memories! Linda


  7. You make me miss my Estonian and Latvian grandmothers! I have almost all of these tools,use them regularly. I miss peparkuk,I do not have either grandma’s recipe. But, I will be baking this week anyway! Apple cobbler,yum! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

  8. The only tools on your list, Linda, that I don’t have are the ebleskiver pan and egg separator! I have never had a need for either. Perhaps I should rethink the ebleskiver pan, though. I have always separated my eggs using the shell.
    The tools on the list that I cannot imagine living without are my whisks, potato masher (useful for potatoes (mashing and when I make potato soup)) or any of the other tools.
    There is something that I would like to share – something that I remember my grandmother having (she died when I was 10) that I have NEVER seen since. She had a whisk of sorts but my mother said it was made from the top of a Christmas tree. Take the top of the tree to just below the first row of limbs – should have 3-4. Cut those limbs down leaving about 2-2 1/2 inch “stubs” and leave about a foot of the long upper part – you know, that long slender top of the tree. Strip the bark off all of it and let it dry well – it will be pitchy!! Then, once dry, sand well until it is very smooth. Oil it well and after every use. This was my grandmother’s whisk. She rolled the “handle” between her hands, whisking eggs, egg whites, cream, etc. Mom said Grandma could make the lightest, airiest whipped cream in just moments with very cold cream. I had my husband make one for me but I never really got the knack of doing it the way my mom described it. I did use it just as a whip though and it did quite well. I had it for several years until I noticed that it was cracking – apparently you must oil it after EVERY use! Wish I had a photo of it to send you but I don’t so I hope my description is sufficient.
    Needless to say, if I don’t have a whisk I could always make one!

  9. I’d like to suggest a meat/vegetable grinder. Thrift stores are a good source for them. Most have three different sized cutting blades (small, med, lg) depending on how course of fine you want your meat. Great for grinding your own hamburger, or cooked ham for ham salad. There are also some that have salad making attachments that will slice and shred. These were the “food processors” inherited from Gram, Mom, and Aunts. When chuck roasts were on sale, it was cheaper to grind your own rather than buy hamburger. After Easter or other holiday when ham was served, we could always count on ham salad.

    • Hi, Kathy, oh my gosh, I should have added the meat grinder. I love ham salad! My mom and dad used to make their own pork sausage. I better go add it right now. Thank you for the reminder!!! Linda

  10. Ceri Ridenour says:

    Guess I am old fashioned, I have every single one of these and more. I have a hand grain grinder, a hand meat grinder, and handheld egg beater and many, many more “antique” hand tools that I use. Very few electric tools in my kitchen.

    • Hi, Ceri, I think a lot of us have those vintage items but I have a few neighbors that eat out every meal, never cook at home. We need to teach the world to get some of these tools because there will come a time the stores are will empty or closed and the restaurants as well. Thank you, Linda

  11. Here’s a couple that I’ve used for years that I didn’t see on your list:
    Brown sugar bear – it’s terracotta and soaked in water. It’s then placed in the brown sugar canister to keep the sugar “moist”. Have one I’ve used for decades. The other is a Danish Dough Whisk. Again, it’s well loved in our home and gets used for a lot more than just dough. Thanks for the great list!

  12. I have all of the listed Items except for EBELSKIVER CAST IRON PAN . I also have 2 percolators that we use when camping, or when the power goes out, (I have to have my coffee). I also have peelers and a couple different grinders .  I have 2 mortar a pestles . (I have at least 2 of all items). I am saving up to buy a coffee roaster and a stove top popcorn popper. I have a small butter churn as well. Thank you for another great article. God Bless

  13. Hi Linda
    I would like to add German to the mix of comments. We made “Lep” cookies at Christmas and
    my great Oma’s Fruit cake recipes. I still make them sometime and I always borrow my mom’s big
    mixing bowl from my brother. It is a lot bigger than any stainless steel bowl I have ever seen. We use to mix
    these item with a sturdy wooden spoon but it’s so much easier with your hands. The best Vintage tools ever
    made. I have a lot of so called vintage I use all the time. I have my grandma’s Kraut cutter, that you have to be very careful with or you’ll cut your hand. Love using it though. I make and can my own Kraut.

    • Hi June, I can almost smell the fruitcakes, I wonder if we have the same size stainless steel bowl, LOL! People laugh when I drag it out for parties! You know wooden spoons are the best! I have never heard of a Kraut cutter, I learn something every day! Linda P.S. I am going to Google Lep cookies! 🙂

  14. Greg Loosli says:

    love kitchen gadgets & have a whole collection of them!
    the old bottle opener with the pointy end to pop a hole in a can to pour, like for canned milk or canned tomato juice – you can ‘open’ a whole can with one if you don’t have a can opener (cheap, non-breakable, and the bottle opener end is great for stubborn canning lids

    I gotta say the old flat grater with the three or four different size hole – I use it all the time! cheese, apples for salad or yogurt, etc

    fine strainers for easy straining when you make a steeped tea, either for enjoyment or for medicinal use – better to buy a tea ball or other device to hold your leaves in and just dip in hot water

    garlic press is nice, but not necessary

    those push-up manual food grinders make great baby food so fast and so easy and so cheap!

    but my wife’s very favorite vintage food machine is her saladmaster! the crank machine with five different cones to chop, slice and grate! she most uses it for grating the tons of cheese we use to eat and baseball bat zucchini for stir fry or bread! she just got one for one of our daughters who was ecstatic about it!

    ( a knife for cutting frozen items can be pretty handy too!)

    love you linda! cuz greg

    • Hi, Greg, oh my gosh, I was just thinking about the push-up baby food deal. These are great ones, I’m writing another post with all of these ideas, Love you, cousin!! Linda

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