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15 Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets That Don’t Require Electricity

Don’t let lack of power hold you back!

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and you want to keep it running smoothly whether or not you have electricity.

Our great-grandparents would be amazed by the modern conveniences and technologies that have overtaken today’s kitchens.

Not that there is anything wrong with making cooking a little easier, of course. I, for one, nearly cried tears of joy when I received my KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer as a Christmas gift. I use it constantly.

I will also be the first to admit that I probably rely on it too much. Fortunately, my grandmother taught me how to get around a basic kitchen—one without modern technology.

I remember her switching seamlessly from using a plugged-in mixer to a hand mixer when the power went off during a freak summer storm.

We never know when we will lack power. It may be the result of a sudden storm, a scheduled outage, or an attack on the power grid.

What we do know is there will be a time—more like multiple times—when we will lose electricity. During these times, you can keep on cooking and baking if you keep these non-electric must-have kitchen gadgets in your cabinets. 

Someone cooking over an open fire with a cast iron skillet.

1. Cast Iron Skillet

Thr cast iron skillet is the original must-have kitchen gadget. It was originally made to cook directly over the hearth or fire. It can still be used the same way today.

This means you can use your cast iron skillet to cook over a campfire or grill if you lose electricity in your home. 

Additionally, it’s versatile. You can cook everything from cornbread to fried eggs to steak.

2. Manual Can Opener

I’m willing to bet that if we surveyed Americans about what is in their emergency supply kits, the number one missing item would be a manual can opener.

We’ve been too reliant on electric can openers or even battery-operated can openers that we forget can openers can be manual.

If your emergency food stock contains canned food, you need a manual can opener. 

If your emergency involves a power outage, you will not be able to access your canned emergency food without one. 

3. Manual Hand Mixer

I’ve already shared my love for my KitchenAid Stand-Up Mixer, but you better believe I have a manual hand mixer as well.

I know the importance of having a mixer that doesn’t require electricity. Plus, a hand mixer gives you more control over the mixing process. 

If you can’t find a hand mixer, look for a manual egg beater. 

4. Mechanical Timer

It’s necessary to watch the clock while you cook, but what do you do if you lose power?

Your stovetop alarms won’t work. Neither will your internet-connected alarms.

If you use an old-fashioned mechanical timer, you will never have to worry about burning your food. 

5. Self-Powered Stove

We rely on our stovetops when cooking, but that comes to a complete stop when the power goes out.

Sure, you can cook some things on the grill or over a campfire. But you can cook everything you’d normally cook if you invest in a self-powered stove or solar-powered stove.

For example, the VESTA Self-Powered Stove and Space Heater can be used indoors or outdoors during a power outage. It uses canned heat and provides a convenient cooking surface.

Someone juicing an orange with a hand juicer.

6. Manual Juicer

I have such fond memories of juicing lemons with my grandmother to make fresh lemonade. We’d use a plastic, sturdy manual juicer.

It was tiring, but the lemonade was worth the work. 

Today, you can get an electric juicer, but I still prefer a manual juicer!

7. Food Processor

If you do a lot of cooking or struggle with knife work, a manual food processor is a must-have kitchen gadget. 

Food processors chop and slice with ease. 

Instead of using an electric food processor or blender to chop vegetables, you can use a manual food processor to do the same thing.

These tend to involve putting the vegetable in a closed container that uses a rotating press to chop.

8. Hand Mill

It’s common nowadays to use your blender, mixer, or electric food processor to grind food. But you need maximum power to run them high enough to grind substances into small pieces. 

For example, if you have any plans to make your own flour, you will need a hand grain mill to ensure you can keep grinding without power.

9. Tea Kettle

A good old-fashioned tea kettle is a must-have kitchen gadget.

Simply place it over a fire, then wait until you hear the whistle. That’s when you’ll know your water is boiling. 

You can use your boiling water for tea or coffee, or mixing up food products that only require water. 

[Related Read: 10 Tips for Stockpiling Food and Rotating Supplies]

A person chopping veggies with a chefs knife.

10. Chef’s Knife

Every good kitchen should have a chef’s knife. A quality knife makes all the difference when it comes to cutting, slicing, and dicing.

It’s better to have one good chef’s knife than a collection of knives that don’t cut well!

11. Mortar and Pestle

Do you have a garden? Do you grow herbs? If so, you need a quality mortar and pestle set.

A simple mortar and pestle set doesn’t require any electricity and enables you to grind your herbs and spices.

[Related Read: Standard Spices for Every Homesteader’s Pantry]

12. Peeler

An oft-forgotten, non-electric must-have kitchen gadget is the peeler.

It’s been around for ages, but it makes peeling fruits and vegetables much easier and saves you precious time.

13. Hand-Crank Grinder

Before there were powerful grinders and food processors, there were hand-crank grinders with different attachments for chopping and grinding different things.

They are still available today and something you should have in your cabinet.

These hand-crank grinders have attachments for cutting vegetables and even grinding meat. 

14. Camp Stove Toaster

Many people are unfamiliar with the brilliance of the camp stove toaster.

Unlike the fancy toasters that operate using AI, the camp stove toaster is simply a wide steel dish with bread holders designed to sit on top of a stove, grill, or campfire. 

Camp stove toasters tend to fold flat and store easily, so it won’t take up space as you wait for an opportunity to use it. 

15. Coffee Percolator

A list of must-have kitchen gadgets would be incomplete without a coffee percolator. 

Even if you don’t have power, you can have coffee if you have a percolator.

Simply add water, a filter, and your coffee grounds and place it over a grill, outdoor stove, or campfire to brew up a cup of joe. 

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