"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Best Cookware For Vegan Cooking

Carole Stephens
• Thursday, 03 December, 2020
• 19 min read

A few well-chosen small appliances and kitchen items can dramatically expand your vegan food preparation options. Instant Pots are basically a pressure cooker combined with a digital controller that enables all sorts of additional uses.

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So not only can you cook beans in no time, they’re also wonderful for cooking rice, steaming vegetables, making soup, reheating foods, and even making vegan yogurt! A Blended may look like a regular blender, but its motor is several times more powerful.

For instance, it can liquefy vegetables and herbs into a delicious soup, while gently warming it thanks to the massive friction its blades generate. It can also process thick sauces and nut cheeses that would choke up a regular blender.

Sure, they may cost more than all your other kitchen appliances put together, but for many Blended owners their only regret is not buying one year sooner. Hamilton Beach makes a good cheap unit with a glass jar.

They’re the quickest way to shred, chop, or grate any sort of food. They’re perfect for baking small meals for one, especially frozen foods.

And their small size means they’ll heat up much more quickly than a regular oven while using only a fraction of the energy. Avoid super cheap rice cookers that are merely repurposed vegetable steamers, since they deliver poor results and won’t add much in the way of convenience.

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If you have the money to spare, I recommend paying more for a Panasonic microwave that features “inverter technology.” This style of microwave heats food much more evenly, which eliminates those dreaded cold spots in a hot dish. If your household is just one or two people, choose a model that makes one pound loaves.

But if you buy one you’ll want a big model since veggies are so low in calories you need to cook a lot. Make sure the model you buy has removable plates for easy cleaning.

They make a much higher grade of juice than cheaper centrifugal models. While this guide is dedicated to getting you excellent stuff at low cost, kitchen knives are the one category where you just can’t cut corners.

The pots and pans recommended below will enable you to make an incredible assortment of vegan dishes. A stainless steel saucepan with a glass lid is a terrific choice.

This stainless steel one quart Cuisinart with a glass lid is one you’ll use all the time. Also pick up this Cook N Home two quart model if you want a greater range of options.

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The 12-inch Stone Earth Frying Pan by Over is the perfect choice. So if you’re going to make a lot of stir-fries you should own a wok, since it delivers better results than a frying pan.

You’ll love this 14-inch Cuisinart wok with a glass lid. Bakeware & Casserole Disembarking Sheets Needed for cookies, pastries, roasted vegetables and a hundred other uses.

A heavy duty aluminum model is a good choice, since it’s strong, even-heating, and lightweight. Thirteen Chefs makes an especially high quality cutting board that’s still cheap.

But also buy a polypropylene cutting board for onions and garlic, since wood of any sort absorbs odors. Pyrex bowls are heavy, can shatter, and make no sense at all.

We recommend an inexpensive burr grinder (or a fancier model if your budget permits). If this keeps you from buying coffeehouse coffee every day, you’ll recoup your investment within weeks.

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Under no circumstances should you buy a cheap blade grinder though, since the uneven grind makes terrible coffee. Useful both for leftovers, for making salads in advance, and for bringing food to work or school.

They’re also worth using to keep foods like pretzels, potato chips, and nuts fresh after you’ve opened the bag. This means if you make a purchase after clicking, I may get a small percentage of the sale, at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Making the best vegan dishes often comes down to having the essential vegan kitchen tools, as well as the best ingredients. So, if you’re wondering how to stock a vegan kitchen, I’ve put together this guide to the best tools and every gadget.

If you’re looking for vegan kitchen gifts for a friend’s housewarming or birthday, these would also make good presents! Then, I’ve added some additional optional vegan kitchen items you can add to your kitchen if you want, or if you cook a lot of a particular dish (for example, a tofu press if you eat a lot of tofu).

Choose from the menu below to see the vegan kitchen essentials and ‘nice to have’ items. Having the best vegan kitchen appliances will often determine if a recipe works or not, especially when it comes to vegan cheese (which often requires a high speed blender).

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Make sure your kitchen is well stocked with vegan appliances, and to save yourself time and space, prioritize buying the ones you’ll use most. I know I’m a bit crazy in packing a huge, heavy, glass blender (and yes I did have to sacrifice a lot of clothing space in my bag for it) but I was thankful for it every day.

I use my food processor several times a week, to whip up batches of hummus, vegan pesto, cashew cheese and other sauces. Full-size food processors can also save you a lot of chopping, slicing and grating time with their various attachments to chop/slice/grate your veggies.

I put together an entire guide to buying a food processor, which you can find here. Budget option: A mini food processor, with a capacity of 3 cups, is perfect for making small to medium-sized batches of hummus, pesto and sauces.

You might think of coffee grinders when it comes to beverages rather than cooking, but I class them as vegan cooking essentials, too. Inexpensive and easy to use, a coffee grinder will allow you to save many hours or your time making vegan cheese.

And if you love making curries, then nothing beats freshly ground spices. I highly recommend stainless steel pots because that way you don’t have to try and work out which, if any, nonstick coatings are safe.

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I once lived with very disgusting housemates who would constantly use my nonstick pots and pans, scrape them with metal spatulas (big no-no) and completely ruined the coating. I discovered it one day when I made a big pot of rice and served the rice only to discover it was covered in pepper…except I hadn’t used pepper…and the pepper was bits of non-stick coating (so gross, and potentially bad for you).

Rather than mess around trying to work out if you can find a green/safe/long-lasting nonstick coating, just buy stainless steel. I find them to be the best cookware for vegan cooking (especially since in a vegan kitchen you don’t need to worry about eggs sticking to a frying pan).

Carbon steel is the traditional wok material of choices–and it’s lightweight, naturally nonstick and inexpensive. Even better, it’s oven-safe, so I’ll often start a meal on the stove in my cast iron frying pan and transfer it to the oven (like this vegan zucchini/courgette gratin).

Lodge cast iron products are incredibly durable and last generations. The best kitchen tools for vegans are often some of the simplest: a good knife, a chopping board and wooden spoons.

In terms of vegan cooking supplies, you can't get much more basic for a vegetable-centric diet than a vegetable scrubber and/or peeler. I recommend a stainless steel vegetable peeler like this because they are sturdier and longer-lasting than plastic ones.

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A vegetable scrubber is optional but is very useful if you buy potatoes or other root veggies from the farmer's market that are covered in dirt and could use a good scrub. I recommend metal measuring spoons (not plastic) for durability and ease of cleaning.

I recommend a Pyrex mixing bowl, which will won't crack if you add hot ingredients. There are plenty of other single-use vegan cooking accessories (like cherry hitters) but I'm not a fan of single-use kitchen implements.

A crackpot/slow cooker can make your life much easier, particularly if you work long hours and would like to come home to a hot meal. Stick the ingredients in before you leave for work, and come home to a hot stew vegan curry.

I love using mine overnight while I sleep to make caramelized onions or cooked beans. Click here to check the latest prices. Instant pots can make your cooking much easier.

If you listen to the love for them all over the internet (where they have quite a cult following), you know they can cook dried beans in minutes (but safer than a traditional stove top pressure cooker), they can make yogurt, sterilize bottles, sauté, act as a slow cooker and cook rice. If you want a machine that will simplify your cooking in many ways (and you have the space for it), the instant pot might be your new kitchen best friend.

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My dad loves his, particularly for cooking dried beans quickly (no more forgetting to soak them overnight). I think the Cuisinart ICE range (which I have) offers the perfect balance of value and performance and after many hours of research, is what I opted for.

Click here to check the latest prices. Air fryers are useful if you like a lot of fried foods, but want to make them in a healthier way. They became immensely popular a few years ago, and while I don't own one, I know many vegans who adore theirs and making crispy, 'fried' style treats with much less oil.

A stand mixer will come in handy if you do a lot of baking, or if you plan to whip up fluffy vegan aquanaut meringues. However, if you are into baking, and have the kitchen space, it's a worthy investment and Kitchen aid mixers are the go-to appliance and will last many years.

If you eat a lot of courgette noodles, or are a raw vegan, a spiralizer comes in handy. I don't eat many courgette noodles, but I often use the spiralizer to twist some carrot spirals on top of salads.

Imperial is an Italian company that makes very long-lasting, sturdy metal manual models (I have this one). If you have a Kitchen aid stand mixer, you can also get a pasta maker attachment.

eggs poached oven really muffin fill tin
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Click here to check the latest prices. Tofu presses make cooking tofu to perfection much easier. Add to favoritesMaking the decision to start vegan baking or to take it more seriously is a wonderful idea if I do say so myself.

When building your vegan kitchen, it's best to just go for it and buy the best quality stuff you can afford. For instance, going through 3 pairs of sub-par kitchen shears in a decade is more expensive than just buying really nice ones that may end up lasting you a lifetime.

Every time I use my Clifton Triply Stainless pots I get a dorky smile. When buying cookware, I look for metal parts as much as possible, as opposed to plastic. I prefer stainless steel because it heats evenly, it's virtually indestructible, doesn't corrode, and is easily cleaned without worrying about scratching films off.

Good quality large mixing bowls are absolutely paramount to vegan baking. It's also a good idea to get one or two smaller bowls around 2 Quarts for additional things like egg replaced slurries or fillings that you plan to add later.

Stainless steel just makes a very embarrassingly loud sound when dropped and everyone will know you're a klutz. Using your finger to level off the top of the flour ensures an accurate and fast measurement.

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This is the rare instance where I recommend a transparent plastic piece of cookware. I guarantee you will drop this on the floor and if it's glass, you will not be very happy if you have to cut your baking session short to clean up the shards.

By now it's probably impossible to a non-stainless steel wire whisk but when I started baking, I used one that had metal plating that was flaking into my food. You'll use it to: Mix things like muffin batters where you don't want to pull out the electric mixer.

Initially mix the ingredients in bread batter before you get to the knead process. I like wooden spoons because they don't transfer heat as well as metal, and they won't scrape the bottom of your favorite saucepans.

If you want to get tech, you may want to get a snazzy stand-alone electric version and put flame decals on it but it's not required. This ensures your measurements are as accurate as possible and your hands only need to be rinsed every minute instead of every 30 seconds.

I very rarely need to coat my cookware with a thin film of oil since I started using parchment paper. Wax paper is only really useful when placed beneath turntable slip mats.

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Parchment paper makes lifting brownies out of molds a cinch and cleanup barely even necessary. You will need a good spreading knife when you're working your cake frosting magic.

Government funded studies have proven that making a pie crust or gingerbread cookies without a rolling pin is officially a royal pain. I prefer the large silicone ones because they are easy to clean and the dough is relatively resistant from sticking to it.

Your roommate spilled orange juice there 3 months ago and never really 'got around' to cleaning it up very well. I once thought that using a food processor or a fork to cut Vegan Butter into flour was acceptable.

That is, until I bit the dime-sized Vegan Butter bullet and bought a dough blender. It also kind of looks like it's related to brass knuckles or some type of medieval weapon which is extra fun.

Good quality oven mitts make handling hot things easier and more convenient. There's nothing worse than freaking out because your hands are starting to burn and you're not even near the place where you're going to put the hot item down.

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There're few things worse than wondering why your stuff never turns out then realizing that you've been baking at the wrong temperature for years. These are really sharp scissors that are a little more beefy, so they can do things like: Cut through aseptic packages containing silken tofu.

Snip off the excess outer perimeter of dough from a pie crust. It's pretty scary when you don't have these and need to use the regular scissors for things that are food related, then remember how just hours ago you got rubber cement on them while making a birthday card for your Mom.

Before going to bed, put some good lotion on so your hands can get their moisture back. While we're on the subject of body products, if you've been doing lots of tasting, be sure to brush your teeth so sugar doesn't get a chance to wreak havoc on your mouth.

Keep in mind that there are many more tools that make baking easier but these are the best ones to start out with and will give you the most bang for the buck. This article is focused on helping you choose safe and suitable cookware for using on the stove top.

The common theme is it is best to invest in quality pieces, but you only need a couple, and they will probably last forever if you care for them properly. Quality stainless steel is a safe alternative to many potentially unsafe cookware options (see below for more information on what to avoid).

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This is what we most often use, partially because we were handed down some very high quality stainless steel pots and pans. There are inexpensive stainless steel pots and pans that may risk your health due to contaminants.

This article outlines some tests you can do that might help you figure out if you have a good piece of cookware, or something that may contaminate your meals. Stainless steel is mixed with other types of metal to aid with conductivity and reactivity.

Stainless steel is not a non-stick surface, so you do need to use either water or broth to keep the food from sticking. However, after you cook the food for a while, you can allow the liquid to evaporate and you can brown the contents if you wish.

It is harder to clean, but there is also no coating that can be chipped or scraped (or carry additional contamination concerns). These non-stick products carry some same potential risks of any other non-stick pot or pan, but a high quality stainless steel with a safe coating that does not carry contamination risk could be a very good option if you research the product and manufacturer carefully.

Cast iron is a tried and true cookware option that will last a lifetime. Enameled cast iron doesn’t need to be seasoned, and your food will not stick, as long as the surface is smooth.

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You will get a bit of a workout moving them around the kitchen, especially if you are working with a very large pot. Seasoning creates a hard and protective coating that you then proceed to cook on (without further oil).

The oil creates this surface by a reaction called polymerization, and this protects the metal and makes it non-stick. Don’t scrub the cast iron though, or cook something acidic on it, or you will lose that protective coating.

If any oil does come off that surface and is in a chemical format that affects my health, it’s (personally) not enough to worry me too much because we rarely use our skillet and it’s unlikely much (if any?) Bonded, polymerized oil ends up back in the food provided how long it has been there through low-fat cooking.

But this is a note that you may want to do your personal research if you cook with the surface a lot, or a small amount of oil is a concern. It would be nice to know, and also understand a bit more about polymerized oil, because the best pressed and marinated tofu I ever made was baked on a cast iron skillet.

Enamel coating is known to be safe to cook on, it doesn’t leech contaminants, it’s heat-resistant. A commonly known brand of quality enameled cast iron is Le Crest.

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Quality ceramic is an often recommended as an excellent surface for oil free cooking, Mary McDougall mentions ceramic pans in her presentations and resources about oil-free cooking, however there are many products that are not safe. You really need to know a lot about your source and purchase pans made from a reputable manufacturer, and this could be quite hard to find or trust.

Mary McDougall mentions Scan Pan as a preferred brand, but do your due diligence on the latest information regarding any brand, where they are manufactured, and what is used during manufacturing and in both coatings and the cookware base (the pan itself). For whatever brand you land on, make sure you perform thorough research online and with the manufacturer to ensure that the product alleviates your own safety concerns.

For example, if you invest in a steamer, that digital pressure cooker, or a crock pot, make sure you check out what kind of coating the parts that touch your food are made out of. There are several types of cookware that have problems with toxicity, and there is a wealth of information available on this topic.

Teflon has historically used a man made chemical called FOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) during the manufacturing process, which is known to be a carcinogen and may lead to other developmental and health outcomes (such as “Teflon flu” and dead birds). Some PFC classed chemicals are in newer products, and there has been less study of their possible affects on health.

This means avoiding cookware or other products with PTFE or floor coatings. There are some similar concerns with copper cookware leaching potentially toxic contaminants that bio accumulate, so you may want to research either kind of material if you have this in your cupboard and plan to use it.

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Lastly, Recycled or green cookware is troublesome, as it may contain a variety of metals you don’t know about (as they are sometimes all combined into one product). It may be best to avoid these products due to potential contaminants that leech into your food when heated up.

Avoid cast iron unless you are happy seasoning it regularly (I am so it's not a problem), ceramic coated can also be an issue if the coating is damaged, but 100% ceramic is also fine because it is 100% inorganic in its truest form. Casserole bowls, cooking dishes, other than plastic items that are BPA free.

Just like other non-stick cookware, the synthetic ceramic surface layer degrades with normal use. Purchase only 100% ceramic cookware ; it is nonreactive, contains no toxic metals or synthetic polymers and it withstands erosion and temperatures up to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spanish candelas and older Roberto baking dishes are excellent earthenware choices and you may find casseroles and pie pans from your local potter. (Note: antique ceramic or earthenware pots may contain lead.

Enamel is a fused glass surface overlaying a light metal–or a heavier cast iron–pot. With proper care, quality enamel cookware lasts a lifetime.

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There are various brands available; do an online search for users comments to determine the line that best suits you. Glass coffee pots and casserole dishes are inert and affordable.

Bamboo steamers and paddles as well as wooden spoons, chopsticks and crockery are non-reactive and modestly priced. (Note: natural parchment paper is coated with non-reactive silicon, not the chemical Newton).

Stainless steel is the least reactive metal, and for many people, the most versatile and healthful cookware option. It makes an acceptable set of basic pots, pans and bakeware.

Because it unevenly conducts heat, most stainless cookware is clad or encloses an aluminum core. When you’ve burned something onto the pot, cover it with baking soda, salt or a strong detergent and let it rest for a day or more if necessary.

Carbon steel is inexpensive, thin, lightweight and ideal for a wok or crêpe pan because it rapidly conveys heat. With use, it will develop a non-stick like patina but prior to that do not use it with liquid or acidic ingredients and dry it thoroughly after every used to prevent rust.

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Cast iron pots are good for quick breads, pancakes and for sautéing vegetables. Although a soup cooked in cast iron becomes iron-enriched, this heavy metal is not bioavailable.

Not according to a 2005 British study that determined while the overall the chemical migration from the silicon into foodstuffs was low, it does occur. The advantages of silicone include heat resistance (below 428 degrees Fahrenheit), flexibility, the fact that it can go directly from the oven or microwave into the refrigerator or freezer and that it is generally easy to clean.

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