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

Best Cookware For Vegetarian Cooking

Carole Stephens
• Saturday, 10 October, 2020
• 15 min read

When it comes to vegan cooking, the right kitchenware opens up all kinds of possibilities. A few well-chosen small appliances and kitchen items can dramatically expand your vegan food preparation options.

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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.

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. The classic stand mixer is made by Kitchen Aid.

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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. The 12-inch Stone Earth Frying Pan by Over is the perfect choice.

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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. 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.

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.

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They’re also worth using to keep foods like pretzels, potato chips, and nuts fresh after you’ve opened the bag. When I first started my journey toward healthy eating, cooking at home, and cutting meat out of my diet, my kitchen looked like most college kids.

That said, I definitely had a learning curve, and have accumulated a lot of new handy tools that have transformed my cooking abilities. I used to have some cheap non-stick pots and pans, which worked but the non-stick peeled away and scratched very easily.

When we got married I asked for a nice set of stainless steel with a copper lining in the base for even heat distribution. I didn’t realize how often we’d be roasting veggies and other stuff, but getting one or two good baking sheets will pay off.

I got one of these Nordic ware pans about 6 years ago and it's been one of the best cheap investments I’ve made. Before I really got into cooking, I virtually never used a blender or food processor, but since investing in them, I seriously use them all the time.

Not ideal for anything liquid, but nut butters, falafel, cookie dough with dates, energy bites, bean burgers, and many other things it works great. Great for smaller grinds like purée tomatoes for Indian dishes, chutneys, hummus, salad dressing, It’s great for spaces with limited storage but isn’t ideal for things with a lot of liquid because it leaks.

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I do have a splurge-worthy knife that I won at a vendor show but honestly don’t use it as much as my value knives. Get yourself some food storage containers with airtight lids so you can save those leftovers and easily reheat in the microwave.

Pyrex, anchor, and Corning ware make great glass or ceramic ones. I even found this set of Pyrex mixing bowls that have lids, so they double for large storage containers for meal prep.

If you watch holiday times you can find good sales on these. You can get real fancy with electric ones but this hand-operated one works great and doesn’t take up much space.

They double as a place to set a hot pan or dish. Get a coffee grinder for making your own flours, or just grinding your own beans at home.

We use this to make oat flour quite a bit and it takes very little storage space. You can also get a dry grains container for a Vitamix, but they’re price and take up more space.

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Between making whipped cream with the whisk, grinding soups and gravy for Indian dishes with the grinder, or even frothy drinks, it’s a hit for things that you don’t want to put into a blender. We do most of our Indian dishes in these, from DAL and Chaney masala, boiling potatoes, to rice.

They also have a new air fryer lid to make your favorite crispy veggies without another utensil. If you have an Instant Pot already you won’t need this, but you can make a lot of dishes with a slow cooker.

Stew, DAL, also Gobi, oatmeal, monkey bread, etc. Baking dishes such as cake and brownie pans, and muffin tins are great.

I love making breakfast muffins and black bean brownies. A nice stand mixer has been so handy for making dough for Otis and naan, homemade bread, cakes, brownies, mashed potatoes, muffins, and lots of other stuff.

I love this mixer, but if you have limited counter space, I’d recommend an artisan model since they’re smaller. Cold brew maker, I’ve had a few of these just by chance, and all have worked well.

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I preferred the Ox most because it didn’t leak and had a large storage container. Make cold brew coffee or tea and keep it in the fridge for quite a while.

This Adobe maker is nice and compact, but it did start leaking over time. If you are on your journey to eating vegetarian or vegan, or even just starting to cook, here is a great place to begin on building a kitchen.

I hope this list has helped you improve your learning curve and gives you an idea on what things you want to get to start. Let me know if there is something in my kitchen utensils for vegetarian cooking list that I missed, or if you have any comments or concerns.

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. 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).

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Choose from the menu below to see the vegan kitchen essentials and ‘nice to have’ items. 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.

The Best professional option: In terms of vegan kitchen appliance essentials, a food processor is right up there with a blender. 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. Coffee grinders are vegan kitchen gadgets you won’t want to miss.

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.

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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. 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.

Budget to Mid-range : I suggest buying just a couple of stainless steel pots in different sizes. You don’t need a ton of pots and pans, just the essential vegan cookware.

Did you know you can use woks to make pancakes, perfect-every-time crêpes and to shallow fry? Carbon steel is the traditional wok material of choices–and it’s lightweight, naturally nonstick and inexpensive.

Although some people think they’re just for meat, I’ve found mine is perfect for vegan cooking. 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).

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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.

Wooden spoons are the most versatile and used of all the needed vegan utensils in my kitchen. 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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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. Click here to check the latest prices. Tofu presses make cooking tofu to perfection much easier.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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