One of the keys to eating great healthy food at an affordable price is to cook it yourself. The temptation in a tiny house is to eat out a lot – but that doesn’t have to be the case. With this set of uncomplicated gear, you can cook great food at home! I promise. Pull out your favorite recipe (or ask around for favorites) and mix up something wonderful!
It’s time to tackle the mixing bowls and lids in your collection and downsize to your favorites that fit your purpose in this season of your life. I show you my favorites plus my favorite way to roast potatoes.
BTW, I recently read that people who keep a bowl of fresh fruit and vegetables on the kitchen counter eat more fruit and vegetables, and less processed food. I’m good with that. And they are beautiful – that’s a bonus!
Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Paprika
Potatoes cut into even cubes (I love using various potatoes including sweet potatoes)
3 tablespoons good quality EVOO
2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Toss to coat and roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot.
Tip: If you live in a tiny house on wheels, remember that weight is important. A stainless steel mixing bowl is lighter than a glass or ceramic bowl.
I hate plastic disposables in the kitchen – cling film, foil, etc. So instead, I use silicone lids.
We were traveling for work and came across and beautiful kitchen boutique and did some Christmas shopping for my family. One of the things I found were Charles Viancin Lids. They seal beautifully, but they’re also easy to get off the container. I picked up a selection of these colorful marvels and hung them on the sides of my upper kitchen cabinets. They add a splash of color to my kitchen and we use them all the time. I’m delighted to find this effective way of kicking single use plastic disposables out of my kitchen! And they are CUTE!
If you bake a lot of cake and bread, then you may have more items to downsize. I keep one baking dish, a set of four cookie sheets that all fit in the oven at the same time. Since I used to bake professionally, I had a lot of gear to get rid of, and even downsized my wedding cake pans – a collection of round cake pans in various sizes. I made a wedding cake after downsizing. Check out this video on how I got creative when I made another wedding cake instead of purchasing more pans.
In the winter I pack a baking dish with a little meat and a lot of vegetables, throw in some good olive oil and my favorite herbs and spices and put the lid on tight and put it in the oven. I go back to work and an hour later I have a steaming hot meal ready. It couldn’t be easier and hot roasted food really hits the spot on cold winter days.
We purchased the Breville Smart Oven Air for our Skoolie, and a cookie sheet came with it. If that’s the case with the oven in your tiny haven-home, then look no further. Otherwise, measure the interior of your oven and choose cookie sheets that will fit nicely. In a normal size kitchen range, four Wilton 15.25 x 10.25 cookie sheets can fit comfortably in the oven at the same time. This makes it possible to bake off a batch of cookies pretty quickly, saving power. If your oven is large enough to fit several cookie sheets – purchase accordingly.
$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: Instead of baking cookies on a cookie sheet, put the dough in your cast iron skillet and bake one cookie instead of a bunch of small ones. Yummy!
This is one of the most rewarding parts of the kitchen to tackle because you can make a big difference pretty quickly.
Take out all of your pots and pans, and go over them with these principles in mind. Then clean out the cabinet, and add items to your donation boxes. You’re getting quite a collection of things to donate, aren’t you?!
- As for storing these items, I’ve found that the best way for storing bulky weirdly shaped items like this is to hang them on the wall. They take up a lot of space in a kitchen cabinet and this is a trick I learned from the Pros.
- In the Tiny House Foodie kitchen the pans are hanging from what was intended as a bathroom towel rack,
- and the lids are hanging on a curtain rod.
- Of course there are options that were actually intended for pots and pans as well but use your creativity to personalize your tiny house kitchen.
Take a look around and see what you have handy and consider hanging your Right-Sized collection of pots and pans. Items like a cast iron skillet may be a little too heavy to hang, and I keep my dutch oven on the range most of the time.
In the video I mention a recipe for No-Knead Bread recipe baked in a Dutch Oven – be sure to get the metal replacement knob for the top as the plastic knob that comes with it shouldn’t go in the oven.
The Dutch Oven
A Dutch Oven is an all-around great part of a busy tiny-house-minimalist kitchen. These are great products, simply choose the color and shape you prefer. (Prices subject to change.)
Good: This pre-seasoned cast iron Utopia Dutch Oven is an amazing value at $29 and works just like the enameled version – only it will require a bit of maintenance to keep the seasoning so that your food doesn’t stick. The price is unbeatable, it looks great in a rustic kitchen, and is also perfect for use outdoors on a rocket stove!
$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: These cast iron dutch ovens (without enamel) can sometimes be found at your favorite antique shop.
Better: Lodge offers an American-made and surprisingly affordable enameled Dutch Oven with a number of color choices at $46. It comes with a metal knob, which is a nice perk if you’d like to use yours on the stove and in the oven. The trusted Lodge brand has been around since 1896.
Best: There are at least two other impressive Dutch Oven brands that offer beautiful Dutch ovens (and a whole lot of other stuff) in a whole range of colors. The French company Staub offers a number of colors and some especially beautiful shapes for $280.
Best (continued): Le Creuset has even more colors, and their cast iron products are also made in France. I purchased the Le Creuset 4.5 Dutch Oven quite a few years ago and that was a great decision! I used it in our restaurant for making soup. I’ve used it over gas flame, on an electric burner, a glass cook top – even on our rocket stove. Nothing fazed it. It’s one of my favorite things and in the winter we use it almost every day! It’s even the basis for my fireless cooker, so stick around – I plan on writing lots more about our off-grid cooking set-up in the coming days! This one is currently $309.
Think of your Dutch Oven as an item you purchase only once, so pick your favorite color. Don’t match your kitchen or pick a “safe” choice – pick the color that is right for you. If it is your color, it will always match your kitchen!
Plus, I don’t say this often, but this is a case where I *would* recommend purchasing one of the brands on this page. I used a beautiful braiser (a different brand) and it was overly heavy, and for some reason the food stuck to that thing like you would not believe. I don’t know why that is, but it was frustrating and we ended up donating it. We were given that one as a gift, but if we’d paid money for it it would have been very frustrating to realize it was more trouble then it was worth. If you choose Lodge, Staub, or Le Creuset you won’t have that problem.
$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: Check eBay prices on these before you make your purchase, and don’t forget to figure in shipping costs!
$$ ANOTHER BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: Download the Ibotta app and check to see what discount they are offering on this item at various retailers. Last time I made a larger purchase, I compared the iBotta discounts offered at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Overstock, and various other retailers. Since they were all offering the same product at the same price, I picked the one offering the best discount and ended up getting the item I wanted plus $60 back on my purchase. It’s actually quite easy and rewarding, and every bit helps. Plus, I use the iBotta app at the grocery store each time I visit. I just used some of the cash-back I earned to purchase a special item for our tiny house. Use this link for a $10 sign up bonus.
I spent some time at a gorgeous kitchen boutique looking over a wide range of skillets and sauce pans before picking my favorites. Here’s what I’ve chosen and why.
In this particular case, I’m not going to show you “good, better, and best” options. I’m going to offer you two equally excellent options and it depends on your needs as to which one is right for you. The fact that the cast iron skillet is miles cheaper is beside the point. It is the better choice for many people. Some folks will prefer the lighter option that requires less care – and for them I am happy to recommend the Le Creuset skillet. Both are excellent choices, and purchasing a 10-12 inch will be the right size for most. Of course there are TONS of more options out there, but these are the two I’m happy to recommend for this Super-Simple Kitchen Gear List.
Best: When anyone asks me about choosing a good all purpose skillet for a tiny house, my first answer is always a Cast Iron Skillet for $15. They are great on the stove top, and also work great going into the oven. I use mine for baking corn bread, pizza, focaccia, and for those times when I want just one (pan sized) chocolate chip cookie. I love it that having this skillet means I don’t need to keep a cake or bread pan. They’re also very reasonably priced, so it’s hard to go wrong. Plus, there may be some health benefits to cooking with iron. Score!
$$ BUDGET FRIENDLY TIP: These cast iron skillets can sometimes be found at your favorite antique shop.
SWANKY: Le Creuset offers these in COLORS! And that’s how you take a $15 cast iron skillet and make it $200! Aren’t they delicious?!
Here is my friend and favorite “you-tuber” Esther Emery giving a comprehensive look at using cast iron. (23.44 minutes) WARNING: Watching this will make you hungry! I may need to take a break and go bake cinnamon rolls.
The downside to using a cast iron skillet is that they can be very heavy, and they do require a little bit of care. If you’re not up for seasoning your skillet and caring for it’s surface, then you might consider a lighter option… plus… then you can flip your food like a chef! lol!
Best: After looking over a wide range of skillets in a lovely boutique kitchen store, I found a beautiful one that feels good in my hands. It’s lighter than cast iron, but heavy enough to work on an induction cooktop. I fell in love with the Le Creuset Skillet which (thankfully) was not the most expensive pan in the boutique – whew! It is a non-stick pan – which I would not usually recommend – but it is PFOA-free and guaranteed to never flake, peel, or rust. I’ve had mine for a number of years and the surface is still gorgeous. If you want a skillet that is lighter than the cast iron, especially for aging loved ones, this is the perfect combination of form and function for $135.
The Sauce Pan Buying Guide:
I recommend a 2 quart saucepan for your Super-Simple Kitchen Gear Collection. Here are two workable options:
Good: The NuWave 3 quart Sauce Pan is compatible with the induction cook-top and works great for the great value of $33 with the added bonus of a glass lid so that you can see how your food is doing without lifting the lid and losing heat. I have this saucepan and I like it, but honestly – I don’t use it much because I always reach for the Dutch Oven first. This company offers a variety of cookware kits, but resist the urge to buy more than you need.
Best: All-Clad makes a beautiful 2 quart Sauce Pan that is also oven and broiler safe, induction cook-top compatible, has a limited lifetime warranty, and is made in the USA. Right now you can get this 2 quart for $121. (Prices subject to change.) It’s a beautiful thing!
*Note—This page contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you purchase any of these items – but it won’t change how much you pay for the item.
- Pots and pans are such space hogs that donating a few can make your kitchen feel much more spacious.
- Donating rarely used items gave me permission to be who I am – not who I wished I was. For example: I thought I was going to be the kind of cook who grew spouts – but I am not – so it was a relief to give away the equipment.
- My Austrian husband taught me how Europeans can, so I no longer need to keep a Water Bath Canner around. Sometimes the difference between “I have to keep this” and “I can let it go” is simply learning a new-to-me approach.