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Get the most out of your prepared kitchen wishlist, making sure you have the tools for food storage and preservation, even if it is on the larger side of your budget!
When you look at creating more and more of your food storage from scratch, you realize the simple kitchen tools you used to use may no longer be adequate. Here’s a wishlist of a preparedness kitchen tool list, and some budget alternatives for each.
THE PREPARED KITCHEN WISHLIST
Some of these tools have some big price tags, but are worth the investment for a home who is more prepared for emergencies and self reliance than the rest. However, I’ll give you an alternative to the price tag wherever possible, too!
Whether you want to preserve the garden bounty you’ve worked so hard on this year, or you want to take advantage of all the produce sales at the grocery store, a dehydrator is going to make your job so much easier! Without the learning curve of canning, or the price tag of a freeze dryer, a dehydrator is a great way to preserve food for both long and short term.
• Need some dehydrating ideas to get you started? I’ve got 101+ of them!
⇒ BUDGET ALTERNATIVE – The Nesco FD-80 – my other choice for the best dehydrator on the market.
WATER FILTER SYSTEM
A Berkey Water Filter system is a great way to have drinking water in any emergency. The Berkey Water Filter can remove hundreds of contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, cysts, parasites, pesticides, chlorine, fluoride, VOC’s and more from the water and purify more than any other gravity filters available! You don’t want to neglect storing water at all, but having a table top water filter makes immediate water so much easier !
Taking canning up a notch from just doing jams and jellies to whole meals, a presser canner is a necessity. And going with as big of a canner as you can get is best so that you can make the most of your time canning as much as possible, especially during the summer when produce is coming out both ears and from behind you!
• READ MORE: 101 Canning Recipes
⇒BUDGET ALTERNATIVE: An alternative is to go with the Presto Pressure Canner instead. All the ability of the All American, at a fraction of the price.
The All American Sun Oven – or any other solar cooker like the GoSport Sun Tube gives you the ability to cook without having a kitchen. And it isn’t limited to just the summer. As long as you have several hours with full sun, you’re good to go, even down to 40F. Solar cookers make a great off-grid cooking alternative that you can take on the go with you for camping OR for having as an emergency backup.
⇒ BUDGET ALTERNATIVE: Make your own solar cooker or use something like the Presto which is a powerless slow cooker. You can also make your own ‘Wonder Oven’ using these instructions.
If you store grains in bulk, you want to have a great grain mill to grind them. Storing from as whole state as possible (not the flour, but the actual grain) allows you to extend your deep pantry even further in time as flours tend to go rancid much more quickly than their whole grain counterparts. Just be warned, most grain mills can be fairly loud, so you might also want to buy some ear protection, too!
⇒ BUDGET ALTERNATIVE – A Victoria Grain Mill is mounted onto your tabletop and uses a crank to grind grains – and a lot less noisy than the motorized versions 😉
• Read my series on the Wondermill Grain Mill
ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER
The Instant Pot is all the rage now – and with good reason. When pressure cooking took hours and some protection in days past, the new electric varieties allow you to make yogurt, nutritious bone broths, and cook a roast you forgot to pull out of the freezer in mere minutes. The ability to not have to stand over your stove while your pressure cooker works frees up time for other endeavors in making wholesome food for your family to put up, or to catch up on This is Us episodes — take your pick!
⇒ BUDGET ALTERNATIVE: A slow cooker is a kitchen’s best friend. Sure, you can’t have dinner ready in an hour like the Instant Pot, but you can still make yogurt, and healthy bone broths, and still have time for This is Us, you just have to plan out your day a little better 😉
A blender is useful for more than just whirling up some ice for a frosty adult beverage! We make food storage pancakes, dehydrated fruit and vegetable powders, fruit leathers, make pestos, smoothies and even garden pest repellents (See how we make garlic pepper tea to ward off pests in the garden). The mac-daddy of them all for home use is the Vitamix.
But if the bit of this blender is a little more than you can manage – you can try the Ninja Kitchen System for a powerful product that’s a mid-range price. It’s what I use in my prepared kitchen (because I’m still saving up my secret money for a Vitamix!)
⇒ BUDGET ALTERNATIVE – There are a couple of alternatives for this machine. You can go with something as basic as a whisk to some egg beaters like your grandmother used to have in the kitchen, or graduate to this hand-crank blender from Emergency Essentials. There are blenders in the $20-80 range that will work, too. But unless you have an awesome food processor, you need a blender that can do a little more than just whip up some pancake mix. In a prepared kitchen, there’s no telling what you’ll be mixing for your family’s meals, your food storage, or even your garden!
The granddaddy of them all – the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer It’s on my wish list of things I really really really want to have, but just haven’t worked it into the budget, yet. The only good alternative I have to offer for it is a smaller unit? Or try one of the various “freezer dry your own food”, but I’ve never tried any of them, so I am hesitant to even recommend them.
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