manual kitchen tools

Off-grid Kitchen Alternatives

Manual Kitchen Tools
Off-grid alternatives to everyday kitchen tools

Enhance your kitchen, one hand-crank, off-grid appliance at a time!

Are you ready to get an old fashioned kitchen? Turn back the
time machine and enter a kitchen where you churn your own
fresh butter, beat your own eggs and chop without the aid of a
Kitchenaid! It's time to wake up and smell the coffee
percolating atop your wood fired oven, and consider that every
prepper kitchen should stock hand-crank and manual tools for
preparedness. It's fun and easy to get your kitchen off grid: one
appliance at a time.

17 Hand Crank and Off-grid Kitchen Tools
Have you stocked hand-crank and manual tools for
preparedness? Whether you set aside essential tools for an
emergency or start using them today, every prepper should
consider owning hand-powered kitchen tools and appliances.
Here's a list to get you started...

List of Manual Kitchen Tools for Preppers
Here is a list of off-grid alternatives and hand-powered kitchen
tools to buy while they are still available:

Off-grid kitchen tool #1: Big Berkey Water Filter.
Clean drinking water is always at the top of the list for survival.
To replace the running water in your kitchen, you'll need a water
source and a filtration method. A Big Berkey water filter can
provide as much as 6,000 gallons of water filtration before it
requires cleaning.

Off-grid kitchen tool: Can opener (manual, wall mounted).
Instead of your electric can opener, you'll need a manual can
opener. It's number high on the list of hand-powered kitchen
tools for preppers for good reason! You'll have plenty of cans to
open after crisis.

  • Wall-mounted can opener: A sturdy can opener is good,
    but a heavy duty, wall mounted can opener is better and
    will prove immensely useful in the days immediately
    following a disaster. The benefit of a wall-mounted unit is
    that you always know where it is.

  • Manual can openers. Preppers should own several sturdy
    manual can openers. Redundancy is key following a
    disaster, and there is not an excuse to have only one can
    opener. An inexpensive dollar store item, you can't afford
    not to have several on hand.

  • P-51 Military can openers. A military style can opener is
    ideal not only for the buogout bag, purse or car, but also
    for taping onto every other freeze dried can in your food
    storage. They are inexpensive and provide peace of mind
    that you'll be able to open cans in an emergency.

  • Bucket opener. The red bucket opener, pictured right is
    necessary to open a five- or six-gallon bucket. Tape them
    directly to every other bucket of food. They come with a
    hole for a string so you can secure one someplace

Off-grid kitchen tool #2: Coffee French press or
To some, coffee isn't just a luxury, it's a survival necessity!

  • French press coffee. When the instant coffee runs out,
    those who've prepared can enjoy the "perks" of a cup of
    fresh brewed coffee if they have a percolator or French
    Press, coffee grinder and some coffee beans stashed away
    in #10 cans or mylar bags.

  • The Bruntmor French Press Brews 1 liter (8 coffee cups),
    34oz. of the best rich tasting coffee. Carafe is made of
    durable, heat-resistant borosilicate glass up to 200°F. All
    parts are BPA free.
  • Legacy Foods offers ground coffee, plus the manual French

  • Percolator coffee pot. Pictured top left in classic red, is
    an enamelware percolator coffee pot, which you can place
    directly on a heated surface, making it ideal for camping.
    (It comes also in blue.)  You get old-fashioned charm and
    campsite convenience in one sturdy package..

  • Replace your electric coffee grinder, too.  Grind your
    coffee manually with the easy hand-crank grinder pictured
    right. While you can purchase ground coffee, everyone
    knows that it tastes better fresh. When all the beans are
    gone from your stash, you can buy green coffee and roast
    it yourself.

    If you buy coffee that's green and roast it, or if you buy
    coffee beans in bulk, you'll need a way to grind your coffee
    without electricity. Certainly a grain mill can perform this
    task; however, coffee beans are very oily and you'll likely
    want to have a tool for the specific purpose of grinding
    your coffee so you don't have to clean the utensil with your
    daily cup of java.

Off-grid kitchen tool #3: Manual egg beater.
Got eggs? If your "girls" are producing eggs, then surely you'll
need a manual egg beater to replace your electric mixer. Sure, a
whisk will do, but a manual egg beater is an essential for
gourmet cooks who want really fluffy eggs or egg whites. Now
beat it and get that egg beater!

Off-grid kitchen tool #4: Wheat Grinder (grain mill).
Think of a wheat grinder as a grain mill, also for barley,
popcorn, oats, coffee and more. High on the list of prepper
kitchen items for the self-reliant homesteader is a grain mill.
Those who take emergency preparedness to the advanced level
will appreciate the affordable Victorio manual grain mill,
pictured at the top left hand of the page. The precision
stainless steel milling cone is durable and makes fine bread
quality flour. (Makes about one half cup of fine flour per minute
and more than twice that amount on the coarse setting.) The
compact design makes it easy to store.

This durable all-purpose manual grinder is ideal for wheat, corn,
rice, and other grains, like barley and oats. Use it to grind
coffee beans, peppercorns, non-oily seeds as well as spices. If
you want a luxury manual grain mill, choose the Wondermill
Junior Grain mill for coffee or grinding flour, right.

Off-grid kitchen tool #5: Meat Grinder.
A meat grinder is necessary for advanced preppers who hunt or
raise livestock. It's ideal for sausage making, making meatballs
and hamburgers, even for making dog food. Can you use one
grinder to do both jobs? The answer in short is that you won't
want to mix the grain grinder with meat to cross contaminate
and cause illness. The long story is that wheat grinders are
intended for low moisture grinding.

Off-grid kitchen tool #6: Sifter.
Didn't we just mention the grinder? If you're a prepper worth
your weigh in salt, you're grinding your own wheat into flour
with your grain mill, and not purchasing a sack of flour. With a
sifter, you'll get fluffier breads and cakes. Left are two sifters.
One is hand crank model  -- just turn the crank handle to deploy
the sifter inside. The other has a lever to grip and pump the
flour or sugar through the sifter. It holds around 2-3/4 cups.

Off-grid kitchen tool #7. Kitchen timer (egg timer)!
Grandma didn't have a digital timer! She twisted something she
called an "egg timer" to the desired minutes and then waited
for the buzzer. A kitchen timer is an overlooked accessory for
the prepper in an off grid world and makes a wonderful gift.
Right is a retro cool kitchen timer made of heavy duty steel,
just like grandma had.

Off-grid kitchen tool #8: Butter Churn.
Imagine the luxury of making fresh butter in an off grid world! If
you have milk, you can churn your own butter. Don't have a cow
or goat? Then here's some happy news for you: it is entirely
possible to
make butter from powdered milk! While the author
uses a food processor, you can use a butter churn. Pictured left,
is the ultimate butter churn made of glass.

Off-grid kitchen tool #9: Juice Press, citrus press
and zester.
If you grow lemons, limes or other citrus fruits, then you'll need
a citrus press to take full advantage of the juice. A zester will
help you extract the vitamins and flavor from the skin, which is
another worthwhile and inexpensive addition to a prepper
kitchen. When push comes to squeeze, preppers want a juice
press! If you own citrus fruit trees, then the Breville Juice Press,
pictured right, is the one to own as it gets unusually high

Off-grid kitchen tool #10: Mortar and pestle set.
Crush, grind and powder natures healthiest eats with a mortar
and pestle set. Mortars and pestles have been around for
thousands of years -- long before kitchens existed they were
already a classic utensil. They do the job of crushing, grinding
and powdering herbs, grains, spices, nuts, roots, teas for all
kinds of healthy eats. This style of grinding releases flavor best
in seeds, herbs, spices and garlic. Mortars and pestles are
handy for crushing pills and supplements, too. This set of 3
mortars and pestles have contoured bottoms & pestle head to
hold the grindables in place. Porcelain is easy to clean and
won't absorb food odors or stain.

Off-grid kitchen tool #11: Peelers.  Apple peeler /
Potato peeler.
Peel apples or pears, but you can also peel plenty of potatoes
with hand crank apple peeler just like Grandma used to have. A
potato ricer is also handy for making mashed potatoes or

Off-grid kitchen tool #12. Slicers (Mandolin), Spiral
Veggie Slicer.
Enhance your off grid garden food by making interesting
vegetables dishes. Get a spiral mandolin slicer! Make zucchini
spaghetti and spiral carrots into interesting salads and pastas!
A mandolin is an ideal accompaniment to a dehydrator, and if
you have a garden owning a mandolin is a must.
  • Shredder: creates long, spaghetti-like spiral strands
  • Chipper: creates long, thick spiral strands
  • Straight: creates long, ribbon-like strands

Off-grid kitchen tool #13. Food Dehydrator.
The process of dehydrating removes water from the food and
with the drying heat you in turn minimize the enzyme and
bacteria production to preserve food. It's well and good to get
electric food dehydrator if you have a backup energy source,
but a non-electric dehydrator will serve you well in an off grid

Off-grid kitchen tool #14. Solar Refrigeration.
Prices of solar powered products have come down quite a bit. It
seems almost ridiculous to say "solar" and "refrigerator" in the
same sentence, but someone invented it. The technology is
here that you can make your food cold with the power of the
sun. It's not as expensive as you might think either.

Off grid kitchen tool #15: Breadmaking tools.
Instead of a breadmaker and an electric oven, invest in bread
making equipment, including:

  • A camp oven. Ensure that you can bake when the lights go

  • Biscuit cutters. Your prepper kitchen wouldn't be complete
    without a biscuit cutter or two. The trio of biscuit cutters,
    pictured left, cuts biscuits, cookies, cakes, and pastries.
    Biscuits are a simple and essential prepper food made from
    simple ingredients. A basic Southern biscuit recipe calls for
    flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and milk -- all
    things that should be in a prepper's pantry.  Baking from
    scratch is something to try now, before the need arises. If
    you don't already know how to bake biscuits, get cracking
    on it!

  • Tortilla press. It's easy to make corn tortilla from masa
    harina flour and warm water, but you need a tortilla press

Off-grid kitchen tool #16: Cast iron cookware.
Replace your microwave with the healthier way to re-heat your
food: cast iron cookware. Cast iron provides fast, even heating,
which is why it's a favorite with preppers. It's healthy cooking
because it enables a healthy portion of iron to release into your
food. Cast iron is inexpensive, and easy to clean. Just boil with
hot water or scrape. Then add a coat of grease or oil before you
store it for the next meal. Look also for footed varieties of
Lodge cookware made for camping.

Off grid Kitchen tools #17: Butchering tools.
Knives are an important part of prepping, and preppers who
plan to hunt or survive off their livestock, should acquire a
butchering kit.  butchering knives will be essential after the
hunt, eating the chickens who don't produce eggs, and
butchering the rabbits.Other tools for meat handling would
  1. Butcher kit (pictured left)
  2. Meat hammer / tenderizer
  3. Meat thermometer
  4. Trussing needle
  5. Meat cuber
  6. Game sheer
  7. Butcher saw
  8. Slash resistent gloves
  9. Smokehouse: Note of warning on smoking meats: The
    smells of a meat smoke can linger for many miles. In
    extreme conditions, you won't want neighboring intruders.
    Avoid smoking meats in severe scenarios.

Other off-grid Kitchen tools to consider
Bring some vintage into the kitchen with classic tools Grandma
had! Here is a list of more off-grid alternatives to everyday
kitchen tools:

  • Hand-crank blender. Off-grid, non-electric, hand crank
    food processors and blenders will help you make purees,
    baby food, soups and more.

  • Cheese grater. You won't be able to buy cheese shreds in
    an off grid world, but you may be able to make your own

  • Kitchen scale. Say you have a recipe for Grandma's apple
    pie and it calls for two pounds of apples? Use a small
    professional kitchen scale instead of guessing.

  • Pasta making tools.

  • Whirly pop. Forget the microwave and Pop popcorn with an
    old fashioned Whirly pop.

Now you have your shopping list of the essential hand-powered
kitchen tools. Manual tools for the kitchen from the ordinary, a
can opener, to the extraordinary (an excalibur dehydrator) will
help you through uncertain times.

Happy endings...
Refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves, are useless during
a massive power grid failure, and the same goes for electric can-
openers, electronic food processors, and electronic coffee

When all is said and done, the off grid kitchen tools you'll need
to acquire will amount to everything that your great grandma's
kitchen had. One of the easiest ways to feel accomplishment
when it comes to living off grid is to get your kitchen off grid:
one appliance at a time.

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Grinds wheat, coffee, nuts, seeds, corn -- you name it!