Raise your hand if you’re currently following the ketogenic diet and are in uncharted food prep territory. If you’re like me when I first started eating keto, then your hand shot straight up.
Cooking (and let’s be honest, meal prepping) can be challenging, especially if you’ve recently transitioned to a new way of eating. Through trial, error and some moderate success, I’ve figured out what the best kitchen appliances are for those following a “specialty” lifestyle like keto. When you cut out or significantly reduce your amount of carb intake and focus on non-starchy/green veggies, protein and seeds/nuts, you can feel a little lost at first.
These eight appliances will become your best friends while following a low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. Some of them are quite pricey, however most are reasonably priced and are things you can even buy online (dare I say Amazon Prime?) if brick-and-mortar ain’t your thing.
So without further ado, here they are:
A Viamix, or any good quality high-speed blender, will set you back a couple hundred of dollars (or more depending on the features you want), but it’s a long-term investment and a total “must-have” for anyone who is cooking up a keto kitchen storm.
PRO TIP: If you want a Vitamix, but don’t want to fork over the big $$$, look at their refurbished blenders. They’re lightly used and restored for a lower price.
I use the Vitamix almost every day, and sometimes more than once a day (especially on weekends) to make keto coffee, keto smoothies, nut milks, and to make keto-friendly soups. It’s clutch for anything, really, but it makes life so much easier for the everyday keto-er.
I held out on this one for a long time because I couldn’t justify spending money on yet another single-purpose, kitchen appliance, but once I started having keto coffee for breakfast every morning (that’s coffee, MCT oil, ghee, hot water, dash of sea salt and sometimes a splash of homemade cashew milk), I figured why not? They have those really nice counter-top frothers or the more reasonably priced handheld ones, which is what I have.
I love it. I dump everything into my mug, give a quick stir with a spoon and then froth away. It also helps blend it and I finally can enjoy a frothy coffee (or matcha) again.
A note about hand-held frothers, if you accidentally bend the metal piece that connects the frother to the handle, you’re SOL. I recently bent mine and now it doesn’t froth right, so I may take some of my holiday dough and invest in one of the tabletop ones.
I actually have two of these. One is a handheld veggie spiralizer that has two sizes on either end (looks like an hourglass), and a table-top hand crank one that has all the bells and whistles. To be honest, I use the handheld one much more than I do the crank one, but both are worthwhile. Just because you can’t have carbs while eating keto doesn’t mean you can’t have pasta.
Zoodles are the perfect low carb veggie alternative. You can spiralize yellow squash, zucchini, and even beets, sweet potatoes and butternut squash (although those are higher in carbs). I typically stick with zucchini (hence the name zoodles) and make this most amazing vegan/paleo/keto cheese sauce to toss them in. You can find my recipe here on my Instagram page. It’s cashew based, so you’ll be sure to get in all of your healthy fats. It’s even better if you cook up some lamb meatballs or chicken sausage to add to the dish.
This was a newer purchase for me and I can’t believe I waited so long to invest in one! An air fryer is exactly what it sounds like, and it works by circulating hot air around the food. The end result is a perfectly cooked food that is light and crispy on the outside. It’s healthier for you than a conventional fryer because you don’t have to use an excessive amount of oil that you submerge your food in. You can lightly spray foods with avocado or coconut oil, and pop into the air fryer for a short amount of time. That’s another benefit! Things cook fast, especially if you have a bigger air fryer.
Some of the keto-friendly foods I love cooking in the air fryer are wild caught salmon filets, fried organic chicken wings/legs, Brussels sprouts, green beans, broccoli and cauliflower, onions, zucchini and squash, and so much more! You can also make some REALLY amazing sweet potato fries and parsnip chips in the air fryer, but those are starchy veggies and might take you over your daily carb limit, so I digress…
I remember the first time I used my food processor. It was back in my paleo prime, and it quickly became one of my staple kitchen appliances. The food processor is fantastic for dicing up veggies like onions, tomatoes, etc. and for making things like pesto, salsa and for crushing up seeds/nuts. (Also, if you want a keto recipe for salmon cakes that use Epic brand pork rinds and requires a food processor, check it out here.
This is so easy to make and the food processor makes it easy to crush up the pork rinds to the right size.
Slow cooked meats, need I say more? The slow cooker (or crock pot) usually makes its way on to my countertop during the fall/winter months because who doesn’t love soups, stews, curries and chilis when it’s cold outside?
I’ve made so many recipes in the slow cooker, including homemade bone broth. It’s convenient because when you’re making bone broth, you need to slow simmer the animal bones/innards anywhere between 24-72 hours, and you can dump everything into the pot and let it cook on low for as long as you’d like. Not to mention it’s also safer than doing it on your stovetop unsupervised for long periods of time (I do not recommend that!).
You might be thinking this is an odd one, and perhaps not technically an “appliance,” but hear me out. Two words: fat bombs. These are the holy grail of those following a keto lifestyle because they are an easy way to get in healthy fats into your diet on the go. You can make a bunch of keto fat bombs at once, pour into silicon molds/ice cube trays and put them in the freezer for safe keeping. I love this recipe from Kettle and Fire.
You can buy these pretty cheap but still good quality on Amazon. These are generally nontoxic and totally safe to use in hot or cold temperatures. You can even get creative with different mold shapes, like diamonds, squares, hearts, stars, etc.
Where my grill masters at? If you don’t have an instant-read meat thermometer, I strongly recommend you invest in one because it takes the guesswork out of knowing if your meat is cooked or not. We have one from Theromopop and it’s pretty tiny so it doesn’t even take up that much space. Plus, it’s highly durable. I’ve dropped it from 4 stories down to the ground (on astroturf, not concrete/pavement), but it survived.
We use this all the time for grilling organic red meats like steak and beef/bison/lamb burgers, and chicken, especially when we spatchcock a whole chicken breast because it can be really hard to tell if the inside is cooked all the way through.
Is this a comprehensive list of all of the kitchen appliances I used every day? Of course not, but these are the specialty items that help make prepping and cooking keto-friendly foods much easier. And with the holidays quickly approaching, perhaps these would make good gifts for the foodie in your life (or for yourself!).
Bottom line: Meal prepping and cooking doesn’t have to be elaborate or hard. Focus on filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods that you enjoy. That could be a plate of sauteed spinach, half an avocado and a baked/grilled chicken breast, flavored to personal preference. Don’t overthink it, just enjoy it. That’s what food is all about!
**Note: None of the links in this post are affiliates, and I am not working with any of these brands in any official capacity. These are just some of my personal favorites that I would recommend to anyone and everyone!**