My Paleo Kitchen Tools: Stovetop Cooking

Written by: Kristin Jekielek

This week I’ll cover the Stovetop Cooking Tools I use most often, in addition to the items I covered in last week’s Everyday Items post.

These items get heavy use in my kitchen, and they will in your kitchen if you cook often. You want to make sure they’re

  • Made out of safe, non-reactive materials
  • Durable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Priced so that you can quickly replace a piece if something gets ruined

These items are used very often when I cook on the stovetop.

  • Additional skillets
  • Additional pots
  • Tongs
  • Spatulas
  • Splatter screen
  • Wire cooling rack

I have specific standards for each of these items. Much like the ingredients of the food I eat, I’m very particular about the ingredients that went into making my kitchen tools.


Splatter Screen (aka The Shirt Saver)

Cooking Paleo means you’re probably cooking in more healthy fats than ever before, but this also means you have to deal with grease splatters on a regular basis.

That’s where the splatter screen comes to the rescue!

Simply lay this over top your skillet or pot, and the mesh screen stops the droplets of hot fat from reaching your arms, face, and clothing. It also minimizes cleanup time by keeping your stovetop clean.

If this saves just one shirt from being ruined, it pays for itself. A Paleo kitchen essential in my book.



Additional Skillets

In addition to my Everyday Cast Iron Skillet, I have a 12” Lodge skillet. It’s great for cooking larger quantities of food, whether I’m cooking for friends or just cooking up a large batch to have leftovers on hand.

Cast iron does require a little special maintenance, but I think it’s absolutely worth it to create a non-stick surface that is also non-toxic. The process for creating a non-stick surface on cast iron is known as “seasoning”. This article outlines the simple process of seasoning a cast iron skillet.

You can look for cast iron at yard sales. I’ve been very happy with the addition of a 12” Lodge skillet I bought through Amazon.



Additional Pots

In addition to my 1 qt pot for everyday use, I have a 3 qt pot for larger cooking jobs.

I’ll use the 3 qt pots to make several servings of soup at once (so I can portion out and refrigerate/freeze the rest for later). It’s also handy when making tea for several people.

I prefer stainless steel pots with copper bottoms. The copper provides excellent heat distribution for even cooking, while stainless steel keeps the price point reasonable. Stainless steel is also non-reactive, so there are no worries about chemicals leaching into your food (unlike Teflon).



Cooking Tongs

When I need to flip a piece of pan-seared steak, I reach for my silicone-tipped tongs.

Why silicone? Silicone is generally found to be inert, safe for high heat, doesn’t react with food or liquids, and doesn’t off-gas chemical fumes. There are some concerns about fillers and colorants in silicone contaminating food, but those are primarily concerns that revolve around silicone bakeware.

I personally feel comfortable using silicone for stovetop cooking because the silicone make only short contact with the hot pan, thus keeping the temperature lower and providing fewer opportunities for any leaching that may occur.



A Good Spatula (or two)

I personally like to have two spatulas on hand: metal and silicone.

The metal spatula is great when I need to flip delicate items like eggs or fish.

The silicone spatula is great for mixing up sautéed items and for scraping the last bit of bacon grease out of the pan and onto my plate of food (soooo yum if you haven’t tried this).

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Wire Cooling Rack

If you’ve just pan seared a ribeye or a heritage pork chop, you want to make sure you rest these special cuts of meat before slicing into them.

Slicing too early will release the juices and leave your meat dry. No bueno!

I use my stainless steel wire cooking rack to properly rest my meat after cooking. It lets the air cool the meat evenly and prevents it from over cooking in its own juices. It makes a big impact!

I buy smaller racks that also fit inside my roasting pans. Roasting on a rack helps chicken cook more evenly; same thing applies when dry roasting a big piece of meat.



So these are my stovetop Cooking Kitchen Tools that I find most useful. Think I missed something? Tell me in the comments what else you use often!

Next week I’ll post about my favorite Baking Tools.


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