As our family prepares to move off-grid later this year, I am slowly switching from cooking techniques that require electricity to those that don’t. This does require me to change the way I view meal preparations, but our reasons for this transition go beyond what makes my life easier.

It occurs to me that many a cook has lived without electrical appliances so we need only look back a few generations to see how things were done. That, along with some modern ingenuity, has provided me with a few items that can replace all of my old electrical appliances.

Manual Coffee Grinder

Replaces: electric coffee grinder

I actually quit drinking coffee a few months ago, but still use this for grinding decaf coffee. It can also be used for grinding whole spices or even some grains. Mine looks a lot like this.

Mortar & Pestle

Replaces: electric spice grinder, mini food processor

I use this almost every day for grinding whole spices like peppercorns, cumin seeds, or coriander. The larger ones can be used easily to make everything from spice rubs to pestos to aioli. I have a very small one, but hope to get a larger one like this.

Food Mill

Replaces: food processor or blender

This one is at the top of my to-buy list. It is the food processor of old. You can use this to puree soups or sauces or in food preservation such as grinding apple or tomato sauce. From what I understand it also does a great job of straining out peels, seeds, and cores.

Hand-Crank Blender

Replaces: electric blender

This is less of a necessity for us, but I could see how it would be useful for those who use the blender a lot. I am thinking it will be great for smoothies and other blended items or to achieve a thinner consistency than a food mill can produce.

Do you use any non-electric kitchen appliances I haven’t listed?

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