8 Essential Non-Electric Appliances for the Kitchen

non-electric appliances pasta machineDo you want to try off-grid living, but are afraid of the lifestyle extreme change? Why not experiment with some non-electric appliances? Simply switching to non-electric appliances in your kitchen can put some extra money in your pocket as they shave vital pounds and pence of your utility bills.

The number of non-electric appliances available will suprise you

Our top pick

A pasta maker is essential if you love pasta. And, since homemade pasta is one of the easiest things to cook, it’s a good place to start if you’re contemplating off-grid living. Remember: The quality of the pasta depends on the quality of the ingredients, and your kneading technique. If you don’t knead correctly, your pasta will be sticky.

Most pasta makers are adjustable, so you can make perfect lasagne, cannelloni, ravioli, ribbon noodles, and fettuccine, etc. In no time at all you’ll be making pasta good enough to impress Marcus Wareing on MasterChef: The Professionals.

Non-electric appliances you might already own

Many of our existing kitchen appliances don’t need electricity. There are also several affordable options available, so you can really embrace retro living.

  1. Coffee percolator. They make delicious coffee and are convenient for camping trips. Percolators are easy to use, simply add water, ground coffee beans and a filter and leave it on a heat source (a fire for non-electric living) for 5 – 10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your coffee.
  2. French pressFrench press: This is another coffee maker that is as easy to use as a percolator. Simply boil water on a heat source (a gas stove or open fire), and pour over coffee grounds. Let it steep for around five minutes and then push the plunger down to get all the grounds to the bottom. Pour and serve.
  3. Manual mixer. Twist the handle and watch the beaters whirl. It’s great for beating eggs, whipping cream and making batter.
  4. Hand flour mill. Got gluten issues? Then use one of these babies to turn oats, rice or chickpeas into flour.
  5. Dough maker. Of course you can knead dough by hand, but why not try a non-electric bread maker to speed things up a bit. Simply add the ingredients, crank the mixture and enjoy perfectly kneaded dough.
  6. Food strainer. Many people have a food strainer occupying the back of the cupboard. It’s great for making your own sauces, juices and jams. All you need do is cut up fruit, drop them in and start turning. You don’t need to peel or core the fruit, as the strainer will do all the separating for you.
  7. Manual food processor. A twist of the handle turns multiple blades rapidly, producing the same great results as an electric food processor. A number of blades allow you to cut, dice and blend as desired.
  8. Zeer clay pot fridge. You’re unlikely to have one of these lying around, but they’re great way to keeping food cool. You put one terracotta pot inside another and fill the space between with wet sand. As the water evaporates, it pulls heat from the pot inside and makes it cooler than the air outside.

The bottom line

Let’s not muck about, eschewing electricity for manually-operated appliances does feel like a bit of a step backward. Technology advances for a reason – to make life easier. Using elbow grease is not easier than flipping a switch or pressing a button. Depending on how passionate you are about your cooking, however, it can be more satisfying when you know the meal produced is the result of authentic hard work.

If you’re passionate about saving energy and going green, non-electric appliances also hold certain appeal. And, if you’re in the position where every penny saved is a penny earned, you can’t shrug off the money-saving benefits of putting electricity on the back burner.