MANUAL small kitchen appliances list

LaurieLovesLearning ModeratorManitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

I want this list to be one of manual replacements for electric small kitchen machines, such as flour mills, oil presses, oats flakers and such, with links whenever possible. This list is not for yard tools nor large kitchen appliances (stoves, fridges, etc.). I'm not sure how large appliances could be manual anyway aside from a woodstove. Haha

IF you own it, let us know by posting a review with pros & cons. It's always beneficial to find reviews from people you can trust.

Here is the discussion on oil presses:

I will have to post one for our oats flaker later.



  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,725 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a manual coffee grinder, but I tired quickly of doing that as it takes quite a bit of grinding to get enough coffee for the coffee machine. I kept the grinder for spices because I usually don't need large quantities of those.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I always have a couple of manual can openers on hand. The racist type is easy for me to use than the one you turn.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 644 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a manual coffee pot, i mean, once the water is boiled on the stovetop, it can be poured on top of the coffee grounds that slowly drain through a cotton sock dripping out of the sock into a mug or a small coffee pot. Then towels are wrapped around the pot to keep it hot.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    I have hand beaters that are quite old. I would say at least 60 years old. I have purchased others but they just don't hold up. The brand name on this set is Maynard. A quick search on the internet brought many results of people selling used ones that look in excellent shape.

    I know instapots are a big thing right now but I prefer a stove top model. I don't currently have a pressure cooker but if I were to buy another, I would get a Presto stainless steel model. Its good value for the money and works just as well as the fancier, more expensive ones. Like this one.

    I also have a manual coffee grinder, left over from my days of caffeine addiction. Its a decorative one that hangs on the wall so I have left it as an ornament even though I don't use it anymore. Even though it is decorative it grinds well and doesn't take very long to get enough for a pot. There is nothing to indicate a manufacturer, but from the design and markings I think it may be from Europe.

    And I have a glass coffee carafe with the plastic filter cone that takes paper filters or even better, the reusable, washable stainless steel or brass mesh ones. Melitta is probably the best known of this type of coffee pot. I also have an old fashioned perk style pot in my camping supplies but now it gets used mostly as a kettle.

    I have a butter churn but never use it (glass type jar with paddles). Too much of an issue to clean it. I prefer to use a large jar and shake it (hubbie's job). 😁

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 953 admin

    Oh @torey, I 😍 that hand beater! And in jadeite green, no less. Be still, my beating heart!

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use a mortar and pestle for grinding spices. It doesn't take very long to grind the small quantities you need, it will last forever, and unground whole spices will store much longer and stay fresher than pre-ground ones.

    I chose the Cole & Mason Granite Mortar & Pestle and it has worked very well for me. It runs about $20 - $25 US. However, I think almost any granite M&P would work well.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    @VermontCathy I have a granite mortar & pestle. It's way better than other types I've had.

    @torey @Merin Porter I have a couple beaters like that, but my absolute favorite is this one. See the wavy beaters? That makes a huge difference. I also like how sturdy it is.

    Our oats roller is a Komo Flocino Flaker (made in Austria!):

    This roller works easily. If you want quick oats, however, you need to run the oats through twice. The oats can jam it so you have to put it in slowly as you are keeping up with turning the crank. Otherwise, it's pretty good, pays for itself pretty quickly, and can do quite a few different grains, etc.

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 262 ✭✭✭

    I have a coffee grinder which worked with a lot of arm muscle when my electric one failed. I have a flour grinder that my husband hooked a motor up to. I think it would be a lot of work to grind up 5 lbs. of wheat berries. Then there is the manual can opener, which, believe it or not, not everyone owns as I discovered back in 1972 when hurricane Agnes hit. My neighbor borrowed one from me.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 849 ✭✭✭✭

    I have used a coffee grinder for flax seeds but I don't know if I have enough hand and wrist strength to use a mortar and pestle. I watched a video on a granite versus a ceramic and think I would need to use a ceramic one. Are there any thoughts about this?

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,345 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have this grain mill. Only came in white when we bought it years ago. We did get the motorization kit to use will a drill, need to get the bicycle attachment now too.

    I have both a granite and a wooden mortar and pestel. I have this style handheld chopper which I love. Can't remember the brand.

    One like this. Works fairly well, even on meats. Even better than the two small electric ones I have.

    My most used (I have bought many times from ebay) lol Ronco Veg O Matic. There is a newer version available but I have the original style, like this one.

    Something similar to this food processor. Very clumsy to use for the chopping and mixing stuff.

    The Vittorio food strainer and sauce maker with the upgrade of attachments.

    a couple size of this style meat grinders. Not sure of the sizes or brands off the top of my head.

    There are many other items including an egg beater similar to the one tory posted above. And a newer version which isn't much use. A damish dough whisk. I have been mostly off grid for the better part of my marriage which will be 25 years in August. So lots of time to accumulate things.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Cook at Wahlburgers The Frozen Tundra in the Northern MidwestPosts: 644 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 4

    A coffee sock coffee pot. Boil water, slowly pour water over coffee grounds, the water filters through this sock into either a coffee pot or a mug. Enjoy with ❤️ love

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    @vickeym We have the electric Wondermill but have wondered about its alternative.

    We have a wonderful manual slicer, but it only does thin, medium, rippled, and grated veggies. We had fun doing beets & carrots last fall. I like that the Veg-O-Matic does fries & diced. Hmm. I'd better go looking for one.

    We also have a manual chopper/whipper similar to the one you pictured. It does well, but I have to watch holes on the side of the lid if I do whipping of cream. I can't get water in those holes, supposedly, which makes cleaning the cream off of it awkward. Unfortunately, it's plastic. 🤷‍♀️

    We've also got meat grinders like yours & a bread crumber (it looks similar). On that note, we also have a cast iron sausage stuffer like this, just without the inner cider press (?) part that has lots of holes in it.

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,345 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I have a sausage stuffer but mine is a newer stainless steel one bought used from a co-worker. There are so many things we have that are manual it is hard to remember them all at once. I have a cabbage shredder, a couple of mandoline style cutters. Bought a manual food chopper, the one with interchangable cone style blades from a reputable company several years ago which turned out to be garbage. Suction cup base would not stay attached to anything. They quit selling it and came up with a different version.

    A stove top coffee maker of course. Though a good one is getting hard to find. Most lids just barely cover the top with no edge that goes in and they leak terribly.

    A pasta roller or whatever they call it. You roll the dough through it when making pasta. Don't have all the attachments for it though. I know they make electric ones for the kitchenaid mixers as well as some other brands.

    I have 3 sizes of All American Pressure canners which can also be used as pressure cookers. Bought the 931 new, the 921 at a yard sale and got the 910 as a gift.

    For a coffee filtering system like the sock mentioned above a funnel with a coffee filter or a piece of muslin would be a functional substitute as would just pouring the ground and water in a pan and boiling then filtering. If you have a bit of stiff wire or an old wire coat hanger it would not be hard to make a little frame to hold the funnel in.

    Not a small appliance but indispensible here as we have a lot of iron in our water... I have a homemade Berkey water filtration system, also. Made with a couple food grade buckets and the Berkey filters.

    My ice crusher when I need it is a hammer. I freeze bags or small rubber dishes of water then bust them up with a hammer into useable sized pieces.

    Also, not a small appliance, but we are looking into building a wood gasifier to run things like our generator.

  • annbeck62
    annbeck62 Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a manual juicer but it's a pain to use. I have a manual cold brew coffee maker and I love it.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    @dipat2005 Maybe a different shape on the pestle would be easier for you to manage. I have a marble one like this.

    But there are other similar ones available. This one is ceramic.

    I just found this one online. Never seen one before but what a cool idea. Its called a molcajete although on a quick search of the word I found it could mean any stone mortar with the pestle called a tejolete. I will be on the look-out for one. The site I went to said they were sold out.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin
    edited May 5

    I have this kettle from Berry Hill Ltd. I've had it for years. The write up on it isn't exaggerating. You can leave it on a wood stove and if it boils dry, there is no damage done. It may have happened a few times in my house. Its very heavy duty.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 849 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey thank you that might help. I went to the local health food store yesterday. I asked about a mortar and pestle and she had a small one. She kept hold of it but tried to set it in my hands-but I couldn't hold it on my own.

    Thank you @torey for such great ideas. I am just thinking that I should get one or find an alternative. I currently use a blender for a lot of things. If eventually we have no electricity then I would need something like that anyway.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    I was checking out new Kitchen-aids and came across this conversion to a hand crank. They say they are unable to get new machines to convert at this time but you can send in your machine and they will refurbish it and install the conversion.

    A bit pricey, though. But sounds like a good company. Seems to be Amish.

    They also have a hand crank food processor with several attachments.

    Again, pretty pricey.

    The whole website is worth checking out. Lots of wonderful products. Including the kettle I mentioned above.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    @torey I'm pretty sure I've seen this site. Yes, those are pricey!

    Maybe I'll have to go visit their site again to see if I can find anything else of interest. Those types of sites are fun ones to do window shopping.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @vickeym That Victoria strainer is exactly the same as the one my mother used in the 1970s to make tomato sauce from garden tomatoes. It was a very messy process and cleaning the kitchen up afterward was a project in its own right.

    My job was to squash the tomatoes into the strainer funnel while turning the crank. Tomato juice would spray everywhere as the tomato would be pushed through small holes, emerging as a thin pasty sauce.

    Ah, memories...

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 4,584 admin

    Food mills are nice to have, too. You don't see them in stores much these days.

    A chinois is also really nice to have on hand for soups.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Every article or blog post I've ever read about grinding your own flour from wheat recommends having a hand-cranked grinder for emergencies, but all of them used an electric grinder on an everyday basis.

    Apparently grinding wheat by hand is very hard work and no one wants to do it.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 I've made apple butter without a food mill, but it's a pain. It would be easier if I had one.

    Recipes for apple butter nearly always assume you have a good mill. I suspect they were very common 2 or 3 generations ago, but by my parents' time had become rare.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    I agree with that!

    We have an old hand crank grain mill and it's a bear to use. You have to attach it to something very heavy & solid, & after using it for a while, you would win in any arm wrestle.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    We were watching a documentary at one point where a lady was using a tejolete to grind corn. I think she might have been from South America.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning it always amazes me at how other countries and cultures can be so efficient at doing things in a different way. I was watching a show about a popular chef that traveled to other countries and learned about their food and how it was prepared. He met a lady grinding masa between 2 stones. It was pretty funny watching his try to do it and her giving him a hard time that he was to slow and needed to hurry so she could cook. We are spoiled in many ways.

    We have an older designed Faberware percolator to make coffee on the stovetop. My 24 year old son in law asked for one for Christmas last year, because “coffee always tastes better at ma’s house”. I believe it is sold as a camping coffee pot. I see many items in this list that we either own or have used before. I love it idea of the coffee grinder for spices. When grinding multiple spices in the mortar and pestle it can take a lot of arm strength.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 816 ✭✭✭✭

    I have a number of old hand cranked kitchen devices from my grandmother (probably close to 100 years old). Still use my Foley food mill although sometimes it is hard for me to use. It just doesn't seem to be as easy to use for making apple sauce as it did when I was younger. I think I need to figure out how to adjust the spring on the bottom.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 816 ✭✭✭✭

    Unfortunately, I didn't inherit any grain mills. Would love to have one. And the mill for flaking oats sounds really cook, but really pricy.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    @marjstratton We picked our hand grain mills up at second hand stores, garage sales or farm auctions, when they had those in normal times.

    We figured out the price of ready made oats & how long it would take to pay the flaker off with the quantity we used. The stucker shock isn't nice, but it can pay for itself. It's like buying a cow, the sticker shock is super high, but they will pay for themselves over time through quantity & number of products delivered, even covering the cost of feed after "they pay themselves off".

    I'm not sure if we figured a year or year and a half was what it took to pay off the oats roller? That's quite a while ago already. Now, it's only costing us the price of the grain, which we buy in bulk, and now we are getting organic oats too instead of the conventionally grown store oatmeal. Its paid for itself many times over.

    The other bonus is that it is freshly fine as well, so the nutrients are still all there. Its certainly healthier for us. You can taste the difference easily.

Did you know?

Bamboo is the fastest-growing woody plant in the world; it can grow 35 inches in a single day.

🍅 Tomatoes: From Seeds To Sauce Toolkit 🍅

Master this Holy Grail of Gardening and benefit from a plant that offers tons of essential vitamins and nutrients!

Learn More

Over 610,088 people are apart of The Grow Network.

You can help us reach 1 Million! Give the gift of sustainability by sending your loved ones a Grow Network gift card.

Give them what they want

Today, do the biggest small thing that will better the world, and be satisfied with your efforts.

Marjory Wildcraft
Join our Discord Chat!

Get even more connected with The Grow Network.

Dive in here