Instead of beating a dead horse and posting about all my kitchen “must-haves”, I decided to compile all of my favourites into one easily accessible location. Here is an list of everything I use in the Maritime Glutton kitchen, and a few “what I’d buy if money was no object” choices.
This list will be updated regularly, so any time there’s any new breakthroughs, I will always add any new favourites to the list to keep it, and all of you, up to date.
Just a quick note that any links that lead to Amazon are affiliate links. If you purchase something I’ve linked, I will get a small commission at no cost to you. With that being said, I only ever recommend products I absolutely love and will never promote anything not worth your money. I also will never do an biased reviews in exchange for compensation or product.
It’s no surprise to anyone that I’m going to recommend my favourite kitchen appliance of all time, the Vitamix 5200. In Canada, this is called the Vitamix 001372 – it’s the same model but just a different name for a different selling market. There are newer and flashier models, but this is the OG vitamix and I truly believe it’s worth every cent.
I own and love my Kitchen Aid Classic Stand Mixer. Had I done a bit more research, I think I may have gone with either the Artisan or Professional line as they are better for bread making. So far, I’ve had not a single instance of overheating, but I don’t use my stand mixer on a daily basis.
All in One Cooker
I’ve not yet been convinced of the usefulness of an Air Fryer. I have, however, been an avid praise-giver of the Instant Pot. I own the 7-in-1 Duo Instant Pot as I find it bridges the gap between price and function. I don’t believe I’d use many of the features of the pro models like yogurt making or the interchangeable Air Fryer lid, so this is more than enough for me.
Pots and Pans
I’m not a huge believer in purchasing pot or pan sets as you rarely need everything that comes with them. I did however, find a great deal on a set of Emeril Legasse stainless steel pots and pans at Mardens. I love this set, and wish I could find you all a link to purchase it. The whole set was under $200 and other than the non-stick pans, they work incredibly.
Non Stick Pans
I’m not a huge fan of nonstick, but I haven’t yet mastered using Cast Iron or Stainless Steel for cooking eggs. So until that day comes, I’ve recently become a huge fan of GreenLife Ceramic Non-Stick pans. Keep in mind even with gentle care, most non-stick pans will have to be replaced around every year or two – there’s no need to invest in something over the top in my opinion.
I am without a doubt a fangirl of La Creuset cookware. If you can afford to splurge on anything, this is up there on the list of things I’d choose. Here is a link to their website. If you’re on a budget and have basic needs for your dutch ovens, I’ve really loved the Amazon Basics line of Dutch Ovens. We had an unfortunate accident with our Dutch oven during quarantine and have been using this ever since. A quick note: that the temperature rating for the oven says up to 400 degrees only. Many reviews say they do use this cookware up to 500 degrees, but I can’t recommend or promote that.
In my opinion, the best way to get cast iron is at a secondhand store, yard sale or estate sale. Ask your family if they have any they aren’t using as they truly do get better with age. If you can’t find any that have aged well, Lodge brand ones are always a safe bet. I love the individual sized ones for fancy looking baked dishes or single serve desserts (hello panookies)!
After using many brands of baking sheets, I am a firm supporter of the NordicWare brand. I have a set of a Baker’s Half Sheet and Full Sheet as well as a two pack of Quarter Sheets. These are the only baking trays I use, and recommend anyone who does any amount of baking invests in these.
I genuinely find this is a really personal choice. I have a cutlery set my grandmother bought me that I find absolutely perfect. She had bought some for my parents years before and I find theirs too large for my taste. I think the best thing you can do is look for good quality stainless steel and make sure to hold them in your hand before purchasing to make sure they feel comfortable.
I neglected owning a really good knife for a long time. Since buying a great quality German Chef Knife, I’d never ever go back to a knife set again. I went with the Wusthof Classic 8″ Cook’s Knife. Next up on my list will be a Japanese Style Santoku knife that I plan to buy from The Cook’s Edge thanks to a recommendation from a very well respected local chef. If you’re looking to purchase a knife and can’t decide between Japanese and German, usually Japanese are more precise, but also less strong. They both do an incredible job at different work.
If you’re not looking to shop online, Costco has amazing food storage containers. They come in a 50-piece set (25 sets with a container and lid) and sell for about $10. We go through these often and love them. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Deli Style storage containers both in the 32oz and 16oz sizes.
Portable Drink Container
For both my iced coffee and smoothies on the go, I love Insulated Tumblers. Personally, I’ve been using this one from Dodoko forever and both myself and my partner have made great use out of it when we’re on the go.
I love storing sauces in bottles with a nozzle. You can see them in action in my post about Subway! The brand I use is called Benecreat. I find this style of bottle is annoying to clean without a dishwasher but if you soak them, it’s not an overly time consuming process.
As some of you know, I brew my own Kombucha. To store the finished drink, I use the E.Z. Cap brand as they’re the highest rated. They’re a bit tight to close at the beginning, but after a few open/close cycles, they’re super solid and feel sturdy. As for brewing the Kombucha, if you make small batches you can use a very large Mason Jar, but I prefer to use something with a spout to make the bottling process easy. This Gallon container with a spout is my go to.
Misc Kitchen Gadgets
For a generic thermometer, I love my ThermoPro Instant Read thermometer. I also have a candy thermometer, in-oven thermometer, and oven temperature thermometer. I haven’t used any of these enough to give a rating on performance yet.
I read tons of reviews for good measuring cups after I broke my cheap plastic ones from the Dollar Store. I settled on measuring spoons from Cuisipro (a brand I love in general) and measuring cups from OXO Good Grips. You definitely don’t need to buy tools this expensive, but I generally don’t like having plastic tools in the kitchen and am trying to move all of my products to stainless steel, wood or other more durable materials.
As much as I love the aesthetic of wooden cutting boards, I hate how difficult they are to clean. I have a cheap cutting board I grabbed at Marshalls that I only use for raw meats, and then I have a three pack of Belawares Cutting Boards that I use only for non-meat items. I do have wooden cutting boards, but I use them mostly for cheese boards or serving sushi.
I am honestly really grossed out by kitchen sponges. The only tool I use that cleans well and makes me feel like they aren’t holding on to excess bacteria is the Rainbow Scrubbies. If you live in New Brunswick, I recommend buying them at Decor8 Finishing Touches – otherwise they can be found on Amazon in packs. The best part is that they’re washer/dryer safe so I feel even less grossed out by using them.
Currently I use a Canon SL3 that I purchased at Costco. For most of my food shots, I use a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. It’s a great budget lens to get some really nice bokeh style shots. I also use my iPhone 11 Pro to get some basic Instagram photos or videos in if I’m in a pinch.
I purchased an inexpensive tripod on Amazon that I actually have been really impressed with. The brand is Torjim and it’s surprisingly great for how inexpensive it was. It’s only 60″ but it fills all my current needs so far.
I purchased 4 backdrops from Ink and Elm. I’ll admit that the cost was pretty high considering the shipping costs to Canada, but they’re beautiful and shoot really well. I also bought some single floor tiles from Home Depot but I have to edit out the lines if I need a wider angle shot.
Photography Prop Plates
I have a few statement dishes from Spirit Wares. The products are all hand made, local to Canada and are incredibly sturdy. I found them tagged by a chef at a local restaurant that serves very luxurious style dishes. All of my other serving dishes for photography are lucky finds at Homesense, Costco or from any of the stops I make at any home goods stores. Another great place to look is consignment stores or yard sales.