Inside Melissa Joulwains' Paleo Kitchen: 14 Essential Gadgets For Real Food Cooking

Inside Melissa Joulwains' Paleo Kitchen: 14 Essential Gadgets For Real Food Cooking

These are the gadgets I use to cook all of the recipes in this book—and many of them are essential for preparing the recipes quickly. If you don’t have something listed, that’s OK, but it might take you a little bit longer to make the recipe. For my recommendations on specific pieces of equipment, along with buying information, visit

cutting board

Large Cutting Board

Almost every recipe begins with chopping. A hefty cutting board protects the knife, your counter top, and you. I have a heavy wooden board that could double as a weapon. I recommend that you use the largest board that will comfortably fit in your work space.

Sharp Cutting Knife

In the kitchen, your knife is an extension of you. Choose a knife that feels comfortable in your hand. I like an 8-inch blade; it works well on both meat and produce. Don’t forget a good knife sharpener, too!

Bench/Bowl Scraper

You can get a plastic one for about four bucks and it saves so much hassle! Very useful for scooping up chopped veggies and herbs and safer than using the blade of your knife.


You’re not grating cheese anymore, but citrus zest is a transformative ingredient on veggies, salads, meats, and stews.


Food Processor/Mandoline

Helpful for chopping and thinly slicing veggies in a fraction of the time it will take you to cut them by hand with a knife. Plus, food processors—little robots that they are—produce more consistent, uniform pieces.

Stick Blender

Makes mayo and creamy sauces in a flash! You can use a food processor, but it takes longer and is a little bit more challenging. Even a cheap stick blender—I have one that cost just eight dollars—does the trick.
Highly recommended for fast cooking!

mason jars

Pint Sized Mason Jars

The partner to the stick blender for making mayo and creamy sauces. It’s the perfect size for emulsifying and storing in one container. Buy a case of 12 and make your kitchen more efficient.

Julienne Peeler/Spiralizer

Super handy for turning vegetables like zucchini into noodles. I recommend the spiralizer because it’s faster, but a peeler will work, too.

7 Quart Dutch Oven

Ideal for delicious, simmered things. I like one with a nonstick interior and heavy bottom.

12 Inch Nonstick Skillets

For most of the recipes in this book, you’ll need one large skillet, and a few of the recipes require two. I like one that’s fairly deep with curved sides. You may also use a cast-iron skillet, if you prefer.

Two Rimmed (13 x 18 inch) Baking Sheets

Rimmed baking sheets prevent juices and fats from burning in the bottom of the oven. A few recipes require two pans in the oven at once.

2 Quart Baking Dish

Glass or ceramic, a baking dish is ideal for finishing meats and casseroles in the oven.

BPA-Free Storage Containers

Critical for stocking up on paleo ingredients. You’ll need more than you think, and there is acute satisfaction in a fridge filled with ingredients and homemade food.

kitchen timer

Kitchen Timer

I have three kitchen timers (microwave,stove, free-standing), plus my iPhone, and I’ve been known to use them all at once. A timer is essential for timing potentially tricky-picky foods like eggs.

Excerpted with Permission from Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less

Want to see more quick & easy paleo meals? Check out Melissa’s book Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less for delicious recipes!
Can’t wait for it to ship?! Try out 18 more recipes from Melissa’s new book in the meantime.

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