If you’re anything like me and my husband, you gave yourself permission to let your hair down and indulge yourself this holiday season (good for you!), and now you’re feeling the not-so-nice effects of all that holiday cheer. That’s okay–New Years is here and it’s time for a reset!
In our household, we always start our New Year with a round of strict Whole30 eating. This year is no different! I won’t lie to you, starting Whole30 after the holiday bacchanalia with all its booze and bread and brie can be difficult—especially when you combine it with heading back to work and settling into your old routine. It’s easy to fail, and that’s okay (we’re only human, after all), but we’d like to give you a couple tips about what to do to increase your likelihood of success.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to create wholesome, Whole30-compliant meals that don’t require a huge investment of time or energy—and one of the best ways to achieve that is with the right kitchen gadgets.
We’ve rounded up a few awesome, handy kitchen tools that the Whole30-ers we know swear by—and we’ve found options to fit any price range.
Happy New Year, everyone! Rock on!
Don’t be scared! Pressure cookers are super easy and safe to use—and they are invaluable for making delicious, fast Whole30 recipes such as short ribs and pulled pork. One of our favorite things to make in ours is bone broth, which is nourishing and healing—just the thing you need after an indulgent holiday season.
Instant Pot IP-Smart Bluetooth-Enabled Multifunctional Pressure Cooker
The Instant Pot Multifunctional Pressure Cooker is pretty much the Rolls Royce of pressure cookers. It features 14 built-in programs, and can sauté, slow cook and keep food warm until serving. One of its coolest features (especially if you have kids or run a home business that keeps you out of the kitchen) is the smart phone interface, which allows you to monitor your meal with your Android, iPhone or iPad.
If you’re worried about safety, you needn’t be; this pressure cooker comes with ten proven safety mechanisms. It’s also not an energy hog like some older electric pressure cookers.
Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker
The Cuisinart CPC-600 Electric Pressure Cooker offers many of the same features as the Instant Pot, but at a reduced price. The six-quart capacity is great for soups and roasts, and you can also use it for bone broth like the Instant Pot. One of the best points about this pressure cooker is its size, which is more manageable for smaller kitchens.
Extra-Frugal: Presto 6-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker
I couldn’t resist adding this extra-frugal pressure cooker option!
This little stovetop pressure cooker may not look like much, but it’s a workhorse. My husband and I used one very similar to this during our first few years together and it still works like a charm! In fact, it’s a lifesaver during power outages (if you have a natural gas or propane stove!) because it doesn’t rely on electricity but still delivers food three to ten times faster than conventional cooking methods.
Just because rice is off-limits during Whole30 doesn’t mean a rice cooker has no place in your kitchen. In fact, ours sees increased usage during our strict Whole30 months as a vegetable steamer, soup pot and even a frittata maker!
Zojirushi NS-WAC10 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
The Zojirushi company makes some of the finest, most reliable rice cookers available on the market today. This particular model offers many of the same features as their top-of-the-line models, but at a reasonable price. It has an easy-to-read LCD control panel with multi-menu cooking functions.
One feature that came up again and again when we were talking to fellow Whole30-ers about their favorite rice cookers was the streamlined, modern look of this particular model. It might not seem important, but how a gadget looks does impact whether or not we keep it out on the counter where we’re more likely to actually use it–or if we tuck it away in a cupboard somewhere to gather dust because we can’t stand the sight of it.
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
This straightforward, no-nonsense rice cooker means business. It’s super easy to use and requires no tech savvy to operate—simply set your veggies in the steaming basket, pour in some broth or water and press the button. Its on/off design makes it a breeze to use, and it’s perhaps one of the best values of any rice cooker on the market.
On those early logy, headache-y days of Whole30, it’s great to nestle a bunch of veggies in the top with some broth and egg in the bottom and let it do the work.
There’s nothing we can say about the wonders of the crockpot that hasn’t been said a million times before… except that we personally love ours and couldn’t function without it. It’s an all-season star, bubbling away with chili on cold, rainy days and allowing us to keep the oven off on hot, steamy summer days. It’s especially helpful during the first Whole30 of the year when energy is low and the need for warm, nourishing food is high.
Crock-Pot SCCPVL605-S 6-Quart Programmable Crock Pot
There’s nothing truly fancy about this slow cooker apart from its slightly higher price point. In fact, most crock pots stay below the $100 mark. This is from the company that started it all, and it has all the high quality reliability you’d expect. It’s the model we use in our home when we’re expecting company and need a larger capacity machine because it holds enough to easily feed seven or more people, depending on your side dishes.
One thing I personally love about this slow cooker is the locking lid, which lets me tote it to events without worrying about spills. Also, it’s fantastic how it automatically switches to the “warm” mode after the cook time has completed, which is great when you’re running late and worried about your food scorching!
Crock-Pot SCR200-B Manual Slow Cooker
This little 2-quart cooker saves space for those of us with smaller kitchens. It’s manual, meaning there are no LCD screens to program, which helps if you’re not very tech-savvy (like me!). This is the model my husband and I use most of the time, when it’s just the two of us at home. It fits the perfect amount of food for two people and cleans up easily!
(Tip: this is a great choice for college students, too!)
Check out these other articles for tips on how to survive your first Whole30:
It Starts With 30 is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by The Whole30. It exists as a compendium of supporting information intended for informational purposes only.