We spend a healthy chunk of our lives in the kitchen. Whether we’re pouring a glass of wine after a trying day, catching up with friends and family over a dish of Grandma’s lasagna or cleaning up sticky messes from a weekend bake with the kids, the kitchen is a universal area of joy and disappointment. Despite how you’re feeling from one day to the next, your kitchenware should never be a source of disappointment; your cast iron pan should only bring you happiness when you look at it or hold it in your hand. A kitchen should be filled with long-lasting, durable products that withstand rigorous daily use and are robust enough to pass on to the next generation. Whether you are an amateur cook or professional baker, we at Buy Me Once feel these products will serve you (and your children) for many years to come. Buy these items once and you’ll never buy them again.

Cooking Essentials 

A Classic Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron is one of the toughest and best materials available: it’s durable, retains heat, boosts your iron intake and provides you with a safe non-stick surface for your cooking. Cast iron pans are also exceptionally versatile, meeting all of your sauteing, frying, baking, broiling and roasting needs. Solidteknics have engineered one of the best iron pans on the market. The pan is completely composed of metal — no rivets, no synthetic non-stick, only ergonomically designed brilliance, which means there is less of a chance it will break. If I haven’t convinced you yet, you should also know that they’re a snap to clean. Solidteknics also backs all of their cast iron products with a multi-century warranty, meaning you’ll be set for your lifetime, your kid’s lifetime, and your grandkid’s lifetime!

Check out our Solidteknics range here.

A Set of Hardy Cooking Pots

There’s a reason your grandmother swears by this pot. Le Creuset has long been a household name for long-lasting cookware; in fact, they were an inspiration behind the entire Buy Me Once movement. While that seems like a lot of pressure to put on one casserole dish, we assure you Le Creuset can handle it! Not only will your pot come with Le Creuset’s lifetime guarantee and the same cast iron benefits as a Solidteknics pan, it also presents beautifully on a table. Whether you’re serving up a Christmas bird or a simple Sunday stew, your trusty Le Creuset pot will see it through to the very end. 

While the Creuset roasts your bird to succulent, fall-apart tenderness, you’re going to need a set of pots to cook the accompaniments to your holiday feast. 360 Cookware makes an excellent line of high-quality stainless steel saucepots and pans that would look right at home next their cast iron pals. Designed to keep up with professional chefs, all 360 Cookware products are built to last, USA-made and feature three-ply bonded construction. Their stainless steel cookware also comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you can rest easy knowing every festivity is covered. Just be sure to set a timer!

Purchase your durable cookware here.

A Sturdy Cutting Board

An elegant chopping board can spruce up the most dismal kitchen countertop. etúHOME excels in heirloom-quality wooden boards made from high quality materials with a focus on design and sustainability, using reclaimed materials from Central Europe and giving them a second life. Each wooden cutting board is unique, making it the perfect wedding or housewarming gift.

BuyMeOnce Tip: A wooden cutting board should last a lifetime if proper care is taken with its maintenance. Check out our article on How to Care for Your Wooden Cutting Boards for a detailed how-to!


A Dynamic Food Mixer 

Blenders are extremely useful, multifunctional kitchen tools. With a powerful blender in your arsenal, you can make anything from a simple morning berry smoothie to a summery gazpacho to a chocolate hazelnut pie (yes, I did say pie). To make sure all of those leafy greens get liquidized, Buy Me Once recommends Blendtec. Their Total Blender popularized the YouTube “Will it Blend” campaign, which demonstrates the Total’s capacity to crush just about anything. Not only do Blendtec offer one of the toughest blenders on the market, but they’re also the only company to provide an 8-year warranty on their products. With a BPA-free unbreakable jug, an industrial strength base and a 1560 Watt motor, the Total Blender should keep humming for years to come.


Heroic Cooking Utensils

“A hero is only as good as his weapon,” says Disney. I would like to amend this to “A cook is only as good as his utensils.” While a perfectly balanced knife is a chef’s most essential tool, there are many other components that make up a kitchen toolkit. Every day I use either a slotted turner, soup ladle, solid serving spoon or slotted spoon to make a meal, and I bet you’re the same. Origin Utensils has passed the test of professional chefs. Their beautiful stainless steel utensils are attractive and extremely strong. Trust me, get a solid set of utensils and you’ll be a hero (in the kitchen) for life.

Grab your trusty kitchen utensil here.

A Tough Set of Strainers

While a strainer may not seem like a kitchen essential, I assure you owning a quality set of mesh colanders will make your life much easier. How many times have you rinsed quinoa or rice and ended up losing half of it down the drain because the holes of your colander were too large? Have you burned yourself draining pasta because your strainer’s handle was too flimsy or bent? How often have you had to extract cement-like mashed potato from the open underwire of your colander? Rosle has set out to make these common strainer struggles a thing of the past. This mesh colander offers super fine wire mesh, ergonomic handle and sealed stainless steel rims. Rosle also offers a stainless steel colander in a conical shape that's perfect for straining vegetables, pasta and washing salads. This colander has evenly distributed perforations over the side and base to ensure quick and efficient drainage. Never flush another grain or pry another potato!


A Technologically Advanced Grater

My family has owned the same box grater for over 60 years. The 5-sided tool was presented to my grandparents on their wedding day; they then passed it down to my mother and father as part of a housewarming gift. It still possesses the same sharp edge it had in 1948. While the manufacturers of my family’s box grater have long gone out of business (boo!), I have found a suitable 21st century alternative in Rosle. This standing multifunctional grater not only looks smart but is also the perfect workhorse for effortless grating and planing food. Along with three different graters for various grating needs, the unit also comes with a non-slip handle and a removable planing surface makes it easy to clean. A Buy Me Once exclusive lifetime warranty comes with the grater to make sure it lasts well past your silver anniversary.

Stylish Salt & Pepper Mills

Salt and pepper is a staple of any well-stocked kitchen and freshly ground is best. A set of sturdy, reliable salt and pepper mills will last you a lifetime of seasoning, which is why we at Buy Me Once recommend Skeppshult's Cast Iron Salt and Pepper Mills. They come with a high-quality solid cast iron body with walnut wood tops, and are already pre-coated with organic canola oil to protect the iron. These classic grinders look timeless and will last a lifetime. 

    Have a look at our high-quality cast iron grinders and shakers here.


    A Darling Set of Crockery

    You’ve spent an hour preparing a flavorful, healthy meal for your family and now you’re ready to plate it. You take a plate from the cupboard, arrange your meal and, with an overzealous flourish, pass it to your child. He promptly drops it to the floor, shattering your plate into porcelain shards. It’s happened to all of us. From removing a bowl from the dishwasher and knocking it against the counter to chipping your favorite mug, it’s inevitable that crockery is going to break. Corelle crockery may not come with a lifetime guarantee, but they are built to last. Made from resilient and lightweight Vitrelle glass (the same material once used for television screens), these dishes are scratch- and stain-resistant and considerably more durable than their porcelain competitors. Corelle’s products are USA-made and dishwasher, refrigerator and pre-heated oven safe. This particular 18-piece set includes six each of dinner plates, bread plates and soup bowls and comes in a classic frost white. 

    Crusading Cutlery

    Whether you’re sleepily spooning cereal into your mouth on a Monday morning, slathering a slice of whole wheat bread with mayonnaise or diving fork-first into your mom’s triple chocolate cake, you’re going to need a sturdy set of cutlery with which to do it. It’s no wonder we chose Liberty Tabletop as our top pick for table settings. Liberty flatware is formed from the highest grade 18/10 stainless steel and designed with weight and balance in mind. Furthermore, the company champions the environment; Liberty has a responsible environmental policy encompassing non-toxic chemical and oils, renewable hydroelectric power, recyclable packaging and locally-based manufacturing. American made, built to last and secured with a 25-year warranty, you can expect a Liberty Tabletop cutlery set to last well past your great-granddaughter’s 30th wedding anniversary.

    Invest in heirloom quality flatware here.

    Resilient Glassware

    In a perfect world, dropped drinking glasses would bounce off of the ceramic tiled kitchen floor and into your hand in pristine condition. Unfortunately, reality tends to shatter these illusions. We can’t tally the number of glasses we’ve broken between us here at Buy Me Once, but we can count how many brands we would choose to replace them. Italian glassware manufacturer Luigi Bormioli is one of the highest regarded international glassmakers. They are committed to providing glassware of the finest quality and durability; their signature SON.hyx glass ensures each of their lines are highly resistant to breakage, dishwasher safe, eco-friendly and will retain their transparency despite vigorous washing. Luigi Bormioli’s designs are simple, elegant and timeless, making them perfect for everyday use as well as for celebrations.


    Baking Essentials

    A Snazzy Set of Scales

    A fantastic set of kitchen scales is essential for any professional or amateur baker. Baking is as much a science as it is a creative act; if you don’t measure your ingredients properly, that sponge cake you’re baking may resemble a pancake. Taylor Precision is our go-to brand for digital and mechanical kitchen scales. Established in 1851, Taylor Instruments grew into a formidable empire by supplying North America with professional precision measurement tools. As a multi-century manufacturer and supplier of kitchen scales, you can be sure Taylor Precision knows their stuff. Buy Me Once recommends Taylor’s Stainless Steel Kitchen Scale. We chose a mechanical scale over digital because they are proven to last longer and don’t require wasteful, single-use batteries. The stainless steel scale comes with an 11-pound capacity bowl, a 5-inch diameter dial for easy reading and a 5-year guarantee.


    An Award-Winning Stand Mixer

    If you’re going to buy one pricey piece of kitchen equipment that will last the rest of your life, let it be a stand mixer. Stand mixers are brilliant tools. Not only are they perfect for whisking up any dessert you fancy, many mixer companies now sell a range of attachments to turn your humble friend into a ten- or twelve-function super machine. Now you can own a pasta maker, a meat grinder, a spiralizer, and a food processor without shelling out hundreds of extra pounds. But with so many different stand mixers available, it can be difficult to decide which one to get. Thankfully, Buy Me Once has done the homework for you. The Ankarsrum Assistent Original is the only food mixer you will ever need. In terms of longevity, power, ease of use, multifunctionality and classic design, this Swedish mixer beat out the likes of KitchenAid, Kenwood and Bosch! That is some serious competition. The Assistent first appeared on the market in 1940 amidst the chaos of the Second World War when families were reviewing expenses and preserving more homemade goods than ever before. This machine provided a durable, reliable solution to this problem, allowing families to produce and store more food during a time of crisis.

    Over the years, the Assistent has been voted “best in test” on various occasions, and Ankarsrum is the only food mixer company to offer a 5-year warranty on their appliance. (The other companies provide a 1-year limited guarantee.) The mixer is made from chrome and steel and boasts an 800-watt motor, which is located underneath the bowl. This unique design is what gives the Assistent the edge in power and longevity over its competitors. By using the motor to turn the bowl instead of the paddle, it allows an even distribution of power and results in a longer-lasting product. Like a KitchenAid mixer, the Assistent is available in a myriad of colours. It comes with a dough roller and hook, scraper, proofing lid, double beater, cookie and balloon whisks, a 3.5 litre plastic bowl and a 7 litre stainless steel mixing bowl. Various extra attachments are available for purchase separately. 

    A Brawny Set of Bowls

    Mixing bowls are so versatile. You can toss a salad in them, spoon cookie dough from them, melt chocolate in them, store last night’s soup in them and bring them on a picnic. Whatever you choose to do with them, you better make sure you have a robust, durable set in your arsenal. Sertodo Copper’s range of copper mixing bowls are in a class of their own, mixing both function and aesthetics. These copper mixing bowls are inspired by the legendary French omelette house, Madame Poulard’s, which uses copper bowls and pans for their famous omelettes. 

    Have a look at all our Sertodo Copper products here.

    A Whippy Whisk

    Even if you have a stand mixer, it’s always great to have a good old-fashioned wire whisk on hand. You know, for those days when you don’t want to drag out the mixer for a batch of pancakes or to whisk up some scrambled eggs for dinner. Rosle's balloon whisk is our recommendation. This whisk comes with a slender, ergonomic handle and silicone coated wires, perfect for batters that require airy or semi liquid consistencies. Like all of their products, this sturdy 18/10 stainless steel whisk is backed by Buy Me Once's exclusive lifetime guarantee and is dishwasher safe.

    A Solid Wooden Spoon and Spatula

    Before they had electric mixers, hand whisks and food processors, they had the wooden spoon. This simple tool has been used by professional and home bakers for centuries, and it doesn’t appear to be going out of fashion any time soon. Whether you’re checking the consistency of jam on the back of it or stirring chocolate chips into cookie dough, a wooden spoon will serve you well for years to come. Earlywood makes a durable wooden spatula that's handy for a multitude of tasks. From folding fluffy egg whites into batter to scraping every last drop of caramel sauce out of the pan, this gadget makes sure you stick to your zero waste pledge! All of their tools are made from sturdy hardwood and come with a lifetime guarantee.

    Sturdy, sustainable, no-waste tools; you can’t do any better.

    The Ultimate Baking Pans

    You’ve weighed your ingredients and you’ve mixed your batter. The oven is warm and you’re drooling in anticipation of eating your moist cinnamon coffee cake. But first, it needs to bake. Any serious baker knows you need a quality set of baking tins if you intend on producing well formed, perfectly baked treats. 360 Cookware has been creating quality cookware and bakeware for over 50 years. Their products set the standard for commercial quality bakeware and are trusted by professional bakers across the country. Proudly American-made, 360 Cookware's bakeware range produces even heating from corner to corner and won’t warp, thanks to its 5 ply construction and cladded metal and stainless steel materials.

    Check out our extensive bakeware range here.

    Concerning Knives

    We chose to leave knives out of this article not because we think they’re inessential. We are aware of exactly how essential they are to a well-stocked, long-lasting kitchen, so much so that we felt the Buy Me Once Kitchen Knife deserved its own article. We wrote a piece here on the different types of kitchen knives and how to take care of your investment.

    This is the first article in a series written to help you live more consciously and produce less waste in the kitchen. We hope this detailed guide to building your own BuyMeOnce kitchen helped smooth out any questions or concerns you may have had about sustainable kitchenware. Let us know the kitchen products you’re proud of and wish to share! Share your suggestions with us on Facebook or Twitter — we’re always looking for new BuyMeOnce products!

    September 15, 2016 — Amanda Saxby