It’s not easy creating a disability-friendly kitchen. Ableism rules the world. If we look for products to make our disabled lives better and easier, the messaging we receive is not good. As a result, we can tend to be hesitant sharing our disability tips. As a result, lot of what we find on the internet is written by the abled and it’s worthless.
So, here are 11 essential and tested items for a disability-friendly kitchen. The items are to help solve mobility issues and reduce arthritic pain while in the kitchen.
I purchased every single item on this list. It costs quite a bit of money to make your kitchen disability-friendly so consider putting these items on your Amazon Wishlists if you cannot afford them.
1. Instant Pot
There are so many pour and cook recipes found on my favourite resource: Two Sleevers and in my own recipe index of recipes that I’ve created. Also, you don’t have to stand in the kitchen while cooking. You just set it and walk away. To save on kitchen prep pain, I spend one day a week chopping and freezing onions and bell peppers, and making and freezing garlic and ginger paste.
I cook at least 95 per cent of my meals in the Instant Pot. I started with the Duo Plus 6 Quart and a month later, purchased the 3 Quart so I can cook larger quantities of meals with sauce in the 6 Quart and while preparing the rice in the 3 quart. I also use both to make dog food. I have a dog who is allergic to all store-bought food and treats, so we have to make everything for our dogs from scratch.
Not only is it helpful when it comes to mobility issues and arthritis, but the Instant Pot is great if you have certain conditions that make eating food difficult. If you need soft meals, this beats a slow cooker as it’s quicker to cook with the same results.
2. Immersion Blender with Accessories
An immersion blender with accessories is essential to a disability-friendly kitchen, especially if you have a kitchen that lacks counter space. This saves you from having to chop onions, plus you can use the immersion blender when making Butter Chicken in the Instant Pot or other things that need to be pureed. The model I have is different than that pictured, but it has the same attachments.
3. Retro Counter Chair/Step Stool
This counter chair and step stool has been a pain-saver for sure. I’m a very short dude and counter heights are too tall for me to mix and stir, chop, etc., in a way that is ergo dynamic and doesn’t result in a lot of pain. Also, I can’t stand for more than 5 minutes without excruciating pain. This counter chair not only makes me the right height for counters but it also allows me to sit while prepping food. The built-in step stool is an added bonus so I don’t have to drag a chair around to get things from shelves higher than the bottom shelf or stand on counters.
4. OXO Good Grips Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs
If you have grasping issues like I do, you have had a difficult time finding good tongs. I wish I had been told of these OXO Good Grips tongs years ago. Not only are they very comfortable, but you don’t need to use a lot of pressure to grasp things with the tongs and they spring back easily.
5. OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer
OXO makes so many products that are disability-friendly. The Good Grips Mandoline Slicer is another one of those things. The first Mandoline slicer I purchased, while it did the job, it ended up causing more pain than slicing vegetables with a knife. It didn’t have the handle to hold on to, causing me to have to attempt to hold the slicer at the right height and angle, while not having it slide all over the place.
6. A Good Garlic Press with Garlic Peeler
You don’t have to spend a lot for a good garlic press. Also, if you have arthritis in your hands, it is important that it comes with a garlic peeler. You could always buy peeled garlic at the grocery, however, that cost can be prohibitive. With the peeler, you simply put the garlic into the tube and roll it on the counter under your palms.
7. Cutting Boards that have a Handle on Non-Slip Feet
Again, if you are like me and have arthritis in your hands, you need cutting boards that are not only easy to move around but also won’t slip while preparing food. Just buy all the OXO Good Grips items. You can’t go wrong. This is another things I wish I had learned about earlier. It’s unbelievable how much non-slip cutting boards with a handle relieve pain and help with a variety of mobility issues.
8. Compression Arthritis Gloves
Compression arthritis gloves are yet another thing I wish I had learned about before last year. Not even my rheumatologist recommended them. I only became aware of them when I saw them in a Two Sleevers video. I wear mine almost all the time. Yes, even when cooking. I just place latex-free exam gloves over top of them when I’m in the kitchen.
9. Masala Dabba
You may be wondering, “Why do I need a masala dabba?” The answer is simple: Even if you don’t do a lot of Indian cooking, the masala dabba is a handy spice and herb storage container. It cuts down on having to move around the kitchen as you gather all your herbs and/or spices. You can have seven of them in one handy dandy place. The lid seals pretty tight to keep everything fresh. I can’t open it without using a butter knife to pry the lid off. But that extra step is totally worth avoiding extra pain gathering everything I need to cook.
10. Spice and Nut Grinder
The reason why I’m including a spice and nut grinder is that it helps to cut down on your grocery bill. Instead of buying ground cinnamon, ground cumin, ground cloves, etc., buy very large containers of these items whole and grind them yourself. Also, freshly-ground spices have much better flavour. It’s also much better than using those mortar and pestles you’ll see on ableist food blogs.
11. Multi Egg Slicer
Last but not least on this list of items to begin your journey on a disability-friendly kitchen is a multi egg slicer. Every Monday, I have to hard boil, peel and chop 30 eggs for a week’s worth of dog food for both of my dogs. While I’m still trying to find an arthritis-friendly way of peeling the eggs, I have found an arthritis-friendly way of chopping those eggs. Good-bye butter knife and hello dicing section with cup! I’m allergic to eggs so I won’t be using the other sections, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use every single option.
This is all I have for now. Please tell me about the things in your disability-friendly kitchen!