11 Vintage Kitchen Tools Your Grandma Would Love

These vintage-inspired lovelies are our homage to the most recent edition of the venerable Joy of Cooking. Learn more about the classic cookbook and the home cooks charged with updating the collection of more than 2,000 recipes in our recent Talking With My Mouth Full podcast.

A rotary egg beater Devo would love

One of our dear friends still uses her mother’s rotary egg beater for everything—the fluffiest whipped creams, the smoothest gravies, and the airiest Yorkshire puddings I’ve ever had. Also, she has the most defined biceps we’ve ever seen. She says it’s from pilates, but I’m convinced it’s from using one of these stainless steel babies. That might just be wishful thinking, but I bet her mom’s arms are pretty buff, too.

Norpro Rotary Egg Beater, $40 on Amazon.com

A cranked-up flour sifter

Just looking at this, we can almost hear the squeaking sound of our childhoods. Flour sifters might not be as de rigueur as they were 40 years ago since flour is much more refined now. But for making the lightest and most nostalgic angel food or genoise cakes, this 2-quart crank-handled sifter is a must.

Fox Run Brands Sifter, $26 on Wayfair.com

Easy-being-green mixing bowl set

These mint green nesting bowls are perhaps the best inspiration we can conjure to mix up something lovely—well, aside from the actual result. Why not all three with these glass bowls in 7, 9, and 10 inches. The soft green finish is just as lovely on display in your kitchen as it is for dominating the dessert table at your next potluck.

Channing 3 Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set, $73 on Wayfair.com

Jetsons, your bread box is ready

Remember when we all just had a reasonable amount of bread on hand? That is, before we all started living in lockdown with 300 ounces of living, breathing, steadily growing sourdough starter in our kitchens? Consider this adorable retro bread box your excuse to have just a single loaf of bread on hand.

Anchor Hocking Euro Bread Box, $39 on Wayfair.com
A 3 piece kitchen canister set with retro patterns.

Canisters as cool as beat poets

These mid-century modern styled canisters with their cool retro design will stand out in your kitchen and show just how hip you truly are. Plus, though they’re designed with a practical purpose in mind for keeping flour, sugar, tea bags, and coffee beans fresh, they’re eminently versatile.

3 Piece Kitchen Canister Set, $65 on Wayfair.com

Donna Reed-eat-your-heart-out apron

The only reason that Mrs. Cunningham could get away with calling the Fonz “Arthur” was her enviable collection of aprons. This apron with its whimsical print and flared skirt will have you feeling like you’re in another decade—and perhaps twirling about the kitchen with a little more flair than usual. Mrs. C knew a thing or two about presentation.

Casa Fruit Apron, $34 on Anthropologie.com

Jell-O was made for this mold

We hear gelatin desserts are making a comeback. We’re not promising anything, but we would encourage you to take a look at this aspic mold with removable top and bottom that will guarantee whatever you turn out of it—whether sweet Jell-O or savory aspic—is a conversation stopper.

Tupperware 6 Cup Jel-Ring Mold, $25 on Amazon.com

Pot art pressed into service

This ceramic porcelain dinner service for 4 is a chic way to show off that beef stroganoff you’ve been craving. The mid-century tones will look charming on all tables. And you know that polka dots are the Twiggy of patterns—iconic, mod, and whimsical. Your meatloaf deserves at least that, doesn’t it?!

Buchman Retro Specks 12 Piece Dinnerware Set, $26 on Wayfair.com

Potholders so cheery you can call them “Mother’s Little Helper”

We all know the most common and expected use for potholders. Though we consider these to also be the perfect size and shape to wrap around a retro martini shaker to avoid frostbitten fingers. Absorbent, brightly colored, and just the right size, these are perfect for shaking cocktails or serving hot plates of bacon-wrapped hors d’ oeuvres.

3dRose Dot Potholder, $22 on Wayfair.com

A toaster worthy of Cadillac

This might be my favorite item on the list—a top-quality toaster with serious vintage appeal. The removable warming rack is perfect for gently heating anything that won’t easily fit inside. (We’re looking at you, blueberry muffins.) And we especially appreciate the countdown timer on the front.

Russell Hobbs 2 Slice Retro Toaster, $110 on Wayfair.com

A scale your cat could curl up in

This cute little number helps you to get the perfect weight of flour for your coveted sourdough or just makes sure that you don’t overdo it with your serving of meatballs when you go back to your keto diet. The retro styling and large, easy-to-read dial make it a real knockout on the counter while the removable bowl and easy-to-calibrate dial make it a standout for all your baked beauties.

Cookinex Mechanical Kitchen Scale, $30 on Wayfair.com

 

All products featured on Leite’s Culinaria are independently selected by our staff.

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Comments

  1. I wish I still had my moms egg beaters and the sifter. I loved using the sifter as a kid hearing the swoosh sound as I would press the handle together. Those are great memories! So much fun watching the flour-like snow dust falling. ❤️ Nothing beats the original items from earlier years, they held up do well!

    1. Bonnie, I had forgotten all about that swoosh sound until you mentioned it, thank you for bringing back my memories! And yes, they knew how to make things so they’d last back in the day…

  2. Love my egg beaters. Wish I had a bread box. Still use cotton potholders when I don’t use a dish towel. And use the apron.

  3. Maybe do an AMERICAN made kitchen gadgets segment during this covid 19 time, “AMERICA STRONG” Buy American

    1. Louis, I love your patriotism! if you check each of the items, you find that several are made in the USA. And we try hard to support small US businesses, as well. For example, the Challenger Bread Pan featured this page is made in upstate New York.

      But as Beth says, we’re MORE than happy to feature quality US-made products. So please give us any ideas you have!

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