When you go on a Carnivore Diet, in many ways cooking and meals become way simpler. A well-stocked carnivore kitchen for cooking nourishing nose-to-tail animal-based meals comes down to a few essentials. If you simplify ingredients, it is that much more important that things are cooked well.
These are my go-to tools for all things MEAT. Check the boxes for prepping, cooking, and storing food while following a carnivore diet.
When it comes to a meat-centric carnivore kitchen, here are some of the tools I find myself using daily as I cook nose-to-tail and prep at home:
1. Cast Iron Skillet – Is this the most versatile pan in my kitchen? Perhaps. A Cast Iron skillet is a necessity for carnivore dieters because you can cook EVERY meat in here. Pan-seared steaks are the absolute best. Ground meat is quick and easy in a cast iron. You can even cook fish in a cast iron. The transition from stove top to oven is excellent for combo searing and roasting. Also, clean up is a breeze. Remember not to use soap on your cast iron- I like these handy scrapers and cleaners.
2. A Really Good Knife – I have one kitchen knife. I use it for everything from meat to herbs to fruit and vegetables. When you have a really nice knife, it makes prepping such a joy. I am so comfortable using this one knife that I travel with it when I know I’m going to be cooking outside of my home. You CAN buy a whole set of fancy knives with different purposes, but my recommendation: splurge on ONE really nice multi-functional knife. And love it well. (Note: Along the same lines, invest in a good cutting board to protect your knife blade. I like Epicurean Boards with juice troughs.)
3. Dutch Oven/Enamel Pot – When I have the time, I like to slow cook using an enamel cast iron pot that can easily go from stovetop to oven. I will roast whole chickens, make slow broth, and use it for braising roasts. The Lodge brand is durable and affordable for all things cast iron.
4. Aluminum Roasting Pan – These pans hold their shape when roasting meat at high heat in an oven. Chicken wings are particularly crispy and delicious when cooked on a sheet pan with a silpat liner. It makes for very easy cleanup. (A word of caution: don’t choose the cheap, amazon version of Silpat. They will poorly disappoint.)
5. Glass/Stainless Storage – If you’re doing any batch cooking, having glass storage on hand will be a necessity. You can portion out meat and reheat in the container (please do NOT reheat in plastic!) I find that I do less meal prep on a carnivore diet, simply because I’m eating less often. However, it is still nice to sometimes pre-cook steak, chicken, or ground and reheat at lunchtime.
6. Cookbooks – While I have my go-to meals that I gravitate towards, I enjoy flipping through real cookbooks for ideas. Books are very helpful when adopting a lifestyle change (like trying out Carnivore and Nose-to-Tail). Just want some background on the Carnivore Diet? Start with The Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino!
Helpful Gadgets for the Carnivore Diet
1. Instant Read Thermometer – This is a tool I didn’t know I needed until I read The Food Lab by J. Kenzi Lopez-Alt (aka my kitchen bible). A thermometer is essential for perfectly cooked meat. For a true carnivore kitchen, when ONLY eating meat on the carnivore diet, the quality of your cooking matters. Do yourself a favor and learn to cook with a thermometer; which means preserving optimal moisture, flavor, and tenderness. Buy the book while you’re at it, it’ll change your life.
2. Handheld Frother – I use this little gadget waaaay more than I thought I would. It stays on my counter (which is why that stand is handy)! I use it to froth up any cream/fats that I put in my coffee with collagen, and I even use it to quick mix up supplement powders and electrolytes into water. BONUS: This is perfect for adding fat for a dressed up bone broth!
3. Meat Masher– This is a handy little tool for breaking up ground meat while browning in a cast iron skillet. Is it a necessity? No… Is it nice to have? Yes, absolutely….
Not Essential, But Awesome…
1. Instant Pot – I recommend an Instant Pot for anyone who batch cooks and/or meal preps for the week. I like to cook meat all at once (pressure cooked chicken is my favorite); it also works well for braised meats like short ribs and stew meat. I use my Instant Pot for Bone Broth and Soups, and occasionally as a slow cooker on busy weeknights.
2. Sous Vide – A sous vide cooker is a device that allows you to cook meat to a perfect temperature. Learning to cook your meat by temperature will really elevate your skills! However, this pretty much does the work for you. Bonus: you can set it and forget it, much like a slow cooker.
7. Dehydrator/Air Fryer – For a carnivore diet, having a multi-function cooker that can air fry, dehydrate, and more is perfect. This is a great carnivore kitchen countertop tool for when you don’t want to turn on the oven, but need quick-cooked dinner. A dehydrator is useful for making your own jerky!
7. Traeger Wood Pellet Grill – If I could recommend one grill, this is it. There is a learning curve when transitioning from a gas or charcoal grill to a wood pellet (electric) grill. However, the functionality is impressive. Again, you’ll get to cook by temperature. Plus, there are options for slow cooking, smoking, and high-heat grilling. This is a carnivore diet splurge item!
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