Sticking to a keto diet isn’t always easy: Keto (short for “ketogenic”) is a high-fat, low-carb way of eating that works to shift the body’s metabolic focus away from burning carbs and sugar as fuel. Keto relies on lots of meat, eggs, cheese, high-fat dairy, poultry, seafood, and plant-based fats (like avocados, nuts, seeds, and more) and cuts out most fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes and sugar.
The diet can feel limiting, but the key to success is discovering the cooking hacks and kitchen shortcuts that make whipping up keto compliant meals as easy as pouring yourself a bowl of cereal or biting into a piece of fruit. A well-stocked kitchen can help: A spiralizer that transforms veggies into noodles, a container that keeps avocados fresh or a tool that makes cooking perfect eggs even easier can unlock a new level of success.
Here are the perfect pieces of equipment for the keto kitchen.
1. Instant Pot 6-Quart Duo Plus, $120
Ask any keto-centric blogger to name their favorite kitchen gadget and, chances are, they’ll name the Instant Pot. (Suzanne Ryan of Keto Karma did!) The cult-favorite tool is great for making bean-less chili, vegetable-laden soups, fall-off-the-bone chicken, and more.
2. Paderno 7-Blade Spiralizer, $60
Keto is a low-carb diet, which means conventional noodles are off the table. Arm yourself with a good spiralizer, like this one, though, and you can turn veggies into noodles for a substitute that’s just as tasty and even more nutritious. This spiralizer comes with seven stainless-steel blades to crank out angel-hair, ribbon-shaped, and even accordion noodles.
We have two words for you: cauliflower rice. Because the Trader Joe’s stuff is constantly selling out and it couldn’t be easier to make, we strongly suggest you make it yourself with this mini food processor. Just pulse cauliflower florets until they break down to a rice-like consistency and that’s it. Toss the “grains” into a salad or eat them on their own. Or heat them up in a skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil.
4. Williams Sonoma Edge-Grain Cutting Board, from $130
Keto is a veggie-heavy diet (just stay away from the starchy ones!), which means you’re going to be spending a lot of time chop, chop, chopping away. Do yourself a favor and pick a big cutting board. No, bigger. One of the biggest mistakes we see people make in the kitchen is when they pull out a cutting board that’s too small. Give yourself plenty of room to work and pile ingredients. This board—in either the large or extra large size—should do the trick.
5. Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Blender, from $600
Google “keto smoothies” and you’ll find tons of recipes that promise to taste just like milkshakes—or better! Usually made with ingredients like unsweetened acai, avocado, almond butter, and kale, you need a machine that won’t get gummed up. The Vitamix can tackle anything you throw at it and, let’s face it, you’ve been coveting one, anyway.
6. All-Clad Immersion Blender, $100
Bulletproof coffee (aka keto coffee) is coffee that has butter added to it. But it has to be blended into the coffee—or else you just an oil slick on top of a cup of joe. Some bloggers recommend immersion blenders because they’re great for making one cup at a time. Just use a large-enough mug and work carefully to avoid spatters.
Olive oil has those good fats that the keto diet thrives on. As if you didn’t already reach for olive oil a lot in your day-to-day cooking, you’ll do it even more once you’re doing keto. Fill this cruet with your favorite brand and keep it out on the counter (but away from the stove) and it’ll make it easier to pour that liquid gold any time you need it.
Avocados may as well be named as the official mascot of the keto diet. Because you’re going to start eating a lot of them—in smoothies, omelets, in place of French fries, etc! Pick up this container and you’ll never end up wasting a leftover half ever again. You place your avocado in the box, pit down, and snap on the lid. The container reduces oxidation and that meaty flesh will stay green and ripe until you’re ready to eat it.
9. Silpat Silicone Mini Muffin Pan, $50
Have you heard of fat balls or fat bombs (or energy balls or protein bites)? They’re super popular these days—especially for those on the keto diet—and are exactly what you’d think: small one- or two-bite snacks that are extremely calorie-dense and high in healthy-fats. They’re usually made with nut butters, raw nuts, and coconut oil, and most bloggers prefer to make them in silicone mini muffin tins, which are just the right size and make it easy to pop out each bite.
Many keto dieters end up eating a lot of eggs. In all sorts of forms—scrambled, fried, and especially hard-boiled. This OXO rack holds nine eggs (18 if you stack two racks) inside the Instant Pot and helps to ensure they cook evenly. If you haven’t had hard-boiled eggs made in an Instant Pot yet, know this: They’re some of the creamiest eggs we’ve ever had.