The Eco-Friendly, Made in America Wedding Registry- The Kitchen Appliances and Tools

by - Tuesday, May 23, 2017



No appliances are still made in America. When you register for your appliances, your wedding registry starts looking a little grim and Made in Elsewhere.

Not true! Alright, maybe a little true. But not as true as you think!

There are still a number of companies who make their kitchen tools in the US, you just have to know where to look. Not everything is easily found, but many of the things you might want to register for (or just buy for your own kitchen) can be a purchases you feel good about. If you missed it, you can read about cookware, bakeware, and storage in the First Part of the wedding registry posts.

As always, if you want to come at the registry in an Eco-friendly way, you have 3 simple steps to follow:

1. Take stock of what you have and only buy/ register for what you need- If you have a toaster, and you enjoy its toast, don't register for a toaster. Focus on filling gaps, not replacing tools that still have life in them. These lists are really long, so you can find what you need, but don't feel like you have to check every box because that's what pinterest says. If you don't drink coffee, you don't need a coffee maker, if you aren't excited about ice cream, you don't need to make it yourself. And really, how many of us actually need a candy thermometer?

2. Look for things Used- Goodwill! Buy Nothing! Etsy! Yard Sales! Some of this stuff can be retired by one family when they have plenty of life left for another family. The most Earth-friendly thing you can do is save things from being wasted and instead give them a second life. Even the things I suggest registering for, if you can find them used, kick that puppy off the registry and check it off the list!

3. Buy Recycled, Recyclable, and Made in the US- If it is made on your continent, it has to travel much shorter distances, using less energy (not to mention creating more jobs for Americans). Anything where you can minimize waste and energy use is awesome for the Earth, the country, and your own new life together. That kind of good karma can only help!

Alright, here we go! Brace yourself, because this is LONG.


kitchen registry man working at a blender

Things to Register For

Blender, Food Processor, or Immersion Blender (2 of the 3)
Can Opener
Cheese Grater
Coffee Maker
Cutting Board
Knives
Knife Sharpener
Lemon Zester
Pizza Cutter
Peeler
Potato Masher
Salt and Pepper Grinder
Soup Ladle
Standing Mixer
Turners
Utensil Holder
Water Pitcher
Whisk
Wooden Spoons (two)
vitamix refurbished blender
Vitamix from Amazon

Blender/ Food Processor

 According to The Boy, you can get away with either a food processor or a blender (technically he says you need 2 of the 3- blender, immersion blender, and food processor). Food processors are convenient for certain things, but very hard to find Made in America, so if you can do a blender instead, I recommend it.

Our Pick- The best pick is probably Vitamix, but they are a big commitment. Vitamix makes these blenders in the US in multiple colors (as well as smaller-scaled ones if you don't do serious blending), but even cooler, you can buy refurbished versions of them on Amazon straight from the company with a warranty. They get to re-use things rather than toss them, and you can feel good about what you buy and save at least 100 bucks. Pretty awesome.

We just bought another Oster blender after the one we got as a hand me down finally succumbed to all the baby food, and this is another one where you actually have lots of good options (more than we realized, which is basically why I am making these lists). The Oster we bought was all made in North America, mostly in Mexico, which isn't too far a trek, but they have a number of options available. This one has a food processor attachment, so I guess you are killing two birds with one blender.

 Kitchenaid makes their blenders (at least most of them- always check!) in the US, and you can get them in multiple beautiful colors (Kitchenaid kills the pretty appliance game).

made in the usa can opener
Can Opener on Amazon

Can Opener

 Our Pick- When you put "Made in the US" into Amazon, this can opener comes up every time. It is really really made in America. It does have great reviews (over a thousand 5 stars!), so you can count on it to open your can. They have a bunch of colors too, so you can pick what you like best.

 EZ Duz It also makes their can opener in the US. Also, don't get an electric one unless you open a hell of a lot of cans. You can handle it, I promise. If you want one used, you can get one on Etsy as well.

If you need a lot of these basic tools, Natural Home sells a Moboo (made of bamboo and natural bi-products instead of plastic) one. They are a cool company, so you might poke around here if you are curious what is out there.
jacob bromwell cheese grater
from Jacob Bromwell

Cheese Grater

 Our pick- Jacob Bromwell's grater is definitely more expensive than most, but it is made here in the USA and it will last forever, so you don't have to go buy another one. And I personally like the stand up ones better for many jobs.

Microplane is a company that has spread their labor over the US, Mexico, and China, so they can be a great option or an awful one. The Professional Series Microplane Grater seems to be entirely made in the US, as is this Gourmet Series one, but the more plastic there is, the less likely it is to have been made nearby.  From what I can tell, the metal blades are made in the US, the rest is assembled elsewhere, so a mixed bag in many cases, but still better than nothing.

You can find vintage graters on Etsy as well.

Coffeemaker

 We don't drink coffee. We get our coffeemaker out probably twice a year for visitors. So we have a little Black and Decker number for them, but if you actually love coffee, you may want something on a different level.

Nothing here is perfect, but it looks like Bodum is the closest. If you want a fancy European version (which travels farther but still has good labor ethics), Bodum Chambord is well-loved and the press itself is good looking. If you can explain to me how the Chemex coffee makers work, I will give you a cookie. But they are made in the US (and Taiwan? It's listed as both on one), so I guess that is a good option if you are way smarter than I. Aerobie makes a coffee/ espresso combo that I don't quite understand as well.

If you are a Keurig lover, they have made reusable cups which may be a great Earth-friendly solution that would be a great addition to your registry. Those one time use cups are truly awful for the environment, so this is a good way to turn it into something more sustainable. If you haven't gotten on the Keurig train, stay off, it rides straight to the Devil.

epicurean recycled plastic cutting board
Epicurean from Amazon

Cutting Boards (2 or 3)

 Huzzah cutting boards, there are as many choices for these as there are pieces of raw meat, just waiting to be cut up (I kid)! I will try to organize them by material, since there are so many to choose from. You can certainly live with one, the nice thing about having at least one more is that more than one person can be cutting at a time. You also might want to split your meat boards (probably bamboo or plastic, because wood sucks in bacteria) and your veggie boards up. We love our Pyrex glass one, but they aren't great for your knives, so you might have trouble finding one.

The point is lots and lots of great cutting boards of all stripes are made in America. You don't have to try particularly hard to track one down, so let's all cut our food on something US-made.

Our pick- Epicurean makes recycled plastic cutting boards that keep 30 milk jugs out of landfills a piece- they are also made in the US and recyclable. They come in lots of kitchen-matching colors, and are just especially kickass in a large field of greatness. I want one for Christmas! Another recycled plastic board is from Preserve out of 100% recycled materials.

american map cutting board
from A Heirlooms
Bamboo cutting boards are made out of a more sustainable material and have a reputation for storing less bacteria. If you only own one board, bamboo is probably your best bet to avoid contamination. Totally Bamboo sells a set of two made out of bamboo specifically chosen for its ability to regrow. A Heirlooms makes state-shaped cutting boards out of bamboo with little hearts engraved in (I love this Pennsylvania one). These state-shaped bamboo boards are made in Colorado and are also great (as long as the state you love is shaped for the task); they also sell pretty striped designs. If you want something personalized, but simple, this sweet bamboo cutting board from Wood be Mine might be perfect. Twisted Branch also sells bamboo boards with personalized designs out of Portland, Oregon. Pegasus sells personalized bamboo boards with city skylines on them. Bugalow Boo sells boards with mountains on them. Wood Kraft also makes personalized wedding bamboo cutting boards (you see?!? Lots of options! No more Target, Made in China nonsense for cutting boards).

But if you want the best of all engraved bamboo cutting boards, of which there are many choices, you need not look any farther than here.

Our Pick- Epicurean also makes wood composite boards out of trees solely from sustainable forests in the US (including a pig version). Our wood cutting boards are from them, and they have held out great after years of daily use. Epicurean is a great company, and a good place to start looking for your kitchen. They also sell in sets if you conclude you need a few boards for different purposes. The Adventuresome Kitchen sells a wood composite cutting board out of all recycled wood (made in the USA too).
personalized handwriting cutting board from the cutting board shop
from The Cutting Board Shop
The most touching ones are these cutting boards from Gone Girly or The Cutting Board Shop, in which you can put a handwritten recipe onto your cutting board. It would be the perfect spot for a quintessential family recipe or a handwritten note from someone who can't be there for the festivities.

For the trendy couple, you could get them one of these glass Pantone cutting boards, especially in a color they would love.

Wood boards come in tons of beautiful options- we bought one of these Brooklyn Butcher Blocks this year, and so far it has done a lovely job (it really is pretty as well- I think we got it from Bespoke Post so we only spent 45 dollars for it). J.K. Adams and John Boos are the big dogs in the wood board battles, and for good reason; their boards are beautiful. J. K Adams makes a round wood cutting board that looks pretty enough to serve food right on it (great for multitasking). They also make wood boards with juice grooves, so you can kind of collect the mess you are making as you go (this could save more delicate countertops?).  John Boos and Co makes a beautiful oval-shaped one and one with a counter grip.
foodieboards cutting boards
from Foodiebords
Need more? I got you. Catskill Craftsman is known for kitchen islands, but they also sell lots of cutting boards. Foodiebords sells the most beautiful striped wood boards out of all locally sourced trees in Kentucky. Snow River has a metal ring at the center for gripping. I like this darker colored board from Virginia Boys Kitchens- a little different and so pretty. Williams Sonoma Cherry cutting board is made from "sustainable North American forests. Milk and Honey Luxuries sells a board with a simple name engraving on it, which I think would be perfect for most couples (not as big of a leap as most of the others).

Still not enough? You can check out Cutting Board Gallery for more options. Seriously, let's all agree no made in China cutting board ever needs bought again.

Immersion Blender

Yeah you may need one if you make soups, and other than a Kitchenaid attachment, they don't seem to make them in the US. Boo Hiss, they can't all be winners.

rada cutlery knife
Rada Cutlery from Amazon

Knives

 I have seen many a lonely knife set sitting on an otherwise finished registry. They are just too expensive as a set to buy as a gift. You are wonderful, but no one loves you that much. Forget the set and register for one knife at a time! Don't get caught in this trap of buying a ton of knives you don't need. What you need is individual.

The best advice I read is this-  you definitely need one chef's knife, one paring knife, and a bread knife (or serrated knife). The list I saw recommended 12 steak knives, but that seems crazy high to me. We have four, and I can't remember ever wishing for more (but if you are planning large meaty dinners, maybe you would need that many! It all depends what is in your entertaining arsenal). Everything else is bonus.

That said, a number of great knife-making companies still manufacture in the US, so you have good choices!

Our Fancy Pick - Wusthof Epicure partnership knives, where the handle is made in the US from recycled wood and the knife is made in Germany. You can buy it as a 7 piece set (again, no one is spending that money on you) or individual knives.

Cutco is also made entirely stateside, and the people who buy them are deeply committed. They love them. They are way on the expensive end, but they have a lifetime warranty, so you could get a couple at a time and never have to buy knives again. My Mother in Law swears by these, so you know they are great.

Warther Cutlery is based out of Ohio and sells just about every knife you can think of. You can get individual knives for all sorts of purposes and some great sets ( I love that they sell some simple sets so you don't have to go overboard).

Lamson and Goodnow has a wide variety of well-made (all in America) knives that you can buy individually or in sets. They also look great. The company has been in business based out of Massachusetts for 187 years, so they must be doing something right.

Our Affordable Pick- Rada Cutlery sells pretty affordable (but well-loved) paring knives and steak knife sets. Dexter-Russell's prices are a little higher, but still not ridiculous, and they are based out of Massachusetts. They also have a good variety of knives and lengths, so you can get exactly what you want. This is their 10 inch chef's knife and here is an 8 inch version. You can also buy a 9 piece set (including kitchen sheers) from iCut Pro, manufactured by Dexter Russell.

R Murphy Knives have been based out of Massachusets since the 1850's, and you can still get kitchen knives (with especially cool wood handles). Case has been making their knives in the US for 150 years, and you can buy their set here.

Want something a little more original to give as a gift? Alexandra Paliwoda makes this knife based on an Ulu (a traditional Inuit tool) that only looks mostly like it has a vagina on it.

Rada Cutlery from Amazon

Knife Sharpener

 Rada Cutlery makes a sharpener in the US that has glowing reviews. The Boy has one, and he seems to like it. I don't know enough about knives to know what is most necessary, but Chef's Choice makes a Made in America electric sharpener, so if you sharpen a lot, it might be worth it to you. You can also find Made in America sharpneners for buck knives, so maybe that fits your needs better.
Microplane from Williams Sonoma

 Lemon Zester

 Microplane has a lemon zester made in the USA and assembled in Mexico. This seems to be the same one on Amazon, which you can also make garnishes with. You can even find more straightforward ones from Microplane on Amazon. The less plastic there is, the more it was made in the USA.


Peeler


 Rada Cutlery sells a Made in the US peeler with an aluminum handle and one with a steel resin handle.

from Dexter Russell on Amazon

Pizza Cutter

Doesn't this feel like the coolest kitchen tool? Something about it just makes it awesome. You can get this one from Dexter Russell. Natural Home made one too with a bamboo handle. Rada Cutlery also has one with a choice in handle.

  You could also register for one of the ones that looks like a saw- they have lots on Etsy stores like Old Tree Woodshop and Epicurean makes one praised universally (cutters like these are also great if you have toddlers in your life or future).
Best Manufacturers from Amazon

Potato Masher

 We tried to just do this with a fork, but we gave in and bought one, because you kind of need to mash it with the proper tool, if you make mashed potatoes. Best Manufacturers makes one in the US! Here's another one sold at Lehman's that is made just a few miles from their store!


Fletchers Mill from Amazon

Salt and Pepper Grinders

 This may feel like an odd thing to register for, but if you stop buying the plastic grinders now, you can prevent a lot of waste! You can buy something ethically, and it keeps you from years of little McCormick plastic numbers.

Our pick- Fletchers Mill grinders are made in the US and comes in a wide variety of designs and finishes. I just got these for the Boy for our anniversary last year, and they serve the purpose while looking good on a daily basis. No complaints.They also have a Mario Batali set that looks really pretty, so perhaps not inspired by the aesthetics of the man (or they would be sweating). Chef Specialties sells as similar line at a similar price point, but they might have the grinder that is exactly your style (also out of Maine, so they are either rivals or manufactured in the same place. Just my guess).

Imperial also makes grinders in the United States. William Bounds has a little salt window in theirs, in case you want a good look at what you are grinding. If you just want simple glass shakers, you can find a nice set from Anchor Hocking. This set from Peugeot is made in France, so not perfect, but they do have a clean modern look that might better fit your style.

The grinders with cranks look especially cool to me, and PK Brown Woodworking makes a wide variety of grinders like that This steampunk number is pretty cool too.. You can also find plenty of vintage options, like these ones from Mine Your Treasure.

from Fine Wine Caddy

Soup Ladle

 Who doesn't love some soup? Rada Cutlery has a soup ladle you can buy individually or from this set. You can get lots of Made in America options on Etsy. Teals Prarie sells a bamboo option that you can have engraved.  Fine Wine Caddy sells all kinds of utensils, including a well-designed wood ladle.  Fissler USA makes a soup ladle, but it is manufactured in Germany. If you are going to get something European, I recommend one of these beautiful antique numbers made in England.

KitchenAid from Amazon

Standing Mixer

 I mean, isn't the KitchenAid mixer the first thing everyone puts on their registry? Because it is too expensive to buy, yet seems like something you could totally need. This made in America gem is a mainstay on the Wedding Registry, and in my opinion, it mostly deserves its spot, especially if you love to bake. It also comes in lots of cool colors and looks pretty on your counters. I don't need to talk you into this one. Let's all just be pleased these (and many of their add on parts) are made in the US, because they are too heavy to travel far. My favorite add on is this beater with kind of soft spatula sides. It is the go to attachment in our house.

We currently keep debating whether to try the pasta press attachment, which is made in the US. This is the attachment for the sausage grinder. It has an ice cream attachment (pretty cool, actually). A citrus juicer. A glass batter bowl with a lid (I love this bowl, so helpful). There is also a strainer/ shredder made in Canada. Basically, you can get anything in the world to attach to your mixer, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Epicurean from Amazon

Turners (two)

 I think this is one of those areas where you can easily end up with more than you need, but limits depend on how much you cook and how complicated your cooking gets. You probably need a turner or two. Our pick- Epicurean makes a wood angled one, a nylon one,  and a broader one with a nylon turner, among many others. I highly recommend this company- their stuff lasts, it is made ethically, and it looks nicer than most of what else is out on the market. My pick from here on out for turners is all Epicurean.

The prettiest ones I have seen are made by Kitchen Carvings out of Colorado- all out of salvaged wood. Rada Cutlery has an all metal spatula and a non-scratch one. Dexter Russell has one specifically for hamburgers, for when you open the fast food restaurant out of your house, one for pancakes, for your Ihop, and one for fish, for your fish and chips joint.

Lamson and Goodnow also sells turners as part of their wide variety of well-priced, American-made kitchen tools. Another good place to browse and add to your registry!

Laura's Last Ditch sells vintage flint kitchen utensils out of Grand Rapids. If you want to do something green for your gifts, Melinda Wedding Designs sells wooden turners you can personalize for your wedding (or shower?).

from Vitrified Studio

Utensil Holder

 Need a place to put all your kitchen tools? I feel like this one gets registered for a lot because you are getting married. You want your kitchen to look like a grown up kitchen, so it is time to accessorize with some panache.If you want something special, this is a PERFECT item to register on Etsy- they have tons of really great-looking choices, made in America, and with enough variety to have something to match your style. Four of my favorites- these modern ceramic holders from Vitrified Studio, this teal pot from Page Pottery, these fun owl-shaped utensil holders from Claylicious, and this almost Strangelove pot from Downing Pottery.

 Want something simple? American Mug Pottery has a simple utensil holder in multiple colors that might do the trick. Lehman's sells these simple ceramic crock jars in various gallon sizes that would work perfectly for this purpose.This utensil holder from Uncommon Goods will also hold your tablet for you, so it is multi-purpose! Made in the US too!

Water Pitcher

 If it bums you out that Brita pitchers are made in China, you could register for (or just buy) a Maeva pitcher, which is made in Germany under stricter labor regulations (not to mention better regulations for the chemicals in their plastic). Still a long trip for your stuff to travel, but might be healthier once it gets there. Either way, if you find a way to give up water bottles, you are doing great!

You could also get a pretty glass pitcher (like this one from Anchor Hocking) and a separate filter like this all-American APEC system (1000 reviews with a perfect 5 star rating. Beat that Brita) or an iSpring system (1600 reviews- 5 stars). Might be a better way to minimize plastics in your house on the long term? Plus, you can get everything manufactured in the US.

I still think there has to be a better option for this, but I haven't found it yet. I will let you know when I do.
Best Manufacturers from Amazon

Whisk (1 or 2)

 You need them. Our first set (from Target?) already fell apart because junk. The one I bought the Boy for his stocking two years ago is already missing a wire or two (Damn you Giada!).

Our Pick- Now, we have this one from Best Manufacturers, and I would never go back. Really well made and doesn't show a hint of the Giada give up we got used to. They carry shorter or longer whisks (the last one comes in 10 or 14 inches, and was listed as Cook's Illustrated's favorite.). Best Manufacturers makes their whisks out of Portland Oregon. You can also get a copper one at Sur la Table if you want to whip some fanciness into your batter.

from Allegheny Treenware

Wooden Spoons (2 )

 My pick would be Allegheny Treenwoods, based out of West Virginia, that sells a very wide variety of wood tools for the kitchen, but the center of their collection is all sorts of beautiful wooden spoons.Equally cute and small businessy is Handcrafted Wooden Spoons, based out of Montana. Not enough well-made and home-grown wonderfulness? You can check out Whetstone Woodenware from Indiana too.

Lehman's has their own line of wooden spoons that look great and are Made in the USA as well.

Epicurean makes wood and wood composite spoons of different sizes- the large one is described as more like a paddle for cooking.  My favorites are utensils and spoons from Kitchen Carvings, which makes a really wide variety and styles of things out of Colorado. You can also get hand-crafted spoons from Out of the Woods.

If you want something a little more modern, J Henry makes a clean and playful set of wooden utensils.  If you want nerdier ones,Fandom Novelties has some burnt designs that will appeal more directly to your inner wizard.  Hyde Park Home sells burnt patterned spoons as well. If you need something with more glamour, these spoons have glittery handles.



Things to Buy Used

Drying Rack/ Drying Mat
Dish Cloths
Ice Tray
Meat Thermometer
Oven Mitts
Pie Server
Potato Masher
Rolling Pin
Slow Cooker
Spatula
Spice Rack
Toaster
Wafflemaker

Drymats from Amazon

Drying Racks/ Drying Mat (two)

Again, I assume most people have these already, but if you want to get a few more drying mats, I would look into consignment stores, which always have a pretty large supply of linens like these (obviously, there is must that washes out and that which doesn't).  If you don't see anything you want, Drymats makes drying mats out of recycled polyester. You can also find drying mats on Etsy, like this cute one (I would totally get one of those).

United Solutions sells a drying rack made in the US, but out of totally fresh plastic, so it may not be worth it. find one used if you can! Rubbermaid also has a dish rack made in America. Full Circle sells one out of other materials that lessen the use of plastic, so you could try it as well!

If you want a plastic-free home (which is a damn good goal), check out stainless steel drying racks, like these ones from Eagrye or Polder. If I had it to do over, I might choose this, even though they aren't made in the US.

from Country Cottons

Dish cloths/ Kitchen Towels (7-10)

 Rather than using a bunch of paper towels, dish towels and tea towels are a better solution, but you can often find them in consignment stores, so you don't have to get fresh ones. Amazon sells these Swedish dishcloths, which are all recycled and sustainable materials (and they come in pretty cute patterns for wiping counters and dirty dishes). EveryDay Willow clothes and these City Threads towels are made in the USA and totally organic.

Country Cottons is a cute little company that sells dish cloths and kitchen towels that are "old-fashioned" and made in the US. They are very affordable and would be a perfect alternative for the family made dish cloths, if you don't have a crocheting family member.You can also buy them at Lehman's.

 Also, you can find ones in every style on Etsy, so there is no need to buy from the big wall of Made in China dishcloths at Bed Bath and Beyond. You could do something screenprinted like thisthisthese lemonsgnomes, giraffes, these, or these beauties from Kitsch,  I have even seen some handwoven ones. They have about a thousand cat-themed kitchen towels- very important. You could also check out "unpaper towels" which can be wrapped up like a paper towl.
Hutzler from Amazon


Ice Tray

 To be honest with you, I have no idea if this is even a thing you can get used, but it makes sense to me that it would be. If not, Kitch Easy Release Ice Trays are made in America and BPA-free. Nothing fancy, but how fancy does ice need to be? True Craftware makes these cool little mini-cube trays that you can get ethically-made in the US as well. I kind of like these ones- a little more fun. Hutzler makes ice ball trays here as well. Lots of good options to register for!


Meat Thermometer

 If you can get it used, do that (and wash it a bunch). I couldn't find any made nearby, but I can't go so far as to say you don't need one. The Boy has been using it when he cooks meat, and it does seem to really change up his chicken game. If you eat meat, it does help, especially as you try to learn new things.

In the years since I first wrote this, I have checked about a million packages looking for a USA-made meat thermometer. Still no luck, but I will keep looking.

Every Option is Out there.  From Yoga Kitty Studios

Oven Mitts (2 or 3) and Pot Holders (3 or 4?)

 Hello, homemade. If you don't have a family member who makes them, you could be that family member. You can also find some in consignment. Our kitchen is almost all Grammy-originals, but there are lots of other options as well.

If you do want to buy some temperature controlling apparatus, you have options. Duncan Loop Handle holders (and a deluxe version) are so genius that I can't believe everyone doesn't have them. Mastrad has an oven mitt made of silicon in the US. Williams Sonoma also sells an oven mitt and a potholder made in the US and essentially on the cheap.

I think this Hotstuff Chef mitt looks like a regular glove, but it apparently works (really well), and it makes a lot of sense to not fight all the bulk of a mitt.

Country Cottons is a small company that sells potholders and oven mitts so cheap that I can't imagine they aren't taking some kind of loss. Still, they look like they would do the trick, and I might order one of these for our house.

Unsurprisingly, Etsy is a great option for these things- you can buy oven mitts in every design there ever was in the history of the world (all of these are 20 dollars or less a mitt): Salt and Pepper (sadly not Salt and Peppa), CupcakesSkullsStar WarsFrog FacesRocker Hand,  SharkGeometricKittens (someone buy this for my husband), Foxes (this store is awesome), Captain AmericaHot Fireman,  Miss KittyWonder WomanWine,  and of course Haunted Chandeliers. No really, every option is on there. Don't get one of those ones off the wall at Bed Bath and Beyond- so boring!

Pot holders come in a similar variety, but I will only list a few. If nothing else, get one of those looms you had in elementary school, and you can make your own! We have amazing ones from my Grammy, but the potholders on Etsy make me suspect someone else's Grammy has gone into business- retro camperschevronscrotcheted (still love these), owls, and pumpkins. You can find something that matches your kitchen, for sure!

from Beach House Living

Pie Server

 My best friend bought me ceramic one used for our wedding, and it still gets use more than any other. You can most likely find plenty of options in antique stores that will be more special and interesting (not to mention cheaper), Goodwills, or in a family member's cupboard. If you want a sturdier stock, Dexter Russell sells one made in the US. Rada Cutlery has a slightly more dainty number. You can also get used and personalized ones on Etsy that would make great wedding gifts. I especially like this personalized one, this wooden one, and this badass one.

Fletchers Mill from Amazon

Rolling Pin

 Another great one to find used if you can, because people get ones that last forever. We just went to a consignment store, and they had at least 6. We have my Mom's old one, and maybe my kids will use it too, because that thing can destroy some toes. It is tougher than all of us. If you can't track one down, there are still good options for you! Our pick is the Natural/ Nutmeg striped rolling pin from my beloved Epicurean, which is beautiful, made in the US, and out of wood from sustainable forests. Fletchers Mill makes a wood rolling pin using sustainable trees and energy, and you can pick the width you want. They also make the flat rolling pin if you want your kitchen to feel like a fancy French bakery. J K Adams also makes a fancypants French version, as does Cattails Woodwork in Canada. Jacob Bromwell makes a 12 inch long one (that seems just a teensy bit short to me) right here in the US, and they make them without any chemicals or stains. Want to oogle even more gorgeous rolling pins? Check out Vermont Rolling Pins.

Slow Cooker

Again, one of those things that moms and grandmas have multiples of, so they are pretty easy to find and clean up from a Goodwill or Buy Nothing.  360 Cookware makes a slow cooker which you can also use as a stock pot, which is pretty genius (and might make up for the steep price). You can brown your meat in the same pot you slow cook in (or something- all I know, less dishes for me). Best option if you want one built stateside.

Highly beloved by every earthy person in the world is Instant Pot. Now as a mom, I hear people swear by it all the time. It is made in China, so no big ethical win here, but it is supposed to be so lasting and useful that it replaces other appliances. So it may be something to look into.
Epicurean from Amazon

Spatulas (2 or 3)

 You can find spatulas in consignment stores (or way more than anyone needs in your parents' kitchens), so this may be a good one to try to get used if you can. But this isn't a "used is the only option" situation. I assumed spatulas were one of those kitchen tools you couldn't find made in the US. Wrong. Fletchers Mill, who mostly is known for beautiful American-made salt and pepper mills, also makes spatulas in fun bright colors.  They aren't the cheapest spatulas you have ever seen (if you need cheaper, check these ones-still made in America), but this come in direct contact with your food, so it might be worth it to you to know where they came from and buy them here. Epicurean also sells uniquely designed spatulas (if anyone gets these, tell me how they work).
from Amazon

Spice Rack

 I feel like we have already messed this one up as a couple, so learn from our mistakes! You buy a full rack, but you don't use all of the spices, and the on the counter rack just gets in our way. We donated ours, and we just use the little bottles you buy at the grocery store. Now, we are stepping this up a little more by getting refillable bottles at a nearby cooking store, and hopefully we will just use the same bottles over and over instead of buying more plastic. You can find most of the spices you use in most bulk stores. Bring your container with you, and you can cut out plastic forever.

 The first thing is to consider how you really want to store things, then work towards that storage. If you can find something used with glass bottles, you can wash that business out and refill them. You can buy your spices in grocery stores or Costco without so much packaging.

Our Pick- Right now, the magnetic spice rack seems really popular (and it sure would look beautiful in many kitchens)- you can buy one of those sets  from Gneiss Spice on amazon or Etsy with empty jars. You can get the jars filled and this system will work forever.

The spice sets can be an easy start, but focus on how things are stored over what exact spices come in a set, because you can change and adapt to what you actually use as you go (these sets are a racket).  If you do want a counter top spice set, J K Adams sells one with glass bottles you could easily refill. You can also buy just the glass bottle to replace or to store another way. If you are being honest with yourself, and you think you will just use the plastic ones, skip the set altogether and get an organizer like this or this one from the UK. The Tubular Spice Co Store on Etsy sells a set of test tubes filled with spice that would also look great on a counter (but take up much less room). I love them. Etsy has lots of other cool options: a Dunn Rustic Spice Shelf. Modern Rustic Charm makes racks where you can pick the color (perhaps the most practical and versatile ones), an Andrewsreclaimed wall rack, or a recycled pallet shelf from BlackIronworks.

Toaster

 Ok, bad news. Toasters are not made in the US. Someone, start a US toast company.  I would look into getting one of these used from someone, or at least buying a toaster known for its longevity, because this is an appliance that as far as I can see has no great buy new option. Also, if you get one used, leave that bad boy unplugged.


Wafflemaker

 If you can find this one used, I say go for it, but try plugging it in first? The electrical end of the appliance would be the challenge, but I assume they can last a long time. If you skip the electrical and do a stove top waffle maker, like this one from Nordic Ware, you can find a US-made option (here's another one). Williams Sonoma sells a waffle maker that does the egg shape, which might be perfect for your family as well!




Things to Just Wait On


Candy Thermometer- Really? If you really needed this, wouldn't you have it by now? Maybe I am wrong, but this seems like the sort of thing you buy when the need arises, not in preparation as if you might need an emergency Candy Thermometer. I didn't see a Made in the US one (much like the meat thermometer), but I promise I will keep an eye out.

Cooking Twine- They have it for meat and for baking (both biodegradable and compostable), but I very much doubt this is worth registering for. It seems like a bridge you cross when you get to it, but there isn't much reason to have it on hand until then. You can also get colorful sets on Etsy, if you arelike me and care about that sort of thing.

Deep Fryer- Tramontina sells a deep fryer made in the US. You could be that couple, and that would be kind of fun. It's like a fondue party, but even worse for you.

Flour Sifter- Honest to goodness, I have just used a fork, but I know this can be a big deal if you make certain things or you are very serious about your baking. Jacob Bromwell sells a flour sifter that had one of the first patents in the world for sifting? I don't know, but if you sift with this business, you can be part of a grand tradition. I did get one recently, but it didn't turn out that well.

Granny Fork- I think this is the thing you use when you carve a turkey? You can probably wait until that is on the menu before you invest in it. If you do need one, Lamson and Goodknow sells one made in America.

Hand Mixer- Now, I refuse to part with my hand mixer, another hand me down from my mom, because it reminds me of baking with her. That being said, because I have the stand mixer, it sees very little use. It comes up every time we try to clean out the kitchen, because I always pick the standing mixer. I am not convinced you actually need both. If you do want one, Kitchenaid also makes a lovely hand mixer that maybe someday your spawn will be irrationally attached to. I like these old fashioned egg beaters as well if you are registering for this purely out of nostalgia.

Zeroll from Amazon
Ice Cream Scoop- A spoon also works just fine. I have never been awed by a scoop. I don't get why people treat this like a big deal. If you really want one, I found one made by Zeroll, who have a great reputation and do make their kitchen tools in the US. They have a hard coat one too. If you are going to do it, why not get an ice cream spade- infinitely cooler! Here is one made in the US by Zeroll. Rada Cutlery has one too.

Kitchen Timer- At this point, how many of us aren't just using our phone? It generally makes more sense to use what we already have. On the other hand, Etsy has so many cool vintage ones that you might want to trade your cell phone in! (I kid, dear reader, I know you would never do that).

Fletchers Mill from Amazon
Mortar and Pestle- For couples who make their own spices and enjoy non-sexy grinding. Fletchers' Mill sells a wooden version made out of the US (you could also register for the JMP Soho version which looks a little more modern and clean). Most of the stone ones I saw are made in Thailand. You can also find glass ones made in America as well. Otherwise, wait until the need arises. Interestingly, you can find a handful of these on Etsy for pagans and witchcraft type purposes (no joke, look it up), but I assume they work about the same no matter what you use them for. This one is described as for kitchen or altar, so multi-purpose. 

Rice Cooker- You know what else cooks rice? Water and a stovetop. Or an Instant Pot. If you do eat a hell of a lot of rice, this might be worth it, but they almost all have to travel a long way, and there aren't as many to get used as other appliances. I did find this pretty cool rice steamer on Uncommon Goods, which the reviews say is also amazing for heating up leftovers. So this might be your best option?



Great Gifts for the Right Couple


Big Chill Appliances

 I don't know many couples who register for actual full-size appliances, but if you are going to do it, Big Chill blows away the competition. They sell retro appliances- stoves, fridges, hoods and dishwashers using recycled parts, in bright freaking amazing colors. I would get these in  a second if I had a slightly more flexible spouse (and you might!). Maybe a bunch of gifters could chip in, because these appliances are just the coolest. If you want Made in America appliances, you could also check out Dacor

Bread Box

 If the you love shopping at your local bakery or baking your own bread, this could be just what your kitchen needs. J K Adams makes a beautiful one in Vermont. Lehman's has an Amish-made box for super traditional kitchens.

from Amazon

Cedar Planks

 We got a bunch of these from Sur la Table for our wedding, and we use them, but we also have a lot of Salmon and other fish here in Seattle. I bet some fish-eating couples would love it, but I wouldn't gift it unless you're sure, and I wouldn't register for more than one. Kokel sells a set of cedar planks. Western Cedar Grilling sells lots of sets of cedar and alderwood planks as well. Bridgewater Gourmet has nice looking planks as well.
John Boos from Crate and Barrel

Cheese Plate/ Cheese Knife

 Do you love to entertain or are going to the wedding of someone who does? I guess it also has to be a particular kind of host- we bought a little miniature cheese plate out of wood when we visited Tillamook (it came with cheese and a Christmas ornament that looked like cheese- such a deal!), a but we have only used it twice.On the other hand, one of my girlfriends is a priest, and I bet they use this kind of thing all the time because they are often hosting drop in and larger types of things. So not everyone needs it, but someone can rock it. Our Pick- this John Boos cutting board would make a gorgeous cheese plate (and they have lots to choose from), though this one is definitely not cheap. If you want one with a little more whimsy, I recommend this slate one from Uncommon Goods; you can write the cheese right there in chalk. This cheese cutter from Fine Wine Caddy would look great with a wooden cheese board.

 Many of the beautiful wooden cutting boards would probably make fine cheese boards as well (this one from Catskill Craftsman would be beautiful for either). You can also buy a special cheese knife from most cheese companies; this one is made in the US and is supposed to have magical cheese powers. Tableboards by Spinella might be the coolest option for cutting boards that also look great on the table. I love how they show it wit pizza, but I also think it would be great for cheese!


Espresso Machine

 Awesome if you drink espresso, otherwise, just take your espresso-drinkers to a coffee place. Breville does make an Espresso Machine in the US, so this is probably the best option if you do use one regularly. But wow.


Ice Cream Maker

 This might make the perfect gift for the right couple. I feel like this could be really fun if you made it your thing, but I also think it's the kind of thing that could just live in the back of a closet and never ever get use. Lehman's sells an Immergood ice cream freezer made in Pennsylvania. They also sell a bunch of sizes of Lehman's ice cream freezers, also made in the US and also resulting in ice cream.


Fun Food Items


 Again, my dears, this has to be the right couple, but you could really hit a homerun by thinking of some fun cooking mix or ingredients to give as a gift. I feel like those first few months of marriage can feel a little like playing house, so adding some fun new stuff to experiment with might be perfect for the right couple. I like these collections of different kinds of Gourmet American Salts- my husband has received salt as a gift and loved it.

from Herbs Furniture

Kitchen Island

Ok, maybe a long shot, but it could be great if the house calls for it. Catskill Craftsman makes beautiful ones in different finishes out of sustainable wood (watch out- only the all-wood ones are made here). Buy an all wood one, and you can always paint it. I bought the Boy a Herbs Furniture kitchen island for Christmas, and it really has added lots of space and pretties to our kitchen. Etsy has tons of islands (many of which are crazy expensive) so you can poke around and find what you like. Might be the perfect gift depending on the kitchen.

Pressure Cooker/ Canner

 Maybe you want to be earthy and can your own food. Maybe you aspire to be on Top Chef and want your pressure cooker game to be on point. Either way, there is a wedding gift just (and really, just) for you. All American makes this combo so you can get moving on all that canning (and then please come and teach me how). Plus, people freaking love it, so you know you are getting something great. Lehman's sells every piece of canning equipment you could ever think of, so if you want to can as a couple, I say start there.


Sauerkraut Stomper

 No one needs this, I just feel overjoyed it exists, and Lehman's sells it with all their other Made in America goodies like a pickler kit.


Tortilla Bag

 Best Manufacturers sells a reusable cotton tortilla bag that might be perfect for a couple who eats a lot of tortillas?
from Amazon


Trivet

 These recycled metal trivets remind me of the wall in my Great Grandma's kitchen (she also had a little sign that said "Make new friends and keep the old.."), so maybe for a couple with a cool retro feeling? I also LOVE these trivets from Out of the Woods USA; they look so pretty and they use reclaimed wood! Double win!

Health Craft from Amazon

Vegetable Cutter

 This may seem like a ridiculous gadget to you, or a fun addition to your house. It really just depends on how you like to cook. The Boy's mom bought us one of those spiral cutters last year, and it was a big hit in our house. If you do a lot of veggie cutting or shredding, Health Craft makes a simple cutter in the US with parts all from North America, so nothing traveled too far for your fancy homemade french fries. I also found a Made in the USA manual food chopper that might be great for someone?

eco friendly and made in america wedding registry kitchen tools




Alrght, there you have it! You can find all of the Wedding Registry lists here or you can Browse the Green Registry on Amazon.

Next week, we are tackling the Dining Room and Tableware, so check back next Tuesday!


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5 comments

  1. I never did have a registry when I got married. I just told everyone to get me a gift card to Wal-Mart. Lol I bought mostly all of this stuff too with it.

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  2. Vitamix, Kitchen Aid, slow cooker and immersion blender are absolute must. I don't know what I would do without mine. they are a lifesaver!

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  3. Great list! A standing mixer is definitely a must!! We use ours so much!

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  4. What a list! THough I didn't have a registry but I will forward this post to my friend.
    Serena from https://kittymoms.com/

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  5. I agree with this list for a wedding. If and when I get married I would asking for stuff that I would acutally used like these items and its a great idea to get some used items.

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