Vintage Kitchen Tools Grandma Couldn’t Cook Without

Ready to update your kitchen routine with a blast from the past? We've picked a few of our favorite vintage kitchen tools.

1 / 7
red agar jelly in aluminium flower mold; Shutterstock ID 367333541
US 2015/Shutterstock

Jell-O molds

What’s a vintage kitchen without a few decorative copper Jell-O molds hung on the walls (I’ve got five hanging up in mine!). These molds make for some excellent decor, but they also can help you make some pretty desserts, too. So bring back the retro Jell-O mold for your next party. We’ve got some recipes to get you started.

2 / 7
Moka pot and coffee cup; Shutterstock ID 344222915


Craving a cuppa? Chances are you’re brewing in a standard drip coffeemaker. But what about the percolators of yore? Until automatic drip coffeemakers came on the scene, almost every home and diner brewed with a percolator. This brewing technique produced a uniquely strong cup of coffee, always served up super hot. Though stovetop percolators were a household standard, but I’m partial to this countertop version that keeps coffee hot and ready to drink without keeping the stove on.

3 / 7
Vintage coffee grinder on old wooden table. Antique, XIX century; Shutterstock ID 103538423

Food mill

Before the food processor, there was the food mill. This crank-powered device was used for everything from making mashed potatoes to applesauce to, well, pureed anything. Once electric beaters and food processors came around, I can’t blame my grandmother for ditching this old fashioned device for the sake of convenience. But, I have to say, there’s something about making a dish entirely by hand. Plus, the mesh of the food mill strains out any sort of seeds or skins (unlike a food processor) making whatever you put through it exceptionally smooth.

4 / 7
olive green vintage ice crusher
Taste of Home

Ice crusher

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t have an ice maker on my refrigerator door. That means when I want perfectly crushed ice for my favorite cocktails, I’ve got to see to it myself. A vintage ice crusher is just the tool to get that perfect crunch. Turning the crank one way, you get a larger bits of ice; turn it the other and get smaller shavings. It’s one of my favorite vintage gadgets and it helps make a mean brandy slush.

5 / 7
Person dispensing spritz cookie dough onto a baking sheet using a press
Taste of Home

Cookie press

This kitchen gadget probably looks pretty familiar for all you spritz-lovers out there, but I say this tool is worth using all year long–not just at Christmas. The cookie press is great for making a variety of pretty shaped cookies quickly. Growing up,my mom would make a variation of this peanut butter cookie recipe with one the lesser used plates and they were so so tasty.

6 / 7
Wood bread Box; Shutterstock ID 666739498
Tony Design/Shutterstock

Bread box

Nothing beats an old fashioned bread box when it comes to keeping homemade breads fresh. These vintage containers provide the perfect environment for allowing your bread to breathe without drying out. Plus, they’re an adorable addition to your countertop (I love mine!).

7 / 7
Vintage Colored Bowls; Shutterstock ID 134878409
Kerry Garvey/Shutterstock


OK, OK, I know that pretty Pyrex dishes are very popular these days, but how could I resist including these beauties? Some folks use Pyrex as vintage decor, but personally, I use mine all the time! The casserole dishes make for a perfect oven-to-table presentation and the mixing bowls are just plain practical.

Looking to learn more? We’ve got the scoop on how to find and care for your vintage Pyrex.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.