7 Reusable Replacements for Kitchen Supplies Like Paper Towels
Imagine never buying plastic wrap again.
Ever think about the number of paper towel rolls you go through in one week? How about plastic wrap? Now, more than ever before, I’m aware of just how many paper goods I use in the kitchen. I’m using more of them because I’m home-cooking all of my meals – and simultaneously, I'm having a harder time finding these single-use solutions at the market. It seems apropos to start thinking reusable alternatives that’ll save the planet and make my daily life right now a little easier. These seven items can replace many of the paper goods you might rely on everyday — and they'll save you a trip to the store because you won't run out. Win-win.
Fun fact: Most professional kitchens, including the Food Network Test Kitchen, clean and sanitize surfaces with side towels (a.k.a dish towels) — not paper towels. But because your dish towels might be decorative in addition to serving a purpose, here’s an inexpensive option. Unlike other paper towel alternatives on the market, these thin and lightweight squares absorb spills like a charm and don’t shed lint. An added bonus: They’re great for shining glass (ahem, wine glasses) and stainless steel. Just make sure you do as the professionals do and throw them in the wash after one night of use.
Bee’s-what? Ditch the single use plastic and feel great about storing that block of cheese or half avocado in a sheet of beeswax-infused cotton. Simply use the heat of your hands to mold one over the top of a bowl or around food. When the wax cools down, it’ll create an airtight seal. This starter kit includes three different sizes.
Between freezer meals and stashing food in the freezer to extend its shelf life, resealable plastic bags are being used up in my kitchen as fast as — excuse the analogy — toilet paper. Time to start using reusable silicone bags. The large ones made by Stasher are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. We love them because they seal air-tight to keep out freezer burn.
Traditionally used for baking, the Silpat fits inside your sheet tray and makes the surface nonstick. But you can use it for more than just cookies. Swap it in whenever you'd reach for parchment paper (or tinfoil) to line a baking sheet. Bring on all the roasted meats and veggies.
It’s easy to think of foil replacements for most uses. Case in point: use a Silpat to line a pan or Bee’s Wrap to cover an item. Grilling? No problem; turn to your trusty grill basket instead of laying down foil on the grates. The one scenario that had me scratching my head was reheating casseroles (or anything baked in a casserole dish). Typically, I cover the dish with foil to prevent it from drying out. Enter the casserole dish with an oven-safe lid. They’re quite old-fashioned (because most people use foil lids), but reheat your leftovers beautifully. This offering from Pyrex is inexpensive and lightweight.
Whether you're eating lunch at the kitchen table or your desk, pre-making lunch and snacks to go with is a way to stay grounded. These neat little baggies are flexible and thin so they feel like the resealable bags you're used to with sturdy zippable tops.
Whether you're buying a fresh baked loaf from the supermarket or making your own, these resuable bags — made from recycled water bottles — keep your bread fresh on the counter or in the freezer. Bring it to the store and slide your loaf into it instead of reaching for one of their disposable paper sleeves. Or, use it for your own bread instead of a resealable plastic bag. When you're done, the bag can be machine-washed.