Kitchen Education: 8 Local Cooking Equipment’s You Must See In An African Kitchen

Kitchen Education: 8 Local Cooking Equipment’s You Must See In An African Kitchen


After 8 years of living outside Nigeria, I was welcomed by the sight of the modern electric microwave, gas cylinder and cooker, refrigerator, blender, and glass blender in my mother’s kitchen.

I wondered why everything changed so rapidly that all my mother’s local cooking equipment was not in sight in her Kitchen. According to her, those modern equipment’s are for adornment for visitors’ sightseeing.

Her real equipment was safely kept in the pantry, which leads to the backyard, where she does the magic only the stomach understands.

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I was taught to cook with, firewood, a three-pot stand, and local pots seeing that equipment again still intact remind me of the old good times. They always make me feel at home.

Guys, I got a chance to experience this during the Covid-19 lockdown, yes I just returned from Canada and was here when the lockdown began.

8 Local Cooking Equipment’s You Must See In An African Kitchen

1. Trio Pot Stand or Three Legged PotStand

In Nigeria, 70% of every food prepared is done with this wrought iron pot stand. It’s meant to be placed over the firewood and the cooking pot placed on it. It is the energy house that every cook uses to prepare food.

In Igbo, we call it, EKWU UGWE. This is very helpful when preparing a larger quantity of food, it makes the work easier, tasteful, and enjoyable.

triopod stand

A typical three-legged pot stand is round with a three-leg stand attached at points to maintain balance. It has a horizontal slate-like metal attached from the leg to give a pot absolute balance. This type of pot stand is gradually replaced with a modern industrial gas stove.

2. Traditional Aluminium Pot

In every Nigerian kitchen, there is that pot meant for preparing party foods. These pots, called KOKO IRIN in Yoruba, and AGBADA in Igbo, are used directly on wood or coal stoves and for those who use more modern equipment, they can be used on modern industrial gas stoves.

There are two types of this local pot, one has three long legs attached to it, while the other doesn’t have a leg.

aluminium pot

The three-legged pot doesn’t require any other cooking stand, three-legged pot stand, or industrial gas stove. You just have to set the firewood under it and cook.

One thing about this pot is, it takes a longer time to heat up compared to a regular pot, but when it’s hot, it really lasts longer.

This pot is usually used in preparing a large quantity of food. The longer traditional turner is used as a cooking spoon for stirring.

READ ALSO: How to grow onions at home

 3. Griding Stone

Known as (OLO ILOTA) in the Yoruba language. Grinding stone is one of the most ancient cooking tools you will find in Nigerian or West African Kitchens. It’s basically a rudimentary two-stone grinder.

A typical grinding stone consists of two stones, one is in a flat top or table-like form while the other is a long cylindrical stone.


The flat-top serves as a bass holding the ground content, while the cylindrical long stone is used to crush the ground content against the other. This can perfectly grind, garlic, pepper, tomatoes, ginger, etc.

Grinding stones are usually found in the Western part of Nigeria, in Yoruba kitchens, while in the Eastern part a wooden mortar and pestle are used.

4. Wooden Mortar and Pestle

This is one of the local cooking equipments that might survive the next 100 years. Wooden mortar and pestle are specially carved out of wood, with discreet Patterns.

It’s solely used in pounding and grinding, the Mortar acts as a vessel containing what is to be ground or pounced, while the pestle is long and has a similar pattern as the mortal.


This is used in pounding yam, Rice, Beans, Pepper, melon seed, etc. It’s called IKWE NA ODU, in Igbo, IKWE being the Mortar and ODU being the pestle.

The mortar and pestle must be washed after each use and set aside to dry, after the Mortar dries out water, it is tumbled upside down and the pestle kept standing beside it.

5. Blending Broomstick

The blending broom is Called IJABE amongst Yoruba’s in the west and North-Central Nigeria.

This local cooking equipment is made from dried raffia Palm fronds. It is used to mash or blend whole cooked vegetables resting inside aluminum pots into a fine consistency.


It seamlessly blends in every flavor, bringing out just the perfect taste and texture. The blending broomstick is carefully made and undergoes some modifications to make it firm and to avoid situations where it might break from the bunch and swallow.

Modern blending broomsticks are made from plastics and look exactly like the traditional ones.

 6. Traditional Wooden Turner

Traditionally known as OMOROGUN amongst the Yoruba’s, and MKPARA. This is a long, cylindrical, or flat shaped wooden turner.

They are of two sizes, one is shorter and can be handled with one hand while the other is longer, bigger and can’t be easily handled with one hand.


The size of any turner used is determined by the quantity of what is being prepared. “SWALLOWS”; a variety of hand-eaten meals made from ingredients such as yam flour, wheat flour, cassava flakes amongst others.


The wooden turner is used to roll and mix these “swallows” on the heat until the right consistency is achieved.

The smaller turner is also used to thoroughly fry  DODO, an exotic Nigerian snack plantain meal deep-fried in vegetable oil, while the bigger one is used in turning party foods.No matter how modern a Nigerian kitchen is, the local wooden turner is indispensable.

7. Traditional Scoop

Although this is hardly found these days, the traditional scoop known as IGBAKO in Yoruba and OBAH in Igbo. It is gotten from a particular tree that grows it before it’s plucked and carved.

It is now replaced by modern plastic-made spoons. The traditional scoop is used in dishing out food, and in frying garri, Dodo, etc.


Today IGBAKO or OBAH is used in frying Garri while the modern plastic-made spoons replace its duty.

READ ALSOHow To prepare YAM PORRIDGE, (a carbohydrate-rich food, prepared from yam and other herbs.)

8. Cooling Pitcher

This is completely replaced with a modern refrigerator, sadly it’s hard to find in Nigerian homes. Cooling pitcher, made of clay, and it’s very irresistible to heat. It makes water in it very cool, that you might start looking for the electric socket powering it.


Due to the epileptic supply of electricity, my mom still uses this local cooling system. She first boils her tap water and store in her cooling pitcher. It’s called UDU, in the Igbo language while the Yoruba’s call it AMU.


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