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While quarantined, many people have been spending their newfound time picking up new hobbies and engaging in old pastimes. Among the most popular activities has been baking and cooking, which comes as no surprise to those of us who have had pictures of homemade bread filling our social media feeds for weeks.
The cooking and baking trend has motivated people to step up their kitchen game by splurging on high-end cooking and baking products. But here’s a little secret—you don’t need to spend a fortune to take your culinary skills up a notch. Here are 20 kitchen gadgets under $20 that people are obsessed with.
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1. The best veggie spiralizer
Let’s face it. It’s hard to eat healthy while stuck at home. Especially if you find yourself craving pasta most nights. If you’re looking to eat healthier but still get your ‘pasta’ fix, veggie noodles are a great alternative. To make them at home, you need a veggie spiralizer. We tested some of the most popular models out there and found that the Veggetti was the sturdiest and easiest to use. The best part? It’s only $16.
2. The egg cooker with a cult following
Just because you’re quarantined, doesn’t mean you should throw away your morning routine completely. That means you should continue having breakfast. After all, it is the most important meal of the day. The Dash egg cooker is beloved by thousands of reviewers because it can cook the most delicious eggs (from poached to hard-boiled). We tried it ourselves and can attest that it is worth the hype.
3. This best-selling cheese grater
Whether you’re having trouble finding shredded or grated cheese in stores, or you’re looking to save some money by doing the work yourself, a cheese grater is a great tool to have. However, grating cheese can take a lot of energy and physical exertion. That is, unless you have a high-quality cheese grater. At only $13, the Cuisinart Boxed Grater is our best value cheese grater. It’s one of the fastest we’ve ever used, and it has nonstick feet so it doesn’t slide around while you shred.
4. An herb picker that saves loads of time
To spice up the food that you’re making in quarantine, herbs and spices can make all the difference. But picking tiny herb leaves can be time-consuming, to say the least. That’s why people are obsessed with this herb stripper. It’s super compact for storage purposes and all you have to do is pull your greens or herbs through the hole and it strips the leaves in seconds. One reviewers’ complaint: they didn’t have it sooner.
5. Our favorite cold brew coffee maker
There’s limited access to your favorite coffee shops, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still fuel up on your favorite coffee drinks. The Takeya cold brew coffee maker is the best we’ve ever tested, and it’ll help you brew up tasty coffee drinks from the comfort of your own home and with ease. It’s typically around $25, but right now you can get it on sale at Walmart for much less.
6. This nifty avocado tool for the avo-obsessed
Thank goodness there’s not a shortage of avocados because I don’t know what the world would do without avocado toast. Those who are truly obsessed rave about this 3-in-1 gadget that splits, pits, and slices with ease. One person even says he’s had his for over three years and the blade is just as sharp as ever.
7. This strainer that clips right onto your pots
This baby is perfect for all the pasta that you’re making in quarantine. If you prefer using your pot to strain by closing its top and leaving room for the water to exit, you’ll enjoy using this strainer that clips right onto the side of your pot. It’s a much easier (and safer!) method of straining which means you don’t have to transfer your food into a separate colander.
8. Reusable sandwich bags for better food storage
Reusable bags are all the rage right now, especially when you don’t want to keep venturing out to the store to buy disposable ones. Plus, they’re better for the environment. Stasher bags, in particular, come in various sizes and were incredibly sturdy and durable when we tested them. Their sturdiness makes them optimal for use in sous vide cooking if you’re looking to try a new technique in your kitchen.
9. A fun tea infuser to spice up teatime
A hot cup of tea soothes the soul. And people love using the Manatea tea infuser to get there. It’s adorable, for one, but it also brews a surprisingly good cup of tea. We tested it ourselves and deemed it our favorite tea infuser because it steeps evenly and grips onto your mug so it won’t fall out while you sip. Plus, tea leaves don’t get stuck in its tiny holes so it’s easy to clean out when you’re finished.
10. A salad chopper to make restaurant-quality salads at home
There’s just something about restaurant salads that taste so much better than making them at home. If you miss restaurant-quality salads as I do, this Mezzaluna vegetable chopper will get you one step closer. It allows you to cut vegetables with ease and speed, and the chopping motion helps to spread your dressing around evenly. Reviewers love that it’s durable, sharp, and super easy to use.
11. This tool to perfectly mince garlic
Garlic is an ingredient that can turn any dull quarantine dish into a masterpiece. But mincing garlic is time-consuming, sticky, and, quite frankly, difficult to cut small enough (and evenly). With the GarlicZoom, all you have to do is stick the clove inside, roll the chopper back and forth a few times, and boom, it minces it perfectly for you. Reviewers love how clean it makes the process, how you can mince up to 3 cloves at once, and how it comes apart easily for cleaning.
12. An easy way to clean your microwave
Since you’re spending so much time at home (especially in the kitchen), y Luckily, a clean microwave has never been so easily attainable than with the Angry Mama. We tried it ourselves and it softens up spaghetti sauce splatters, hardened oatmeal, and even grease.
13. Top-notch measuring spoons to cook with precision
Our favorite measuring spoons that we tested are from Cuisinart and they’re only $14.95. They’re made of sturdy stainless-steel spoons and have a sleek, tapered look with etched-on measurements that won’t fade in the dishwasher. They’re perfect for all of your quarantine baking ventures.
14. A milk frother to make your favorite coffee drinks at home
You can bring fancy coffee drinks back into your life with a milk frother, which allows you to be a barista from the comfort of your kitchen. This Aerolatte handheld frother is inexpensive and easy to stash in a drawer. Not to mention, when we tested it, it produced the largest volume of any frother we tested and left virtually nothing unfrothed (even with soy and almond milk). Other reviewers rave about how quick, easy, and clean it makes the process of frothing.
15. The best glass measuring cup on the market
With all of the baking that you’re doing, you’re going to need a quality measuring cup as a trusty companion in your kitchen. When we tested measuring cups to seek the best, we found the best to be the Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup. It registers perfect measurements, is easy to read, and has a nice contoured handle that’s easy to hold.
16. An easy peeler loved by professionals
You have enough on your plate right now. You don’t need to worry about how difficult your food prep will be. The Kuhn Rikon peeler has sharp, stainless steel blades that peel effortlessly and quickly. Plus it has a comfortable grip and lightweight design that make it easy to handle. According to reviews, a professional chef uses it and absolutely loves it.
17. This expert-approved loaf pan
If you’re jumping on the bread-baking bandwagon while quarantined, you need a solid loaf pan. We love this Rachael Ray loaf pan because when we put it to the test against other top-rated loaf pans, it yielded the best and tastiest results. It’s nonstick, has a deep build that keeps batter and juices from spilling out of the sides, and it the handles on ensure a sturdy grip.
18. A quality baking sheet to make the best cookies
I’ve been making a lot of cookies lately, among other comfort food during this time. And having the right cookie sheet can make all the difference in your final products. We love the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet because when we tested it we found that it’s surprisingly lightweight, large enough to fit more than a dozen cookies, and distributes heat like a dream.
19. This onion chopper to keep tears at bay
I can be in a completely different room and if someone is chopping onions, I produce a ridiculous amount of tears. Luckily, I discovered the Vidalia Chop Wizard. It can chop any vegetables, big and small, and cut your prep time significantly (leaving less time for tear production!). It’s safe, comes with two different blade sizes, and it’s easy to both use and clean (it’s even dishwasher safe).
20. A cast iron to give your food deep flavor
Whether you’re looking to make delicious bread, an easy one-pan meal, or simply trying to add more flavor to your meals while you’re stuck at home, the Lodge cast iron can do it all. We tested it against some of the best cast iron pans on the market and found it to be number one. It’s durable, affordable, and will last you for years to come.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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