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I guess you could say that I’m somewhat of a collector when it comes to little kitchen gadgets. For some reason, they bring me immeasurable joy, and it doesn’t hurt that they solve all sorts of cooking woes.
Seriously, whether you struggle to remove avocado seeds or keep pie crusts from overbaking, there’s a kitchen gadget that can help you out. The best part? These little tools are super affordable, often costing less than $10!
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Just to prove how great they are, here are 25 must-have kitchen gadgets—many of which I already own! (As for the ones I don’t… they may or may not be sitting in my shopping cart.)
1. A stainless steel bench scraper
If you ever work with any kind of dough, you absolutely need a bench scraper. These handy tools are ideal for sectioning up pie dough, scraping sticky bread dough off the counter, or even slicing up butter. This particular bench scraper from OXO (an amazing and affordable brand that you’re going to see quite a few times on this list) has a comfortable non-slip handle and quarter-inch markings to help you measure pieces of dough. Handy, right?
2. An all-in-one tool for prepping avocados
This tool is every avocado lover’s dream! The three-in-one gadget covers all the essential tasks when prepping an avocado, including splitting it open, removing the seed, and slicing the fruit. Personally, I think the stainless steel pitter would be particularly handy, as I’m never able to get the seed out cleanly using a knife.
3. An adorable bear to keep your brown sugar soft
If brown sugar dries out, it basically turns into a brick, but you can keep this ingredient fresh for longer with the help of the adorable Brown Sugar Bear. This cute little gadget is made from food-safe clay, and all you have to do is soak it in water and place it into your brown sugar. It will help maintain moisture in the container for up to six months, and you can also use it with raisins or other dried fruit!
4. A set of magnetic measuring spoons
Do you find yourself frequently searching for a missing measuring spoon that’s somehow gotten lost in your kitchen drawer? That won’t be a problem with these OXO measuring spoons, which conveniently stack together using magnets. This makes it easy to grab the one you need, yet they’ll always be together when you go looking.
5. Colorful silicone oven mitts
Regular oven mitts are quite bulky and, in my opinion, a pain in the butt to store. Enter, these small silicone mitts! (I own a very similar pair.) They’re made from food-grade silicone that’s heat-resistant up to over 450 degrees, and they give you more control over the item you’re grabbing. Plus, they come in a variety of bright colors and are compact enough to toss in a drawer.
6. A fat separator for making gravy
If you regularly host holiday gatherings—or just really like gravy—you definitely should invest in a fat separator. It looks similar to a liquid measuring cup, but there’s a special stopper that keeps fat out of the spout, allowing you to pour off only the delicious juices. The separator comes in both 2- and 4-cup sizes, and it includes a strainer that helps catch any unwanted bits, as well.
7. A juicer for lemons and limes
You can make quick work of lemons and limes with this squeezer, which is made out of heavy-duty cast aluminum. The gadget allows you to get every last drop of juice out of citrus fruits—without any pulp or seeds. It’s a must-have for anyone who loves cooking with lemon or lime!
8. Pie weights to help you bake the perfect crust
Certain pie recipes require you to pre-bake your crust (this helps ensure it’s crispy and not soggy), and to do so, you typically need to line it with something heavy to hold it down. Sure, you could use sugar or beans, but why not just invest in a set of ceramic pie weights? These bad boys conduct heat well, helping your crust to bake evenly, and they even come with a handy storage container.
9. A pie shield to protect your crust from over-browning
Speaking of pies, another common issue is that the crust cooks faster than the filling, which results in it being too brown around the edges. That’s where a pie shield comes in handy. This silicone ring is designed to keep the edges of your crust from being overcooked, and the adjustable form can be used on pie plates between 8 and 11.5 inches in diameter.
10. A set of collapsible funnels
Funnels are a useful tool in the kitchen, but they’re incredibly challenging to store. Luckily, there are these collapsible silicone funnels, which fold flat, allowing them to be tossed into any drawer. The set comes with two large and two small funnels, all of which are made from colorful food-grade silicone. They even have a small hole on one edge, in case you want to hang them up.
11. A pastry brush for egg washes
Even if you’ve never heard of an “egg wash,” chances are you could still use a pastry brush in your kitchen. This gadget is essentially a paint brush with silicone bristles, making it a little more hygienic to use on food. The brush is handy for applying egg and milk washes to baked goods, but you can also use it to apply marinade to meat or melted butter to bread.
12. Stainless steel soap that absorbs odors
This stainless steel soap bar may seem a bit weird, but hear me out! It’s not meant to “wash” your hands—instead, it helps to remove tough odors like garlic or fish. All you have to do is rub it between your hands, and it will neutralize the scent. It sounds crazy, but reviewers say it “works like black magic.”
13. A handle cover for skillets
When you’re cooking in a skillet, the handle often gets hot to the touch, which can lead to singes or burns if you’re not careful. However, this convenient silicone handle cover is a great way to protect your family in the kitchen. All you have to do is slip it over the pan’s handle, then you can move the hot cookware without worry of burning yourself. It’s just under 6 inches long, and it has a textured surface that makes it easier to grip.
14. A set of reusable silicone baking cups
There are multiple benefits to investing in a set of silicone baking cups. For one, you can simply reuse them again and again, saving you from having to buy paper ones. There’s also the added perk that these silicone cups are naturally non-stick, making it easier to release cupcakes or muffins in one piece. Oh, and the cups are sturdy enough to stand on their own, saving you from having to use a muffin tin!
15. A magnet that lets you know if the dishwasher is clean
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You walk into the kitchen to find that your partner/roommate/children have left dirty dishes on the counter, and when you ask them why, they say, “Oh, I thought the dishwasher was clean.” It’s a terrible excuse (because, you know, you could just open the dishwasher and check), but you can keep them from using it in the future with this magnet. It goes on the dishwasher, and you can simply slide it back and forth to display “clean” or “dirty.”
16. Covers to put over food in the microwave
In my household, we typically use paper towels to keep food from splattering in the microwave, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s a tad wasteful. That’s why I love the idea of these reusable food covers! The set comes with a big cover and a small cover, which are designed to fit over typical dinner plates. Not only will they keep items from making a mess of the microwave, but you can even stack multiple plates on top of each other to heat more food at once.
17. A thermometer for your oven
Most ovens aren’t totally accurate in terms of temperature, and if you’re cooking something delicate—for instance, French macaron cookies—it’s useful to have an oven thermometer like this one. The little metal thermometer can be hung right on one of the oven racks, and it will allow you to more accurately monitor the inner temperature, cooking your food more precisely.
18. Guide rings to put on your rolling pin for even dough
I love making sugar cookies for the holidays, but every year, my dough ends up uneven. That means some cookies are thicker than others, leaving half my batch either over- or undercooked. It turns out that these rolling pin spacers are the solution I’ve been wishing for. All you have to do is put a set of bands onto your rolling pin, and they’ll help you roll out perfectly even slabs of dough—genius!
19. A meat chopper to break up hamburger
My boyfriend insists that ground meat has to be in consistently sized pieces for chili or meat sauce, so I actually got him this meat chopper for Christmas. (Hopefully he doesn’t read this article and ruin the surprise.) The five-blade design makes it quick and easy to chop up any kind of ground meat as you cook, and its plastic construction is safe to use in any type of pan.
20. A teeny glass measuring cup for liquids
If you find measuring spoons to be inconvenient, you can replace your whole collection with this cute little glass measuring cup. It looks similar to a shot glass, and it allows you to measure ingredients in ounces, milliliters, teaspoons, or tablespoons. The cup has a 1-ounce capacity, and when you’re finished using it, you can simply toss it in the dishwasher for cleaning.
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21. A set of handy jar openers to improve your grip
These jar openers are much more effective than a kitchen towel (my go-to when a lid is being particularly stubborn). The set of three rubber grips is ideal for opening all types of jars around the kitchen, and each one is a different shape and size to make it suitable for common lid types. Plus, who can resist that super-low price?!
22. “Claws” to help you shred meat
Sure, you can shred meat with two forks, but it’s pretty time-consuming. If you regularly make pulled pork or chicken, these “claws” are a worthwhile purchase for your kitchen. They make quick work of any type of meat, shredding it into perfect pieces, and you can also use them to lift meat or hold it in place while you carve. They also look badass, which is always an added bonus.
23. Little scrapers to clean out cast iron pans
You can get tough bits of baked-on food out of your favorite cast-iron pans with the help of these scrapers. They’re designed to help thoroughly clean cast iron without damaging the seasoning, and reviewers say they work significantly better than chain-style cast iron scrapers.
24. Storage bags that keep produce fresh for longer
Does your produce go bad before you can eat it? It’s a struggle in many small households (mine included), but here’s an easy solution! Debbie Meyer Green Bags are designed to keep fruits and veggies fresh for longer by preventing excess moisture. They claim to keep produce fresh for up to 30 days and minimize vitamin loss by 50 percent. Each set comes with eight medium bags, eight large bags, and four extra-large bags, and every bag can be used up to 10 times.
25. A splatter guard to minimize cooktop messes
One of the best gadgets I ever purchased for my kitchen is a splatter guard. These handy screens are designed to rest over your skillet while cooking meat or sauce, and they’ll stop the food from spitting all over the cooktop. This particular splatter screen is 13 inches in diameter, and you can also use it as a strainer for pasta and vegetables.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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