9 best kitchen gadgets under $20 that you’ll use every day

As a lot as I like my kitchen workhorses — the large wood slicing board, measuring cups, microplane and razor-sharp knives — there’s additionally a particular place in my coronary heart for the smaller extras that I do not strictly want, however that make cooking (and consuming!) clean as butter.

After singing their praises to (aka pushing them on) my household and buddies, I believed I might share information on these low cost, easy-to-clean favorites with you. They’re all merchandise I really personal and use in actual life and which can be easy to include into your cooking routine. Most of all, they’re versatile tools you should utilize each day (I do!), which suggests they don’t seem to be simply cheap, but in addition high-value. Listed here are the tools I by no means wish to be with out, and the way I take advantage of them.

Xujia by way of Amazon

The broad, saucer-shaped bowl, lengthy deal with and nice weight make these stunning spoons good for nearly all the pieces — consuming soup, curries, rice dishes, spooning yogurt out of the bathtub, spooning something out of any tub, actually. 

My Korean buddy calls them “jjigae spoons” (a sort of stew) or rice spoons, however in my household, they’re often known as “life-changing spoons,” which is how I first satisfied my household to undertake them. I hardly use “common” spoons anymore. 

You should purchase long-handled spoons on-line or in lots of Asian markets. My private desire is to get a set with spherical handles, not the skinny type with the flat ends. Costs differ, however they don’t seem to be costly both method — say $16 for a pack of 5 good high quality spoons, and even $15 for a pack of eight.


I am positive I may reside and not using a pair of kitchen shears like this one from Henckels (additionally identified for making dependable knives), however I do not notably wish to. A devoted pair of shears makes opening meals luggage, slicing meat and fish and trimming inexperienced beans dead-easy. Storing them together with your knives or utensils retains them accessible the place you want them and eliminates cross-contamination together with your different scissors. Sturdy shears can butterfly poultry and this mannequin unhinges for dishwashing — it is dishwasher protected if in want of thorough sanitizing, but it surely often cleans simply with soapy scorching water and a sponge. This specific mannequin prices below $20 on sale.


Bench scrapers, often known as pastry or dough scrapers or cutters, are sometimes used to pry dough off a piece floor, although I take advantage of mine a number of occasions a day for both scraping or lifting objects from my slicing board to a pan or bowl. I used to make use of the facet of whichever knife I had in my hand, however this handy kitchen tool shovels extra diced onions at a time and is safer anyway. 

I’ve additionally used straight-sided bench scrapers, however the offset design is far simpler for sliding below a pile of chopped meals. It is equally adept at its supposed objective of working with bread and pastry dough. This Tovolo bench scraper is the one I take advantage of and prices round $10.

Lifver Dwelling by way of Amazon

Small bowls are hardly fascinating or new and I’ve loads of them, particularly fluted and ribbed ramekins. However these great dip bowls have made cooking and serving meals extra of a delight. I simply love them. They’re helpful sufficient for each day prep and fairly sufficient to serve on. 

You may mound a stunning quantity of meals within the hole, like lemon zest, olive oil, wasabi and even grated cheese like contemporary parmesan. They price $18 for a set of eight Three-ounce bowls.

Here is how I take advantage of them:

  • Spoon relaxation
  • Used tea bag holder
  • Salt piggy
  • Egg holder
  • Prep bowl for components like garlic, shallots, ginger
  • Prep bowl for mixing spices (the combo flows into the pan actually simply, with out getting caught in creases)
  • Garnish server
  • Server for particular person desserts, like squares of chocolate, a brownie or a tiny scoop of ice cream
  • Sugar caddy for after-dinner espresso or tea
  • Ring valet (particularly when taking off to work with slimy or sticky meals)

Prep Options by way of Amazon

My dad endearingly referred to those as “rubber fingers.” This set of two — one with a sharp finish (pictured) and one that appears extra like a paddle, price $eight and are superior for scraping, scooping and pushing down all varieties of meals. Suppose the final little little bit of one thing gooey like peanut butter from the jar, or getting each little little bit of crushed egg out of a small bowl. I nonetheless use full-size spatulas for big work bowls, pots and pans, however these nonstick minis work higher than spoons or my finger and match rather well into drawer dividers. They’re machine cleanable, too.

Lodge by way of Amazon

I had by no means heard of a pan or pot scraper till my colleague Wealthy Brown sang its praises. I’ve an elaborate and finely-tuned technique for steaming and scraping off stuck-on crud from pots, pans and bakeware, however I began getting loads of time again as soon as I started utilizing this $5 tool — or $eight for 2.

This kitchen gadget matches into your palm and simply scrapes away gunk with its flat and curved edges, which may additionally higher attain into corners. Nonetheless count on a bit of sponge work, however principally to wipe away loosened and leftover stuff. I used to be amazed with how my Lodge pot scraper obliterates the scum that builds up in a hoop across the pan, say the leftovers of decreased marinara. 

It cuts via residue quicker and extra effectively than a tough plastic spatula and it will not gunk up the scrubby facet of a sponge with cheese, egg or starchy buildup. I like to recommend holding it seen in your sink, close to your sponges and dish cleaning soap. I initially put it right into a drawer and forgot about it, however now it is prime of thoughts. 

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

My buddy purchased a elaborate new dishwasher with built-in wine holders and gave me three purple silicone tubes that assist hold your wine glasses protected within the machine. “Right here, you want wine,” she stated. “You must use these.”

She was proper. They could look derpy, however this good reward most likely saved my wine glasses greater than as soon as. You match one grippy finish round your overturned stemware (as pictured) and slide the opposite finish, a hole tube, over a peg on the underside rack of your dishwasher. A wire that runs two-thirds the size of the attachment provides construction. 

If a glass feels further wobbly within the middle of the underside rack, I have been identified to clip on two of those silicone holders for further stability, one on both facet. I used to hand-wash my wine glasses and nonetheless managed to interrupt one right here or there. Not anymore. It prices about $12 for a set of eight. I’ve run them within the dishwasher on a weekly foundation for nearly two years.

Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Nice for elegantly draining pasta, reaching for objects on the highest shelf, juicing lemons and even cleansing window blinds. A pair of 9-inch or 12-inch silicone-tipped tongs prices about $15 and has change into a trusty kitchen companion that does way more for a chef than simply flip browning veggies and meat. Listed here are seven intelligent makes use of for kitchen tongs.

Endurance by way of Amazon

I like a small saucepan for therefore many causes, together with frying completely spherical eggs one after the other and lowering broth and sauces. Melting butter and making modest portions of caramel or scorching milk and cream are additionally nice in an itty-bitty pan, particularly should you’re attempting to maintain a small quantity of liquid from evaporating too shortly.

I purchased a “cup measuring pan” that is loads like this one, with a protracted deal with, and I prefer it, although it is not as thick as a few of my different kitchen pots. I might additionally fortunately take into account a butter melting pot for butter, sauces, warming milk and boiling single eggs, however I at present use a tiny milk frothing jug for that, supposed for espresso. Whichever pan you get ought to price between $15 and $25, tops. Mine was about $15. 

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