I love to cook but don’t do it nearly enough because of work, laundry, and, um, these toilets that won’t clean themselves. (Seriously, it’s 2022. Why are we still having to scrub toilets by hand?) But, when I get the opportunity I enjoy it. I enjoy it even more when I have tools and gadgets that make it simpler. I mean, who wants to peel potatoes with no help? Not me. I also don’t want to clean up grease splatters, make a mess while breading, or guess about meat temps. (Maybe I don’t enjoy cooking that much after all.)
This list is filled with kitchen tools that are great for anyone who loves to cook. I’ve got thermometers cleaning gadgets for the grill masters; mixing bowls and baking mats for those partial to cakes, pies, and cookies; and, tools that make it faster and more efficient to cook various types of pasta. Altogether, they make a killer list of 37 kitchen tools that’ll make your time cooking and baking more enjoyable.
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Take Its Temperature
Some people can tell the temperature of meat by simply touching it. While I cook a lot of meat, I’ve never gotten to be quite that good. This digital thermometer stands in the gap so I can get the perfect temps on everything from meat to candy making. This reads temperatures in as little as three seconds and has a large LCD screen that’s easy to read.
Most of the splatter screens I’ve seen are mesh and honestly look a little flimsy. This one not only looks more solid but also has a four-in-one functionality since it can be used as a trivet, strainer, and steamer. Non-stick and easy to clean, the design keeps you from getting burned by sizzling oil, boiling sauces, or splattering grease. Throw it in the dishwasher when you’re finished using it.
Taking lids off of jars and bottles can be tricky under the best of circumstances, but what if your hands are slippery or arthritic? That presents real problems. This EZ-off jar opener mounts under a kitchen cabinet to open any size of jar with a simple twist. Open everything from a small bottle of nail polish to a jar of canned fruit without having to yell: “Can somebody come open this for me?”
Good To The Last Drop
I hate waste; even that tiny portion of peanut butter left in the jar has to be extracted before I throw the jar in the trash. These last-drop spatulas, affectionately known as the Spatty and the Spatty Daddy, were specially designed to make everything good to the last drop — literally. Use these skinny scrapers for everything from lotion to foundation to peanut butter.
Mix It Up
If they handed out awards for chicest mixing bowls, this set would earn a “runner-up” award at the very least. Featuring a set of four bowls that nest inside of one another, they’re made from double-walled stainless steel, have non-slip rubber bases, and even come with lids. Prep, serve, and store in one piece in this sleek gray set or choose from a rainbow of shades.
If you can poach an egg without one of these poached egg cups, I salute you. It’s one kitchen skill I haven’t spent a lot of time developing. These cups are great for uses beyond eggs, too. Use them as rice molds, jelly molds, or even for baking small treats. You’ll get a set of four, which can be thrown in the dishwasher, and stacked neatly away, taking up just a small footprint in a drawer.
Sure, I could buy those cheap, disposable salt and pepper shakers from the grocery store, but these glass salt and pepper grinders are both sleek to look at and let you buy nicer forms of spices. The ceramic grinders inside these mills are adjustable, which lets you decide how fine or coarse you’d like your spices to be. Each comes with a stainless steel lid.
Tired of making cookies that turn out all shapes and sizes? (Trust me, the people eating them do. not. care.) These baking mats are especially useful for macarons and cookies but can be used when you’re baking anything you don’t want to use cooking spray or parchment paper for. Each mat will last up to 3,000 bake cycles, which is a ton of cookies.
Once upon a time, home cooks used to collect unused bacon grease to flavor future dishes. (It’s 100 percent true; go look it up.) This bacon grease container is designed to store said grease, with a built-in strainer and lid to keep everything contained. This guy will hold up to five cups of grease, more than enough for everything from popcorn to biscuits.
Bins and storage totes are some of my favorite purchases … and I’m not even kidding. These twin stackable colanders are awesome because you can wash your produce right in the colander, trust the built-in strainers to drain the water away quickly, and nibble on your berries or carrots right from the containers. This comes in one large and two small sizes.
Whip It Real Good
Homemade whipped cream is so much better than storebought, it ought to be criminal. Make your own simply with this professional whipped cream dispenser. It features three plastic and three stainless nozzles, granting you endless options. All you have to add is 16 ounces of heavy whipping cream. You can also use it for the fluffiest eggs, the smoothest butter, and even ice cream.
You’re not going to get much cooking and baking done without a quality set of measuring cups and spoons, and this stainless steel set is a great buy. Dishwasher-safe and with a flat bottom that prevents accidental spills, you can do anything from measuring for homemade spice blends to doling out precisely-measured ingredients for cakes and pies. These have both standard U.S. measurements and metric equivalents printed right on them.
The Best Pantry Hack
Is your pantry bursting at the seams? This over-the-door organizer is a genius hack for giving you more room for spices and other condiments, but it could just as easily help you organize shoes or even the contents of a bathroom closet. It features 24 crystal-clear pockets and adjustable stainless steel hooks so that the organizer will slide easily onto any door.
On A Roll
I have my grandmother’s hand-me-down rolling pin and I’ll never part with it, but this French rolling pin made from stainless steel is swoon-worthy. Its perfectly smooth, non-porous surface means you get better results with less exertion while letting you control the thickness. At a generous 15.75 inches, it’s plenty big enough to tackle a variety of tasks from rolling out pasta and pizza dough to tackling projects with fondant.
Kitchen Tool Time
Over time, our kitchen tools break down. I’m as guilty as anyone of using spoons and spatulas with small pieces broken off here and there. I need to chuck those in the trash and grab this silicone spatula set. It includes four pieces: a large spatula, a small spatula, a spoon spatula, and a jar spatula. Whether you’re frosting cakes, mixing batters, or flipping pancakes, you’ll be covered.
You Go, Grill
Grills are great until it’s time to clean them and then, honestly? I’d rather just throw them away. The whole thing … in the trash. This scrubbing stone grill cleaner is made from recycled glass that’s been heated and treated much the way a pumice stone is. The coarse surface is perfect for getting rid of the grit and food particles left behind so you don’t have to throw your grill in the garbage can.
I think this honey dispenser is one of the most adorable things I’ve seen on Amazon in a long time. Styled in an attractive honeycomb pattern, it dispenses honey, sugar, maple syrup chocolate syrup, and similarly sticky substances from the bottom with just a squeeze of the trigger on the top. When not in use, it rests neatly in the included stand.
I love homemade salads but the work of chopping up lettuce, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and anything else you decide to throw in a salad is cumbersome. This stainless steel rocker knife uses the power of two blades operating in sync to make your chopping jobs quicker and easier. Throw the safety covers over the blades to protect fingers when not in use.
These microwave splatter covers are one of those things that I wish I’d invented because I’d be a gazillionaire by now. Place this on top of dishes you put in the microwave to keep splurts and splatters from dotting the inside of your microwave, with the added benefit of ensuring your food doesn’t get soggy or dry, thanks to the included vents. This purchase includes a variety of sizes for any bowl or dish.
I always thought that cooling racks were a racket, to be honest, but they really do make it so much simpler when you’re trying to cool a dish. The added benefit here is that this set will fit in most standard ovens, too, so you can slide them over your pan to elevate your food from fat and grease for a healthier meal.
A few months ago, my European colleague mentioned a raclette so, of course, I had to Google it to figure out what it was. You guys … as it turns out, it’s basically melted cheese. … I know, right? Anyway, this raclette with a folding handle lets you get all European in the comfort of your home, prepping melted cheese that you can use with, well, anything you’d typically dip in cheese. Which is everything.
Did you know you can cook pasta in the microwave? (Someone’s beloved Italian grandma probably rolled over in her grave as I typed that.) This microwave pasta cooker, dubbed the “Fasta Pasta,” (because of course it is) prepares pasta with no mess, sticking or waiting for a pot to boil. And, based on the reviews, it actually works: “It’s quick, convenient, less mess and the noodles taste delicious.”
Cuts Like A Knife
I know a lot of people prefer to hide their knives away but I love leaving them out. I think they add a touch of “real chef” to a kitchen. This magnetic knife block is a great alternative to a traditional knife block because it’s thin and sophisticated with all clean lines and minimalism. Grab it in large or extra-large sizes.
Loaf pans come in handy for everything from baking casseroles and meatloaf to preparing banana bread, pound cake, and ice cream logs. This glass set features two loaf pans with two leakproof lids. Ergonomic handles are easy to grip, making them easier to transport, and the transparent design lets you keep tabs on food while it’s baking. Make me something, O.K.?
What A Pare
Paring knives are one of the smallest kitchen gadgets out there, but also probably one of the most useful. This set includes 12 knives with multiple uses for garnishing, mincing, peeling, coring, slicing, and dicing with razor-sharp precision. Paring knives are also great because they’re small and designed to fit in your palm so you can focus on the task at hand.
Roll Out The Welcome Mat
If you do much cooking or baking, you already know it requires you to spend a lot of time on your feet, making an anti-fatigue mat an absolute must. With various sizes and colors/patterns to choose from, you’ll find something that’s functional as well as color-coordinated to your existing decor. I love the indigo deco pictured, but peep the Sedona red rocks or green ombre before you check out.
Over A Barrel
There are charcuterie boards and then there are wine barrel-inspired charcuterie boards. Featuring stained cypress wood to resemble a rustic wine barrel top, this board is extra-large (a whopping 20 inches across) and has metal trim and handles. Use it as a cocktail station, plated cheese and fruit spread, cupcake bar, appetizer platter, and more. One reviewer said, “When I got this item, I was pleasantly surprised at the size, finish and look of it. It’s beautiful and perfect for my charcuterie board I’m making.”
You see that photo? You officially have no excuse for not trying to make homemade ravioli now. This ravioli maker includes both molds and trays to accommodate up to 10 of the stuffed pasta pockets at one time. Stuff them with spinach and ricotta, top with a light vodka sauce, and serve. Bon appetit! Your friends and family never have to know you use a mold.
I love the look of a mortar and pestle and I love the functionality of that set even more, grinding and crushing spices, herbs, salt, coffee beans, and even pills. You can also create dishes like guacamole, curry, pastes, dips, dressings, seasonings, and more. For $30, you can snag a tool that has unlimited possibilities when you’re prepping, baking, and cooking.
A Better Breader
Every time I have to bread something, I dread it. It always, always, always involves multiple dishes, eggs, milk, some kind of breading mix, and a colossal mess. This better breader is an all-in-one breading solution with a bowl for your breading and seasonings, a sifter where you place all your pre-moistened items to be breaded and an airtight lid to keep breading and seasonings in — and not on your counter.
You don’t need a dedicated sous vide machine … if you have a big pot — any big pot — at home. Why? Because you can snag this sous vide set, which includes a sous vide machine, a universal clamp to attach to any cookware, and accessories from reusable bags to a vacuum seal pump to a recipe book to inspire first-time sous vide beginners.
I’m about to change your life with these trolley bags. They fit neatly inside a grocery cart and let you sort your purchases on the spot. This set of four bags features an eco-friendly design as well as a cooler bag for your eggs, wine, and ice cream. Stop carrying plastic bags that break out to your car. Purchase, pay, and pop these out and carry them right inside with the included handles.
Replace your worn-out oven mitts with this silicone version that features a quilted liner and both heat resistance and flame retardance. I love the cheerful colors they offer, including the yellow pictured, the turquoise, and two shades of red. One reviewer called them “the best oven mitts I have ever owned,” adding: “… these oven mitts are so far the best I have used in five years.”
Baste to your heart’s content with this silicone pastry brush that has two unique layers: One with flexible, sturdy bristles and another in a grid pattern to retain sauces for smooth, even coverage on food. This brush works on grills and non-stick pans and is heat-resistant up to 446 degrees. I use brushes like this for everything from slathering meat with BBQ sauce to brushing an egg wash on a pot pie.
Spice It Up
I bought a spice box like this one a few months ago to use it for finishing salt and it is one of the best kitchen buys I’ve purchased in a long time. Made of bamboo with a magnetized lid, it’s perfect for storing anything from herbs and spices to small items like paperclips and jewelry. “The quality of the fit and finish is great, and they’re a perfect size for what they’re made for,” according to one review.
Put It On Ice
If you find yourself entertaining quite a bit, drop less than $20 on this condiment server with lid, which is perfect for chopped-up fruits and veggies and more like condiments and toppings. This four-section condiment organizer also has an ice-filled bottom to keep things cool even when the temperature is hot outside. The compartments are removable and easy to refill.
Prefer to make your own salad dressings? I do. They’re so much better and fresher than the stuff you can snag at the grocery store. This dressing dispenser keeps your homemade creations bottled, fresh, and easy to grab from the refrigerator door. It’s also dishwasher- and microwave-safe for easy cleaning and warming up, say, that hot bacon dressing you made. (Seriously, Google a recipe. It’s delish.)