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

As a lot as I really like my kitchen workhorses — the enormous picket chopping 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 associates, I believed I might share information on these low-cost, easy-to-clean favorites with you. They’re all merchandise I truly personal and use in actual life and which can be easy to include into your cooking routine. Most of all, they’re versatile instruments you need to use each day (I do!), which suggests they are not simply cheap, but additionally high-value. Listed below are the instruments I by no means need to be with out, and the way I take advantage of them.

Xujia through Amazon

The vast, saucer-shaped bowl, lengthy deal with and nice weight make these lovely spoons good for nearly every part — 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 kind 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 choice is to get a set with spherical handles, not the skinny variety with the flat ends. Costs fluctuate, however they are not costly both approach — say $16 for a pack of 5 good high quality spoons, and even $15 for a pack of 8.


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


Bench scrapers, also called pastry or dough scrapers or cutters, are usually 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 gadgets from my chopping board to a pan or bowl. I used to make use of the aspect of whichever knife I had in my hand, however this convenient kitchen device shovels extra diced onions at a time and is safer anyway. 

I’ve additionally used straight-sided bench scrapers, however the offset design is way simpler for sliding beneath 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 Residence through 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’ll be able to mound a shocking quantity of meals within the hole, like lemon zest, olive oil, wasabi and even grated cheese like contemporary parmesan. They value $18 for a set of eight 3-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 combination 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 through 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, value $Eight and are superior for scraping, scooping and pushing down all forms 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 overwhelmed egg out of a small bowl. I nonetheless use full-size spatulas for giant 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 mechanically cleanable, too.

Lodge through Amazon

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

This kitchen gadget matches into your palm and simply scrapes away gunk with its flat and curved edges, which might additionally higher attain into corners. Nonetheless count on somewhat 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 lowered marinara. 

It cuts by residue sooner and extra effectively than a tough plastic spatula and it will not gunk up the scrubby aspect of a sponge with cheese, egg or starchy buildup. I like to recommend preserving 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 high of thoughts. 

Jessica Dolcourt/PJDM

My buddy purchased a flowery new dishwasher with built-in wine holders and gave me three purple silicone tubes that assist preserve your wine glasses secure within the machine. “Right here, you want wine,” she stated. “It’s best to 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 additional wobbly within the middle of the underside rack, I have been identified to clip on two of those silicone holders for additional stability, one on both aspect. 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/PJDM

Nice for elegantly draining pasta, reaching for gadgets 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 develop into a trusty kitchen companion that does way more for a chef than simply flip browning veggies and meat. Listed below are seven clever uses for kitchen tongs.

Endurance through Amazon

I really like a small saucepan for thus many causes, together with frying completely spherical eggs separately 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 if you happen to’re making an attempt to maintain a small quantity of liquid from evaporating too shortly.

I purchased a “cup measuring pan” that is rather a lot like this one, with an extended deal with, and I prefer it, although it isn’t as thick as a few of my different kitchen pots. I might additionally fortunately contemplate a butter melting pot for butter, sauces, warming milk and boiling single eggs, however I at the moment use a tiny milk frothing jug for that, supposed for espresso. Whichever pan you get ought to value between $15 and $25, tops. Mine was about $15. 

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Jessica Dolcourt