40 Kitchen Gadgets People Can’t Seem to Live Without

40 Kitchen Gadgets People Can’t Seem to Live Without
Image: Amazon/Cost Plus World Market

Amazon/Cost Plus World Market

People are passionate about their kitchen gadgets. When asked about their favorite ones, there’ll be words like “love” and “can’t live without” emphatically used to describe a favorite bowl or a trusty knife, as if they were taking about a significant other in the next room. Sometimes with even more affection. 

And like the perfect mate, the best gadgets aren’t always the fanciest or the most modern, either. Most are the simplest ones, the tried and true that just make life easier by being around. They’re unassuming and unobtrusive, until their pure genius and usefulness shines through. It’s hard to figure out if we’re talking about a grill pan or the ex from college that got away.

But this isn’t an ad for a dating app, it’s a round-up of beloved gadgets for a kitchen! Things like a measuring cup that will make baking easier, and a lid to keep a pot from boiling over. A device for slicing eggs perfectly, and the juicer that puts all other juicers to shame. There’s a mandoline that all the professional chefs use, and a jar opener that’s been around since the grandparents were in high school.

We’re all looking for ways to make life easier, so read on for 40 of the most loved gadgets that will streamline any kitchen. They’re all trustworthy and dependable, just like that ex from college.

Psst: If purchasing an item on this list, CafeMom may receive a small cut. Each item and price is up to date at the time of publication; however, an item may be sold out or the price may be different at a later date.

  • Egg Slicer


    An egg slicer is so indispensable one wonders how cavemen lived without it. Perhaps if they weren’t so consumed with slicing their eggs by hand, they might still be around.

    OXO Good Grips Egg Slicer  ($10, Amazon)

  • Japanese Mandoline


    Ask any serious chef and they'll say that the Benriner is the best mandoline on the market. Slice cucumbers, make matchstick carrots and paper-thin potato slices. It's also the gadget that is most likely to send one to the ER with a severed thumb, so use with caution.

    Benriner Japanese Mandoline ($23, Amazon)

  • Cut-Resistant Gloves 


    Don’t use a mandoline without also using these gloves (that’s said from experience -- and maybe an ER visit.) They’ll magically protect fingers from getting sliced off, and that’s a good thing.

    NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves ($11, Amazon)

  • Crinkle Cut Knife


    Any kid will say that carrots, potatoes and any other vegetable just taste better when they’re crinkle cut, and this knife will get the job done nicely.

    Zyliss Crinkle Cut Knife ($9, Target)

  • Grill Pan


    Firing up the grill outside just to cook two steaks can be such a pain, and that’s where a good grill pan comes in. This one will cook nice and evenly, with perfect grill marks, too. So enjoy that rib eye and stay inside.

    Le Creuset Signature Square Grill Pan ($180, Sur La Table)

  • Strawberry Huller


    A strawberry huller is one of those things that no one realizes they need until they have one, and then they can’t live without it. And this one is adorable because it looks like a strawberry, too. 

    Chef'n StemGem Strawberry Huller ($8, Amazon)

  • Garlic Press


    We know that the late, great Anthony Bourdain said that anyone who used a garlic press would go straight to hell, but they’re still handy as heck to have around. Tip: There's no need to peel the garlic before pressing.

    KitchenAid Classic Garlic Press ($13, Target)

  • Dishwasher-Safe Wood Cutting Board


    These are the best cutting boards, period. They cut like a wooden board, but unlike wooden boards they can go straight into the dishwasher. Buy a couple of them because they’ll become everyone’s favorite thing in the kitchen.

    Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board ($20, Amazon)

  • Comfort Grip Jar Opener 


    Get ready to tackle any jar in the cabinet, even those stubborn ones. This one has been around since the grandparents were struggling with stuck lids and saying things like, "What is up with this gosh darn jar?" So, why mess with a good thing? 

    Swing-A-Way Comfort Grip Jar Opener ($8, Amazon)

  • Spill Stopper 


    Go ahead and relax -- the days of pasta pots boiling over have ended. Put this spill stopper in place, set the timer and go back to listening to that podcast.

    Kuhn Rikon Kochblume Spill Stopper ($17, Amazon)

  • Double Hamburger Press


    Did cowboys have a hamburger press out on the range? Who cares -- it’s called progress and we have one now. Use it to press out perfect, uniform patties every time. Those cattleman would be so impressed.

    Weston Burger Express Double Hamburger Press ($29, Amazon)

  • Electric Pepper Mill


    Whoever invented the two-handed pepper mill obviously never had to season a steak while one hand was covered in meat juices. This one-handed electric grinder will become the most-used gadget in any kitchen.

    Ozeri Graviti Pro Electric Pepper Mill and Grinder ($14, Amazon)

  • Microplane Grater


    Microplane graters don’t get enough credit. From producing perfect lemon zest to shaving off perfect crumbs of Parmesan, this unassuming tool that looks like a giant nail file can make life so much easier. (Don’t use it on those toenails, though.)

    Microplane Soft-Handle Zester Grater ($15, Sur La Table)

  • Digital Thermometer 


    If there's one thing that should never be guessed at, it’s the temperature of food. Undercooked chicken is no joke, so play it safe and use a digital thermometer. 

    Digital Thermometer ($9, Amazon)

  • Olive Oil Cruet


    Get the olive oil out of that big jug on the counter and into this sleek glass cruet. Not having to unscrew the cap every single time can save years in cooking time. (Only a slight exaggeration.)

    Olive Oil Cruet with Pourer ($10, Sur La Table)

  • Apple Slicer


    It’s unclear how moms of yore survived without an apple slicer but it might the reason they were so cranky. Perfect apple slices every time will make anyone happy to slice apples all day long. Maybe.

    OXO Good Grips Apple Slicer ($10, Amazon)

  • Citrus Juicer


    Don’t bother with all those other fancy juicers -- this one is the best, hands-down. Plus, for all of the Type A juicers it folds the rind over and over to extract that last, precious bit of juice. 

    Citrus Juicer ($12, Cost Plus World Market)

  • Large Frying Chopsticks


    Become adept at using chopsticks, and they’ll take the place of so many utensils in the kitchen. These large ones are the best for wok frying or turning bacon -- no more getting splattered with grease from standing too close to the stove.

    Large Frying Chopsticks ($7, Amazon)

  • Immersion Blender


    Immersion blenders are becoming a popular item in everyone’s kitchen for everything from smoothies to soups to coffee drinks. So everyone can stop wrecking themselves by mixing things by hand.

    9-Speed Immersion Multi-Purpose Hand Blender ($30, Amazon)

  • 45 Second Omelet Maker


    If omelettes in a mug are too crass, make one in this gorgeous stoneware clay dish. It even comes with a recipe, although every grownup should already know how to make an omelette, amirite?

    45 Second Omelet Maker ($25, Uncommon Goods)

  • Digital Food Scale


    No more guessing when a recipe calls for exactly 3 ounces of mushrooms. This scale is sleek and slim, too, so it can fit nicely on any kitchen counter. 

    Digital Food Scale ($12, Amazon)

  • Silicone Skimmers


    Stop using a spoon to skim soups and stews -- a silicone skimmer does the job better and more efficiently. Plus, it doubles as a great tool for scooping raviolis and other small things out of boiling water.

    Silicone Skimmers, Set of 2 ($10, Cost Plus World Market)

  • Electric Milk Frother 


    Recreate the perfect cappuccino or latte at home with a milk frother. Best of all, no waiting in line and no misspelled names. 

    Bodum Electric Milk Frother ($25, Target)

  • Ice Cream Scoops


    Ice cream scoops aren’t just for ice cream. They measure out the perfect amount of cookie dough, and the best use yet -- for serving mashed potatoes. In fact, these should just be renamed mashed potato scoops.

    Ice Cream Scoops Set of 3 Different Sizes ($13, Amazon)

  • Spiralizer 


    Spiralized veggie pasta is everywhere, and not just for those on a keto/paleo/whatever-o diet. Even gluten/wheat/carb lovers are jumping on the spiral bandwagon, because apparently anything can be spiralized. Mmmm, spiral bacon anyone?

    Veggie Spiralizer ($25, Amazon)

  • Mini Measuring Cup 


    This useful, can’t-live-without mini measuring cup is the easiest way to measure olive oil and everything else. So much easier to pour and read than measuring spoons. 

    OXO Good Grips Mini Measuring Cup ($5, Amazon)

  • Small Spatula


    Once there’s a small silicone spatula in kitchen, there’s no worrying if that last bit of mayonnaise or Nutella can be scooped out of the jar. It’s the little things that make life great.

    Small Silicone Spatulas, Set of 5 ($10, Amazon)

  • Mortar & Pestle


    A mortar and pestle is perfect for making guacamole, and for grinding spices and seeds. It’s also one of those things that just screams “serious cook” by just sitting on the counter.

    Cole & Mason Mortar and Pestle ($15, Target)

  • Fine Mesh Strainer


    Try washing quinoa in a bowl or regular strainer and it becomes obvious why a fine mesh strainer is a kitchen essential. For those who don’t like quinoa, it makes an equally good strainer for other things, too.

    Fine Mesh Strainer ($16, Amazon)

  • Small Cutting Boards


    Best tip ever: Have a bunch of small, dishwasher-safe cutting boards on hand when cooking to avoid having to wash them after each food item. Just cut up that chicken, put the board in the dishwasher and reach for a new one to slice those carrots. Make sure and wash that knife, though.

    Heavy Duty Flexible Cutting Board Set ($10, Amazon)

  • Cheese Board


    A proper cheese board is a great thing to whip out when guests come over unexpectedly. Or, when eating a block of fancy cheese with a glass (or two) of delicious wine. No judgment here.

    Asiago Folding Cutting Board and Cheese Tools Set ($26, Target)

  • Silicone Baking Sheets


    Silicone baking sheets, especially the original Silpat brand, are the best sheets for baking, period. Nonstick and made of food-grade silicone, these will make baking -- and cleaning up -- a breeze. 

    Sur La Table Silpat Sheet Baking Mat ($20, Sur La Table)

  • Spoon Rest


    A spoon rest on the stove looks so much nicer than that 10-year-old cracked plate (we’re all guilty of that). This one in stainless steel is so stylish, and has a hook on one end for hanging on a pot rack.

    Stainless Steel Spoon Rest ($13, Amazon)

  • Electric Water Kettle


    Once there’s an electric kettle in the kitchen, everyone will wonder how they got along without it. Pour-over coffee, teas, and instant soups will be so much easier and quicker to make.

    Bodum Bistro 34 oz Electric Water Kettle ($20, Target)

  • Mezzaluna


    A mezzaluna is an invaluable kitchen tool for chopping meat, herbs and best of all -- quesadillas in a flash. 

    Mezzaluna Rocking Vegetable Chopper ($7, Amazon)

  • Bullet Blender


    Everyone seems to be on the Magic Bullet train, raving about all the smoothies, sauces, and even omelettes they’re making. How can something with “magic” in its name be anything but?

    Magic Bullet Blender ($30, Amazon)

  • Mini Whisk


    Mini whisks are the most underrated kitchen gadget ever. Use them to whisk up salad dressings, sauces and for those egg-in-a-mug microwave omelettes. (Go Google that now.) This comes as a set of four in case roommates keep stealing them.

    Mini Whisks, 4 pack ($6, Amazon)

  • Large Ice Cube Tray


    Everyone should have a few large square ice cubes chilling in the freezer for that occasional Old Fashioned or fancy cocktail. They also work great for icing down sore knees.

    Large Ice Cube Tray (from $12, Sur La Table)

  • Pasta Fork


    Believe it or not, there are still some people out there using tongs for their pasta. Savages! Using a pasta fork is so much gentler on the pasta and here’s a little-known fact: The hole in the middle portions out exactly one serving of dry spaghetti.

    Sur La Table Nonstick Pasta Fork ($16, Sur La Table)

  • Reusable Drinking Straws


    Thankfully, disposable straws are becoming extinct and are no longer handed out at many restaurants. It’s good to start using them at home, too, and these are perfect for everyone in the family to have their own. They come in a case that clips on a keychain, for the next trip to Starbucks.

    Collapsible Reusable Stainless Steel Folding Drinking Straws ($10, Amazon)

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