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21 Kitchen Gadgets Under $20 Designed To Make Food Easier

Anyone who likes to do a little flambe at home or whip up a nice roux from time to time knows that the white room with the magic cooking boxes is a financial black hole. We could spend hundreds of dollars every year in the kitchen and all of it would just go up in flames, down the drain, or into our gullet. Spices alone cost as much as that Maserati we don’t have, and thanks to all the pots and pans, our kids are going to be lucky if they get to go to a state college. But the truth is, even more than the bedroom, the kitchen is the pleasure center of most households. Therefore, we plunk down the cash happily for a chance to get that sugar high, that beef rush, or that gyro…feeling?

So that you don’t make the mistakes we have in the past, we’ve drummed up 21 gadgets for your kitchen that cost less than a Tubman ($20), yet work like they cost, you know, way more.

Water Stop Rubber Gloves

via remodelista.com
via remodelista.com

A set of cleaning gloves to allow you to grip wet, soapy dishes is easy to find, but most of them are built wrong. They allow water to sneak in over the cuff and create a weird, clammy, greasy wetness in the fingers of your hand’s dry sanctuary. With these cuffed options, that damage is reduced for a drier, less ick-inducing experience. Purchase: $7

Snap-On Can Strainer

via marnacooks.blogspot.com
via marnacooks.blogspot.com

There’s a lot of reasons to want to get the gunk out of a can. You don’t want to eat your tuna in water, nor do you need fruit cocktail still swimming in that heavy, sugar-laden syrup. Rather than just slapping the lid back down over your blueberries and inverting it while hoping for the best, we suggest snapping on this strainer and getting all the liquid out like a proper human being. Purchase: $5

Silicone Scraper

via isi-store.com
via isi-store.com

We cringe every time we hear someone use their good chef’s knife to scrape chopped onions or diced peppers into the pan. Not only is it bad for your blade, it’s not as effective as using a bendable silicone scraper that can get all the remnants with ease and won’t score up your cutting board. Less sharpening and less lost food makes this a win. Purchase: $4

Precision Digital Scale

via anvilbrewing.com
via anvilbrewing.com

Calorie counters have been using these for ages, but anyone should have one on hand for cooking up a nice cut of meat or keeping track of exactly how much water weight you’re adding. We suggest one that not only gives you pounds, but also shows fluid ounces for an extra kick. Purchase: $14

Oil Mister

via laylaoliveoilsprayer.com
via laylaoliveoilsprayer.com

Adept at keeping roasting meats from drying out without the trouble of basting, you can also use spice-infused oils for extra flavoring, or get seasonings to stick to your air-popped popcorn for a healthier crunch than chips. It also lets you toss your salad and distribute that balsamic vinaigrette with surgical precision. Purchase: $18

Tea Maker

via blog.stashtea.com
via blog.stashtea.com

Ditch those weak-sauce teabags that require using a half dozen to get all the chamomile goodness you require or an Earl Grey that can make your hair stand on end. Armed with a loose leaf tea maker, you’ll be able to make the best brews around using whatever mixture of ingredients strikes your wicked fancy. Tangerine pomegranate sleepytime? Do it! Purchase: $18

Popcorn Popper

via blog.surlatable.com
via blog.surlatable.com

Never again deal with scorched smells or the overly buttered hell of microwave popcorn bags. By getting either a nice air popper, or a microwavable dish that pops up your popcorn you’ll have a whole grain snack anytime that you can control. Then hit it with some oil mist and chili powder or cinnamon and sugar for an unusual taste you won’t soon forget. Purchase: $18

Garlic Peeler

via kitchenwarenews.wordpress.com
via kitchenwarenews.wordpress.com

For a couple of bucks, you never again need to dig away at those tiny chunks of garlic, praying that you get all the outside off. A peeler is a basic kitchen accessory that does the job of ten men…assuming those men were all hired to peel garlic. Purchase: $12

Simple Fruit Slicer

via huffingtonpost.com
via huffingtonpost.com

A small, handheld way to dice up strawberries for shortcake, chop up apricots, or mince your huckleberries, a basic fruit slicer is a dream come true for those looking to adorn their Greek yogurt with fresh flavors. Purchase: $15

Egg, Cheese, and Vegetable Slicer

via thankfulscorp.wordpress.com
via thankfulscorp.wordpress.com

A larger version of the fruit slicer, you’ll never again slip up while hitting an onion, green pepper or tomato wrong. Also, cheese and crackers is now far less work. Purchase: $10

Digital Thermometer

via aliexpress.com
via aliexpress.com

A solid, instant digital thermometer is literally a life-saving appliance. Consider how many times you’ve guessed that chicken is done by cutting it open, then think of what salmonella or e-coli poisoning will do to your body. Then spend the money. Purchase: $9

Silicone Ice Cube Trays

via buythebest10.com
via buythebest10.com

Don’t deal with those sloppy plastic things any longer. Either get a plastic tray with a spill-proof topper, or go with a large, smooth tray that will release your ice easily and not crack. Also excellent for homemade fruit juice popsicles. Purchase: $9

Collapsible Measuring Cups

via mjsailing.com
via mjsailing.com

Flat and friendly, these hide in a drawer without wasting space or risking being broken the moment you yank the drawer open. Genius organization and perfect measurements every time. Purchase: $10

Built In Strainer Lid

via closertolucy.com
via closertolucy.com

Forget that wasteful colander sucking up room in the back of your pan pantry. A simple lid with a few holes that fits your fabulous pasta pot is all you need for easy draining. Purchase: $17

Easy Measure Salt Shaker

via inhabitat.com
via inhabitat.com

Good for controlling your salt portions for heart healthy eating, there’s also a detachable measuring cup on the bottom that gives you an exact 1/4 or 1/8 teaspoon “pinch” so you can avoid pulling out the cylinder. Purchase: $6

Bag Holder

via homegadgetsdaily.com
via homegadgetsdaily.com

Storing soup is no longer a two person job. This handy little kitchen device keeps your bag upright and open for pouring without the mess. Purchase: $4

Switching Whisk

via uncommongoods.com
via uncommongoods.com

Both a flat and a circular whisk in one implement, a single twist is all it takes to get ready to whip up some frothy meringue, beat eggs, or flatten it out for fast stashing. Purchase: $10

French Press

via youtube.com
via youtube.com

Our favorite type of coffeemaker, you deserve a mellower, less bitter blend of coffee that is easier to make than your auto-drip can handle. Stop the madness and drink better for less arduous mornings. Purchase: $11

Citrus Squeezer

via gcastd.org
via gcastd.org

A quality zest, properly applied, absolutely makes a margarita shine or adds a new sensation to a tired old burger recipe. Ideal for working with that new loose leaf tea maker, n’cest pas? Purchase: $12

Mandolin

via seriouseats.com
via seriouseats.com

Quick slicing has never been easier than with a mandolin, yet few people bother to find a good one. Even more than a quality peeler, a mandolin juliennes taters, tomatoes, and carrots along with damn near anything you can think of. Purchase: $20

Silicone Baking Mats

via snugbe.com
via snugbe.com

So you’ve learned to make your home green, but are still using foil or parchment paper for cooking. Slap yourself and then go buy these easily cleanable, happily sustainable options for lining your pans like a pro. Purchase: $18

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