10 Kitchen Gadgets Under $20 That Every Beginner Cook Needs
From food huggers to scales, these items are just what a beginner cook needs!
When I moved into my first apartment, I was determined to start cooking my own meals. The only problem was that I had no idea where to begin—or even what kitchen items to buy. Through trial and error, I have found the top 10 kitchen gadgets every beginner cook needs. These items will turn you into a pro in no time!
Psst! More of an advanced cook? Here are the gadgets our Test Kitchen recommends and here are 10 kitchen gadgets you can get at the hardware store.
Pancake Batter Mixer
I always crave pancakes in the morning but get turned off at the thought of making them, simply because of the amount of cleaning I have to do afterward. My traditional messy pancake routine just got a whole lot cleaner! This mixer ($15) comes with a blender ball that easily mixes your ingredients. It also has a heat resistance silicon tip to avoid melting. All you have to do is shake, pour…and cook! Try one of our pancake recipes with this mixer.
The first time I made garlic chicken, I couldn’t get the smell of garlic out of my hands. The smell still lingered no matter how much-scented lotion I used. Thanks to it’s sulfur-based material this bar ($8) removes any odor—even the impossible one. Hello freshness, we’ve been waiting! Try this bar after making our garlic lover’s chicken recipe and see for yourself. Got a funky smell coming from the dishwasher? Here’s how to get rid of a bad smell in the dishwasher.
We’ve all heard how the right kitchen knife can change your cooking, but we often ignore the sharpness on those knives. If you are still a beginner in the kitchen, try these gloves ($8) to avoid injuries. They are made from high-tech, safety-grade materials that are protective, yet lightweight and breathable. Make sure you’re getting a cutting board completely clean with these six tips.
While on the topic of knife safety, go the extra mile with this brush ($7)! The tool allows you to clean sharp knives with ease (which can be a problem for newbies). The teeth-like, two-sided bristles allow for effective cleaning and reaching tough spots that you might miss with a sponge. Find out other super helpful items to keep within reach in the kitchen.
Roll-Up Drying Rack
If your kitchen is anything like mine, managing space can be a problem. Learning how to cook and being in a cramped area isn’t ideal. This multipurpose rack ($15) fits perfectly on your sink, creating extra counter space. You can place a cutting board on top or you to wash and dry produce. Bonus point: It’s dishwasher-safe. Check out a foldable cutting board and 29 household products that will change your life.
Being a beginner cook means you’re going to make a few mistakes along the way. That includes possibly overcooking a few meals. This non-stick mat ($9) makes cleaning easy when you do those mistakes. No more sore arms from scrubbing off stuck-on foods! The mat is safe for any conventional oven, but shouldn’t be placed over direct heat. Find out why you need to reach for a dryer sheet when you’ve got burnt food on cookware.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with my digital scale! ($14) I’ve always been the type to be a little off on my measurements, but with a scale, I have the precision on my side. I’ve been using this scale while making my favorite peanut butter cookies and it’s been a game changer. Plus, it’s affordable, too.
Confession time: I used to boil more pasta than I needed because I knew I would lose some when straining the water. (Talk about being wasteful!) Now with this strainer ($13) my problems are solved. This isn’t like any other strainer, as it has built-in clips that stay put on your pot. Also, it’s made of flexible silicone material that allows it to fit any pots or pan. It even withstands heavier foods, like potatoes. Try this lid while making any one of these 30-minute pasta recipes. You’ve got to check out a product that will stop potential boil overs, too.
When I first started cooking, I would try out tons of recipes that only needed half of a can of green beans or half an eggplant. I had a lot of leftover foods that went to waste. Luckily, these food huggers ($13) are the solution. Their silicone design creates an airtight seal that helps prevent leftovers from spoiling. See what Marie Kondo’s favorite food storage container looks like.
Stainless Steel Pineapple Peeler
I love pineapples but hesitated on buying them because I didn’t know how to properly cut them. This peeler ($7) comes with a thick blade that can easily core and slice pineapples in seconds. While you are at it, try our piña colada grilled pineapple recipe. Check out a clever way to speed up apple peeling, too.
Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.