20 Kitchen Gadgets Everyone Needs
These genius kitchen tools can turn any meal into a Michelin star-worthy feast.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Ina Garten-level cook or someone who’s just figuring out what a colander is: Being a home chef is a lot easier when you've got the right tools on hand. But as we’ve learned from many too-good-to-be-true infomercial purchases, just because a product claims it can help make you an Iron Chef doesn’t mean it’s worth your hard earned cash. Luckily, we’ve done our research to come up with the 20 kitchen gadgets that everyone should own, each sure to make you a master of your kitchen in no time.
Best Life's editors have scoured the internet to bring you the best products out there, and we're hoping you'll love them as much as we do. Full disclosure: w e may earn a commission for anything you purchase through links on this page, but that doesn't mean you'll pay more for them (we'd never do that to you!). Pricing and availability are accurate as of the piece's initial publication date, but it's the internet and we can't guarantee that these sweet, sweet deals will last forever, so scoop them up before someone else does!
This 3-in-1 avocado slicer
Maybe the only thing that’s more surprising than how quickly the avocado has shot up in popularity over the past decade is how many people manage to maim themselves while they’re trying to make guacamole. Avoid a dreaded “avocado hand” trip to the doctor and simplify your entire toast routine with this 3-in-1 slicer, which includes a soft serrated plastic knife that won’t cut your hand, a patented pit remover, and a one-swipe-and-done slicer that will cut everything in into perfectly even pieces. It’s practically a millennial’s dream!
This simple spoon
In the rush to stock your kitchen with as much hardware as possible, it can be easy to overlook the simple tools that make cooking easier every day. “As silly as it may sound, a good spoon is so incredibly handy to have around,” says Hiro Mitsui, Executive Chef and Founder of Washington D.C.'s Ramen by Uzu. “Besides the obvious tasting and stirring, the right spoon can also be used to peel things like ginger without having to worry about slicing your finger.”
This cheese grater and zester
Whether you’re dressing your pasta with parm or shredding cheddar for a casserole, having a solid box grater on hand is practically a must for home chefs of any skill level. Consider upgrading your simple metal piece to this OXO Good Grips unit, which features both a coarse and medium grater plate, a removable citrus zester, and a detachable base that measures and stores your ingredients as you work. The patented non-slip footing also makes one of the most labor-intensive and potentially messy kitchen chores so much easier.
This citrus juicer
As the old saying goes, “When life hands you lemons, you’d better be sure to have a good juicer on hand, otherwise you’ll be messing around in the kitchen for hours trying to make lemonade!” Heed this proverb’s advice with this simple citrus press, which not only extracts 20 percent more juice from the fruit than traditional tools, but also catches pesky seeds before they fall into your dish—all while reducing hand fatigue.
This slow cooker
When it comes to nailing a sumptuous stew or braised meat dish, there’s no recipe in the world that can make up for the tender results of a good slow cooker. This unit takes makes meal prep easier than ever with classic “set it and forget it” cooking functions with the added benefit of a temperature probe that helps prevent overcooking. It’s also a great option for anyone looking to keep their dishes warm while they entertain a large party.
This can opener
Even though can openers have been a vital part of any kitchen’s arsenal for over two centuries, it’s shocking how few actually work well. That’s not the case with this OXO designed piece, however, which has large non-slip handles, a soft grip knob, built-in pliers for lid removal, and a hygienic cutting wheel that never touches cans’ contents or creates dangerous sharp edges.
This unique whisk
When it comes to finding the best gadgets for your kitchen, some of the best options are simply upgrades on the vital tools you use every day. Make mixing easier than ever with this intelligently designed whisk, which features a sliding ring that allows for fast and easy cleaning that’s not possible with traditional wire versions. It’s also the perfect option for anyone who doesn’t have a ton of storage space for a bulkier, bulbous whisk in their drawer or on their countertop.
This immersion blender
Sometimes, bringing your cooking game to the next level requires finally picking up those kitchen gadgets that can do what your hands can’t. This immersion blender is a must-have tool for making creamy soups, but it’s also great for blending smoothies or milkshakes, thanks to the attachable blending jar.
This digital thermometer
No matter how good your eyes, nose, or sheer gut instinct may be, nailing a perfectly cooked cut of meat requires the appropriate hardware. “A digital thermometer is an essential tool for my home kitchen,” says Ben Tenner, Chef de Cuisine and Partner at Espita DC, “because it tells me exactly when something is ready and takes the guesswork out of protein cookery.”
You can even save yourself the trouble of continually checking on your dishes with this Bluetooth-enabled thermometer by Meater, which will alert you via smartphone when your chicken, beef roast, or leg of lamb has achieved the perfect temperature.
This mandoline slicer
Advanced knife skills may be a big part of what sets apart amateur chefs from the pros, but there are some cuts that not even the most experienced cook can pull off. That’s why this Benriner Japanese-style mandoline is a must-have for your kitchen toolbox: “It makes slicing large quantities of super thin vegetables a quick endeavor,” says Tenner. “It's also how I get that perfect julienne or superfine mince, which takes your home garnish game to the next level.”
This rice cooker
Cooking rice on the stovetop is about as simple as basic culinary skills can get. But if you’re looking to keep rice on hand pretty much at all times, there’s nothing that can provide the consistently great results of a well-made rice cooker. This highly-rated Zojirushi model is easy to use, making up to 5 and a half cups of rice per use. The only thing better than the delicious results are how easy it is to clean and store!
This vegetable spiralizer
Looking to incorporate more veggies into your diet? A spiralizer is an easy way to turn carrots, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini into delicious pasta alternatives in seconds. Pick up this option from OXO, which includes three stainless steel blades, allowing you to choose either spaghetti, fettuccine, or ribbon-cut spirals. It’s also great for making curly veggie fries, salads, and garnishes.
This countertop compost bin
Home composting may be more popular now than ever, but having the right hardware in place is vital for avoiding any unpleasant odors in your kitchen. This bin by ever-impressive home good designers Joseph Joseph has a unique, ventilated design that allows air to enter and circulate inside the caddy, which helps reduce moisture and the aromas damp conditions can create. And don’t fret, apartment dwellers: It’s also compact enough to fit in kitchens without a ton of countertop space.
This portable pizza oven
Let’s be honest: No matter what your tastes are, there’s nothing that can bring everyone together the way a delicious pizza can. Why not take the burden off of your delivery guy by making your own homemade pies with this state-of-the-art Roccbox home pizza oven?
“Reaching up to 932°F means you can bake an authentic Neapolitan-style pizza in 60 seconds,” says founder & CEO Tom Gozney. The best part? The oven’s super portability means you can take your pizza party on the road with you, whether it’s a beach party or friend’s backyard BBQ!
This air-frying toaster oven
When considering any kitchen appliances, it’s always important to remember that efficiency matters. Instead of springing for single use appliances, pick up versatile pieces like this Chefman combination air fryer and toaster oven. Besides being able to fry your favorite snacks with 98 percent less oil than traditional fryers, it can also bake, broil, and toast, with enough space to fit up to six slices of bread or a five-and-a-half pound chicken.
This smart toaster
If you’re sick of ruining breakfast with inedibly charred pieces of toast, it’s time to upgrade your equipment to include this smart toaster from Revolution Cooking. Not only does it heat up and toast in a fraction of the time of conventional toasters, but it also distributes heat evenly every time and saves your preferences on an easy-to-use touchscreen. More of a Pop Tarts person? It also has specific settings for toasting breads, bagels, English muffins, waffles, and toaster pastries!
This sous vide machine
It wasn’t so long ago that sous vide cooking was only meant for top level chefs in Michelin-starred restaurants. But these days, it’s never been easier for even amateur home chefs to try their hand at the highly-revered cooking style. “I think everyone should invest in a sous vide because you can cook extremely tender meat with minimal hassle,” says Mitsui. And thanks to app-based products such as this Anova model—which costs less than $100—Mitsui now finds sous vides “very easy to use."
This cold press juicer
Jumping on the juice trend may be great if you're looking to pack your diet with vitamins and minerals, but if you’re running out to your local juice bar for every fix, your wallet is going to feel the pinch in no time. Save the stress on your bank account and invest in a reliable home juicer instead like this ColdPress 365 by Omega. Not only is it easy to assemble and clean, but it’s also quieter than high-speed juicers, minimizes aeration, and fits compactly on your countertop.
This electric knife sharpener
It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on fancy chef knives: If you don’t sharpen them regularly, your investment will be for nothing. Keep your cutting utensils performing like day one with this electric sharpener, which uses one-touch pre-programmed controls to guide you through the three sharpening stages without all of the guesswork that comes with stationary sharpening tools. It also features a “refine” option for touching up your blades on a weekly basis between full resharpenings.
This pasta maker
Spaghetti and meatballs. Fettuccine alfredo. Cacio e pepe. Whatever your pick is, anyone who’s passionate about pasta deserves access to fresh noodles at a moment's notice. But unlike traditional hand crank machines, this Philips model mixes ingredients and presses for you without any of the floury mess, making half a pound of pasta in less than ten minutes. Feeling creative? You can easily add vegetables, spices, juices, and herbs to make your noodles just the way you like them!