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    26 Kitchen Products That People Say Work Just As Well As Their Pricier Counterparts

    No Le Creuset to see here, but there are plenty of other just-as-great (and more affordable) finds.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A Hamilton Beach stand mixer you can use to crank out baked goods just as worthy of Paul Hollywood's handshake as one's you'd make with a fancy KitchenAid. Whether you've got bread on the mind (join the quar club) or want to whip up cakes and cookies, this machine can do it all.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    With whisk, paddle, and dough hook attachments, the world is your oyster (cracker) when it comes to mixing batters, kneading doughs, and so much more. There's a handy guide with settings for everything from gentle folding to heavy whipping, and my personal favorite feature is the splash guard, which I'll have you know was not included with my own KitchenAid mixer! 😫Just note that, as with any stand mixer, you'll want to scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula from time to time to ensure nothing sticks to the sides.

    Promising review: "I had a KitchenAid before and it was SO HEAVY! This still does the job (I make a lot of bread) but is so much lighter. This is important to me because I don't keep it on the counter, I store it away at the bottom of my pantry. Because it's lighter, it's just so much more portable, and not a big deal to drag out to, say, whip up a cake mix. I'm very happy with my purchase." —Allie

    Get it from Amazon for $99.99+ (available in five colors).

    2. A six-speed electric hand mixer that, as a former professional baker, I fully endorse for most home baking needs.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Love baking but don't have the budget — or space — for a large stand mixer? As someone who used to bake for a living, I can tell you that this very handy mixer is the one I use most often when I bake at home — and in fact, 99 percent of the time I reach for it in place of lugging out my KitchenAid. It's lasted me many years, and comes with both beaters and whisk attachments (along with a convenient storage case). I've even found that it's powerful enough to whip up egg whites for meringues, though, admittedly, your arm might get a bit of a workout. To ensure your beaters don't rust, be sure to wash by hand (and dry immediately!).

    Promising review: "I teach middle school cooking classes at an urban public school. I bought six of these a year ago and none of them have broken yet (they get used about once every other week). None of them have started smoking, no plastic pieces have cracked from dropping, and they have been able to withstand kids jamming the attachments in not so carefully." —Kate

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    3. A set of mixing bowls designed to save you room, since they can be stacked inside one another. They also come with lids!

    Target, Anonymous / Target

    As an avid baker, mixing bowls are one of my most reached-for essentials in the kitchen. The only problem is, they can be a bit bulky, and if you're low on space, it's tough to know what to do with them. Luckily, this set of four (!) glass bowls can neatly fit inside one another, so you only need enough room for the largest one — and the fact that they come with lids makes them great for food storage, too. They're microwave and *technically* dishwasher safe, but I find that mixing bowls tend to stay in better shape when washed by hand.

    Promising review: "Nested glass bowls and lids are an excellent value for the price. I was looking for a replacement Pyrex-type bowl, and this set was almost identical." —Glass bowls set

    Get it from Target for $20.

    4. A silicone baking mat that'll end your spatula versus sheet pan battles for good. No sticky residue, and just think of all the moolah (and trees!) you'll be saving by cutting down on parchment paper.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    If you're sick of your cookies (or anything you cook) getting stuck to your baking sheet, consider this ingenious product your new best friend. Its slick, nonstick surface allows foods to glide right off (yes, really!) without any mess, and a set of four, which includes three baking mats and one round pizza mat, costs less than just one of the name brand versions (because who is ever baking only one tray of cookies at a time?!). Bonus: For lazy bakers (like me) who don't want to get the tape measure out, there's a convenient measurement guide on each mat in case you want to be extra precise.

    Promising review: "I have been using Silpat brand silicone baking mats for years and I love them, but, they are very expensive. SOMEONE in my family decided to use a knife on one of my baking mats, so I needed a new one. I tried this brand and I have to say, I love them. I use the mats just about every single day for cooking because we are vegan, and roasted vegetables are the bomb!!! I do put my heat up to 450 degrees, and the mats have held up beautifully. The mats work great, are completely nonstick, clean well when I hand-wash them, and have been doing great in the dishwasher so far. I am not a baker, so I didn't buy them for that reason, but seeing how much easier it seems to make cookies and rolling dough and measuring, I might just attempt it soon. I do make pizza very often and it was great having the large mat to measure the size I wanted." —Fran Goldstein

    Get it from Amazon for $12.72+ (available in sets of four or six and in four colors).

    5. A compact air fryer to make your crispy-crunchy dreams a reality. It's small, yet mighty (it can hold over 4 quarts of food), and its nonstick surface means you won't have to overexert yourself scrubbing it clean.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    This nifty device uses rapid-air technology to circulate heat (up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit), which, in turn, rapidly cooks your food. It also includes a cookbook, so you can master game day wangz and beyond.

    Promising review (long, but worth it!): "We honestly weren't expecting to use this thing as much as we have, but after a few months with this fryer, it's safe to say that we've come to use it more than oven/stove top. Everything comes out crispier than we've ever been able to achieve with the oven — and much faster, too! It also makes heating up leftovers a breeze, which has helped save a decent amount of food/money (which has proven quite helpful during these uncertain times). The only thing my husband and I would change about this machine is the removable insert for the drawer. Since it just sits in there, it's prone to falling out when you go to dump out loose items such as fries, which can be a bit of a hazard since it is obviously quite hot from the cooking process. In the future, I hope to see this piece implemented with either a mechanism to lock it in place or replaced entirely with a basket that can be removed. Other than that, this device has proven to be a wonderful purchase and it performs just as well as my mother's more expensive, name brand fryer." —Lili St. Cyr

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99+ (available in four colors).

    6. A toaster oven that'll earn a permanent spot on your counter because you'll use it for so much more than toast.

    Reviewer photo of asparagus being taken out of the toaster oven
    amazon.com

    It might be called a toaster, but it also broils, bakes, and goes up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit — so yes, you can cook practically anything that will fit inside of it! Think of it as a mini convection oven that will have warm food on your table in less time than it takes to preheat your full-size oven. 

    Promising review: "This product might be among the cheaper versions, but it fits our needs perfectly. We had a bigger, more expensive unit that failed, and we downsized to fit our needs. No baking large items, just toasting or heating small dishes. This toaster oven is perfect and very well made. I am handy and fix all my own appliances, and know that this is well worth the price." —John Iannotti

    Get it from Amazon for $35.

    7. A mini rice cooker you'll want to bust out for every meal once you see how easy it is to use (it's really cute, too!).

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    If you're the type of person who becomes impatient at the very thought of having to wait to eat rice (aka me), you'll love the fact that, according to the manufacturer, this little machine will have hot rice on your table in less than 20 minutes! Plus, it's got PFOA-free nonstick coating, and includes a rice measuring cup, serving spatula, and recipe book. Just know that this compact device makes about 2 cups of rice at a time, so if you're cooking for a crowd, you'll want one that has a larger capacity.

    Promising review: "I wasn't expecting much for such a low-priced appliance. I'm glad I gambled on it — what a surprise that this cute little rice cooker performs exactly as it's advertised. It cooks rice perfectly, keeps it warm for as long as you want, and cleanup is a breeze!!!! It's so little that at first you can't believe it could make so much. Definitely get this if you're cooking for one or two." —Julie S.

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available on its own or in four multi-product packages and in eight colors).

    8. A slow cooker to use for all of your cozy, cold-weather meals, especially when you're too lazy to do any work.

    Reviewer photo of stew in the slow-cooker
    amazon.com

    Just think of all the hearty things you'll be able to braise, stew, and simmer this fall and winter — with hardly any effort on your part! And if you're looking for inspiration, there's a recipe guide included to give you some ideas. 

    Promising review: "THANK YOU, GOD, FOR THIS POT! I purchased two because I have been making a lot of apple butter for friends and family. I had one regular-sized one and a large electronic one. I found out the small one made my apples CARAMELIZE better than the LARGE ELECTRONIC ONE! Because the small one reduces and caramelizes the apples more, the scent throughout the house is 'heavenly,' and the THANK YOUS I get are worth buying two or three at a time for me!" —Mrs_Belle

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in four sizes and two colors).

    9. A Dutch oven so gorgeous (those color options!), you'll forget you ever lusted over that "French brand" altogether. Oh, and you can also use it to cook practically anything you want, either on the stove top or in the oven.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    A beloved kitchen brand in its own right, Lodge is known for its durable cast iron cookware, and this Dutch oven is no exception. It's coated in enamel for easy cleanup, and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit — though it's also a pro at trapping in juices for tender braises and retaining heat for evenly cooked roasts. To help prevent the enamel from chipping, be sure to avoid using with metal kitchen tools, and always wash by hand with non-brasive cleaning products.

    Promising review: "I've used many Le Creuset pans and had great results with almost all. I was getting ready to replace a 4.5-quart Dutch oven after 20+ years of regular use because the enamel was starting to wear thin, creating a hot spot that scorched the food, when I found the Lodge enameled cast iron. I was skeptical, but gave it a try and so far — only a month or two — it's every bit as good as the Le Creuset, and cost about a third as much. I'll update this review if I encounter problems, but so far, I'm happy." —Rootlesscosmo

    Get it from Amazon for $54.85+ (available in seven sizes and 26 colors).

    10. A stainless steel roasting pan you'll want to have if you're on turkey duty this Thanksgiving (or if you just like roasting things in general).

    Reviewer photo of the roasting pan holding a turkey
    amazon.com

    Not only does using a roasting rack promote more even cooking, it's also theatrical — raise your hand if you get excited by the sight of a glistening roast being lifted out of a shiny silver pan! Many reviewers say that even though this affordable pan doesn't have nonstick coating, it's a breeze to clean, and most recommend washing by hand. 

    Promising review: "We've gone through several different set-ups. The last was a very expensive setup from Williams Sonoma. That one was good, but the handles would fall down by design. Made for a real challenge getting the turkey out of an oven after several hours of cooking. This pan looks great, is very lightweight, but strong, and cleans up easily. Best turkey pan ever!!! Even the wire rack cleanup was no issue." —John Armstrong

    Get it from Amazon for $58.99.

    11. A cast iron grill pan for when you want a nice char but live in a tiny shoebox apartment, so LOL at the notion of having an outdoor barbecue space. 🙃

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    This durable grill pan comes pre-seasoned and ready to use, and reviewers say it delivers the same pro-looking grill marks as a fancy outdoor grill. As with all cast iron cookware, you'll want to wash this by hand with a nonabrasive cleaner and dry ASAP to keep it from rusting!

    Promising review: "This is something I wish I had bought YEARS ago. I was already familiar with cast iron cooking and cleaning (this isn’t something to put in the dishwasher), and I recently decided to make the change and try it indoors. I basically use the same cooking method indoors as I do out using my barbecue. I am able to perfectly grill meat, shrimp, hot dogs, and the flavor and texture is excellent and comparable to grilling outdoors. The only thing I suggest is you do it using an overhead fan, otherwise the house might smell like a barbecue. I definitely recommend this pan if you are considering grilling indoors." —Karen•in•California

    Get it from Amazon for $19.90.

    12. A nonstick saucepan that doubles as a strainer and costs less than the price of a movie ticket.

    Target, Josa / Target

    Reviewers say this pan is lightweight, yet sturdy, and that it's super efficient when it comes to keeping food from sticking. They also love that it has a handy pouring spout.

    Promising review: "I own three other much more expensive, brand name sauce pans, but thought I’d try this one because everyone seems to be happy with it. I’d recommend this to anyone. It’s so easy to wash, and I love that the lid can be used as a strainer as well. Nothing negative to say about the construction, feel, use, and especially the price for this pot. I’d purchase it again for sure!" —Pea

    Get it from Target for $15+ (available in two sizes).

    13. An instant-read thermometer to keep you from overcooking that steak you bought from an *actual* butcher shop (and spent an entire day's salary on).

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    We sincerely hope you'll never have to suffer through a tough piece of meat, overbaked cake, or dry Thanksgiving turkey ever again (actually, the same goes for foods that are too raw as well). If you also want this for yourself, using an instant-read thermometer is the best way to monitor the cooking process along the way and ensure your food is at its safest — and most delicious — temperature. Name brand thermometers can cost upward of $100, and while this one might not be quite as durable, it's a much more affordable option that will cover any basic cooking needs — just don't leave it in the oven, like one reviewer did!

    Promising review: "I own a ThermoWorks thermometer, which is great but very expensive. This ThermoPro product performed as well as my current thermometer, but is easier to use and significantly less expensive! I highly recommend it! This is the thermometer I’ll be including in a bridal shower gift." —Tsu Nami

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in three colors).

    14. A convenient steamer basket for when you want to eat vegetables, but can't be bothered to turn on the oven.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    This versatile steamer basket adapts to fit many sizes of pots and pans, then conveniently folds up for easy, compact storage. It also doubles as a strainer, and its silicone coating helps prevent it from scratching your cookware and kitchen surfaces.

    Promising review: "I had a similar product for 20 years or more. When it came time to replace it, I bought this product and was amazed at how superior the design was. I didn't realize how much the ability to raise or lower the feet on this product improved cooking different items. The handle that raises and lowers makes it so much easier to lift the basket out of the pan than my old one. I wished that I got this one years ago." —Robert Kodama

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in three sizes).

    15. A versatile food processor to save you So. Much. Prep. Time.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    If chopping and slicing are reasons you've avoided cooking for yourself, this workhorse might just be the thing to get you back into the kitchen. Not only does it come with a reversible disc for slicing and/or shredding, it's also a "whiz" at pureeing (it is soup season, after all). And the fact that you can fit an entire block of cheese down the chute for instant shredding means you're all the more closer to chowing down on a heaping plate of nachos, so what's not to love, really?

    Promising review: "When my decades-old Cuisinart finally gave up the ghost, I was devastated. I used it for absolutely everything and had pretty much forgotten how much harder cooking was before it was invented. But with tons of holiday cooking looming on the horizon, I had to have one. Being decades older now myself, I just could not justify the cost of replacing it with another Cuisinart. After reading the reviews on this Hamilton Beach model, I decided to gamble that it would, at least, handle some of the more routine things I throw into the bowl. Holy guacamole! What a workhorse! It has more than exceeded my expectations but — even more amazing — it cleans up easier and faster than my old food processor. You can truly teach an old cook some wonderful new recipes with a tool like this." —C. White

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99+ (available in two sizes).

    16. A powerful blender that'll take you from your morning smoothie to your happy hour frozen margarita.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Even if you're not a smoothie person, a good blender can have you on your way to smoother soups, sauces, and dips in a matter of seconds — and reviewers say this one is also great at breaking down ice. While you might not be able to achieve the silkiness that much pricier models are known for, this is still a solid option if you don't mind a little texture.

    Promising review: "I am a die-hard Vitamix person, but wanted a second blender to keep where I rent in the winter. I did not want to spend the money for another Vitamix, and this looked good. I liked the description about the technology to crunch ice, because that was my biggest challenge with 'regular' blenders. I use a lot of ice in my shakes. This blender is awesome. Crunches the ice with ease. I probably will never get a Vitamix again, as this is just as good but for a much better price." —Christine

    Get it from Amazon for $79.99.

    17. An immersion blender containing more attachments than your boss's emails (but you'll actually want to open these).

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Love making soup but hate burning yourself when it's time to transfer the mixture to a blender to make it smooth? This handy tool takes the transfer step out altogether, so everything stays in the pot and off of you. It also comes with whisk and frother attachments and is equipped with eight speed settings to suit whatever level of immersion you're going for.

    Promising review: "This blender is well above and beyond what I was expecting. I've used it to blend soups, whip heavy whipping cream into whipped cream with the whisk attachment, and froth milk with the frother. I was contemplating buying the KitchenAid version just because I already own their products and am familiar with the company, but honestly I'm happy with this one. Definitely worth the money! 10/10 would blend again." —Seth Detwiler

    Get it from Amazon for $29.97.

    18. A set of wineglasses that are pretty, but inexpensive enough that you won't feel bad when a dinner party guest inevitably breaks one.

    Photo of wine glass filled with red wine, with charcuterie in the background
    Wayfair

    I love a nice bulbous wineglass, but I also get incredibly anxious any time I'm handed stemware because I'm not the most coordinated. Luckily, this set of six costs less than many single high-end glasses, so you don't have to feel as precious about them — and they're also BPA free!

    Promising review: "These are my go-to red wine glasses. I always keep extras on hand. They are more durable than many much more expensive ones, and have a great look. They are a great price, so breaking one is not as upsetting as expensive ones." —Stephanie

    Get it from Wayfair for $22.99.

    19. A 12-piece stoneware set to finally replace the mismatched plates you've had since college.

    12-piece dishware set
    Target

    At just over $2 per piece, this collection is a great, basic dinnerware set that you won't feel too worried about when it comes to the occasional scratch or chip. It comes with four salad plates, four dinner plates, and four excellently shaped bowls that, if you're like me, you'll probably find yourself eating the majority of your meals out of. Just note that many reviewers say the black color appears more green in person!

    Promising review: "This set is so adorable. The plates feel heavy and solid and look just as expensive as other stoneware sets that cost a ton more. I like that there's no rim, so you get more room for food on the plate. I really liked that they didn't come with mugs — honestly, I have an entire cabinet full of mugs, I do not need any more! So this set was great. We bought one to see how we liked it, and I'll be purchasing another set!" —sproutmom

    Get it from Target for $25 (available in four colors).

    20. A 17-piece knife set with everything you need, and then some (yes, there's even a dedicated pizza knife!).

    amazon.com

    With six steak knives, along with knives for chopping, slicing, and paring, you'll be giving Edward Scissorhands a run for his money. Speaking of scissors, this set comes with a pair of those, too, as well as cheese and pizza slicers, a peeler, and a knife sharpener. To help keep everything in good shape for a long time, wash by hand, and be sure to dry quickly to prevent rust!

    Promising review: "These are vastly affordable knives and the quality sticks out the second that you use them! Far better than more expensive knives I've bought before and better looking! We love them! Time, and how well you maintain them, is always the test. But they also included clear, simple knife maintenance instructions. I've bought knives that cost five times this and they don't come with a word of instruction and even their websites are convoluted and unhelpful. From the quality of the product to the thoughtful instructions, this is the best value I've ever purchased." —sbc2556

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99.

    21. A cold brew coffee maker that's exactly what you need on those days when you just can't even with the line at Starbucks.

    Reviewer photo of a cold brew maker next to a glass of iced coffee
    amazon.com

    I've never been good at making coffee at home, but if you're anything like me, know that this product couldn't be more foolproof. Just pour any type of ground coffee into the filter, place it into the pitcher with cold water, shake, and refrigerate. It's BPA free, and can make up to 1 or 2 quarts at a time, so when you consider how much money you're saving by making your own cold brew, it basically pays for itself after just one use.

    Promising review: "I love this cold brew system. I did have an expensive Pampered Chef system, but broke the pot. I bought this system as a replacement, and I like it much better. The coffee is great, and I have had zero problems with loose coffee grounds, even when I use bagged ground coffee instead of coarsely ground coffee, as is suggested." —Erin

    Get it from Amazon for $22.20+ (available in two sizes and in three colors).

    22. An espresso and cappuccino machine for when you're feeling fancy (but also want to lounge around in your sweats all day).

    amazon.com

    Few things are as cozy as a warm espresso drink with lots of foamy milk, and with this machine, you can make all of the caffeinated creations your heart desires. Pour up to two shots of espresso at a time, and at a fraction of the cost of name brand models.

    Promising review: "I am a 'coffee snob': roast my own beans every week, want that milk for a latte to be pure micro-foam ... So, I am picky. My machine at home grinds the beans on demand, makes great shots, and foams the milk as I prefer. This machine was purchased for a second home. Requires a bit more labor than the all-in-one device, but shots and foam are just about as good. And it did not cost $1,000." —WBS

    Get it from Amazon for $144.53.

    23. A six-tray dehydrator to make allll the dried fruit and jerky snacks you can eat.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    You can also use it to dry herbs, make fruit leather, and even whip up homemade dog treats! Simply place the food on the BPA-free trays, set the time and temperature, and let it do its magic.

    Promising review: "This was packaged exceptionally well, and the first few batches I have run through have been a joy. I used to use one of those old Nesco models that was honestly a pain, but the way everything connects and the crystal-clear plastic walls of the trays are a huge improvement. You can't do much better without doubling your price point." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $70.98.

    24. An electric kettle that boils water stat for mornings when you're low on time but gotta have that caffeine.

    Reviewer photo of the kettle on a counter top
    amazon.com

    According to the manufacturer, this cool, BPA-free glass kettle can boil water in just three to seven minutes — plus, its see-through design makes it sort of fun to watch the process!

    Promising review: "Unlike the three others from other manufacturers that preceded it, this one keeps on working. When deciding on a replacement, I assumed it would eventually fail, so went with the lowest cost, this one. So far, it is the best of the lot." —merditho

    Get it from Amazon for $25.19.

    25. A pack of reusable freezer bags to cut down on single-use plastic consumption — they're also a must-have for organization aficionados!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    These BPA-free, leakproof silicone bags are made of food-grade material, so they're safe for kids' lunches and snacks. Plus, they come with that super-satisfying zipper that we all know and love. Just be sure to wash and dry by hand.

    Promising review: "I love these! I am slowly replacing my Ziplocs with these reusable bags and I love using them. They hold up well in the freezer, clean well, and look good as new for the next time. Had one get stained from a tomato sauce, and after a few hours in the sun the stains disappeared. Loved them so much I bought extras like it as gifts." —A.N.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in three sizes and in four assortments).

    26. A cushy kitchen mat your feet will thank you for during epic cooking marathons.

    Reviewer photo of the kitchen mat on a hardwood floor
    amazon.com

    Believe it or not, comfortable kitchen mats can cost way more than you'd think, but this affordable version has thousands of great reviews. It's waterproof, has a nonslip bottom, and is super easy to clean. 

    Promising review: "For over a year, we've been cooking more meals in our kitchen, and the tile floor is very hard on our legs when you are just standing by the sink washing and prepping foods, not to mention washing dishes, etc. This kitchen mat relieves leg fatigue. So much so, no one is complaining about it anymore. Really such a good value compared to all the other more expensive alternatives. My only advice is when you receive the mat, to put it on a flat surface and weigh the edges down for a day or two, since it has a tendency to curl up after you unpack it. Other than that, it's great." —C. Cruz

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in three sizes and five colors). 

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.


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