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    If You Hate Cooking After A Long Day, Here Are 37 Products That’ll Help Make It Easier

    Because the last thing you want to do after a full day of work or chasing your kids around is to spend hours making a complicated dinner.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. 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 snap-on pasta strainer if you're making a big batch of pasta and don't want to have to dump the entire thing into a separate colander. Just clip this onto the side of your pot, tip out all the water, and get back to cooking!

    A model straining pasta from a green strainer clipped to the sides of the pot

    Promising review: "I've owned this for about six months, and I couldn't imagine cooking without it. I hate strainers. They are bulky and fill up the dishwasher, I'm lazy, whatever. This strainer is a lifesaver. Clip it on your pan, strain, and voilà! And it is so easy to clean. A little hot water and it's good to go for the next round. I highly recommend this gadget; it will retire your current strainer." —Viola Evens

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

    2. A garlic prepping set with a silicone tube that peels your garlic and a stainless steel press that minces it up. Yes, that means you can prepare your garlic without ever touching it and getting your hands all smelly.

    The pink silicone tube and hands using the metal press to mince garlic

    To peel with the tube, just place the clove inside and roll the tube against the counter a few times.

    Promising review: "LOVE this product! I like the size of the garlic chunks that you get with this masher, and I LOVE how easy it is to clean compared to other garlic mashers. I love that you don't need to use your fingers to peel the garlic. My mom has been cooking with garlic with every meal for 50+ years and wants one now too!!" —Mama Miller

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    3. A Bacon Sponge — a 100% organic cotton towel — that can absorb 10 TIMES its weight in liquid! Now you won't have to use nearly half a roll of paper towels just to absorb the grease and oil from cooking bacon.

    Pile of bacon sitting on the quilted cloth
    Green City Living / Etsy

    To clean the towel, soak in hot water and a degreaser soap for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Green City Living is a small business based in Denver that specializes in reusable and eco-friendly home goods. They donate 2.5% of sales to Climate Emergency Fund, an organization that supports climate activists.

    Promising review: "These are amazing!!! They work! And no stains!!! I was concerned that since I don’t use Dawn or a big-name-brand dish soap, my Earth-friendly soap might not cut the grease as well, but that was not the case! My Bacon Sponge is perfectly clean and spotless! I love it! So glad I ordered two! I couldn’t be more pleased!!!" —cattealover

    Get it from Green City Living on Etsy for $14.99.

    4. A versatile chop, slice, and dice unit with the power to cut up all your ingredients in the fraction of the time it would take you to use a regular knife. Meal prep just got so much easier!

    reviewer's chopper and dicer next to perfectly chopped up onions
    a close up of the different blades you can use in the slicer

    This unit comes with three interchangeable chopping blades, three grater blades, and two slicer blades. It also comes with holding containers to house all the blades, a cleaning fork, and a safety holder.

    Promising review: "I LOVE this item. It is a massive time saver, is easy to use and clean, and is a durable as any product I have seen. It makes quick work of dicing onions and veggies, and the multiple slicers are simple and efficient for everything you need to slice or grate. The entire unit stores in a very small space and is intuitive and simple to use and takes the place of 3 to 4 single Items. The storage/collection base is a huge plus and keeps the entire process clean and easy to access and save into any other containers. I would recommend this product to anyone who even uses it once a month, but I find you will find a use for it almost daily. Great product!" —Kevin P

    Get it from Amazon for $29.98.

    5. rapid veggie steamer if you want to whip up a nutritious side dish in a matter of minutes without having to put in very much work.

    A model placing a green triangular steamer into a microwave

    Promising review: "Great purchase!!! I’ve been able to steam a whole squash, whole zucchini, handful of cauliflower, broccoli, and it comes out perfectly in 3–4 minutes! It makes cooking and eating healthier so quick and easy." —Ashley

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    6. An Instant Pot aka the true MVP of any kitchen. This 7-in-1 kitchen gadget acts as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, warmer, and you can sauté in it. It's almost like there's a teeny-tiny private chef hiding in this thing magically whipping up tasty recipes!

    The Instant Pot with lid removed

    This handy kitchen gadget has seven functions: rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer!

    Promising review: "I love my Instant Pot. I own a traditional pressure cooker that I rarely used because I felt like I needed to constantly watch it, so I was reluctant to invest in an Instant Pot. I am so glad I did. I have used it at least twice a week since I bought it and sometimes three or four times. I have done everything from cook hard-boiled eggs to cook ribs to bake a cheesecake. I almost never use my other slower cooker, because I can brown meat right in the Instant Pot and use the slow cooker setting. My most used accessories are the steamer basket ($12.49), springform pan ($9.99), extra liner ($24.95) and extra sealing ring ($8.95). The least used is the hard-boiled egg steamer rack ($18.30; the steamer basket holds a lot more and is easier to use). If my Instant Pot died tomorrow, I would feel certain that I had more than gotten my money's worth and immediately buy another." —mickey

    Get it from Amazon for $79.99+ (available in three sizes).

    7. An herb stripper so you don't have to spend 15 minutes just picking off all the individual herbs from the bitter stems. Now you can speed up your prep time and get to cooking sooner (which means you get to eat sooner, too!)

    The herb strippers in various colors
    MudPotteryAndGlass / Etsy

    MudPotteryAndGlass is a small business based in Mendocino, California, that specializes in unique glass and ceramic gifts.

    Promising review: "Thank you for the herb stripper. I used it to make my mother's recipe for parsley potatoes and it worked wonderfully. I will order again!" —Cynthia Huddleston

    Get it from MudPotteryAndGlass on Etsy for $19.50 (available in two colors).

    8. Plus, five-blade stainless-steel herb scissors to keep your herb prep time down because just two cuts with these scissors equals 10 knife cuts. You can use this to cut your herbs right over your pot or pan you're cooking in!

    Promising review: "This is a must-have for every kitchen. I like to put fresh herbs into most of my food. What an ingenious gadget to make it easier. Just clip and there you have it. I use a lot of green onions for various dishes. This was my prime purpose for ordering this item. It does not disappoint. It even handled several stalks at a time. I found that I could cut up the green stalks with ease. I especially like the dual purpose of the guard used to put over the blades when storing. The top of this guard also helps to clear the blades after cutting the herbs or whatever. Brilliant design!" —AZN8TV

    Get it from Amazon for $15.89 (available in two colors).

    9. A rapid egg cooker for easily whipping up your preferred style of eggs. If you're a big fan of breakfast (or breakfast for dinner!), you absolutely need this in your life.

    Mint rapid egg cooker sitting on a kitchen counter
    soft-boiled egg sliced down the middle

    You can cook up to six eggs at a time. Make hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, poached eggs, scrambled eggs, or individual omelets in a matter of minutes!

    Promising review: "If you eat hard-boiled eggs often this is absolutely 100% worth the money just for that. Eggs come out perfect every time. No green rings. No rubbery whites. Easy to peel every time. It's easy, faster than boiling water, and every egg turns out the same. Makes other kinds of eggs too, and according to the booklet you can steam veggies and other things in it too. But OMG even if you only ever used it for hard-boiled eggs it's worth it. I don't think I've ever given a product 5 stars like this before. Also, skeptics: Yes, I know boiling eggs isn't hard. It's the consistent results with even less effort that's remarkable." –Crockery

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in eight colors).

    10. An oil mister so you can spritz your favorite oil all over veggies, meat, or a salad without getting your hands all dirty and slimy.

    Promising review: "This is a great item for lightly spraying salads, roasting vegetables, or adding some oil to a prepared plate of pasta. Avoids using more oil than necessary so that’s a savings right there. I also use it to put a light coating of oil on all my cast-iron cookware to prevent rust. Best of all, it looks great on the dinner table. Lots of uses which really makes it an asset in the kitchen. It seems that it should last a while so I think it is worth the few bucks spent." —Clancy

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    11. Clip-on stands if you've ever wished you could get an extra pair of hands in the kitchen. These hold your storage bags upright so you can easily transfer any leftovers into them. Genius!

    Five bags being held up by the clips to be filled with food

    They're *also* great for air drying bags you've washed out to reuse.

    Promising review: "I used three of these to help me make freezer meals for after I have a baby. I can honestly say I don't know how I would have filled the freezer bags without these ingenious baggy holders. I was able to dump veggies, spices, meat, and cans of heavy beans and tomatoes into the bags, and they stood up the entire time without sliding or spilling. One of the bags I stuffed literally to the brim, as full as it could go, and the bag did not fall down. I would definitely recommend these." —Grace S.

    Get a pack of two from Amazon for $11.99 (also available in other quantities).

    12. A set of three dough presses so you can make your own ravioli, empanadas, dumplings, hand pies, calzones — basically, any kind of recipe that involves food inside of dough!

    An uncooked empanada in one of the dough presses after being shaped
    A row of perfectly cooked and identical empanadas

    You can even use the back of it to stamp out perfectly round pieces of dough to fill with the delicious fillings.

    Promising review: "This was a great purchase for the price. I was making empanadas and folding them by hand, which didn’t look too good. This set helps me cut them easily into circles and then easily presses them closed. Consistent look each time! I like that there are three sizes in the set so I can make them according to my mood. Easy to wash and use. Would highly recommend for the price and functionality!" —Sox

    Get a set of three from Amazon for $9.99.

    13. An Always Pan that's as beautiful as it is practical. This one pan can replace your fry pan, sauté pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, nonstick pan, spatula, and spoon rest. People with a small kitchen and limited storage space: This do-it-all pan was made for you.

    always pan in pink
    always pan in pink used to serve breakfast
    Our Place

    Promising review: "Best and most versatile one out there. I’ve had a few great pans; this is more than that. You can cook so many different things easily. I love experimental cooking, and I also love trying to make foods from cultures I’m not experienced with. The size, shape, depth, 'accessories' sold with it, and additional pieces they offer to work with it make it the most versatile one out there. It makes cooking any food from any recipe a million times more simple. Super easy to clean too with a nonstick surface that’s better than any other out there." —Anna C.

    Get it from Our Place for $145 (available in 11 colors).

    14. A popular microwave pasta cooker to make whipping up a yummy bowl of noodles somehow even easier?! All you have to do is place the container with the pasta and water in the microwave, and in a few minutes they'll be ready to eat!

    A model straining water out of a transparent rectangular cooker full of pasta

    The water drains straight out of the maker, so no need to dirty a colander!

    Promising review: "I don't want to get all gushy over a pasta maker, but man...I really love this gizmo! I try to limit my monthly food expenditures and the Fasta Pasta helps me work in at least one inexpensive pasta meal every week. If not more. First of all, I like spaghetti — either with normal Prego-type sauce or sometimes just with butter and Romano cheese sprinkled on. But I'm lazy and impatient and don't like things that take a long time to make, with a bunch of steps and a big cleanup afterwards. The Fasta Pasta is perfect for me. I get the exact amount of correctly measured spaghetti; it's faster than boiling water in a big pot then having to watch and stir the pasta; the pasta comes out perfectly cooked every time; and the cleanup is a snap. No big pot; no colander; no spaghetti fork to lift out the pasta. Just the easy-to-clean Fasta Pasta and a pot to heat up the sauce. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!" —Smilin Sam

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    15. A trio of professional-quality knives because nothing's as satisfying in the kitchen as slicing, dicing, and cutting your ingredients with a razor-sharp edge. A priceless investment for anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, this sophisticated knife set is sure to last you years and years.

    three knives stored upright in a wooden block
    Material Kitchen

    Pssst: this is actually one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2021! The set comes with the Almost 4" knife, the serrated 6" knife, the 8" knife, and the stand.

    Material Kitchen is an Asian-owned small business that sells high-quality kitchenware meant for home cooks.

    Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my son and love the quality and beauty of the knife stand. So sleek and streamlined and will be perfect for his small urban apartment. The knives feel great in your hand and look great too. This is a great gift and will be his first great quality knife set. Can’t wait to give to him!" —Marianne C.

    Get the three-piece knife and stand set from Material Kitchen for $225 (available in four handle colors).

    16. A *super*-compact 8-in-1 spiralizer perfect for anyone wanting to add some variety to their recipes. Looking to try out zoodles? Need to grate some fancy cheese? Want to throw in some freshly squeezed juice? This thing can do all of that, and then some!

    BuzzFeed editor holding the transparent cup with eight black lids
    A model using the device to make zoodles, grate cheese, and squeeze an orange
    Emma Lord/BuzzFeed, Amazon

    It's also very safe to use thanks to the finger guard it comes with, and it has measurements on the inside of the cup. Plus: All the different caps can stack on top of each other for easy storage.

    Promising review: "LOVE THIS. I absolutely love this. So far I've used the thicker spiralizer, two of the grater things, and then the juicer. I love how easy this makes keeping everything together. And it's sharp so it actually cuts through things without you needing to work super hard to do it. The only thing I don't love is that the spiralizers are a bit hard to clean, but I guess that's with all of them? Not sure, this is the first I've owned. But, overall, I'd recommend it :)." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $19.98.

    17. A stainless-steel Black + Decker four-slice toaster oven that's sure to remind you of those after-school pizza rolls you made yourself before your parents came home from work. Now you can use this to make and reheat adult food...or you can just stick to the pizza rolls. We won't judge.

    A stainless steel toaster oven with three round knobs and a glass door with a pizza inside

    Choose from four functions on the toaster oven: convection bake, broil, toast, or keep warm. It can easily fit a 9-inch pizza, four slices of bread, or a variety of other snacks and meals.

    Promising review: "I love my toaster oven. It has a sleek stainless-steel design that goes perfectly with the decor I have in my apartment. The variety of settings makes it even better. This is why I chose to invest in a toaster oven instead of just a toaster. You can do SO much with it. I use it for toast/bagels, proteins (fish, chicken, etc.) and vegetables. It's also useful because I can avoid turning on the bigger oven which has a bigger impact on the power bill. I will say, it's not the easiest to clean (not the hardest either) because it's stainless steel, but if you buy a good cleaning product you're fine." —Claudi Padilla

    Get it from Amazon for $49.99

    18. A Home Chef subscription for anyone who wants to cook at home more but doesn't really have the time or energy to come up with meal ideas and go grocery shopping. Reviewers love the easy instructions, variety of options available, and the quality of the food they receive.

    This meal kit subscription offers gluten-free, dairy-free, meatless, calorie-conscious, and carb-conscious meals, so whatever your dietary preferences are, they'll have something for you! Each shipment includes portioned and labeled ingredients and the instructions to cook the meal. Most meals take 30 minutes to cook, but there are also 15-minute meals as well as oven-ready meals that you just pop right into the oven when you're ready to eat.

    Promising review: "Excellent flavors, easy to make, good variety of meals, arrive fresh and correctly prepared every time. Couldn't be more pleased. Has saved me time and money during the busy weekdays!" —Jessica

    Get it from Home Chef for $6.99+/per serving.

    19. A small but effective rice cooker that can also steam meat and veggies at the same time it makes the fluffiest rice you've ever had in your life. Nothing like whipping up your entire meal with just one gadget!

    The rice cooker with cooked rice in it
    The rice cooker with veggie stew in it

    Promising review: "Rice cookers are fantastic. I used to cook rice in a pot and I would invariably make subpar rice. This rice cooker makes fantastic rice, my only recommendation would be to use stock (chicken or vegetable) instead of water to give the rice a lot of extra flavor. It does a really great job of cooking rice perfectly and consistently. You can't beat the price either." —JP

    Get it from Amazon for $29.92+ (available in three styles).

    20. A two-pack of TikTok-famous Dan-O's seasoning to give everything from meat to eggs to veggies the perfect ~kick~ of spice and take it to the next level flavor-wise. Made with dried herbs, citrus, and granulated onion and garlic, you'll be sprinkling this low-sodium spice blend on essentially everything you make.

    two jars of spices
    the spices on a steak and potatoes

    Dan O's seasoning is a small business established in 2017 that gained popularity after taking to TikTok during the pandemic, where the company now has 1.5 million followers with plenty of droolworthy food content.

    Promising review: "I became interested in this product while watching TikToks. I have been adding it to so many things. I use it in spaghetti, on fish, and one of my favorites is to add it to popcorn. My husband had to ask why my popcorn smelled like steak. I love the fact that it is low sodium as well. I am not a fan of extra salt and most foods already have plenty of salt but need some seasoning. This should be your go to seasoning." —Heartcri

    Get a pack of two (one original, one spicy) from Amazon for $20.96.

    21. A Dash air fryer poised to become your most used appliance in the kitchen. It's perfect for cooking anything from frozen foods to veggies with barely any oil, and it's small enough that it can sit on top of your counter without taking up too much space.

    Promising review: "Best addition to our kitchen in a long time. For the price you can’t beat this. It is definitely a one- or two-person item, so if you have a family buy a bigger one. Fries and tots in 15 minutes and no preheat!!! Even cookie dough in a matter of minutes! Love it!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $41.99+ (available in two sizes and six colors). 

    22. And this air fryer cooking cheat sheet magnet to keep on your fridge so you know exactly how long to cook every kind of food instead of just shoving it in the basket and hoping for the best.

    air fryer cooking cheat sheet on a fridge
    close up of the cheat sheet showing cooking times for beef in the air fryer
    First Rate Gifts / Etsy

    First-Rate Gifts is an LA-based small business that sells cooking cheat sheets so you can easily reference cooking times for frequently made ingredients.

    Promising review: "Wonderful, exactly what I needed and close at hand. Fits nicely on my refrigerator!" —Lucia C Creech

    Get it from First-Rate Gifts on Etsy for $19.99 (available in three colors).

    23. A KitchenAid food chopper that's perfect for whipping up sauces, salsas, or salad dressings. You can also use this to chop up a large amount of ingredients in a matter of seconds.

    all the chunky ingredients for salsa in the chopper
    salsa being pureed in a kitchenaid food chopper

    Promising review: "This is a perfect size for a small counter. It stores both blades and the cord wraps nicely. It is large enough to chop a large onion. It has a variable speed which is great for controlling particle size. It seems well-made; very little vibration and is very attractive." —