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    47 Tips & Tricks That'll Make Cooking Way Less Stressful

    You'll be the master of the kitchen in no time flat thanks to these smart culinary shortcuts and handy gadgets.

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    1. Before you even get started, you'll want to make sure your kitchen is stocked with the right knives for the task. Did you know a chef's knife will actually squish delicate ingredients like tomatoes? You'll want to use a serrated knife instead!

    A guide to a knife block, with examples of steak knives, chef's knife, slicing knife, serrated knife, paring knife, vegetable knife, utility knife, tomato knife, and cheese knife
    thekitchn.com

    Keep in mind the three *most* important knives to have in your kitchen: the chef's knife for general dicing and slicing of veggies, meats, and nuts; the serrated knife, which is meant for things with a hard exterior and a softer center, like bread; and the paring knife for more intricate mincing and slicing, especially for fruits.

    Need the three basic knives? These are great options:

    Victorinox 8-inch chef's knife ($38.18 from Amazon)

    J.A. Henckels 5-Inch Serrated Utility Knife ($40.49 from Amazon)

    Victorinox 4-Inch Paring Knife ($7.61 from Amazon)

    Learn more about every kind of knife at The Kitchn.

    2. Once you get the proper knives, you'll want to start learning what all the different kinds of knife cuts are and actually do them when the recipe calls for it. Yes, there is a difference between dicing and mincing.

    Header image for the post The Complete Guide To Knife Cuts
    BuzzFeed

    And good news: we have a whole article dedicated to this! Check out The Complete Guide to Knife Cuts for everything you need to know to slice, dice, and jullienne like a pro.

    3. If the recipe calls for a 1-inch dice, use this cutting board with measurements etched into it to get a perfectly even chop every time.

    The cutting board with a grid of measurements to guide chopping, with someone julienning and small dicing a carrot on it
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My husband IS the obsessive chef! He is always very precise and careful in his cutting. If a recipe calls for dicing potatoes into 1-inch chunks...that is what he will do. I really bought this for him as a joke because of how precise he is, but he LOVED it. He truly uses the gridlines and the measurements to accurately dice his food. Additionally, its a nice lightweight cutting board. If you know a perfectionist chef, this is a GREAT gift idea." —TJ Callahan

    Get it from Amazon for $27.

    4. Keep your knives cutting as well as the day you bought them with a knife sharpener. Not only is chopping with a dull knife frustrating, but it can also be dangerous because it's more likely to slip.

    Person using a kitchenIQ small knife sharpener to sharpen knife
    Amazon

    You can use it to sharpen both straight-edge and serrated knives. Use the coarse sharpening slot to sharpen dull or damaged knives with just a few pulls, and then use the fine slot to finish and polish the edge.

    Promising review: "I've never sharpened my Calphalon knives. I've had them for three to four years. The last time I cut meat I worked up a sweat because the knives were so dull. Tonight I sharpened them and the chicken cuts like butter!!! I'm in heaven!" —wine.wife

    Get it from Amazon for $10.17+ (available in two colors).

    5. And if the thought of cutting yourself with a knife downright terrifies you, invest in a pair of cut-resistant gloves that are four times stronger than leather to keep all your fingertips safe.

    Model wearing grey gloves while cooking meat
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought the gloves because I had two nasty cuts in quick succession from a cheese grater. Anyone who has had injuries to their fingers knows how difficult it is to continue to do everyday activities and meal preparation while still protecting your wound. I received the gloves quickly after my order and pressed them into use immediately that evening. I am most impressed. My fingers/hands were protected from my very sharp grater and knife while I prepared dinner. I bought two pairs, one to keep and one to give as a gift. I am now going to buy a third pair in a larger size for a friend who also likes to cook but suffers from occasional run-ins with mandolines, graters, and knives. Great product!" —O'Hare

    Get it from Amazon for $11.49 (available in sizes S–XL and two colors).

    Psst — check out BuzzFeed's full review of NoCry Cut Resistant Gloves for more deets.

    6. As you're chopping ingredients, scoop up your ingredients with a bench scraper to easily transfer your food to the pan. It keeps your chopping board clean and tidy, and it's much faster and more effective than using your hands or a knife to gather up the ingredients.

    reviewer using a bench scraper to scoop up zucchini
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I had never even heard of a bench scraper until I took a cooking class but now I grab for it every time I cut up garlic, onions, or other veggies (scoops up diced and minced items much faster than doing multiple trips balancing chopped veggies on the flat side of the knife). It also helps separate the discard cuts from the 'keep' pile as you go along, and is great for quickly salvaging spilled herbs from the countertop." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $10.58.

    7. Use a pair of five-blade herb scissors to make quick, precise chops of herbs with ease. You won't even need to use a cutting board — just chop these straight over the pan you're cooking in or a prep bowl.

    model using herb scissors to chop up some sprigs of herbs
    Amazon

    Did you know this set of five-blade shears is the equivalent to 10 knife chops? 

    Promising review: "I like to grow herbs and use them in salads, soups, and many other recipes. I received these scissors as a birthday gift, and can't believe how fast and easy it is to cut up cilantro, basil, parsley, lovage, etc. My husband tried them today too for the first time while making guacamole, and found that slicing the cilantro went very quickly. The storage case cleaner is very efficiently designed, too. I ordered four of these sets to give as gifts." —Lucille P. Nawara

    Get it from Amazon for $15.87.

    8. Now that we've covered the basics of knives, let's switch to eggs. If you're cracking eggs and some eggshell pieces end up in the bowl, just use one of the big eggshell halves to scoop it up.

    Tasty / Via youtube.com

    Don't waste precious time trying to dig it out with your fingernails! 

    Read more: 21 Genius Grandparents' Cooking Tips You Need to Try ASAP

    9. Consult this handy graphic to know exactly how long and at what temperature you'll want to cook your eggs to get them to look and taste exactly how you want them to.

    graphic showing all the ways to cook eggs
    Lauren Zaser / Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed / Via buzzfeed.com

    Makes them perfect every time, and it takes all the guesswork out!

    10. If you're dreaming of extra-creamy scrambled eggs, the trick is to stir them constantly while they're on the pan at a low temperature.

    youtube.com

    Constantly stirring will help make the texture even and break up any uncooked pockets, thus resulting in that deliciously creamy texture.

    Read more: 12 Egg Cooking Tricks I Learned In Culinary School

    11. And if you're short on time and energy, use this rapid egg cooker that 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!

    Amazon, amazon.com

    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 $18.36+ (available in six colors).

    12. Before you even start cooking a recipe, figure out which ingredients you'll need and prep the correct amount by placing them in little containers or glass bowls (this is called mise en place). Now you'll never forget to add an ingredient or add 2 tablespoons of salt when the recipe actually called for 2 teaspoons.

    The set of bowls being used for various baking ingredients, with the largest used as a mixing bowl
    Amazon

    This set of nine Duralex bowls come in different sizes (1 ounce, 2 ounce, 4 ounce, 6 ounce, 10 ounce, 1/2 quart, 1 quart, 1 1/2 quart, 2 1/2 quart) and nest for easy storage — and they're dishwasher, fridge, and microwave safe and can withstand quick temperature changes without shattering.

    Promising review: "Wouldn't trade these for the world. I think this is my favorite kitchen purchase in a long time. I wish I had bought two sets and can't wait to get another when the budget allows. This set is awesome. It has a tiny little bowl for setting aside salt, pepper, or other spices to mix in later, and the large bowl is PERFECT for mixing a batch of 12 muffins. It also has every imaginable size in between. Filming some foodie videos and need to set aside ingredients like the pros? THIS IS THE SET for you!!! Also, these are sturdy — I tend to break glass objects and this set has made it through all my hand-washing, dishwasher, clanging around, and even a state-to-state move! They also can be put in the microwave to heat ingredients. This is the best all-around set of glass bowls for any kitchen... Like I said, you might want to buy two sets!" —Judith L. Jackson

    Get the set from Amazon for $31.10.

    13. You'll also want to clean up as you go by keeping a large countertop garbage bowl nearby (à la Rachael Ray) or a hanging compost bin that'll attach to the outside of your cabinets for easy disposal as you chop and cook.

    Amazon

    Yes, Rachael Ray makes a branded garbage bowl. You can get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in 12 colors).

    Get a hanging compost bin from Amazon for $19.99 (available in three colors).

    14. Keep all of your most-used pantry ingredients tidy and organized with a set of OXO food storage containers that have an airtight seal to keep your food fresher for longer. Because the containers are clear, you'll be able to see exactly how much of each ingredient you have left so you'll never stress about running out of flour right in the middle of cooking.

    a reviewer's cabinet full of OXO food storage containers
    amazon.com

    Push down the button on the top to activate the airtight seal. To open, just push down again for the button to pop up. The lid also comes apart for easier cleaning.

    Promising review: "Love the OXO pop-top canisters! They seal well and open easily with a press to the pop-top. I have arthritis in my hands and these are fabulous and so easy to open, yet so secure when the lid is popped close. Also has a useful knob on the bottom of the lid so you can stick an OXO scoop inside the container to the lid rather than down in whatever you are storing in the container." —Lori A. Fregin

    Get a 10-piece set from Amazon for $104.95.

    15. If complex recipes stress you out, master the beauty of the one-pan dinner. All you need is a sheet pan + protein + veggies + salt + oil. That's really it — you can customize it to whatever your tastes or dietary preferences are!

    A header image showing a variety of one-stray oven dinners
    buzzfeed.com

    BuzzFeed has tons and tons and tons of sheet pan meal ideas to get you started, or you can just experiment with your favorite flavors!

    Get a pair of OXO nonstick baking sheets from Amazon for $34.97.

    Promising review: "I haven't used these pans yet but I see they're thicker and well-made rather than the other brands and as long as I take good care of them, (washing them with soft dish cloths by hand) they'll last beautifully for years. I ADORE all OXO products. They're worth every penny. I've bought almost all of their kitchen products and other gadgets through the years because they'll last forever! If anything is wrong, they'll make it right immediately." —Debbie Allen

    16. Or if you're worried about racking up your grocery bill, try out some of these $10 dinner recipes to help you whip up a delicious meal without breaking the bank.

    sheet pan with food, chicken tenders on a sheet pan, and a plate of pasta
    BuzzFeed

    The five-ingredient white chicken chili from this list looks absolutely delectable!

    17. Is the fear of getting avocado hand preventing you from eating the delicious ingredient? Try this three-in-one avocado slicer instead — now you can make avocado toast while staying stress-free and out of the emergency room. This might become your most reached-for tool, especially if you're a big avocado toast fan.

    Amazon

    This tool can split your avocado, remove the pit, and make beautifully even slices with ease. And yes, avocado hand is real — it happens when people hold their avocado in one hand and try to remove the pit by slamming down a sharp knife — don't do that!! The knife could go straight through the pit and avocado and into your hand!

    Promising review: "So worth the space in the kitchen! This thing really does what it says. I love mine and use it all the time. Pit removal is super easy with this, no more knife-prying. I didn't think the cutting tool would be as effective as it is — but it works great as well. No complaints on this product — would buy again!" —K. Cyr

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    18. When you're juicing limes or lemons, you'll want to cut it in half and then slice the bottom of each slice so that all the juice can escape through the fruit instead of getting trapped in the rind.

    Two pictures side-by-side; first picture shows someone cutting the bottom end of an already halved lime. The second picture shows the lime half being placed into a squeezer
    Twitter: @FreddyAmazin

    You want to make sure as much delicious citrusy juice comes out as possible! 

    Get a citrus squeezer from Amazon for $9.98 (available in three colors).

    19. If the recipe you're cooking from calls for lemon or lime zest, use a microplane to remove only the top layer of skin without also removing that white stuff (it's called the pith), which can leave behind a bitter taste.

    A model zesing a lemon on the large microplane
    Amazon

    It's also ~grate~ for fine cheese shavings, easily minced ginger, and more. Plus you'll feel like a very fancy profesh chef as you use it!

    Get a top-rated microplane from Amazon for $10.98.

    20. Season your food from up high to make sure the seasoning is more evenly distributed. No one wants a super salty bite of food!

    A hand sprinkling salt into a dutch oven from about two feet up
    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

    Looks like Salt Bae was onto something after all! You also want to season as you go and taste your food to make sure you're not over- or under-seasoning anything! 

    21. Speaking of seasoning your food, remember to season your cold foods more than your hot foods.

    Overhead shot of a hand seasoning a salad made with green leaves, radish, and green peas with black pepper
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Most people are able to taste hot foods a little better than cold foods. Therefore, you'll want to add an extra pinch of salt and pepper to your salad, for example.

    22. Keep your spices *actually* organized so you don't reach for and use the cinnamon when you thought you were using cumin. Whoops!

    Amazon

    These drawer liners are made of a soft foam to keep your jars in the right position. You can also trim them to perfectly fit your drawer.

    Promising review: "This is one of my favorite things I've ever purchased from Amazon! I think this will be my go-to gift for all of my friends who love cooking as much as I do! Freeing up cabinet space and having something that can so easily be rinsed off in the sink makes this a for-sure buy!" —momonono

    Get a 10-foot roll from Amazon for $16.99.

    23. Avoid arm cramps and prevent food from burning at the bottom of the pan with an automatic stirrer. Let this fancy gadget do all the hard work so you can focus on other kitchen tasks like chopping veggies or working on your meal's dessert.

    green automatic stirrer in a pot with soup
    Amazon

    You'll need four AA batteries to get this thing going. It has three speed options — all you do is place it in a pan, turn it on, and it will rotate the food on its own! You can also take off the legs to clean them in the dishwasher.

    Promising review: "Used it today to start a cheese sauce. I love it! I didn’t have to stand over the saucepan stirring or whisking. Lately, I have had some arthritis in some fingers. It’s perfect for us cooks!!!!" —PaulaBotta

    Get it from Amazon for $35.95

    24. Peel garlic with ease using this silicone tube. Just pop the clove inside, roll it back and forth, and it'll peel without you ever having to grab a sharp knife or get your fingers smelling all garlicky.

    A hand rolling garlic in a silicone tube
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My husband surprised me this amazing garlic peeler. He didn't tell me what it was or what to expect. He just took a garlic clove and handed it to me with this peeler. My kids stood in silence as I tried the product. I rolled the clove in the peeler and three seconds later I had a peeled clove. We all screamed in amazement. I was shocked and amazed! I LOVE garlic but hate peeling so I had started buying premade crushed garlic in a jar which is not nearly as good as fresh garlic when cooking. Now I'm back to using fresh garlic thanks to this innovative garlic peeler. Its also lightweight and easy to clean!" —Crysta

    Get it from Amazon for $4.99.

    25. If you're cooking a recipe that wants you to sauté both onions and garlic before adding more ingredients, do the onions first.

    Pot filled with browned sliced onions
    Bartosz Luczak / Getty Images

    Onions take longer to soften, while garlic can burn easily. You'll want to add the garlic right as the onions are finishing and only sauté it for a minute or two.

    Read more: 37 Cooking Basics You Should Probably Know by Now

    26. When it comes to making rice, follow this one simple rule: NEVER ever stir it while you're cooking it! You'll turn it from fluffy goodness to a sticky and starchy mess.

    The header image for how to make perfect rice
    Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed

    Of course, you can also use a rice cooker to effortlessly make perfect rice every time. Get one from Amazon for $29.99.

    27. If you can never remember the grain-to-water ratio, keep this chart handy — it might even encourage you to try out new-to-you grains like farro and wheat berries.

    A grain to water ratio with cooking instructions
    blog.goodeggs.com

    This guide from Good Eggs (an organic grocery delivery site) will take all the guesswork out of cooking up grains!

    —Brown rice: 1 cup grains to 2 cups water, takes 30 mins

    —Basmati rice: 1 cup grains to 2 cups water, takes 20-25 mins

    —Steel-cut oats: 1 cup grains to 3 cups water, takes 30–40 mins

    —Wheat berries: 1 cup grains to 3 cups water, takes 40–40 mins

    —Sushi rice: 1 cup grains to 1 cup water, takes 20 mins

    —Farro: 1 cup grains to 4 cups water, takes 25 mins

    —Rolled oats: 1 cup grains to 2 cups water, takes 15–20 mins

    —Quinoa: 1 cup grains to 1 1/4 cups water, takes 25 mins

    28. When you're making pasta, drain it when it's a few minutes from al dente, but make sure you save some pasta water! Next, transfer your noodles to your sauce, where it will finish cooking, and then add some of your reserved pasta water. Your sauce will get silkier and will cling to the pasta way better than before.

    Getty Images, Webphotographeer / Getty Images

    This is the single best cooking tip I learned during the pandemic! The starchiness of your pasta water will also thicken your sauce and really make it feel restaurant-quality.

    Read more about perfecting your pasta in 12 Simple Pasta Cooking Tips Everyone Should Know.

    29. To make draining your pasta water easier, attach this snap-on pasta strainer on the side of your pot, tip out the water (and pour some into a glass measuring cup to save for later), and then get back to cooking!

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

    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 $13.90+ (available in five colors).

    30. And if you're worried about your pasta boiling over and ruining your glass stovetop, put this boilover safeguard on top and get back to perfecting your meatballs!

    red boilover safeguard on top of a pot
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "No matter how carefully I watch the pot, it seems to ALWAYS start to boil over the very second I turn my back for that slight moment. I saw this little hummer and ordered it immediately. What a WONDERFUL invention!!! I have not had one issue with boilover since I bought it. I LOVE it! Two things: 1) when you initially put it on pot rim, create a seal by pressing down around the rim and 2) do NOT lift rim while in use. If you need to peek, lift the center lid. Otherwise you could break the seal, which might cause a boilover. You will absolutely LOVE this item! I give it 10 stars!" —M. Goulet

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    31. Transform bland chicken breasts by using a marinade. Why not try out one of these that only has three ingredients?!

    A chart of three-ingredient marinades, with directions to combine with 1 pound of chicken, refrigerating 1-3 hours and baking at 400 degrees until cooked
    Design by Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    You can really use any ingredients you want to make your marinade: just follow the basic guidelines of 1/4 cup fat, 2 tablespoons acid, and 1–2 teaspoons salt. 

    Looking for something a little more impressive? We've got four-ingredient and five-ingredient marinades for you, too!

    32. While we're on the topic of chicken, the possibilities of recipes you can make with a rotisserie chicken from the store are basically endless. It'll cut down the stress of cooking a whole chicken and add protein to any meal in an instant.

    The header image for the recipe roundup, with sandwiches, bowls, and wraps
    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    Quesadillas, chicken salad, fried rice, burrito bowls... So many options! Get even more great ideas in 24 Easy Meals You Can Make With Rotisserie Chicken.

    33. If you find yourself without any salad dressing, making your own vinaigrette is actually super easy. Just follow this ratio: one part vinegar/acid, two parts oil.

    Header image for salad dressings 101
    littlecoconutty.com

    Learn more about making your own dressings at Little Coconutty.

    34. In fact, you can make and store your homemade vinaigrette in a salad dressing shaker that has measurements printed on the side, an airtight seal, and a one-handed lever so you can easily pour the dressing on your salad.

    The shaker, filled with vinaigrette in a fridge
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Best salad dressing shaker ever! This is really a great product if you like to make your own dressings. I find that many bottled dressings are too salty and full of preservatives as well. Making your own is embarrassingly easy and saves you money as well. The wide mouth makes it easy to add the oil, vinegar, etc. and it also has a handy rubber grip in case your hands are slippery! Never buy salad dressing again!" —Ella Dedman

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    35. Don't be afraid to invest in some splurge-worthy kitchen items. They'll end up making cooking easier, faster, and less stressful. Take the air fryer for example: It'll heat up 6 quarts of food super quickly, and it'll get food like fries and wings super crispy with barely any of that hard-to-clean oil. When you're done cooking, all you have to do is place the nonstick air fryer basket in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

    red air fryer with fries inside non-stick air frying basket
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my husband thinking he may do a batch of wings here and there. We have used it every day since. From perfectly cooked chicken wings to a whole roast chicken this has replaced our oven. It is also great for reheating frozen fried foods and making crispy roasted veggies. I love the fact that it heats so quickly and easy cleanup. Also, simple to use. It's a great color and matches our kitchen decor." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $73.12+ (available in five colors).

    36. Keep this air fryer cooking cheat sheet 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.

    A spiraled notebook style cheat sheet with tabs for tips and tricks and different kinds of meat
    Willa Flare / Etsy

    Willa Flare is a California-based Etsy shop that specializes in cooking guides and other home goods.

    Promising review: "I love it! I am not a cooker so this kind of help is greatly appreciated. The product is of great quality and was shipped fast. Thanks!" —Francisca

    Get it from Willa Flare on Etsy for $12.99 (this item ships for free!).

    37. If you're stuck in an apartment without any outdoor space, you can still cook up a super yummy barbecue with this countertop griddler. Fix mouthwatering burgers, grilled veggies, and yummy salmon all from the comfort of your house. You'll still get those gorgeous grill marks, and it's so much easier to clean than an outdoor barbecue.

    Gray and black 5-in-1 countertop cooker with fresh orange pepper slices, broccoli florets, and a slab of salmon
    Amazon / Via amazon.com

    You can also use this as a panini press!

    Promising review: "This is an amazing griddle. I bought this when my roommate and I first moved into our apartment. The reason for this purchase was two-fold: We had no grill in the common apartment ground area, plus we weren't allowed to have a grill on the balcony and we wanted a waffle iron. The plates interchange very easily, are nonstick, and despite being over a year old, heavily used, and cleaned in the dishwasher, they still remain in great condition. It is easy to use and I can honestly say it was one of my best purchases for the kitchen." —ELL

    Get it from Amazon for $79.

    38. For the easiest cooking imaginable, dump all of your ingredients into a slow cooker at the beginning of the day, and then you'll come home to a delicious, complete meal.

    large slow cooker cooking up meat and veggies
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I loooovvvve my slow cooker! So easy to use and makes my life so much easier! I love coming home from work and picking up the kids to dinner already cooked. Settings are easy to set, after desired cook time, food stays warm until ready to eat. Surfaces are easy to clean and pot interior washes out with out too much scrubbing. You can fit a lot of food in here. Easily cooks a large chicken with potatoes and veggies, plenty of food for my family of five." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99.

    To get inspired with recipes, check out our roundup of 23 Dump Dinners That Require Zero (Or Very Little) Upfront Prep.

    39. Stop overcrowding your pans, especially when you're cooking meat. If the pan is too crowded, the heat won't distribute evenly, and you won't get those yummy caramelized bits.

    A cast iron pan with three caramelized chicken thighs
    Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

    To help the heat distribute as evenly as possible, try out a trusty cast-iron pan, as pictured above.

    Get a cast-iron skillet from Amazon for $17.90.

    40. Every vegetarian and vegan knows the pain of getting water out of tofu, so speed up the process with this tofu press. The water collects at the bottom of the press, so you can easily dump it out when you're done. And you'll be left with tofu that crisps up in the pan and crunches when you bite into it.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I've been a vegan for 13 years and I can't believe I went this long without a tofu press. So much more enjoyable cooking with tofu after pressing it. This press is different than all the rest as it has a tray that catches all the water. You can put the whole thing in the fridge and it's hassle-free. Take it out the next day and drain the liquid and you're good to go. The other presses require a plate underneath and some require tightening and adjustments as it presses. I'll admit after reading some of the reviews here of users with broken Tofuture presses I was hesitant to order but I've just been careful with mine and haven't had any problems so far." —Conner

    Get it from Amazon for $27.95.

    41. If you're looking to get better at baking, keep this baking mat handy — it acts as a nonslip, nonstick surface for you to easily roll out your dough, and it has measurements so you can shape your dough to exactly the circumference you need.

    Hands roll out slab of dough on white and red baking mat with measurements
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This baking mat solved a lot of my troubles when I needed to roll out dough for breads or pie crusts. It has a circular measure on it for several different sizes of pans so it's virtually foolproof. It's easy to clean, too. I just wash mine in the sink and lay it outside to dry. It also clings to the kitchen countertop so there's no problem with sliding around while I am rolling out dough." —pianogirl

    Get it from Amazon for $8.98.

    42. And don't forget to also use a set of silicone baking mats on your sheet pans to prevent your baked goods from sticking to the pan. Bonus: These reusable mats are much more sustainable and budget-friendly than the single-use parchment paper you usually use to line your pans.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "These baking mats are absolutely fantastic. The quality is superb, and SUCH a good price. I use them for just about everything I put in the oven: oven pizzas, cookies, you name it! I also love that besides food sliding easily off the nonstick surface, they help protect all my baking sheets and such. It’s also super handy to just throw them in the top shelf of the dishwasher or even just wipe clean. Update: I’ve had these mats and used them almost daily for nearly a year now. They still look brand new and I have had no problems with staining, melting, or wear. When using them, I cook most items at 375 degrees but have used them at up to 425 degrees several times with no issues so far. These things are fantastic and have paid for themselves many times over in the superior nonstick surface, ease of cleanup, and the cost of parchment paper and or/aluminum foil I used prior to discovering these." —Jezzhani

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $12.44.

    43. Did you know baking your bacon is actually the better way to do it? Seriously — you can cook a bunch at once, you won't have hot, dangerous oil spurting up, it'll stay flat instead of curling up (better for sandwiches!) and it'll cook perfectly every time!

    Five strips of raw bacon in a sheet pan
    food52.com

    Check out all the steps for the best baked bacon (try saying that five times fast) at Food52.

    44. When you're done cooking the bacon, get the rest of the grease to absorb with the Bacon Sponge — a 100% organic cotton towel that can absorb TEN TIMES its weight in liquid! Now you won't have to use nearly half a roll of paper towels just to absorb all that grease and oil.

    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 $12 (shipping costs $3.12) or from Amazon for $13.50.

    45. Instead of struggling to fold, crimp, and seal your dumplings or empanadas, try out this dough press — it makes evenly shaped pockets every time, and you won't have to worry about the filling seeping out in the oil when you fry them.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    You can even use the back of it to stamp out perfectly round pieces of dough to fill with the delicious fillings. The set comes with three different shaped presses so you can make everything from ravioli to hand pies.

    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 $6.13.

    46. Make measuring ingredients easier with these angled measuring cups — you don't have to bring the cup up to eye level or bend down to see how much you've poured in. Why didn't I think of this?!

    three angled measuring cups shot from above that show eggs, sugar, and milk in them
    Amazon

    It makes cooking and baking so much easier, and your measurements will be more accurate! The set comes with 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup angled measuring cups.

    Promising review: "This is a very inventive design for something that cooks use every day. I originally purchased the 2-cup model of the OXO measuring cup and liked it so much that I decided to buy the set. These are so much more usable than the Pyrex or Anchor traditional glass measuring cups because they so much easier to read. I have some Anchor measuring cups that are 20+ years old and the red markings have faded and are really hard to see. Since the OXO can be read from the top, the measuring cup can rest on the counter for accurate measurement. No more holding it up in the air like a mad scientist measuring out liquids! Even the rubberized handle is well designed. Since these are made from clear plastic, they are very lightweight. The handle goes all the way to the counter to stabilize the measuring cup. It's very well thought out." —Bocaboy

    Get the set from Amazon for $20.84.

    47. To create perfectly round and uniform pancakes every time, use this easy-squeezy pancake batter bottle to distribute your batter directly into the pan. Heck — you can even go the extra mile and make some Mickey Mouse–shaped ones!

    reviewer holding a full bottle dispenser above mickey mouse shaped pancakes in a pan
    amazon.com

    This dispenser will also help you make the batter faster — just add the pancake mix and the wet ingredients, then shake to combine!

    Promising review: “So, my son absolutely loves Mickey and I couldn't wait to make him some Mickey pancakes using my new pancake pen! I love that both ends open for easy batter pouring and cleaning! It also allows me to keep the batter for longer if I don't use it all at once. No spilling or splattering, just perfect Mickey pancakes and the excitement on my son's face is all worth it!” —Kelly Daniel 

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

    You whipping up award-winning recipes now that you're a pro:

    Disney Pixar

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