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    22 Essential Kitchen Purchases You Should Probably Stop Putting Off

    Are you a kebob because I'm about to skewer you for not prioritizing these purchases.

    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 heavy-duty, odor-free, sensor-activated (and easy-on-the-eyes) trash can you won't mind keeping out in the open. We love a multi-hyphenate!

    Stainless steel trash can
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I bought this trash can eight years ago. At the time, it was hard to find any stainless-steel trash cans for an affordable price, so the fact that this was the most reasonable and it had the automated lid seemed like a pretty easy choice. It still looks great and works great. You can wave over the sensor to open the lid, or there is a button on the front of it to open the lid and keep it open. The lid does a great job of holding any odors in while its closed." —Somni

    Get it from Amazon for $59.98.

    And check out our picks for some kitchen essentials on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    2. A silicone safeguard if you've simply had it up to here (*points to the brim of pot*) with getting boiling pasta water all over your cook top.

    Water bubbling over on silicone safeguard
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Love this product! It does exactly what it is designed to do. It really works, has prevented many boil-overs for me. I can now make my oatmeal, pasta, or chicken broth without any worry of a messy spillover. I no longer have to stand near the stove to watch for the boil-over point, I can do other things or get distracted while this marvelous invention takes care of whatever I am simmering or boiling. It is a great value, you get two of them and I gave one to my son who cooks. It is also easy to clean, you can pop the yellow flower off for easier cleaning." —Hey Mom

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (also available in green and in a set of two).

    3. A wooden cutting board — props if it's color-coded like this one to prevent cross-contamination — so you finally have a proper place to chop and dice your meals.

    The cutting board and plastic mats, each with a different logo to indicate what kind of food it's meant for
    Amazon

    This set includes one bamboo cutting board and seven flexible, BPA-free mats. The mats can be inserted inside the bamboo board for storage.

    Promising review: "One of our biggest issues in the kitchen is always the prep space! I loved the idea of this cutting board simply because of the different mats that come with it. Since there are many mats that are labeled for different purposes, cross-contamination is never an issue. Additionally, cleanup is really easy as we no longer have to clean a wooden board and then maintain the board after washing damage. Great purchase!" —K. Vance

    Get it from Amazon for $26.92.

    4. A mini countertop compost bin, because it's not too late to start caring about the environment. In fact, one could even argue that it is *essential* to start.

    A gray compost bin next to produce
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is the perfect countertop bin to store composting scraps. To be clear, this is not a composter. Composting is a process that must be done over a period of time to break up organic material (like scraps of vegetables and egg shells) into compost which is excellent soil for the garden. I recently bought a Bokashi Composting Starter Kit (which includes the material to break down the scraps of organic material). I use this OXO bin by my cutting board and throw in scraps like banana peel and cucumber skins. Every two days or so I transfer the scraps into the composter. This is helpful because the smell is kept to a minimum. It also limits my opening and closing of my Bokashi Composting bin which is supposed to be kept to a minimum." —Luckydog

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (read more about this product here).

    5. A stainless-steel cleaner that'll not only polish away existing grease, watermarks, and fingerprints but will also help prevent new ones from sticking.

    Reviewer photo of a stainless steel oven partially polished by the cleaner. The polished side is spotless, while the unpolished side shows smudges
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I was truly surprised at how well this product worked. A friend recommended it, and I thought at this price, I would give it a try. I couldn’t believe the difference it made to my stainless-steel appliances. Highly recommend using a microfiber cloth as directed. It buffed out all the smudges and fingerprints and does a good job of preventing future fingerprints. See photo: Right side is before and left side is after." —Amanda

    Get it from Amazon for $5.27.

    6. A two-stage knife sharpener so you don't have to deal with dull blades (and a lousy mincing job as a result).

    youtube.com

    Promising review: "Wow, this little gadget is pretty amazing! I have some old (expensive) nonserrated knives that are supposed to never need sharpening but unfortunately, lost their sharp edge long ago. I saw this gadget and decided to try it. I set the bottom of this gadget on the edge of the counter and ran one of the knives through the side labeled 'Coarse' about 10 times, then ran it through the side labeled 'Fine' another 8-10 times. Bingo! The knife was transformed back to its former high-dollar cutlery glory. I could hardly believe how effectively it had sharpened the knife, which I had been ready to throw away a week before. I've been happily sharpening all our knives and trying to add up in my head how much money I've saved by NOT having to buy another set of expensive knives. I don't know where else you can spend $6 and get this return for the money. Great score!" —Schelly L. Wagoner

    Get it from Amazon for $5.45 (available in three colors).

    Read our full review of the KitchenIQ knife sharpener!

    7. A multipurpose chef's knife that you can use to prepare vegetables and meats alike. My knives? They're Out.

    Chef's knife next to an artichoke
    Amazon

    Promising review: "It cuts things...and it cuts things well. What more do you need to know? Buy them already! Seriously though, we wanted to get some grown-up knives because we like to cook and were tired of the low-quality sets. I did my research and these are literally the best knives you can buy for the money (by the way, this is the same company that invented the Swiss Army Knife). Are you a professional chef? If not, you probably don't need that $300 chef knife and even if you were, I honestly doubt you would be able to tell that much of a difference." —Derek

    Get it from Amazon for $34.57.

    8. A rapid egg cooker, which perfectly prepares six eggs in any manner your heart desires — hard-, medium-, and soft-boiled eggs, two poached eggs, scrambled eggs, you name it. This way, you'll really have to go out of your way to mess up an egg.

    Rapid egg cooker in black
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I love hard-boiled eggs for protein, especially when I’m on the go as a student/worker but it’s hard to wait for the water to boil then put In the eggs and get ready all at the same time. This cooker is amazing!! Saves me time, it’s quick and I don’t have to watch it while it cooks — I can go get ready and then I hear a loud buzzer notifying me when the eggs are done! (The buzzer is really loud; sounds like a basketball game buzzer.) I was surprised how fast the eggs cooked." —Megan

    Get it from Amazon for $18.11+ (available in five colors).

    Read more about the Dash Egg Cooker here.

    9. An easy oven cleaner that'll utterly eviscerate every last trace of your cooking, because sometimes the biggest cooking fail of all isn't the journey, but the aftermath.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "My oven was in bad shape. I had tried doing the whole baking soda and peroxide trick, but it made things worse. I tried this after seeing it on a BuzzFeed article and it actually worked! Let it sit for about four hours and the nastiness wipes off effortlessly." —Natalie C

    Get it from Amazon for $5.99.

    10. An eight-piece glass bowl set with lids that are the perfect size for meal prepping.

    Clear eight-piece glass bowl set
    Amazon

    Promising review: "So, these, for me at least, have been perfect. They hold about 4 oz. and they seal very well. I've pre-chopped onions, garlic, ginger and stored them in my refrigerator for recipes I want to make in the next day or two. The lids are tight and they never leave an odor in the refrigerator. I've used plastic storage containers but they are generally larger than what I need and the chopped veggies don't seem to last as long as they do in these little glass cups. Plus, I don't have a lot of counter space and these take up very little. Since they are all the same size and stack well I don't have to work around them. Makes pre-assembly and organizing ingredients easy and makes cooking a lot less stressful." —Will O.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.60 (for an eight-piece set).

    11. An oscillating tower fan with three handy speed settings, which'll help you stay cool while you're bent over the stove top making that Alison Roman dish the Internet told you to make.

    White oscillating tower fan placed in kitchen
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Good size, relatively quiet. Perfect for kitchens, can be moved from area to area. Also, it has several different time settings and a remote with big buttons, which are helpful if you are visually impaired or have dexterity issues due to arthritis." —ReB

    Get it from Amazon for $50.58+ (available in 36" and 38" and in four colors).

    12. A set of unfussy drawer trays to organize all of your utensils.

    Drawer tray with utensils organized in compartments
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Solid and sturdy, they don't move around in the drawer, they come in a number of sizes, and they make everything neat and tidy. The largest size in this set is long enough for a bottle brush, and the smallest size fits bottle openers, garlic press, small things like that." —gingero

    Get it from Amazon for $17.50.

    13. A digital food thermometer so you never have to play the fun guessing game of "Will I Get Very Sick From Eating This Undercooked Meat?"

    Model inserting thermometer into chicken
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This digital meat thermometer is the best I've ever had. I own others, but they are either too bulky to fit in the drawer or too hard to read. This one is small and lightweight; it's easy to pull out the probe and very easy to read the temperature. I purchased several as stocking stuffers for Christmas. They make a gift that will be appreciated for its size and ease of use, but most importantly, it will be a gift that gets used instead of put away in the closet." —Yardleydoc

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    14. A do-it-all Instant Pot which combines seven tools (including a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and rice cooker) in one appliance and prepares gourmet meals in a fraction of the time you're probably used to.

    The Instant Pot, featuring a digital display
    Amazon

    This handy kitchen gadget has seven functions: rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté, yogurt maker, and warmer! Check out our review of the Instant Pot!

    Promising review: "This is quite possibly the coolest, most versatile kitchen gadget I’ve ever owned. I love it so much that I’ve purchased two more for friends and relatives. What can it do? I think the real question is 'What can’t it do?' I truly believe you could replace every cooking appliance (including your oven and stove top) and do EVERYTHING in the Instant Pot. I purchased two sizes for my own use: the 3-quart (which is my almost-every-day workhorse for two person dishes) and the 8-quart (which I bring out to handle my dinner party dishes). Everything I’ve tried has been fabulous. In the realm of kitchen appliances, there is no better investment than the Instant Pot. Highly recommended!!!" —Stereoman

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in three sizes).

    15. A plastic storage container so you're not throwing shriveled-up produce into your meal.

    Shriveling strawberry versus fresh, plump strawberry
    BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I wish I would have gotten these sooner. I bought strawberries for my children, and then I forgot about them. I found them in the back of the refrigerator almost TWO WEEKS later, and they were still good. The real miracle is how long it keeps zucchini. Zucchini starts to get mushy in the crisper drawer after just a few days. Again, these miracle containers have kept it fresh for close to two weeks now. I've kept cut lettuce, cut cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumbers, zucchini, sliced bell peppers, strawberries, blackberries, cut jicama, and carrots in these containers. I've had fantastic results with all of them." —Laura

    Get a three-piece set from Amazon for $26.99.

    Read our full review of the Rubbermaid FreshWorks food storage containers!

    16. A kitchen scale that'll convert between five units of measurements so you never fail the math portion of your next cook.

    Small kitchen scale with pepper on top
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Excellent value, spot-on accurate (tested using 100-gram calibration weight along with day-to-day items like 1/2 cup butter weighs exactly 4 ounces). We use this all the time in the kitchen. Measures very light things in the gram or oz. range, up to several pounds of potatoes. Every baker knows you should use a scale like this to measure. No-brainer to measure '1 cup' of flour (120 grams), no leveling, no sifting, just weigh out 120g/cup, and you get great results every time. How do you measure tablespoons of bulk farm fresh butter? Use this thing, 0.5 oz./Tablespoon. Tare works flawlessly. Grams or ounces, your call. A great all-around kitchen workhorse." —Tim M

    Get it from Amazon for $13.96+ (available in five colors).

    17. A rice maker, which will do the heavy lifting for you and make daily dinner prep a breeze.

    Rice maker with bowls of rice
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Best rice-cooker ever made. Having the setting for steel-cut oats is why I purchased this item and it works perfect: 1 cup steel-cut oats (using the clear cup that comes with the cooker) and 3 cups water (using same clear cup). With this amount, it makes two to four servings depending on how big you want your serving to be. I refrigerate the extra servings and heat in microwave the next day or for a snack." —Bruce Bradshaw

    Get it from Amazon for $130.99.

    18. A pair of handheld scrapers to restore your trusty cast-iron pan and avoid getting surprise bites of burnt residue in your stir fry.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Necessary tool to clean your cast-iron pots and pans. Perfectly contoured to the rounded corners used by Lodge in their pans so you'll get any food stuck to your pan off easily. The plastic is sturdy, malleable but not so much that it will deform. Been using them for a couple of months now, and I haven't had them break, and since I still can't get a properly seasoned coating on my pans, I have a lot of food that sticks (my fault), but these scrapers get pretty much everything off easily." —JGtz

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $8.40.

    19. An easy-to-use blender that'll get you in the kitchen more.

    Magic Bullet with dish of salsa
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I work in a vegan restaurant and use these once in a while for small amounts of dressings we use these. So when I was in the market for a personal blender for smoothies and dressings/sauces for two, I knew I wanted this.... and boy does it deliver! I love prepping the smoothies the night before in the containers. It's the perfect size for a small apartment and it easily stores in the cabinet if you need to clear off the countertop" —Bernadette

    Get it from Amazon for $39.88 (available in three colors).

    20. A uniform set of airtight food storage containers to tidy up your kitchen shelves.

    10-piece set of clear storage containers
    Amazon

    Promising review: "They seal flawlessly, and with great ease. I believe they are the best product available for keeping the freshness in and the bugs out. They stack nicely, and their clear siding permits easy identification of the contents within. Their rounded corners make pouring a breeze." —Scott R. Weaver

    Get a 10-piece set from Amazon for $99.95.

    21. A cutlery brush for a safe and efficient way to finally scrub away the residue plaguing your tricky kitchenware.

    Hands using the green brush to clean a knife
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This product makes cleaning knives easy. The worst thing I do to my knives is leave them in the sink because I set them aside to wash with other dishes. This specialized tool makes it a cakewalk to do a quick pass on my knife right after I use it." —cooljames

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

    22. And dishwasher-cleaning tablets that'll zap lime and mineral build-up more effectively than bleach. You might learn in the process where that unpleasant kitchen odor was coming from.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "After using this product, I am happy to report that my $5 investment saved me over $500. I was ready to replace my dishwasher due to super cloudy glasses, residue, and dishes just not getting clean. Then, I became aware that the water softener was no longer doing its job so I had the rental company replace it. Dishwasher performance improved somewhat. I decided to do two more loads before deciding to purchase a new one. Then I saw a product test review for Affresh. I was ordering some stuff from Amazon anyway so I added that to my order. When it came, I tossed one of the tablets into the bottom of the full machine per the instructions and ran the regular cycle. I did not expect the results I got! The glassware that I thought was permanently etched and ruined came out like new. Same with cutlery. The difference is unbelievable. I will use this faithfully every month, as recommended. I can even put it on my subscribe and save order so I will get a new pack every six months. I am amazed!" —Sheila

    Get them from Amazon for $5.99.

    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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