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20 Incredibly Useful Products Every Horrible Cook Needs ASAP

Stop burning shit! Your pots (and food) deserve better.

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1. A rice cooker for getting the perfect, fluffy rice *every* time. Talk about consistency.

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Promising Review: "I recently spent a week at my sister's house and she used this cooker to make rice for dinner. I ordered one immediately. You just pour in rice and water, push the start button, and voila! Rice perfectly cooked. I've been using the boil-in-a-bag type for just my husband and me but this is way easier, and the results are consistently great – no more guessing, and it frees up the stove for other things." –Karin

Price: $18.96

2. A slow cookers that'll make even the most disastrous of cooks into a four-star chef. All you have to do is add the ingredients and leave it be!

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Promising Review: "This crock pot has saved my family's life. We all work and don't get home until dinner time. Having this has helped us with the rush of making food at the last minute. It is easy to clean and easy to use!" –Sandy

Price: $26.99

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3. A Betty Crocker cookbook to give you a solid foundation of knowledge... so that you can actually make a decent and edible meal.

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Promising Review: "I bought this cookbook for my son when he got his first apartment and it has been very helpful to him. This cookbook is good for first timers. It shows you all the basics, and is a great stepping stone for first-time chefs." –Jackie

Price: $15.05

4. A set of knives... because food sometimes (a lot of times) needs chopping! They even comes with little covers so you don't accidentally cut yourself when you aren't using them.

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Includes a chef, utility, slicer, and paring knife, as well as a fruit peeler and four knife sheaths.

Promising Review: "I've never had ceramic before and always used stainless steel. Recently I moved into my own place and decided I would try these out because they were on sale, and I can say that I will never switch knives ever again! These guys will literally cut anything perfectly: bagels, tomatoes, bread, avocado, mango, you name it. I don't have to put a lot of effort into cutting anything because these knives are so sharp and the peeler is just as good. I peeled a tomato just for fun, and it was very easy, (although the end result looked a little weird). If you cook, I wouldn't recommend another set of knives." –monkeychef

Price: $19.95

5. A good ol' digital meat thermometer that takes the guesswork out of food preparation. Salmonella doesn't sound like a good time. Avoid it.

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Promising Review: "I bought this initially for baking prime rib, but my wife uses it all the time when she bakes chicken. It takes the guessing game out of baking, and you know you are getting a cooked piece of meat without having to cut into it and letting all the juices escape." –Abe

Price: $16.99

6. A kitchen scale that's super nifty for setting up proper portions, especially for a recipe that you're trying for the first time.

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Promising Review: "For years I have been using a postal scale whenever I needed to weigh out food portions for my cooking and baking. This digital food scale was a long-overdue accessory for my busy kitchen! I love how easy it is to use and clean." –GirlOfPeace

Price: $9.19

7. A chopper that'll make the annoying garlic cutting process so much easier.

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Promising Review: "I bought a garlic press and the holes were too small. All it did was mash the garlic. In desperation, I bought this thinking that at least it would amuse me. It is wonderful and chops the garlic perfectly! If you want your garlic cloves course, roll it a little, and if you want it fine, just keep rolling it a little more. It is so easy to use and clean!" –Yankee Lady

Price: $12.48

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8. A convenient spreader that makes buttering corn super easy! No more strings in your butter container, win!

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Promising Review: "After years of buttering with a knife with varying degrees of success, we've found the perfect solution. It is such a simple concept, and it works just as you'd think. Slide a fourth of a stick of butter in the body of the unit, and away you go. When you're done, pop the cap on and put it back in the fridge!" –Carrie & Rob

Price: $4.78

9. Silicone spoon rests are perfect for keeping your counters and stove-top clean—sometimes you just don't know where to place your kitchen utensils while you're using them.

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Promising Review: "I feel bad for my kitchen and how gross the counters get when my fiancé throws all the spoons on the counter, but now I have these! They're flexible, silicone, and easy to clean. I really like them. There are also four, so I can change them out when I want or don't have time to clean one." –Nancy Nguyen

Price: $9.87

10. A pair of extra-long oven mitts for klutzes: they can prevent burns from hot pans.

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Promising Review: "These are perfect for me! Don't get me wrong, I know my way around a kitchen but I have gotten a few nasty burns along the way. These go up far enough on my arm so I don't have to worry about burning myself on the oven. I was a little apprehensive about the silicone because other silicone pot holders often let the heat through. I haven't had this problem because they are very sturdy and heat-resistant, even for times when I've had to hold the pan when I scramble to find a place to set it down. They are easy to clean as opposed to traditional fabric potholders, and they do not limit my range of motion at all." –jlundin

Price: $11.97 (available in five colors)

11. A set of reusable, non-stick cake molds for cooking your cupcakes evenly while looking exceptionally pretty. Maybe you're a baker at heart.

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Promising Review: "These cake molds are very handy and useful, especially for those who bakes cakes or cupcakes frequently. No more paper cake cups or a difficult-to-wash muffin pan! These molds are reusable, non-stick, and easy to clean, too!" –M.W.

Price: $9.98

12. Collapsible measuring cups because proper measurements are important for any cook.

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Promising Review: "I love these! They store wonderfully in the drawer, lay flat, and are easy to clean with soap and water. The silicone allows for ingredients to slide right out of the cups or spoons. We do a lot of food prep, so we bought two of these and they are lifesavers for all of the cooking and baking we do in our house." –Karie Herring

Price: $8.99

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13. A set of pot holders so you don't actually hurt yourself while burning whatever it is you're making.

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Promising Review: "These are great heat-resistant items. I love them, no more burnt hands!" –John Mande

Price: $19.99

14. A mixing bowl set that has everything you need.

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Includes two mixing bowls, a colander, strainer, and set of measuring spoons.

Promising Review: "For someone just starting off or who doesn't do a lot of cooking, this set is all they need. The labels of the measuring cups are stamped into the plastic so they won't wash off. If you are limited on storage space, this set is perfect because every piece nestles into the others and stores away easily. They are dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is easy." –Wilber Home

Price: $19.99

15. A cookbook holder for keeping your recipes upright and easily available while also preventing the inevitable splatter of food on the pages.

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Promising Review: "I don't know how I lived without this for so long. It has made cooking while trying to follow a recipe so much easier. Even my larger cookbooks fit easily in it, and it's very simple to wipe down after splashing flour, melted butter, and all other sorts of delicious ingredients all over its face, which I do regularly. It's inexpensive, lightweight, durable, easy to use, and will make your life so much easier in the kitchen." –Chris

Price: $9.32

16. An apron to protect your clothes because they shouldn't be a casualty to oil stains – they suck. It even gives you cooking tips, which is absolutely incredible.

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Promising Review: "This. Is. Awesome. I bought this as a gift and definitely will be purchasing one for myself. It is very thick, not a flimsy apron, and very well-made. The graphics are amazing, and are a very helpful kitchen cheat sheet. All cooks and bakers should enjoy this." –Kindle Customer

Price: $17.61

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18. A slicer to effortlessly remove avocado pits and divide them into sections, making the process painless. Avocados are so annoying to slice!

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Promising Review: "I sliced the side of my thumb a few years ago trying to get the pit out of my breakfast avocado, and was terrified to touch another one! Five stitches and a few months later, I was itching for some avocado. I couldn't look at one without getting the shivers...until I found this beauty! This handy little tool is a lifesaver and it works like a dream! I have never been so happy to see an avocado again after finding this tool. It is cheap and so worth investing in my safety!" –Chelsea

Price: $9.95

19. A handy dandy knife sharpener because dull knives are more likely to cut off fingers than sharp ones. Prevent that.

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Promising Review: "I couldn't be happier with this sharpener! A few years ago I bought a nice knife set and over time I found they weren't cutting as nicely as they did when I bought them. I wasn't going to spend another $150 to replace them, so instead I decided to try a knife sharpener for a fraction of the cost. Officially, I'm blown away! My knifes are so sharp they cut like new. What I also love is that all my serrated knifes are also restored, and even a few of my 'cheap' knifes cut great. It didn't even take long to do." –Purple moons

Price: $19.99

20. Finally, a sink strainer to catch all of the tiny bits of food in your drain.

amazon.com

Promising Review: "These drains are the best things ever! They have a lot of varieties with different colors and animals to fit your preferences. The strainer fits perfectly into my sink and doesn't tilt, rattle, or move. I purchased the piglet version and the face makes it so easy to grab out of the drain and knock into the trash. The hard plastic also makes it easy to get the crap out of the strainer if there is a stuck bit or two." –William McKenzie III

Price: $5.89 (also available in frog, duck, fish, rooster, or whale).

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

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