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1. An air fryer that will basically become your BFF in the kitchen. You can "fry" up some wings, fries, and bacon, all without having to deal with oil splattering from a frying pan.
BuzzFeed writer Hannah Loewentheil finally caved and bought an air fryer while in quarantine, and she's glad she did:
"I'd been contemplating buying an air fryer for quite some time, but it wasn't until I found myself cooking every night with my family due to COVID-19 that I finally decided it was the right time to get one. Friends of mine were raving about their new Instant Vortex Plus 6-in-1 Air Fryer, so after reading similar feedback on Amazon, I decided it looked like a winner. And it happens to be made by the same company that makes the crowd-favorite Instant Pot. I figured I would be using this appliance primarily as air air fryer, but as an added bonus, it can also roast, broil, bake, re-heat, and dehydrate food.
I've had this air fryer for about three weeks now, and I can honestly say it's become the hero of my kitchen. It preheats quickly, it's large enough to hold a good amount of food at once, it's easy to clean, and it makes food taste crispy on the outside and moist on the inside without any oil. I've been using my air fryer to make vegetables just about every night and it makes them taste so good. If you're cooking for kids, picky eaters, or you just don't get so excited about eating vegetables, the air fryer could be perfect for you. If you like chicken, the air fryer might change your life, and I don't mean that to be dramatic. The air fryer produces restaurant-quality chicken that tastes absurdly decadent, except there's no oil involved in the cooking — just air. We also tried making sesame chicken in the air fryer using boneless skinless chicken thighs. The sesame chicken tasted almost identical to my favorite Chinese takeout, and it had nothing to do with my cooking skills. Thanks to the air fryer, the chicken gets so crispy. I couldn't believe I made this at home!!"
Get it from Amazon for $99 (available in three styles).
Check out the full review, plus some air fryer recipe suggestions for more!
2. A jar opener so you don't have to struggle any more when trying to open all those dang pasta sauce jars. It even attaches to the bottom of your cabinets so no counter space will be taken!
Promising review: "I have tried a million different tools and gadgets for help in opening jars of all sizes, and each one had its own issues! Finally, someone has invented the perfect jar opener that is simple and requires no space in your kitchen drawers or counters. There was one person who suggested placing the opener with the sharp end of the 'V' closest to you and with it placed in the front, in the right corner under your cabinet. I followed those directions and it works perfectly and easily. I have already placed an order for another one for a gift or my sister." —cat lover
Get it from Amazon for $18.95.
Read our full EZ Off jar opener review here.
3. An automatic pan stirrer with a timer because, honestly, is there anything worse than sitting in front of the stove, stirring? At least this will stir *for you*, which may prevent you from giving up and ordering out!
Promising review: "My husband loves to cook. We have two very small children, so while his meals are mostly yummy, they are also sometimes burnt. :) This was perfect for him. He's able to turn it on, run into the next room to save the day with a plastic bag and a washcloth for whatever blowout-esque mess I'm dealing with, forget he's cooking, run back into the kitchen frantically when he remembers, and arrive only to find the meal practically cooking itself. Best. Gift. Ever." —Jake the ChefturnedDaddy
Get it from Uncommon Goods for $25.
4. An engraved rolling pin to add a bit of ✨ magic ✨ to your cooking nights while also hiding any cracks or mistakes you did during prep time. Store-bought cookies? Nah, we make them at home now.
Promising review: "I got this fairy tale embossing rolling pin for a Christmas gift for my granddaughter, she loves to bake sweets and loves anything to do with Disney (she worked for Disney in Florida for a couple of years) and I know she will be so excited, so, it hasn't been used yet but the embossing is so neat and looks great! Very pleased with it and know it will make some great looking cookies and pie crust topping." —Roy Haines
5. A handheld garlic press so you can finally stop trying to mince your fresh garlic with a knife, making it *waaay* too much work. With a simple back and forth motion, you'll have perfectly minced garlic in half the time.
Promising review: "I had a two-hinge garlic press, which worked well but the garlic often got stuck and it was not easy to clean. I am pleasantly surprised by how this garlic crusher has such a simple design, yet it is so effective. As you press the garlic, the minced garlic will be collected on top of the grater and you can easily scape them off with the little knife that came with the kit. I also love the silicon peeler! It makes peeling garlic skin a lot easier. With these tools, my hands longer stink from cropping garlic!" —CL
Get it from Amazon for $9.97 (available in two colors).
6. A compact eight-in-one spiralizer to grate, juice, spiralize, and shred all your ingredients for your *insert Tasty recipe*. You just learned what mise en place is and now it seems way less daunting.
BuzzFeed editor *and* zoodle-lover Emma Lord is obsessed with this gadget:
"I recently purchased this because it was my cheapest option for making zoodles, and also because my apartment is the size of a shoebox and there was no room for anything bigger. I LOVE how easy it is to swap out the caps to do other things, too — I've started grating my own cheeses and feel very fancy. But mostly I just love that it's very safe to use (it comes with a finger guard!), super easy to figure out, very compact, and even has measurements on the inside of the cup if you're ever portioning things out for a recipe."
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 $14.98+ (available in three styles).
7. A Magic Bullet blender you can obviously use to make your morning smoothie, but you can *also* make salsa, spreads, and all the dips your stomach could crave. Homemade guacamole, anyone?
This blender set comes with the blender, additional blender cups, blades, and a recipe book.
Promising review: "I use this almost every morning. This was my savior during the quarantine part of the pandemic when I was working from home. I was able to easily make smoothies for breakfast or a snack instead of eating junk. Blended quickly and easily, easy to clean, and came with so many cups and travel options I was able to continue my healthy habit when I went back to work!" —Marissa Vittorio
Get the 11-piece set from Amazon for $39.98.
8. An *egg-cellent* rapid egg cooker because is there anything more annoying than trying to boil eggs and get them exactly the way you want? It's a cooking-deterrent, but not anymore with this bad boy!
This little machine that can whip up hard-boiled eggs, poached eggs, and get this, scrambled eggs *and* omelets. Ya, I know.
Promising review: "This egg cooker is some sort of magic. It is brilliant...totally changed my life and is my new best friend in the kitchen. Super simple to use, instructions are extremely clear, with pictures and some recipes to get you going, and the different types of eggs you can cook with this is incredible: hard boiled, poached (!!!) and an omelet. We didn't even have to try it a few times to get it right — first time the eggs came out the most perfect I've ever cooked them and all I did was follow a few basic instruction steps, then walk away and listen for the buzzer. Even the buzzer at the end is more than a sound...it's music that my son and I dance to in the kitchen. I'm in heaven. All for such a low price. I can die happy now:)" —Amazon Customer
Check out our deep dive into the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker here.
Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in six colors).
9. A cookie scoop that, sure, you can use to make cookies, but get ready for this: meatballs. Gone will be the days where you have to stick your fingers into a bowl of raw ground meat, which is basically the whole reason you don't cook at home. You're welcome.
Promising review: "Why didn't I have one of these in my kitchen drawer before?! I bought the medium-sized scoop originally to make a large batch of cookies for Christmas, but today it came handy when I had leftover batter from my banana bread recipe and it made the perfect scoop to fill a regular-sized cupcake liner! Now I'm thinking about getting the small size for my mini-cupcakes! Super easy and they came out perfectly uniform and totally beats trying to use a spoon! Handles have a nice silicone grip too and help with hand fatigue. :-)" —Michi K
Get it from Amazon for $15.95+ (available in sizes S–L).
10. A Cuisinart Griddler because the stove can definitely be intimidating, but this lil grill wants to be your friend. Basically, you'll be cooking ~everything~ on it. I don't make the rules.
All you have to do is throw your meat on, close the top, and dinner is served. You can make grilled chicken, burgers, grilled veggies, and yes, even paninis.
Promising review: "Excellent addition to our kitchen. Good build quality, You can use this for a lot of different food but it is great for grilled cheese sandwiches. The griddle works well on pancakes and has plenty of heat to do the job. Easy and quick to clean." —Jazzperk
Get it from Amazon for $99.95 (available in six styles).
11. A KitchenAid food chopper so you can finally make that recipe you've had saved in your bookmarks, but take-out just kept calling your name.
This chopper will mix, chop, puree, whisk, stir, and whip...whip it good.
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." —D Powell
Get it from Amazon for $64.99.
12. OR a compact manual food chopper that works great for those veggies that can be a bit fragrant, like onion and garlic. This can keep your fingers safe from manually chopping these vegetables, which was never a good idea for your clumsy self.
You'll be able to chop large pieces of fruit, vegetables, garlic, onion, herbs, and even nuts with this bad boy.
Promising review: "I cannot say enough about this wonderful little chopper. It is perfect for chopping onions, peppers, cauliflower for my salads and almost anything else you can think of chopping. It's lightweight but sturdy and very easy to clean. Large enough but not so large that it takes up a lot of room to store. I can just put it in the dishwasher if I want but I usually hand wash because it's so easy to clean. I really hated getting out my Cuisinart for chopping an onion so I usually just bought them already chopped rather than to do that. This little gadget is cute and I swear you will actually enjoy using it! Great product!!" —Samiam
Get it from Amazon for $17.48+ (available in three colors).
13. A mandolin with 30 different cut options so you can make your signature dish in all kinds of shapes. The signature dish being potato chips.
Promising review: "This item is amazing for both its safety features and ease of use. I am a bit of a kitchen klutz and feel completely at ease and fearless with this device. I made my own potato chips — I sliced with my Dash mandolin and cooked in my Dash air fryer. The tasted just like the ones i get from my favorite Portuguese restaurant but I’m hoping they are much healthier. I honestly think this is a must have for all at home chefs." —Dawn
Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in five colors).
14. A breakfast sandwich maker for when you want a delicious breakfast without having to leave the house, but the thought of cooking it yourself is just way too much to handle.
It'll cook eggs, veggies, meats, and toast up English muffins, biscuits, and even small bagels. It *also* comes with a recipe book with ideas! The best part? You can toss the removable parts in the dishwasher! No more drive-thru breakfast sandwiches for you!
Promising review: "FAM. I need you to lissssssten. I would give this product 87 stars if I could. You'd think it would be one of those gimmicky kitchen appliances that barely even works. EXCEPT you're wrong. It's amazing. It's quick. Look. Lissssten. You put the ingredients in and about two minutes later your tummy is all like 'oh yesssss.' Basically. Just buy it. Purchase the sammich maker. You're welcome." —Amazon Customer
Get it from Amazon for $26.99 (available in five colors).
15. A Kochblume spill stopper that works great for those boiling pots that tend to overflow *right* when you're not paying attention. No more sprinting into the kitchen to turn the heat down in a panic for you! This is progress.
Promising review: "Wow wow wow, I have no words to describe how great this product is. I'm a mom with a large family who cooks and bakes all the time, and there is never a time that something doesn't spill over even when standing and watching the pot. With this, life has just gotten easy. I think I'm throwing out all my pot covers after using this."—Rackel
Get it from Amazon for $20 (available in three colors).
16. A high-quality chef's knife because sometimes having dull tools is exactly what makes you *not* want to cook, like a super old knife. This one will slice through all your veggies with ~ease~.
BTW, it's dishwasher-safe!
Promising review: "I cook a fair amount. I am not a pro, but sometimes I pretend that I am. Best knife I have ever owned. I use this knife many times every day, rarely do I use another. It is very comfortable, well-balanced, versatile, and - paired with the Chef's Choice sharpener - unbelievable sharp. I am slicing meats and vegetables faster and thinner than I have ever before. LOVE THIS KNIFE." —Gheep Piddle
Get it from Amazon for $43.77.
The is our top picks for the best chef's knife!
17. And a handheld knife sharpener so you can actually give yourself (and your knife) a fighting chance against the scary monster that is cooking, since chopping with a sharp knife will make it exceptionally easier (and safer!).
Promising review: "Buying this knife sharpener has changed my life! I used to burn water, but now I'm on par with chefs like Gordon Ramsay! My knives are so sharp that I could cut off a finger and would not even notice. Paper thin tomatoes and onions for a tuna fish sandwich? Not a problem! Thank you KitchenIQ, my life will never be the same." —J.W.
Get it from Amazon for $10.95.
18. A splurge-worthy Kitchen-Aid 5-quart stand mixer because one of the worst parts of cooking for you is the mixing of ingredients (hello, lumpy batter) and this bad boy will make it smooth *and* clumpless!
Here's why it's worth it: The 5-quart stainless-steel bowl has a convenient handle and is big enough to mix dough for nine dozen cookies or four loaves of bread in a single batch. The mixer has 59 touch points per rotation around the bowl so your stuff gets mixed real good. It tilts to allow clear access to the bowl and attached beater or whatever accessory you're using. Plus, it'll stir wet or dry ingredients, knead bread dough, and even whip up some cream. The mixer includes coated flat beater, coated dough hook, six-wire whip, and a one-piece pouring shield. The flat beater and dough hook are dishwasher-safe.
Promising review: "This was given to me as a wonderful surprise gift about a month ago. Now I look for any excuse to use it. I bake and decorate cakes and cupcakes a lot and this mixer has made it like 10x easier make all the elements I need. It also has freed up my hands so I can clean up my kitchen as I let things fully mix." —Walmart customer
Get it from Walmart for $299.99.
19. A two-speed stainless-steel hand mixer made for mixing, blending, puréeing, whisking, and grinding away to finally make your soups the actual texture of soup. See: last year's pea soup.
You get a blending, whisking, and a chopper/grinder attachment.
Promising review: "Though it initially sat in a closet, after seeing a similar one in action at a friend's, I decided to use it. Damn, I can't believe that I let it sit in the closet for so long! It wound up earning a spot on the counter, as it was used practically every day by someone for something or other. Smoothies, puree, soup, frappes, etc. Wound up lending it to my in-law one day, and wound up 'having to leave it for them'... LOL! Now I'm replacing it! :)" —Compromise Elsewhere
Get it from Amazon for $59.99+ (available in five colors).
20. A compact bread maker because you've been ordering waay too much from your favorite bakery and it's time to try to make it at home. This powerful appliance can do A LOT. You can choose the ideal crust you want, add in mix-ins like fruit, nuts or even chocolate chips, *and* you can even whip up gluten-free bread. HUZZAH!
Promising review: "My husband and I cannot stop baking. This arrived over a week ago and we have made two loaves or dough or jam daily! I can't speak for its longevity (I hope it's excellent, it seems sturdy!) but this puppy can crank out some delicious household staples. Pizza dough, fresh bread, *French* bread, bread with fruit or nuts, CAKE, and yes even JAM!! Amazing! It can tackle anything. Cleanup is ridiculously easy, just don't scratch the nonstick surface! The recipes need some tweaking to calibrate with your specific machine (I found that most needed more moisture), but some of the mistakes are still tasty! I was skeptical of the jam-making feature and ended up being extremely impressed." —Ether
Get it from Amazon for $99.99.
21. Or a no-knead bread-making kit from Dough Dealer so you can finally achieve a loaf of so much perfection, you may want to just open up your own bakery.
Each bread kit includes all-purpose and whole wheat flours, sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, baker's yeast, baking paper, and a recipe. Their ingredients are sourced from local and farmer-founded businesses around the US. The process takes 15 minutes of active work plus 3 hours 45 minutes resting, rising and baking.
Dough Dealer is a woman-owned small business that tested out hundreds of recipes to find the perfect recipe for their no-knead bread kit. They partner with small and farmer-founded companies, and they offer carbon-neutral shipping.
Promising review: "I have never tried making bread before — and am very inexperienced in the kitchen — so the idea that I was able to do it easily is a big credit to how amazing the Dough Dealer kit is. Very simple instructions (I struggle sometimes with other meal kit directions) and the bread tasted great!" —Marc
Get the bread kit from Dough Dealer for $25.99.
22. A seven-blade spiralizer because you've failed at making regular pasta multiple times, and it's probably time to switch to something you can't possibly mess up: zoodles!
The seven blades are: an angel hair blade, fine shredding, coarse shredding, curly fry, flat blade, fine wavy, and coarse wavy.
Promising review: "I could not recommend this to more people if I tried — it's been an amazing addition to my kitchen! Super easy to use and clean and works great. I like that it's light too so that I can stack it on other appliances in my tiny kitchen, without taking up more counter space when it's not in use. The suction cups on the bottom are great for keeping it in place when in use." —ksb
Get it from Amazon for $26.97 (available in three styles).
23. A three-in-one hot pot and grill plate for when you either don't have a stove or just find it too scary, but still really want to start cooking at home more.
The nonelectric parts are dishwasher-safe.
Promising review: "I absolutely LOVE this thing. I’ve done a lot of research to find a perfect pot for our hot pot nights and this does the job! The fact that it’s a 3-in-1 is fantastic because not only can I use it for hot pot nights but I can also use it to grill salmon or steam vegetables. Specifically, I use this mainly for hot pot and it’s great! It takes about 2-3 minutes to reach boiling point after you’ve plugged it in and turn the nob to the highest temperature. Be careful not to touch the black part of the pot because it can be very hot but the white part underneath helps transport it if needed. It’s the perfect size for 4 people to share and I like that it’s low, not tall where you have to dig in to find certain items. The only “downside” is that it isn’t that deep so you’d have to have a separate pot on the stove with the broth to refill but that isn’t a big deal. Our family absolutely loves it! Highly recommended purchase! For the price you pay, you get a high return on investment. Delicious!!!" —J. Yuen
Get it from Amazon for $30+ (available in black and white).
24. A Bacon Sponge that'll absorb 10 TIMES its weight in liquid so you won't have to use up your entire paper towel roll just to get rid of some of the excess grease on your bacon. Now you can have the perfect bacon ~right at home~.
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
25. A nonstick microwave pasta cooker because who needs to boil water on the stove to attempt to make al dente pasta when you can literally just use the microwave. It'll take waaay less time than ordering from your favorite Italian restaurant!
Promising review: "One of those 'why didn't I think of this?' kind of things. It makes cooking pasta so easy and foolproof! No trying to bend/break pasta to get it to fit into a round pan. The instructions tell you exactly how long to microwave it for the different size proportions." —EQUUS
Get it from Amazon for $16.99.