Skip To Content

    25 Useful Things That'll Help You Avoid Destroying Everything You Try To Cook

    Gone are the days of burnt chicken and undercooked pasta.

    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 β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A 48-needle meat tenderizer because you always seem to end up with dried out meat in the oven. This thing creates little "heat channels" that'll reduce cooking time by up to 40% and less time in the oven = less moisture loss.

    A model holding a device with spikes that are being pressed into a slab of meat

    Promising review: "This wonder tool does an awesome job tenderizing meat....from the largest standing rib roast all the way down to the skinniest pork chop or round steak. Those of you who like to marinate your meat will find this tool to be a God-sent savior as it provides hundreds of holes for the marinade and spices to soak into. I used to pound my chops with a metal mallet until there were holes right through it, and the poor pork chop was only a mere third of its original thickness. NO MORE! Now I use my Klemoo to poke a thousand holes on each side and the thickness never changes, but you can cut it with a fork when done. I use it on all meats: beef, pork, veal...even chicken and turkey. It works wonders!" β€”Wet Bruce

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

    2. This dumpling maker so you can stop accidentally tearing the dough every time you try to seal homemade pot stickers, empanadas, and turnovers. Plus, this'll ensure that you add *just enough* filling β€” no more and no more less.


    Promising review: "My wife uses this for making empanadas and a variety of other stuffed pastries. Good quality workmanship; it works well and cleans easily. As the dough shrinks a bit when cut, you may need to roll it out again a bit before filling and pressing so you get a good seal." β€”Jimmy

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

    3. A sous vide cooker to help you maintain a precise heating temperature so you never end up with over- or under-cooked meat, fish, or eggs ever again.,

    The temperature ranges from 32–197 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooker can be controlled right from your phone, so you don't even have to stay in the kitchen while cooking. It also provides cooking notifications, and stays connected through Bluetooth from up to 30 feet away. Plus, you get access to over 1,000 recipes, so you'll have inspiration for yummy meals! Get the Anova app here.

    Promising review: "This thing is amazing! I had never used the sous vide method before. The control is amazing. The first time I used it, I ran two New York strips up to 130 degrees for one hour, then seared them in a pan. My wife was more than pleased. Amazed even. Apparently, this method is backed by culinary witchcraft. I bought this in a combo pack that gave me this and a vacuum sealer. The app is simple to use, easy to connect, but completely unnecessary if you aren’t into that sort of thing. But, it does make it easy to check in on the operation from the sofa. You can also send preloaded recipes from the phone to the circulator with a click. If you are interested in trying this style of cooking, this seems like a great entry point." β€”Lester McGowan

    Get it from Amazon for $129+ (also available with options to include a vacuum sealer and bags).

    4. This Instant Pot that's pretty much a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a steamer, a sautΓ©-r, a yogurt maker, and a warmer all in ONE. In other words, your soups, pastas, and other meals are about to be done about 70% faster without the accidental burning.


    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 stovetop) 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 bigger 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!!!" β€”Stereoman

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

    5. A veggie spiralizer for making perfect "vegetable pasta" spirals with just the turn of a handle β€” if you've been doing it literally any other way, you've probably noticed by now that it takes too long and spirals are always either too thick or too thin.,

    It comes with seven interchangeable blades that beautifully create thick or thin strands and four e-books filled with delish recipes. The parts are top-rack dishwasher safe.

    Promising review: "You're not going to find a better built, better functioning spiralizer anywhere! I wasn't planning on buying one β€” I started out just researching. After researching the various models and reading reviews, I thought, 'I gotta get me one of those.' This is probably one of the best purchases I've ever made. My girlfriend just bought one two weeks ago and after seeing mine, said there's no comparison. She's sending hers back!" β€”Marie Walker

    Get it from Amazon for $29.97.

    6. This microwave pasta maker because you always end up accidentally overcooking your noodles and having to slurp mush instead of al dente linguine.

    It yields up to four servings at a time, and is top-rack dishwasher-safe.

    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, 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 afterward. 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!" β€”Smilin Sam

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    7. A sushi-making kit because every time you try to make your own California roll, you somehow end up with a misshapen mess.


    The kit includes a dishwasher safe sushi mat for making perfect rolls, a nonstick paddle for scooping and smoothing out the rice filling, and a roll cutter for slicing evenly-sized pieces of sushi (P.S., the end caps turn into little soy sauce holders for dipping!).

    Promising review: "I'm very happy I invested in this kit. I was paying $5 per roll whenever I bought sushi from a local store. I figured I should teach myself how to make sushi. This makes it foolproof, and I'm saving a lot of money on lunches now by making my own sushi." β€”Brittany

    Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

    8. This copy of The Flavor Bible so you can learn how to properly combine ingredients, textures, and temperatures for a ~heavenly~ plate.

    The book cover

    Promising review: "It's not a cookbook β€” no recipes involved. It's an IDEA book. Hmmm, there's leftover pork in the fridge, what can I pair with it? Peaches and balsamic vinegar. I would never have come up with that, I only think of applesauce or sauerkraut. Some items list many variations, like pork ribs, pork chops, etc. with tips on cooking methods. If you know the basics but want new ideas, you'll love this book. If you know a lot but get stuck in ruts, you'll love this book. If you entertain people who are hard to impress and need some WOW flavor combinations, you'll love this book." β€”Anonymous

    Get a hardcover copy from Amazon for $28.96 (also available as a paperback version and for the Kindle), Barnes and Noble for $35.99 (available as hardcover and NOOK book versions), or check your local library.

    9. A stuffed patty mold because the last time you tried creating a cheddar-stuffed burger, the patty wasn't sealed correctly and you just ended up with the cheese melting through and burning on the skillet.

    A burger cut in half to show it stuffed with other ingredients

    This gadget helps you stuff burger patties with whatever filling you want, so the possibilities are literally endless β€” lasagna-stuffed cheeseburger, anyone?

    Promising review: "This actually works, and you can fill with a lot of stuffing (which surprised me). The device is very well-designed and easy to use once you figure out which part is which. I was very surprised at the size of the indentation for filling. I put in: a slice and a half of cooked bacon, some sliced peppers, and small chunks of cheddar cheese. DELICIOUS! No leakage on my George Foreman grill. Worked great. They are big burgers, so you might end up sharing. Enjoy! It's a great tool, at a great price. You can make pizza burgers, Mexican burgers, whatever you can imagine." β€”BarbZ

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    10. This little kitchen timer to make sure you never, ever, EVER accidentally forget about your food and burn it on the stove again. It's a simple idea that's simple to implement.

    A reviewer holding the small timer

    You have the option to either prop the timer on the counter using the built-in stand or mount it on your refrigerator door or other magnetic surfaces.

    Promising review: "Ordered this kitchen timer because it stated the alarm is loud. It certainly is loud! Other alarms either lost their sound or died on me. Even the wind-up ones die over time. I like that it is battery-operated because I have lots of rechargeable batteries. The sound has to be loud enough to hear in the back of my house. My house is rather large and I used to burn a few cookies because I didn't hear the timer I had. I forget to carry it around with me and thought the loud one would be my best bet. My husband complains that it is WAY too loud, but he isn't the cook, so all he has to do is block his ears, run to turn it off, or just go in the garage and play with his toys and leave me alone! After ruining some meals with burned food he should understand the importance of this timer!" β€”Southern Charm

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in two colors).

    11. A microwave rice cooker since you typically end up with partially boiled rice on the stove top β€” this thing'll give you perfectly steamed results every time.

    The compact looking pot filled with rice

    The four-piece set includes a cooker, a locking lid, a rice paddle, and a measuring cup. It also comes with a set of instructions and can make up to SIX FREAKIN' CUPS of rice, oats, quinoa, and more in just a few minutes. The entire thing is also dishwasher-safe and you can also use it to make steamed veggies.

    Promising review: "I love this little rice pot! It comes with a measuring cup, rice paddle, and directions to make the perfect pot of rice in the microwave! It would be an excellent gift for a college student or someone (like me) who loves rice but just can’t seem to get the hang of making it on the stove top. It is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe! I can’t say enough how much I enjoy this little pot!!" β€”living_with_ms

    Get a four-piece set from Amazon for $9.93.

    12. This air fryer because when you oven bake or deep-fry your foods, you usually end up overcooking them by just a smidge.

    A reviewer showing a whole raw chicken being cooked perfectly in the air fryer

    It features a 6-quart capacity fryer basket. All non-electric parts are dishwasher-safe!

    Promising review: "I was very glad to join the air-fry bandwagon with this Dash Air Fryer. I have mostly used it for frozen foods such as egg rolls, chicken tenders, and fish fillets so far. I use parchment paper to help with the cleanup. In some cases, it comes out better with no oil at all. Definitely a more nutritious cooking alternative!" β€”Michael from San Diego

    Get it from Amazon for $99.99 (available in four colors).

    13. A rapid egg cooker so you can actually end up with perfectly hard-boiled eggs instead of ones that are accidentally too runny.

    The egg cooker, which holds six eggs at once

    Promising review: "If hard-boiled eggs are at all a part of your life, this device will change everything. Reclaim lost hours, catch up on missed TV, reconnect with old friends and family β€” anything is possible with the free time you'll find at your disposal as you drop six eggs into this beast, press a button, and then walk away. What will you do? High-intensity exercise? Model building? Learn a second language? I hear your concern. 'What if I become so engrossed in my newfound love of taxonomy that I forget about my eggs?' Fear not, efficient chef. Like the trump of Gabriel himself, the unmistakable tone of this technological marvel could rouse the dead and will bring you running to your fresh-and-ready ova's side. The Dash Go Rapid Egg Cooker is what mankind has been working towards since the first roundish stone was shaped into a wheel. Witness the apex of human innovation!" β€”J. Mercer Crenshaw

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

    14. This digital food scale (with a removable bowl) so you can get the most precise measurements possible for your recipes β€” adding even a little more or a little less than what's needed can seriously throw off your end result, even after you worked so hard to perfect the process.

    The scale with a clear glass bowl

    It works for both dry and liquid ingredients.

    Promising review: "This product is worth so much more than it cost. My last scale did not have a bowl that fits so nicely in it, so when I used to measure things, I had to be sure the bowl was centered to get the accurate weight. This measures fluid ounces in addition to pounds, and it also has its own bowl and stores so nicely in my utensil drawer. I no longer need multiple scales in my kitchen. This just made my cooking and baking a breeze." β€”JGL

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    15. A little oven thermometer because, sorry, your oven might be deceiving you. The temperature just may not be as accurate as you've always thought, which could be why you end up with undercooked meals even when you followed the recipe to a T.

    The small, circular thermometer, which loops around a rod on the oven rack

    It reads between 60 and 580 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Promising review: "I bought this after persistent frustration with my oven. I live in a rental apartment and my oven is pretty crappy. I was suspicious that it wasn't as hot as it claimed to be when I preheated it. This isn't such a big deal if you're just throwing a frozen pizza in the oven for 20 minutes, but I like to cook. I feel like my oven has been cheating on me. I needed to catch it in the act. Am I a crummy baker, or is my oven the culprit? So, I bought this thermometer. The result: My oven really does suck! When it beeps for 350 degrees, the thermometer reads 300 degrees. Goodbye, delicious chicken parmigiana; hello salmonella! Goodbye, carefully scheduled 7:30 p.m. dinner; hello, 8:15 p.m. apologies and wine on an empty stomach! This thermometer is like a private investigator who reassures you that you're not paranoid." β€”Jordan Taylor

    Get it from Amazon for $7 (also available in versions for the refrigerator and freezer).

    16. This beautiful (and informative) print to help you identify and describe herbs and spices so you'll always know exactly what you can add to your pot to level up that flavor.

    The poster, with images of spices, their names, and notes about them

    Promising review: "This poster is stunning. We of course hung it in our kitchen. I framed it in a Craig Frames 24x36 frame and it looks perfect. There is SO MUCH DETAIL to the many pictures and all the text (and all the TEXT IS READABLE!). Plus, it has multiple versions of the spices, like in ground or granulated form in addition to its natural form. Love that it has some of the most famous spice blends like curry, garam masala, Chinese five spice, herbs de provence, and pickling spices. This is such a great centerpiece of art for a kitchen. People will love to comment on it and ask questions about it as well as just look at it for a long time." β€”Roderick Rinehart

    Get it from Amazon for $9.29.

    17. A batter-dispenser because you always end up with drips and spills when you try to make pancakes, cupcakes, and muffins by pouring directly from the mixing bowl to the pan or griddle.

    Model dispensing the batter by pulling the handle lever, to make evenly size pancakes

    Promising review: "Why, oh why didn't I buy this a whole lot sooner? I have always made pancakes or waffles reluctantly because of the mess it always makes with drips and runs all over the waffle maker, the counter, and the stove. Well, no more! This wonderful tool puts the batter exactly where you want it, when you want it β€” and then closes quickly and completely so you don't drip batter when putting it down. I highly recommend this dispenser. It does just what it is supposed to do, without any fuss or mistakes." β€”Barbara D. G.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.99.

    18. This spatula tool with a harder center and flexible edges so you can easily slide it right under those super hard-to-flip egg omelets.

    The spatula folding an omelet in half

    Promising review: "So wonderful and flexible β€” great for all kinds of cooking besides omelet-turning β€” scrambled eggs, sauces, etc. Easy on the nonstick cookware coatings, nicely heat resistant, and that flexibility hugs the sides of pan or bowl to get every last bit of food. I just wish it came in more sizes and shapes (smaller and narrower!) because it puts all my other spatulas to shame. The stiff inner blade combined with the silicone edge is a marvelous idea β€” OXO has nailed this one!" β€”zgmcgee

    Get it from Amazon for $9.91+ (available in two sizes).

    19. A PFOA-free nonstick ceramic Always Pan because your dinner always looks ~beautiful~ while it's cooking in the pan...but once you try to spoon it onto your plate, you notice burnt-on crusts and suddenly, you have chunks of food stuck to the pan. This is also designed to do the work of EIGHT pieces of regular old cookware, and comes with a lockable lid, steamer basket, pouring spout, and a nesting spatula with a built-in rest.

    The pan with shrimp etoufee, with bowls of the shrimp and rice around it

    Our Place is a woman-owned business created by Pakistani entrepreneur Shiza Shahid and based in Los Angeles. All of their boxes are packaged with biodegradable and recyclable materials.

    Promising review: "My Always Pan is going to be my new favorite cooking ware. Super versatile and absolutely beautiful. Love the functionality that it possesses and the versatility range, someone really thought about all the best way to cook with this! Safe, easy to clean, and beautiful to look at! Makes you want to cook more delicious meals all day long! Shipping took a while because I preordered, but I was happy to wait!" β€”Celyn V.

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

    Check out a review from one of my BuzzFeed colleagues to learn more about this pan!

    20. This magnetic measuring spoon set so you can always have super-precise measurements and will never add half a spoon too much of baking powder or other ingredients. And! They'll stack up perfectly and stay organized.

    The differently sized spoons, which nest inside each other perfectly

    Promising review: "I didn't expect to like these as much as I do. Turns out that I LOVE these! While cooking I can use one side for dry and the other for wet ingredients β€” no need to clean or have multiple spoons out. Easy to clean. And they magnetically snap easily together so I can store them all in one section of my drawer, no more hunting for measuring spoons and no more clumsy rings, clips, chains or whatever to deal with. I originally thought the leveler was silly and that I'd have no need for it. Surprise! It's actually quite handy and I use it often." β€”D and A's Mom

    Get it from Amazon for $13.97+ (available in two colors).

    21. A microwave bacon cooker if you normally end up burning your bacon when you cook it on the stove. Just pop this thing into the microwave for perfectly-cooked bacon in just 60 seconds.,

    Promising review: "This cooker is the easiest way to cook bacon. Drape a few slices over the rods, microwave 60 or so seconds, pull 'em off and enjoy! Now you don't have to do without bacon in the morning 'cause it takes too long to fix. Then, dunk it in soapy water, rinse, and let it air dry. Also quick. It even folds up small enough to store in a drawer. Ya can't beat this little jewel. Try it. Return it if it isn't everything I've said. I love it." β€”Kenne Messer

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

    22. This easy-to-use breakfast sandwich maker so you can make your own fast food-style bacon, egg, and cheese without having to use multiple appliances that just wind up leaving you flustered (and with a lackluster result).


    Promising review: "It's simple. It's easy. It's fast. A hot sandwich any way you like it, in five minutes. What can be better than that? Save money at home by making your own McDonald's Egg McMuffin. I am pleased with this machine. Works great. I wish I had bought the double maker. My next try will be personal pizza." β€”Annie

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    23. A set of bags that'll keep your favorite fromages fresh for far, far longer. This way, you won't ever ruin a pasta dish with super stale cheese.

    A slice of cheese inside a bag

    Promising review: "Before I bought this cheese paper I would do the cheese search in the refrigerator. After buying cheeses, opening them, and then rewrapping them in heaven knows what (namely plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and plastic containers), it was always the same result: moldy cheese. This box contains the paper in sheets plus some stickers that you can write on with the name of the cheese and the date it was wrapped or even sell by date. There are also pictures of a sheep, cow, and goat so the source can be identified by circling or checking one of them! What I also like is that the cheeses can be rewrapped after use and amazingly the stickers still stick! The paper can also be cut to size to wrap smaller cheeses. So far I have noted that the cheeses have stayed fresh with not a trace of mold. I highly recommend this product to all cheese lovers!" β€”Prairie Woman

    Get a pack of 15 paper bags from Amazon for $9 (also available in packs of 30, 45, 60, and 75 bags).

    24. This two-in-one chop 'n' stir tool so you can mash those boiled eggs, potatoes, and chunks of meat as perfectly as possible, and help them cook more thoroughly and have the right texture when you're done.

    A person using the chopper, which has four edges, to chop up meat

    Promising review: "I love making chicken tacos in my pressure cooker, the meat ends up tender but sometimes doesn't fall apart. I'd seen this online and it worked out perfectly, not only does it smash but it chops at the same time. While the chicken is still hot in the pot I can use this to smash/shred the chicken, making perfect shredded chicken taco meat. I have also used while cooking ground beef doing the same, chopping while I smash. I even used it to smash/chop some cooked meatballs making meat sauce. I love this thing." β€”Eric M. Schloegel, Jr.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99 (available in three colors).

    25. And this fish spatula to help you perfectly flip your salmon fillets while you cook 'em. It'll help you avoid ending up with broken fillets when you try to flip or remove them from the pan.

    The spatula with a long head for flipping fish

    Promising review: "It's not just for fish. I have trouble making over-easy eggs and nearly always break the yolk when flipping, but ow I can make near-perfect over-easy eggs without any oil in a nonstick skillet. The front edge is thin and beveled, and the bend of the spatula is engineering perfection. It's also very inexpensive for a substantial kitchen tool β€” sent a couple as gifts, too." β€”pickyreader

    Get it from Amazon for $7.97.

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    What's your favorite product?

    Tell us about your favorite product
    Your review may be featured in a post.
    Minimum 25 characters, 1500 characters left
    Upload up to 4 photos you took of the product and/or how you use it. (We love before & after photos!)
    View our photo guidelines with tips that increase your chance of getting featured.
    Max 10 MB. Accepted file types: .jpg, .jpeg, .png.

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form