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    33 Things You'll Prob Love Now That You're Starting To Like Cooking

    Is that you? In the kitchen? It's truly a new day. 🤣🍽️

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    So raise your hand if you were pandemic-years old when you actually started trying to cook regularly... and... liking it?

    TBS / Giphy / Via, Giphy / The Internet / Via

    I know it's not just me! LMAO, suddenly I learned my way around the kitchen since I wasn't going anywhere else 🤣. So, here are a few things jusssst for this stage of life — aka things I'm thinking of getting for my own kitchen now that I'm actually spending more time in there.

    1. An automatic pan stirrer with a timer so you minimize wrist work even when you're increasing your time standing at the stove making cool new meals. Look at you, being dang-near professional. Where's your cooking show?!

    the automatic stirrer in a pan

    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 UncommonGoods for $25.

    2. Chic pot holders to keep around for the sake of safe fingers *and* style. They're just big enough for tops and handles but small enough so you'll see exactly what you're grabbing.

    Food 52

    Promising review: "Whenever I use potholders or mitts, and try to pick up a sheet full of cookies or turn it around during baking, part of the mitt inevitably grazes one or two of the cookies and smushes something. These little potholders finally solve the problem perfectly: they allow you to just grasp the edges of the cookie sheets, far away from the cookies. At the same time, they’re big enough to hold onto the sheet securely. I knocked off one star only because I wish they were made of slightly thicker material — you can’t hold onto a cookie sheet for too long with these before the heat starts to reach your fingers." —Michelle N.

    Get them from Food 52 for $24 (available in five colors).

    3. A stunning embossed rolling pin because, sure you've been upping the baking — but now you're about to step your cookies up, word to Nicki Minaj (and gorgeous, delicious cookies).

    the wooden rolling pin with embossment designs engraved in it to impress upon the cookies and cookies in a bowl with designs on them from the pin
    Pastrymade / Etsy

    It's by a small shop based in Warsaw, Poland.

    Promising review: "The rolling pin is very beautiful and came with care instructions and a recipe. I am excited to try it out. Update: It worked beautifully. I bought a pastry wheel to cut the cookies. The kids loved them." —Katrin

    Get it from Pastrymade on Etsy for $24.95+.

    4. A sous vide — one fantastical gadget that'll ensure you never over- or undercook your food ever again. Just stick this baby in a pot of water with your preferred meat in a freezer bag. It'll cook it at the perfect temperature and your food'll be *chef's kiss*.

    Afterward, you can just toss it onto the stove for a couple of minutes to sear it a bit or even on a grill if you just have to have that smoky taste. The sous vide will cook your meat for 10 minutes up to 72 hours. The temperature ranges from 104 to 195 degrees (Fahrenheit). It's also designed to attach to the side of a 6- to 8-quart inner pot OR your InstantPot.

    As president of the overcooked chicken club, I'm beyond thankful for this thing!

    Promising review (for cooking meat): "I’m loving this way of cooking. The InstantPot Sous-vide has made my cooking so much better. No more overcooked meats and oh my goodness is my steak perfect every time I use this. Better than the restaurants in my area. This does require longer cooking times but you don’t have to babysit it or cut into your meats to see if they are done throughout the cooking. I use this almost every night. I have both an eight- and six-quart pot and it works in both as advertised — but I use it more in the eight-quart since it has more space. I can cook four steaks at a time." —Sewnuts

    Promising review (for other uses): "I grow a lot of herbs and love to make and share herbal butter and oils. This works so easily by vacuuming the herbs with butter and oil or a combo of butter and oil. 165 degrees for two hours and it is perfect! You can then add to things you are cooking or use on fresh bread! Yummy! I also cook ahead and vacuum other meals to freeze. This makes it easy to warm them up without having to watch them. You just cut open and serve. Also good for making sauces as you just add all of the ingredients with your fresh garden ingredients, 165 degrees for a couple of hours, then freeze. When ready to eat, boil up some rice or pasta and pour the defrosted warmed sauce on it. Fast meal." —Rulrich

    Get it from Amazon for $79.98.

    5. Home Chef — because believe me, finally starting to like cooking doesn't mean you'll have the energy to plan and shop for it every single day. Enter, a food service that'll send ingredients for full, quick-to-fix meal kits for your oven and slow-cooker — plus fresh salads and whatever else you want to eat that suits your lifestyle.

    meatballs with peas, potatoes and gravy
    @realhomechef / Via

    Your kits will include pre-portioned and labeled ingredients and double-protein options.

    Get a two-serving plan from Home Chef starting at $49.95/week for two meals, a four-serving plan starting at $78.91/week for two meals, or a six-serving plan for $114.87/week for two meals.

    6. A fun pancake mold because once the kid in your life gets over the initial shock of you actually factually being in the kitchen more — they'll want you to fix food that's as cool for them as it is for you. Intro 'em to pancakes shaped like butterflies 🦋, dinosaurs 🦕, and rockets 🚀, oh my!

    Zavery Cakes

    The pancake molds are made with a mini-lift for easy flipping with a spatula and a line inside to prevent over-filling. They're also dishwasher-safe, BPA-, and lead-free. So ya know, they're from a Black-owned brand!

    Get it from Zavery Cakes for $12.99 (also available in butterfly and rocket shapes!)

    7. And! A pancake mixer bottle that'll make it super easy to mix, pour, and fry several batches of pancakes faster.

    hand holding a bottle full of batter and pouring out pancake circles onto a griddle

    Promising review: "This thing makes pancakes a breeze! The batter mixes really fast in this bottle and it makes pouring the batter on the griddle super easy. I make pancakes at least once a week so this is a great addition to my kitchen tools." —LBND

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    8. Natural, flavored syrup to make breakfast and brunch meals a much fancier, schmancier situation. You could also put this stuff in your coffee, tea, ice cream, and whatever else you like to drizzle syrup, love, and happiness onto.

    Lynn And Gray Kitchen / Etsy

    BTW, this cool syrup is made of all-natural, locally grown lavender flowers and unrefined raw cane sugar! It's from a woman-owned shop based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The shop makes all of its syrups from locally sourced produce. Everything's made to order and then shipped. Also, the brand recommends that you keep the syrups refrigerated and use them within four weeks since they don't have any additives or preservatives. Reviewers rave about the taste of syrups but also seem super impressed by the shipping times, packaging, and unique flavor offerings.

    Promising review: "DELICIOUS! I’m eager to try more (lavender...)! And, it was shipped out and arrived super fast! Thank you for such a wonderful, quality product!" —Malia

    Get a bottle from Lynn And Gray Kitchen on Etsy for $9+ (available in two sizes).

    9. KitchenAid shears — because once you discover that cutting up chicken strips, stir fry beef, and sausages is a boom-boom-done situation when you use 'em, you'll never wanna go back. These. Your drawer. Now. YW. 😘

    It'll come with a plastic guard for safe storage, too!

    Promising review: "Exceeded my expectations. It cuts meats and veggies well, it's easy to clean (I just rinsed it off for like two secs and it looked clean just with water). It was easy to hold and was useful to have on the side to open packages 5/5." —Dank O.

    Get them from Amazon for $9.99 (available in six colors).

    10. A meatball maker that'll help you make loads of round, meaty greatness much faster. You will definitely be a meatball-making machine at the house with this. The seasoning's up to you but this gadget has the quantity situation handled.

    beef with seasoning and veggies that has been packed into the meatball maker

    It'll turn two pounds of meat into 32 meatballs EASY. Woot! This way, you can cook as many as you want or store that many for later. You could also use it to portion and freeze cookie dough, chocolate, rice, Pesto, sauces, herbs, and more. Heads up: Several reviewers noted that it works like a charm as long as you don't overfill.

    Promising review: "Such a time-saver! Much faster than doing them by hand, with a cookie scoop, or with a handheld meatballer, plus they are all uniform in size. Very pleased with this product!" —Rhondaal

    Get it from Amazon for $28.74.

    11. Oven liners to prevent any buildup of crumbs and other food drippings while you increase that oven usage on your way to pro-baking status.


    Promising review: "I expected to be happy, but I'm thrilled! Each mat is pliable and fits the entire width of my standard oven. When the mat is against the back wall, it extends up to but not over the front lip of the floor. On first use, pizza cheese and sauce dripped onto the front edge of the mat and onto that uncovered lip. The baked-on cheese and sauce slid right off the mat! Effortlessly! After I cleaned up the lip, I layered a second mat to cover the lip. These mats are so great that I almost want food to drip on them so I can show off how wonderful they are." —Artset Outset

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $14.99.

    12. Modern, minimalist labels so you can organize and pretty up that kitchen of yours and make it your own. (Yea, it's been your own but now you go in there more so it's your own-own. 🤣)

    white labels with black all caps writing on a variety of different kitchen containers like "pasta," "oats," "can sugar," and more
    Real And Vibrant / Etsy

    Promising review: "Love the labels! They look amazing on my storage jars and my spice jars. The packs I ordered had so much variety and fit almost all of my pantry needs. There’s even room to grow and explore more spices and foods which is so awesome and exciting." —Kassie Demopoulos

    Get it from RealAndVibrant for $27+ (available in a variety of label quantities and sizes).

    13. A crab spoon holder to rest on the edge of your hot pots to prevent your spoon from getting too warm while you cook or from having to fish it out of a hot pot after it's fallen in there.,

    Lil' Crabby is dishwasher-safe and will also double as a steam releaser.

    Promising review: "Probably the coolest holder I have ever seen. Bought it for my wife and she loves it and thinks it's cute. I laugh when I look at it! Hangs on all of our pots and pans and stays cool. Easy to clean and looks awesome. Great addition to any kitchen. Works great and does exactly what it is intended to do!" —Logan E

    Get it from Amazon for $16

    14. A shrimp peeler so you can peel and de-vein those delectable crustaceans in one swoop. Seafood boil, here you come!

    the deveiner sitting beside a plate of shrimp. it is shaped like a pair of scissors but has a curved tip.

    Promising review: "I'm not a fan of uni-task kitchen gadgets but if you are big into seafood, then you NEED this. When I cook shrimp, I buy them fresh-caught and shell-on. I use the shells to make broth. I use a fraction of the prep time to de-shell several pounds of shrimp." —Dagman

    Get it from Amazon for $5.29.

    15. The ULTIMATE apron that'll provide extra protection from splashes and come with loads of pockets, a handy conversion chart, and (probs, most amazingly) built-in oven mitts!


    Promising review: " apron that is generously sized to properly protect my clothes, a sizing clasp on the neck strap that stays where you put it, and ample pockets. I love it! Material is thicker than I expected so it can get warm but I will not give up this apron. So happy with this purchase." —Debra S.

    Get it from Food52 for $45 (available in five colors).

    16. Meat shredders for when you want to pull off the rootinest tootinest pulled pork (turkey, beef, or chicken) meal you've ever had in your life. (Psst... I've decided that's cowboy speak for VERY FREAKING DELICIOUS AND PERFECT.)

    model's hands shredding chicken with the shredders which look a lot like thick plastic rakes for food

    You could also shred your meat for tacos, chicken and dumplings, stews, and more. I just wrote about pulled meat because it truly is a great meal. BTW, this baby is dishwasher-safe.

    Promising review: "I love these! I used to use two forks to shred slow-cooked meat and it would hurt my hands and wrists. I bought the OXO shredding claws and used them for the first time yesterday. First, they worked brilliantly to scoop (and drain) the chicken breast out of the slow cooker and place it on the cutting board. Then I was able to very quickly and easily shred the chicken and get it back into the sauce. I can’t believe I’ve been struggling with dinner forks all these years. I’m so glad I bought this set." —Laura Broome

    Get them from Amazon for $14.99.

    17. A massive pot set (as in 20 pieces!!!) that'll come with literally everything you need to make whatever meals you dream up. The cookware pieces also have cool, small features that'll make a big impact while you're cooking — like a space for pouring directly from the pot and Thermo-Spot heat indicators.


    The set comes with a 10-inch skillet, pizza pan, saucepan, five-quart Dutch Oven, frying pan, eight-inch frying pan, cookie sheet, two-quart saucepan, measuring spoons, and a 6.5-inch griddle. Exhaustive? I know! We're literally not going to need much else, where cookware is concerned. Also, this baby's on sale. Get it while the getting is cheaper. 😘

    Get it from Target for $79.99 (originally $99; free two-day shipping).

    18. Annnnd a pan and lid organizer rack (ya know, now that you feel confident enough to invest in more pans) to keep countertop clutter at bay and your most-used ones super close.

    The white rack with silver dividers holding pans and cutting boards vertically

    The rack includes 10 steel wire dividers that are designed to hold your pans in place without scratching them.

    Promising review: "I LOVE this product. My pans and lids are now all easily accessible and more of them fit into the cupboard than previously. Wonderful storage solution. I ended up buying more for my baking sheets and pans too." —Kelsey

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    19. A thaw claw to hold frozen meat packs down in the sink so they don't float to the top and take forever and a day to defrost. So, when you (inevitably) forget to take out meat to cook and you (inevitably) have to thaw it in hot water, you'll still be able to minimize defrost time.


    Promising review: "Definitely worth the buy. And it does as advertised. About 45-hour max for a pound of ground beef. And so far after about 15 or so uses, the suction power has not degraded. Again worth the money. Forget 'defrost mode' on the microwave lol" —Chrbn

    Get it from Amazon for $12.79.

    20. A 48-needle meat tenderizer to make "heat channels" in your meat and reduce cooking time by about 40%. Mmhmm. Your meat is bound to be tender, juicy, and very, very tasty.

    model's hand pressing the meat tenderizer to a slap of beef

    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!" —Wet Bruce

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99+ (also available in white).

    21. A hamburger press that'll help you bang out burgers that are, well, BANGIN'! It's designed to help you shape them to perfection AND stuff 'em with veggies and cheesy goodness. This, my people, is the key to heaven. Dishwasher-safe, no less.

    the left side shows a burger with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and ketchup. The right side is the same burger with a bite taken out of it. There's cheese spilling from inside of the burger. This, my friend, is food porn epitomized.

    Promising review: "This is really awesome. It's easy to wash. No more odd-shaped burgers that fall apart. I enjoyed my bacon and cheddar juicy lucy!" —Male, 50 Average Joe

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

    22. Three-piece dough press set so you can fill your beloved empanadas, calzones, and more with your preferred delectable fillings — then press it perfectly.


    Btw, these babies are dishwasher-safe. Eat up!

    Promising review: "This was my first time using this. I am so excited! I can make dumplings, meat pies, fruit pies, and beef patties!!! Endless!!! I used parchment paper to keep the dough from sticking." —Amazon Customer
    Get it from Amazon for $8.49

    23. A small cast-iron skillet — yup, like the larger, battle-tested one your grandmother prob cooked dang near everything in growing up. It's the perfect size for quickly making smaller meals.,

    The eight-inch skillet comes pre-seasoned with vegetable oil that'll release easily when it heats up.

    Promising review: "I wanted to try cooking on cast iron for a long time now but I was always worried and intimidated by the large heavy pans. This little guy is cheap but high-quality, so it's low-risk to try it out and see. It's the perfect size for a lot of things like cooking meat for two (we've tried steaks, burgers, chicken, and bacon) or making a quick full meal for one person (excellent for grilled cheese!). It was easy to use and easy to clean. We like it so much, we've now taken the plunge to get a larger cast iron pan for bigger meals. I'm totally recommending this one for other beginner cooks!" —Lana Yarosh

    Get it from Amazon for $9.88+ (also available in eight larger sizes) and the smaller spatula in a set for $9.88.

    24. Pan scrapers to clean up after cooking with way less muscle work. The scrapers have four differently-shaped edges so you can remove the gunk from any size pan.


    Promising review: "These are the best little scrapers! I've messed up my iron skillets so many times before buying these! They're super easy to use, not pricey, and they do the job! It was even easy on my hands since it took me maybe two minutes to scrape everything, rinse, and dry. I had to scrape shepherd's pie (meat, cheese, gravy, and potatoes left overnight) off the pan. And if you've ever left gravy in something overnight, then you know how hard that can be to get off. But not with these bad boys!! Save yourself some time and save your pans! Your skillets will thank you!" —Tyler

    Get them from Amazon for $7 (available in a two-pack).

    25. Kitchen towels to swipe away messes quickly and for the love of cleanliness and good order, you'd better switch these bad boys at LEAST once a week. They're also super cute (one says don't go ~bacon~ my heart~. Come on. That's perfect. 😭)

    eight kitchen towels that are white wiht one colorful item on it and a quote. ONe says "Let's give them something to taco 'bout" with a taco underneath
    Do Take It Personally / Etsy

    They're from a small business based in Trosky, Minnesota, that sells a ton of other equally adorable things.

    Promising review: "Love the packaging! Nice touch! These dish towels are soft and of very good quality! I definitely will be ordering more!" —Sedaya Northern

    Get at least a two-pack (I refuse to recommend that you buy one) from Do Take It Personallyon Etsy for $22.95.

    26. A food processor that'll cut, slice, dice, crinkle, mince, or puree whatever you need. This baby will make hummus, peanut butter, pesto, veggie burger "meat" (🍔 ahead), and more. It might even autopay your bills but don't hold me to that one.

    first pic shows the veggies grinded in the processor, the second image shows the burgers in the frying pan that were made with the stuff from the processor, and the third is the bean burger on a bun with condiments

    Promising review: "I never owned a food processor before and boy was I in for a treat. This thing works so fast and it's precise. I've used it to make bean burgers, veggie fritters, guacamole, parm/walnut cheese, and DIY mango butter. I use it a lot for quick chops... I like the easy cleaning and storage. It is a nice-sized processor so you have room to store it in a pantry or under a cabinet." —L. Quinn

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99+ (available in two sizes).

    27. Smoked bacon chipotle sea salt for anyone who'll stop loving the flavor of bacon ~when pigs fly.~ I'm with ya. This sea salt will def earn its keep in your cabinet. You'll be able to make bacon-flavored EVERYTHING and well, that's a dang good life.

    Promising review: "I bought this out of curiosity and it has become one of my favorite seasonings. You need to know that I have a huge lazy-Suzan filled with spices to understand how big an endorsement this is. This is a great flavoring for soups, stews, vegetable dishes, beans, and many types of meat. It has a little kick — not enough to frighten anyone away but just enough to make it interesting. I gave a package to the talented chef at our workplace cafeteria and he is constantly telling me what new thing he thought to put it in. I have ordered one of the samplers of several of their other spices and look forward to seeing what new creative dishes will arise from that." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

    28. A set of spices in case you get stuck on how to ~spice~ up the new meals you experiment with and go beyond your traditional palate.

    box of five seasoning bottles

    You get to choose between five sets of spices which are grilling, hot and spicy, keto, seasoned sea salts, and smoked spices. BuzzFeed editor Kayla Suazo had this to say about how perfect these spices were for her dad:

    "I got this for my dad for his birthday and he always calls me after dinner to tell me he used one of these spices. It's honestly the sweetest. And if you aren't sold on this one, in particular, there are other spice sets available: Hot and spicy, seasoned sea salts, all-star BBQ, keto grilling, smoked, and maple southwest. *Starts drooling.*"

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99+ (available in seven different sets).

    29. A stackable, expandable spice rack to organize all the new spices you'll be adding to your collection AND grant space back in your cabinets that you had no clue you even needed.

    Promising review: "Our spice cabinet was a disaster. You couldn't find anything without taking everything out first. Super easy to install and now we can see everything we need just by opening the cabinet." —Jonathan Thompson

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99 (originally $37.99).

    30. A floral reversible dishwasher magnet since there'll inevitably be more dishes to clean as you make more meals. Cue the dishwasher, love! This'll alert the whole house about what's what with the dishes so you won't accidentally grab a dirty pot to cook in. *shudders at the thought*

    A magnet with floral watercolor that says "clean" on one side and "dirty" on the other

    Promising review: "I have received several compliments on this. It makes it so much easier to know when the dishes are clean or dirty. Works great." —Bart Bolin

    Get it from Amazon for $4.49.

    31. The Ninja 4-Quart Air Fryer to help you make all of your favorite meals much faster, without all the unnecessary oil and need to stand over a hot stove that traditional frying requires.

    Tom Scott via Amazon / Via, Nitaya via Amazon / Via

    The Ninja air fryer has a single basket that'll help you fry your wings, fish, and more to a golden, beautiful crisp.

    Promising review: "I was nervous about purchasing an air fryer after reading the mixed reviews on so many of them. I finally went with the Ninja (slightly more expensive than some of the other options), and I am so happy I did. The food it cooks is wonderful and it feels so much lighter than foods fried in oil. There are no complicated instructions and it is user-friendly. I haven't experienced any peeling of the nonstick coating, and it's very easy to clean as well." —Kristen

    Get it from Amazon for $89.99. (originally $99.99).

    32. OR a Ninja grill air fryer for anyone who'll always want those grilled lines and most importantly, that smoky, grilled taste.

    Salifya Akers / BuzzFeed,

    My best friend bought one and cooked food for me on it and IT WAS SO DOGGONE GOOD! It tasted like it was fresh from a patio grill instead of a tiny indoor air fryer sitting on her kitchen countertop. I will stan this thing forever.

    Promising review: "OMG. This thing is awesome. We have a condo where we are not allowed to have grills on our balcony so I thought I’d give this a go. It is perfect. I just made a steak and it was to die for." —LP1968

    Get it from Amazon for $199.99 (free shipping).

    33. A cutting board so you can cut your meats and catch the juices on one side thanks to an angled design and spikes to help hold the meat in place. The other side will be for everything else you need to prep so everything stays separated until they need to come together in your meal.


    Promising review: "I find myself using this for everything. The lip on this cutting board catches everything, keeping all material on the board and not all over the kitchen. When you cut, it does leave some small marks on the board but not any different than any others made from the same type of material. I do not find this to be a problem. I love the board. I cut ribs on this yesterday and all the juice stayed right on the board. You just can't beat that design feature. It flips over and you have a square of molded-in meat points to hold everything in place while you cut... It's also easy to clean. I am giving this a 5-star rating with form and function. It's perfect in my opinion." —Gary

    Get it from Amazon for $16.12 (originally $25; free shipping; free returns; available in four colors).

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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