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I Tried Popular Lazy Kitchen Gadgets And Found The Legit Ones

And they're all $20 or less.

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1. This microwavable popcorn popper that's dishwasher safe and says it'll pop popcorn perfectly in two minutes or less.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Put a tablespoon of kernels in the container, place the loose-fitting lid on top, and microwave for about a minute and a half.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed


THE RESULTS: After just a minute and a half, I had perfectly popped kernels ready to be customized with the works. The genius of this design is in the top, which is just wide enough to cover the kernels, but loose-fitting enough to let the steam out as the popcorn pops. You could technically use your own combination of microwave-safe bowl and vented cover, but personally, I don't own the latter. Also, this thing is collapsible (and easily washable), which in my teeny NYC kitchen is always a win.

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

2. This aluminum defrosting tray that's supposed to thaw frozen poultry, fish, and vegetables in half the time that it usually takes.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Place frozen meats, vegetables, and other ingredients on top of tray. The tray's metal surface will draw the cold out and start to thaw the food.

DID IT WORK? Lol, not for me.

THE RESULTS: I started by placing an equal serving of frozen salmon, chicken, and broccoli on both a defrosting tray and a plain plate, and left them out at room temperature. Once two hours had passed, I checked the defrosting tray and found it FRIGID, which I initially thought spoke to the tray's magical cold-absorbing powers. But then I checked the plate and found it to be equally cold. Cutting up the food also made zero difference.

If I really wanted a similar product to expedite the defrosting, I think I could just use a cast-iron skillet — or just defrost in the microwave. Though if we're being completely honest, even on my non-lazy days, I'll never have enough foresight to start thawing a meal hours in advance.

(Also worth noting? This thing had a ton of positive reviews on Amazon. So maybeee it's user error or I just got a defective tray? IDK. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Get it from Amazon for $15.50.


3. This pasta boat that lets you cook pasta in the microwave and has a built-in drainer.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Put uncooked pasta in the boat, cover with water (there are serving lines so you know exactly how much water to use), and microwave for about 20 minutes. Drain pasta through the strainer.

DID IT WORK? Yes. *Lowers head in shame*

RESULTS: As objective as I strive to be, I'll admit I kinda wanted to hate on this thing as soon as I heard the words "pasta boat" — a word pairing as cringeworthy as "spaghetti donut" (why does the world keep trying to change something already so perfect?!). But, guys, this WORKED. It's pretty simple to use too. You'll have to microwave the boat for a whole 20 minutes, but the great part is that you don't have to worry about water bubbling over, pasta overcooking, or babysitting your pot of water. Maybe I have ~civilian taste~, but TBH this tasted just as good as something I'd make over a stovetop. For the lazy, easily distracted, or hungry cooks without a stovetop, this is a recommended buy.

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

4. This plastic pan that lets you cook omelets right in your microwave.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Pour a mixture of beaten eggs and water/milk into both halves of the omelet pan. After microwaving for two minutes, place toppings on each half. Finish by microwaving for another 1.5 minutes and folding the pan in half to form a complete omelet.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

DID IT WORK? I mean, technically, it cooked the eggs but...

THE RESULTS: Since the omelet pan has a smooth, slick surface, that's exactly how my omelet came out. The texture was gummy and rubbery. Also, the two halves of this omelet did not adhere together, resulting in more of a floppy egg sandwich. In the time I microwaved this fake omelet, I probably could have cooked myself a real one — and it would have tasted way better.

Get it from Amazon for $6.31.

5. This microwave ramen cooker that's dishwasher safe and lets you cook a noodle packet without a stove.

HOW DOES IT WORK? Place a square of instant ramen in the container, fill up to indicated line with water, and microwave for three minutes.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed, Michelle No / BuzzFeed

DID IT WORK?: Ehh, not perfectly.

THE RESULTS: There's a small but not insignificant design flaw with this container: If you fill the container only up to the marked line, the top of the ramen won't cook (as shown above). But if you fill it with too much water, it'll boil over. I'd pass on this; it doesn't bring enough extra utility to my already packed kitchen. I think some Tupperware I have in my cabinet would do a better job 💁.

Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

6. This device that says it'll make perfect soft-boiled, hard-boiled, or poached eggs and omelets — and automatically shut off when finished.

HOW DOES IT WORK? To make hard-boiled eggs, poke each egg you want to cook with the pin at the end of the included measuring cup (actually easier than it sounds), pour water onto the cooker's metal base, then plug the device to start the egg-boiling process. After about 12 minutes, the device will shut off and the eggs will be done. To make soft-boiled eggs, simply fill device with less water (the measuring cup will indicate exactly how much to use). Use the included tray to make poached eggs or omelets.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

DID IT WORK? The eggs came out perfect, but the blaring buzzer is a dealbreaker for me.

THE RESULTS: It's all fine and dandy and works perfectly until the eggs finish cooking, at which point a soul-piercing, high-pitched fire alarm–esque sound kills any hope for relaxation you may have planned for that day. (And the sound doesn't go away until you unplug the thing.) IMO, the need to stand by the cooker to shut it off ASAP basically defeats the convenience provided by this gadget. So even though the eggs came out perfectly hard-boiled, I'd pass. BUT if you're a college student with no access to a stovetop, or just someone who doesn't mind the buzzer, this 100% gets the job done.

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

7. This vegetable steamer and oven roaster made out of food-grade silicone that lets you steam foods in the microwave or roast them in the oven.

HOW DOES IT WORK? To use the pod to steam food, place your ingredients in the pod, add a tablespoon of water, close it (using the handy tab), and microwave it for 1 to 3 minutes. To roast food, similarly place ingredients in the oven-safe pod, close it, place in oven, and open the pod toward the end of the cooking process to brown the top.

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed


THE RESULTS: I liked this container because it replaced the job of other items in my kitchen. As a steamer, it pretty seamlessly did the job of a plate and paper towel or cover. As a roaster, it replaced wax paper and aluminum foil (which I run out of way too quickly) — and you don't run the risk of melting it in the oven, since it's oven-friendly. Though I wouldn't recommend eating out of it (one of its suggested uses) since it's so floppy and your whole meal could easily spill over, I'd say it pretty much gets the job done in every other way, offering both convenience and easy cleanup.

Get it from Amazon for $16.50.