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24 Kitchen Products Under $20 That'll Make Everyday Cooking More Bearable

Life in the kitchen shouldn't be so hard.

1. An oven thermometer — it's a must-have for every cook. You'll get an accurate reading on your oven temperature so your oven won't mess with your hard-made dinners and desserts and undercook or overcook them even when you've followed the recipe exactly.

The thermometer on an 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." —Jordan Taylor

Get it from Amazon for $8.97.

2. A mini knife sharpener because we don't want you using dull knives when making your Michelin star–level dinner for the guests now, do we? 

closeup of sharpener and a shot of mushrooms sliced with a knife sharpened with the sharpener with caption saying
Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

Promising review: "I gotta say this is the best sharpener I ever bought in my whole life. I got it today and brought it to work. I work at a Japanese restaurant as a sushi chef and I sharpened it at work and wow my knife was, like, sharp like a samurai sword! Even my coworkers were surprised and asked me to order one for them. It was so sharp that I barely touched the knife and my pinky fingers got cut and I had to be sent home from work. Thanks for the product! Now I don't have to use the stone or sharpen rod that much anymore." —Are

Get it from Amazon for $5.50+ (available in four colors).

To learn more about it, check out my coworker's KitchenIQ knife sharpener review.

3. A soft and strong spatula that uses flexible silicone to keep your cookware scratch-free and makes it easy to scrape, mix, flip, and access the sides and corners without circus-level twists and tricks. You won't be flipping Krabby patties with this but you'll def be giving SpongeBob a run for his money!

the spatula being used in pan on stove
Material Kitchen

This is perfect for nonstick and can be safely used on nonstick (and stainless steel) surfaces. Material Kitchen is an Asian-owned small biz that's focused on making cookware for the modern home cook that's way better quality than the items you'd find at retail stores.

Promising review: "Best spatula ever!! It flips omelets effortlessly, It never sticks to anything (or anything to it), a simple rinse cleans it thoroughly, and it doesn’t mind sitting on the edge of a hot pan. I bought three for my friends and they all love them too!" —John 

Get it from Material Kitchen for $15 (available in three colors).

4. A funny soap opera sponge holder to make washing dishes entertaining!

the sponge holder shaped like a lady doing opera with the sponge as her hair

Promising review: "This was too cute to pass up. I ended up getting one for me and included it in a gift box. Neither of us uses it. It makes us smile whenever we see the Opera Tub Lady in our kitchen and that makes it all worth it." —VAB

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

5. A rechargeable and flexible lighter that's long, simple to use,  and gives you an easy, less dangerous way to light your gas stove. It also protects your hand from the flame and lasts long too!

the flexible lighter

Promising review: "Cursed with crippling rheumatoid arthritis in my fingers and hands, the 'squeeze this while you press this/pull that' lighters leave me without a way to light my gas burners on the stove. I was rendered helpless and only using the microwave. I charged this lighter up and turned it on. With a simple press of a button, I was able to use the stove burners again. 'This is what I needed for years!' was all I kept repeating. There are no kids in my home and I have all my senses, so there is no fear of danger to anyone from this. For me, it is perfect." —Lori Fogg 

Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in five colors).

6. A rapid egg cooker to simplify every egg-based meal you set about to make, including omelets, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard-boiled — the works! Can it really be that easy? You bet.  

the rapid egg cooker in mint green
a perfectly cooked egg

Sounds magical! And let me tell you — it is. Get one of these egg-cellent appliances ASAP.

Promising review: "If you are on the fence about getting one of these, GET ONE. It really is as easy as it sounds to have a perfectly cooked egg, no guesswork. Just have an ice bath ready next to the cooker and let the eggs sit for a minute or two in there...peels come right off :) Makes healthy eating a breeze in the morning! Where has this been all my life?!?!?" —rebecca

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

Check out our Dash Rapid Egg Cooker review.

7. A dishwasher-cleaning tablet for anyone who was today years old when they learned that yes, they need to clean their dishwasher. These will get rid of those mysterious stains and smells on your plates so you won't have to spend hours scrubbing away at them.

before of dirty dishwasher
same dishwasher now clean after using tablet

Promising reviews: "Works extremely well. We haven't done any cleaning on our dishwasher in five years, and there was detergent buildup all over the inside, and a milky film on all our cups. I bought Affresh, ran the dishwasher with two tablets while it was empty, and the difference was astounding. There was still some buildup and I figured it would require another cycle, so I popped another two tablets in, and now it looks and sounds brand new. No more film on the glasses, no more dirty dishes from clogged sprayers, no more odors, or buildup around the door seals." —Martoune

Get a pack of six tablets from Amazon for $5.99.

8. A kitchen scale that'll really come of use when it's time to measure and weigh your ingredients since we all know cooking and baking often demands precise measurements! Accidental extra grams of flour can throw off your whole dessert and we don't want that.

The scale with a bowl of blueberries on top
The scale with a pan of freshly baked muffins next to it

Promising review: "This scale does what it is designed to do. 😊 It's pretty easy and basic to use. It has several measurements to choose from and you can put a container on it and then zero it out so you can put food in the container and only read the food." —Marissa

Get it from Amazon for $11.88+ (available in six colors).

9. A lazy Susan turntable because not only do you finally get an organized cabinet and countertop but you can just spin this round like you do in a store when you need to see what's in the back without unloading 20 bottles and cans to find one sauce. 

closeup of turntable with seasonings and oils
three turntables with many bottles and seasonings on each

Promising review: "I am using these in a corner cabinet in my kitchen for oddball canned goods. It utilizes the lower shelf so much better. I can just turn the tables instead of taking half of the cans out of the cabinet to find a specific item. They seem very sturdy even though I have canned goods on them and they are not wobbly and still spin freely. Thank you, love the turntables." —Gary Gaudin

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in seven colors).

10. An eco-friendly plant-based walnut scrubber sponge — it's strong and abrasive enough to take on your dirtiest dishes, countertops, and more. It's a great replacement for your weak traditional sponge.

the walnut scrubber sponge
Public Goods

Public Goods is a small biz founded by Morgan Hirsh. The business offers a membership that allows you to gain access to hundreds of sustainable goods at direct-to-consumer prices. The membership is free for 14 days and then $79/year.

Promising review: "I will NEVER go back to cheap dish sponges! Wow, I was so impressed with the quality of this product and how effectively it cleans and scrubs off my dirty dishes. Price is amazing, quality is perfect, and it's sustainable!!" —Monica U.

Get four from Public Goods for $4.75.

11. Flexible silicone measuring cups for making sure you've got the recipe down to an exact science and are pouring exactly 3/4 of cup of oil or water so that your dish comes out perfect. Plus, these are heat-resistant, microwave- and dishwasher-safe, and easy to squeeze!

A hand squeezing on of the transparent cups to carefully pour batter into a ramekin
The Grommet

The set includes 1-, 2-, and 4-cup cups.

Promising review: "Best measuring cups ever. I have several glass measuring cups gathering dust because of these. You can’t appreciate how useful the silicone construction is until you actually use them and realize you can pour anywhere and into anything without dribbling. Won’t ever go back to glass." —Andrew

Get a set of three from The Grommet for $18.95.

12. A cute and convenient kitchen timer so you're not panicking and running about wildly as your food burns or spills over — stuff like that is totally avoidable with something like this. You will get your pecan pie or Thai fried rice to come out perfect. 

a small green timer that looks like a stand mixer

Promising review: "It's very convenient and the font is very big and the countdown is very convenient and you can turn off the numbers when you're not looking at the time. The sound is also quite loud, and the function of silencing is very practical and suitable for quiet places. The clock is a little fast. It's also nice to have a master switch, which turns off when you're not using it, and when you do, the clock turns off." —Monique Hutchinson

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

13. A set of lovable ceramic cat measuring spoons to elevate your daily cooking/baking experience from "eh" to "aw!"

the set of four tied together

They come tied with a ribbon for hanging!

Promising review: "Functional and beautiful! I bought these as a gift for a cat lover. She just adores them. They are so beautiful and unique that she displays them prominently in her kitchen." —David C

Get the four-piece set from Amazon for $9.40.

14. A versatile and bright 7-cup silicone mold you can use for cooking the most delicious egg bites, chocolate treats, baked goods like cake pops and brownie bites, and even ice cubes! This fits perfectly in your pressure cooker, and can be used in a pot of boiling water if you're not on the cooker wagon.

egg being poured into the mold
reviewer photo of egg bites

This includes the mold, lid, and handle. It can be heated up to 375 degrees.

Promising review: "I have used several times for egg bites and love it. Makes nice size cups, larger than appears. Works great for muffins too. Dishwasher clean in a snap!" —Frequent Flyer

Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful collection at Amazon for $9.99.

15. A delightful cookbook of recipes from your favorite books plus the passages they're featured in because you're tired of the same ol', same ol' for dinner. Now's your chance to try that literary food you thought you'd never be able to taste. Ranging from carrot pudding (Charles Dickens) and Turkish delight (C.S. Lewis) to a yummy omelet (Louisa May Alcott), you'll be inspired to spend the day in the kitchen whippin' these up!

the cover

Promising review: "This is a really awesome gift for any literary nerd who also loves to cook. The book has TONS of literary references dispersed throughout the book. I gave it to a friend as part of a moving/new home/kitchen gift. I think it brought tears to her eyes." —Margot C

Get it from Amazon for $9.69.

16. A pun-ny oven mitt to make cooking and baking fun and full of attitude. As it should be.

the mitt

Promising review: "Love this so much I kept it for myself!" —J. Robinson

Get it from Amazon for $14.98.

17. A garlic chopper that'll give you one less daunting task in the kitchen to worry about. This little guy saves you chopping time and from smelling like garlic after.

GIF of garlic chopper demonstration

Remember those cars that scooted around after you pulled them back to wind 'em up? This device is kind of like that. After you fill it with garlic, simply roll it around to chop up the garlic. It saves time and fingers.

Promising review: "I absolutely love this little gadget! I had a couple of the regular sized GarlicZooms for a while now and loved their usefulness, so I decided to get the XL. I will never look back! The smaller ones can only handle a few cloves of garlic at a time. I tried four cloves with the XL and it could've handled twice that easily. It chopped them up so fast with no problems. I know there's a lot of 'I can chop my own garlic' folks out there and that's fine. I love garlic, but loathe chopping it. I hate the way you can't get rid of the smell from your hands. So this little gadget works wonders!" —Lindiana

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.

18. An all-natural Sichuan chili sauce to give your food that hot, spicy flavor all your meals are missing because bolder flavor = better food. Heck, put it on ice cream — who's judging? Go bold or go home!

the jar
the sauce drenched over chocolate ice cream cone
Fly By Jing

Fly By Jing is a woman-owned small biz founded by Jing Gao in 2018! Gao was inspired by the yummy flavors of her hometown, Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province of China, famous for its hole-in-the-wall restaurants. She aims to tell her story, reclaim her identity, and empower others by creating a thoughtful food space.

Get it from Fly By Jing for $15.