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12 Kitchen Products That, I'm Very Sorry, Sweetie, You're A Fool If You Don't Own

What are you even doing if you don't have a garlic chopping wheel?

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1. This Silpat baking mat that makes any pan nonstick, so you can stop buying parchment paper, oils, and sprays.

amazon.com

Hi, want to never buy parchment paper or cooking spray again, help save the planet, and bake cookies that don't burn on the bottom?? Well, I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL. Take it from me and hundreds of other Amazon users who swear by this Silpat nonstick baking mat that does literally all of those things I just screamed at you about.

It's made of ~fiberglass mesh~ and silicone, which translates to even heat distribution that helps your cookies (or whatever! I just really love cookies) brown perfectly on all sides. You can also rest easy knowing that you've stopped killing the Earth with all of that parchment paper and started baking with this reusable mat. Seriously, what are you waiting for? —Tom Vellner

Get it from Amazon for $17.61.

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2. These Food Huggers, which will keep your cut vegetables fresh, snug, and delicious.

Mallory McInnis / BuzzFeed

I've spent hours looking at kitchen accessories for work, and every time I saw these Food Huggers — meant to preserve the freshness of leftover produce — I was skeptical. Why not just use a ziplock bag? (Well, because you want to do your part in the effort to eliminate unnecessary waste from this great Earth, that's why.) Also, I wasn't sure if they would actually work. But eventually, I decided to give my food (specifically a tomato and an onion) a little hug.

I put the huggers on my halved produce, left the duo chilling in the fridge for two days, and returned to find that things still looked fresh. Fresher than they would have been if I'd left them in a bag or plastic container? Not necessarily. But fresh! I'll definitely use them to hug more food in the future. One caveat: I do think you're better off using them with vegetables of a solid sort; it was easy to get the onion properly situated, but I felt like I had to squish my tomato too much to get the hugger on it snugly." —Mallory McInnis

Get them from Amazon for $4.99 (available in two sets of colors).

3. These sturdy latex gloves, which will make dish washing seem that much more enjoyable.

Rachel Wilkerson Miller / BuzzFeed

I’ve long believed that gloves are the secret to tackling 90% of household chores. Putting them on makes me feel like a superhero suiting up. For years, I used the bright yellow latex gloves you’ll find in the cleaning aisle at any average big-box retailer. But I recently upgraded to a pair of gloves I legitimately can’t stop telling people about: Mamison Quality Kitchen Rubber Gloves. They fit great (I have pretty unremarkable/average hands and I wear the size large). They are thin and flexible enough that I can really scrub in them, but are also somehow still sturdier than the gloves I was used to. They also feel great on — they are lined with something that feels considerably nicer than whatever is inside the gloves I’ve always worn, and the exterior palms are covered in little rubber grippers that make it easy to grasp dishes and rags, and are also deeply satisfying to rub up against each other. (Wash your hands while wearing them and you’ll see what I mean.) Plus they cover a lot of my arms (they nearly reach my elbows), so I feel extra protected. I keep a pair in my kitchen and a pair in my bathroom, and plan to start bringing them as hostess gifts to my favorite friends. —Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Get a pack of five from Amazon for $17.99.

4. This garlic chopping wheel that transforms whole cloves into perfectly minced garlic for all your cooking needs.

Adam Davis / BuzzFeed

As someone who's trying to get more into cooking but still lacks quite a few of the basic skills required to be a ~true chef~, I consider the GarlicZoom chopper to be a lifesaver. Do you know how many recipes call for minced garlic? A lot of recipes, that's how many. What was I doing before I got the chopper? Not making those recipes. With this chopper, I don't have to worry about whether or not my knife skills are up to par — I can simply insert cloves of garlic and roll the contraption back and forth on the counter. It's as exhilarating as when you used to play with toy cars as a child, but with an added level of utility.

The one negative of this product is that actually getting the minced garlic out of the GarlicZoom can be a bit difficult. Some pieces stick to the removable blades, making them difficult to get at without cutting yourself, and other bits get caught up in various small nooks and crannies of the chopper itself. If you're trying to be extremely careful in following a recipe, just know that you might not be able to get the full clove(s) out of the chopper once you've used it and adjust accordingly. Despite its drawbacks, trying the GarlicZoom has completely upgraded my culinary abilities without requiring tons of effort. Now I just need to learn how to dice some onions properly. —Adam Davis

Get it from Amazon or Jet for $7.99.

5. This salad spinner that will toss your salad (😉) in style.

Rachel Christensen / BuzzFeed

I felt inspired to finally buy myself a damn salad spinner because I spend way too much money on pre-washed greens. Also I have a fear of finding a frog in those salad mixes, because that's a real thing!

The Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner took, like, five minutes to clean a ton of kale and lettuce I bought at the farmers' market. I stored the greens in a plastic container + a paper towel, and they lasted well over a week — yay!

Rachel Christensen

Get it from Amazon for $27.19 or Jet for $29.99.

6. This traditional Chilean spice that anyone who loves cooking with paprika or chili powder will become obsessed with.

amazon.com

I spent three weeks of this year traveling in Chile and another three weeks living in its capital, Santiago. And there were two things that I absolutely loved having access to while there: carménère wine and merkén, a traditional Chilean spice used by the indigenous Mapuche people.

Imagine your average household paprika with a smokier, spicier flavor, and you have merkén. While it's traditionally used as a rub to flavor meats and vegetables, I've added it to pretty much every savory recipe. I bought and hoarded a lot of it from Chilean markets, but was so bloody relieved when I found it on Amazon because now I'm not scared of finishing it and never being able to find it again without a trip down south. —Gyan Yankovich

Get it from Amazon for $8.95.

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7. This super-affordable handheld spiralizer that'll make dinner healthy, yummy, and ridiculously easy.

Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

I only recently decided to give into the zoodle fad — and get a veggie spiralizer — because I'm trying to mix up my dinner routine. While searching, I realized there were a TOOOON of spiralizers on the market. But I was drawn to the Veggetti because of its awesome price, compact size, and, well, its bizarre name (lol). Since I've started using it, I totally see why the Veggetti has such a cult following. Unlike some other bulky models that take up counter space, the Veggetti is super small, a bonus for my teeny-tiny kitchen. It's also SO easy to use. With just the turn of your hand, it allows you to transform vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, beets, and turnips into spaghetti-like strands.

Once you spiralize your vegetable of choice (my favorite is zucchini) you can just sauté the veggie noodles in a pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Of course, spiralized zucchini isn't going to taste exactly like spaghetti. But loaded with your favorite pasta toppings, it's a satisfying alternative (like these five-ingredient parmesan zucchini noodles, pictured above). You can also spiralize anything from carrots and cucumbers to sweet potatoes and turnips. And since there's no boiling water required, my Veggetti helps me get dinner on the table quickly. — Hannah Loewentheil

Get it from Amazon for $8.59 or Jet for $13.50.

8. This single-serve blender, which makes you the perfect amount of smoothie every. single. time.

Kat Angus / BuzzFeed, Laura / Amazon User / amazon.com

When I’m done going for a run or get back from the gym, I know I need something a little sweet, healthy, and full of protein to help replenish my body, so I started making smoothies. At first, I only had one of those giant blenders, meaning that 1) I always had a ton of smoothie left over, which felt wasteful, and 2) I had to clean that humongous blender every single time. Until: I came across one of the best kitchen-product purchases I’ve ever made, the Hamilton Beach Personal Single Serve Blender, which comes at a price that's a steal. It blends all the ingredients for my smoothie in just a few seconds (even when I use lots of leafy greens), and because of its size, I always make the perfect amount. It even comes with a travel lid in case I’m low on time and need to take my smoothie with me! I’ve had it for years and it hasn’t let me down once — and since I live in an apartment, I really appreciate how little space it takes up in my kitchen. —Kat Angus

Get it from Amazon for $16.99 or Jet for $14.85.

9. A bag of lavender flowers that'll spice up your desserts, drinks, and everything nice.

Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed, Nikki Skyes / amazon.com

Okay, I know it sounds odd to keep a bag of lavender flowers around, but HEAR ME OUT. You can do so much with this! You can brew yourself a cup of tea, you can simmer it on the stove to make your home smell nice, you can use it in desserts, in homemade potpourri, your bath, lemonade, infused sugar — honestly, the possibilities are really endless here because lavender is aromatic AND edible. When I have extra herbs I don’t know what to do with, like rosemary or even ginger root, sometimes I brew it in a pot with lavender and lemon and drink it before I go to bed.

Also, lavender is a calming scent to keep on hand if you’re feeling stressed or a little on edge. I’m not saying you should take a handful of dried lavender flowers from this bag and inhale them straight, but I am saying it’s a soothing addition to my kitchen that I really enjoy using from time to time. —Anjali Patel

Get it from Amazon for $13.29 or Jet for $14.99.

10. This super-cute mini nonstick frying pan, which is perfect if you're cooking for one.

Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed

No matter what anyone says, size matters, y'all — especially when it comes to this frying pan, which, as you can see, is only 9.5 inches long. It's so cute! I live in a small Manhattan apartment that doesn't have much counter space OR a dishwasher, so the joy of having tiny-but-useful kitchen tools is top priority.

When I get home from work, I'm usually way too tired to cook a whole meat-based dish, but I still want some protein. This pan lets me cook a perfect lil' egg I can quickly add on top of pasta, a salad, or sandwich. When I'm not feeling lazy AF, I also use it to make a nice burger, chicken breast, or side of veggies. It's ideal when I'm cooking for one, because it fits the exact portion I need, and I don't have to worry about a frustrating cleanup afterward either since the pan is nonstick — the egg slides right off without leaving behind a literal hot mess. —Tom Vellner

Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

11. This colorful knife set that's too cute and sharp for its own good.

Erik Mathes / BuzzFeed

When I first discovered this rainbow knife set, the classically trained chef in me was skeptical they’d live up to the hype of 3,000+ five-star reviews. But then I realized they were made by Cuisinart, a brand I’ve pretty much always had positive experiences with in the past. So I picked up a set to serve as backup to the fancy German knives I’ve been using since they were issued to me in culinary school over a decade ago.

The shockingly inexpensive set gives you six of the most useful knives you could ever ask for. Don’t let the whimsical colors or price tag fool you, though: As soon as I became acquainted with these knives, I realized that the blades on these things are sharp AF. That’s where the blade guards come in super handy, making it safer for fingers as well as the edges of the blades themselves when storing them in drawers. Plus, they also help to avoid cross-contamination, like when you’re working with raw meat and other ingredients at the same time and you need to remember which knife was being used for what.

This knife set is just as perfect for young people just beginning to build up their kitchens as it is for casual cooks at any age who want a solid set of kitchen tools without throwing down a small fortune. It also makes for a super-affordable gift that pretty much anyone who ever spends time in their kitchen will appreciate! —Erik Mathes

Get them from Amazon or Jet for $16.89+ (available in two sets of colors).

This product was provided to BuzzFeed free of charge but we were not obligated to positively review it.

12. And this knife sharpener, because you deserve an easy (and cheap) solution to dull knives.

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

Graduating to adult-ish dinners that require cutting more than a gooey grilled cheese make me realize that my knife-skills game was seriously lacking. I knew that I needed to do something about my poor hand-me-down knives since my old roommate moved out and took her super-sharp set with her. But I put off investing in new knives for longer than I’d care to admit (like, a year) before I saw this story and finally bought this little knife sharpener instead.

The inexpensive tool comes with detailed instructions and actually fits in my knife drawer so I won’t have to scare the dog while yelling, “WHERE IS IT?” I pulled out my assortment of knives and gave it a go on a Rachael Ray knife (similar to these). It’s a pretty handy knife, but wasn’t what it used to be back in the day. I set it on the edge of my cutting board and pulled it through the coarse notch three times, per the instructions. Even though mushrooms aren’t notorious for being tough to slice through, they’re oddly shaped and move around; with my newly sharpened knife I was able to slice through them with no effort…even the stem! I also manhandled an onion and it was sooo easy slicing through the skin.

Yes, I should probably invest in a decent set of kitchen knives, but this little sharpener is making my hand-me-downs way more useful. And it’s so easy to use in comparison to the menacing sharpening rods that you see villains in cartoons using when they’re thinking about eating the Roadrunner or a cute protagonist. —Elizabeth Lilly

Get it from Amazon or Jet for $5.99 (available in three colors).

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