15 Incredibly Specific Kitchen Gadgets You Didn't Know You Needed

Look into any kitchen in the country and you’re likely to find an assortment of utensils, small appliances, and gadgets that don’t serve much purpose beyond collecting dust. (Really, you probably don’t need those pewter corn cob holders.) But a fear of clutter shouldn’t dissuade you from picking up a few things that are not only unique but serve a practical and useful function in your home—even if it is incredibly specific. Check out 15 of the best gadgets you’ll be proud to show off.

1. Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer // $10

A Snap 'N Strain colander from Kitchen Gizmo is pictured

Kitchen Gizmo, Amazon

Straining pasta, vegetables, and other dinner fare from boiling water remains one of the more unpleasant tasks in the kitchen. Make life easier with the Snap ‘N Strain, a silicone strainer that works on any pot or bowl and allows you to drain liquid with one hand.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Whisk Wiper // $17

A woman uses a Whisk Wiper to clean pink frosting off a whisk.
Whisk Wiper, Amazon

One of the minor inconveniences of using a whisk is how difficult it is to clean afterward. The chore typically involves trying to isolate each individual loop with a sponge, usually with less-than-perfect results. The Whisk Wiper is a whisk that comes with a pre-fit wiper designed to nudge that last bit of batter off the utensil, preserving both your baking mix and your sanity.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Grate Plate Ceramic Grating Plate // $25

A Grate Plate ceramic grating plate

The Great Plate, The Grommet

Why grate over a plate when you can grate on a plate? This stubbed ceramic dish grates and collects your garlic, hard cheeses, ginger, and other goods. Choose one of five colors: blue, pearl, red, teal, or yellow.

Buy it: The Grommet

4. Flamekiss Egg Cooker Pan // $36

An egg cooker pan from Flamekiss cooks two sunny side up eggs

Flamekiss, Amazon

If you find yourself struggling to keep your poached or fried eggs separate, consider this partitioned pan from Flamekiss. The surface keeps your eggs divided into three perfectly round serving sizes.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Chef’N Emulstir 2.0 Salad Dressing Mixer // $15

A Chef'n Emulstir salad dressing mixer is pictured

Amore Kitchenware, Amazon

Prepackaged dressing too boring (or too unhealthy)? Mix up a specialty recipe with this handy mixer that stirs together oils and other ingredients. When you’re ready to pour, a few squeezes will emulsify the contents.

Buy it: Amazon

6. SCI Cuisine International Square Egg Press // $14

An SCI Cuisine Square Egg Press is pictured

SCI Scandicrafts, Amazon

Make your snack a conversation starter with this unique food modifier. Place a hot hard-boiled egg into the chamber and twist. As the egg cools, it will conform to the shape of the container and emerge as a square.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Fromaggio Cheesemaker // $299

A Fromaggio cheesemaker on a countertop

Fromaggio, Indiegogo

If you can stand a little delayed gratification, this innovative at-home cheesemaker—which is fully funded on Kickstarter and Indiegogo—could lead to a delicious outcome. The countertop appliance allows cheese enthusiasts to mix milk, cultures, and rennet, then heats the ingredients and separates the whey. It can produce cream, mozzarella, provolone, and even yogurt. The Fromaggio is expected to ship in March 2020.

Buy it: Indiegogo

8. Souper Cubes // $20

Stop struggling with bags of frozen soup and use these silicone trays that allow you to pour and freeze soups, stocks, or smoothies into 1-cup ice cubes that you can reheat later.

Buy it: Sur La Table

9. Erupting Volcano Microwave Cleaner // $12

An Erupting Volcano Microwave Cleaner is pictured

Souqu, Amazon

Stop contorting your body trying to get into all the crevices of your microwave. This volcanic assistant uses vinegar and water to steam off particles and odor by “erupting” inside. A quick wipe-down finishes the job.

Buy it: Amazon

10. OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer // $10

An OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer is pictured

OXO, Amazon

Trying to pierce the tough exterior of an avocado can sometimes require medical attention, with botched attempts connected with serious nerve and tendon injuries. To avoid gouged palms, try this safety utensil that uses a serrated edge to easily puncture the avocado. You can also pit and use the fan blade to slice your newly-cracked superfood into seven serving slices.

Buy it: Amazon

11. The Pomegranate Tool // $20

Seeding pomegranates can be a messy exercise. This helper allows you to place a halved pomegranate over a grid, cover it, then strike it with a heavy spoon to dislodge the seeds. All the shrapnel will be contained.

And if you're looking to make your other home fruit consumption even easier, Sur La Table also sells equally specific prep tools for kiwis, pineapples, and mangos.

Buy it: Sur La Table

12. Prepworks Progressive Onion Chopper // $17

A Prepworks Progressive Onion Chopper is pictured
Progressive, Amazon

Take some of the emotion out of preparing onions with this dicing assistant. Just place an onion section in the tray and close the lid. The portions fall into a 2-cup measuring container, no tears involved. It can be used to dice tomatoes or peppers, too.

Buy it: Amazon

13. American Bench Craft Cast Iron Handle Guards // $29

American Bench Craft Cast Iron Handle Guards are pictured

American Bench Craft, The Grommet

Cast-iron pans are a kitchen must, but their searing-hot handles and corners aren’t always a pleasure to grab. Keep your hands from sizzling with these classy leather guards.

Buy it: The Grommet

14. Automatic Pan Stirrer // $25

Stirring up dishes can be a nice way to zone out, but not if other kitchen tasks are taking up your attention. Enlist some artificial intelligence with this whisk that stirs itself. Just set the timer and watch it go.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

15. Turbo Pot Rapid Boil Pot // $56

A Turbo Pot Rapid Boil Pot is pictured

Turbo Pot, Amazon

Worse than watching paint dry? Waiting for water to slowly come to a boil. Speed up this glacial kitchen task with the 3.5-quart rapid-boil Turbo Pot, which uses aluminum fins at the base to rapidly conduct heat and bring water to a boil over a gas stove or open flame 30 to 50 percent quicker. (No electric stoves, sorry.) The company also makes a 2.2-quart saucepan ($46), an 8.1-quart stockpot ($76), and a 2.5-quart tea kettle ($59).

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

13 Wholesome Gifts for Mister Rogers Fans

Funko / Universal Studios / Amazon
Funko / Universal Studios / Amazon

Fred Rogers didn't watch television until his senior year of college, and when he finally did, he hated it. He told Karen Herman during a 1999 interview for the Archive of American Television, “I saw people throwing pies in each other’s faces. And I thought this could be a wonderful tool for education. Why is it being used this way?”

Interested in helping the medium fulfill its potential, he told his parents he would be postponing his prior plan of becoming a minister to pursue a career in television. Despite their initial protests, he forged on, eventually becoming a household name as the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which would stay on the air for nearly 30 years and help change the perception of what children's television could (and should) be.

On November 22, 2019, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood will premiere in theaters, with Tom Hanks taking on the iconic role of Mister Rogers and Matthew Rhys playing a cynical reporter named Lloyd Vogel who is tasked with writing a profile on the wholesome TV star. The film takes a look at the life of Rogers and the impact he had on viewers and the people around him.

So, in anticipation of the film, and with the holidays on the horizon, here are some unique gifts you can pick up for the Mister Rogers fan in your life.

1. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History; $25

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Book
Clarkson Potter / Amazon

Have you ever wished you could journey behind the scenes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood? Well, now you can. This book chronicles the show's timeline—from its modest start on WQED in Pittsburgh to its film debut in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs, a visual guide to the characters, and stories from those who devoted their lives to the show, this book will give readers insight into both the program and Rogers himself.

Buy it: Amazon

2.The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember; $11

The World According to Mister Rogers Book
Hachette Books / Amazon

Carry Mister Rogers’s wisdom around wherever you go. With a forward written by his wife, Joanne Rogers, this book allows readers to explore the life of Fred Rogers through his speeches, interviews, anecdotes, and some of his never-before-published writing.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mister Rogers Color-Changing Mug; $16

Mister Rogers mug
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

There’s a lot to love about Rogers, especially his never-ending wisdom and extensive sweater collection. Now you can have both on a mug. At first it appears he’s wearing a suit jacket, but fill it up with a hot beverage and watch it change to a yellow sweater. The mug is also covered in some of his classic sayings, such as "I like you just the way you are,” to help you get the morning started off right.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mister Rogers's Bath Soap; $6


The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

Rogers taught viewers a lot of things, especially the importance of washing one’s hands. Make him proud with this cocoa butter-scented soap that features his reassuring smile on the wrapper, alongside his pal, Daniel Tiger. The same company also has Bob Ross soap to add even more serenity to your bath.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Mister Rogers Magnet Set; $22

Mr Rogers magnets
Papersalt / Amazon

Coming in four vibrant colors and featuring different quotes from Rogers himself, these magnets will brighten up your day, whether you stick them on your refrigerator, locker, or wherever else you need a little positivity.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Mister Rogers Encouragemints; $5

Mister Rogers Breath mints
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

If you’re going to be taking a stroll around the neighborhood, then these will enable you to do so with peppermint-fresh breath.

Buy it: Amazon

7. King Friday Oven Mitt; $15

King Friday oven mitt
Surreal Entertainment / Amazon

King Friday XIII was originally created to show kids that Friday the 13th should be fun, not frightening. And with this oven mitt featuring the king, you can take that same positive mindset into the kitchen next time you've got an important dinner to make.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Mister Rogers Sticky Notes Booklet; $8

Mister Rogers sticky notes
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

These sticky notes allow you to inject some wholesome Rogers charm anywhere you'd like. Let his serene smile adorn your grocery list and slap his trademark yellow sweater on your kitchen counter anytime you need to be reminded of an important errand to run. However you use the book is up to you.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Mister Rogers Funko; $11

Mister Rogers Funko
Funko / Amazon

Available for pre-order now, this figure features Rogers in that famous red sweater with Daniel Tiger right by his side. The figure will be released on November 25, 2019, right around the time the film premieres.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Mister Rogers Pins; $16

Mr Rogers pins
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

If you’re looking to dress up your favorite sweater or jacket, then make sure you’re doing so in a way that says “Won't you be my neighbor?”

Buy it: Amazon

11. Mister Rogers Magnetic Dress-Up Play Set; $15

Mister Rogers magnet set
The Unemployed Philosophers Guild / Amazon

You're in control of Mister Rogers's wardrobe with this magnetic dress-up kit from The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. Want him a green sweater? Go for it. Want him to be a fireman while wearing roller skates? You're more than welcome to try. You can even bestow Daniel Tiger with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, because, well, he's earned it.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Won’t you be my Neighbor? Documentary; $13

Will You be My Neighbor documentary
Universal Studios / Amazon

This award-winning documentary from director Morgan Neville—which has an incredible 98 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes—offers a glimpse at the legacy of the venerable TV star. It's perfect for both lifelong fans and newcomers simply looking for something to smile about.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Mister Rogers Socks; $14

Mister Rogers socks
Good Luck Sock / Amazon

Walk around with Mister Rogers and King Friday wrapped snugly around your feet. The socks have a reinforced heel and toe and are safe to machine wash. You can always buy the same socks in women's sizes for $14.

Buy it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Rosetta Stone Is Offering Up to Half Off Language-Learning Software for Black Friday

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

It’s no secret that learning another language has numerous benefits. But if going back to school and memorizing lists of vocabulary isn't an option—or something you particularly want to do—you can turn to Rosetta Stone, which now offers subscriptions to their language-learning software. And through November 27, language enthusiasts can take advantage of the company's Black Friday pre-sale deals and receive up to half off Rosetta's regular prices by heading here.

These deals include a three-month subscription for $39.50, a one-year subscription for $89.50, a two-year subscription for $124.50, and a lifetime membership for $199. Over 30 languages are offered on Rosetta Stone, such as Spanish, Japanese, and French, and your online subscription to the language courses comes with numerous other perks, including:

  • Phrasebooks: These teach you quick expressions and greetings that are perfect for traveling
  • Mobile app: Get access to Rosetta Stone's iOS app, where you'll find conversation practice and short 10-minute lessons that fit your schedule.
  • An audio companion: Download and listen to lessons even while offline.
  • Stories: Written and narrated in the language you're studying, these stories include poems, tours, and narratives that expose you to new words and help you understand the culture better.
  • Games: Practice your language skills by yourself or with other users (available on all devices but mobile).

For an additional fee, you can also get live sessions. The sessions are 25 minutes long and are taught by a tutor who is a native speaker of the language you’re learning.

Rosetta Stone language program on mobile
Rosetta Stone

Mastering new languages can open up new ways to communicate with others you may have not been able to before, and over the past few years, studies have shown that being multilingual can help slow cognitive decline and strengthen neural pathways as you age.

Alongside using a program like Rosetta Stone to learn a language, it can help to have periodic conversations in the dialect you’re studying—even if they are with yourself. Check out our other tips for mastering another language.

Sign up now for the three-month ($39.50), one-year ($89.50), two-year ($124.50), or lifetime ($199) subscription.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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