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

Sur la Table
Sur la Table

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; $15

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; $18

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

The Grate Plate/Amazon

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. You can choose from 13 different colors.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Flamekiss Egg Cooker Pan; $36

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. Salad Dressing Mixer; $20

OXO/Amazon

Prepackaged dressing too boring (or too unhealthy)? Simply add your ingredients to the jar, twist the dial on the lid to mix everything, and enjoy a salad topped with your own dressing.

Buy it: Amazon

6. SCI Cuisine International Square Egg Press; $7

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. Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream Maker; $40

Cuisinart/Amazon

If you’re craving frozen yogurt, ice cream, or sorbet, you no longer need to even leave the house to get your fix. Simply add your ingredients to the mixing bowl, turn the Cuisinart on, wait 20 minutes, and then enjoy a bowl of cold goodness.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Souper Cubes; $20

Sur La Table

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; $11

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

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

Sur La Table

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 ($6), pineapples ($20), and mangos($16).

Buy it: Sur La Table

12. Prepworks Progressive Onion Chopper; $20

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. Hide & Drink Cast Iron Handle Guards; $32

Hide&Drink/Amazon

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: Amazon

14. Automatic Pan Stirrer; $25

Uncommon Goods

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: UncommonGoods

15. Turbo Pot Rapid Boil Pot; $52

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) and an 8.1-quart stockpot ($76).

Buy it: Amazon

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Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

Amazon
Amazon
As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Harry Potter LEGO Sets to Get Fans This Holiday Season

Harry Potter/LEGO/Target
Harry Potter/LEGO/Target

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The magic of Harry Potter continues to amaze children all over the globe, especially when the cherished series is combined with the LEGO brand. And if you have a builder on your list who's obsessed with the series, we've compiled a list of 10 great sets you can pick up for the holidays.

1. Diagon Alley; $400

Harry Potter/LEGO

This set includes more than 5000 pieces to use to build storefronts, props, and the interiors of Diagon Alley. From Flourish and Blotts to Fred and George Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, you’ll be able to go shopping here every day.

Buy it: LEGO

2. Attack on the Burrows; $100

Harry Potter/LEGO/Target

Many fans will remember when the Death Eaters attacked the Weasley home in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). This set helps fans build their topsy-turvy house just before Bellatrix arrives to destroy it all.

Buy it: Target

3. Hogwarts Astronomy Tower; $100

Harry Potter/LEGO

The Hogwarts Astronomy Tower is a truly iconic location. Just below the top of the tower, fans can build the Ravenclaw dormitories and common room. Below is Professor Slughorn’s potions office, where he keeps many secrets.

Buy it: LEGO

4. Quidditch Match; $40

Harry Potter/LEGO

Throughout Harry’s time at Hogwarts, not only has he managed to save the school every year, but he also carved out plenty of time to play Quidditch. This set lets fans build the pitch, complete with viewing stands for each house; three goal posts; and all the tools needed to play the game, like a Quaffle, a Bludger, and, of course, a Golden Snitch.

Buy it: LEGO

5. LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar; $40

Harry Potter/LEGO

As we start to inch closer to Christmas day, many like to celebrate with Advent calendars. This Advent calendar made by LEGO features elements from the Potter films, including minifigures and props.

Buy it: LEGO

6. Hogwarts Castle; $400

Harry Potter/LEGO

For the ultimate LEGO Harry Potter experience, building the Hogwarts Castle is a must. With over 6000 pieces, fans can build each area the castle has to offer, from the Great Hall to the Chamber of Secrets deep below.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hogwarts Express; $64

Harry Potter/LEGO

So many great memories have happened at Platform 9¾, and now, fans can make the journey themselves with this 801-piece set, complete with platform, train, and a wall to go through. There might even be an enemy aboard, but you’ll have to find them.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Hagrid's Hut: Buckbeak's Rescue; $60

Harry Potter/LEGO

Hagrid is the honorary fourth member of the gang, and by proxy so is Buckbeak, his Hippogriff. The pivotal moment when Hermione and Harry go back in time to save Buckbeak has now been transformed into a set for fans to build.

Buy it: LEGO

9. Hogwarts Clock Tower; $90

Harry Potter/LEGO

This 922-piece set shows fans everything that goes on inside the clock tower, from the Prefects' bathroom to Dumbledore’s office to the Hospital Wing. Reenact the Yule Ball with all the icy decorations and minifigures of Madame Maxime, Fleur Delacour, and Viktor Krum.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Beauxbatons' Carriage: Arrival at Hogwarts; $50

Harry Potter/LEGO

If you are going to build the Hogwarts Express, it seems fitting to also build another iconic mode of transportation: the Beauxbatons' carriage. In the Goblet of Fire, the all-girls French wizarding school decided to arrive at Hogwarts in style with this flying carriage. The carriage even has some secret compartments that will make the journey even more fun.

Buy it: LEGO

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