Mental Floss
SMART SHOPPING

15 Kitchen Accessories Under $20 That You'll Actually Want To Use

Sarah Kim
These gadgets are cheap and useful—what's not to love about that?
These gadgets are cheap and useful—what's not to love about that? / Amco/OXO/Zulay/Amazon
facebooktwitterreddit
This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Cooking at home is the responsible, adult thing to do, but it can also be tedious, messy, and far more difficult than simply ordering a $25 sandwich on your phone. It doesn't have to be such a drag, though, especially with the right tools in place. So, no matter if you're an aspiring home cooking enthusiast or just want to take some of the work out of meal prep, these simple gadgets can help make the process a little easier without busting your budget.

1. OXO 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer; $12

OXO 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer
OXO 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer / OXO/Amazon

Whether you're prepping some guacamole or just need something to slap on top of a burger or sandwich, this avocado accessory is the easiest way to get it done. It can peel, pit, and slice without a ton of effort, and it's incredibly durable for something that only costs around $10. Plus, since it's mostly made from hard plastic, it's safe to handle and easy to clean.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Kitchen Gizmo Clip-On Silicone Colander; From $14

Kitchen Gizmo Clip-On Silicone Colander
Kitchen Gizmo Clip-On Silicone Colander / Kitchen Gizmo/Amazon

A great space saver, this clip-on colander is about a quarter of the size of a traditional colander and can be used on almost all round cookware and bowls. It's great for draining pasta, removing grease from cooked meats, and washing grains, and it's compact enough to slip easily into a drawer.

Buy it: Amazon

3. SameTech Pineapple Corer and Slicer; $15

SameTech Pineapple Corer and Slicer
SameTech Pineapple Corer and Slicer / SameTech/Amazon

If you've ever just stood in front of a whole pineapple and had absolutely no clue how to cut into it, then this tool is perfect for you. This gadget helps you quickly peel, core, and slice a fresh pineapple into perfectly shaped rings. Not only does it prepare the fruit, but it keeps the shell intact, so you can channel your inner food stylist and use it as a vessel for an eye-popping fruit salad.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Amco Rub-A-Way Stainless-Steel Odor Absorber; $8

Amco Rub-A-Way Stainless-Steel Odor Absorber
Amco Rub-A-Way Stainless-Steel Odor Absorber / AMCO/Amazon

This stainless-steel bar helps remove unwanted odors of garlic, onion, and other foods from your hands after cooking, all without needing water. The molecules in the steel bind with the sulfur molecules in your hands, meaning that the smell should transfer off your hands to the metal. Best of all, it's portable, durable, and dishwasher safe.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Farberware Meat Masher and Tenderizer; $10

Farberware Meat Masher and Tenderizer
Farberware Meat Masher and Tenderizer / Faberware/Amazon

This silicone tool is great for tenderizing meats, mashing potatoes, stirring batters, and more. It's also heat-resistant up to 450°F, so you can use it at pretty much any point in the cooking process. The curved, plastic "blades" won't cause any damage when you run them along the sides of your pots and bowls, and the streamlined design makes it easy to hand-wash the whole thing when you're done.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Zulay Silicone Utensil Rest with Drip Pad; From $7

Zulay Silicone Utensil Rest with Drip Pad
Zulay Silicone Utensil Rest with Drip Pad / Zulay Kitchen/Amazon

Never stress about a dirty countertop again with this simple cooking tool. This spoon rest is made of heat-resistant, BPA-free silicone and has compartments to hold up to four spoons and spatulas while cooking. The base is designed to prevent any excess sauce or grease from dripping onto your countertop to minimize mess.

Buy it: Amazon

7. OXO Multi-Purpose Scraper and Chopper; $11

OXO Multi-Purpose Scraper and Chopper
OXO Multi-Purpose Scraper and Chopper / OXO/Amazon

Commonly used in baking for working and cutting dough and scraping baking sheets, this handy tool is also great for chopping vegetables and transferring them into pans and bowls (ideal for both omelets and salad night). The stainless-steel blade includes measurement markers for ease of use and is dishwasher safe.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer; $17

Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer
Alpha Grillers Instant Read Meat Thermometer / Alpha Grillers/Amazon

You might not have always used meat thermometers in the past, but once you get one, there's virtually no going back. This easy-to-use one from Alpha Grillers offers accurate temperature readings within three seconds and is ideal for everything from BBQ grilling to baking and more.

Buy it: Amazon

9. W&P Peak Silicone Extra Large Cube Ice Tray with Protective Lid; From $11

W&P Peak Silicone Extra Large Cube Ice Tray with Protective Lid
W&P Peak Silicone Extra Large Cube Ice Tray with Protective Lid / W&P/Amazon

Could you probably spend $5 on a plastic ice cube tray from your local store? Sure. But for just a little bit more, you can upgrade to a silicone version that's less likely to crack over time like plastic can, and more importantly, is BPA- and lead-free (plus safe to run through a dishwasher). These cute trays have a fun confetti-inspired design and make extra-large cubes, so whether you're making a mixed drink or some summer lemonade, these big hunks will come in handy.

Buy it: Amazon

10. OXO Olive and Cherry Pitter; $12

OXO Olive and Cherry Pitter
OXO Olive and Cherry Pitter / OXO/Amazon

If you're tossing some cherries into your next fruit salad (or cocktail), grab this pitter to make the job even easier. Complete with a splatter shield that prevents unwanted juices from getting loose, this $12 accessory is precise enough to remove pits while keeping the meat of the cherry or olive intact. The comfortable, non-slip handle also helps absorb pressure for easy use.

Buy it: Amazon

11. Chef'n Cob Corn Stripper; $8

Chef'n Cob Corn Stripper
Chef'n Cob Corn Stripper / Chef'n/Amazon

Next time you want to chow down on some fresh corn from the cob, grab this tool, fasten it, and give it a little twist. The stainless-steel blades will strip the kernels in seconds, leaving you with a bowl of corn to put in salads, soups, and any number of meals.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Zulay Metal 2-In-1 Lemon Lime Squeezer; $17

Zulay Metal 2-in-1 Lemon Lime Squeezer
Zulay Metal 2-in-1 Lemon Lime Squeezer / Zulay/Amazon

Squeezing fresh lemons isn't exactly the most thrilling task, but if you want to skip the hard part and get straight to the juice, a gadget like this one from Zulay is worth grabbing. It's technically two gadgets in one, as you can use it on limes. This dishwasher-friendly kitchen accessory is also a breeze to clean, and because it's made from durable metal, you can expect it to last a long time.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin; $18

Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin / Joseph Joseph/Amazon

You'll never roll out uneven dough again with this 4.8-star-rated accessory. This pin comes with four removable discs in different sizes that allow you to precisely roll the dough out in your desired thickness. It's perfect for pizza, tarts, homemade pasta, cookies, and more.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Chef'n PalmPeeler Vegetable Peeler; $10

Chef'n PalmPeeler Vegetable Peeler
Chef'n PalmPeeler Vegetable Peeler / Chef'n/Amazon

This compact, ergonomically designed vegetable peeler helps you quickly and safely prepare whatever produce you need. The gadget slides onto your finger and fits into your palm, so you'll have a sturdy handle on the situation while keeping your fingers protected from any blades. It also features a steel potato eye remover to rid your life of sprouts and other unwanted bits.

Buy it: Amazon

15. Fullstar Vegetable Spiralizer; From $10

Fullstar Vegetable Spiralizer
Fullstar Vegetable Spiralizer / Fullstar/Amazon

A pocket-sized spiralizer is great for small kitchens and to take on trips. This tool comes with four different blade options for various shapes, and the finger guard keeps your hands safe. It works best with carrots and zucchini and takes only a minute or so to use.

Buy it: Amazon

A version of this story originally ran in 2021 and has been updated for 2022.

facebooktwitterreddit