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24 kitchen tools and gadgets we actually use that are all under $50 |

24 kitchen tools and gadgets we actually use that are all under $50


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Whether you’re at the start of your culinary journey or a well-seasoned chef, having a few extra kitchen tools around can save you time and make difficult dishes practical.

You could go all out and spend a lot on some high-end gadgets, but they’re only worth it if you already have the essentials. 

To help you round out your kitchen we collected the most useful accessories and utensils we use at home that cost less than $50.


A cast iron skillet

A cast iron skilletAmazon

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (12″), $29.50, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “If I could only have one tool in my kitchen, it would be a Lodge cast iron skillet. Yes, I’m even including dishes and utensils. Whether I’m sautèing vegetables, getting a sear on a steak, or baking cornbread, it all happens in a skillet.” 

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A silicon hot handle holder

A silicon hot handle holderAmazon

Lodge Silicone Hot Handle Holder, $6.10, available at Amazon

Why I love it: “I love my cast iron pans, but the handles get very hot when I cook with them. To protect my hands, I bought a few Lodge Silicone Hot Handle Holders. Not only can the withstand very hot temperatures to protect your hands, they’re also brightly colored so you see them and know you’re safe. Just take them off before you pop your cast iron pan in the oven to bake bread or some other delicious meal.”

Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks guides editor

A fish spatula

A fish spatulaAmazon

New Star Foodservice Wood Handle Fish Spatula, $5.95, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Fish spatulas are not just for fish. The metal part is designed to be super thin so it can easily maneuver delicate foods, but I use it for everything from flipping foods as they cook to transferring finicky cookies or rolled out dough from the counter to a baking sheet. In fact, I’ve gotten rid of most of my other spatulas because of this tool (also, ask any professional chef and they’ll tell you that a fish spatula is the only kind you need).”

Sally Kaplan, Insider Picks editor

A food processor

A food processorAmazon

Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor, available at Amazon, $39.90

Why we love it: “There’s something fundamentally satisfying about tossing a few herbs and spices, a clove of garlic, and some olive oil into my Cuisinart food processor, pushing the “CHOP” or “GRIND” button, and having a perfectly smooth vinaigrette for my salad in 30 seconds. For less than $40 and even less countertop space, this is a foolproof gadget that should occupy every home cook’s kitchen.”

Ellen Hoffman, Insider Picks senior editor

A handheld multi-chopping tool

A handheld multi-chopping toolAmazon

Utopia Kitchen Mezzaluna Chopper, $11.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “My roommates and I love this mezzaluna chopper, which we personally use to chop up salads. It’s a strange phenomenon, but chopped salads just taste so much better (a la Sweetgreen, Chop’t, etc) and they’re easier to eat, too. It can also be used to cut and mince onions, peppers, fresh herbs, and garlic. The curved shape means you can cut through food in one quick rocking motion, and it has a contour handle to make holding and rocking it more comfortable.”

Connie Chen, Insider Picks reporter

Spice tins

Spice tinsAmazon

Sanquility Magnetic Spice Tins (24), $34.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “I live in a New York City apartment, which means space — especially in the kitchen — is precious. These magnet tins let me keep my spices labeled, ready, and at eye-level as they stay attached on the side of my fridge.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

Food storage containers

Food storage containersAmazon

Komax Biokips Tall Food Storage, $16.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Keeping food in its original packaging is a surefire way to end up with a disorganized pantry. I bought these food storage containers for my pasta and never looked back; just remember to attach a piece of masking tape to the side with the correct cooking time so you don’t forget.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A fine grater

A fine graterAmazon

Microplane Professional Series Fine Grater, $12.05, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “A good microplane is one of my kitchen essentials. I’ve had this one for a few years now, and the blades have remained sharp and effective after all this time of consistent use. The panel is wide enough to quickly zest large citrus fruits, fine enough to grate garlic into paste, and sturdy enough to go to town on a block of parm. That fish spatula might be my most used kitchen item, but this one is my favorite.”

Sally Kaplan, Insider Picks editor

A wooden spatula

A wooden spatulaAmazon

Staub Olivewood Silicone Spatula, $24.95, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Did I think spending $25 on a wooden spatula was crazy? Yes, I did. Did I realize how often I would use it? No, I use it more than everything else in the cooking spoon/spatula family of things I own.”

Breton Fischetti, VP of commerce

Magnetic hooks

Magnetic hooksAmazon

Netany Heavy Duty Magnetic Hooks With Stickers, $12.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Netany’s magnetic hooks can hold loads up to 40 pounds, so I keep them attached to one side of my fridge to hold lighter tools instead of stuffing everything in a drawer.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A cheap dinnerware set

A cheap dinnerware setAmazon

AmazonBasics 18-Piece Dinnerware Set, $31.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Amazon’s house brand continues to prove you don’t need to spend a lot to get a lot. This dinnerware set has everything I need to host a party with six people, which is perfect for my small place.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A foldable cutting board

A foldable cutting boardAmazon

Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Foldable Plastic Cutting Board, $8.84 – $15, available at Amazon

Why I love it: “One of life’s greatest pleasures is chopping vegetables, but you need a good cutting board to do it. I bought two of these Joesph Joseph foldable cutting boards and I love them. The cutting board folds up to cradle all the vegetables you just chopped on its flat surface so you can pour them right into the skillet for a stir-fry or toss them directly into your salad bowl.”

Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks guides editor

Cooking racks

Cooking racksAmazon

Baker’s Secret Cooling Rack, $8.64, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “This set of cooling racks comes in handy whether I’m waiting for cookies to cool, or need a place to rest crispy chicken cutlets so they don’t get soggy.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A silicon splatter guard

A silicon splatter guardWilliams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma Silicone Splatter Screen, available at Williams-Sonoma, $24.95

Why we love it: “I recently bought this silicone splatter screen from Williams-Sonoma to use while I’m cooking, and it’s helped crack down on kitchen grease big time. The screen’s small perforations let steam escape so that my food never gets soggy, but they keep in all the grease that would have otherwise ended up all over my stove and the areas that immediately surround it.”

Ellen Hoffman, Insider Picks senior editor

A rotating utensil holder

A rotating utensil holderAmazon

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Rotating Utensil Holder, $19.95, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “I keep all of my larger utensils inside this rotating holder to keep them organized. For once, my regular utensils drawer can properly close.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A 10-piece utensil set

A 10-piece utensil setAmazon

Core Kitchen 10-Piece Silicone Utensil Set, $39.99, available at Amazon

Why I love it: “I bought one Core Kitchen Silicone cooking spoon at Bed Bath Beyond one weekend, and went back the next week to buy several more utensils from the company because I love that spoon so much. Save yourself the time and buy the 10-piece set. You won’t regret it! These silicone utensils have a sturdy core and a uniform non-stick silicone body that makes them super easy to clean and use when you’re cooking anything from scrambled eggs to pancakes.”

Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks guides editor

A dutch oven

A dutch ovenAmazon

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven (6-Quart), $45.49, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “The standout feature of a Dutch Oven is its ability to work on both a stovetop and in an oven. Whether I’m making a roasted chicken or traditional Sunday sauce, this is what I use.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A cheese grater with a storage container

A cheese grater with a storage containerAmazon

Latest Cheese Grater With Airtight Box Storage Container, $11.95, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Grating cheese into a bowl is… grating. This cheese grater has a container built into the bottom so I never have to worry about losing half a block of parmesan every time I make pasta.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A wooden rolling pin

A wooden rolling pinAmazon

Good Cook Classic Wood Rolling Pin, $6.95, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Every kitchen needs a good rolling pin and I was happy to find one I like for under $7.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A pepper mill

A pepper millAmazon

Peugeot Paris u’Select 9-Inch Pepper Mill, $43, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “I literally spent years trying to find the best pepper mill you can buy before I finally caved and bought this rather expensive $43 one from Peugeot that everyone recommends. It is simply the best, and you should not waste your money on any cheap pretenders. The specially-designed stainless steel grinder cracks the peppercorns to perfection, giving you freshly ground pepper to sprinkle atop your meal. It even has adjustable settings so you can decide how coarse or fine you want your pepper. This pepper mill will last several lifetimes, and it only gets more beautiful with age as the wood grows shiny and smooth.”

Malarie Gokey, Insider Picks guides editor

Oil and vinegar holders

Oil and vinegar holdersAmazon

Royal Oil and Vinegar Bottle Set, $16.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Besides making my kitchen feel fancy, this oil and vinegar bottle set lets me evenly distribute these everyday condiments more precisely.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A stove-top griddle

A stove-top griddleAmazon

Lodge Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, $44.97, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “While I primarily use the griddle side of this cast iron tool to make bacon and pancakes on the weekend, the fact that I can turn it over to make grill marks on meat and veggies indoors makes it essential.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A kitchen scale

A kitchen scaleAmazon

Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale, $12.99, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “I typically cook by eye, but some recipes call for very specific measurements, which is why I picked up a kitchen scale. It’s come in handy while baking, trying to make equally sized burgers, and working on basic portion control.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

A splatter guard

A splatter guardAmazon

LiveFresh Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Splatter Screen (13″), $12, available at Amazon

Why we love it: “Grilling food in a pan is great, but cleaning up oil on your stove afterward isn’t. After getting tired of spending time (and many paper towels) cleaning my stovetop several times a week, I invested in a splatter screen and never looked back. This one is wide enough to fit over most pans in your kitchen with ease.”

Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks associate editor

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24 kitchen tools and gadgets we actually use that are all under $50

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