One of my favorite things to do is cook. It’s extremely therapeutic for me, and it’s always fun to try out new recipes! But sometimes it’s just so time consuming when I’m in a rush, or the measurements are imperfect, or I simply screw up (I’m human!).
I finally got tired of these issues, so I found the following 12 items to make my life easier. And, get this: they’re all under $12. These are total game-changers.
I am always paranoid that my meat is not cooked through, which leads to overcooking (which would definitely get me #Chopped). This thermometer reads the inside temp of your meat quickly — within three-to-five seconds, to be specific — with its stainless steel probe.
Sure, you can measure in cups and tablespoons, but nothing is more precise than a food scale. This one measures within each gram of an ingredient, giving you exact measurements that other utensils cannot. Plus, international recipes tend to use weight rather than volume, so you no longer have to translate ounces into cups.
Avocados are…not my specialty. I’m always paranoid I’ll cut through the skin, and I’m not the best at scooping the avocado out. This 3-in-1 slicer makes my life easy. It cuts open the avocado, removes the pit, and then uses a fan blade to cut the insides precisely. Thank goodness — I don’t have to struggle anymore!
Sick of dull knives? Us, too. This sharpener grips your countertop, so no slippage occurs in the middle of sharpening. Sharpen and hone both straight and serrated blades.
I’m all about efficiency in the kitchen, and these herb scissors get the job done. Two cuts with the scissors’ five blades equals 10 knife cuts. The herb stripper removes leaves immediately, so there’s no wasting time on cutting leaves before you get to the herbs themselves.
You can definitely get a silicone mat to place your utensils on, but I know that I don’t always have the counter space. This utensil holder hooks onto shelves and drawers, so you can hang up spoons, cups, and any other utensils you need to finish cooking.
I grew up using a vegetable steamer, but only now do I understand why it’s so great. For example, steaming retains 90% of vegetables’ nutrients, as opposed to boiling and microwaving — talk about healthy. Plus, the sides on this one are flexible, so there’s no problem fitting it into pots or pressure cookers.
No more worrying about scratching pots and pans — these silicone utensils will save them. The colors are bright and fun (the brand is called Cook With Color), and the mini size is great for small spaces and travelers looking to bring their favorite spoonulas and brushes with them.
I’m Italian, so I grew up with a whole lotta garlic in my food. I used to be lazy and just buy already-minced garlic, but it just isn’t the same. This set is fantastic — it comes with a garlic peeler rocker to peel the skin for you, so you can go straight into the mincer.
I am in love with multi-use items, if you couldn’t tell, and this trio peeler fits the bill. The straight peeler head allows for peeling fruit and vegetable skin, the large peeler head is great for shredding and slicing, and the final head juliennes. I no longer have different peelers hiding around thanks to this set.
Cooking is a delight, and these affordable-yet-effective items make life in the kitchen a breeze. Which are your favorite kitchen steals? Let us know in the comments!
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