For any task you need to do in the kitchen to prep and cook your meals, there’s a gadget that can help you do it better, quicker, or more easily. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, either, to fill your kitchen with useful cooking utensils, kitchen gadgets, appliances and cookware that will simplify and streamline the preparation and cooking process.
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GOBankingRates rounded up 12 useful kitchen tools for at-home chefs of all levels — and they all cost less than $30 a piece. Some of these gadgets are so simple they might even seem silly, until you realize how much time or effort they can save you.
1. Ontel Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer/Cutter
For people who are avoiding grain-based pastas but still want the experience of eating pasta meals, making noodles out of zucchini and other squash is a wonderful way to make a healthy substitution. This kitchen accessory makes quick work of the process with a low cost.
2. Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker With Timer
3. Ninja Express Chop
Meal prep takes the bulk of the time in getting food on the table, and what busy, working person can’t use a shortcut for the cooking experience? This professional chopper takes all the work out of slicing and dicing, and, as a bonus, you’ll never have to cry over onions again.
4. Culina Pot Strainer with Handle
Sometimes the simplest kitchen tools are the most revolutionary, because they save time or simplify meal prep processes. This little strainer folds up neatly and can be put in a drawer for easy storage.
5. Joseph Joseph Scroll Garlic Rocker Mincer
Garlic lovers never stop at just a couple of cloves in anything they cook. So the garlic fans among you will love this simple, easy to use and easy to wash device for mincing up garlic cloves in the blink of an eye.
6. OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Flexible Turner
A good spatula goes the distance in a kitchen, and can be used for any number of meals–whether you’re making a saute on the stovetop, or flipping a meal over inside the oven.
7. Oster Turbo Function Hand Blender
Some meals call for a quick and easy blending that doesn’t require lugging the big, old blender out of the cupboard with its heavy base and lots of parts. Hand blenders can also travel.
8. Zulay Potato Masher
This silicone-covered masher is as visually appealing as it is functional. Whether you’re getting ready for Thanksgiving or just making a small meal at home, no potato will go unmashed.
9. Chef’n ZipStrip Herb Stripper
For every cumbersome task in your kitchen, you can bet there’s a kitchen gadget to make it easier. Adding fresh herbs to a meal can increase the flavor, and this little device makes stripping those herbs so much simpler.
10. Brix JarKey Jar Opener
It’s frustrating if you’re the only one home, ready to prepare a meal, and you can’t open a jar that you need to prepare your food. Some people also just may lack the strength to open every jar, and this little device takes the effort out of something so simple.
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.
Prices subject to change. All prices are accurate as of Jan. 21, 2021