42 Cheap, Clever Tools That Make Cooking MUCH Faster & Easier

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Originally Published: 

Cooking is both an art form and a science, so having the proper tools and supplies is helpful. I mean, no one expects painters to work without brushes or photographers without cameras, right? Whether you’re a seasoned professional (pun intended), a kitchen newcomer with a few recipe books you’re eager to try out, or somewhere in between, you’ll be better off if your kitchen is stocked with the correct equipment. But wait — what exactly is the correct equipment? Since different types of cooking and cuisines require different tools, you’ll want to be sure to do your research.

With that being said, there are some basics that will likely take you pretty far. This list of cheap, clever tools that make cooking much faster and easier is a great place to start. Are you ready to practice what you’ve learned from your favorite baking shows? If so, a bread-proofing set, rolling pin, and piping bag might be useful. Or maybe you already know what you like and are ready for a few gadgets that simplify things, like an herb stripper or garlic press. And there are even a few things that almost any kitchen could benefit from, like a universal pot lid, an over-the-sink drying rack, and a set of color-coordinated mixing bowls.

Get your menu plans ready, because you’ll be inspired after you see what tools are available with the tap of your finger.


This Handy Gadget That Makes It So Easy To Prep Herbs

This stainless steel herb stripper has nine holes ranging from 3 millimeters up to 15 millimeters, along with a blade at the edge of the tool for traditional cutting (a protective cover is included, too). It works for fresh or dried herbs, cutting down time you’d spend on chopping and limiting waste.


A Digital Scale So Your Measurements Are Precise & Perfect

If you’ve never cooked with a digital kitchen scale before, prepare yourself for next-level accuracy and precision. It’s available in six different colors so you can match your kitchen. Plus, this popular, sleek scale accommodates up to 11 pounds and is barely over 8 by 6 inches, so it doesn’t take up much space.


This Snap-On Strainer That Saves You Time & Space

A clip-on strainer like this one makes it possible to drain noodles and other foods in one fell swoop, all without removing them from the pot you’re already using. Plus, it’s a fraction of the size of a normal colander, so it takes less room to store. It’s made of silicone and is available in five colors.


An Elegant Pour Over Coffee Maker To Help You Make Your Perfect Cup

Whether you’re a tried and true pour-over fan (or if you’ve been looking for an excuse to try it), this chic and simple coffee maker is a great option. It has a glass carafe, a stainless steel filter, and an included lid to keep the heat in. A protective collar functions like a handle to help protect your hands while you pour a piping-hot cup.


These Clear Stackable Bins So Your Fridge Is Neat & Tidy

These six transparent fridge bins keeps the contents of your fridge organized and in view at all times. The set includes two wide bins, two narrow bins, an egg holder with a lid, and a can holder. The best parts? They’re stackable and durable, giving you plenty of options for how you set them up.


A Set Of Collapsible Colanders That Are Easy To Use & Store

Never again will your colanders or strainers take up the same amount of space as your mixing bowls. This set of collapsible colanders gives you three different sizes in three different colors, so it’s always easy to spot and grab the one you need. When they’re not in use, they can be collapsed to just over 1 inch high.


This Kitchen Gadget That Does The Work Of 5 Different Tools

You had me at “five tools in one.” Depending on your mood and your needs, this multifunctional kitchen tool can be tongs or it can scoop, strain, stir, or serve. It’s made of stainless steel with rubber accents (available in orange or black), and it’s dishwasher safe, too.


A Cute & Compact Rice Maker That’s Available In Tons Of Colors

This best-selling rice cooker is just under 9 inches wide and 7 inches tall, so it’ll easily fit on your counter. Plus, it’s available in eight different colors to match your decor. It prepares up to two cups of rice, oatmeal, pasta, soup, and more. Be warned, there are a range of coordinating appliances you can select to go with it, too.


This Versatile & Practical 2-Handled Cast Iron Skillet

If you ask me, a cast iron pan is a kitchen necessity — and this dual-handled skillet is sure to get plenty of use. It comes in three different sizes, and it’s suitable for baking, grilling, sautéing, and more. It comes pre-seasoned and you can expect it to last for years with proper care.


A Marble Mortar & Pestle For Amazing Guacamole (& More)

Unlike traditional sets, this marble mortar and pestle is reversible, meaning that both the top and bottom of the mortar can be used for crushing (as well as both sides of the pestle, too). It’s made of versatile and pretty marble, and it comes with both a silicone mat and a spoon as accessories.


This 3-Sectioned Skillet So You Can Cook Your Whole Meal In 1 Pan

Cooking breakfast doesn’t have to involve juggling multiple burners and pans when you have this sectioned skillet. It’s 11 inches wide with three sections perfectly sized for a main dish and two sides. If a sectioned pan isn’t your thing, you might want to consider the one of the coordinating crepe pans or the traditional pan from the same maker.


These Reusable Silicone Bags That Help Protect Your Food & The Environment

Great for home use or for packing food on the go, these silicone storage bags come in multiple shapes and sizes (and in five pretty colors). Even better, they’re freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe — and you never have to search for a missing lid since they have zip tops.


A Meat Tenderizer So Your Meat Gets Tender, Not Your Hand

If you aspire to have your home cooking taste like it came from a steakhouse, then a meat tenderizer may be your new favorite thing. When pressed into the meat, the rows of tiny blades create channels for marinade and flavor, while also cutting through the meat itself and tenderizing it. Clean-up is easy too, since it’s dishwasher-safe.


This Practical Paring Knife & Sheath For Smooth Slicing

This lightweight ceramic paring knife is great for slicing fruits and veggies. The blade is 4 inches long — and including the handle, the entire knife is still less than 8 total inches. Its small size makes it easy to hold, and even better, the included sheath helps protect you from accidental nicks and cuts.


A No-Drip Dispenser So You Can Enjoy Your Honey Without Getting Sticky

This adorable honey dispenser has a honeycomb shape and a coordinating stand that holds it upright, so you’ll never have to wait for contents to slowly drip to pour it. You just press the latch, and the honey pours smoothly. It holds up to 8 ounces of honey, syrup, or similar sauce.


These Measuring Spoons That Are Conveniently Adjustable

Did you know that it’s possible to do all of your baking measurements in just one or two spoons? At least, it is when you have adjustable measuring spoons. Available in black and white, each set has two spoons of different sizes — and the measurements are written on the handles.


The Stainless Steel Measuring Cups For All Your Cooking & Baking Needs

These classic stainless steel measuring cups are everything you need in your baking arsenal; durable, quick to clean, and with easy pour spouts. Plus, you can nest them inside of each other for easy storage. The included sizes start at a quarter cup and go up to a full cup.


This Macaron Baking Mats With Included Measurements

If you ask me, presentation is key when it comes to macarons — so these silicone baking mats can be game-changers for home bakers. With circle markings to help you place and space your cookies, you can go straight to baking macarons or for other baking. Plus, they’re easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.


A Subtle Grease Container That Holds & Keeps Drippings

If you hate both wasting bacon grease (and also going through the trouble to store it), I have good news! This bacon grease container simplifies the catching and keeping of your drippings with an included strainer that fits right on the top, a small spout, and a matching lid. Even better, it holds up to 5 cups of oil.


The Mini Waffle Maker That Comes In Every Print & Pattern Imaginable

If you’ve ever caught yourself looking longingly at a plain waffle maker, wishing it was more brightly colored, get ready to press “Add to Cart”: This mini waffle maker not only makes delicious waffles, but it comes in 19 different colors and patterns. It gives you a 4-inch cooking diameter, perfect for quick and fun breakfasts.


These Bright Mixing Bowls To Add A Pop Of Color To Your Kitchen

These mixing bowls have color-coordinated lids so you always know exactly the one you need, and the silicone bottoms help prevent slipping so your stirring won’t lead to spills. They come in sizes ranging from 1.5 quarts up to 7 quarts, and you can store them by nesting or stacking.


A Digital Thermometer That Takes The Guesswork Out Of Cooking Meat & More

With a digital thermometer, you no longer have to guess if something’s done by looking at it or by cutting into it. It works especially well for baking and for cooking meat, and even for checking if if you’ve reheated leftovers to temperature. The digital numbers here are easy to read, and there’s a sleeve that helps protect the probe.


This Spiralizer That Gives You The Sliced & Diced Veggies Of Your Dreams

If you’ve been desperately searching for a way to make zoodles at home, then this is your lucky day. And you don’t even have to stop there: This spiralizer and zester works with a range of fruits and veggies — and by using the four different blade inserts, you can turn them into the perfect additions to your meals. The best part? It easily breaks down, and each piece is dishwasher-safe.


A Grill Brush & Scraper So You Can Start Grilling (& Eating) Faster

In my opinion, the last thing you want to do on that first sunny day of the season is search for a way to clean your grill — but having a versatile grill scraper and brush on hand helps ensure that you’re always minutes away from getting the barbecue started. With an 18-inch wooden handle and stainless steel bristles, this one should last from one season to the next.


This Tray That Cuts Down The Time It Takes To Thaw Frozen Foods

If you’ve been known to forget to take meat out of the freezer to thaw (same), then this defrosting tray may be of interest. It allows foods to thaw without losing as many juices and flavors as other methods do, and it works quicker, too. Plus, it doesn’t require electricity to work.


An Electric Mixer That Stirs With The Press Of A Button

If you’ve been wanting to buy those shiny name-brand mixers but find yourself pausing at the price tag, I have good news: This compact electric stand mixer is a fraction of the price, but it offers many of the same features, including the colorful and vintage aesthetic, multi-speed functionality, and interchangeable beaters.


A Rapid Egg Cooker That Prepares A Hot Breakfast In Minutes

This best-selling egg cooker can handle up to six eggs at once and prepare them in multiple ways, from poached and scrambled to sandwich-style and omelets. It comes in seven different colors and weighs less than 1 pound, making it an easy choice if you’re short on space and will need to tuck it away between uses.


This Handheld Zester That Makes Perfect Chocolate Shavings

No more hesitating when you see recipes that call for citrus zest or finely grated versions of, well, anything; this zester and grater will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you. It works like a charm, according to many happy reviewers (it has a sky-high 4.8-star average rating), and you can pick from more than 20 colors for the handle.


These Rollers That Make It Too Easy To Prepare Garlic

These handy garlic peelers can handle multiple cloves of garlic at once, cutting time and effort from your meal prep. Each tube is made of silicone rubber — and when pressed and rolled together, they help remove garlic peels quickly and easily. A range of color pairings are available.


This Pizza Cutter That Doubles As A Pizza Server

Have you ever just looked at something innovative and then questioned every life choice you’ve made so far that didn’t include inventing this new product? Part scissors, part serving tool, this BPA-free pizza cutter slices and lifts pizza so you save time and effort (and have less dishes to wash, too). There’s even a safety lock included.


A Leveled Cooling Rack That Handles Multiple Cookies Batches At Once

Never again will you be limited by counters pace when it come to baking and cooling your treats. This three-tiered cooling rack creates space and gives you plenty of room to cool cookies, cakes, pastries, and more. Plus, it folds down for easy storage when it’s not in use.


These Colorful, Reusable Cupcake Liners Made With Silicone

These reusable silicone baking cups can make a big difference in your kitchen. Not only do they provide a festive pop of color that works for a range of occasions, but they also help reduce waste and limit your need for grease and cooking spray. They’re dishwasher safe, too.


A Kit With All The Essentials For Proofing Bread

Whether you’re a bread-baking expert or someone eager to learn, this proofing basket and accessories set will meet your needs. In addition to two bread baskets, you’ll get liners, a dough scraper, basting brush, and more.


A Scoop For Ice Cream & Perfectly Sized Cookies

It turns out, ice cream scoops are good for far more than simply scooping ice cream. This delightful option is available in different sizes, from one single tablespoon all the way up to 8 tablespoons. Plus, it has a grippy rubber handle that comes in 13 different colors.


This Piping Bag & Tip Set That Will Take Your Cake Decorating To The Next Level

Take your cake decorating to the next level with your own reusable silicone piping bag and tip set. Each of the six tips are stainless steel with a unique shape to create specific designs. Plus, an included coupler makes it easy to swap tips, giving you plenty of room to experiment with your new kit.


A Universal Pot Lid So You Don’t Have To Search For The Right One

This universal pot lid fits pots and pans from 7 to 12 inches in diameter, making it a great addition for anyone short on storage space, who has lost or damaged lids, or who wants a versatile extra on hand. Plus, it’s oven-safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and can easily be washed in the dishwasher.


An Over-The-Sink Dish-Drying Rack That You Can Easily Store In Between Uses

What’s great about a roll-up dish-drying rack is not only does it allow you to air-dry dishes right over the sink, but it also works well for washing and draining foods — and it can be easily tucked away and stored it when it’s not in use. It’s also heat-resistant, so it can help protect counters from hot pots and pans.


A Two-Tiered Spice Rack That Keeps All Your Essentials Within Reach

If you ask me, few things are worse than digging through a spice drawer and coming up empty-handed. This two-tiered metal rack has plenty of space for your spice collection, snacks, or condiments. It even works with makeup and cosmetics if you prefer. Plus, a liner is included to help protect both your shelf and the surface underneath.


These Silicone Pot Holders That Help Protect Your Hands & Your Countertops

A five-pack of durable and effective silicone pot holders could be the MVPs of your kitchen. In addition to helping protect your surfaces (and hands), they also double as coasters, mats, and even as traction to help you open tight jars. Five different sets are available, including a multicolored option.


An Electric Coffee Grinder That’s Simply To Use

Grinding your own beans can be an absolute game-changer for coffee enthusiasts. An electric coffee grinder like this option from Hamilton Beach is a cinch to use, according to buyers — and the best part? It works quietly. You can grind up to 9 tablespoons of beans, which is enough for about 12 cups of coffee.


A Chic Tapered Rolling Pin For All Your Baking Needs

This sleek 18-inch rolling pin looks so sophisticated, you may hesitate to see it covered in flour. But don’t worry — that’s just what it’s meant for. It has two tapered ends and is made of rubberwood. That way, you can expect less dough to stick to it.


This Bamboo Cutting Board With Containers For Easy Meal Prep

Not only is this bamboo cutting board elegant and durable, it comes with a few extra features that set it apart from competitors. Four attachable containers hold the food you’ve already prepped (along with your discards), and an included plastic screen holds tablets for easy recipe viewing.

This article was originally published on