The 12 Most Useful Kitchen Tools To Upgrade Your Cooking Routine

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Whether you're a novice in the kitchen or a full-on foodie, the most useful kitchen tools are an absolute must. There are so many genius new kitchen gadgets and utensils out there that it's almost too easy to find a kitchen tool that makes your life easier. From cutting boards and blenders to measuring cups and electronic scales, these tools can change your cooking routine for the better.

The key to sorting through them all is to consider the function. For a tool to be truly useful, you want to steer away from single-use objects that literally have one job to do, then clutter up your drawers. So instead, you want to make sure that any helpful kitchen tool you choose is multipurpose and can be used for a variety of dishes.

Another thing to keep in mind is quality. There are so many neat gadgets that claim to cut down on your cooking time, but if they're made from cheap materials, they'll actually cost you time (and money) in the long run. As you shop, look for durable kitchen tools and gadgets made from materials like stainless steel, BPA-free plastic, and/or silicone.

If you aren't sure where to start, I've got you. Here's a roundup of some of the most brilliant kitchen tools on the market.


A Handheld Mincing Tool That Keeps Your Hands Clean

If you love garlic but hate the sticky feeling it leaves behind on your fingers, this garlic twist tool is a game-changer. It's made from durable, BPA-free plastic and features tiny "mincing teeth" on the edges. To use, just place your garlic cloves into the base, snap on the lid, and twist. It minces your garlic immediately and guides the pieces into two triangles so it's easy to scoop up. And the best part is you can also use this tool to mince herbs, nuts, and more. And, as with all the tools on this list, this one can be used for multiple purposes. You can grind nuts, peppers, and even herbs.

According to one reviewer: “Absolutely love this innovation! Quick and easy, we've used 40 times or more on both garlic and ginger. Takes seconds to clean either by hand or in the dishwasher. I don't usually rave about purchases, but this is genius!”


Editor’s Choice: A Strainer That Attaches To Your Pots

This innovative strainer has changed the cooking game for Jen Fiegel, Commerce Editor at Bustle. “I’ve started reaching for this instead of standard strainers,” explains Fiegel. “It easily clips on to most pots so a strainer is one less thing you have to hold on to, and it takes up less space in the dishwasher after.” The clip-on colander is made of heat-resistant silicone and comes in five different colors.

According to one reviewer: “Super easy to use and takes up almost no space in my cupboard compared to big clunky strainers. If you have kids and make a lot of Mac and cheese this is for you!”


A Set Of Collapsible Silicone Funnels To Minimize Spills

Kitchen cleanup just got a whole lot easier with this set of BPA-free silicone funnels. They come in two sizes — one that's perfect for larger jugs and bottles, and a second that's great for smaller openings. They're both made from flexible, food-grade silicone and can be safely heated up to 250 degrees Celsius (458 degrees Fahrenheit). You can even wash these in the dishwasher when you're finished pouring, and then collapse them into a flat disc that can fit into any drawer.

According to one reviewer: “These work great. I immediately regret all those times I didn't have a funnel and tried to make a paper/plastic funnel cone, etc. The right tool for the right job: I keep one at home and one in the overland jeep.”


Editor’s Choice: A Fish Spatula For Lifting & Flipping Ingredients

Ideal for cast iron and stainless steel cookware, this stainless steel fish spatula is a go-to cooking utensil for Ileana Morales Valentine, Associate Commerce Editor at Bustle. “This fish spatula is my absolute favorite for lifting food out of pans,” she attests. According to Valentine, what makes it so useful is the flexible slotted blade, which easily slides “under foods like pancakes or seared fish so that they lift easily and in one piece.” The handle is designed to stay cool as you cook, too.

According to one reviewer: “I’ve been cooking for decades and spatulas of many sizes, shapes, and varying levels of flexibility. This is the best spatula I have ever used - hands down. It excels at every possible task from turning fish without breaking it to flipping omelets and releasing food that is sticking so it can be turned over intact. It’s an excellent value.”


A High-Quality Kitchen Knife

This single high-quality knife can cut through literally anything and everything. It's made from a single piece of high-carbon Japanese steel that's both stain-resistant and sharp enough to cut through everything from roasts to raw vegetables. It also features an ergonomic handle with finger "touch points" that keep your hands from slipping while you slice. With more than 2,000 Amazon reviewers and a 4.7-star rating, this knife is a great pick for any kitchen.

According to one reviewer: “It's a little hard to believe that you can buy such a high-quality cutting knife for so little. I own some of the best knives money can buy and this knife is every bit as good, maybe even better. It is very sharp and it holds its edge a long time. I've used it almost daily for 7 months and have never sharpened it. It's also nice to hold which is very important. Highly recommended!”


A Pair Of Kitchen Shears That Double As Tongs

Chopping up a fresh salad is easier than ever with these toss and chop scissors. At first glance, they look like a regular pair of kitchen scissors, but these scissors feature a sharp, double blade on top and a curved tong on the bottom. To use, just drop your favorite veggies into a bowl and toss with these scissors. They instantly chop your carrots, lettuce, and other vegetables into equal pieces while you mix everything together. Amazon reviewers agree that these scissors are one of the best kitchen gadgets ever.

According to one reviewer: “Love this thing! Makes salad easier to eat and I just put everything in a big bowl and chop away. Saves time and less messy! Get this tool!”


A Flexible Silicone Spatula That Can Pick Up Anything

This BPA-free spatula is wide enough to pick up anything, making it a super useful addition to your kitchen. At its widest, the base is 6 inches long so it can flip even large, fluffy pancakes. It's also made from high-quality, flexible silicone so you can sweep it around the edges of any pan or pot with ease. Plus, it's thin enough to easily slip beneath food, and it's heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to one reviewer: “This is a nice large silicone turner. It has some give and is slightly flexible. It worked great on my pancakes and omelets. I'm happy with the heat resistance. I would buy this turner again.”


An Immersion Blender That Can Blend, Whip & Froth Ingredients

When you need to blend ingredients but you don’t feel like lugging out the full-size blender, turn to this immersion blender. Boasting more than 38,000 ratings on Amazon, this popular kitchen tool has a 500-watt motor and offers nine different speeds. The stainless steel fixed blade cuts through ingredients to whip up everything from peanut butter to smoothies to soups from scratch. It also comes with whisk and frother attachments to add even more versatility.

According to one reviewer: “I've had a few different immersion blenders over the years. This is one of the most ergonomically comfortable, powerful yet not excessively noisy and multi-functional ones that I've ever owned. I recommend it. You won't be disappointed.”


A Pair Of Nonstick Silicone Baking Mats You Can Reuse

Instead of rolling out the aluminum foil every time you bake, snag these silicone mats for flawless, evenly heated treats. They come in a set of two, and each mat fits perfectly on a standard-sized baking sheet (they are each 11.6 by 16.5 inches in size). They're also made from food-grade silicone that's oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, so you don't have to worry about them melting in the oven. Just drop your cookie dough and crescent rolls directly onto the mat, bake, and slide them right off after they cool. These even come in a few different packs (three-packs and four-packs, as well) in a variety of size options in case you are outfitting different-sized pans.

According to one reviewer: “This is one of the things that I wasn't sure I needed, but let me tell you, they are completely worth it. It makes cleaning easy, saves space in the sink and are just overall so nice to use. Things cook great on them and they feel really sturdy.”


These Measuring Cups, Spoons & Mixing Bowls That Nest Together

For a major space saver, this nesting bowl set comes with nine tools that all snap into each other so storage is easier than ever. And even when they're all hooked into each other, Amazon reviewers love how lightweight and easy to carry they are. The set includes large and small mixing bowls, a large colander, a stainless steel sieve, four measuring cups of different sizes, and a tablespoon.

According to one reviewer: “I use at least one piece from this every single day, it’s good quality and I love how it can all stack up because it saves a lot of space for smaller areas.”


A Multi-Cooker That Makes Meal Prep A Breeze

More than 50,000 Amazon reviewers are massive fans of the Instant Pot for a ton of reasons. For one, it can cook just about anything — and it does it in half the time of a slow cooker or conventional oven. It's also super easy to use. Just drop any ingredients you want to use into the pot, snap on the lid, and set the timer. Once this multi-cooker comes to pressure, it only takes a few minutes to make everything from full roasts to hearty stews and soups.

According to one reviewer: “This really is a must have in the kitchen, specially if you have kids or a busy schedule. [...] It is super versatile, and allows for a ton of cool and easy recipes. From easy white rice to pot roast you can do it all. [...] 2 years in, it is still going strong. We use weekly and so far haven’t had any issues at all.”


A Set Of Flexible, Dishwasher-Safe Cutting Boards

These BPA-free cutting boards are super flexible, which can make it easier to move around ingredients. And since they’re made of dishwasher-safe plastic, they’re really easy to clean. Each pack comes with three boards — all at a very budget-friendly price.

According to one reviewer: “These are great because they are flexible which means I can cut something on them and then wash them really easily by folding it over a bit under the faucet. They are also huge but also really easy to store because they are thin and flexible. I love having multiple colors so I can differentiate which cutting board I use for meat/veggies.”


A Deep Nonstick Pan That Can Hold Plenty Of Food

You won't regret investing in this nonstick copper pan that's big enough to hold an entire meal. For one, it's made from high-quality copper with a stainless steel conduction plate, both of which are natural heat conductors and warm every inch of this pan evenly. This pan is 12 inches wide and over 4 inches deep, so you can cook all your meats, grains, and veggies together without having to dirty multiple pots and pans. Plus, it comes with a sealing lid, which gives you even more cooking options.

According to one reviewer: “I absolutely love this pan and cook with it almost every day!! Cooks everything perfectly, nothing sticks to it and very easy to clean! Highly recommend!”


A Fan-Favorite Kitchen Scale For More Accurate Measurements

A kitchen scale can be a game-changer in the kitchen, especially if you consider yourself a baker. This stainless steel scale has an easy-to-read LCD screen that can measure in ounces, grams, or pounds. The weight capacity is 11 pounds. It runs on two AAA batteries, which come included with your purchase.

According to one reviewer: “Great product! I use it for baking and bread making. I also use it to cook Dishes that are in metric conversions. Easy to use and clean, I highly recommend this product.”


A Handheld Grater That Can Zest Citrus, Too

You can toss that old box grater for good and invest in this space-saving handheld grater instead. It's way easier to use — just hang onto the sturdy, ergonomic handle instead of accidentally nicking your knuckles on the blades. This grater also features a sharp, stainless steel blade that won't rust over time, and it's not just for grating cheese. Amazon reviewers have used this tool for grating chocolate, nuts, zesting citrus fruits, and more. This handheld grater inspires a ton of strong feelings for over 20,500 Amazon ratings.

According to one reviewer: “Works great to quickly zest lemons or shred parmasean cheese etc. Beats having to break out my bigger shredder. Comes with a protective cover for storage in the draw which is nice.”


A Cutting Board That Doubles As A Serving Tray

This sleek bamboo cutting board does double-duty as a serving tray. Unlike simpler designs, this one features three compartments where you can separate ingredients as you cook or display snacks. It also has a groove running around the edge to catch any liquids. It measures 17 by 12.6 inches and comes pre-seasoned with oil. Just make sure to hand wash it to prolong its lifespan.

According to one reviewer: “A very versatile board. [...] I like this board very much. I like the dip on the side for crackers and it is nice size for cheese and veggies and fruits. I use the other side for my chopping and cutting.”


A Food Processing System That Does It All

This food processing system makes everything from smoothies to soups in a snap. First up: the blender. The Ninja blender is a super powerful gadget with sharp blades that can chop and grind up literally any ingredients you put inside it. You can also use the same base and the food processor attachment to smooth out and soups. The specially-curved blades can blend dough in 30 seconds or less. Plus, this kid comes with two smoothie cups, and the whole system is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.

According to one reviewer: “Comes with all the accessories you might need. I use it every day and haven’t had any problems. The locking lid is a nice feature especially when your pouring your smoothies into cups. 10/10 would recommend.”


A Can Opener That's Safe & Easy To Use

This can opener glides so smoothly over aluminum that it's truly a pleasure to use it. It features a large side-wind knob that's super easy to turn, and the soft-grip ergonomic handles ensure that your hand never slips. But the highlight of this opener is the blade. It slices open your lids with a buttery smooth edge that won't cut your fingers, and it even has mini pliers to safely lift the lid. Over 3,000 fans have left reviews on Amazon and given this can opener an average rating of 4.3 stars.

According to one reviewer: “This is a game changer for opening cans. It opens the can from the edge below the lid so it never has food residue on it. It also eliminates the lid's sharp edge that often nicked my fingers. It's a great investment.”