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9 best kitchen utensils under $ 20 that you will use every day

As much as I love my kitchen horses – the giant wooden cutting board, measuring cups, microplanes and razor-sharp knives – There is also a special place in my heart for the smaller extras that I do not need, but which make cooking (and food!) Smooth as butter.

After singing their praises to (aka driving them on) my family and friends, I thought I would share information about these cheap, easy to clean favorites with you. They are all products I actually own and use in real life and that are easy to integrate into your cooking routine. Above all, they are versatile tools that you can use daily (I do!), Which means that they are not only cheap but also high. Here are the tools I never want to be without and how I use them.

Xujia via Amazon

The wide bowl-shaped bowl, the long handle and the comfortable weight make these beautiful spoons perfect for almost everything – eating soup, curry, rice dishes, spoons of yogurt from the bathtub, spoons something out of all the tubs, really.

My Korean friend calls them “jjigae spoons” (a type of stew) or rice spoons, but in my family they are known as “life-changing spoons”, which was how I first convinced my family to adopt them. I almost never use “regular” spoons anymore.

You can buy long-handled spoons online or in many Asian markets. My personal preference is to get a set with round handles, not the thin type with the flat ends. Prices vary, but they are not expensive by any means – say $ 16 for a package of 5 good quality spoons, or even $ 15 for a package of 8.


I’m sure I could live without a pair of kitchen scissors like this one from Henckels (also known for making reliable knives), but I do not particularly want to. A dedicated pair of scissors makes it possible to open food bags, cut meat and fish and cut green beans near death. Storing them with your knives or tools keeps them available where you need them and eliminates cross-contamination with your other scissors. Stable scissors can spring butterfly butterfly and this model comes loose for washing – it is dishwasher safe if thorough cleaning is needed, but it is usually easily cleaned with soapy water and a sponge. This particular model costs under $ 20 for sale.


Bench scrapers, also known as pastries or dough scrapers or cutters, are usually used to pry the dough from a work surface, but I use mine several times a day to either scrape or lift objects from my cutting board to a saucepan or bowl. I used to use the side on which knife I had in my hand, but this useful kitchen tool shovels more diced onions at a time and is safer anyway.

I have also used straight-sided bench scrapers, but the offset design is much easier to slide under a pile of chopped food. It is equally skilled at the intended purpose of working with bread and baking dough. This Tovolo bench scraper is the one I use and costs about $ 10.

Lifver Home via Amazon

Small bowls are hardly interesting or new and I have plenty of them, especially ribbed and ribbed ramekins. But these wonderful dipping bowls have made cooking and serving food more of a joy. I just love them. They are useful enough for daily preparation and beautiful enough to serve.

You can throw a surprising amount of food into the hollow, such as lemon peel, olive oil, wasabi or even grated cheese such as fresh parmesan. They cost $ 18 for a set of eight 3-ounce bowls.

Here’s how I use them:

  • Spoon rest
  • Used tea holder
  • Salt piggy
  • Egg holder
  • Prepare the dish for ingredients such as garlic, shallots, ginger
  • Prepare the bowl to mix spices (the mixture flows very easily in the pan without getting stuck in folds)
  • Garnish server
  • Serve for individual desserts, such as chocolate baskets, a brownie or a small glass of ice cream
  • Sugar caddy for coffee or tea after dinner
  • Ring service (especially when you lift to work with slimy or sticky food)

Prepare solutions via Amazon

My dad lovingly referred to these as “rubber fingers”. This set of two – one with a pointed end (pictured) and one that looks more like a paddle, costs $ 8 and is great for scraping, scooping and shooting down all types of food. Think of the last little piece of something sticky like peanut butter from the jar, or get each piece of beaten egg out of a small bowl. I still use full size spatulas for large work bowls, pots and pans, but these nonstick minis work better than spoons or my finger and fit really well in drawer dividers. They can also be machine washed.

Cottage via Amazon

I had never heard of a pot or casserole until my colleague Rich Brown sang his praises. I have a detailed and fine-tuned method for steaming and scraping solid crud from pots, pans and pastries, but I started to get a lot of time back when I started using this $ 5 tool – or $ 8 for two.

This kitchen gadget fits in the palm of your hand and easily scrapes away debris with its flat and curved edges, which can also better reach into the corners. Still expect some sponge work, but mostly to wipe off loose and remaining stuff. I was amazed at how my Lodge pot scraper obliterates the scum that builds up in a ring around the forehead, says the remnants of reduced marinara.

It cuts through residues faster and more efficiently than a hard plastic spatula and it will not gunk up the scrubby side of a mushroom with cheese, eggs or starch. I recommend that you keep it visible on the sink, near your sponges and detergents. I first put it in a box and forgot it, but now it is at the top of my mind.

Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

My friend bought a nice new dishwasher with built-in wine holders and gave me three purple silicone tubes to help you protect your wine glasses in the machine. “Here, you like wine,” she said. “You should use these.”

She was right. They may look silly, but this perfect gift probably saved my wine glasses more than once. You mount a gripping end around your rolled stoneware (like the picture) and slide the other end, a hollow tube, over a pin on the lower rack of the dishwasher. A thread that runs two thirds of the length of the tool’s structure.

If a glass feels extra shaky in the middle of the bottom, I have been known to clamp on two of these silicone holders for extra stability, one on each side. I used to hand wash my wine glasses and still managed to break one here or there. No longer. It costs about $ 12 for a set of eight. I have been running them in the dishwasher every week for almost two years.

Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

Perfect for elegantly draining pasta, reaching objects on the top shelf, squeezing lemons and even cleaning blinds. A pair of 9-inch or 12-inch silicone-tipped pliers costs about $ 15 and has become a reliable kitchen companion that does much more for a chef than just turning green vegetables and meat. Here are seven smart uses for kitchen rods.

Endurance via Amazon

I love a small saucepan for so many reasons, including frying perfectly round eggs at a time and reducing broth and sauces. Melting butter and making small amounts of caramel or hot milk and cream is also good in a small pan, especially if you are trying to keep a small amount of liquid from evaporating too quickly.

I bought a “cup measuring pan” similar to this one, with a long handle, and I like it, even though it is not as thick as some of my other kitchen pots. I would also like to consider a butter pot for butter, sauces, warming milk and boiling simple eggs, but I am currently using a small milk frothing jug for it, intended for espresso. Whatever pan you get should cost between $ 15 and $ 25, tops. Mine was about $ 15.

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