Kitchen Tools You Need
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24 Kitchen Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

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Kitchen Tools You Need
OlgaMiltsova/istockphoto

Expanding the Kitchen Arsenal

While there are plenty of essential kitchen supplies you may already have in your cupboards and drawers, there is a wide range of other kitchen accessories that you may not realize you need. From low-tech necessities such as food mills and spiralizers to high-tech gadgets including Instant Pots or sous vide circulators, these devices will not only make cooking and baking easier and better, but also a lot more fun.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Kitchen Tools That Are Made to Last

Batter Dispenser
Amazon
Food Mill
Amazon

Food Mill

$48 from Amazon
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A food mill is a remarkably useful, low-tech tool that purees vegetables and fruits while straining out seeds and skin — an advantage over blenders and food processors. The mill features a bottomless bowl with a perforated disc at the bottom and a crank to push the food through. It's great for pureeing tomatoes for sauces and soups, berries for jams, apples for sauce, various ingredients for baby food, and it makes super-fluffy mashed potatoes. The OXO mill is one of the best for its durability, ergonomic handle, and interchangeable discs.


Related: Celebrate Spuds With These Tasty Ways to Cook Potatoes

Escali Digital Scale
Amazon
Spiralizer
Amazon

Spiralizer

$15 from Amazon
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A spiralizer, which turns vegetables and fruits into something like noodles, may seem like a trendy gadget sold to insomniacs watching TV late at night, but it's a really easy (and fun!) way to eat healthier. Quickly and easily spiralize a wide range of veggies, including zucchini (aka zoodles), carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, apples, cucumbers, and more. The spirals make for a great gluten-free pasta option or can be used in salads, stir-fries, and other recipes.


Related: Healthy, Low-Calorie Dishes for Quick Weight Loss

Instant Read Digital Thermometer
Amazon

Instant Read Digital Thermometer

$18 from Amazon
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A digital thermometer is not only an essential kitchen accessory to help you cook food perfectly, but  a great way to avoid foodborne illness from undercooked meats. The collapsable probe and digital readout gives quick and precise temperatures whether you're baking, cooking on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill. It can also be used for making candy, brewing beer, and more.


Related: 100 Tech Gadgets That Will Make Your Life Easier

Philips Premium Airfryer
Amazon

Air Fryer

$200 from Amazon
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Fried food lovers rejoice: This addition to the kitchen arsenal lets you fry favorite foods with 75% less fat and far fewer calories than a traditional deep fryer. The Philips TurboStar Airfryer uses about a tablespoon of oil and hot air that circulates around the food. It's not only a healthier option for making french fries and chicken wings, but a useful tool for cooking vegetables, nuts, seafood, and even baked goods.


Related: Cheap Air Fryer Recipes to Cut Fat Not Flavor

Portable Countertop Ice Maker
Amazon

Portable Countertop Ice Maker

$130 from Amazon
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These stylish and compact ice makers are essential for parties. The countertop units make ice in 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the model) and don't require a water line. You simply plug it in, pour in water, and it takes care of the rest, and ice that isn't soon used or transferred to a freezer melts to become recycled through the machine. It's also a great way to make ice for tailgating and camping, or if you just like having plenty of ice on hand.


Related: 50 Kitchen Gadgets That Are a Waste of Money

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
Amazon

Instant Pot

$89 from Amazon
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The best kitchen accessories are ones that can be used for multiple tasks, and the Instant Pot is a king when it comes to multitasking. The hugely popular, programmable device can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, warmer, sauté pan, and even yogurt maker. It's a great way to save shelf and counter space by reducing the number of appliances you need. Easy to program — just "set it and forget it" — you can quickly and conveniently make countless recipes, everything from steel cut oats and grains to soups and stews.


Related: Amazing 5-Ingredient Recipes for Cooking in a Camper

Pasta Pot with Strainer Lid
Amazon

Pasta Pot With Strainer Lid

$35 from Amazon
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This sleek and stylish pot makes draining cooking water from pasta, potatoes, and other vegetables easy and safe, thanks to a locking strainer lid. Not only does it save you the hassle of grabbing a colander and transferring the food back and forth, but it makes for one less thing to wash. The oval shape allows you to cook long noodles easily without breaking them.


Related: Foods That Are Always Better as Leftovers

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Press
Amazon

Cast Iron Grill Press

$20 from Amazon
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We're going to assume you already have a cast-iron skillet, and if you don't, go get one. Once you have one, a cast-iron grill press is an essential companion tool that many home cooks don't realize they need. The press can be heated and used to sear meat, press sandwiches, flatten bacon, and more, all with its own weight. You can also use it on an outdoor grill.


Related: Cast-Iron Skillet Recipes for an Easy Meal

Camerons Large Stovetop Smoker
Amazon

Stovetop Smoker

$46 from Amazon
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As much as we love smokey and tender barbecue, we don't always have the time or space for the traditional slow-and-low cooking method. The good news is that this stovetop smoker makes smoking meat, fish, and vegetables at home a quick and easy process. You simply add wood chips beneath the drip tray and rack, add your food, cover it and heat it on any type of stove or even a campfire. Get creative by smoking cheese, nuts, salt and more, and use the pan as a poacher, steamer, or roasting pan.


Related: Grilling Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Amazon

Immersion Circulator

$290 from Amazon
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While a bit of a splurge, an immersion circulator is a really useful kitchen tool for precision, restaurant-level cooking. Also known as sous vide cooking, you simply place ingredients — anything from marinated meats to vegetables to desserts — in a zip-close bag, place it in a pot of water, and the device heats and circulates the water to cook the food for the perfect time and temperature. You can even monitor the cooking from your smartphone.


Related: Recipes for Restaurant-Quality Meals at Home

Emile Henry Salt Pig
Amazon

Salt Pig

$42 from Amazon
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Don't let the name fool you, this is one animal you want on your countertop. Also known as salt cellars or boxes, a salt pig is a wide-mouthed, hooded vessel — usually ceramic or wood — for storing salt. The wide, open mouth allows you to quickly and easily grab a pinch to season food while you're cooking or prepping. The hood helps keep dust and moisture out. Once you start using one, you'll wonder how you survived without it. You can also find ones with lids, but they're not as convenient.


Related: 50 Ways to Get More Creative With Your Popcorn

Rapid Egg Cooker
Amazon

Rapid Egg Cooker

$20 from Amazon
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This handy and adorable device makes cooking eggs in a variety of ways super simple and quick. The compact unit uses steam inside a plastic dome to make up to six hard-, medium-, or soft-boiled eggs or, using accessories that fit inside, individual omelets, scrambles, and even poached eggs with the push of one button. It's a speedy way to make breakfast, especially on a weekday, and cleanup is a cinch.


Related: Simple Ways to Cook Eggs

Herb Keeper
Amazon

Herb Keeper

$32 from Amazon
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Using fresh herbs when you cook adds tremendous flavor, but they sadly don't last long in the fridge — unless you have one of these handy herb keepers. The container keeps the herbs fresh with water at the bottom and allows air to circulate around the produce, helping preserve it for up to four times longer. Larger herb keepers can also be used for moisture-loving vegetables such as asparagus and celery.


Related: Foods You Can Grow in a Container Garden

Citrus Juicer
Bed Bath & Beyond

Citrus Juicer

$11 from Bed Bath & Beyond
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Whether you're making salad dressings, sauces, fresh juice, or cocktails, a well-designed citrus juicer is invaluable in the kitchen. While there are plenty of options out there, the OXO juicer is one of the best. It filters seeds and pulp well, and the juice collects in a measuring cup so you know exactly how much you have.


Related: 100 Top Money-Saving Tips

Tablet Stand/Mount
Amazon

Tablet Stand/Mount

$28 from Amazon
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This mount and stand allows you to easily follow online recipes or videos in the kitchen. Easy to set up and adjust, the mount cuts down on countertop clutter and spares worry about an iPad or tablet getting wet or sauced on the counter.


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Aeropress
Amazon

Aeropress

$30 from Amazon
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Brewing espresso at home can get surprisingly expensive once you start considering the high-end machines loved by aficionados. The Aeropress is a low-tech brewer for espresso and other coffee drinks that costs significantly less, yet it has so many adherents that there's an annual World Aeropress Competition at which hardcore baristas show off creative methods for brewing with the device.


Related: I'm a Coffee Snob: This Cheap Coffee is the Best  IMHO

Chef's Torch
Amazon

Chef's Torch

$33 from Amazon
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This super useful handheld butane chef's torch is not just useful. It also adds plenty of flair to your kitchen arsenal through a variety of purposes, including carmelizing crème brûlée, browning meringues, melting cheese, and searing meat.


Related: Favorite Meals of Celebrity Chefs

Three-Tier Oven Rack
Amazon

Three-Tier Oven Rack

$17 from Amazon
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If there's one thing home cooks could use more of, it's shelf space in the oven — especially around the holidays when multiple dishes compete for cooking time. This handy oven rack multiplies shelf space to enable you to cook three dishes in the place of one. When you aren't using it, the rack collapses easily for storage.


Related: Incredibly Easy Recipes for People Who Can't Cook

Pastry Scraper / Chopper
Amazon

Pastry Scraper / Chopper

$10 from Amazon
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Deceptively simple, a pastry scraper is an incredibly useful kitchen accessory not only for bakers, but also for cooks. With an easy-to-hold handle and sturdy, stainless steel rectangular blade, the scraper is perfect for chopping, dividing, and measuring pastry, pasta, and pizza dough, as well as soft vegetables and fruits, nuts, cooked chicken, and eggs, and more. It can also be used to transfer ingredients into a bowl or pan.


Related: Top Bread Makers and Bread-Making Supplies for Baking at Home

Avocado Slicer and Pitter
Williams Sonoma

Avocado Slicer and Pitter

$12 from William-Sonoma
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While you can certainly slice and pit an avocado with a chef's knife, having a dedicated tool designed to safely do the task is a great way to avoid winding up in the E.R. with a bad case of "avocado hand." Unlike some clunkier versions, this steam lined slicer/pitter is simple to use and clean, and can be used for other fruits such as mangos and papayas.


Related: Cheap, Easy Breakfast Ideas to Start the Day Right

Hyperchiller
Amazon

Hyperchiller

$25 on Amazon
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For those who enjoy iced coffee at home, but don't want to wait 12 hours for cold brew or water down hot coffee, the HyperChiller is a great solution. The handy device features stainless steel chambers inside a plastic container. After freezing water in the inner and outer chambers you can pour hot coffee inside; it chills it in a minute or two. It also works well for chilling wine, cocktails, and more.

Pineapple Slicer
Amazon

Pineapple Slicer

$11 from Amazon
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While it performs only one kitchen task, this pineapple slicer is a really cool one-trick-pony that you'll be happy to have around. The sturdy, stainless steel device allows you to safely and easily core and slice a pineapple for perfect pineapple rings for fruit salads and desserts. The shell remains intact, so you can use it for a serving vessel or a fun cocktail cup.


Related: Healthy Recipe You'll Never Know Were Made With Frozen Produce