I've praised this particular piece of equipment in the past and although I mocked it heavily before it entered my kitchen, I have no idea how I lived without it. It's instantly hot, easy to clean and cooks rice like it's nobody's business! There hasn't been a single meal or preparation style we've thrown at it that it couldn't handle and it's been our most functional tool in the kitchen outside of our toaster oven.
My husband's Grandparents always had one in their kitchen and still do today and now I know why. Not only does it make the best fried chicken and gravy, but it also is perfect for quick blanching vegetables or frying up an egg for a late night sandwich. Yes, there's many great pans floating around, but mine — it's electric!
• Find it: Rival 11" Electric Skillet for $21.88 from Walmart.
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover)