Alton Brown is credited with coining (or at least popularizing) the U-word: unitaskers. He hates single-use gadgets, and chances are you've seen him rant about them on TV or in interviews. For the most part, he's right: Kitchen space (and your expendable income!) is not infinite, so there's no reason to buy tools that only do one thing. We just don't think anyone needs a banana slicer or a Brussels sprout prep tool.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. In this case, there are seven exceptions. Here are the budget-friendly unitaskers (they're $10 or less!) that we actually recommend buying.
1. Cuisinart Garlic Press, $10 at Bed Bath & Beyond
We've said this before and we'll say it again and again until everyone hears us: We are huge fans of the garlic press. A good one, like this Cuisinart option, saves you time and keeps you from getting stinky garlic smells on your fingers. There is no shame in owning or using a garlic press! None whatsoever!
More on the Controversial Garlic Press
2. ZYLISS Garlic Peeler, $6.50
Similarly, we also love a garlic peeler. It's a great way to save time in the kitchen — especially if you aren't going to listen to us and get a press (sigh!). "Throw a few cloves in the tube and roll away until the skins slip right off," says our former Food Director, Hali Bey Ramdene.
There are so many avocado tools on the market and we really wanted to hate them (such a specific tool!) — and to be honest, we do hate most of them — but we love this one from OXO. Whereas you'd usually need a sharp knife to cut into the avocado and remove the pit, a butter knife to slice the flesh, and a spoon to scoop it all out, this smart tool can do all of those things. So, at the end of the day, you only have to wash one thing instead of three.
4. ZYLISS Corn Holders, $5 for four pairs
You think these are silly — until you go to eat a fresh-off-the-grill cob. Corn gets super hot. And buttery! It's worth spending a few bucks to have holders for the whole family.
5. PRODUKT, $3 at IKEA
If you've been drinking your coffee without frothed milk, you are doing it wrong. Especially if you're drinking nut milk in your coffee!
Hulling strawberries takes a long time. This cute little guy makes quick work of the job — and it's less messy than using a paring knife.
"This tool makes perfect pineapple rings, and leaves you with a perfect pineapple bowl for serving fruit salad or drinks," says our Food Editor-at-Large, Christine Gallary. "It's so great, I brought it with me to Hawaii on vacation to eat ALL the pineapples!"
Are there any other inexpensive unitaskers that you swear by? Add them to the list in the comments below!