10 Chefs on the Best $10 They’ve Ever Spent on Their Kitchens

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Abe Martinez)

As you might imagine, professional chefs rely on a lot of fancy-schmancy tools to do their jobs day in and day out. We’re talking immersion circulators, high-performance blenders, flash chillers, vacuum sealers, blow torches, and beyond. But not every gadget that professional chefs swear by has to cost you an arm and a leg (or look like it belongs in a laboratory).

We reached out to 10 chefs to talk about their favorite cheap kitchen tools that they couldn’t live without. Here are their picks which all cost $10 (ish) bucks or less.

(Image credit: Bed Bath and Beyond)

“I spent less than $10 on this pull-type two-stage knife sharpener. Most home cooks are baffled and afraid of knife sharpening, but this tool will get you through until you really sharpen them.” Jet Tila, Food Network Judge

(Image credit: Sur la Table)

2. Silicone Saute Spoon, $12 at Sur la Table

“I bought this from Sur la Table and I call it the spoontula. I love that it’s like a heat-resistant spatula — and the head doesn’t pop off.” — Julya Shin, former chef at Chez Panisse

(Image credit: Amazon)

“The hardest thing to manage in a kitchen is time. In a restaurant kitchen, there’s never enough of it. At home, the problem is often too much. The best 10 bucks I ever spent on my kitchen was on a device that manages all that for me. It’s a Lux Minute Minder wind-up timer.” Cal Peternell, former head chef at Chez Panisse and the host of the Cooking by Ear Podcast

4. Knife Sharpening Service, $1 per inch

“The best $10 that I can spend on my kitchen is definitely going to Bernal Cutlery in Oakland, CA, and getting my knives sharpened.” Dominica Rice Cisneros, chef and owner of Cosecha

(Image credit: Williams Sonoma)

5. Weck Jars, $25 for six at Williams Sonoma

“I bought a few small Weck jars to keep my spices in. It keeps everything fresh and looks nice out on the counter.” Matt Hyland, Executive Chef of Pizza Loves Emily restaurants

(Image credit: Amazon)

“A Ganji Japanese-style can opener. Forget the ones with gears and mechanisms, I am in love with this can opener. It opens square or rectangle cans really easily, which is hard to do with other can openers. It also opens bottles and punctures holes in cans if needed, like when you buy a large can of olive oil and it won’t pour out nicely unless it has another hole in it. It cleans up really well because it doesn’t have any gears for food to get stuck and never breaks. It’s super heavy-duty and comes in handy for all sorts of things I never thought I’d need it for.”Katie Button, Executive Chef of Cúrate and Nightbell

(Image credit: Amazon)

“Definitely a meat tenderizer! It opens a whole new world on meats — especially ones that are traditionally thought of as cheap cuts or braising meats. A few punches with the tenderizer and almost any meat can be cooked however you want to any temperature.” — Jake Nemmers, Executive Chef at Flora Bar NYC

(Image credit: Amazon)

“My favorite inexpensive gadget is the splatter guard. It’s great for cooking things with high fat content, and is especially useful when frying foods like okra or chickpeas that tend to pop up when cooking with high heat.” Linton Hopkins, chef and owner of Resurgens Hospitality Group

(Image credit: Jet)

9. Ball Keepsake Canning Jars, $12 for four at Jet

“Ball’s Keepsake Canning Jars are around $10 and a great way to start your collection. I love the seasonal Stars and Stripes design, and I’m excited about the soon-to-launch snowflake jars for winter. They remind me to give the gift of food for every occasion.” Damaris Phillips, Food Network host

(Image credit: Amazon)

“Easy answer: The mini vacuum container for $10 that I purchased on Amazon. Three of the main enemies of coffee are oxygen, humidity, and light. This little container protects my coffee beans from all three.” Giorgio Milos, Master Barista for illy Caffé

What’s the best $10 you’ve ever spent on your kitchen?