8 Kitchen Gadgets That Are So Much More Useful than You’d Ever Think

published Nov 2, 2021
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butter in the bell jar with lid near it
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

There’s a lot of chatter these days about multipurpose cooking tools. And we’re all about that! Small kitchens, minimal counter space, or just a low tolerance for clutter are all great reasons to invest in cooking tools that do #allofthejobs.

But there are some unitaskers — tools that do one job only — we’ll never give up. In fact, some of them are so helpful and necessary, we’d recommend that every cook invest in them. Here are 10 unitaskers you won’t regret buying. 

1. A French-style butter crock

Oui, you really need this. (If you eat butter, that is.) French-style butter crocks use gravity and science (air suction!) to keep butter fresh and perfectly spreadable. You do have to leave your butter crock out on your counter, but they don’t take up much space. And, they’re very cute. Buy one of these and never tear a piece of toast with cold butter again.

2. A milk frother

There’s really only one thing this tool can do: Froth milk. (We tried to use it as a peanut butter mixer and things … did not go well.) But if you like homemade lattes or cold foam, you need one of these. They’re battery-operated and slim enough to fit in your pocket. We’re willing to bet you’ll use this one a lot more than you’d expect!

Related: We Frothed Milk Using 5 Different Gadgets — And the Winner Works Ridiculously Well

3. A waiter’s key corkscrew

There are countless gadgets for opening wine bottles. Most of them cost a lot of money, and take up a good chunk of drawer real estate. Our suggestion: Pick up a simple waiter’s key, and spend your money on a nice bottle of red, instead. If this minimalistic corkscrew is good enough for professional sommeliers, it’s good enough for us. Bonus: Waiter’s keys technically also have a bottle opener built in, so while it really only does one thing (opens bottles), it can open wine and beer bottles!

4. A salad spinner

We tested all the top methods for washing and drying salad greens and, guess what? A salad spinner came out as the absolute best option. It’s really meant just for cleaning your lettuce, but we do have some unofficial, off-label uses for it, too.

5. A seltzer maker 

This tool carbonates water and does nothing else. It’s also not tiny, and does need to live on your countertop. But if you like sparkling water (and who doesn’t?) it’s so worth buying a seltzer maker. We love the Aarke, not only because you can control how fizzy it gets, but also because it’s pretty darn gorgeous. 

6. A cheese knife

PSA: Brie should not be cut with a butter knife. Having a proper cheese knife makes clean cuts of any cheese, which is crucial for serving! If you ever serve cheese, you really need a quality cheese knife. Sure, it’ll hang out in your utensil drawer for 95% of its life. But that other 5%? Glory days. 

7. A brown sugar saver

How many times have you thrown out a half-full container of rock-hard brown sugar? We’ve heard all of the tricks for keeping brown sugar soft, but when it comes down to it, nothing works better than a dedicated brown sugar saver. We love this one from OXO — it’s made specifically for their POP containers, which are also amazing.

8. A can opener

A can opener doesn’t need to be fancy, and it definitely doesn’t need to cost a lot. But it does need to work well. Which brings us to this option from Zyliss. When the only thing that’s standing between you and dinner is an impenetrable tin lid, you’ll remember why this unitasker is a must-have.

What unitaskers do you love? Let us know in the comments.