10 Under-$16 Buys That Solve Your Most Annoying Cooking Problems
Cooking isn’t all fun and Insta-worthy smoothie bowls. Sometimes (er, most times!), it’s a messy endeavor that’s tedious, time consuming, and just downright annoying. Fortunately, the internet is bursting with random, quirky items that solve the most irritating issues you deal with in the kitchen. Take a look — you’ll be mad that you didn’t know about these things earlier.
1. Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack, $13 for four
Anyone who has ever filled a plastic baggie knows that it’s easier said than done. (Even if you’re just pouring in pretzel sticks!) This wacky-looking gadget keeps bags upright — and open! — so all you have to do is pour your goodies in.
You know how your pasta water can bubble up too much and spill all over your entire stovetop? This clever cover will keep that from happening.
3. Last Drop Bottle Emptier, $13 for two
We’ve all spent way too long shaking mostly empty bottles of ketchup. This set holds condiment bottles upside down in the fridge so that you can easily get every last drop. And the holders keep your bottles from falling over every time you open the fridge door or move stuff around.
4. Utensil Pot Clip, $6 at World Market
You’re mixing pasta sauce and want to put the spoon down. BUT WHERE? If you had one of these, you could clip it onto the pot and let the spoon drip back down into the pot.
One of the worst things you can waste in the kitchen is half an avocado. (They’re so expensive, and yet turn so easily!) So if you only need half to top a salad, you will definitely want to save the other half properly. This is one of the best methods we’ve found.
6. Franmara Wine Saver, $7
The only thing worse than a wasted avocado half? A nearly full bottle of wine. If you need a splash for a recipe or just can’t (read: shouldn’t) finish a bottle tonight, you’re going to need this wine saver. Our resident wine expert is obsessed with it.
7. Tovolo Microwave Cover, $8
Maybe you got a little button happy with the microwave and you nuked something a little too long? And now you have soup/chili/sauce all over your microwave? That mess would have been contained if you put this cover over the bowl. Next time, though.
8. Norpro Batter Dispenser, $16
Sunday morning pancakes don’t have to automatically mean a Sunday afternoon kitchen hose-off. This batter dispenser makes the job a whole lot neater: Just hold it over the skillet, pull the handle, and batter drops out only where you point it.
9. Bottle Bright, $8 for 12 tabs
Cleaning water bottles is not fun. Like, at all. Drop one of these tabs in the grimy bottle you’ve been using all week, though, and it’ll practically clean itself.
10. Zyliss Garlic Peeler, $5
Need to mince a bunch of garlic at once? This silicone tube will help you prep all your cloves at once. Just put them in and roll the tube around — it’ll remove the papers so that you can get to chopping. True story: Our old Food Director said she couldn’t live without one of these.