10 Editor-Approved Double-Duty Kitchen Tools That’ll Save You Space (and Money)

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Galley kitchen with white countertops in Brooklyn kitchen.
Credit: Erin Derby

Even if your kitchen has enough room to be exclusively stocked with single-use kitchen tools, it wouldn’t be an ideal setup. Having kitchen tools that are good at doing more than one thing is just so convenient — and aside from their amazing space-saving properties, these multitaskers also save you time and effort in your cooking and cleaning routines. Multitaskers are smart, and we’ll never stop recommending them.

Through years of testing, our editors have discovered some of their personal favorite multi-use tools. These include things such as colanders that double as steamer baskets (and fold flat for storage), as well as simple items like a skinny spatula that’s extra skilled at navigating awkward corners in food containers. These multipurpose items have served them well in their homes, and they know they’ll bring a lot of utility to your kitchen. Check out their top picks below — they start at just $10 and are seriously worth every penny.

1 / 10
was $14.00

Our senior contributing food editor Kelli Foster swears this spider strainer is the best tool when you're cooking pasta because it's wide enough to grab a lot of noodles (of any shape) out of the pot and neatly transfer them to a pan or serving dish. However, it comes in handy for any number of cooking methods. "I happen to particularly love them for blanching vegetables," Kelli wrote. "With the vegetables in the basket, it’s easier and tidier to move directly from the pot of boiling water to an ice bath. And the same goes for boiling eggs, and for frying just about anything. You can even use it as a colander for rinsing a handful of berries!"

2 / 10

This four-in-one cutting board lives up to its hype because it's been carefully designed to handle all its tasks well — meaning you don't lose out on functionality in one place just to make up for it in another. In addition to a reliable plastic cutting board (that's safe on all your knife blades), this tool includes a defrosting plate (which is a big time saver when you're making dinner), a knife sharpener slot (handy to have), and our favorite addition: a garlic grater. Check out our full review to learn how this multitasker becomes a must-have during summer grilling season.

3 / 10

This ordinary-looking spatula is anything but. Because of the spade's narrow shape, firm spine, and flexible edges, it's great for getting into all the nooks and crannies of pots, pans, and jars in a way that other utensils simply can't. It quickly became our contributor Su-Jit Lin's go-to cooking utensil and one of her favorite kitchen tools of all time. "The spatula hugs the curves of containers, jars, and bottles, bending to accommodate their shape," she wrote. "Because the edge is so thin, it gets nearly every bit of sauce, mayo, or mustard, leaving a clean swipe in its wake. Its edge is firm, yet flexible, too: Able to hold onto whatever I’m scooping up, yet bendy enough to get into corners easily."

4 / 10

Some of the best multitaskers are those that do two completely different things very well, such as this mat from OXO that is both a place to dry dishes and a place to set hot pots and pans. It serves both functions because it's made from super strong and heat-resistant silicone, and since it's thin and flexible, you'll have no problem storing it when you want to get it out of the way. Our senior commerce editor Ian Burke finds it so useful he uses it basically every day. "I love using the OXO Good Grips Large Silicone Drying Mat as an extension of my dish rack, since the little ridges on the bottom allow for solid airflow that actually gets the dishes, pots, and pans dry," he wrote. "And, though I have a little cork trivet on my dining table for serving, since this two-in-one beast is heat-safe up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, I find myself constantly reaching for it to pop fresh-out-of-the-oven sheet pans on."

5 / 10

In a sense, all knives can be considered multitaskers. But what makes this rectangular chef's knife special is its large and sturdy blade that's equally great for chopping through meat and produce as it is for smashing garlic cloves, slicing tomatoes, and scraping ingredients up to put in a mixing bowl or pan. For our senior commerce editor Ian Burke, this is one of the most versatile blades in his kitchen. "Its massive (but not overwhelming) face doubles as a bench scraper, which means when I’m prepping large quantities of vegetables, meats, herbs, fruits, or other ingredients, I can seamlessly chop, scoop, and transfer into containers, bowls, or cookware in one fell swoop," he wrote.

6 / 10
was $33.98

One of the smartest ways to cut down on cook times is to employ some help in chopping all your vegetables and aromatics. This slim and lightweight mandoline is a fantastic tool for all kinds of cutting jobs since it has multiple blade styles you can switch between and an adjustable width to change the size of your slices. Plus, it's so much faster than cutting with a knife. Professional chef Nick DeSimone finds that this inexpensive mandoline works just as well as top-of-the-line models. "This mandoline comes with a safety guard that protects your fingers, but you can also use knife safety gloves when slicing to take any danger out of the situation. With a bit of practice, you’ll wonder how you ever cooked without one," they wrote.

7 / 10
was $50.00

Being able to mix and measure ingredients in the same bowl saves you both time and dirty dishes, and that is exactly what this digital scale bowl lets you do. The scale is super versatile, letting you measure things by weight or volume, and you can easily switch between measuring wet and dry foods without having to empty the bowl. Then, when you have all your ingredients ready, just lift the metal bowl out of the plastic stand and do your mixing. Check out our full review to get even more details on this smart kitchen gadget.

8 / 10
was $76.00

Cast-iron cookware is one of our top choices for searing meat, braising stews, making breakfast scrambles, and baking bread. And while Lodge's cast-iron pan and Dutch oven (which earned a spot on our "best of" list) each qualify as useful multitaskers, this set gives you both of them. As our contributor Sholeen Damarwala wrote, "For $50, you actually get two pieces of generously sized, pre-seasoned cookware for the price of one! The Dutch oven lid conveniently converts to a 10.25-inch skillet with a wide and deep bottom that works impressively well for cooking burgers or heating oil for frying. The 5-quart Dutch oven itself is the ideal size for cooking family dinners or meal prepping for yourself ahead of the week."

9 / 10
Great Jones

Because these colander/steamer baskets are made with food-grade silicone and reinforced with stainless steel, they do a lot more than your average colander. "Both of the included Full Steams are four-in-one tools, meaning they can be used as a steamer, splatter guard, trivet, and, of course, colander," wrote our contributor Stella Totino. She was impressed both by how sturdy they are and by how compactly they store when they fold down flat, and she really likes that they work as a heat-resistant trivet when she wants to serve a dish in the same pan it was cooked in. "Essentially, if all you had was a stock pot and one of these things, you could tackle just about any kind of cooking."

10 / 10
Our Place

The makers of the Always Pan 2.0 say this sauté pan can perform the job of 10 different cookware pieces — and they're right. With walls that are slightly taller than regular nonstick pans, a vented lid, and a removable metal steamer basket, this one device can easily be your go-to daily cooking vessel for big and small dishes. This updated version is also safe to put in the oven, so broiling and baking are options, too. Check out our full review to see it in action, then prepare yourself for all your other pots and pans to get jealous.