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Part of the fun of cooking is using cool kitchen gadgets! From small kitchen tools to countertop appliances, there is a large array of products to choose from when you're looking to upgrade your own kitchen or you're searching for the perfect gift for your favorite cook. It doesn’t matter if your kitchen is large or small or whether you cook for one or many, there are plenty of tools that will help you work smarter and faster—and make cooking tasks easier. If you're ready to start shopping, here are the top-rated kitchen gadgets on the market today.
Remembers previous settings
Three temperature levels
Precise temperature control
Comes with minimal accessories
There’s no doubt about it, the Instant Pot has become the “it” appliance in American homes. Electric pressure cookers existed before the Instant Pot entered the market, but the brand popularized the appliance and made it nearly as ubiquitous as slow cookers were for previous generations.
The 6-quart DUO60 is one of the most popular models with seven cooking modes (pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning, yogurt maker, steamer, and warmer) and 14 preset cooking programs that make it simple to cook dinner from scratch on a busy night. Our tester highlighted the yogurt and slow cooker functions: when making yogurt, she never had to click "sauté" to get the milk to reach optimal temperature; and slow-cooking "always produced tender beans and meat in four hours on high."
"The device has its temperature and pressure sensors dialed in, resulting in precise results when cooking." — Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
Easy to use
Creates even avocado slices
Cutting edge is sharp but safe
Cutting edge could be a bit longer
Avocados can be tricky to open, especially if you aren't confident with a knife. If you find yourself constantly reaching for this nutritious vegetable you might want to invest in an avocado slicer. It will make the job safer and easier, as the cutting edge is plastic.
Besides opening the avocado, you can use it to remove the pit and slice the avocado while removing it from its shell. Reviewers give this tool high marks for how easy it is to use and how sharp but safe the cutting edge is—even kids will be able to help make guacamole when you have this in the kitchen!
Inside bottom surface may be tricky to clean
Sooner or later everyone needs a strainer, whether it’s for draining pasta or straining bones out of soup stock. This squishy silicone strainer does all that and so much more. The shape fits inside an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, so you can use it as a steamer basket in the cooker. You can also put it in a pot on the stove to boil pasta (simply lift it to drain), or use it as a steamer basket for vegetables, fish, or eggs in your favorite saucepan.
Handles make it easy to move the basket, but they fold down when you're trying to fit the strainer in a pot. Because it’s made from silicone, it withstands heat up to 260°C/500°F and can be washed in the dishwasher. Several reviewers do note, however, that the bottom silicone mesh surface of the strainer may need a thorough cleaning.
Sharp blade slices effortlessly
Straight slice and julienne settings
Light and compact for easy cleaning and storing
Food holder is basically useless
Limited thickness settings
A mandoline is a handy slicing device typically used to make even cuts for potato gratin, homemade potato chips, or French fries, but it can be used for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. This inexpensive handheld version features three options for thickness and two slicing options: straight or julienne. It also has a non-skid base to keep it stable on the counter or you can position it over a bowl.
Our tester loved how sharp and effective it was and also liked that it was lightweight and extremely easy to clean. However, she noted the food holder left something to be desired.
"The blade seemed just as sharp and effective as the pricier options we tested, and we were able to slice through denser produce without any struggle." — Rachel Ellison, Product Tester
Consistent grind size
Coffee grounds cup doubles as storage
Hefty price tag
This high-tech coffee grinder from Breville is for the serious coffee drinker. It features stainless steel conical burrs designed to reduce heat and protect the essential oils in the bean, an electronic timer that allows you to adjust grind time in .2 second increments, and 60 grinding settings—from super fine to super coarse and everything in between.
The grinder comes with two sizes of portafilter cradles that you can grind directly into, a ground-coffee container with a lid, and a cleaning brush. According to our tester, this machine is extremely consistent in its results no matter what kind of grind you prefer, and despite all its functionality and precise settings, it's fairly user-friendly.
"The finest grounds were consistently powdery, while the coarsest grinds were also an even size—no large chunks and minimal dust." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Doesn't take up much space
Simple to use
Juicing large quantities can get tiring
Squeezing lemons is easy with this manual citrus juicer! It's similar to other Mexican-style citrus squeezers, but with a gear system that multiplies the force so you don’t have to work as hard to release all the juice. There are different sized juicers that can accommodate small limes and large oranges, but this medium-sized machine can handle a wide variety of citrus sizes. Made from nylon and stainless steel, it's top-rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Some reviewers do note that it can get tiring if you're juicing a large quantity of fruit.
Includes potato eye remover
Peels easily and smoothly
A swivel peeler is a basic kitchen gadget, so make sure you buy one that will last for years to come. This peeler is similar in shape to the standard Good Grips model, but with a little more metal and a slightly better blade. It has the same comfortable grip and a potato-eye-remover at the top, so it will feel the same way when using it. Yes, this peeler is more expensive than other options on the market, but considering how often you’ll use a peeler in your kitchen and how long this will last, it's well worth the extra money. This peeler garnered points for how easily and smoothly it peels, and kids love using it.
Heads have perfect flexibility
Not molded in one piece
No color choices
One spatula really isn't enough for a fully functioning kitchen so this set from OXO Good Grips really comes in handy with its small, medium, and "spoon" spatula. The spoon spatula is shaped like a shovel and in our tests worked great for stirring pasta and getting into the corner of pans. The small spatula can be used for reaching into jars and works great for mixing up salad dressings in smaller containers. The large spatula will be your go-to for scraping out batter from your mixing bowls.
All three are heat safe to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, safe to use with nonstick cookware and bakeware, and are dishwasher safe. Our tester found the heads of the spatulas to be "the perfect density"—tough enough for scraping spaghetti squash but gentle enough not to break the skin.
"The silicone in the head is the perfect density, with just enough bend for the edges to conform to the jar, bowl, or pot we were working in, but sturdy enough to handle dense foods, like a particularly sticky marshmallow-like frosting." — Donna Currie, Product Tester
Very sharp cutters
Effortless to use
Easy to clean and store
Not great for grating cheese
Having a microplane grater, also called a zester, can be a huge asset in the kitchen, as it can handle zesting citrus, hard cheese, ginger, nutmeg, and even chocolate. Use it with the grating side up to grate directly onto the food, or use it with the grating side down to see how much you’ve grated before you add it to the food. For easy storage, this grater has a hole in the handle so you can hang it on a hook or knife rack. It's also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning after each use. Customers love how easily and quickly it zests fruits and how fine the shavings are, but some report less favorable results when grating cheese.
Easy to use and clean
A little tricky to slide popsicles out
Ice pops aren’t just for kids. These tiki-style molds will make the kids happy, of course, but they can also be used to make icy adult pops (think margarita pops or piña colada pops). Each pop has a different design, which adds to the fun, and the handles fit the tiki theme as well. The molds are made from silicone, so it’s easy to push the pops out and they can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher. Several other designs are available, including robots and dinosaurs, which will absolutely delight your little ones.
When you’re not making ice pops, you can use the molds for freezing herb oils, molding flavored butters, or making plain ice cubes for drinks. These molds garnered top marks for how easy they are to use and clean; some reviewers say they have an easier time peeling the molds off the popsicles instead of sliding the latter out.
Easy to clean
May not withstand heavy usage
Every kitchen needs a whisk. Or two. This set gives you three whisks in different sizes, so you will always have the right whisk for the job. It includes an 8-inch whisk, a 10-inch whisk, and a 12-inch whisk. Use the largest one for whipping cream, use the medium for whisking salad dressings, and use the smallest one for whisking hot chocolate. As a bonus, this set comes with stainless steel measuring cups and a silicone cooking brush.
The whisks are nonstick and easy to clean. Customers love that they are comfortable to hold and easy to use. While they may not stand up to the toughest jobs, most think they work well for everyday kitchen use—especially for the price.
Variable speed control
Convenient attachments included
Easy to clean
Awkwardly placed safety button
An immersion blender can do just about everything a countertop blender can do, but it has a few extra tricks up its sleeve. While it can’t crush ice like a countertop blender, it can blend drinks, emulsify dressings, make mayonnaise, and puree soft vegetables. Where it really shines is blending soups and sauces right in the cooking pot. It’s also great for pureeing beans for refried beans right in your cast iron frying pan.
The Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender is powerful and also has variable speed control so you don't have to rely on presets. The stainless steel immersion blender comes with a blender cup with side measurements, but you can also use your own container. It also comes with a chopper/grinder and a whisk so you can be sure you have all the tools necessary for whatever you want to mix up.
Locks onto cans for cutting
Magnet can grab can lids
Slight learning curve
Lid can fall into can
Magnet doesn’t always reach cut lid
Every kitchen needs a can opener, and this one is a sturdy, mid-priced option that gets the job done. It's compact for easy storage, has a soft, comfortable grip, and features a locking mechanism that locks onto the can—which is particularly helpful for people with poor grip strength. A magnet helps with grabbing the can lid, which can then be released using a convenient lever so you never have to touch it.
Our tester found the plastic to be durable and didn't expect the stainless steel cutting blade to rust or corrode so it should last you a long time. This can opener is dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
"The elements that set this can opener apart are a lock that keeps the opener attached to the can and a magnet for lid removal." – Donna Currie, Product Tester
The Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker claims our top spot because of its versatility and consistently precise results. Plus, it's easy on the wallet. If you're an avocado lover, the OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer should do the trick. It's easy to use and safe for the kids. Bonus: it produces aesthetically pleasing avocado slices.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Donna Currie is a food writer and product tester for The Spruce Eats. A self-professed "kitchen geek," she's written many roundups on a range of essential kitchen items, from the best Thanksgiving gadgets to the top seafood kitchen tools of the year. One of her faves? The OXO Good Grips Silicone Spatula Set. "They're a must-want for home kitchens," she says.
What to Look for in a Kitchen Gadget
Functionality: Kitchen gadgets can be alluring, but how much you'll really use one is the question to ask before you add it to your collection—if it'll help you with a task you perform on a regular basis, it may be worth it. On the other hand, if it's a gadget you don't expect to use often, you may want to think about a more practical purchase.
Size: One can only have so many kitchen gadgets, and the bigger they are, the more space they occupy. If you have lots of storage space, size might not be the most important factor, but if yours is limited, you want to choose your gadgets with care. In many cases, gadgets come in a variety of sizes, and you can get similar functionality on a smaller scale.
Durability: Make sure to look at quality when selecting a kitchen gadget. Higher-quality products will hold up better over time—and they can also make any task easier and safer to perform.