13 Kitchen Accessories That Solve Our Biggest Cooking Annoyances – Insider

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A person using the OVO Avocado Slicer.

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  • Cooking your own meals can help you save money and stay healthy, but it’s also a hassle.
  • That’s why we shared our favorite tools that make cooking easier, faster, and more fun.
  • These 15 gadgets will help you resist the temptation to order takeout.

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Whether you practically live in the kitchen or can’t even stomach the thought of picking up a spatula, we can all agree that cooking can be time-consuming, especially when you consider prep work and cleanup. However, there are obvious benefits to cooking at home, like saving money and eating more nutritious meals. 

To make the task a bit faster and more fun, the Insider Reviews team rounded up 13 of their go-to kitchen tools that help solve specific cooking problems. From an avocado slicer that makes removing the pit a breeze to a whisk designed specifically for neatly stirring pan sauces, these picks will help you resist the temptation to order takeout. 

Here are 13 cooking tools that practically do the work for you: 

A set of silicone lids for your opened canned goods

An open refrigerator filled with vegetables and canned pet food covered with silicone lids.

Amazon

Comtim Pet Food Silicone Can Lids, $5.49, available at Amazon

My son loves canned chili, but he’s only able to eat half the can at a time. Rather than dirtying tupperware or throwing out the other half, I pop one of these silicone can lids on the can and toss it in the fridge. The lids have also been useful for my dog food and for storing partial cans of recipe ingredients. I like that the lids snugly fit three different can sizes.  — James Brains, home and kitchen reporter

A swivel compartment box to keep your go-to spices handy

A person’s hands pinching salt from a round marble compartment box to season the vegetables in the skillet.

Amazon

RSVP International Dual Compartment Box, $26.08, available at Amazon

One of the most annoying things about cooking with kosher salt is that the box it comes in is giant, so it’s hard to just quickly grab a pinch. This salt cellar is a godsend in the kitchen — I can just swivel the lid open with the back of my hand to grab some salt, so it’s easy to use even if my hands are messy.  — Sally Kaplan, Insider Reviews executive editor

A whisk specifically for your sauces

A round whisk laying flat in gravy.

Amazon

XO Good Grips Stainless Steel Sauce & Gravy Whisk, $11.99, available at Amazon

I make a lot of pan sauces when I pan-fry things like chicken and pork, and I’d always make a mess when I tried to whisk the sauce together. The combination of the large surface area of the pan, a big whisk, and the lack of depth of the sauce always meant I’d be struggling to get the sauce to combine. I invested in this OXO sauce whisk and it’s made my sauce-making mess free. The flat design and long angled handle make it effortless, plus it means I splatter way less sauce all over my cooktop.  — Angela Tricarico, streaming editorial fellow

A powder to easily dispose of your cooking oil

A person pouring in powder from a plastic package into a pan of grease on an electric stovetop.

Amazon

FryAway Pan Fry Waste Solidifier Powder, $9.49, available at Amazon

I just ordered FryAway, which is an oil solidifier that makes it so much easier to dispose of large amounts of oil. I hate frying things at home because of how hard it is to get rid of the oil, but now all I have to do is sprinkle this stuff into the pot or pan, wait for it to cool and solidify, and scrape it straight into the trash. — Sally Kaplan, Insider Reviews executive editor

An avocado slicer

The OXO AvoSlicer arranged with a bowl of guacamole and all the ingredients.

Amazon

OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, $11.95, available on Amazon

I love guacamole, but removing the pit with a knife is pretty dicey. Most avocado tools are just for cutting it up, but the OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer does more. It slices the avocado in half, helps you pop out the pit, and cuts perfect slices for avocado toast or guacamole mashing. — Malarie Gokey, lead training coordinator 

A foldable cutting board

A person using the Joseph Joseph foldable cutting board to drop chopped veggies into a pot.

Joseph Joseph

Joseph Joseph Chop2Pot Folding Cutting Board, $12.79, available on Amazon

My house plans were not designed with me — or anyone — in mind. To compensate for limited counter space, I have to sit down at our kitchen table to prep any food, and it’s just far enough away from the stovetop to mean some food might fall off the cutting board and onto the ground en route. This foldable cutting board makes the process smoother, and I’m guaranteed to lose fewer ingredients on the way. — Mara Leighton, senior education and personal development reporter 

An egg cooker

The Chefman Egg cooker filled with 3 eggs.

Amazon

Chefman Egg Cooker, $19.99, available on Amazon

I love hard-boiled eggs, but I’ve never perfected cooking them. How much water do I put in the pot? How long should I cook the eggs? I got Chefman’s egg cooker to review and it takes the guesswork out of the entire process.

Once you’ve filled the base of the cooker with water — it comes with a measuring cup that tells you how much water you’ll need for every style of cooked egg — you can place up to six eggs on the top tray. In less than 20 minutes, you’ll be snacking on eggs cooked to your liking. — Kelsey Mulvey, former commerce reporter

A handheld slicer

The OXO Handheld Mandolin on a cutting board with a bunch of vegetables.

Amazon

OXO Good Grips Adjustable HandHeld Mandoline Slicer, $18.94, available on Amazon

I hate chopping stuff, so when I discovered the Mandoline, it was kind of a game changer. It’s made it a lot easier to slice anything. You do have to watch your fingers as you get to the bottom of the vegetable, which is where the hand guard becomes essential. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Once you’ve used it a few times, you will get the hang of it. — Breton Fischetti, former VP of commerce

A non-stick frying pan

A person using the Rio Greenpan to flip a stir-fry of vegetables in the air.

Amazon

GreenPan Rio 7″ Ceramic Non-Stick Open Frypan, $13.49, available on Target

Before I got a non-stick pan, I didn’t believe the promise they sold. Dishes are one of my least favorite chores — second only to laundry — and the idea that you could buy a type of pan to made the process easier didn’t make sense to me.

But after being gifted one, my doubts were quickly quashed. I make eggs pretty regularly with this pan and you can wipe it clean with a paper towel once it’s cooled down. I love it enough to hide it from my roommates. — Tyler Lauletta, sports reporter

A multi-compartment skillet

The Master Pan Non-Stick Skillet filled with each section filled with a different food being cooked.

Master Pan

Master Pan Non-Stick Skillet, $53.99, available on Amazon

Since I don’t have a dishwasher, I’m stuck washing and drying everything by hand. It’s a tedious process.

With five compartments, the Master Pan makes it possible to simultaneously cook and season all of the ingredients for my meals without the risk of cross contamination. Best of all, it cuts down my time spent both cooking and cleaning. I’ve been using the Master Pan for almost a year, and it’s still one of my favorite piece of cookware. — Kelsey Mulvey, former commerce reporter

An avocado saver

The AvoSaver tied around a sliced avocado.

Amazon

Evriholder Avo Saver, $9, available on Amazon

Bluapple One-Year Combo Pack, $19.99, available on Amazon

All things considered, this might be the kitchen tool I use the most. Buying groceries for one means your perishables are already potentially lower-value buys than they are for big groups who can eat them before they deteriorate. To keep myself from being totally at the mercy of how fast an open avocado ripens, I use this to lengthen its lifespan. — Mara Leighton, senior education and personal development reporter 

A hanging pot rack

The Cuisinart Chef's Classic 36

Amazon

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 36″ Rectangular Wall Mount Bookshelf Rack, $119.95, available on Amazon

Living in NYC means you’ll probably never have as much space as you’d like. My kitchen has decent countertop space and cabinet storage, but it’s not enough for easy storage of all my pots and pans. I’m planning on getting one of these wall-mounted pot racks soon to free up some room.

I like the copper version best for my space, but this rack from Cuisinart also comes in matte black, stainless steel, and bronze. — Ellen Hoffman, editor-in-chief, service journalism

Kelsey Mulvey

Former Commerce Reporter

Kelsey Mulvey is a former commerce reporter at Business Insider.Before joining the BI team in 2016, Kelsey worked at The Wall Street Journal, Off Duty and has written for Wallpaper, Time Out New York and The Cheat Sheet. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in magazine journalism.

Kenedee Fowler is a Home Fellow on the Insider Reviews team. She is a recent graduate from the University of Missouri – Columbia where she studied journalism. Previously, Kenedee was a multimedia journalist for mid-Missouri’s local news station. In her free time, you can find Kenedee trying out local coffee shops, adding new plants and decor to her home, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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