10 Inexpensive Kitchen Gadgets to Give Your Favorite Cook

{Post updated December 2015}

Kitchen gadgets have been some of my favorite gifts because they make the green practice of home cooking more enjoyable. These gadgets range from $6 to $40.  I bought (or dropped hints and received as a gift) most of these in my early married life when I had lots of time to research the best gadgets on Cook's Illustrated.  These are tried-and-true kitchen tools that have been used daily or weekly for years, have never been relegated to a difficult-to-access drawer, and have survived several pre-move purges.

10 Wonderful Kitchen Gadgets to Give Your Favorite Cook

Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press ($25)
After using this press once while visiting me, my mom remarked, "this is the nicest garlic press I have ever used."  There are a lot of cheap crummy garlic presses out there.  This all stainless steel press is like the Ferrari of garlic presses.  If your mom loves to cook with garlic, and has a crummy garlic press that she rarely bothers to use, this just might be the perfect gift.

Kuhn Rikon Can Opener ($14-20)
This wonderful can opener leaves no sharp edges.  It takes a few times to get the knack of how to use it, but then this opener is wonderfully easy to use.  After my nephew cut his hand and needed stitches from playing with a can lid in the recycling bin and needed stitches, I gave one of these to my sister. No more hazardous lids!

Spice Measuring Spoons ($14)
I love my long slender spice measuring spoons.  How did I ever get by without them?  They work perfectly for measuring everything, not just spices, but if you need 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, these are the only choice.

Cuisinart Immersion Blender ($34)
I love my immersion blender.  I use this blender primarily for two things: smoothies and pureeing soups right in the pot.  I don't even own a regular blender.  I was first exposed to the immersion blender while living in Spain, where I watched someone use it to make homemade mayonnaise (yum!).  The immersion blender can't do everything a regular blender can (it can't grind flaxseed, for example), but it is better suited than a regular blender for many tasks, and it is approximately 1,000 times easier to clean.  I actually own a set with blending and whisk attachements, which includes a mini food processor (OK for small jobs like bread crumbs and a small batch of pesto) and a whisk (which I use to make whipped cream).  Make sure you get one with a stainless steel blending arm so that you can put it right into warm/hot liquid.

Victorinox Bread Knife ($43)
If you bake your own bread, or buy unsliced bread, I think a good bread knife is a real must.  We really love this bread knife, and if you are in the market for other knives (chef knife, paring knife, etc.), you should know that Cook's Illustrated always rates the affordable Victorinox knives very highly.

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls ($15+)
I used to use IKEA's plastic mixing bowls, but after a few years they look kind of old and worn.  Now I much prefer my stainless steel ones.  I don't think the brand matters particularly much (I bought a set of 5 for $10 at Marshall's), but I like a set that is deep rather than shallow, as well as dishwasher safe, which makes clean up that much easier. Many sets also come with matching lids!

Norpro Stainless Steel Citrus Juice Press ($23)
We use fresh lemon, lime and orange juice in a lot of things around here.  Before getting this juicer, we squeezed them all by hand.  We love this press.  It is really easy to use and very fast to clean up. It's even dishwasher safe, although we mostly just rinse it off and set it in the drying rack.  If a friend gives us a bag of oranges from her tree, we'll even use this to make fresh orange juice.  There are cheaper citrus presses too, but I prefer an all stainless steel one (no plastic, no paint to chip off).

Oxo Good Grips Box Grater ($18)
If you buy blocks of cheese instead of bags of grated cheese, it is really nice to have a decent grater.  Having owned a few, I can tell you that some up much better than others.  This Oxo Grater has nice sharp cutting edges and a comfortable handle.  It was top-rated by Cook's Illustrated and is dishwasher safe (LOVE that!). I never use that plastic thing underneath to catch the cheese (I think it's easier just to put it on a cutting board).  If your favorite cook loves using fresh zest from citrus or spices, you might also consider getting her a zester.

Oxo Good Grips Peeler ($9) or Y-Shaped Kuhn Rikon Peeler ($6)
A good peeler is a very nice thing to own.  I have both of these and use them all the time.  The Oxo Good Grips Peeler works really well for potatoes, but I love the Y-shaped one for mangos and some thicker-skinned things.  It is really hard to find a peeler that works for mangoes!  These peelers were both recommended by Cook's Illustrated in a kitchen tools buying guide.

Oxo Good Grips Cookie Scoop ($14)
I can't believe how long it took me to get a cookie scoop! I've been making cookies regularly for 10 years and this is my very first cookie scoop. I always thought it was a gadget I didn't really need, but now that I make my "healthy cookies" on a regular basis, and get interrupted 100 times while making the balls of dough, and feel like I have to wash my hands every time I stop because I'm handling dough with raw eggs, well, I decided it was time for a cookie scoop.  I spritz my scoop with a little oil using my Misto and the dough comes out easily. Just be sure to get the size you want - they come in several sizes.

Pin it for later!

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

For more culinary gift ideas, check out my favorite My Favorite Plastic-free Bakeware and Cookware and My Favorite Cookbooks.

Click here to browse the complete Green Holidays series.

Would you like more ideas and tips about Going Green Gradually? Sign up for my free email subscription to get each of my posts delivered to your inbox (I usually post one or two times a week). You can also follow me on FacebookGoogle PlusPinterestTwitter, or with your favorite RSS Reader. I hope to see you again soon!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Your purchase via these links helps support my blog. Thank you for your support. Read my full disclosure policy here.


  1. I also absolutely love this can opener and have purchased a few as gifts. It's easy to find one that leaves no sharp edges on the lid but this leaves the can and the lid so smooth, I just love it! I also want a nice garlic press :)

  2. I need that bread knife!! And the immersion blender. I literally think of ways to use that almost every week!

    Great post!

  3. A good bread knife is an absolute must! We have a hardcore garlic press from IKEA that doesn't even flinch at elephant garlic. Also stainless steel and seems to be indestructible.

    I think one of my next purchases will be stainless steel mixing bowls...or ceramic. I have plastic ones from IKEA at the moment and they're looking pretty worn as you mentioned :)

    Great list!

  4. I'm glad to hear that IKEA has a good garlic press, although I doubt it's as good as mine :)

  5. I just put the immersion blender and the oxo peeler on my Amazon wishlist!
    I am totally in love with my cookie scoop. I use it for cookies (obvs), but also for pancakes, muffins, cupcakes and balling fruit. Loves!

  6. Great list! I love that everything is stainless-no plastic! I have many things on the list-my favs are the good grips peeler, can opener and garlic press. I use the opener all the time and really like that there are no sharp edges.

  7. My mom recently got an immersion blender and seems to really enjoy using it. These gadgets look quite useful!

  8. Too many beautful themes to choose from. I adore them all.
    Cooking Equipment

  9. I sooo need a garlic press. Maybe I should gift one to hubby? :)

  10. Such a good, plastic free list! A cookie scoop is a perfect addition to our kitchen. Guess what hubby will be getting in his stocking?!

  11. I have the spice measuring spoons and LOVE them.

  12. I adore my immersion blender! Can't live without it.

  13. I want everything on this list. I couldn't live without my immersion blender!

  14. Great list! I love my immersion blender! I made Cauliflower and potato soup in my Instant Pot tonight and blended it right in the pot with it! A few swooshes and you're done!

  15. I always a need a strong apple corer/slicer! :)

  16. The one must-have gadget for anyone interested in the culinary arts would be an excellent knife sharpener of course. Keep your valuable knife set sharp and effective! Definitely recommend the DMT products if you're in need.


Have something to say? Please leave a comment!
I read all comments and try to respond to questions in a timely manner.
Comments are now moderated due to spam overload and have to be approved (by me) - so don't worry if your comment does not appear immediately after you publish it.


© 2008-2020 Eco-novice: Going Green Gradually All Rights Reserved

Copyright © Eco-novice | Powered by Blogger

Design by Anders Noren | Blogger Theme by NewBloggerThemes.com