Everyone eats. The overwhelming majority of people eat cooked food, and all people prefer to eat food they enjoy. Having a well equipped kitchen makes cooking easier, more pleasant, and yields more professional looking results. Yes, you could probably get by with one pot, a cereal bowl, two spoons and a butter knife, but is that how you want to live? No, it’s not. However walking into a kitchen store or just googling “Kitchen Supplies” can be a little overwhelming, so we’re here to help you with some cute and practical basics that won’t break the bank. For the purposes of our list, nothing is more than $45; most items are under $20. If this seems like a lot, again, just walk into any kitchen store. If you’re looking for a starting place for yourself, to step up your kitchen game, or for a gift, here’s a list of 25 Cheap Kitchen Gadgets You Need Today.
Lodge L10SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet
Let’s start at the beginning – you need a cast iron skillet. Everyone does. It’s truly an all purpose pan. There’s a bit of a learning curve, but once you get used to it, you’ll wonder how you ever fried/seared/deep fried chicken/made corn bread/made fritatas without it. Sometimes you can find an old one that needs to be re-seasoned at a thrift store or antique shop (it’s not uncommon in the south to find a family with one that’s been handed down for over 100 years), but if you want to buy a brand new, pre-seasoned one, they only run you about thirty bucks. Thirty bucks for a skillet you will have, and use, and love, until you die. You need one.
You should sharpen your knives on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter if you have a $300 fancy schmancy knife you can’t pronounce the brand name of, if it’s not sharp, you’re doing the work, not the knife. Dull knives are also more of a hazard as they require you to put more force behind the blade, making it more likely you’ll lose control, and when you do, you’ll do more damage to any human flesh your knife may encounter. You don’t have to get a whetstone and learn a new skill to sharpen your knives though, just buy a $10 knife sharpener.
Norpro Coffee Scoop
Coffee scoops are one of those little things that say, “huh, I guess I’m a real adult now; I have one of these.” Kind of like a mortgage, only less terrifying. To be perfectly honest, they’re really darn useful if you’re a coffee drinker. This one also holds your bag of beans or grounds closed, and, if you yourself aren’t a coffee person, makes a lovely gift when paired with a bag of beans.
Fred & Friends SLOW BREW Sloth Tea Infuser
If you’re more of a tea person than a coffee person, or trying to make the switch, just look at this happy little guy. You know you want him. You’ll want to make tea just to hang out and relax together, maybe before bed. He also makes a really cool gift and is made of food grade silicone you can pop in the dishwasher when/if needed. Bonus? He only runs about $7.
OXO Pepper Grinder
If you’re using pre-ground pepper in your cooking, you don’t know what you’re missing. Mostly what you’re missing is the flavor of pepper, actually. Spices taste their best and most potent when they’re freshly ground. The longer they sit, the more flavor they lose. That who-knows-how-old tin of pepper in your cabinet is probably the equivalent of sprinkling dust over your food. Upgrade to a pepper grinder for around $15, and be amazed. If you really want to get crazy, try different kinds of pepper corns, or freshly ground pink salt.