21 Things That'll Help Make Cooking A More Relaxing Experience

Shredding claws, meal prep pads and more products that'll help you enjoy time in the kitchen.

Cooking can be a rewarding experience ― after gathering ingredients and heating them up in a pan, you’ll get to eat a good meal. Sometimes though, making a meal isn’t always seamless. If you need help when it comes to meal prep, cleanup and kitchen gadgets, we have you covered. These [chef’s kiss] amazing products can help you have chill cooking sessions.

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1
A meal planning pad
You can map out your breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week and avoid the question of, "What the heck am I going to eat?" when you're really busy. Plus, it comes with a tearable grocery shopping list!

Promising review: "I made a resolution to eat at home more this year. This planner is helping a lot! Everyone in the house likes knowing what's for dinner and I love that it has a built-in shopping list. Makes the week so much less stressful when I plan out every meal and have all of the ingredients to make them. It looks cute hanging on the fridge, very happy with this purchase!" — Steve

Get it from Amazon for $9.95.
2
A colorful air fryer
Crisp fries and wings to perfection without making a big mess. It quickly heats up to 6 quarts of food and doesn't leave nasty grease residue.

Promising review: "I bought this as a gift for my husband thinking he may do a batch of wings here and there. We have used it everyday since. From perfectly cooked chicken wings to a whole roast chicken this has replaced our oven. It is also great for reheating frozen fried foods and making crispy roasted veggies.I love the fact that it heats so quickly and easy cleanup. Also, simple to use. It's a great color and matches our kitchen décor." — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $79.99+ (available in five colors).
3
A set of Foodie Dice
If you're in a dinner rut, roll these babies to reveal a simple cooking method, protein, carb, seasonal veggie, and "bonus" ingredient combination.

This set includes five primary dice (protein, cooking method, grain/carb, herb, and bonus ingredient) and four seasonal veggie dice (spring veggies, summer veggies, fall veggies, and winter veggies), along with a cute storage pouch!

TwoTmbleweeds is a small business started by two sisters who are passionate about cooking and mixology. They're known for their foodie-themed gifts that aim to upgrade meal-making experiences.

Promising review: "Got these in the mail this week. I haven't gifted them yet but I did open them to check them and they are perfect! I even rolled them a couple of times to see what the combinations would be like, everything sounded delicious.I can't wait to avoid the 'I don't know, what do you want to eat' back and forth convos!" — Etsy Customer

Get them from TwoTmbleweeds on Etsy for $24.
4
A pair of shredding claws
Barbecue sandwiches are coming right up, thanks to these tiny tools that'll help you grasp and shred meat in minutes.

Promising review: "If you are thinking of buying these little gems then hesitate no longer and buy today! My husband smokes foods often and since I discovered Bear Paws, I no longer dread pulling apart the pork after it's cooked.These little guys tear through the meat better than any other method we tried. They're comfortable to use, and also makes picking up large amounts of shredded or pulled meat easy." — TN Fann

Get them from Amazon for $12.95+ (available in four colors).
5
A reed diffuser
Fill your kitchen with soothing scents (oh hi, French lavender and sage) and relax during busy cooking sessions.

sweetwaterdecor is a small Etsy shop where you'll find rustic kitchen goods, aromatherapy diffusers, cozy throw blankets and more items that'll help you relax at home.

Promising review: "I’ve never owned a reed diffuser before, but I will certainly be purchasing more! The delivery was extremely fast and the oil smells amazing! Love it." —Etsy Customer

Get it from sweetwaterdecor on Etsy for $20.
6
A set of taco holders
These colorful helpers have a curved design to prevent spillage and give tortillas a rounded shape. It'll be less of a project to load up shells with veggies, cheese and meat.

Promising review: "We have recently discovered how healthy tacos can be and this taco holder makes it easier to assemble the taco. Since we prefer a soft whole wheat taco, they are difficult to put all the ingredients in them without it collapsing or stuff popping out. Not only does it make assembly easier, but serving is more attractive and eating them is also easier."Amazon Customer

Get a set of six from Amazon for $14.89.
7
A Gobble subscription
Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed
Whip up a homemade meal in (gasp) 15 minutes, thanks to pre-prepped ingredients sent straight to your door. Just cook your recipe, relax and eat.

Promising review: "Behold my beautiful shrimp dish that I whipped up in a mere 20 minutes and even my southern mama (a tough critic who often feeds me veggies in fritters and bread) raved about! After my Gobble box delivered, I, naturally, was served a Facebook ad about Gobble with a promise of 15-minute meals. This recipe card for Honey Harissa Shrimp didn’t specifically say it would take me 15 minutes to make, but I timed it nonetheless (also I had about a ~45 minute window before my next meeting to cook and then eat). I was able to whip up this meal like a fire was lit underneath me (again, my schedule; plus I was on the verge of hanger) and clean up after myself on the way." — Elizabeth Lilly

Get Gobble for $11.99 per serving for the regular plan, the vegetarian plan, and the lean-protein, low-carb plan (available in servings for two or four, and either three or four meals per week).
8
A baking mat
Make bread and pies like a pro by kneading, rolling and shaping dough that's just right for baked goods.

Promising review: "This baking mat solved a lot of my troubles when I needed to roll out dough for breads or pie crusts. It has a circular measure on it for several different sizes of pans so it's virtually foolproof. It's easy to clean too. I just wash mine in the sink and lay it outside to dry. It also clings to the kitchen counter top so there's no problem with sliding around while I am rolling out dough." — pianogirl

Get it from Amazon for $11.95.
9
Colorful oven mitts
Your hands will be insulated in a comfy cocoon whenever you're taking out hot trays from the oven.

Bespoke Binny is a Black-owned Etsy shop known for their African-inspired home goods, clothes, and accessories in gorgeous patterns.

Get them from Bespoke Binny on Etsy for $48.85.
10
A penguin-shaped egg cooker
This eggceptional device can fit up to six eggs at a time (goodbye spoon lifting and scooping) and the handle doesn't overheat.

Promising review: "I love hard boiled eggs but it's always been a hassle to ever so gently lower them into a boiling pot of water with a spoon, then scoop them back into the now-wet carton to cool. This solves all those problems. You simply load the eggs in, lower into the boiling pot, pull back out and then store in your fridge. No more extra steps or gingerly lowering eggs into the pot. Plus they're adorable." — Laura P.

Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in two colors).
11
The Full Plate by Ayesha Curry
It's filled with easy, mouth-watering dishes you can make in less than an hour. Enjoy quick meals like Mushroom Tacos with Avocado Crema, Sheet Pan Pork Chops and so much more.

Promising review: "Absolutely love the recipes! I’ve only tried a few, but they were all a success. My 5-year-old loves them too! All of the recipes are super simple with so much flavor and don’t take up a lot of time to prepare. Can’t wait to try more, I’m telling all my busy mama friends about it!" — Tamesha Hector

Get it from Bookshop for $27.60 (originally $30; to support local bookstores) or Amazon for $15 (hardcover) or $15.99 (Kindle).
12
An under cabinet LED lighting kit
You'll be surrounded by a soothing glow as you turn on the stove, add oil to a pan and stir in ingredients.

This DIY lighting kit comes with 6 PCS pre-cut strips (total 9.8 feet), 6 LED light bars, 5 straight connectors, 5 "U" style connectors, 1 UL listed adaptor, 2 cable holders, 1 dimmer, 8 X PINs and a wireless remote control to help you adjust the brightness to your liking (there are 10 brightness levels).

Promising review: "I wasn’t expecting to love it so much! I kept purchasing lights to help me see better in the kitchen. The other lights did work well, either they didn’t stick under my cabinets or they would be too dim. I love that I can dim the lights or make them bright! I can see better as I’m cooking, washing dishes and cleaning! The adhesive is great! I was worried that the steam from the stove or hot water would weaken the adhesive, but it’s fine! It sticks perfectly!" — Crystal Janelle

Get it from Amazon for $20.99 (available in two colors).
13
A microwave pasta cooker
Place your noodles in the container, add water, cook in the microwave and drain. That's it! No stovetop, pans or boiling are required.

Promising review: "I don't want to get all gushy over a pasta maker, but man, I really love this gizmo! First of all, I like spaghetti. But I'm lazy and impatient and don't like things that take a long time to make, with a bunch of steps, and a big clean up afterwards. The Fasta Pasta is perfect for me. I get the exact amount of correctly-measured spaghetti; it's faster than boiling water in a big pot then having to watch and stir the pasta, the pasta comes out perfectly cooked every time and the clean up is a snap." — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
14
An anti-fatigue mat
This mat will literally feel like a cushioned pillow for your legs and feet while you're cooking for hours.

Promising review: "My kitchen floor is tile and after a half day of making bread, cookies, or brownies or even prepping to can jams, my feet and toes would cramp at night. I needed relief! The Sky Mats kitchen mat is perfect. It's a perfect size for my kitchen workspace and amazingly comfortable to stand on while I chop, knead, stir and mix. I can sweep it clean after a day in the kitchen. Best of all, I don't have cramps in my toes and legs at night. Love my mat!" — Judith

Get it from Amazon for $31.99+ (available in three sizes and 10 colors).
15
A bamboo cutting board with a juice groove
The next time you're chopping up celery, watermelon or chicken, you won't be showered with juice or have to waste time wiping down a messy countertop.

Promising review: "This board fits across my kitchen sink which makes more counter space. I can carve and serve a whole chicken with ease. Haven’t used the smartphone slot yet but I like knowing it’s there for future reference." — Food52 Customer

Get it from Food52 for $59.
16
A set of measuring spoons
They'll ~bee~ helpful for recipes that require a lot of spices, condiments and sugar, because they're marked with measurements.

Each set comes with a 1-tablespoon spoon, 1-teaspoon spoon, 1/2-teaspoon spoon and a 1/4-teaspoon spoon.

AFewSpareMoments is a small business based in Montana that designs cute cooking essentials, including cutting boards, measuring spoons, and engraved spatulas.

Get a set of four from AFewSpareMoments on Etsy for $29.95+ (available in five designs and with or without matching measuring cups).
17
A portable speaker
Listen to your favorite podcast or stress-relief playlist while you're cooking up a storm on the kitchen.

Promising review: "I wad looking for something small with good sound. I work in a kitchen with loud large appliances, and surprisingly I can hear the speaker over all of them. It is perfect for me. It holds a great charge I've used it for 4 hours straight and it was still working when I shut it off. All in all a good little cheap speaker. I'd buy another for sure." — Donice Oxford

Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in seven colors).
18
An electric hot pot
This gadget doesn't require a stove top and has an adjustable temp setting, so you can cook fried eggs, ramen bowls and more dishes.

Promising review: "With this mini pot, I can cook whenever and it's very easy to use (you just sit and relax for a couple of mins).One of the top reasons why I like this mini pot is I love making noodles and one-person hot pot. So far, I have used for it two weeks and it fits my needs." — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $40.99.
19
A three-in-one veggie chopper, slicer and spiralizer
Get perfectly diced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions for meals and retire your dull knife set for good.

Promising review: "Needed something to take the edge off Taco Tuesdays and all the veggie chopping. We were able to cut down prep to five minutes versus 15 minutes, and use the extra time to enjoy a conversation with family during dinner. Do yourself a favor and pick up this lifesaver for at-home cooks." — Mark Marin II

Get it from Amazon for $25.99.
20
A Home Chef subscription
Ingredients and recipe cards are sent straight to your door, making it easy to cook new dishes that'll delight you and the fam. No more spending hours at the supermarket every week.

Promising review: "All the food has been amazing and easy to follow. Not only is the food delish, but it helps take the stress out of my family’s hectic schedule and broadens our palate to not eat the same meals over and over. Two thumbs up." —HomeChef Customer

Get HomeChef meals starting at $6.99/serving.
21
And a five-in-one countertop cooker
Prepare delicious burgers, paninis and salmon without firing up an outdoor grill. It works as a contact grill, panini press, full grill, full griddle and half grill/half griddle.

Promising review: "This is an amazing griddle. I bought this when my roommate and I first moved into our apartment. The reason for this purchase was two-fold: we had no grill in the common apartment ground area, plus we weren't allowed to have a grill on the balcony and we wanted a waffle iron. The plates interchange very easily, are nonstick and despite being over a year old, heavily used and cleaned in the dishwasher, they still remain in great condition. It is easy to use and I can honestly say it was one of my best purchases for the kitchen." — ELL

Get it from Amazon for $79.

Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.
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