22 Kitchen Products Under $20 That'll Make Cooking More Bearable

Life in the kitchen shouldn't be so hard.

Sometimes cooking can be super fun and other times, well, it can feel like an annoying chore. Whether it’s bringing yourself to cook dinner at the end of a long day (instead of a Seamless order ... again) or making breakfast in the morning (instead of driving to Starbucks ... again), these products will help make cooking easier and more bearable. Your wallet will thank you.

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An oven thermometer
It's a must-have for every cook. You'll get an accurate reading on your oven temperature so your oven won't mess with your hard-made dinners and desserts and undercook or overcook them even when you've followed the recipe exactly. It reads between 60 and 580 degrees Fahrenheit.

Promising review: "I bought this after persistent frustration with my oven. I live in a rental apartment and my oven is pretty crappy. I was suspicious that it wasn't as hot as it claimed to be when I preheated it. This isn't such a big deal if you're just throwing a frozen pizza in the oven for 20 minutes, but I like to cook. I feel like my oven has been cheating on me. I needed to catch it in the act. Am I a crummy baker, or is my oven the culprit? So, I bought this thermometer. The result: My oven really does suck! When it beeps for 350 degrees, the thermometer reads 300 degrees. Goodbye, delicious chicken parmigiana; hello salmonella! Goodbye, carefully scheduled 7:30 p.m. dinner; hello, 8:15 p.m. apologies and wine on an empty stomach! This thermometer is like a private investigator who reassures you that you're not paranoid." —Jordan Taylor

Get it from Amazon for $8.97.
A soft and strong spatula
It uses flexible silicone to keep your cookware scratch-free and makes it easy to scrape, mix, flip and access the sides and corners without circus-level twists and tricks. You won't be flipping Krabby patties with this but you'll def be giving SpongeBob a run for his money!

Promising review: "Best spatula ever!! It flips omelets effortlessly, It never sticks to anything (or anything to it), a simple rinse cleans it thoroughly, and it doesn’t mind sitting on the edge of a hot pan. I bought three for my friends and they all love them too!" —John

Get it from Material Kitchen for $15 (available in three colors).
A funny soap opera sponge holder
It'll make washing dishes entertaining!

Promising review: "This was too cute to pass up. I ended up getting one for me and included it in a gift box. Neither of us uses it. It makes us smile whenever we see the Opera Tub Lady in our kitchen and that makes it all worth it." —VAB

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
A rechargeable and flexible lighter
It's long, simple to use and gives you an easy, less dangerous way to light your gas stove. It also protects your hand from the flame and lasts long too!

Promising review: "Cursed with crippling rheumatoid arthritis in my fingers and hands, the 'squeeze this while you press this/pull that' lighters leave me without a way to light my gas burners on the stove. I was rendered helpless and only using the microwave. I charged this lighter up and turned it on. With a simple press of a button, I was able to use the stove burners again. 'This is what I needed for years!' was all I kept repeating. There are no kids in my home and I have all my senses, so there is no fear of danger to anyone from this. For me, it is perfect." —Lori Fogg

Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in five colors).
A rapid egg cooker
It'll simplify every egg-based meal you set about to make, including omelets, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, hard-boiled — the works! Can it really be that easy? You bet. Sounds magical! And let me tell you — it is. Get one of these egg-cellent appliances ASAP.

Promising review: "If you are on the fence about getting one of these, GET ONE. It really is as easy as it sounds to have a perfectly cooked egg, no guesswork. Just have an ice bath ready next to the cooker and let the eggs sit for a minute or two in there...peels come right off :) Makes healthy eating a breeze in the morning! Where has this been all my life?!?!?" —rebecca

Get it from Amazon for $16.99+ (available in eight colors).
A dishwasher-cleaning tablet
Perfect anyone who was today years old when they learned that yes, they need to clean their dishwasher. These will get rid of those mysterious stains and smells on your plates so you won't have to spend hours scrubbing away at them.

Promising reviews: "Works extremely well. We haven't done any cleaning on our dishwasher in five years, and there was detergent buildup all over the inside, and a milky film on all our cups. I bought Affresh, ran the dishwasher with two tablets while it was empty, and the difference was astounding. There was still some buildup and I figured it would require another cycle, so I popped another two tablets in, and now it looks and sounds brand new. No more film on the glasses, no more dirty dishes from clogged sprayers, no more odors, or buildup around the door seals." —Martoune

Get a pack of six from Amazon for $5.39.
A kitchen scale
It'll really come of use when it's time to measure and weigh your ingredients since we all know cooking and baking often demands precise measurements! Accidental extra grams of flour can throw off your whole dessert and we don't want that.

Promising review: "This scale does what it is designed to do. 😊 It's pretty easy and basic to use. It has several measurements to choose from and you can put a container on it and then zero it out so you can put food in the container and only read the food." —Marissa

Get it from Amazon for $10.88+ (available in six colors).
A lazy Susan turntable
Because not only do you finally get an organized cabinet and countertop but you can just spin this round like you do in a store when you need to see what's in the back without unloading 20 bottles and cans to find one sauce.

Promising review: "I am using these in a corner cabinet in my kitchen for oddball canned goods. It utilizes the lower shelf so much better. I can just turn the tables instead of taking half of the cans out of the cabinet to find a specific item. They seem very sturdy even though I have canned goods on them and they are not wobbly and still spin freely. Thank you, love the turntables." —Gary Gaudin

Get it from Amazon for $8.99+ (available in seven colors).
An eco-friendly plant-based walnut scrubber sponge
Public Goods
It's strong and abrasive enough to take on your dirtiest dishes, countertops and more. It's a great replacement for your weak traditional sponge. Public Goods is a small biz founded by Morgan Hirsh. The business offers a membership that allows you to gain access to hundreds of sustainable goods at direct-to-consumer prices. The membership is free for 14 days and then $79/year.

Promising review: "I will NEVER go back to cheap dish sponges! Wow, I was so impressed with the quality of this product and how effectively it cleans and scrubs off my dirty dishes. Price is amazing, quality is perfect, and it's sustainable!!" —Monica U.

Get a pack of four from Public Goods for $4.75.
Flexible silicone measuring cups
Perfect for making sure you've got the recipe down to an exact science and are pouring exactly 3/4 of cup of oil or water so that your dish comes out perfect. Plus, these are heat-resistant, microwave- and dishwasher-safe and easy to squeeze! The set includes 1-, 2- and 4-cup cups.

Promising review: "Best measuring cups ever. I have several glass measuring cups gathering dust because of these. You can’t appreciate how useful the silicone construction is until you actually use them and realize you can pour anywhere and into anything without dribbling. Won’t ever go back to glass." —Andrew

Get a set of three from The Grommet for $18.95.
A cute and convenient kitchen timer
So you're not panicking and running about wildly as your food burns or spills over — stuff like that is totally avoidable with something like this. You will get your pecan pie or Thai fried rice to come out perfect.

Promising review: "It's very convenient and the font is very big and the countdown is very convenient and you can turn off the numbers when you're not looking at the time. The sound is also quite loud, and the function of silencing is very practical and suitable for quiet places. The clock is a little fast. It's also nice to have a master switch, which turns off when you're not using it, and when you do, the clock turns off." —Monique Hutchinson

Get it from Amazon for $12.98.
A set of lovable ceramic cat measuring spoons
These will elevate your daily cooking/baking experience from "eh" to "aw!" They come tied with a ribbon for hanging!

Promising review: "Functional and beautiful! I bought these as a gift for a cat lover. She just adores them. They are so beautiful and unique that she displays them prominently in her kitchen." —David C

Get the four-piece set from Amazon for $12.60.
A delightful cookbook of recipes from your favorite books plus the passages they're featured in
Because you're tired of the same ol', same ol' for dinner. Now's your chance to try that literary food you thought you'd never be able to taste. Ranging from carrot pudding (Charles Dickens) and Turkish delight (C.S. Lewis) to a yummy omelet (Louisa May Alcott), you'll be inspired to spend the day in the kitchen whippin' these up!

Promising review: "This is a really awesome gift for any literary nerd who also loves to cook. The book has TONS of literary references dispersed throughout the book. I gave it to a friend as part of a moving/new home/kitchen gift. I think it brought tears to her eyes." —Margot C.

Get it from Amazon for $9.69.
A pun-ny oven mitt
It'll make cooking and baking fun and full of attitude. As it should be.

Promising review: "Love this so much I kept it for myself!" —J. Robinson

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
A garlic chopper
It'll give you one less daunting task in the kitchen to worry about. This little guy saves you chopping time and from smelling like garlic after. Remember those cars that scooted around after you pulled them back to wind 'em up? This device is kind of like that. After you fill it with garlic, simply roll it around to chop up the garlic. It saves time and fingers.

Promising review: "I absolutely love this little gadget! I had a couple of the regular sized GarlicZooms for a while now and loved their usefulness, so I decided to get the XL. I will never look back! The smaller ones can only handle a few cloves of garlic at a time. I tried four cloves with the XL and it could've handled twice that easily. It chopped them up so fast with no problems. I know there's a lot of 'I can chop my own garlic' folks out there and that's fine. I love garlic, but loathe chopping it. I hate the way you can't get rid of the smell from your hands. So this little gadget works wonders!" —Lindiana Jones

Get it from Amazon for $14.99.
An all-natural Sichuan chili sauce
It'll give your food that hot, spicy flavor all your meals are missing because bolder flavor = better food. Heck, put it on ice cream — who's judging? Go bold or go home! Fly By Jing is a woman-owned small biz founded by Jing Gao in 2018! Gao was inspired by the yummy flavors of her hometown, Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province of China, famous for its hole-in-the-wall restaurants. She aims to tell her story, reclaim her identity and empower others by creating a thoughtful food space.

Get it from Fly By Jing for $12.75.
A cutting board and strainer combo
It not only saves counter space but makes multitasking easy when you're prepping for dinner.

Promising review: "This is one of my favorite things I have purchased for our tiny apartment! It's a pretty good size cutting board and I can see it fitting over most sinks. I LOVE the bowl inside that can let wet ingredients drain liquid directly into the sink. It's seriously SO nice to have this when you're limited on counter space!" —Atara

Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in two colors).
This cute "Egguins" egg-holder
Perfect for both storing and serving your eggs in the most creative way. These penguins hold up to six eggs and you can keep them in your fridge or dunk them in boiling water (don't worry, they'll be fine and so will your eggs). The handle stays cool so you can comfortably pull your penguins out from the pot or carry them wherever!

Promising review: "Fantastic eggs! I have never been able to hard boil eggs and get an easy peel. The first time I used the egguin, they came out perfectly. It could not have been easier. I highly recommend." —J. Bambrough

Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in two styles).
A hungry hippo mini meal planner
Tack it onto your fridge to keep track of your meals and what you need! Sugar & Sloth is a small biz based in the United Kingdom run by illustrator Anita Perry, who started the company in 2015. They make cute cards, mugs, pins and other handmade accessories for people who love cute and sassy things. They put thought into packaging and ship worldwide.

Get it from Sugar & Sloth on Etsy for $5.02.
A useful animal egg separator
It'll make you excited for the unexciting act of separating egg yolks from egg whites.

Promising review: "I thought this was a gimmick when my wife got this and put it on the table. I mean this thing can't work right? Well I was wrong, this thing picks up yolks like the pig that it is. And it does it great each and every time. You have to keep it clean and free of residue to have it work at its best. But this is far better to use than those separators and doing it with the egg shells. I just pop eight eggs in the pan, and suck the yolks right up. Easy!" —GchanMako

Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (available in three animal options).
An adorably charming fruit apron
You'll be excited to have an excuse to wear this every time! CreativelifeJenny is a small biz that makes a variety of things with cute prints like aprons, oven mitts and bags.

Promising review: "Quarantine really got me into baking and cooking from scratch, so when I decided it was finally time to get an apron, I was SO excited to see this cute avocado print one! The apron is a nice, sturdy linen material and the pattern is even cuter in person. Shipping was very prompt and the seller was very communicative regard order status. Will definitely be purchasing from this shop again in the future." —Caetlin

Get it from CreativelifeJenny on Etsy for $10.79+ (available in four fruit prints).
A pair of claw shredders
They'll make shredding meat much more efficient and smooth than just going at it blindly with two forks.

Promising review: "These claws are just what you need in shredding pork, chicken, beef or any other items. The points are sharp, narrow, and long and work well as a pair. It's much more efficient and quicker than using two forks. Even when I buy 'pulled pork' from Trader Joe's and it's already 'pulled' this is an excellent tool for really shredding it properly. I thought I might have been a little extravagant in ordering this but now I realize it is very useful beyond shredding — e. g., holding a watermelon with one hand/claw as you cut with the other hand." —J. Renfrow

Get them from Amazon for $12.95+ (available in four colors).

Before You Go

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