Cooking

10 Kitchen Essentials That Each Cost $10 or Less

Living your best life in the kitchen doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg
The Best Kitchen Tools for $10 or Less
Photo: Tasting Table

In a world of Dolce & Gabbana stand mixers and Le Creuset pots, decking out your kitchen can require some serious cash flow. Sure, some items are #worthit, but what's a kitchen full of great gear if you're left in a poorhouse with empty pantries afterward?

As you steadily save up for that fancy piece of gadgetry, bear in mind not all kitchen essentials require the help of Benjamin Franklin to own. Here are the 10 tools every cook should have that, thankfully, cost 10 dollars or less. (Or less than 10 packs of instant ramen, if that's how you like to do your cost-benefit analysis.)

  • Oven Thermometer

    Think of this guy as the omniscient being preventing your oven from telling you little white lies as you pull out another tray of burnt cookies. Since most ovens can have wildly inaccurate temperature displays, keeping one of these tucked to the side ensures your roast chicken comes out as golden brown as it should be, and that your meringues stay appropriately crisp and white.

    amazon.com, $6

  • Kitchen Shears

    A sharp pair can spatchcock a chicken like nobody's business, but it's the everyday tasks, such as chopping delicate herbs and slicing through pizza better than any wheel, that make this the real knife block MVP. (The fact that you can ditch the cutting board is just a bonus.)

    wayfair.com, $10 

     

  • Bench Scraper

    Handy for portioning pastry, scraping excess flour off your counters or ushering chopped vegetables from cutting board to sauté pan, a bench scraper is more than just a baker's tool. This particular model also comes marked with measurements, for those days when perfectly proportionate pastries are the only answer.

    surlatable.com, $10

  • Mini Offset Spatula

    A mini offset is svelte and nimble enough to navigate whichever corner of the cake pan you want to spread your batters and frostings. It also just happens to make for an adorable, appropriately sized prop for your nephew's Halloween chef costume.

    surlatable.com, $6

  • Tongs

    When it comes to one of the most used cooking tools, the simpler the better. This snappy pair is made of heavy gauge steel, ditches the flimsy lock that activates when you least want it to and skips plastic tips that would otherwise melt under high heat.

    amazon.com, $5

  • Fine-Mesh Sieve

    A baker's essential for tasks like breaking apart pesky clumps of flour, a finer sieve is also perfect for straining homemade Greek yogurt or rinsing grains as tediously small as quinoa.

    amazon.com, $8

  • Wooden Spoon

    For the careless among us who like to leave their utensils simmering in a pot of Sunday spaghetti sauce or for those who've burnt themselves one too many times, a solidly built wooden spoon is the reliable fail-safe.

    surlatable.com, $6

  • Vegetable Peeler

    We prefer this horizontal Y-shaped peeler over your run-of-the-mill vertical model—the wider blade can peel more skin off rounder produce like potatoes and apples with each pass.

    surlatable.com, $10

  • Wire Whisk

    A lightweight and generous amount of wiring means whipping cream or egg whites by hand doesn't have to be synonymous with carpal tunnel—or being caught red-handed using the electric mixer.

    amazon.com, $5

  • Waiters Corkscrew

    It might not be a cooking essential as opposed to life essential per se, but when it comes to kitchen must-haves, it's hard to beat the tool that will open your all-important bottle of wine.

    amazon.com, $10

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