Our team spends a lot of time testing various kitchen equipment—everything from air fryers to Dutch ovens. When it comes to everyday tasks, sometimes the smallest and most unassuming items can be the most handy during cooking and cleaning. We asked our equipment experts on the Reviews Team to pick an inexpensive kitchen tool that disproportionately made their lives easier. Check out some of their choices below! (This is part one of this article —check out part two here!)
I have never been as popular as when I was testing seafood scissors in the test kitchen, snipping through gorgeous piles of lobster, shrimp, and king crab. These curved scissors fit perfectly inside tails and claws, making seafood prep fast and precise. Our winning pair is sturdy enough to serve as an extra pair of kitchen scissors, always handy to have around. —Executive Editor, Hannah Crowley
Jams, jellies, chili crisp, peanut butter, and mustards—these are some of my favorite things, and you better believe that I make an effort to scrape every last drop of them from their jars. This nimble little spatula from GIR is the perfect tool. It has just the right combination of flexibility and rigidity, and it fits into even tight corners or shoulders of containers. The handle is long enough to reach into tall jars so I never end up with mayo or honey on my wrist. Like most GIR products, it comes in a million supervibrant colors. I’m partial to the magenta but you really can’t go wrong. —Deputy Editor, Kate Shannon
Our favorite mini whisk is more effective than a fork for mixing small volumes of liquid (eggs, slurries, roux, etc.) or dry goods (rubs, spice mixes, etc.). And its smaller profile means it maneuvers nimbly around smaller vessels (glass measuring cups, prep bowls) without splashing the contents overboard. I was once skeptical—did I really need one more whisk?-—but now I use it so often I get mad when someone puts it back in the drawer. —Senior Editor, Miye Bromberg
Our favorite bench scraper has a sharp edge that can cut through pizza and bread dough quickly and scrape the work surface effectively. The textured plastic handle offers enough friction to hold sturdily on to, and is also thin enough for a comfortable grip for people with small and large hands. I use mine to pick up sticky bread dough, as well as cleaning up my work surface after making a messy pie crust. —Assistant Editor, Valerie Li Stack
If your bakes or roasts consistently take longer than a recipe recommends, or come out scorched before your timer goes off, it’s time to invest in an oven thermometer. Our winner is perfectly accurate, with a wide, sturdy base that will sit in your oven without falling through the racks, and let you know if things are out of whack temperature-wise so you can account for that when you cook. Say goodbye to too-cold ovens, say hello to the most useful few dollars you’ve ever spent. —Assistant Editor, Chase Brightwell
Photos: Enrique Díaz/7cero, Getty Images ; alvarez, Getty Images
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