Our editors on the ATK Reviews Team are back with some of their favorite kitchen tools that disproportionately made their lives easier. This roundup covers everything from cocktails to cleanup. (You can read part one of this article here!)
Our All-Time Favorite Kitchen Tools Under $12 (Part 2)
OXO Good Grips Angled Measuring Cup
I can’t deny the allure of seeing a cocktail made with a shiny jigger, but as a former bartender, I can tell you it takes a lot of skill to use it without making a mess. That’s why when I’m shaking up a cocktail at home, I don’t reach for my jigger (unless of course, I’m trying to impress); instead, I go for a tool that isn’t actually a jigger at all: the OXO Good Grips Mini Angled Measuring Cup. This cute lil’ measuring cup is awesome not only because it makes measuring and pouring liquid a mess-free experience, but also because it has a variety of measurements: tablespoons, ounces, and even milliliters if you’re feeling European. In addition to using it to mix up a drink, I also find myself reaching for it when a recipe calls for something like 3 tablespoons of milk and I don’t feel like trying to mete out neat measurements from a gallon jug. —Assistant Editor, Grace Kelly
Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler
I always hated, HATED peeling vegetables. In my family, when I was growing up, we had the worst peelers, because Mom used to peel vegetables over a paper towel so she could scoop up the peels and throw them away quickly, but she often tossed her peeler with the peels, so she would not invest in a good one. I confess to avoiding this job most of my life whenever I could. Finally here at ATK, I tested a ton of vegetable peelers and this one stood head and shoulders above the rest. It’s sharp, with a carbon-steel blade that glides over food. It’s light, agile, and doesn’t get jammed up because there’s just enough space between the blade and the handle for food to pass through untrapped. It doesn’t peel too deeply and waste food, or too lightly and make you go over the same spot over and over. And it’s dirt cheap, brightly colored and cheerful. I use it to peel anything from carrots and potatoes to butternut squash, no problem. And it can make chocolate curls and parmesan parings just as easily. Life changing! —Executive Editor, Lisa McManus
O-Cedar Scrunge Multi-Use Scrubber Sponge
I didn’t know I could love a sponge. All the sponges I’ve used in my life until this point have been fine. They got the job done. But when I tried the winning sponge from Kate’s testing for the first time I could tell it was just better than the other sponges I’ve used. It’s thick enough that it feels substantial and sturdy in my hand, but not too big that it can’t fit into smaller spaces. Its rippled side is strong and quickly removes food that’s stuck to our pots and pans. (I’m starting to sound like a dish soap commercial!) These sponges last a long time, but we buy them in packs of 6 anyway so we know we’ll have a new one ready when we need it. —Associate Editor, Carolyn Grillo
OXO Good Grips Nylon Spaghetti Server
I have an irrational fear of long strands of tangled pasta—well, not really, but it is a big pet peeve. The OXO Good Grips Nylon Spaghetti Server combines the usefulness of tongs and serving spoons—making dishing out freshly cooked spaghetti, linguine, angel hair, and more so much easier. I can effortlessly scoop pasta out of boiling water and seamlessly transfer it to a hot pan of sauce without losing a strand. It’s also handy for safely removing boiled eggs from hot water. It’s simple and unassuming but has rightfully earned its place in my utensil crock. —Assistant Digital Editor, Sawyer Phillips
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