Essential Tools

The Small & Mighty Under-$20ish Kitchen Tools We Can't Live Without

January 18, 2018

Have you kicked your new year off with a bang? It seems a lot of us here at Food52 are out of the heady holiday euphoria, getting back in the kitchen, getting back into cooking (and even changing the way we cook—won't you join us?). There's great comfort in returning to a routine, and lining up all of our trusty tools to help us along the way.

I was curious about what handy, affordable kitchen sidekicks we turn to day in and day out to get the job done, whether it's making meal prep easier or encouraging us to be better about bringing our lunch to work. Among these largely-under-$20 items: classic helpers that always seem to enjoy MVP status (sturdy spatulas!), as well as others a bit more unexpected but no less convenient and undeniably joyful (ravioli press, anyone?).

Read through some of our favorites and don't forget to share yours with us, too:

Erin McDowell, Baking Consultant at Large

The day I first held a GIR spatula in my hand, I was a serious convert. As in, went home and got-rid-of-every-other-spatula-I-formerly-had kind of convert. They’re durable and so easy to clean—life-changing!

Joanna Sciarrino, Managing Editor

I've been baking a lot of bread lately and nothing butters and slices quite like this spreader—it's an unexpected kitchen necessity.

Cory Baldwin, Director of Partner Content

I love my Chemex, but I've got to say, this porcelain pour-over coffee brewer is way more convenient. The brewing method is basically the same but with an easier cleanup—no need to jam a sponge down the narrow Chemex neck. Depending on the vessel you perch it atop, you can brew one mug or up to six.

Valerio Farris, Staff Writer

I love to make homemade ravioli, but sometimes I don't want them to look homemade. This press does the trick.

Nikkitha Bakshani, Associate Editor

I love taking bread with me to work to toast in the office, with a salad on the bottom, so this box is perfect, stylish, and never drips. It reminds me of the tiffin boxes I used as a kid in India, but more oriented towards sandwiches (though nobody is stopping you from using it for noodles or rice in the bottom, with nuts for snacking on top!).

Katie MacDonald, Assistant Editor

These reusable wraps kind of feel like magic! It doesn't stick to my food (or itself), which makes saving leftovers so much easier.

Gerard Coletta, Shop Editor

I’m so over scrounging around for grimy old scouring pads—this versatile, reusable cleaning kit lets me clean my veggies and my counter alike, and is made sustainably to boot.

Emma Laperruque, Food Writer & Recipe Developer

I bought the two-tier tiffin for my fiancé for an anniversary. We actually both got each other gifts from Food52 (no, we didn't plan it)—he got me a pizza stone, which our cat ended up shattering (no, I'm still not over it). Anyway, I love his tiffin so much, I always steal it for myself! If you're reading this, Justin, I want the three-tier, please and thank you.

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Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.