O hai. Tis the season when I get the idea to make gift list posts, and then I go drooling at Amazon, and my Amazon wish list grows three sizes that day.
We’re going to begin small, because times are rough and we can all use some cheap kitchen gadgets — let’s try under $10, shall we? — to cheer us up. Oh wait, this is a gift-giving guide. You’re under orders to wrap up any presents you buy for yourself. Understood?
Now. Let’s get this show on the road, shall we, with my 10 favorite kitchen gadgets under $10 this year. Most of them I own. A few I want. All of them are awesome.
Chef’n Switchit Silicone Spatula
This spatula looks like it’s changed slightly in design in the few years since I bought one, but it’s basically the same. This narrow 2-ended spatula just comes in handy everywhere your big spatula doesn’t want to go, like in smaller jars. It’s totally smooth so cleaning it is just wiping; nothing sticks and there are no crevices. YAY.
Plus, pretty colors. Comes in apricot, wasabit, cherry, pacific, and arugula.
Or for, you know, normal people, orange, yellow, fuschia, blue, and green. (Mine’s the fuschia.)
The Chef’n Switchit Silicone Spatula is $9.99.
Wilton 3-Tier Cooling Rack
This baby rocks when counter space is at a premium. Or, I would presume so, because I don’t have one. Sis does. I drool every time I drop in at her house and see cookies chillin’ on it.
The Wilton 3-Tier Cooling Rack is currently $9.99 at Amazon.
I never knew I needed a spider skimmer until I had one. This is one of those utensils whose utility is, at first, inscrutable.
Oh, crap, I’m making use of offensive Asian stereotypes. I’m sorry, I really am.
But it is hard to decipher at first. I mean, it’s a stick with a little basket on the end.
But that little basket is great for scooping things out of water or oil. I use it when frying, which isn’t all that often but it happens. The spider skimmer’s primary use, however, comes up when canning — it’s awesome for getting blanched veggies out of the boiling pot and into the cold water. I even have one of those hole-y baskets that goes in the large pot, and I’d rather use the skimmer.
Helen’s Asian Kitchen 5-Inch Spider Skimmer is about $7.27 at Amazon.
Architec Stretch Cooking Bands
Okay, these are rubber bands for cooking. What would you want rubber bands you can use in cooking for?
How about holding together a bouquet garni? Or, if you aren’t all Frenchy and herby, they work in rotisserie cooking — anything you’d use kitchen twine for, and who keeps that around? Not me, uh uh.
Plus, you can snap them at people.
The Architec Stretch Cooking Bands are $8.05 at Amazon.
A dough scraper is another thing you won’t realize you needed until you have it. This one from Oxo has a sharpish blade that can slice and dice in a pinch, but which I usually use for cutting/dividing dough, or scraping up excess dough when done making my mess. It’s got measurements ticked off on it up to 6 inches, and I use this thing a lot when I want to measure dough quickly.
Plus, one reviewer pointed out that it’s handy for fighting ninjas. Always a plus.
The Oxo Pastry Scraper is $6.99.
Peanut Butter Mixer
You heard me. Peanut. Butter. Mixer. I thought these were just gimmicky, but reviews on Amazon imply otherwise. You’d think this wavy metal dealy was the second coming of Saint Peanutbutter, the way they sing its praises.
If you like natural peanut butter, like I do…
If you hate stirring natural peanut butter, like I do…
P.S. I want one.
The Witmer Peanut Butter Mixer is $8.43 at Amazon as of this writing.
Every kitchen needs a set of kitchen shears. You don’t want to get your nice scissors all gross in food, do you? I love this thing.
It’s the Swiss army knife of kitchen shears. It’s got a screwdriver, a bottle opener, a sort of jar opener, and one of the blades is great for opening boxes. The blades come apart, making them easy to clean — and they’re easy to put back together.
I cheated a teeny bit — most of these on Amazon are about $11. However, this seller has these Chicago Cutlery Kitchen Shears for only $4.99! I’ve also seen them for about 5 bucks at kitchen stores, but even at 11 dollars they’re a great deal.
French Rolling Pin
Okay, this another thing on my wish list. French rolling pins — basically, a dowel with tapered edges — are supposed to be the bomb. Reviewers say a french rolling pin makes it easy to roll round dough, such as pie crusts, pizza crusts, and tortillas, perfectly round without getting it too thin. I like.
This French rolling pin is $6.99 at Amazon.
Instant Read Thermometer
Does your bread recipe tell you to bake “until the interior temperature is 160°F”? (I’m looking at you, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.)
Or if you’re a carnivore, you’re always being asked to stick meats with thermometers to take their temperatures.
There are loads of fancy digital thermometers out now. This is not one of them. It’s analog, and small and pointy, and it does the job, right quick too. I like it. It gets stuck into the belly of lots of loaves of bread. The awesome thing about it is the size. It’s the same dimensions as a very skinny pen when in its little case.
The Taylor Classic Instant-Read Pocket Thermometer is running about $4.72.
BIG Pizza Wheel
My own pizza cutter is from Pampered Chef, but this one is identical, and the same idea: bigger is better. You don’t want some small-circumference pizza cutter, nope! Smaller ones are awkward to use. This one’s 4 inches wide, baby — nice and big.
We don’t do double entendres here, so you can go wash your mind out with soap right now.
The SoftWorks Pizza Wheel is $7.99 at Amazon.
There. I love most of the things on that list. What cheap kitchen gadgets do you like?
I didn’t take my own pictures this time. All images courtesy of Amazon.