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Amazon has slowly but surely become the internet equivalent of Target. You show up for one thing but leave with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise that you never knew you needed in your life (and still probably don’t).
Shopping for cooking gadgets is no exception. Just last week, I was searching for chopsticks, and I ended up with a singing and floating pasta timer named Al Dente (No. 5 on this list). Did I need him? No. Do I regret my purchase? Absolutely not. In fact, it inspired me to do a deep dive into other bizarre devices that I may have overlooked and are worthy of a spot in my cart.
Check out 13 cooking tools that will raise eyebrows but may also inspire you to do even more cooking in the kitchen. They also make wonderful last-minute gifts for the foodie in your life who claims to have it all. (Spoiler alert: They don’t.)
What’s in the box?! Chopped, sliced and grated fruits and veggies, that’s what. This handy contraption literally does it all, making food prep a breeze so that you’re one step closer to summer abs and one step further from laborious knifework.
Finger Guards for Cutting, $8.99
Super sharp chef’s knives can be intimidating for any amateur cook. Eliminate the risk of slicing your fingers off (or at least ruining your perfect manicure) with these stainless steel guards that can also double as brass knuckles (if that cutting board wants to get into a fight).
Meet Al Dente, the floating and singing pasta timer that will actually belt out four Italian tunes when your noodles are ready. Perfectly cooked carbs, free music and lots of grated cheese (because that’s inevitably happening)? Well, that’s amore.
Sure, you could always take a standard pair of scissors to cut your way to rosemary, basil, parsley and chive bliss, but this five-blade tool is just so extra that it deserves a spot in your kitchen junk drawer.
Calling everyone who has turned their love of mezcal into a personality trait. If you like things smoky, this device will actually infuse the taste and smell of burnt wood chips into your favorite foods and drinks. Simply plate, cover, wait two to three minutes and voila! It’s almost like magic.
OTOTO Splatypus Jar Spatula, $16.95
The Splatypus earns an A+ for the name alone, but you’ll never find yourself ferociously scraping the bottoms and sides of a peanut jar again. Its long bill gets deep into corners and grooves so that nothing goes to waste, making this purchase both economical and eco-friendly.
Cuisinart Smashed Burger Press, $17.99
A smashed burger (especially with cheese in the middle) is a good burger, and if you’ve learned anything from the All That-sketch-turned-movie Good Burger, you don’t want a ginormous Mondo Burger that practically requires jaw surgery to consume. These handheld presses will eliminate this very real concern, so you’re welcome.
This looks more like a pocket-sized automobile from the future than a handheld garlic chopper. But wow, does it work. You’ll never have to worry about garlic-smelling hands again. Instead, focus entirely on your good breath with a mint or mouthwash after all the garlic you’ll be eating while using this (which will be a lot because it’s just too easy).
Before you label anyone who buys this as “lazy,” check yourself. People with conditions like arthritis have difficulty accomplishing tasks as simple as stirring. Plus, for busy cooks trying to do 10 things at once, this contraption is downright brilliant to prevent overcooking or separation.
2pcs Lemon Juice Sprayer, $9.99
Like perfume or cologne, sometimes a little spritz goes a long way. This can be said for lemon or orange juice to amp up your salad or even your barbecue. Enter the citrus juice sprayer: An elongated squirt nozzle that you simply insert into any juicy fruit for fresh liquid straight from the source.
Note: You’ll want to pretend this can take the place of pepper spray, but it won’t.
Slicing butter is pretty annoying. It never seems to be the right texture (either too hard or too soft) and can prove to be quite messy. The Butter Cutter is here to save the day with its simple butter-slicing technology. Add a pad or two to waffles, pancakes, toast or even a steak and enjoy grease-free dining (at least when it comes to your fingers).
Hats off to the Japanese sushi chefs that build maki and hand rolls into literal works of art. Most of us don’t have the same skills or finesse, so we rely on things like sushi bazookas as a shortcut. This tool may be a slap in the face to tradition, but as long as you’re investing in high-quality ingredients that honor what makes sushi so great, we’re sure anyone can make an exception.
If you enjoyed this story, check out Joey Skladany’s review of five celebrity chefs’ BBQ sauces!
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