10 Gadgets for Every Lazy Cook's Kitchen

Behind every beloved family recipe is a secret ingredient that makes the meal taste that much better—and usually that hidden X factor is time. Rush through making Grandma's marinara sauce or your dad's famous BBQ and you'll notice that it doesn't taste quite the same as when your loved ones spend hours in the kitchen laboring over a delicious dinner. While everyone likes a tasty meal, not all of us enjoy the time and effort it takes to prepare it. So if you're short on time or just don't enjoy the act of cooking, consider adding one of these gadgets to your kitchen to speed up cooking time and meal prep, simplify clean-up, and generally make you look like a star cook.

  1. Instant Pot

    Instant Pot

    It's the talk of the town: Cooks can't get over how quickly the Instant Pot enables you to pressure-cook everything from soups and stews to beans and risotto. True, pressure cookers aren't new, but whereas older models often proved unsafe or unreliable, the Instant Pot delivers on the promise of the technology. Plus, boasting seven functions in one, it's not only a pressure cooker. In addition to providing steaming, warming, and sautéing functions, the user-friendly, stainless steel-lined Instant Pot also operates as a slow cooker, rice cooker, and yogurt marker. Indeed, for fast, fresh, homemade meals, it's hard to imagine a more fully featured small appliance. Available at Amazon; $99.99. 


  2. Automatic Stirrer

    Automatic Pot Stirrer

    When you're cooking a big meal for family and friends and find yourself juggling several pots and pans all at once, don't you ever wish you had an extra pair of hands? An automatic stirrer like the Gourmia Stirrific may be the simple, ingenious answer to the common conundrum of being tied to the stovetop for long stretches of time. With dishwasher-safe blades and an ultra-quiet propeller, the Stirrific easily handles everything from hearty soups and sauces to thick stews and risottos, so you can put down the spoon and concentrate on other, more enjoyable cooking tasks—or on living your life outside the kitchen! Available at Amazon; $66.05.


  3. Hand-Powered Food Chopper

    Hand-Powered Food Chopper

    How much time do you spend chopping up fruit, vegetables, and other dinner ingredients? The annoying task of slicing and dicing wastes precious minutes and causes hand cramps to boot. Thankfully, the Chef'n VeggiChop Hand-Powered Food Chopper does the hard work for you. The gadget replaces a knife to cut up any ingredient, which comes in handy when making guacamole, pesto, hummus, and other recipes that require finely diced or puréed foods. To use, simply place your food in the container and pull the cord to activate the sharp chopping blades. Available on Amazon; $20.


  4. Palm Peeler

    Palm-Held Vegetable Peeler

    Many great dishes call for peeled potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, apples, and other fruits and veggies with tough peels. The common tool used to peel these foods is the standard vegetable peeler—but those tools can be awkward to hold and dangerous to use, thanks to the razor-sharp blades located centimeters away from your fingers. The Chef'n PalmPeeler offers and interesting alternative to the ordinary peeler. Once securely fastened to your finger, the gadget rests in the palm of your hand to let you shave any food with ease, with no risk of accidental slipping. The stainless steel blade is strong and durable, while the soft finger grips promise an additional level of comfort. Available on Amazon; $6.99.


  5. Electric Wine Bottle Opener

    Electric Wine Bottle Opener

    Have you ever found yourself with a bottle of wine that's particularly difficult to open? When that happens, twisting and tugging can result in a broken cork stuck halfway in the bottle. The Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener could eliminate that inconvenience forever. In just seconds, the rechargeable opener will uncork any bottle of vino. The integrated foil cutter easily removes the seal, then all you have to do is place the opener over the bottle and press a button. Voilá! The bottle is open—and you can reward yourself on your new gadget acquisition with a well-deserved glass of wine. Available on Amazon; $15.95.


  6. Divided Skillet

    Divided Skillet

    Whether you're charged with the task of cooking separate meals for picky eaters or you need to grill, sauté or fry different ingredients for the same meal, you'll probably have to use more than one pot or pan to do the job. Employing this divided skillet, however, will streamline cooking and declutter your stovetop. Three separate sections allow you to prepare different foods at the same time—or help healthy eaters manage their portion control. But the best reason to consider adopting this skillet into your kitchen may be its ability to reduce the number of dishes sitting in the kitchen sink. Available on Amazon; $45.99.


  7. T-Fal OptiGrill

    T-Fal OptiGrill

    This smart, sleek, and stainless steel appliance earns its space on any kitchen countertop by taking guesswork out of grilling. Whether you prefer zero pink or like your steak cooked rare, the T-Fal OptiGrill utilizes sensors to recognize the thickness of your cuts of meat and adjust its cooking time accordingly to achieve the perfect "doneness" you desire. Start with fresh or frozen foods, heat up the grill, and then wait for color coding and an audible beep to signal dinner time. After you cook up burgers, poultry, sandwich, sausage, red meat, fish, and more, remove the non-stick grill plates for cleanup that's as easy as the meal prep. Available on Amazon; $124.40


  8. Gravity Electric Pepper Grinder or Salt Mill

    Gravity Electric Pepper Grinder or Salt Mill

    Gone are the days where grinding fresh peppercorn or salt involved twisting action. Adjust the grind from medium to coarse, and then just tilt—yes, tilt!—the stainless steel canister for a blue LED light to flick on and your spices to grind automatically. Master multitaskers will appreciate how easy HomeKitchenStar's Premium Electric Pepper Grinders and Salt Mills are to use one-handed, while you stir or hold a plate with the other. The rest of us easygoing chefs will simply appreciate the ease and instant gratification. Available on Amazon; $29.77.


  9. Garbage Bag Bracket

    Garbage Bag Bracket

    You may have heard about this idea of the garbage bowl—a countertop container for the food waste you generate during meal prep. If you love the concept but can't squeeze yet another item onto your tiny countertop, consider a cabinet-mounted garbage bag. This garbage bag bracket slips over a standard-sized cabinet door and holds a small bag open for you to dispose of vegetable peels, crumbs, and other inedible leftovers. When you're finished with meal prep, remove the bracket from the cabinet and dispose of your produce scraps in the compost bin or toss the whole bag in the trash can. Available on Amazon; $6.50.


  10. Stovetop Burner Protectors

    Stovetop Burner Protectors

    Your stovetop is a combat zone of spills and messes—from little drips of spaghetti sauce to stray burnt-to-a-crisp kernels of popcorn that hide under your burners. Cut down on the mess and make cleanup easier by placing these fiberglass stovetop protectors under your gas burners. These removable and easy-to-clean add-ons catch spills before they become a baked-on memory of last night's meal. Available on Amazon; $7.99.


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