Most serious cooks will tell you that one of the most important tools of any home chef is a sharp knife. The problem: High-quality knives are expensive. Rather than swapping out all of your dull blades for pricey new replacements, opt for the PriorityChef Knife Sharpener. It has two slots that file and shine knives. First, pull the knife through the diamond-coated wheel about ten times to shape the angle of the blade. Then polish it off by sending it through the ceramic honing wheel, which works wonders on straight and serrated knives. Available on Amazon; $15.95.
Once you start sharpening your knives, you’ll want to make sure you have the NoCry Cut-Resistant Gloves. Made from a combination of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene, glass fibre, and Spandex, these gloves are resistant to cuts from sharp blades. While durable enough to protect your hands, they’re thin, flexible, and lightweight so they don’t get in the way while you're chopping and slicing. Available on Amazon; $10.99.
If you love eating avocados, embrace it—but be careful while slicing them. As the popularity of avocados has risen, so has the epidemic of avocado hand in ERs—that is, serious hand injuries incurred while cutting the green fruit. Avoid becoming another victim by employing the help of the OXO 3-In-1 Avocado Slicer. The serrated blade is sharp enough to cut through the peel, but won't cut through your skin. Pop out the pit with a slight twist of the wrist and then use the fan blade to cut seven even pieces. Available from Amazon; $9.99.
Silicone Baking Mat
You don’t have to worry about rummaging through the pantry for cooking spray or parchment paper when a late night cookie craving hits, if you own these silicone baking mats. The durable and flexible nonstick material keeps dough and batter from sticking, and it's easy to clean. Available from Amazon; $8.38.
Cherry pies, tarts, or cakes are divine when it's the high season for stone fruits, but if you're planning to bake sweet or tart cherries into your sweets, you'll need to pit them first. This small mechanism makes it quick and easy to remove the pits. It’s easy to grip and can accommodate even the larger variations of cherries like Bing and Rainier. Available on Amazon; $12.99.
If you’re like most home cooks, you want to streamline your cooking routine: Using fewer utensils and appliances means more space for cooking and faster cleanup. That’s what makes an immersion blender, like this Ultra-Stick 500 Hand Blender, such a helper in the kitchen. More convenient than a food processor or traditional blender, this magic wand can be placed directly into a pot of soup to blend it, a bowl of cooked potatoes to mash them, or a cup of fruit to whip it into a smoothie. Pretty slick! Available on Amazon; $29.98.
Cast Iron Cleaner
Cast iron skillets are a favorite kitchen item for many cooks, but when it comes to cleanup, some people miss the mark by using harsh detergents that damage their pans. While you can employ various hacks for cleaning a cast iron pan, you could also just use the Ringer, a patented chainmail scrubber with a cult following on Amazon. Using just hot water and the soft chainmail, you can scrub away cooking grime while preserving your pan's seasoning. Available on Amazon; $23.99.
A watched pot never boils and the same could be said for a stovetop kettle. The best way to get your cup of tea as soon as possible? An electric kettle. While the electric kettle is a staple in households around the world, American homes have been slow to include them—and we may be seriously missing out. Electric kettles, like this Hamilton Beach Glass Cordless Kettle, rapidly boils water even quicker than the microwave. It's convenient and has safety features for those who might be forgetful about leaving the kettle on unattended. Available from Target; $34.99.
Get the help you need for the home you want—sign up for the Bob Vila newsletter today!