37 Kitchen Products You Should Have Bought Years Ago

Did you know the average American will spend more than 29,000 hours eating and drinking throughout the course of their life? (If you’re curious who keeps track of stuff like this, look no further than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.) In a 2020 survey, they determined that both men and women spend roughly an hour every day eating and drinking. Take that hour and multiply it by 365 days per year over an 80-year lifespan and you’ll come up with a shocking number that represents almost more than three years of your life. And, we’re not even talking about the time you spend slicing, dicing and prepping.

Once you know that, it’s pretty easy to explain why making investments in kitchen gadgets that simplify your life is a necessity. (Feel free to use that excuse, anyway, when your partner checks your credit card statement.) The kitchen gadgets below are going to benefit you greatly, so much so, in fact, that you’ll wonder why it took you so long to grab them. The Swedish dishcloths get high ratings for their absorbency; the herb garden will keep basil, thyme and cilantro always at your fingertips; and, that cold brew maker will keep a gallon of the good stuff at the ready. All you have to do? Get your trigger finger ready and click “Add To Cart.” Better days in the kitchen are just ahead!

You will love our editor’s curated product picks! FYI: We are an Amazon affiliate partner and may get a share of the sale of your purchase (at no cost to you).

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Let’s Dish

  via Amazon  

I know what you’re thinking: What do Swedish dishcloths do that non-Swedish dishcloths don’t? I’m glad you asked. Not only are they 20 times more absorbent than other dishcloths, but they’re also flexible (not stiff) when they’re dry and reusable more than 50 times. They’re also biodegradable so you can feel good about reducing your environmental footprint. And, at this price, you’re only spending $1 and some change on each one.

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Secure It With Safety Locks

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Kids have a way of getting in exactly what you don’t want them to; it’s like they have “don’t do that” radar. These magnetic safety locks require no drilling and no screws and disappear completely out of sight once installed. This set includes 12 locks, two keys and even sticky 3M tape that stands up to even the most persistent toddler.

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Put It In Lights

  via Amazon  

Do you have dark spaces or corners in your home that could use a bit more illumination? These LED light strips will add warm white light to any kitchen cabinet or shelf. It utilizes a hidden power button to easy on/off and extends for three feet with the use of sticky tape. My favorite feature is its wireless connectivity — no unsightly power cords!

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Nice To Meat You

  via Amazon  

I was today years old before I discovered that a meat thermometer can make all the difference in your cooking and before you judge me, I don’t know why it took me this long to figure it out, O.K.? This guy will read your food temps in as little as 2-3 seconds and has unlimited uses beyond just testing the temperature of meat. The built-in bottle opener is a nice added feature.

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Napkin Neatness

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Do you ever get tired of guests asking, “Where are your napkins?” Just me? I always have this issue of “the hidden napkin” when I’m at my parents’ house. Where do they keep them? Why are they hiding? Anyway, this farmhouse-style napkin holder keeps your napkins organized and in plain sight on your counter, kitchen island or dining room table.

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Stop The Splatters

  via Amazon  

A splatter screen is the weirdest-looking kitchen gadget you never knew you needed. Whether you’re frying bacon or chicken, simply place this over your pan to keep the grease from making a mess or popping onto your skin. This guy also doubles as a strainer, steamer or cooling rack, making it a marvelous multipurpose purchase.

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A Basting Beauty

  via Amazon  

Does your current basting brush have you down? Fibers getting into your food? This silicone option gets the job done whether you’re basting a slab of ribs or applying simple syrup to a cake. This purchase will net you a large basting brush and a smaller one so you’re always certain to have the right size for whatever cooking or baking project you’re attempting.

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Soak It Up Like A Sponge

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If you remember that napkin holder from a few products up, this sponge holder will look eerily similar. That’s because they’re designed to complement each other in your kitchen. This sponge holder is made of ceramic so it will withstand everyday use and it gives your wet sponge somewhere to hang out and dry. The farmhouse styling suits any decor.

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Handle The Hot Stuff With These Silicone Mitts

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I don’t understand exactly how a rubbery substance like silicone can protect your hands from heat, but here we are. This silicone oven mitt and pot holder set will be a big upgrade to those old hand-me-downs from your mom that you’re probably using. Each set includes two mitts and two pot holders in a variety of colors from neutral black to sunny yellow.

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Upgrade Your Spatulas – Stat

  via Amazon  

While we’re transitioning all your kitchen gear to silicone, don’t forget to grab a set of these silicone spatulas. This set of four withstands heat up to 480 degrees with no melting and no warping. You’ll get a large, small, spoon spatula and jar spatula, which is great for getting the last dregs of peanut butter out of the jar.

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A Magnetic Personality

  via Amazon  

Got a budding artist on your hands? How about a shopping list that’s out of control or a family schedule that everyone needs access to? These refrigerator magnets will give you a place to keep everything organized with a handy clip and super-strong magnetism. This set of 15 magnet clips can be used anywhere, of course, not just on your refrigerator.

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These Cutting Boards Will Change Your Cooking Game

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A cutting board is a cutting board … right? Well, yes and no. This three-piece cutting board set will handle all the usual tasks like chopping up veggies or dicing herbs for a recipe. These, however, also do a great job handling meat since they have built-in juice grooves that keep liquid from running all over your counter. This pack has small, medium and large sizes in one purchase.

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Grow Your Own Garden

  via Amazon  

One of my best purchases over the past year was a contraption I can use to grow my own herbs indoors. Now I have basil, thyme, cilantro and more at my fingertips anytime I need them — no more last-minute trips to the store. This herb garden will give you a good start on your own, whether you want to grow it indoors or out. It comes in a variety of options including herbs, exotic veggies, microgreens and superfoods.

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A Dry Storage “Do”

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It’s time to step up your pantry organization. You know it, I know it, the members of your household who can’t find anything know it. These dry storage containers are a dream for storing everything from flour, sugar and rice to nuts, beans, cereal and even pet food. This set clocks in at less than $30 and includes two minis, two smalls, two mediums and a tall container as well as chalkboard labels and a marker.

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Your Own Personal Caddy

  via Amazon  

Here’s the problem I have with kitchen utensils: By the time I have everything I need, I’ve taken up two kitchen drawers for storage, which eliminates storage for other things. This jumbo utensil holder is a stunning addition to your countertops in a goes-with-anything white that has a stainless steel accent. Go ahead and grab it and watch your kitchen storage really open up.

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Level Up With Cast Iron Cooking

  via Amazon  

Consider this not only a pitch to buy this pre-seasoned cast iron skillet but also an infomercial for cast iron cooking. I moved almost exclusively to cast iron cooking over the past year and I’ve never looked back. No more non-stick surfaces losing their “non-stick-ness” and I can move food from the stovetop to the oven and back again easily.

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Water You Waiting For?

  via Amazon  

How much water do you drink in a day? Don’t worry, I’m not going to report you to your doctor, but I suspect it’s a lot less than the experts recommend. This fruit infuser water bottle will get you excited about drinking water again in a convenient, portable package with an infuser insert that’s great for lemon, cucumber, mint or whatever else you can dream up.

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For The Love of Froth

  via Amazon  

Trust me when I say, after you buy a milk frother, you’re going to want to froth all the things. Cereal milk? Check. Half and half? Check. Bath water? O.K., maybe not so much. This milk frother is going to save you money in the long run because it’ll cut your coffee shop runs to a minimum. Hey, Starbucks, it’s not you, it’s me.

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Get Mixed Up

  via Amazon  

Mixing bowls are great for a variety of uses and mixing bowls with lids is even better. This set of five nested mixing bowls will come in handy for a variety of uses including marinating meat, baking, preparing salads and more. These are refrigerator- and freezer-safe and feature a wide, flat rim for easy and consistent pouring and a flat base to keep things stable.

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Keep Your Cool-ing Racks

I have impeccable timing. Why, you ask? Because I’m throwing these cooling racks into the mix right as we’re about to enter the holiday portion of the year. These are great with grid wire that will keep your cookies from getting mangled, but they’re also great to use in a pan to elevate your food away from fat and grease.

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Go With These Old-School Glass Bottles

  via Amazon  

I recently started creating sugar-free simple syrups at home that I can use for matcha, coffee and tea and these swing-top glass bottles would’ve been perfect if I hadn’t had one already on hand. This set of six is ideal for making your own syrups, kombucha, kefir, eggnog and more, and comes with six extra gaskets, labels and a marker.

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Pick Up This Pizza Paddle

  via Amazon  

Get in touch with your inner pizza maker with this pizza paddle. You don’t need a fancy pizza oven (although you can surely use it there if you have one), this pizza pal even works in a standard oven. You know what it’s like, you put the pizza in cold and then try to figure out how to remove it without ruining your toppings or burning yourself. This paddle has a folding handle that makes it simple to store.

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Cold Brew From The Comfort Of Home

  via Amazon  

What would life be like if I could have cold brew on tap all the time? I guess I’m about to find out since I had to grab one of these glass cold brew coffee makers as soon as I saw it. It has a custom mesh filter inside the jar where you add coffee grounds … and then wait. After 12-18 hours, you’ll have a gallon of the good stuff ready when you are. And hey, a gallon should last, oh, at least two days, right?

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Whip It – Whip It Real Good

You’ve probably seen chefs on televised cooking shows attempt to use one of these whipped cream dispensers, with or without a ton of success. Now, you can try it out at home for yourself. All you’ll need is 16 ounces of heavy cream. Everything else comes in this kit, including the dispenser itself and a variety of tips. Put homemade whipped cream on everything like you’re fancy, from lattes to fruit and more.

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Add A Dash Of Style To Your S&P

  via Amazon  

Here’s a third addition to our farmhouse chic decor, in the form of these darling salt and pepper shakers. Made of high-quality ceramic, this set is heat- and stain-resistant and also dishwasher-safe. You can even choose what to fill these with — from traditional salt and black pepper to sea salt and white pepper. This set is less than $13.

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The Best Board For Any Job

  via Amazon  

Charcuterie boards are all the rage right now, but most of the actual boards look so utilitarian. This olive wood cheese and serving board could be a piece of art in its own right, but you can definitely load it up to use as a functional display for meats, cheeses, fruits and more. I love the irregular shape of it, which the manufacturer says can vary due to natural wood formation.

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Pantry Perfection

One of my goals by the end of the year is to create a pantry that’s so organized I’ll be able to grab anything without rooting around through everything. My organization habit might include one of these over-the-door pantry organizers, which functions as a hanging pocket rack. It’s the perfect place to store frequently-used condiments or grab-and-go snacks for the little ones.

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A Meal Prep Must-Have

  via Amazon  

Meal prep? Leftovers? These glass storage containers with locking lids can tackle either with ease. Each container holds 32 ounces, which is perfect for freezing meals or for packing in your lunch to take to work. The airtight seal keeps your food fresh and avoids leaks. This purchase nets you a set of three so you’ll always have one handy when you need it.

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Measure Twice, Pour Once

You can never have too many sets of measuring cups, said my mom – probably. This heavy-gauge set made of mirror-polished stainless steel includes seven measuring capacities: ⅛ cup, ¼ cup, ⅓ cup, ½ cup, ⅔ cup, ¾ cup and 1 cup. Pour spouts make it easy to, well, pour, and when you’re not using them, they nest neatly in one stack.

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A “Kiss” Of French Press Coffee

  via Amazon  

People who swear by French press coffee would never be satisfied with anything less. “It just tastes better,” they’ll say. “There are no impurities,” they’ll add. This French press coffee maker will get you in their good graces by giving you complete control over the final product. This set also includes a milk frother, which is a great extra that’ll set you back around $10 by itself.

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Imagine The Pasta-bilities

  via Amazon  

Have you ever met a pasta snob? I’m talking about those people who wouldn’t dream of eating pasta that hadn’t been handmade. This pasta maker machine is a small countertop option that offers seven different thicknesses so you can tackle everything from spaghetti to fettuccine. Besides that, it just looks cool hanging out in your kitchen.

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Chopped Salad

  via Amazon  

I don’t like bagged salad. It seems to go bad more quickly and is obviously more expensive since you’re paying for convenience. But, chopping up a salad from scratch is a tedious task. This salad chopper relies on a rocking motion to quickly cut through your lettuce, cucumbers, onions and more, using two different blades to get the job done quickly.

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Ice, Ice Bucket, Baby

  via Amazon  

Picture this: You’re entertaining a few friends and co-workers and no fewer than 15 people are running their hands through the ice bucket in your freezer. Gross, right? This insulated ice bucket will give you luxury hotel vibes and offer a more sanitary way to chill drinks. It comes with a pair of tongs and a lid that has a nook to store them in.

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I’m A Little Teapot

  via Amazon  

Most teapots are made only for heating water or dropping teabags into. This glass teapot has a built-in mesh infuser so you can use loose tea. (Tea bags still work, too.) This teapot navigates between the stove, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher with ease and holds up to 33 ounces of liquid, which makes it a perfect addition to a tea party.

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Get A Good Seal On It

  via Amazon  

I’ve always stared longingly at vacuum sealers, but left with the same question: “What would I do with that thing?” Fast-forward to Christmas and a gifted sous vide contraption, which required — you guessed it — a vacuum sealer. This listing is for 100 quart-sized vacuum sealer bags, which is a great deal for less than $17. They come in other handy sizes, too.

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Yes, You Can

  via Amazon  

If you’re thinking about getting into canning, these 16-oz. Mason jars are for you. If you’re not at all interested in canning, but make things like overnight oats or participate in meal-prepping, these Mason jars are also for you. This is a set of four with regular mouths and includes both airtight lids and metal rings. The jars feature measurement marks up to 12 ounces.

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Sir Mix-A-Lot

  via Amazon  

If you’ve been thinking about getting into mixology, this 10-piece bartender set has everything you need (except the alcohol) to get started, housed in an eco-friendly bamboo stand. It includes a jigger, muddler, shaker, strainer and more so whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you can craft delicious cocktails. There are silver, copper and gold sets to choose from.

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