As I’ve spent more time in the kitchen over the past few years, I’ve learned that one of the secrets to preparing healthy meals is having the right tools.

We can have the best of intentions in making healthy food, but if we don’t have the tools we need, food prep and cooking can become time-consuming and frustrating instead of quick and enjoyable.

Remember the show Inspector Gadget?

He had gadgets for just about everything! Fortunately, we don’t need to get super techy (or spend a ton of money) on lots of fancy gadgets to get the job done in the kitchen.

Here are 5 of our absolute favorite, must-have kitchen gadgets, some of which we use on a daily basis! Oh yeah, and did I mention they are all under $20?

Kitchen Gadgets

  1. AvoSaver: Tired of throwing away avocado halves that turn brown just hours after you’ve cut into them? If so, you’ll want to get one of these. The AvoSaver slows down the browning process, so your cut avocado half stays fresh longer! I bought mine at Harry & David, but you can get it on Amazon, too…for less than $10! I pop it in my lunchbox and have an avocado half ready to go as a salad topper at work.
  2. Rocker Garlic CrusherMy first attempt at using a garlic press was a bit of a fail and resulted in me spending about 10 minutes picking out the garlic pieces by hand. Frustrated, I went back to mincing with a knife but didn’t like how sticky the garlic would make my fingers. I stumbled upon this little gem in Sur la Table (=kitchen heaven). Just press the crusher onto a garlic clove, rock back and forth, and scoop out crushed garlic to use in your recipe! Invest in the stainless steel one ($15). We made the mistake of getting the plastic one the first time, and it snapped within a few months.
  3. OXO Good Grips Citrus Squeezer: We love lemons (and limes) and use lemon juice in recipes or mixed in with some warm water just about every day. Lemons have amazing health benefits, and this handy gadget quickly and easily gives us fresh lemon or lime juice without the hassle of picking out seeds. If you want another option, we bought this one for my dad for Christmas, and he has raved about it since!
  4. Rada Cutlery Chef’s Dicer: One of the misconceptions about cooking is that you have to spend lots of money on knives. Sure, if you have some extra cash to spend, it’s wise to invest in a good chef’s knife, but one of the greatest deals we’ve snagged in our kitchen is this dicing knife. We found out about it when we read The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferris (a highly recommended book!). We use it to chop everything from onions to sweet potatoes, and it does a fantastic job. For under $15, this is one knife you’ll want to add to your collection!
  5. OXO Good Grips Digital Instant Read Thermometer: I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve talked to who say, “I can’t cook chicken or fish. I always overcook it.” If you’re tired of cutting into that piece of chicken, steak or fish multiple times (thereby butchering it) to check for doneness, do yourself a favor and invest in a simple digital thermometer. We got one as a wedding gift and use it every time we cook meat or fish, and it works like a charm. No more overcooked salmon for us!

I’ll write about more of our favorite kitchen tools in future posts, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite kitchen gadgets?

Happy cooking!