We've rounded-up some of the best kitchen equipment costing less than £20, proving that you can still have all the high quality tools you need without breaking the bank.
OXO Good Grips hand-held spiralizer
A hand-held version of the popular spiralizer keeps costs down in comparison to the stand versions and is great for storage space. We're big fans of OXO Good Grips and this inexpensive contraption would convert the most hardened of spiralizer sceptics. The twist action makes light work of courgettes, and the spiked pad prevents finger injury as you get close to the nub of your vegetable. Harder vegetables take much longer to feed through than they would on a stand spiralizer, but when you're dealing with something that washes easily and has a tiny kitchen footprint, who cares? (£15.50) Available from OXO.
Wilko five-piece stainless steel saucepan set
For the price you pay, you really can’t beat these perfect pots. They do discolour slightly on a gas flame, but it's never a problem. They heat up extremely well and the long tapered design of the handles keeps them well away from any heat source. The set consists of three lidded pans, a milk pan – that heats soup in less that five minutes – and a sauté pan. They are very lightweight so if heaviness is an issue, these would make a great buy. An essential piece of kit for any kitchen, it just so happens these work if you're on a tight budget as well. (£22) Available from Wilko.
Electric can opener
This opener takes up more space than a hand-held version but it cuts consistently well, is easy to use whether left- or right-handed and is ideal for those who struggle with manual openers. It also comes with an integrated knife sharpener and bottle opener too, saving you a bit of money and space in the long run. Standing at 23.5cm tall, this electric opener will hold cans up to 1.2kg. To operate, you hold the can just under a metal guide pin and gently press down a lever to start the motor. The machine then works hands-free, holding the can with a magnet and rotating it as it cuts. Once the lid is separated, the machine stops automatically then holds onto the can and lid until you release the lever. (£16.99) Available from Argos.
Innovative meat thermometer
This is a basic but functional bit of kit that will monitor the temperature of the meat throughout cooking. You can set the alarm to go off at a target temperature and there’s a timer that’ll run simultaneously which is useful when coordinating your cooking. The thermometer doesn’t give selections for different meats so you need to have this information to hand. If you're looking to fill your kitchen on a tight budget, this should be on the list. (£15.99) Available from Lakeland.
Stylish marble rolling pin
Masterclass quarry marble pin and stand
With marble being said to be better for working with cold pastry dough, as well as being the latest eye-catching trend in the kitchen, you can find yourself paying through the roof for any marble pin. Of all the rolling pins we tried, this one felt lightest and would therefore be suitable for use with more delicate pastry. It also has rounded ends that prevent marks being left in the soft dough. It comes with a 20-year guarantee and is dishwasher-safe so it’s a good investment for your kitchen kit. (£18.50) Available from Tesco.
Versatile baking tray
No longer are baking sheets just used for baking. If you invest in a good one, you can use yours for a variety of oven cooking and we were very intrigued to see how this thin tray would perform in our test kitchen. The double layer creates a pocket of air to heat evenly, which is good for convection ovens that have hot spots. The sandwich biscuits we made had a lovely, even bake underneath, across the whole batch. They slid off the tray without any encouragement. (£10.99) Available from Cake-Stuff.
Tupperware is an essential in every kitchen, however, the more you need to buy, the pricier they can be, so we suggest buying a multi-pack. As the name suggests, these containers stack on top of each other for easy storage. The boxes are microwave-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe with lids that are easy to remove and replace. These containers are not leak-resistant so would only be recommended for use as a storage solution for solid food. At less than a pound a piece, you can't go wrong with this purchase. (£9.79) Available from Lakeland.
Not something you'd expect to get for under 20 quid, this efficient steamer performed well in our cooking speed tests and produced evenly cooked fluffy rice. The variable-sized baskets stack neatly inside one another for storage. This simple machine has all the most important features, including a clear water indicator, waterspout for topping up, boil-dry cut-out and timer. The instructions aren’t the most extensive but they offer good advice on timings for different foods and tips for steaming with more than one basket. The baskets are not dishwasher safe but the steamer is easy to clean and assemble. (£18.00) Available from Tesco.
James Martin 20cm cook's knife
This well priced cook’s knife has been exclusively designed by chef and TV personality James Martin. In our tests we thought there was a good weight to this, making it feel solid and well balanced for chopping and slicing, with a good edge to the Molybdenum steel blade. The black handle is made from an anti-slip moulded compound. Also available with a 15cm blade. (£13.00) Available from Milly's Kitchen Store.
More product reviews
Have a thrifty bit of foodie kit you can't live without? Leave a comment below...