Looking to invest in a gadget that will change the way you cook without costing the earth? We’ve picked some of our favourite products that cost £20 or less. These genius purchases have been selected from our tried-and-tested product reviews, written by BBC Good Food experts to bring you the cream of the kitchen crop.
Read on to discover eight affordable buys for key kitchen jobs. For more, read our buyer’s guides to 8 gadgets to save you money in the kitchen plus the ultimate list of 30 kitchen essentials every cook needs.
The best kitchen gadgets that cost £20 and under
MasterClass baking sheet
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 sheet would perform in our test kitchen. The double layer creates a pocket of air that helps the sheet heat evenly, which is good for use in convection ovens that have hot spots. The sandwich biscuits we made had a lovely, even bake across the whole batch. Plus, they slid off the sheet without any encouragement.
OXO Good Grips hand-held spiralizer
A hand-held version of the popular spiralizer keeps costs down (in comparison to 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 helps prevent finger injury as you get close to the end of the 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?
They come in at just over £20, but for the price you pay, you really can’t beat these perfect pots. They do discolour slightly on a gas flame, but it’s not 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 (it heats soup in less than five minutes) and sauté pan. They’re 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.
Kenwood electric can opener CO600
Time-saving electric can opener
This opener takes up more space than a hand-held version, but it cuts consistently well, is easy to use both 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, 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.
Terraillon Thermo Chef measuring fork digital meat thermometer
Affordable digital thermometer
This meat thermometer doubles up as a big fork, with the temperature reading and control buttons set in the handle. Take the temperature, then use it to keep the meat steady as you carve your joint. This is a big, solid, no-nonsense thermometer that performed well in accuracy tests. The prongs are long so it is best on a very meaty joint rather than an individual chicken portion.
Masterclass quarry marble pin and stand
Stylish marble rolling pin
Marble is often better to use with cold pastry dough, as it stays cooler than other materials and won’t melt the butter or fat, softening the dough. It’s also the latest eye-catching kitchen trend, and 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 soft dough. It comes with a 20-year guarantee and is dishwasher-safe, so it’s a good investment for your kitchen kit.
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. The 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.
Lékué microwaveable rice cooker
Microwavable rice cooker
If space in your kitchen is limited, a microwave rice cooker is a good alternative to a bulky electric version. This model is large enough to cook four servings of rice and can also be used to make couscous, quinoa and other grains. After a few attempts, the finished results were very good. The stylishly designed cooking bowl can be taken straight to the table to serve, and has a double-layered wall to keep the rice warm at the table.
Kitchen Devils Control cook’s knife
Not the weightiest knife in the block, but in the under £10 category, it was the sharpest and most comfortable to use. Our testers particularly liked the finger stop at the end of the handle that fits the first finger almost like a trigger. Sharp enough to carry out all our tasks and flexible enough to make it multi-purpose, we thought this a great first time knife for a rookie cook who can upgrade in time.
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This review was last updated in July 2020. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a thrifty bit of foodie kit you can’t live without? Leave a comment below.