Stocking Your First Kitchen? SPY’s Top 50 Kitchen Tools, Appliances & Cookware Under $50
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Stocking your first kitchen as a grown-up is no small task, even if you really enjoy cooking. Once upon a time, a majority of young adults would get married shortly after coming of age, and as part of their wedding, they would receive all the Pyrex, cookware, serving tools and utensils necessary to host fancy dinner parties. Of course, now that many young people are delaying marriage — or skipping it entirely — the burden of collecting all the kitchen tools you need as an adult falls squarely on you and your wallet.
Decking out a kitchen with essential kitchen gadgets can get overwhelming quickly. From cookware sets to pressure cookers, cooking tools and dinnerware sets — acquiring everything you need to cook, eat and clean up after delicious meals can feel like a lot. Whether you’re on the hunt for baking sheets that won’t rust over no matter how often you use them or need cutting boards you can depend on, finding kitchen gadgets you trust is stressful, not to mention expensive.
Fortunately for you, SPY has a lot of experience hunting down affordable kitchen tools, and we have an entire list of especially affordable kitchen gadgets under $50. Now, we’re sharing that list with SPY readers. Over the years, we’ve shared tons of cool kitchen tools, from ladles that look like the Loch Ness monster to fun air fryer accessories.
We’re here to tell you there are plenty of budget-friendly options for every type of kitchen gadget you need as a grownup. We’ve gathered many of our top affordable but dependable kitchen essentials. Keep scrolling to find 50 kitchen tools under $50, because you can’t use your parent’s hand-me-down kitchen appliances forever.
1. Dash 2-Quart Compact Air Fryer
A good air fryer is a godsend in any kitchen, creating the option to have snack favorites from wings to fries, fast and with less oil. This small air fryer is perfect for small kitchens and can still easily fit a meal for one or a couple.Buy: Dash Compact Air Fryer $49.95
2. OXO Good Grips Egg Timer
Whether you like your eggs soft- or hard-boiled, it’s always a short trip from perfect to ruined. This gadget helps you make sure you have perfect eggs every time, whatever your desired level of doneness.
3. Magic Bullet Blender 11-Piece Set
This Magic Bullet set is the perfect personal blender available for less than $30. It comes with 11 different pieces including a base, smoothie cups and various lids. It can chop, mix, blend, grind and more, and comes with a 250-watt motor that’s great for blending all of your favorites.
4. Elite Gourmet Maxi-Matic 4-Slice Toaster
We don’t know about you, but we think toasters have gotten too fancy nowadays. No matter what, you shouldn’t be spending more than $50 on a toaster anyway, and this one from Elite Gourmet gets the job done for even less than that. It’s made with extra-wide toasting slots so all bread fits and has six different toasting levels to choose from. It has a reheat warming function for frozen goods like waffles and has a cancel button so you can release the toast at exactly the char level you prefer.
5. Hamilton Beach Programmable Coffee Maker
A coffee maker of some sort is another kitchen essential, and this one from Hamilton Beach has great reviews and a super affordable price tag. It’s got front-access water filling that makes the process easy and a swing-out brew basket that’s designed to be easier to fill than a top-load one. It’s programmable, so you can set your time and coffee strength in advance, brews between one to four cups at a time, and 12 cups total, making it perfect for small households and apartments.
Related: The Best Coffee Makers of 2022
6. Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Cold brew is the latest trendy coffeehouse option, and we can’t get enough of it. But it’s so easy and convenient to make it at home and have it on standby in the fridge. This cold brew coffee maker is a life changer. On top of that, this particular iced coffee maker is one of the most popular kitchen gadgets ever featured on SPY.com.Buy: Takeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker $24.98
7. HiCoup Wine Decanter
Wine is like a person. In the sense that it needs to breathe, that is. A wine decanter and aerator can make even a budget wine open up and be far more pleasing to the senses, and this decanter has enough room to aerate a whole bottle of wine. It won’t make a mess and it looks ultra fancy, too. Instant wine night upgrade.
8. Art3d 10-Sheet Peel and Stick Tile Backsplash
Cooking is fun, so is eating. Cleaning up, not so much. This tile backsplash is fun and appealing, but it is also an affordable and easy way to keep a kitchen neat and tidy. Peel-and-stick backsplashes are easy to install, and will be a godsend next time that Sunday sauce splatters.
9. Peugeot Paris u’Select 9-Inch Pepper Mill
It’s easy enough to buy a disposable pepper mill at a grocery store for a few bucks, but you’ll never get the same quality as a proper mill. This one has tons of great Amazon reviews, and will offer perfectly cracked peppercorns any time you are cooking. The stainless steel grinder has customizable settings for grinds that are coarse or fine, so feel free to adjust to your preferences each time you are preparing your next Instagram-worthy dish.Buy: Peugeot Paris u'Select 9-Inch Pepper Mill $45.12
10. Norpro Coffee Scoop with Bag Clip
We can’t even start the day without our first cup of coffee, and this tool makes it just so much easier. Use the scoop to measure out your grinds, and then clip your bag of beans to keep it fresh longer.Buy: Norpro Coffee Scoop with Bag Clip $8.06 (orig. $10.99) 27% OFF
11. Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner
Wait, you are supposed to clean your microwave? We’re kidding, of course, but the microwave sometimes gets seriously neglected between uses. This tool makes it way easier to clean and remove those gross food splatters. It works via steam, water and white vinegar. When you are done using this cleaner, just toss it in the dishwasher.
12. VoChill Personal Wine Chiller
Wine looks a lot of appeal if the temperature warms before we’re done enjoying it. This wine chiller maintains that ideal temperature for longer, and keeps those wines crisp and cool. Preserve the wine to preserve the wine experience.Buy: VoChill Personal Wine Chiller $44.99
13. oannao 14-Piece Silicone Cooking Utensils Set
Getting a utensil set like this one is a great way to cut down on costs while covering all your bases at the same time. It includes 14 of the most-used kitchen items from spatulas to spoons, whisks and tons, all for less than $30. All of the tools come with a heat-resistant wooden handle that’s made to withstand temperatures up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit and the silicone is food-grade, BPA-free and odorless.
14. Jamoon Silicone Cooking Utensils Set
This is another cooking utensil set that’s even bigger but is still available for less than $30. The silicone cooking utensils are built to withstand temperatures up to 446 degrees F, are heat-resistant, non-melting and odorless as well. This set includes everything from a pizza cutter to a ladle, a spatula, grill brush and cheese grater. It also comes in a container to store them all in that’ll look sleek on your kitchen counter.
15. Kaluns 24-Piece Kitchen Utensil Set
This kitchen set comes with almost every cooking tool you’ll need to get your kitchen started and is available for less than $20 total, a bargain. Each cooking tool is made from a combination of nylon and stainless steel and is heat-safe up to 350 F. Unique items in this set include measuring cups and spoons, a potato masher, can opener, vegetable peeler and — an absolute essential — an ice cream scooper.
16. Cuisinart 12-Piece Color Knife Set
This knife set from Cuisinart is not quite at the level of some of the higher-end knife sets made in Japan or Germany, but for a first apartment or college living situation, they’ll get the chopping done. They’re color-coated and come with blade guards for safekeeping. The stainless steel blades are super high-quality and each one has a nonstick coating on it for easy slicing. The color-coating can help avoid cross-contamination during meal prep and the set comes with a lifetime warranty.
17. Amazon Basics 14-Piece Kitchen Knife Set
If you’re looking for a more conventional knife set, this one from Amazon Basics comes with a pinewood block for storage and a sharpener as well. The knives have high-carbon, stainless-steel blades and triple-rivet POM handles so you get a secure grip each time. The set includes six 4.5-inch steak knives, a 3.5-inch peeling knife, a bread knife, a utility knife and a chef’s knife as well. It also comes with kitchen shears and a $25 price tag.
18. Gorilla Grip Oversized Cutting Board Set
These durable cutting boards come in a three-piece set of varying sizes and feature strong rubber borders and handles to avoid slipping and sliding on your countertop. They each have deep juice grooves to avoid spillage and make cleanup easier, and they’re double-sided so you can avoid flavor mingling as you prep. They’re all also dishwasher-safe and come in over 25 different colors.
19. Royal Craft Wood Bamboo Cutting Board Set
If you prefer wooden cutting boards but don’t want to spend a fortune, this three-piece set is made from bamboo and is available for less than $25 total. Each one has side handles so it can double as a serving trap/ charcuterie board if necessary, and the bamboo is a knife-friendly surface that won’t wear down the quality of your knives quickly. All of them have deep grooves for avoiding a mess while you’re cooking, and the wood is naturally water-resistant for easy cleanup.
20. Nutrichef Non-Stick Kitchen Baking Pans
Baking pans are another kitchen essential for baking bread, roasting vegetables and other common cooking tasks. This three-piece set comes with various sizes, all of which have been treated with a non-stick coating that’s PTFE/PFOA/PFOS-free. They’re made from durable carbon steel, are stain-resistant and dishwasher-safe as well.
21. FineDine Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6)
A good set of mixing bowls is very handy to have around, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of baking. This set of six includes a wide range of sizes, from 3/4-quart all the way up to eight quarts. The bowls are made from stainless steel with a mirror finish, and each one is made durable but lightweight. They’re ergonomically designed with wide rims and flat bases for easy maneuvering and they nest together to save space in storage.
22. New Star Foodservice Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons
This set from New Star Foodservice comes with measuring cups and spoons, and includes all the basic measurements you need for most recipes. The measuring cups include a 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup, and the spoons include 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon and 1/4 teaspoon. They’re engineered for precision and accuracy, and come ready for storage attached to a removable loop.
23. FinaMill Spice Grinder
We probably have a mill for our salt and pepper, and perhaps a grinder for our coffee beans. The FinaMill is genius in that it can grind all the spices in one cordless tool. Whether this is fresh peppercorns or nutmeg, everything is easy and fast with refillable spice pods. It’s convenient, easy to use, and doesn’t even take up much space.
24. Swedish Wholesale Swedish Dishcloths
These washable dish rags are amazing because they can be used on everything, from marble to stainless steel. Just wipe down spills and messes and then wash them when done. You can wash and reuse each cloth up to 50 times! That’s so much more eco-friendly than constantly buying paper towels.
25. The Original Popco Silicone Microwave Popcorn Popper with Handles
What is movie night without a big bowl of popcorn? This silicone microwave popcorn popper makes it easier than ever to make a batch of popcorn in the oven, no special appliance necessary. And thanks to the handles, you won’t burn yourself or risk dropping the bowl when you remove it after popping.
26. KIZEN Digital Meat Thermometer with Probe
A digital meat thermometer can be a godsend when preparing a beautiful cut of meat. You don’t want to cut into the meat and release its beautiful juices (which would also dry out the meat) but you also want to make sure it has reached its desired level of doneness. A thermometer with probe can help to monitor meat and still make sure you eat it as you enjoy it best.
27. Willow & Everett Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
You’ll never go for disposable salt and pepper shakers from the supermarket again when you upgrade to this sort of refillable salt and pepper grinder. Have fresh cracked pepper and salt every time you cook or present a dish. it’ll add to the flavor and modernize the presentation, plus a quality salt and pepper shaker means a lot less mess and spillage every time you are cooking.
27. FineDine 24-Piece Superior Glass Food Storage Containers Set
Food storage containers are useful for everything from storing leftovers and carrying lunch to work or school, to meal planning and batch cooking ahead of time. This set comes with 12 containers with 12 lids, at a variety of sizes, for all of your various storage needs.
28. Sky Solutions Anti Fatigue Mat
We’ve all been there. Whether we’re standing for an hour stirring a perfect pot of risotto or prepping and chopping a bunch of vegetables, after a while, our legs can get tired with all that standing in one place. This mat relieves tension and pressure, and improves posture and balance. All result in a far more pleasant cooking experience.
29. BergKoch Splatter Screen for Frying Pan
Hot spitting oil can be messy and dangerous, but a splatter screen can make all the difference. Use this splatter screen in the frying pan to keep that oil in the pan where it belongs, and then just toss it in the dishwasher when you are done.
30. HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set)
Cutting boards are essential for chopping and dicing all those veggies without scratching up the countertop. This 3-piece set can keep ingredients separate and the prep area neat and tidy.
31. Checkered Chef Baking Sheet with Wire Rack
A baking sheet with a wiring rack is a kitchen must, and serves the role of several gadgets in one. Whether using the rack to avoid drippage from pans or the sheet for baking cookies or sheet pan meals, this will be a set of tools that get tons of use.
32. HOMWE Silicone Oven Mitts and Potholders
Not all oven mitts are created equal, but the right set of oven mitts and pot holders can mean the difference between a dangerous burn or dropping a hot pot of food all over the floor when it gets too hot to handle. This set comes with two insulated silicone oven mitts and two silicone potholder trivets, meaning safety will be maintained no matter what is on the stove or the grill.
33. Checkered Chef Pizza Cutter
Pizza is just about everyone’s favorite food, but it can get pretty messy when we try to slice that pie. All too often, some of that cheese gets left behind in the mess. This pizza cutter keeps things neat and even, and none of the cheesy pepperoni goodness will be lost in the slicing.
34. Simply Gourmet Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
Measuring cups are an essential in baking and cooking, and these are durable and dishwasher safe. Keeping measurements exact are the first step in making sure all our recipes come out as we hope, each and every time.
35. Café Casa Milk Frother for Coffee
For anyone craving those cafe-quality fancy coffee beverages but don’t have the funds to constantly indulge, this milk frother can make those frothy cafe-style coffees at home quickly and easily. No pants or shoes required.
36. Hiware 48-Piece Stainless Steel Silverware Set
This silverware set comes with eight table settings of dinner forks, salad forks, dinner knives, steak knives, teaspoons and dinner spoons, all of which are made of stainless steel and come mirror polished. Getting an entire cutlery set for a large family or household for under $30 is a steal and proves you don’t need to spend a lot of money on kitchen supplies. All of the pieces have smooth edges, are rust-free, sturdy and are premium-quality at an affordable price.
37. Amazon Basics 18-Piece Kitchen Dinnerware Set
This dinnerware set comes with six full place settings complete with a large dinner plate, dessert plate and bowl, all of which are made with white porcelain and safe to use in the microwave, oven, freezer and dishwasher. All of them are solid white and come with a basic, elegant design.
38. Air Fryer Magnetic Cheat Sheet Set
Air fryers are truly a magical invention, but there’s a bit of a learning curve when first getting started with one. We spend a lot of time searching for temperatures and cooking times of various ingredients, and it can be pretty annoying at first. This cheat sheet makes it all so much easier though. Just place it on the fridge and reference it every time you get cooking.
39. Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Maker
The pour over hand brewing method looks very fancy but it’s actually pretty easy and user friendly, and will lead to way more flavorful coffee. Give your morning routine an upgrade.
40. Checkered Chef Meat Tenderizer Hammer
A good meat tenderizer is important for everything from pounding that tenderloin thin for chicken fried steak or prepping some pork chops, this mallet format will make it easier than ever before.
41. Paksh Wide-Mouth Glass Mason Jars
Mason jars are useful for everything from storing dressings and marinades to a to-go portion of your favorite overnight oats. With a set like this, you can have a bunch on hand for whenever the need arises.
42. Home Acre Designs Sponge Holder for Kitchen Sink
It’s important to keep a sponge clean and dry, and if it’s sitting in a puddle of water on your sink, that will not happen. This holder keeps things neat and tidy, and helps avoid the very real kitchen danger of cross-contamination.Buy: Checkered Chef Embossed Sponge Holder $14.99 (orig. $15.99) 6% OFF
43. Simply Gourmet Food Storage Containers for Kitchen Organization
Reliable and sturdy food storage containers are necessary if food is going to be kept fresh and clean and free of pests. These food storage containers come in a variety of sizes, good for everything from pasta to cereal, and even has markers and labels so it’s easy to know what’s inside. Add dates to the labels too so you know when something is fresh or maybe it is time to replace.
44. HiCoup Mortar and Pestle Set
What’s better than fresh-made guacamole? The answer is, obviously, nothing, and that’s why a mortar and pestle is a must-add to a home kitchen. This tool is also fantastic for grinding spice blends.
45. Coffee Gator Gooseneck Kettle with Thermometer
This classic kettle is ideal for the coffee purist in us all. But it’s also a good choice for simply boiling water for tea or cooking.
46. Heritage Pizza Stone
If you like to make homemade pizza, a pizza stone is going to be necessary. This one is safe to use in the oven or on the grill, leading to tons of possibilities.
47. Checkered Chef Mezzaluna Salad Chopper
We love those salad spots where salads are blended and chopped for us. But if we’re trying to recreate that salad at home, a salad chopper is a useful addition to our utensils. It’s easy to use and will make that chopped salad we love a reality any time we want it.
48. Nuvantee Pasta Maker Machine
We love pasta in all its forms, but there’s nothing like freshly homemade. With this pasta maker, we can quickly and easily make our own pasta at home. You won’t get more impressive than that at your next dinner party.
49. Green Bulldog Reusable Grocery Bags
We’re all trying to be kinder to the environment these days, and collecting tons of plastic bags does it no favors. These reusable grocery bags make shopping easier and more-eco friendly. Just stash a few in the trunk of your car, and they’ll always be there when you need them.
50. Bear Claws Meat Shredders
We couldn’t resist including one last kitchen tool, and we wanted to make it one of our all-time favorite Amazon finds. The Original Shredder claws let you make delicious shredded meat — and feel like a total badass in the process. This is also a great gift for impossible to shop for guys who love to cook or grill.Buy: Bear Claws Meat Shredders $12.99