15 Incredibly Specific Kitchen Gadgets You Didn't Know You Needed

Look into any kitchen in the country and you’re likely to find an assortment of utensils, small appliances, and gadgets that don’t serve much purpose beyond collecting dust. (Really, you probably don’t need those pewter corn cob holders.) But a fear of clutter shouldn’t dissuade you from picking up a few things that are not only unique but serve a practical and useful function in your home—even if it is incredibly specific. Check out 15 of the best gadgets you’ll be proud to show off.

1. Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer // $10

A Snap 'N Strain colander from Kitchen Gizmo is pictured

Kitchen Gizmo, Amazon

Straining pasta, vegetables, and other dinner fare from boiling water remains one of the more unpleasant tasks in the kitchen. Make life easier with the Snap ‘N Strain, a silicone strainer that works on any pot or bowl and allows you to drain liquid with one hand.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Whisk Wiper // $17

A woman uses a Whisk Wiper to clean pink frosting off a whisk.
Whisk Wiper, Amazon

One of the minor inconveniences of using a whisk is how difficult it is to clean afterward. The chore typically involves trying to isolate each individual loop with a sponge, usually with less-than-perfect results. The Whisk Wiper is a whisk that comes with a pre-fit wiper designed to nudge that last bit of batter off the utensil, preserving both your baking mix and your sanity.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Grate Plate Ceramic Grating Plate // $25

A Grate Plate ceramic grating plate

The Great Plate, The Grommet

Why grate over a plate when you can grate on a plate? This stubbed ceramic dish grates and collects your garlic, hard cheeses, ginger, and other goods. Choose one of five colors: blue, pearl, red, teal, or yellow.

Buy it: The Grommet

4. Flamekiss Egg Cooker Pan // $36

An egg cooker pan from Flamekiss cooks two sunny side up eggs

Flamekiss, Amazon

If you find yourself struggling to keep your poached or fried eggs separate, consider this partitioned pan from Flamekiss. The surface keeps your eggs divided into three perfectly round serving sizes.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Chef’N Emulstir 2.0 Salad Dressing Mixer // $15

A Chef'n Emulstir salad dressing mixer is pictured

Amore Kitchenware, Amazon

Prepackaged dressing too boring (or too unhealthy)? Mix up a specialty recipe with this handy mixer that stirs together oils and other ingredients. When you’re ready to pour, a few squeezes will emulsify the contents.

Buy it: Amazon

6. SCI Cuisine International Square Egg Press // $14

An SCI Cuisine Square Egg Press is pictured

SCI Scandicrafts, Amazon

Make your snack a conversation starter with this unique food modifier. Place a hot hard-boiled egg into the chamber and twist. As the egg cools, it will conform to the shape of the container and emerge as a square.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Fromaggio Cheesemaker // $299

A Fromaggio cheesemaker on a countertop

Fromaggio, Indiegogo

If you can stand a little delayed gratification, this innovative at-home cheesemaker—which is fully funded on Kickstarter and Indiegogo—could lead to a delicious outcome. The countertop appliance allows cheese enthusiasts to mix milk, cultures, and rennet, then heats the ingredients and separates the whey. It can produce cream, mozzarella, provolone, and even yogurt. The Fromaggio is expected to ship in March 2020.

Buy it: Indiegogo

8. Souper Cubes // $20

Stop struggling with bags of frozen soup and use these silicone trays that allow you to pour and freeze soups, stocks, or smoothies into 1-cup ice cubes that you can reheat later.

Buy it: Sur La Table

9. Erupting Volcano Microwave Cleaner // $12

An Erupting Volcano Microwave Cleaner is pictured

Souqu, Amazon

Stop contorting your body trying to get into all the crevices of your microwave. This volcanic assistant uses vinegar and water to steam off particles and odor by “erupting” inside. A quick wipe-down finishes the job.

Buy it: Amazon

10. OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer // $10

An OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer is pictured

OXO, Amazon

Trying to pierce the tough exterior of an avocado can sometimes require medical attention, with botched attempts connected with serious nerve and tendon injuries. To avoid gouged palms, try this safety utensil that uses a serrated edge to easily puncture the avocado. You can also pit and use the fan blade to slice your newly-cracked superfood into seven serving slices.

Buy it: Amazon

11. The Pomegranate Tool // $20

Seeding pomegranates can be a messy exercise. This helper allows you to place a halved pomegranate over a grid, cover it, then strike it with a heavy spoon to dislodge the seeds. All the shrapnel will be contained.

And if you're looking to make your other home fruit consumption even easier, Sur La Table also sells equally specific prep tools for kiwis, pineapples, and mangos.

Buy it: Sur La Table

12. Prepworks Progressive Onion Chopper // $17

A Prepworks Progressive Onion Chopper is pictured
Progressive, Amazon

Take some of the emotion out of preparing onions with this dicing assistant. Just place an onion section in the tray and close the lid. The portions fall into a 2-cup measuring container, no tears involved. It can be used to dice tomatoes or peppers, too.

Buy it: Amazon

13. American Bench Craft Cast Iron Handle Guards // $29

American Bench Craft Cast Iron Handle Guards are pictured

American Bench Craft, The Grommet

Cast-iron pans are a kitchen must, but their searing-hot handles and corners aren’t always a pleasure to grab. Keep your hands from sizzling with these classy leather guards.

Buy it: The Grommet

14. Automatic Pan Stirrer // $25

Stirring up dishes can be a nice way to zone out, but not if other kitchen tasks are taking up your attention. Enlist some artificial intelligence with this whisk that stirs itself. Just set the timer and watch it go.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

15. Turbo Pot Rapid Boil Pot // $56

A Turbo Pot Rapid Boil Pot is pictured

Turbo Pot, Amazon

Worse than watching paint dry? Waiting for water to slowly come to a boil. Speed up this glacial kitchen task with the 3.5-quart rapid-boil Turbo Pot, which uses aluminum fins at the base to rapidly conduct heat and bring water to a boil over a gas stove or open flame 30 to 50 percent quicker. (No electric stoves, sorry.) The company also makes a 2.2-quart saucepan ($46), an 8.1-quart stockpot ($76), and a 2.5-quart tea kettle ($59).

Buy it: Amazon or Walmart

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Celebrate the Holidays With a Harry Potter Sock Advent Calendar From Target

Target
Target

Harry Potter Advent calendars are becoming a new Christmas tradition among wizards and witches at heart. For the 2019 holiday season, LEGO is launching an Advent calendar set of Harry Potter minifigures, and Funko is releasing its own calendar themed around the Yule Ball. Now, Bustle reports that Target is getting in on the action with four new Advent calendars packed with Harry Potter-themed socks.

No matter what type of Harry Potter fan you are, there's a batch of socks for you in Target's line-up. If you're someone who gets assigned a different house every time you take a sorting hat quiz, go with the first Advent calendar. It includes socks in men sizes 6 through 12 emblazoned with the crests and colors of all four Hogwarts houses.

The other three packs feature women's socks with a somewhat random assortment of designs. You'll find footwear branded with iconic Harry Potter imagery, like Hedwig the owl, the golden Snitch, and the Hogwarts Express. Other socks bear quotes from the books and films, like "Mischief Managed" from the Marauder's Map and Hagrid's famous one-liner, "You're a wizard, Harry."

Every Harry Potter Advent calendar from Target comes with 15 pairs of socks, working out to just $1 a pair. If you'd like to start planning the holiday season early this year, you can order them today from Target.com. And to make the holidays even more magical, don't miss out on this Hogwarts castle tree topper that plays "Hedwig's Theme."

Harry Potter socks from Target.
Target

Harry Potter sock advent calendar.
Target

Harry Potter socks from Target.
Target

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

8 Fun Bookmarks to Keep Your Place

iStock
iStock

Why settle for a torn piece of paper or receipt when you can have something way more exciting? These bookmarks are for readers who want to add some extra whimsy to their reading routine.

1. Sprouts; $12.50

These ingenious silicone markers don’t work like normal bookmarks. Shaped like adorable sprouts, they fit inside your book and mark the exact line you’re at on the page. Because they’re made with a flexible material, you can close the book easily with the sprout inside and it will spring back to shape when you open the book again. The sprouts come in sets of six. For a little luck, check out the four-leaf clover iteration.

Find it: Amazon

2. Butterflies; $10


If you've ever wanted to have a real Disney princess moment, consider buying these bookmarks, which will make it look like butterflies have perched on your books. The set comes with 10 pieces in a variety of designs.

Find it: Amazon

3. Crocodile; $13

These clever placeholders create the illusion that a crocodile is lurking on top of your book. When you lift up this intimidating bookmark, it shows the reptile’s sharp teeth, warning others not to dare lose your place. (If mammals are more your style, there is also a hippo option.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Lamp; $13

Let this lamp-shaped bookmark illuminate where you left off. The lamp shape sits on top of the book while the yellow light-beam fits snuggly between the pages. It comes in three colors: white, red, and gray.

Find it: Amazon

5. Literary Feet; $24

Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and only her feet stuck out? You can recreate that iconic movie scene with a bookmark. Even better, the design isn’t restricted to just the witch: You can get all kinds of famous book character feet to stick out of your book. Just some of the literary legs available include Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a direwolf from A Song of Ice and Fire, and a magician from Harry Potter. There are also some non-book selections, like animals, ballerinas, and Yoda.

Find it: Amazon

6. Food; $30

Let some of your favorite food keep your place. The plush bookmarks feature a slice of pizza, ice cream, coffee, and an ice cream sandwich.

Find it: Amazon

7. Magnetic pals; $5

You’ll be even more motivated to read if you have a small buddy smiling at you from the side of your book. You can attach them to any place on the side of the page, so you know exactly where you are in the story.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pointers; $7

These bookmarks also mark the exact place in the book, but without the help of magnets. Instead, they come with stretchy loops that wrap around the entire book. A hand pointing can pinpoint the exact word, in case you’re the type that stops reading mid-sentence. They come in packs of three.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

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