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!

Keep Your Pet Entertained While You’re Away With This Robotic Ball Toy

Cheerble
Cheerble

The ball is as simple as pet toys come, but even the classic design can be improved upon. Some of the hottest pet accessories on the market today are interactive toys, like Kong chew toys and other puzzle items with room for treats inside. Unlike those products, this ball doesn't cease being entertaining the moment your pet solves a puzzle. The Wicked Ball, currently raising money on Indiegogo, rolls, bounces, and holds your cat or dog's attention all on its own.

Though it looks like a regular ball, the Wicked Ball is actually a robotic toy. A motorized wheel propels the ball around your home, distracting your pet from any trouble it might get into when no one's looking. The gadget can be set to three modes: gentle, normal, and active. In addition to rolling, the ball also vibrates and bounces across the ground to keep things interesting for animals.

Dog with robotic ball toy.
Cheerble

The Wicked Ball is designed to be totally autonomous, so pet owners can rest easy leaving their pet alone with it at home. A built-in collision sensor helps make this possible by alerting the ball to incoming walls and objects so it can avoid getting stuck in tight places. The toys runs on a battery that charges via a USB cord. After charging for an hour, the Wicked Ball lasts for 100 minutes of continuous play. If your pet spends as much time chasing the ball as it does taking breaks, as is typical, the charge will last four hours. Even when it's shut off, a plug in the side of the toy can be filled with treats to keep pets occupied.

The toy is available in a colorful plastic shell for dogs and a gray wool coating for cats. You can purchase either version on Indiegogo for pledge of $34, with shipping estimated for August.

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!

Fuel Your Cold Brew Obsession With This Elegant, Efficient Coffee Maker

Brrrewer
Brrrewer

The sun is scorching, the days are endless, and the gentle clinking of ice cubes in a glass of cold brew coffee sounds like chimes at the gates of heaven itself.

A beverage so divine deserves to be created by a machine to match, right? Meet Brrrewer, a coffee maker that will provide you with the smoothest, sweetest, richest cold brew coffee you’ve ever had—and it’ll do it in just four hours.

Brrrewer uses the cold drip method to brew coffee in which coffee grounds are suspended between two microfilter membranes. Water is poured over the top membrane, then slowly filters through the coffee grounds and drips out from the bottom membrane. The top membrane ensures that the water is evenly distributed among the coffee grounds, and the bottom membrane allows only the water-turned-coffee to fall into the carafe below, without any of the gritty residue. (That gritty residue is often a result of the full immersion method, which is popular among those with French presses; basically, you just steep your coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours, strain out the grounds, and drink.)

The carafe is encased in a second layer of glass, providing thermal insulation and keeping your coffee cold for longer than a regular glass bottle or pitcher. And you can cross “coffee filters” off your shopping list—the microfilter membranes do that job already.

The Italy-based team at Essense designed Brrrewer with elegance and minimalism in mind, so it won’t throw off the aesthetic groove of your kitchen. In fact, it might enhance it. Also, it’s manufactured from a combination of borosilicate glass and BPA-free Tritan plastic; in other words, it’s extra-sturdy and environmentally friendly.

Mixologist Francesco Corona, five-time Italian “Coffee in Good Spirits” champion and world championship finalist, worked with Essense to develop special cocktail recipes for Brrrewer, which you can find in the paperback book, available on its own for $17 or with Brrrewer (the book and coffee maker combo is $78). Order Brrrewer by itself for $67 here, or see other purchase options from Kickstarter.

If four hours is more than you’re willing to wait for cold brew, check out Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System, which can make it in about 15 minutes.

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!

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