Photo Credit: Amazon.com
We’ve all been there: tempted by the promises of those ubiquitous infomercials that showcase kitchen products guaranteed to make our lives easier. But how do we really know we won’t be wasting our money on the latest contraption? To save you time, money -- and precious space in your kitchen -- we tested loads of "as seen on TV" products and picked out the ones that actually work.
Amazon.comSure, you can spritz your grill down with chemical cleaners to get the schmutz off your grates, or you can use this clever tool, which works like a steamer to release baked-on grease and grime. There’s nothing to plug in: Just preheat your grill, fill the Grill Daddy with water, and start scrubbing. If only we could steam-clean everything in sight.
To buy: Grill Daddy, $22.60 at Amazon.com
Amazon.comTaco night gets seriously better with this cool little tool. As advertised, it almost magically breaks apart any ground meat—beef, chicken, turkey, even soy crumbles—as you cook, giving it that restaurant-quality texture with lots of surface area for browning. And based on online customer suggestions, we gave it a whirl as a guacamole chopper, and were equally impressed.
To buy: ChopStir, $7.02 at Amazon.com
Perfect Tortilla Pan
Amazon.comTaco salad bowls are so fantastically crunchy, but it’s frankly a pain to pull out the deep fryer and deal with quarts of oil for something that should be easy (and, um, should probably be healthy too). These pans get the same results with a little cooking spray and time in the oven. You get the same crunch with minimal cleanup and no lingering grease smell. Want to do mini taco bowls? Just weigh down smaller tortillas with a greased prep bowl.
To buy: Perfect Tortilla Pan, $10 at Amazon.com
Amazon.comThough you shouldn’t expect it to hold a candle to the mighty power of a Vitamix or BlendTec (i.e., you won’t be juicing your kale with this tool), the Magic Bullet is an affordable alternative to a small food processor or bowl insert in your behemoth food processor. It chops nuts, purees tomatoes, makes pesto and manages most small prep tasks with ease. (Oh yeah—it also makes a good pina colada!)
To buy: Magic Bullet, $49.96 at Amazon.com
Amazon.comOnce your roll of plastic wrap is secured inside the case, cleanly ripping off a strip of sticky plastic becomes a snap—literally. Its nifty design uses a cool spring mechanism to slice a sharp edge across the length of plastic wrap, cutting through the entire thing with a single press. The lifelong struggle with ragged edges is no more.
To buy: Wraptastic, $13.07 at Amazon.com
Amazon.comFor those of us with small hands, traditional kitchen mitts always seem like more trouble than they’re worth. They tend to feel more like catchers’ mitts than like helpful, flexible hand protectors. Sure, the Ove Glove insulates your tender skin from hot dishes, but its true genius lies in its five-fingered design. Finally, something we can actually grab with!
To buy: Ove Glove, $10.99 at Amazon.com
Amazon.comThese dorky-looking slippers could've walked straight out of a Saturday Night Live sketch, but they’ll work their way into any cook’s heart. The microfiber tentacles on the bottom of each slipper really do pick up tiny crumbs, dust, and even stray pet hairs as you walk around the kitchen. A quick swipe of the baseboards gets bigger “tumbleweeds,” and, truth be told, they can even sop up small water spills in a pinch.
To buy: Slipper Genie, $11.89 at Amazon.com