Things are heating up in the kitchen with this edition of Cheap Thrills! We talked to Louisville chefs and asked them to share their favorite cheap kitchen gadget under $20 – and where to snag them at the best price. From spoons to scales, there’s a clever kitchen tool for everyone — even all the novice chefs out there. Check out these 12 kitchen FINDS under $20.

12 Kitchen Gadgets Under $20

Mix ‘N Chop — $13

Mary Wheatley from Atlantic No. 5 loves Pampered Chef’s Mix ‘N Chop Utensil. “This tool puts the design on the top of our lemon butter cookies, but the real reason I love this gadget is to chop up whole tomatoes when making marinara sauce and chopping up ground meats for tacos, Bolognese and chili. I use it also for mashing avocados for guacamole or bananas for cakes, muffins or quick breads.”

kitchen finds
Mix ‘N Chop, $13, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Cast Iron Tortilla Press — $15.44

Lead Chef Mark Ford of Anoosh Bistro says, “My plancha is commonly referred to as a tortilla press but can be used for so much more! It is best used for flattening everything. I use mine for not only tortillas but for empanada dough, pierogi dough, calzones or hillbilly hand pies. You just chose your dough size, press it into a circle, fill it and cook.”

Tortilla press, $15.44, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here.

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Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife — $14.89

Chef Zachary Wolf, Corporate Executive Chef for Olé Hospitality Group, says a good paring knife is a game changer. “I can’t live without a good paring knife. I use them in a lot of different applications, especially scoring or trimming meat.” His favorite knife under $20 is Mercer Culinary’s Genesis Forged Paring Knife.

kitchen gadgets
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife, $14.89, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Gray Kunz Sauce Spoon XL — $15.90

Dallas McGarity, chef and owner of The Fat Lamb Modern Kitchen and Bar and Portage House can’t live without a great spoon! “My favorite item that is essential for my kitchen is the XL Grey Kunz Sauce Spoon from JB Prince. It is perfect for saucing plates, pan basting, turning things in saute pans and so many other things. It sounds crazy to say a spoon is an essential thing, but for me, this is a great multipurpose item that is just the right size for lots of applications, smaller than a wooden spoon and larger than a tablespoon.”

Gray Kunz Sauce Spoon XL, $15.90, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Accuweight 207 Digital Kitchen Multifunction Food Scale — $19.99

Eric Shaw, executive chef at Jack Fry’s, would be lost without his food scale. “It’s a great tool for writing savory recipes, like when we’re putting something on the menu and need to reproduce it consistently,” he says, adding, “It’s absolutely essential for baking and pastry.”

kitchen gadgets
Accuweight 207 Digital Kitchen Multifunction Food Scale, $19.99, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

KRUPS Electric Coffee Grinder — $15.96

Chef and co-owner of LUPO, Max Balliet, is head over heels for his coffee grinder. “I can’t live without my home coffee grinder! I use it for all of my spice grinding, and it’s essential for its small size and power.”

kitchen gadgets
KRUPS Electric Coffee Grinder, $15.96, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Ateco Bench Scraper — $14.04

Pastry chef Kimberly Beam of 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen says her kitchen essential is her bench scraper. “As a pastry chef, I cannot get through the workday without my bench scraper. The number one thing I use it for is cutting through bread dough and using it to portion out the various breads I make for the restaurant. Another great use for it is to frost wedding and birthday cakes to get those perfectly smooth edges. The ruler along the side of it allows me to measure and cut precise measurements on brownies, cakes, cheesecakes and various other desserts. I can go on all day about how this is a pastry chef’s best tool in the kitchen.”

kitchen gadgets
Ateco Bench Scraper, $14.04, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Microplane Premium Zester Grater — $14.48

This tool gets props from two local chefs for its usefulness. Chef Jeffery Dailey of Harvest loves the Microplane because it takes cheese to the next level. “Although they started out being a carpentry tool, Microplanes are used for grating cheese or spices, zesting citrus, shaving chocolate and anything else you might want. One of the best uses for the Microplane is using it to grate hard cheese. It turns a chunk of Parmesan into a soft pillow of cheese.” Chef and owner of Decca, Annie Pettry, also can’t live without the Microplane. She echoes Chef Jeffrey Dailey’s sentiments, saying it’s “great for adding pops of flavor to your dish! Use it to zest citrus, chocolate, ginger, garlic or Parmesan cheese.”

kitchen gadgets
Microplane Premium Zester Grater, $14.48, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

OXO Good Grips Cake Tester — $6.49

Chef de cuisine at The Brown Hotel, Dustin Willett, likes to make sure he serves his food at the perfect temperature. “I always have a cake tester when I am cooking, because they are a quick and convenient way to be sure you are serving food at the right temperature. They are great for testing the temperature of a steak, or any protein, without leaving a large hole from a meat thermometer and having the juice run out resulting in a dry product. It is simple: The warmer the metal on the cake tester, the more done the meat. With a little practice, you will be able to get the perfect medium rare every time!”

kitchen gadgets
OXO Good Grips Cake Tester, $6.49, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Curious Chef Kid-Safe Knives — $8.94

Chef Liz Martino of MESA Kids Cooking School, loves to work in the kitchen with her 5-year-old son. “I love this product because it allows me and my son to work side by side in the kitchen! Our students at MESA Kids use them as well and are developing skills now that are usually picked up much later down the road. They are safe and easy to use! I really think using kid-safe products like these give children a more authentic experience in the kitchen. Using knives is such a big responsibility that they exude pride and accomplishment when they truly have completed their dish from mise en place to plating!”

kitchen gadgets
Curious Chef kid-safe knives, $8.94, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

Swing-A-Way’s Adjustable Jar Opener — $12.99

Chef and co-owner of Atlantic No. 5 Rebecca Johnson chose a kitchen gadget with purpose and sentiment. “My parents gave this tool to me a couple of years ago for Christmas, and I haven’t had trouble opening a jar since. It is truly a miracle tool and a great gift for anyone — especially those who are hard to buy for!”

kitchen finds
Swing-A-Way’s adjustable jar opener, $12.99, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

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OXO Good Grips Y Peeler — $8.99

Executive Chef Brian Curry of Artesano Vino, Tapas, Y Mas says a good peeler is a must for fruit and veggie lovers. “I’m a big fruits-and-veggies guy. I have a nice source in my family’s garden, and I also make a point to visit a number of farmers markets. To make life much, much easier, a solid peeler is a must. The OXO Good Grips Peeler or something similar will go a long way to cutting down produce prep time.”

kitchen gadgets

OXO Good Grips Y Peeler, $8.99, at your local kitchen gadget shop or here

We hope you’re ready to put your cooking skills to the test with these chef-recommended kitchen gadgets!


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About the Author
Wesley Ware

Wesley is a local gal who enjoys having a glass of wine and watching Netflix.