Perfect For: family and friends who love sushi but can’t afford Japanese restaurants every night of the week
Making sushi ain’t easy. Yes, no matter how easy those how-to YouTube videos make it appear. The Sushezi, a plastic extrusion sleeve styled to look like a mini-bazooka, changes that. To use, simply split the tube in half, remove the plunger, and bundle up the ingredients (yes, you can put whatever the heck you want) in a pile. Then, put back the plunger at the end, close up the bazooka to press everything into a perfect roll, and push the plunger to send the tightly-pressed load onto a nori sheet. From there, you simply roll the wrap, slice the whole thing into bite-size pieces and enjoy.
2. Rice Cube $19.99
Perfect For: people who like fancy finger food
I have really warmed up to sushi in a last few years. If you don’t like sushi much, you can actually even get creative with these rice cubes and make some bite-sized appetizers with tasty toppings mixed in. I doubt anyone will be able to resist those. That’s exactly what the Rice Cube makes, which presses rice mixed with other ingredients into perfectly-shaped cubes that you can pop straight into your mouth. Even better, it’s not restricted to pressing sticky sushi rice. You can use it with any rice, along with other food. Think cheese cubes, potato cubes (you’ll have to boil it first, of course), and anything else with similar consistencies.
Perfect For: monkeys(?), people on a banana diet (hey, I heard it works)
I have to admit: a banana slicer sounded like too much of an unnecessary thing. But what if, instead of spending a minute cutting banana slices with a knife, you can get the same results in literally two seconds? That’s exactly what the Bananza allows. Plus, it’s safe (dull stainless steel blades), clean (you can slice directly into a bowl of ice cream) and effortless (just insert the banana and squeeze), making it easy to use even for kids.
Perfect For: dudes who can’t skin a pineapple if their life depended on it, people who don’t like pineapple-in-a-can
Want to make pineapple rings? Easy enough — just peel off the skin and work a little knife magic. Yeah, it’s the magic part that always gets you, though. Well, this clever tool provides the magic all on its own. To use, simply slice along the top of the fruit, insert the stainless steel end of the contraption, and drill it in. A ratcheting handle allows simple operation for both left- and right-handed users, letting you core a pineapple in mere minutes.
5. OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer $9.99
Perfect For: health nuts, fruit fiends
Avocados are a great way to add healthy fat, valuable nutrients, and plenty of fiber to your diet. Encourage friends to partake in the healthy produce with this 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, which you can use to split, pit, and slice the flavor-packed fruit. The cleverly-designed slicer will not just cut the flesh in long, even slices — it will do that while automatically parting it from the skin, too.
6. Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker $24
Perfect For: single people, college kids in dorms
An all-in-one device for making breakfast sandwiches, the Breakfast Sandwich Maker will toast your bread, cook your eggs, and heat your cold cuts in one go, letting you quickly prepare a filling breakfast sandwich using just a single appliance. Simply put one slice of the bread on the bottom toaster slot, lay the cold cut on top for heating, crack an egg straight on the griddle, and top everything off with the other half of the bread. Then, press a button and wait for the whole thing to finish. Seriously, this will make a great gift for dorm-dwellers and city folks who rush through breakfast every morning.
7. Amco Rub-Away Bar $7
Perfect For: that family member with the smelly hands during family reunions
Onion and garlic are cooking staples you likely work with in every meal. Quite simply, kitchens around the world can’t live without them. Neither onion nor garlic, however, leave the nicest smell on your fingers. The Amco Rub-Away Bar is designed to remove those odors off your hands — no more need for soap or repeated washing. Even better, it should remove any odor that lingers on your skin, so you can use it after preparing fish, eating blue crabs, or handling some noxious cheese the neighbors sent over.
8. Herb Scissors $9.95
Perfect For: discerning cooks who use a cornucopia of herbs and spices, home gardeners
If you spend any amount of time in the kitchen, it won’t be long before chopping, slicing and mincing feel like the most natural things — they’re just something you’ll have to do over and over. The Herb Scissors is a time-saving contraption that will do the same thing, using five shear blades to chop green onions, chives, and any of the produce from your wall-mounted herb garden in a fraction of the time. Plus, you can use it like a regular pair of scissors, allowing you to do all the chopping straight into a bowl or a pot.
Perfect For: dudes who want to tear meats violently
Want to carve, shred, and tear through large mounds of meat like a hungry bear in the woods? No? Well, we’ll bet there’s a man in your life who does. These Bear Paw Meat Handler Forks are the tool for enabling that, letting you make quick work of any meat-mauling duties using six sharp claws. It’s made from hard, durable plastic, too, so you can use it to lift steaks offf the grill without getting burned.
10. Norpro EZ Jalapeno Corer $7.23
Perfect For: pepper-mongering hot food addicts
This is one of those kitchen tools that the recepient isn’t likely to use a whole lot of times. Those nights they decide to make stuffed peppers, though, they’ll be so thankful they had a thoughtful friend who got them this contraption, which uses a stainless steel blade with serrated edges to cleanly remove a jalapeno’s core and seeds in no time.
11. Trudeau Toss and Chop Salad Tongs $15.58
Perfect For: light eaters, people on a diet
First, you chop your vegetables, then you throw them in a bowl, tossing everything till they’re mixed just right. The Trudeau Toss and Chop Salad Tongs let you do everything right on the bowl, cutting up your greens with its scissor mechanism and mixing them right on the same container. It features soft-grip handles, along with stainless steel blades and micro-serrated edges designed to never damage the bowl.
12. Victorio Apple and Potato Peeler $23.14
Perfect For: men who only want manly gadgets in their… uhm… man-kitchen
Sure, it looks like a tool that belongs in a craftsman’s workshop more than it does in a kitchen, but this Apple and Potato Peeler can make peeling, slicing and even coring duties a whole lot easier. A few turns of the handle will get your apples ready in a jiffy; for the potato, simply remove the coring blade and do the same thing to peel. Construction is enamel-coated cast-iron with stainless steel blades, so it can last as long as your beloved workhorse tools in the toolbox, too.
13. Chef’n StemGem $6.76
Perfect For: people who don’t eat strawberries like they do in the movies (i.e. nib at it from the bottom while holding the stem)
This tool lets you hull strawberries effortlessly, pulling out the stem while keeping the entire fruit intact. It uses a clever claw design that you inject at the top of strawberry, then clamp once inside to take the full stem without damaging the actual fruit. Even better, it can also be used to quickly core tomatoes and similar small, soft fruits.
14. Food Huggers $19/set of four
Perfect For: conservative cooks, frugal moms
Sometimes, you just need to use half an onion or want to eat half an orange. Problem is, the remaining half is going to end up spoiling if you don’t finish it all up soon. Food Huggers is a set of silicone caps that cover the exposed part of the produce, sealing it in tightly, locking freshness, and keeping odor from escaping around the room. It comes in four sizes for accommodating different types of fruits and vegetables, so you can use it for tons of stuff in the kitchen, including onions, tomatoes, apples, and more.
15. Brieftons Spiral Slicer $23.50
Perfect For: raw foodists, healthy eaters
One of my favorite kitchen toys, this device lets you slice any vegetable into spaghetti-like strips, offering a whole new world of cooking and presentation options for carrots, turnips, cucumbers and other firm vegetables. To use, simply insert the vegetable onto the opening and start twisting like you do with a pencil sharpener. With high-quality first-grade plastic and stainless steel construction, along with a slew of super-sharp Japanese blades, this is quite a great value for the price.
16. Joseph Joseph Food Station $20.36
Perfect For: people who cook for large families
Sometimes, all the food you’re preparing just won’t fit in a single chopping board. And while you can use plates and bowls to switch stuff to and from the board, we have a feeling these Food Stations will work a whole lot better. This set consists of a glass chopping board and three color-coded chopping mats that can be attached to the main board during storage. Basically, lay down the board and mats around the counter, put the different food items down, and each one gets their own dedicated chopping area. The glass board also doubles as a trivet, able to withstand temperatures of 530 degrees F.
17. Tovolo Silicone Vegetable Steamer $15.99
Perfect For: healthy eaters
This contraption combines a steamer and a serving tray in one. Lay down your vegetables on the 10-inch silicone surface, put it on the pot, and use the interlocking handles to pick it up when the food is done. It features an elevated base to keep it from sitting too closely to the heat source, with the entire thing able to handle temperatures of up to 600 degrees F.
18. Joseph Joseph Square Colander $11.99
Perfect For: folks with cramped kitchens
This is, basically, like every other collander, except the entire thing is clad in a square shape. Why? So you can tuck it in a corner of the sink for efficient use of space. Plus, it’s got a vertical handle that reaches to the base, allowing the whole thing to stand freely, apart from facilitating easy pouring.
19. Bella Cucina Donut Maker $19.37
Perfect For: people not trying to lose weight
Yes, it’s a mini-donut factory sized to sit in the counter. It can work with any store-bought mix (just pour it in), cranking out up to seven round, holed sugary treats in mere minutes. Oh yeah, there’s no frying so it’s only half as nasty as regular donuts, too. At least, we think so (those don’t look healthy, lol).
20. Black Beauty Bottle Capper $15.90
Perfect For: home brewers, dads who don’t finish their beers and put them back in the fridge
This isn’t the gift to get the serious home brewer who sells a couple dozen cases to local bars every week. For the hobbyist who puts together a batch every now and then, however, this basic capper should do the trick. It comes with built-in magnets to hold the cap in place when crimping it to the bottle, as well as a design that works with any American bottle and cap.
21. Joseph Joseph Folding Collander $19.95
Perfect For: folks with overcrowded kitchens
Collanders aren’t the easiest thing to store. They don’t nestle well with other kitchen tools and take up quite a big chunk of room. Not the case with this Folding Collander, which allows for convenient kitchen storage by collapsing flat, letting you squeeze it into tight spaces in a drawer or closet. When put together, the collander’s twelve hinges lock tight, ensuring your food stays in the container even when you get a little rough washing vegetables in the sink.
22. Keebler Personal Pie Maker $18.99
Perfect For: everyone because everybody likes pie
Pies are awesome. You can put in fruits for dessert, meats for a filling snack, or whatever the heck you want if you’re feeling experimental. With slots for up to four personal pies (each one good for 3 to 5 bites), you can use this appliance to make three meat pies and one apple pie (or whatever sweet recipe you want) in one go to cook up a proper meal in minutes.
23. Silvermark Grater Tongs $8.93
Perfect For: everyone who pulls out the cheese grater at least once a day
Why get a pair of tongs when you can get one with a built-in grater for instantly garnishing any meal with cheese? This under-$10 Grater Tongs from Silvermark is a serious kitchen convenience, allowing you to cheat with a little cheese on the salad while saving you from another food prep tool to clean. It comes sporting both fine and coarse graters, with heavy-gauge stainless steel construction and snappy spring action.
24. Casabella Silicone Microegg $7.64
Perfect For: people who insist egg sandwiches need perfectly-shaped square eggs
Round eggs make perfect sense when you sandwich them inside round buns. But if you’re trapping them in square slices? Not so much. But how do you make square eggs? Apparently, by using this Silicone Microegg, which lets you cook a square-shapped egg in the microwave in just 60 seconds.
25. Dip Clips $9.38
Perfect For: people with a closet full of sauces, dips, and liquid seasonings
Know someone who never eats without an assortment of dips and sauces on hand? In my family, that happens to be me. And I can’t help but think these Dip Clips were made for me, allowing me to surround my plate with a selection of dips and sauces that follow anywhere I go. Each mini-bowl comes with capacity to hold a third of a cup — big enough to hold a good helping of stuff and small enough to let you cram half a dozen around the plate easily.