Welcome to Cookware Week! We’re sharing our favorite cookware sets, accessories, and kitchen appliances, plus intel on how to care for all of it, the best recipes to make with every piece, and exclusive sales for Chowhound readers.
The internet is a seemingly endless source of fun, useful, random, and sometimes unnecessary accessories, both for the kitchen and every other area of your house. Some products will definitely leave you scratching your head and asking, “But, why would I need that?” However, there are an equal number of essential cookware accessories that are borderline life-changing.
Related Reading: Top 10 Tools for the Minimalist Kitchen
If you’ve ever been burned by a splatter of oil from your frying pan or cursed over caked-on particles in your favorite pot, you’ll love the following cookware accessories that solve common cooking woes. All of them are incredibly useful to have on hand, and they’re easy on the wallet, too.
Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer, $9.99 on Amazon
The pasta-draining process typically goes something like this: Use pot holders to pour the pasta and water into a colander. Jiggle to drain out any remaining water. Transfer pasta back into the pot. However, this snap-on strainer can save you a few steps, allowing you to quickly drain water out of your pasta pot without losing even one piece of penne. The silicone strainer clips right onto your favorite pots and pans, and its compact design is much easier to store than a full colander. Buy Now
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Steamer, $19.95 on Amazon
I’ll be honest: I often steam vegetables by perilously balancing a colander on top of a boiling pot of water. That said, this particular accessory would be a game-changer for me. A steamer basket makes it quicker and easier to get perfectly cooked side dishes, as it fits right into pots and pans. This one features a handle that retracts to accommodate pot lids while steaming, then you can pull it back up and lock it into place when it’s time to take your veggies out. There are even foldable feet to elevate the basket off the bottom of the pot, as well as a utensil slot in the handle that lets you lift it with a fork and keep your hands away from the steam. Buy Now
Polder Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer, $9.97 on Amazon
If you regularly make candy, jelly, or any type of fried food, you know how frustrating it is to constantly be dipping your thermometer into the mixture, waiting for it to register the temperature, then taking it out again so you can stir. Save yourself some hassle with a clip-on thermometer, which you can leave right on the edge of the pot. This one even has “temperature zones” printed right on the front, so you never have to double check the temperature for the “soft crack” stage again.Buy Now
Bellemain 13″ Splatter Screen, $10.95 on Amazon
Any time you cook in a frying pan, there’s potential for oil to splatter everywhere. Not only does this make a mess of your stovetop, but it hurts when you get caught by a flying speck of hot oil! For this reason, everyone should own a splatter screen like this one—these affordable accessories keep splatters in the pan while still letting steam escape from your food. Plus, it’s easy to clean thanks to its fine mesh. Buy Now
Yummy Sam Lid and Spoon Rest, $7.99 on Amazon
What do you do with a pot lid when you need to stir its contents? It’s an awkward situation—do you just hold it and stir one-handed? Put it down on the counter? When you have a combination lid and spoon rest, you’ll know exactly where to put a hot lid! This stainless steel holder is the ultimate cookware accessory, as it has spots for both a spoon and pot lid, helping to minimize mess during dinner prep. Simply rest that lid against the center support, and the grooved design will catch any water or other run-off, saving your counter. So smart!Buy Now
Hammered Round-Bottom Wok with Ring, $35.95 from Williams Sonoma
Woks are a round-bottom pan commonly used for Asian cuisine, and if you recently picked up one of these pieces of cookware, you might be wondering how, exactly, you’re supposed to cook with it on your stovetop. Won’t the round bottom just make it roll over? Not if you have a wok ring!
Wok rings, also called wok stands, are pieces of circular metal that allow you to use your wok on the stovetop. It serves as a resting place for your pan, and it’s an absolute must-have if you want to make stir-fries, soups, and other delicious dishes.
Evelots Felt Pan Scratch Protectors, 6 for $9.99 on Amazon
One of the cardinal rules of cookware care is that you’re not supposed to stack pots and pans. Doing so can lead to dings, dents, and scratches—and yet, many of us are forced to create teetering towers of cookware in order to save cabinet space. So if you absolutely must stack your pans, at least invest in a set of felt pan protectors. These flower-shaped discs will separate your cookware, preventing them from getting all scratched up.Buy Now
Fox Run Pink Pig Pot Clip, $6.72 on Amazon
If you tend to put your stirring spoon down in random places, then run around trying to find it when it’s time to stir the spaghetti sauce, you need this adorable pot clip. It’s shaped like a little pig (there are chicken and rooster options, too), and it pops right on the edge of your pan. You can then slip your spoon into its “mouth,” and it will hold the stirrer steady until you come back. You can even angle it so any drips land back in the pot. Buy Now
Neeshow Stainless Steel Double Boiler Insert, $7.99 on Amazon
If you’re melting chocolate or heating eggs for a hollandaise sauce, you’re probably going to need a double boiler, which sits over a pot of boiling water. Sure, you can just balance a heat-safe bowl over your pot, but this stainless steel double boiler insert costs less than $10 and will make your life so much easier. It fits perfectly over saucepans and smaller pots, and there’s even a little metal hook to keep the boiler in place. Buy Now
Le Creuset Stoneware Pie Bird Funnel, $12.95 on Amazon
These little gadgets go by many names—pie vent, pie whistle, pie funnel, or even pie chimney—but they all do the same job. A pie bird is a hollow ceramic tube that goes smack dab in the center of your pie, and it allows steam to escape from your dessert, preventing the contents from bubbling over and making a mess of your oven. It’s a must-have for any pie fanatic, and plus, pies look quite cute when there’s a little bird beak sticking out from the center. Buy Now
Lodge Pan Scrapers, $2.99 on Amazon
While they may look small and unassuming, these pan scrapers are no joke. Each of the polycarbonate scrapers has four different shaped corners, specially designed to help you clean your favorite cookware at the end of a particular messy night. They’ll scrape off cooked food without scratching the surface, and reviewers absolutely rave about how effective they are as a cleaning tool. The best part? They’re only $3!Buy Now
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