Bad At Cooking? These Are The Cheap Must-Haves I Swear By Every Day

Super useful tools every cooking newbie needs (Photo: Amazon)
Super useful tools every cooking newbie needs (Photo: Amazon)

Super useful tools every cooking newbie needs (Photo: Amazon)

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, HuffPost UK may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

I remember the first time I ever tried to cook something other than toast. I had no idea what I was doing, my chopping was disastrous and everything ended up a little charred. It’s safe to say the dish was a mess (and so was I, for that matter). 

A few years on, I can safely say that I’m a confident (and fairly competent) cook, able to try my hand at most dishes. As part of my cooking journey, and in a bid to bolster and hone my cooking skills, I’ve tried and tested a hell of a lot of kitchen gadgets, tools and tech. And let me tell you, a lot of tools aren’t worth even trying. 

That being said, while some tools really aren’t worth the cost – all they do is clutter up your kitchen – others are total lifesavers that I literally couldn’t cook without. 

To give you an insight into the must-haves that really will enhance your cooking experience, I’ve rounded up a few game-changing best buys.

These easy peasy egg poachers
These easy peasy egg poachers

Amazon

These easy peasy egg poachers

For getting perfectly poached eggs every time, these food-grade, heat-proof silicone poaching pouches work a treat.

Get four from Amazon for £3.69

These silicone spatulas
These silicone spatulas

Amazon

These silicone spatulas

For cooking, my go-to tools are always silicone. They're easy to use, are heat-proof, non-stick, and are super versatile. Plus, unlike wooden cooking tools they don't absorb smells, which can totally ruin a dish. (I once mixed up brownie batter using a wooden spoon I'd previously used for curry and the end result was rather disappointing.)

Get the set from Amazon for £7.64 (was £8.99)

These handy measuring cups
These handy measuring cups

Amazon

These handy measuring cups

Kitchen scales are great but they can be fiddly and take up a lot of space, which is where these space-saving measuring cups come in. I have a set of these at home that I use day in, day out for almost every recipe.

Get the set from Amazon for £7.99

This handy herb stripper
This handy herb stripper

Amazon

This handy herb stripper

If you like to cook with fresh herbs, then this easy-to-use herb stripper – which also doubles as a dicer – is super useful to have.

Get it from Amazon for £5.99

These reusable silicone baking cases
These reusable silicone baking cases

Amazon

These reusable silicone baking cases

For baking cupcakes these are ideal, but it's not just sweet treats you can use these little cases for. They're also great for making bite sized pies and mini quiche cups, ideal for lunches or snacks.

Get 24 from Amazon for £5.08

This mini slow cooker
This mini slow cooker

Amazon

This mini slow cooker

For cooking from fresh every single day, a slow cooker is a must. This mini cooker serves two people and can be used to make all sorts of meals, from curries and stews to crumbles and cakes. All you have to do is throw the ingredients in, turn on, wait a few hours, and voilà, dinner is served.

Get it from Amazon for £14.99

This handy microwave pasta cooker
This handy microwave pasta cooker

Amazon

This handy microwave pasta cooker

Who knew you could microwave pasta? Well, it turns out you can, and this large capacity cooking pot works a total treat, making pasta cooking a hell of a lot quicker (and easier too).

Get it from Amazon for £12.11

These silicone food storage bags
These silicone food storage bags

Amazon

These silicone food storage bags

Whether you're storing leftover pasta sauce or microwaving your lunch, these food-grade silicone bags are ideal. They're both dishwasher and microwave-safe and are completely leak-proof.

Get two from Amazon for £12.99

This mini veg spiralizer
This mini veg spiralizer

Amazon

This mini veg spiralizer

If you're looking for a lower carb alternative to pasta, a sprializer can turn all of your favourite veggies into a delicious pasta alternative. (I have one of these and it is brilliant!)

Get it from Amazon for £4.99

This handy slicer
This handy slicer

Amazon

This handy slicer

For quicker and easier slicing, a mandolin can be super helpful. Whether you're chopping fries, grating carrot, or slicing cucumber, this ultra useful tool will make life a hell of a lot easier.

Get it from Amazon for £17.99 (was £24.99)

This multi-purpose bread making tool
This multi-purpose bread making tool

Amazon

This multi-purpose bread making tool

What I love about this silicone bread maker is that it can be used for the entirety of the bread making process, from mixing to baking. Honestly, this little tool is a game-changer when it comes to bread.

Get it from Amazon for £11.93

These leftover freezing cubes
These leftover freezing cubes

Amazon

These leftover freezing cubes

For storing leftovers, these silicone cubes (that come complete with lids) are fantastic. Simply pop any excess food into them, put the lid on, and freeze. Think of them like ice cube trays but for food.

Get two from Amazon for £35.95

These heat-proof silicone pan lids
These heat-proof silicone pan lids

Amazon

These heat-proof silicone pan lids

Whether you're using a milk pan or a wok, these reusable silicone lids are a total godsend. With five sizes, the lids should fit any pan – even a frying pan – which makes them a super useful buy.

Get the set from Amazon for £12.39

This easy-to-use oil dispensing brush
This easy-to-use oil dispensing brush

Amazon

This easy-to-use oil dispensing brush

When you're cooking, the last thing you want is to accidentally pour too much oil into the pan, which is where this handy little decanter brush comes in. It's also ideal for gently brushing the pan with oil to make sure every inch is coated.

Get it from Amazon for £9.99

These space-saving cooking mats
These space-saving cooking mats

Amazon

These space-saving cooking mats

I love that these hard-wearing, cut-proof mats can be easily slipped into even the smallest space. On a food hygiene note, the colour coding makes them super easy to work with.

Get the set from Amazon for £6.95 (was £7.49)

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

More HuffPost Shopping