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5 Tools for a more efficient kitchen

Karen Miner is the Food & Home Editor for SheKnows. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original recipes and stories. She and her h...

Make your life easier in the kitchen

We're always looking for ways to improve our efficiency in the kitchen. These tools will help you get organized, keep your necessities within reach and won’t break the bank. Best of all, you might even have some of them in the house already.

When you're slaving over a hot stove at the end of a long day, you don't want anything to slow you down. But not having the right tools at your fingertips can do just that. Gathering a few useful household items for the kitchen, along with keeping heavily used items like knives, spices and oils organized, will help get your meal on the table in record time.

Make cooking even easier with these six kitchen organization tips >>

Make your life easier in the kitchen

Squeeze bottles

Basic clear squeeze bottles with a screw-on, tapered nozzle are perfect for storing oils, vinegars or any other liquid that you use often. Keeping them by the stovetop makes things even easier; while your hands are full, there's no need to unscrew a cap or lid — just grab and squeeze. Since the plastic nozzle tips can be snipped to adjust the flow of liquid, these inexpensive bottles can also be used for precise placement of sauces on plates or detail work on desserts. Amazon

Make your life easier in the kitchen

Magnetic knife strip

Keep your knives organized and within reach of your prep area with a magnetic knife strip. This simple gadget gets mounted on a wall or cabinet side and allows you to choose a knife instantly, without having to rummage around in a drawer and risk being cut. Stick any metal tool that you use often to the magnets for instant access. Amazon

Make your life easier in the kitchen

Magnetic spice rack

If you've ever fumbled through your spice cabinet while you've got something on the stove, you know how frustrating it can. Jars fall out of the cabinet, you can't find what you're looking for and the dish probably ends up without that extra hint of flavor. An easy way to get your herbs and spices organized is with a magnetic spice rack. There are different models available: Some stand alone on the countertop and some are wall mounted, with canisters that have magnetic bottoms to adhere to the metal backing. With each spice in its place, you'll never have an unorganized spice cabinet again. Amazon

Make your life easier in the kitchen

Plastic ruler

A plastic ruler comes in so handy in the kitchen that it's more than worth the few dollars you'll spend (or just raid the kid's craft box!). You'll reach for it most often when rolling out dough, but you'll be surprised how frequently you can use it for other things, like measuring the thickness of meats, which takes the guesswork out of grilling. (Be sure to buy washable plastic since the ruler may come in contact with raw meats.) Amazon

Needle nose pliers

Removing fish bones with your fingers can be nearly impossible. They break off inside the fish, and you can't easily get a grip on them. Needle nose pliers are the best tool for this job, although you probably don't want to use the greasy pair in the garage. For around $5, you can get a dedicated pair for the kitchen and never choke on another pinbone again. Amazon

Check out these must-have kitchen gadgets for healthy families >>

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Make your life easier in the kitchen

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