These kitchen gadgets will make your life a little easier

When you cook, you want to be able to focus on actually cooking the meal. However, there are always those little (and not-so-little) annoyances and time-wasters that get in the way: You can’t find the right pan, or your cooking area is too crowded, or you can’t open a stubborn jar that contains an important ingredient.

Here are a few helpful and inexpensive little gadgets that can make life easier for you in the kitchen–so you can get more enjoyment out of cooking.

1. Kitchen Pantry and Cabinet Organizer

Question: What’s more annoying than having to dig through a random pile of cookie sheets, cake pans, skillets, and cooling racks to find what you need?

Answer: The nerve-grating clatter of all those things banging together while you dig to the bottom.

Enter this nifty little organizerproblem solved. Surprisingly sturdy, this organizer lets you store cookware side by side. You can see what you want and grab it without fuss…or noise.

2. Expandable Kitchen Counter and Cabinet Shelf

Is your kitchen is short on counter or cabinet space? Then a standing shelf can instantly give you more surface area. No more overstuffed cabinets or cluttered counters. Just set one of these up wherever you find space too tight.

You can condense counter items like your sugar bowl, salt and pepper shakers, or whatever is taking up space. Or put one in a crowded cabinet to add storage space and keep things organized.

3. EZ Off Jar Opener

Tell me if this sounds familiar: right in the middle of cooking a meal, everything comes to a grinding halt as you struggle to open a jar of olives, or mayo, or whatever. The darned thing seems impossible to open no matter what you try: gripping with a towel, tapping the lid with a spoon, running it under hot water…the list goes on. Even if you finally get it open, you’ve wasted a lot of time, probably ruined your mood, and maybe even hurt your hand or wrist.

Why keep going through that hassle? This cleverly-engineered jar opener is designed to grab onto any lid–even something as small as the cap on your nail polish. And it gives you such powerful leverage that even a lid that’s stuck fast will pop open with a simple twist.

4. Motorized Veggie Masher

Mashing potatoes can be one of the worst jobs in the kitchen. Doing it by hand with an old-fashioned masher is hard work and takes forever. You always end up with lumps, and if you have arthritis the job may be darned near impossible. A food processor or blender is easier, but they don’t get the texture quite right–plus they’re a pain to clean.

To make mashing potatoes (or anything else) quick and easy, try out a hand-held veggie masher like the Dash Masha 2x. This powerful hand-held masher easily and quickly makes fluffy mashed potatoes, smooth dips, luscious apple sauce, even baby food that’s smooth and easy for babies to eat. It does the work for you, so it’s great if you have arthritis (or just hate mashing by hand).

This particular unit is well-built and runs pretty quietly. And because the rotor is heavy-duty plastic instead of metal, it’s much easier on your bowls and pots. Best of all, the Dash Masha 2x is super-simple to clean–just remove the rotor and put it in the dishwasher.