28 Things For Anyone Who’s Always Claiming They Don’t Have Time To Cook
Daily News

28 Things For Anyone Who’s Always Claiming They Don’t Have Time To Cook

Warning: reading this post may cause you to order less takeout.

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed 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.

1.

A nonstick mini griddle to make cooking for one way less of a hassle (and actually get you to do it instead of ordering takeout). It’s perfect for cooking up single-person servings of eggs, meat, skillet cookies, paninis, and so much more without a mess. Griddle me this: Is there anything you can’t make on this baby?


amazon.com, amazon.com

I’m hard pressed to think of any. Plus, it’s extra great for cooking newbies, because it comes with a book of recipes plus access to an online database with even more!

Promising review: “I LOVE this little gem. The portion size is perfect for one and you can get creative. It cooks stir-fry-size meats quickly and perfectly. It makes a grilled cheese on a small bun perfectly and cooks an egg perfectly. Clean up is so easy and quick; I love not messing up a pan and the stove. I like to eat, but for me, cooking for one is not especially fun. This is almost fun and so easy. All I really use now is this, the microwave, and a coffee pot. The kitchen stays immaculate!” —Jaiyen

Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in four colors).

2.

A subscription to Blue Apron for anyone who’s never understood how anyone else has time to shop for and prep a dinner more complicated than a microwave quesadilla (big mood). This service will send you all the ingredients and instructions you need to make drool-worthy meals, many of which take less than a half hour.


Blue Apron

Each week, you can choose between the Signature, Vegetarian, or Wellness menus, for two to four people and with two to four recipes to suit your mood, diet, schedule, and budget. Each recipe lets you know how long it takes to prep too, so you can plan accordingly!

Subscriptions start at $7.99 per serving. Get the recipe for the yummy-looking pasta above here.

3.

A compact veggie spiralizer to get you to actually enjoy eating your vegetables and prepping them too. A gourmet meal with just a few turns of the wrist and a few minutes at the stove? Yes please.


Amazon, amazon.com

The most popular use is to make healthier, I-can’t-believe-it’s-not pasta out of sliced zucchini, but you can also use this device to julienne veggies for stir fry or spiral or shred potatoes to make fries and latkes. Check out BuzzFeed’s full Vegetti review.

Promising review: “Super easy to make zoodles and saves money on pre-bought stuff. Helps make quick and easy healthy meals. The first time I made them, I cooked them in my cast iron and seasoned with Sazon, salt, and garlic, then tossed them in some pasta sauce and topped with parm, yum! Can’t wait to try with Alfredo sauce.” —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

4.

The cult-fave Instant Pot Duo, a programmable wonder that can serve as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, sauté pan, steamer, and rice cooker. All you have to do is toss in your ingredients and hit a button, and let this baby take it from there.


amazon.com, amazon.com

Check out BuzzFeed’s full Instant Pot review.

Promising review: “There are so many people who say they can’t cook, but I swear I’m on a whole new level of not being able to cook. This little appliance helps expand our menu and I have learned to do so much with it. I love how easy it is and how I throw everything in and it comes out done. No stirring and not many messy dishes. I still don’t love it for meats, but I think that’s just a matter of needing to experiment more with them. I seriously can’t believe how many foods can be cooked in here! I found a recipe for a mac ‘n’ cheese that everyone loves. It’s only five ingredients and only requires washing a cheese grater and the pot and it only takes 20 minutes. Before this I had never once made spaghetti with meat sauce. Now I do it all the time. Again, I only have ONE thing to clean afterwards. If I tried doing with without the Instant Pot, I would have a pan for the meat, pot for the pasta, and the strainer. It only takes about 20 minutes start to finish. Since I usually don’t have to do many dishes with the Instant Pot, I tend to enjoy experimenting. My family is constantly surprised at how much this has changed how we eat. I love that when we have a last minute neighborhood get-together and I can whip up a pasta dish and veggie real quick.” —Aundrea

Get it from Amazon for $69+ (available in three sizes).

5.

An easy meal planning pad so you can map out your munchies for every day of the week, make your shopping list as you go, then tear off the list when you’re ready to hit the store. That way, you’ll have zero excuses not to cook the meal you’ve been planning and the whole process will feel less overwhelming.


Amazon

Plus, it’s got magnets on the back so you can easily hang it on your fridge! My mom has one of these and loves it.

Promising review: “This simple tool is just what I need to get dinner organized for each week. Deciding what to cook one night at a time can be stressful for me, and the added time of running to the store for the day’s missing ingredients can really add up. Sometimes we’d just give up and go out for dinner. This product has saved me time and money.” —minmom24

Get it from Amazon for $9.95 (available in three designs).

6.

Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray, in case it’s the *cleanup* part of cooking that you find truly daunting (I feel you). This grease-busting spritz starts sudsing on contact to spare you from scrubbing.


Target

BuzzFeed Shopping editor Elizabeth Lilly loves this stuff! She says: “I live in an apartment without a dishwasher, and I honestly use that as an excuse to order takeout instead of cooking. But as soon as I got my hands on a bottle of this stuff (regular Dawn is my go-to dish soap, BTW), I put it to use on both a saucepan I used to make homemade enchilada sauce *and* the casserole dish I baked those enchiladas in, which had a ton of caked-on food. It really does work like I say it does! Like, scary well.”

Promising review: “It cleans so well my dishes squeak! Really loving this! I feel like I’m not wasting so much detergent. Plus, I love that I can squirt it directly into the plastic straws on my reusable travel cups!” —Gma

Get it from Target for $4.99.

7.

A flexible clip-on strainer so your basic pots can moonlight as colanders and, more importantly, you won’t have to deal with the ~draining~ task of rinsing an actual colander.


amazon.com, amazon.com

It can bend to fit pretty much any size pot!

Promising review: “I am so happy I purchased this strainer. I was really tired of trying to lure an unsuspecting (yet hungry) family member to hold the strainer so I didn’t burn my hands or dump the pasta or vegetables into the sink. This strainer is a time and aggravation saver. It’s kind of small, so I wasn’t sure I would like it, but it even works on my large (8 quart and up) pots. I have some pots with the rolled lids and ones that flare out a bit. The strainer works great on both. I have used this several times and it has never slipped off. I usually cook one pound of pasta at a time and it holds up well. I like the flexibility of the strainer to work with varied sizes. The other good thing is that this hardly takes up any space at all.” —Jersey Girl

Get it from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in four colors).

8.

The Big Boss Oil-less Air Fryer, a huge halogen, convection, and infared cooker that’ll basically do the work for you. It’s got tons of cool features, including the ability to cook pretty much anything (and even two dishes at once on different shelves), a transparent bottom to easily check progress, a basically zero need for extra oil for it to work its magic.


Amazon, amazon.com

It comes with an extender that can allow it to hold and cook up to 16 quarts of goodness, plus two racks and a basket for cooking and frying all kinds of dishes. It also comes with over 50 recipes, but you can check out BuzzFeed’s roundup of yummy air fryer recipes, too!

Promising review: “I LOVE THIS MACHINE!!! I have made potatoes (just cut them up, throw them a bowl with a tablespoon of oil and seasonings, then into the air fryer for 20 minutes) and OMG sooooo good. The outside was crispy like it was baked or toasted, and the inside was like a baked potato. Then I made zucchini and did the same thing and the tops of the zucchini looked like it was on the grill with little burnt spots, but it took 10 minutes and was so soft to eat. Then I did fries out of the bag, no oil, just a little salt. They tasted more like baked crunch than fried crunch but still were super crunchy and NO MESS!! I breaded pork chops with flour, eggs and breading and put them in the air fryer 10 minutes on each side and WOW — just like it was fried, without the grease. To me it’s more like a high-power baked taste. I am going to do a whole chicken soon and see how that comes out, and also want to dehydrate some fruit because it can do that too.” —Erika

Get it from Amazon for $69.79+ (available in five colors).

9.

An efficient nonstick, carbon steel lasagna pan that’ll let you to cook for folks with different preferences and diets all at once. Serving picky eaters or wanting to make several types of a dish no longer has to mean triple the cooking time.


amazon.com, amazon.com

I’ll also turn every piece into the best kind of piece — an edge piece. In addition to lasagna, you can also use it for baking bread or layers for a layer cake!

Promising review: “As someone who has a child (now a teenager) that will not eat any form of cheese, this pan is amazing! I typically avoid making any food that has cheese mixed into it, but now I can make him a section without cheese and the rest of us our regular cheesy goodness. Another benefit to this pan is how well the portions slice. One cut with the spatula gives you a perfectly formed square. Each section makes four regular-sized portions for our family.” —TLC101

Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

10.

And an ingenious split pie pan so you can make double the pie flavors in half the time and with half the mess.


amazon.com, Amazon

You also don’t have to decide between buying this or a regular pie pan, because the split bottom is removable and it also comes with a regular bottom!

Promising review: “I love cherry and he loves apple, but to make two pies would be such a waste since it’s just the two of us at home, and buying store-bought pie just isn’t the same. This was the perfect solution. I LOVE IT!” —Sherry S.

Get it from Amazon for $15.27.

11.

A jumbo silicone utensil known as the “Ultimate Fork,” which honestly sounds like it should be a pro wrestler or an Olympic sport. But actually, it’s a super versatile and durable tool that can do everything from mash to stir to scramble to separate, so it’ll make pretty much any kitchen task easier (and more fun to tackle, too).


Sur La Table

I can also mix, and pull, and, flip, and serve….plus it’s heat resistant and dishwasher safe!

Promising review: “The MOST-used utensil in my kitchen. Sur La Table’s silicone products are so soft with a very strong center. They are easy to clean and easy to find in the drawer! You will love them! This fork is perfect for breaking up hamburger or making omelets. Nothing sticks to them and they clean up like a breeze. I have two because I never want to be without one while one is in the dishwasher.” —Sue B

Get it from Sur La Table for $9.95 (available in five colors).

12.

The Thaw Claw, a handy tool you can attach to the bottom of your sink to keep packages of food in place while you thaw them underwater. ~Meat~ the product that’ll help you thaw your protein in under half an hour, up to seven times (!!!) faster than usual.


Amazon

Thaw Claw is a Black-owned business that’s been featured on Shark Tank, HSN, and Good Morning America! Check out more as-seen-on TV kitchen products.

Promising review: “At first this looked gimmicky, but I saw a need for something like this. I use vacuum bags to freeze my meat and with our schedules, thawing out our meal for that evening often includes placing the frozen block in water to thaw in a reasonable time. Without this item, I was left to put a heavy pot or iron skillet on top to keep it in submerged to speed the thawing process. This device, with its suction base and spread design, keeps the food item under its fingers to allow the thawing process to complete in less than half the time by just putting it in the water. And before you object, ‘that’s not safe, the temperature will rise too much and promote bacteria growth’ — I have ServSafe certs. I know my time and temp levels and those are in no way even close to approaching the danger zone unless you leave it for hours before cooking. I recommend this item for anyone, but especially anyone who has time constraints for evening dinner prep or any other time for that matter.” —mudhen7

Learn more about safe food thawing methods here.

Get it from Amazon for $19.95 (available in four colors).

13.

The cutting board to end all cutting boards, because it comes with four interchangeable trays, all with measuring marks, including one with a built-in grater and another with a built-in herb stripper. This way, you can prep all your ingredients and set them aside in their own trays, all without switching between different kitchen gadgets. ✨Efficiency✨, people.


Walmart

Promising review: “Everyone needs one of these. So easy to pull out, cut anything, measure anything, grate/shred anything, and even squeeze juices. I love all the different little containers to be able to not only store but do multiple things at once without food touching. This has been a game-changer in my kitchen.” —Halls1026

Get it from the BuzzFeed Tasty collection at Walmart for $19.97.

14.

A variety pack of pre-seasoned beans you only need to microwave for one minute for an instantly delish side dish worthy of your favorite takeout spot.


Amazon, amazon.com

This pack is from Black-owned, San Francisco-based bean brand A Dozen Cousins and comes with black beans, pinto beans, chickpea curry, red beans, refried black beans, and refried pinto beans. They’re all vegan and made with avocado oil.

Promising review: “Who writes a review about beans? Somebody who loves beans but had given up on them, until now. This is a great product. Canned beans from my local supermarket are always a disappointment, so I stopped getting them. I don’t have time to cook beans myself, but A Dozen Cousins beans are fresh and taste terrific. I’ve been trying to avoid packaged, processed foods but the natural ingredients make these different. I can feel good about eating them. The beans are whole and not mashed up liked in cans. All of the varieties are seasoned well and versatile. I’ve had them on their own, in salads, and in wrap sandwiches. Do yourself a favor and order some. You won’t regret it.” —Amazon Customer

Get a pack of six from Amazon for $24.99 (or $23.74 with the Subscribe & Save option).

15.

An amazing all-purpose tool that’s a spoon, slotted spoon, turner, spatula, and sharp cutting edge all in one sleek package, because why waste time and money filling your kitchen up with single-use products you’ll rarely use when you can just spend $8 on this and be done?


Amazon

It’s dishwasher-safe!

Promising review: “This tool is the best thing in my kitchen currently. It literally does everything it should and does it well. Pro tip: instead of using two forks to shred chicken, use one fork and the sharp edge of this thing. It pretty much changed my life.” —Joey Campbell

Get it from Amazon for $16.95.

16.

Adorable pastel organizer baskets made for clipping onto your fridge shelves, so you can pull out the ingredients you want to use for dinner ahead of time and you won’t be rummaging around for them later in your post-work hangry state.


DDivineinterior/Etsy

This Houston-based shop is run by an interior designer and stocks all kinds of cute decor and organizers.

Get it from DDivineinterior on Etsy for $15.59+ (available in two sizes and four colors).

17.

A game-changing microwave pasta cooker you just fill with water and noodles (there’s a line on the side that shows you how much), heat in the microwave for 12-ish minutes, and bam — you’ve got dinner. Boiling water? I don’t know her.


Amazon, amazon.com

Two of the most basic facts about me are that 1) I love pasta and 2) I’m lazy as heck. Cooking pasta is pretty easy, even for someone like me who rarely cooks. But still, it’s a little more than I want to do when I’m feeling hungry and/or burnt out to wait for the water to boil and have to wash the pot and colander when I’m done. What I really needed was something that could have the whole process done in under 15 minutes and that I could just toss in the dishwasher.

Enter the Fasta Pasta (great name btw). I’m really amazed by what a game-changer it is, as well as how user-friendly it is. It comes with a booklet of instructions on how long to cook/how much pasta and water to use for all different shapes of pasta, plus there’s an extended list on the product’s website. All you have to do is measure out the pasta and fill the tub with water to the appropriate fill line, then microwave it on high for the noted amount of time. When it’s done, you pop on the lid, which has convenient handles. I was nervous about using my bare hands to take this out of the microwave even with the handles, but amazingly it doesn’t get that hot! The lid also has a built-in strainer, which is perfect for both helping you fill the Fasta Pasta with a precise amount of water and for straining once the pasta is cooked. Then voila! You’ve got pasta! Check out my full Fasta Pasta review (#2), and yes, please cast me in an infomercial about it.

Get it from Amazon for $16.98.

18.

Powdered tomato to add natural flavor to soups, stews, and more without having to slice and dice anything or even strain a can. You can also use it as a yummy seasoning — reviewers like it on popcorn and tofu!


Amazon, amazon.com

It’s from a Black woman-owned brand that specializes in sustainably produced African spices, powders, and baking mixes.

Promising review: “Quick, convenient, and flavorful. Easy to use and not messy. Easy to open and seal. The powder tasted like a tomato. Made a beef and mushroom stew in the Instant Pot and the flavor was there.” —Barbara B. Stewart

Get it from Amazon for $12.99 (also available in seven other vegetables).

19.

An adorable egg cooker that can give you up to six perfect hard-boiled eggs in 12-15 minutes, no actual boiling water required. Because who actually has all that egg-stra time?


Amazon, Marquaysa Battle/BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed Shopping editor Marquaysa Battle swears by this! She writes, “I needed a quick way to make breakfast that worked with the depleted energy levels I was running on. Enter, my beloved, blessed egg cooker. This thing may be small but it makes a big difference! It comes with a removable lid, a book of instructions and recipes, a tray that holds up to six eggs, a tray for making poached eggs and omelets, and a tiny container for filling up the cooker with enough water to get your eggs to the level of ‘done’ that you like including soft, medium, and hard. And it’s so easy to use! All you have to do is fill up the container with the amount of water you need. Then, use the bottom of the container (which has a poker) to put a tiny hole on the smaller end of each egg. Once the water is in and the eggs are properly poked, it only takes one button to get the cooking started (which is my mom’s favorite thing about the egg cooker). And when the eggs are done? Those babies are DELICIOUS! I threw some Himalayan salt, paprika, and a green herb mix on mine. They taste better that way to me but I also feel like a lil’ chef with the presentation 🤪. I used my egg cooker the same day I got it in the mail and I have honestly used it almost every day since.”

Check out her full Dash egg cooker review.

Get it from Amazon for $17.89+ (available in six colors).

20.

Efficient five-blade herb scissors to make tedious slicing and dicing a thing of the past. Plus, with over 1,000 5-star reviews, you know they’re ~a cut above~ the rest.


amazon.com, Amazon

They come with a safety cover, which can also be used to safely push all the extra herb cuttings off the blades!

Promising review: “I grow many different herbs and it can be tedious cutting and preparing them for cooking, drying, and preserving. I used these right away and loved them!! Just be very careful, they are very SHARP, but that’s a good thing! They were easy to use and I love the little sleeve that comes with them, not just for storage but to get every little bit of whatever you’re preparing out from between the blades (do not use your finger). These are great for snipping right over your pan as you’re cooking — no cutting board needed!” —Kiki

Get them from Amazon for $15.99.

21.

A multi-use countertop grill and griddle with interchangeable, dishwasher-safe plates so you can use it as a grill press or lay it flat for a double griddle or grill/griddle combo. It’ll save you a ton of prep *and* cleaning time and it’s also great for making perfectly crispy bacon.


Amazon, amazon.com

Promising review: “I’ve only used it once, but I’m in love! I wanted this for not only making numerous pancakes at once but also a full breakfast, burgers, and grilled sandwiches/paninis. I looked into a George Foreman because I used to have one years ago, but these all-in-one grills have come a long way since then. I went with this one because of the reviews and it did everything I wanted and more. The thought of making bacon without a greasy splattered mess in the oven or on the range is awesome; can’t wait to use it for that!! I was able to make seven pancakes at once; it could’ve been eight but I ran out of batter. It was awesome not having to use a pan to make one at a time. It was easy to use, per the instructions. SUPER easy to clean (grill plates go into the dishwasher) and wipe the outside.” —Jessica

Get it from Amazon for $61.28.

22.

A 3-in-1 avocado tool that’s a splitter, de-pitter, and slicer all at once, because the only bad part about eating avocados is actually trying to get all that goodness out of the skin. This baby will make guac, salads, and avocado toast even easier eats than they already were.


Amazon, amazon.com

I have this and use it all the time. TBH, I pretty much only use the splitter knife and very rarely the slicer, but it’s worth it to me even just to not have to break out a super sharp knife every time I want to eat an avocado (which is often).

Promising review: “This tool is awesome. It’s easy to cut open the fruit. The pit remover works well — just push onto the pit and give it a twist, and the pit pops right out. The best part is the slicer. It makes beautiful slices for a great presentation (see attached photo of slices…okay, one side came out perfectly, and I kind of messed up the other side). The tool can then be used to scrape any remaining fruit out of the skin. Really happy I bought this tool!” —NPR MAN

Get it from Amazon for $9.99.

23.

A handy dandy measurement conversion magnet in case when you, like someone else I know (I’m referring to myself), say you don’t have time to cook, what you really mean is you don’t really know *how* to cook. Keeping these basics conveniently in sight is muchhhh better than having to Google them every five minutes.


MagnetRabbit/Etsy

This Denver-based shop also sells magnetic charts for other useful adulting info, like laundry direction symbols!

Get it from MagnetRabbit on Etsy for $5.49+ (available in seven colors).

24.

A mini microwave steamer with a built-in colander perfect for prepping a single serving of veggies with basically zero effort. This thing is under 10 bucks, but you’ll use it multiple times a week, so it’ll pay for itself by the time you’ve made a few batches of broccoli.


Amazon

It’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe!

Promising review: “For years I would buy those metal fan-like steamers that adjusted to the size of the pot; a good concept but the fins would always fall off in short order, and they really were kind of a pain to clean (plus you had to clean the pot too!). This steamer, on the other hand, is ideal for me. It is the perfect size for a single serving, and best of all it’s made for the microwave and not a pot on the stovetop. Cleaning is a breeze and I usually hand clean it so it’s ready for another meal right away. It does take a few tries to figure out the timing for each type of vegetable, but that’s okay — they come out crisp and fresh tasting. I’ll never buy another metal steamer again. :-)” —dvd

Get it from Amazon for $6.38.

25.

A genius butter dish and grip set that’ll put your butter knife out of business. Just pop the stick straight onto the grip and spread away for hassle-free pan greasing.


TheMagnetack/Etsy

It’s dishwasher safe and from a Miami-based small business!

Get it from TheMagnetack on Etsy for $10.95.

26.

A Rapid Ramen Cooker with over 2,000 5-star reviews that can cook your noodles in the microwave in three minutes and must have been designed by someone with a pretty genius ~noodle~ (and a hatred of stovetop cooking) themselves.


amazon.com

It’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe! Plus, since you use less water, you can also use less seasoning and therefore reduce your sodium intake. It was presented on Shark Tank, and the Black-owned company now makes rapid cookers for everything from noodles to oatmeal to desserts!

Promising review: “Possibly the best thing I have ever purchased. Like legit, it cooks the ramen perfectly and it’s super easy to clean. I gave the red one to my friend who is also an avid ramen lover. I don’t even put the flavoring in anymore — I can just mix in kimchi with some fish and it’s like using spaghetti. Seriously sweet when you don’t want to clean up a million pots and pans or wait or sweat your butt off over a hot stove.” —P Y

Get it from Amazon for $10.98.

27.

A microwave cooker to turn a cracked egg into the perfect egg sandwich patty in just one (1) minute and basically make your morning drive-thru routine obsolete.


Amazon, amazon.com

It’s non-stick, dishwasher safe, and BPA-free.

Promising review: “Perfect eggs every time. Huge time-saver. Makes perfect eggs for breakfast sandwiches. Scramble egg in separate bowl, add your choice of ingredients, salt, and pepper, pour into container, and microwave. I have an 1,800-watt microwave, so only 45 seconds. Done perfectly every time!! No more drive-thrus for me.” —Amazon Customer

Get a set of two from Amazon for $9.80.

28.

A clever colander spoon that’ll allow you eliminate a step (and your need for a colander) so frying things on the stove won’t ~drain~ away so much of your time.


Amazon

It’s even got little hooks on the bottom so you can securely rest it on your pan! It’s dishwasher-safe and heat-resistant up to 392 degrees.

Promising review: “When I make bone broth or beans, I can scoop out the solids without having to dump the whole pan over a colander and then transfer it back. This saves me a lot of time and energy and is very convenient. I don’t leave things like this in hot pans, but for scooping, it seems to hold up well, wash easily, and store in my usual utensil crock. I recommend this item.” —SuperMomHikerGirl

Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in three colors).

Look at you, all ready to become a master chef!


Nickelodeon

The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

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