This list of genius kitchen tools for clumsy people is the answer to the question: “What do you get someone who loves cooking but is a bit on the uncoordinated side?”
It’s no fun to discourage people from doing the things they love — but there are plenty of cleverly designed kitchen gadgets that make spending time in the kitchen fun and safe for everyone involved. It’s all about the troubleshooting, you know?
Because cooking and baking are fun right up until you tip a bowl over and send your carefully measured ingredients tumbling onto the floor. Or go to strain your pasta only to have it all splash out into the sink. Or cut yourself or — worst case — cut someone else because your cutting board twisted away from you mid-slice.
Whether you’re an expert cook or a beginner, kitchen accidents are basically a right of passage. But if you love someone who loves to spend time in the kitchen but doesn’t exactly have “she’s beauty and she’s grace, she’s miss United States” (regardless of gender, tbh) from Miss Congeniality playing every time they enter the kitchen, well, this is the gift guide to you.
(Or maybe you are the clumsy cook in your life — then this list is for you, too. TREAT. YO’SELF.)
From unbreakable bottles to finger and splatter guards and oven rack pullers, I’ve got the perfect list of kitchen tools for clumsy people to help them stay safe while making tasty, tasty treats in the kitchen.
1. A set of squeeze bottles with cute chalkboard labels
Sure, there are plenty of cute glass olive oil bottles out there that look pretty on a counter, but you know what’s not pretty? Picking shards of beautiful glass olive oil bottle out of a puddle of slippery olive oil after you’ve accidentally knocked the bottle onto the floor. Speaking entirely from experience (no joke, I’ve done this THREE TIMES) swapping my glass olive bottles for a set of 12-oz BPA-free plastic squeeze bottles has made cooking just that much safer when I’m around.
Squeeze bottles like this are also great for storing homemade hot sauce, bbq sauce, and salad dressings. FWIW, it’s so much easier to add exactly the amount of hot sauce you want to your tacos when you have the squeeze bottle to control the flow.
This set comes with cute chalkboard labels and a collapsible funnel to make it easy to fill the bottles without any mess.
Joseph Joseph makes some of the most well-designed kitchen gear out there and their cutting board sets are no different. This file folder set is color coded with tabs to indicate what type of food to use on them (no cross-contamination!).
For the clumsy amongst us, the tiny rubber grippy feet on each side of the cutting boards makes them easy to use on both sides without worrying that they’re going to go sliding or twisting or pivoting or twirling away with every cut.
3. A pair of knife safe gloves
One of the best ways to prevent accidentally cutting yourself? Use sharp knives. They’re less likely to slip off your food than dull knives. But anyone who doesn’t have a knife sharpener (or who perhaps doesn’t want to operate one due to, unsteady hands) can keep their fingers well protected thanks to a pair of knife-safe gloves from aptly-named brand, NoCry.
These gloves are ambidextrous, and made from a blend of Polyethylene, Spandex, Fiberglass that renders them 4x stronger than leather. They’re also 100% food safe and machine washable. They’re also great for anyone using a microplane, mandolin, or potato peeler who just wants a little extra protection.
4. A pair of carbon steel finger guards in a chic gift box
Another great gift option for preventing accidental finger cuts is this set of high carbon stainless steel metal finger guards. The curved metal pieces slide into the fingers of your non-dominant hand, so you can get chopping without fear.
The finger loops are open and can be adjusted to fit hands of all sizes. Because all bodies are good bodies and the tools we use should fit us — instead of us having to contort to fit them.
5. A colorful set of metal bowls with rubber bottoms
These bowls have rubber grippers on the bottom to keep them from knocking all over the counter. Even better? They also have airtight lids to protect what’s inside from anything else that might get knocked over in the vicinity. As far as kitchen tools for clumsy people go, it’s hard to beat something as simple and useful as this set of bowls.
These rubber gripper bottoms are no joke, btw. I have a pair, and if I’m rotating the bowl while I mix sometimes they even suction to the counter and need quite a bit of elbow grease to come free. How’s that for stable?
6. A multi-purpose pasta pot with lock-on strainer lid
Gotham’s 5 quart non-stick multi-purpose pasta pot has a sleek non-stick copper surface for easy cleanup. It’s also dishwasher and oven safe.
But the best part of this pot’s design is the way the lid’s built-in strainer works with the twist-and-lock handles to secure the lid in place and the pasta safely inside the pot while the water pours out. One side of the lid has small holes and the other has larger holes, making it perfect for straining food of all sizes. No need to fear the pasta ending up in the sink amongst the dirty dishes and veggie scraps!
My mother in law has this pot and every time she brings it out I’m so impressed by how well it works. The design is just so smart.
7. A grease splatter guard that fits pots up to 13″ wide
Okay, this might not be the chic-est gift on the list, but it might just be one of the most appreciated. The metal mesh screen fits over pots and pans up to 13″ wide (pretty dang huge, tbh) and reduces the amount of hot oil that goes flying around, keeping forearms and foreheads safe from pinprick painful grease burns.
This model from BergKoch is dishwasher safe, has a little resting foot to keep it off your counter when you put it down, and comes with a lifetime guarantee. So basically, it’s the gift of a lifetime. Whoever you gift this too will definitely thank you.
8. A pair of silicone oven rack pullers
Okay, these might seem silly but don’t scoff — they’re so incredibly useful. A list of kitchen tools for clumsy people wouldn’t be complete without them. Reaching into a hot oven can be scary! That’s a totally justifiable human fear! Norpro’s silicone oven rack pullers have notches on either side that hook around the front of an oven rack to slide it forward, and a notch on the end to push the rack back in.
Of course, oven mitts never hurt anyone — but having the extra distance with these oven rack pullers is totally welcome too.
So far most of the items on this list have been about staying safe — but there are other ways kitchen clumsiness can manifest itself. Separating egg yolks can be a delicate business. Separating eggs for meringue requires extra care — the tiniest drop of egg yolk can prevent the whites from whipping up into stiff, shiny peaks.
This little piggy makes separating yolks from whites super easy — whether you’re making meringue or just trying my two-step technique for getting a perfectly runny egg yolk on your fried egg. Just crack the whole egg into a bowl, then squeeze the piggy, place the mouth over the yolk, and release the pressure. Boom! Yolk separated!
10. A safe slice mandolin to keep your fingers away from the blade
Mandolins, quite frankly, terrify me ever since an incident with a pear and my thumb and a very sharp blade. There are plenty of ways to use them safely (including the slice-proof gloves linked above) but this mandolin is a really great option too. Feed your ingredient through the tube on the front, and slice by pulling and pushing the knob at the top to move the blade, keeping your hands safely away from the blade at all times.
11. A set of nylon knives
Nylon knives are a great way to keep fingers safe while you work on your knife skills (they’re also great for any kids who want to “help” make dinner). They’re sharp enough to cut through soft fruits and vegetables, but not so sharp that you have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself. The best part? Nylon is actually ideal for cutting lettuce because it won’t turn your lettuce brown where you’ve sliced it.