The 5 best grill brush and cleaning tools in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Cleaning the grill isn’t the most fun chore, but it’s an essential one.
  • The Kona 360° Grill Brush is our favorite because it evenly scours large swathes with each pass.

No matter how often you use your grill, it’s important to keep it clean both for the safety of your food and the longevity of your grill.

The black residue that builds up on the cooking surface of your grill contains carcinogens that can have serious health implications if transferred to your food. Further, bacteria can develop on leftover food bits, so scraping those bars and grates clean after each use, and again before the next cookout, is the best practice for good measure.

Properly cleaning your grill also helps preserve the hardware by preventing corrosion and rust, which can expedite its life expectancy while also presenting additional health risks, of course. Finally, and perhaps most obviously, food tastes better and is easier to handle when it is prepared on a clean grill.

As for choosing which grill-cleaning tool is right for you, it doesn’t hurt to have a few different options at your disposal. Below are the ones we deem most effective, though a combination of two or three of them will more than suffice. Just make sure to have at least one brush and one scraper, and, of course, make sure that you use them.

Here are the best grill brushes in 2021

Best overall

kona grill brush

The Kona 360° Grill Brush cleans in all directions to scrape away bits of food and built up soot on the top, sides, and the bottom of the grill.

Pros: Cleans in all directions, lightweight and balanced, safe for use on all types of grill

Cons: May rust if not properly dried

Cleaning your grill is important. We’ve already established that. But it can also be tedious. The Kona 360° Grill Brush is perfect for people who value a clean grill but want it cleaned fast. Its design allows you to clean the top, bottom, and sides of each bar of the grill without removing the grill top and with a minimal number of passes.

While most grill brushes feature a panel of bristles facing in one direction, this clever tool has bristles facing in all directions. And what’s more, there are three coils of said omnidirectional bristles, so you can scrape away at a broad swath of the grill with each pass.

While lightweight and easy to wield, this grill brush is far from dainty. In fact, it’s backed by a five-year warranty and is tough enough to use on all types of grills for hot or cold cleaning.

For the record, you’ll get the best results using it on a heated grill and with occasional dips into a bowl of water, or with water sprayed across the grill — just watch out for hot steam. And though rugged, the many fine bristles are safe for use on ceramic, porcelain, or infrared cook surfaces, too.

Best for stubborn residue

grill brush and scraper

Whether it’s baked on after a marathon barbecuing session or caked on after a long season of disuse, even the most stubborn grill residue doesn’t stand a chance against the BBQ-Aid Grill Brush and Scraper.

Pros: Extra strength bristles, steel scraper breaks up stubborn grit, ergonomic wooden handle

Cons: Plastic plate can melt if left on the grill

There’s nothing fancy or technically advanced about the BBQ-Aid Grill Brush and Scraper. It has a wooden handle, a three-inch by three-inch panel of bristles, and a steel scraper set into the end of the unit. But what it lacks in extravagance, it makes up for in brute strength. This is the grill cleaning brush you break out after an all-day smoking session, before an end-of-season deep cleaning, or when you uncover your grill for the first time after a long break from barbecue cooking.

This grill brush has 72 bundles of stiff stainless steel bristles that work together to loosen and remove even the most stubborn grease, grit, food bits, and soot. With a bit of muscle behind it, the brush is almost unstoppable. But should you ever come up against a chunk of cooked-on crud too mighty for the brush alone, that’s when you apply the steel scraper. This blade-like tool can break up anything that adheres to that grill, and then the bristles can handle the cleanup work.

The only downside is that the bristles are mounted in a plastic plate that can melt if left on a hot grill. But as long as you’re scraping with some expediency, or waiting until your grill is cool enough to clean, you should be fine.

Best on a budget

grilll brush

The Room Essentials Tough Brush has heavy-duty bristles that scrape away grit and grime about as well as any other basic grill brush at a fraction of the cost.

Pros: Comes with spare bristle pad, built-in scraper

Cons: Bristles prone to bending and detaching with time

There’s not much to say about this grill brush aside from the fact that it’s affordable and gets the job done. The solid plastic handle is durable enough to apply as much pressure as needed while scraping away at that dirty grill. There’s also a metal scraper built into the head of the piece, and a handy hook to store the brush off the side of the grill or wherever you keep your grill cleaning tools.

This grill brush also comes with a replacement bristle pad in case the first one wears out, which is downright thoughtful, really.

I’ve used a cheap grill brush plenty of times in my day, and while this one doesn’t hold up as long as a higher-priced option, it will work just as well for a couple of seasons of use.

Best with no metal bristles

charcoal companion scraper

The more you use the unique wooden Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape Non-Bristle Cleaning Tool on your charcoal grill, the better the tool will perform as it adopts a shape customized to your grill.

Pros: Becomes a customized cleaning tool, no metal bits that can get into foods, good low price

Cons: Requires break-in period, could catch on fire

Using an old grill brush with metal bristles could become hazardous if you’re not careful. The bristles can fall out over time and potentially get into your food, which could lead to injury if you accidentally swallow one. But there are alternatives to metal bristles, like the Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape for those who want to be extra careful.

Just know that the first time you use the Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape Non-Bristle Cleaning Tool to scrape away grime and gunk on your charcoal grill’s grates, it’s not going to be very effective. The second and third time you use it, expect the same story. But stick with it, for soon enough, this clever paddle-shaped wooden tool will adapt to fit the exact width and placement of your grill’s bars.

Each time you use your Charcoal Companion grill cleaner, the grooves worn into it by cleaning sessions become a bit deeper. That means that soon won’t just be cleaning the top of the grill, but will be scouring away at the sides of the bars as well. And because the tool is made from wood, it will never scratch or damage metal grill grates. Even with regular, vigorous cleanings, the Charcoal Companion Safe Scrape Non-Bristle Cleaning Tool will never damage your grill top.

As it is wooden and flammable, just make sure you don’t leave this grill cleaner near a hot grill or atop the grate.

Best grill cleaning brick

grill brick for cleaning

For a truly like-new, grime-free, high shine look, it’s hard to beat the amazing scouring power of the KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick.

Pros: Removes even the finest grime, customizes shape to grill with repeated use

Cons: Often leaves behind bits of stone, best when used with a second tool

Like the previous wooden grill cleaning paddle, this KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick won’t be at its best the first few times you use it. But by always scraping at your grill in the same pattern (moving back and forth along the length of the bars, in other words), you will slowly carve grooves into the surface of this nonporous pumice stone block. Over time, it adapts to fit your grill, and this brick will become a more precise, effective scraping tool, even above that of a wire brush.

Also, it’s cheap, which is pretty great.

Despite how well the KegWorks Grill Cleaning Brick can scrape off the top of the grill, it will take time for it to be effective on the sides of the bars. And you also might want to wipe down or even rinse off the grill after each use, as bits of stone may adhere to the grilling surface.

I recommend scouring and scraping away with this stone, then using another grill brush to remove the bits of grime it loosened, as well as the bits of stone itself. Yes, that’s more work and will require two tools, but the cleanliness of your grill will go unmatched.

Check out our other grilling guides

best charcoal for grilling
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45 of the best things we’ve bought on Amazon for under $25

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  • Amazon has wide selections and low costs, making it difficult to know what’s worth buying.
  • The Insider Reviews team shared the best things they’ve bought on Amazon for under $25.
  • We unearthed some interesting finds, from a repairing hair mask to a white noise sleep machine.

Amazon has become the one-stop-shop for an unbelievable amount of online purchases. The e-commerce kingpin has a huge selection where you’ll find household names, low prices, and the two-day (or two-hour) Prime shipping that panders well to those among us who are gluttons for instant gratification.

But a huge selection can make it time-consuming and ultimately expensive to root out what’s really worth spending your money on. The best loophole is to seek out recommendations from people you trust.

So, I decided to ask my colleagues at Insider about the best things they’ve bought on Amazon for under $25 – most of whom spend every day researching and testing thousands of products to find the few worth writing home about. Hopefully, they’re as helpful to you as they were to me.

Below are the 45 best things we’ve bought on Amazon that cost us less than $25:

A challenging puzzle that doubles as vintage home decor

puzzle

Jellyfish 1,000 Piece Puzzle (small)

I once gifted a Cavallini Papers & Co. puzzle to a puzzle lover, and they thought it was the perfect blend of challenging and aesthetically pleasing. They hung it up afterward, adding a sense of accomplishment as well as a nice vintage touch to their space. The company has even more fun designs like house plants and constellations. —Jacqueline Saguin

A tough, wind-resistant umbrella

repel windproof travel umbrella

Windproof Travel Umbrella (small)

Everybody needs a trusty umbrella. I ditched my old drugstore-bought umbrella that flipped outward at the slightest gust of wind and picked up Insider Reviews’ best umbrella pick. It’s wind-resistant, affordable, durable, and fits perfectly in the side compartment of my car. It’s especially handy to have during sporadic Florida showers. —Jacqueline Saguin

A ring light that pulls out all the stops

LED Ring Light

10-inch LED Ring Light (small)

I took a cue from our Insider Reviews team by purchasing its pick for the best budget ring light. It has made my job on the style and beauty reviews team much easier, drastically cutting down on my photo-taking time. When I test makeup and clothing, I can set this up anywhere and adjust it to the angle I need in order to do my products justice. I love changing between its three different light settings: white, warm yellow, and warm white, to find the perfect glow. —Jacqueline Saguin

An out-of-this-world moon lamp

UooEA Saturn Lamp

Saturn Lamp (small)

Earning the title of Insider Reviews’ best planet moon lamp, this light offers 16 soothing hues that illuminate a Saturn shape. I love its unique look and the subtle glow it gives while I watch movies at nighttime. It offers four color modes, including flash, strobe, fade, and smooth. The latter is my favorite as it softly transitions through all the colors. —Jacqueline Saguin

A decorative antique tray that shows off and stores your beauty products

 Zosenley Polyresin Ellipse Antique Decorative Mirror Tray Lifestyle Image

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This tray is an aesthetically pleasing stage that doubles as decor and a proud home for my cosmetics. I use it in my bathroom, storing the skincare products and perfume I reach for every day. I’ve seen people using it on TikTok as a jewelry vanity to display their favorite pieces. —Jacqueline Saguin

A liquid cleanser that works as a gentle hand soap for sensitive skin

Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser  Lifestyle Image (1)

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I bought this as an alternative to my household’s Bath & Body Works hand soap stock. Its fragrance-free, sulfate-free, and dermatologist-tested formula pleases my sensitive skin. This straightforward cleanser never causes redness or irritation for frequent hand washers like me. I pour the liquid into a decorative holder so it matches my bathroom. — Jacqueline Saguin

A 10-foot phone charger that reaches across your room

10 Foot Nylon iPhone Charger Lifestyle Image (1)

Product Card

Whenever I visited a friend or a family member’s home, the outlets were always a far reach from the bed. I use my phone’s alarm clock and am not particularly pleasant in the morning, so rushing to the other side of the room to turn the incessant chiming off was a startling awakening. It’s less expensive than the Apple charging cord and longer. I hide the cord behind my nightstand and keep it next to my bed, so I have easy access to my phone. —Jacqueline Saguin

I got tired of my Apple iPhone cords fraying, so I picked this sturdy charging cable up on Amazon. Mine is pink and I love the color, but I love the extra length even more. Similar to Jacqueline, I had an issue with the outlet being across the room and would jump up in a panic every morning to turn off the alarm. Now I can keep my phone near my bed and press snooze over and over, which may or may not be a good thing. Either way, it was an excellent buy. —Ashley Phillips

Spiral hair ties that won’t break your hair

 Kitsch Spiral Hair Ties FORMAT

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After using elastic hair ties for so long, I got tired of pulling out my hair, getting headaches, and snapping scrunchies. I had seen spiral hair ties before, but assumed they wouldn’t hold well. However, these ones from Kitsch really do the trick. They keep their shape, are comfortable, and avoid long-lasting ponytail bumps. I wear these with high ponytails, low ponytails, and even braids. —Katie Decker-Jacoby

Espresso capsules that satisfy your coffee fix

illy Coffee Lifestyle Image (1)

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The majority of my Amazon order history is made up of these illy espresso capsules, and the orders have even been way more frequent since I started working from home. You’ll need one of the illy pod machines to use them (I have the X7) but the investment is 110% worth it in my opinion.

I can whip up an Italian espresso in under a minute, and it tastes so much better than the coffee from the Nespresso and Keurig machines I previously owned. Being able to buy the pods off of Amazon means my caffeine supply is always well-stocked, and if I ever do run out, I know I can get more in just two days max. —Ashley Phillips

A hair mask that restores moisture to your scalp

Shiseido Tsubaki Premium Repair Hair Mask 180g  Lifestyle Image (2)

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I was looking for hair masks because my hair tends to get really dry in the wintertime. I bought this hair mask after doing some research on Asian hair products, and I’m so glad I did. My hair feels soft and moisturized after I use it, even if I just use it as a normal conditioner. It works even better as a leave-in deep conditioner, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to add moisture to their hair. Bonus: It also smells amazing. —Allison Jiang

A car mount that secures your phone

 iOttie Easy One Touch 2 Car Mount Holder Universal Phone Compatible Lifestyle Image (2)

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Although this is an older version of the Easy One Touch series of smartphone car mounts from iOttie, it will work with all types of phones and it costs less than $20. What I really like is the strong suction cup that adheres to almost any kind of surface, and the telescopic arm is handy if your car’s dashboard is farther back from an arm’s reach. —Les Shu

An iPad case that is multi-functional

 ESR Rebound Pencil Case for iPad Air 4 2020 Lifestyle Image (2)

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I needed a simple case for my new iPad Air 4 but was shocked by how much Apple charges for one of its cases. This option from ESR is a fraction of Apple’s Smart Cover, and while it doesn’t have as nice of a build quality as the Smart Cover, the ESR case is well-made nonetheless. It has a magnetic closure to wake the iPad’s screen or put it to sleep, the cover folds into a stand, and there’s a convenient slot for an Apple Pencil. My only complaint is that the case makes it hard to use the Touch ID sensor, but I’m quite satisfied given the price and overall usability. —Les Shu

Fuzzy slippers to complete your work-from-home look

Womens Fuzzy Slippers Lifestyle Image (2)

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I’ve been hearing about these Amazon slippers for months — from TikTok, Instagram, podcasts I listen to — so I had to give them a try. These slippers are comfy, just warm enough, and perfect for working from home. The quality is also great for being under $20. An added bonus is that they come in almost any color you can imagine! —Victoria Gracie

A knit beanie that’s stylish and comfortable

Amazon gifts for him Carhartt

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I’ve noticed Carhartt beanies have become increasingly popular and I finally jumped on the bandwagon. This beanie is cute, comfortable, and super warm. I got it in black so it would go with almost anything and I’ve been wearing it nonstop since I got it. —Victoria Gracie

Makeup storage that fits a snug countertop

 Sorbus Cosmetics Makeup and Jewelry Big Storage Case Display FORMAT

Product Card

I’ve always struggled with storing my makeup since I don’t have a ton of storage space and I can never seem to find a way to keep it all organized. I found these clear drawers and figured I’d give them a try, not knowing this would be one of the best purchases I’ve made! Most of my makeup fits nicely into these drawers and everything is now easy to find and organized. The drawers fit a ton, but aren’t too large, making them perfect for a bathroom countertop, dresser, or vanity. —Victoria Gracie

Pimple patches that suck the gunk right out of your pores

mighty patch

If you look at my Amazon history, these pimple patches are the only thing I consistently order. They’re super effective at drawing out fluids from pimples and helping them deflate, and as small, virtually clear stickers, they’re hardly noticeable by other people. Within a few hours, you can expect them to noticeably improve the look and swelling of your pimple — they’re that reliable. — Connie Chen

A pair of $10 anti-glare, blue-light-blocking computer glasses

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This is the best thing I’ve ever purchased on Amazon! They are blue-light-blocking, anti-glare glasses, which are super helpful for looking at a computer/phone screen all day long. I don’t normally wear glasses, but I wanted to try them out before buying a pair from Felix Gray or Eyebuydirect.com. These are so cute and they actually work… plus they are $10! Can’t beat it. — Madison Conley

An easy-to-use, versatile cast iron skillet

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Can’t say enough great things about this cast iron skillet. It heats evenly and consistently on the stove top, and has zero issues with tossing it directly in the oven or broiler. I use it for roasted chicken, bacon, roasted potatoes, frittatas, eggs, steak, and sauteing veggies. It’s also super easy to clean, which is something that scares people away from cooking with cast iron. It’s also on Prime. — Stephanie Asymkos

This product was originally under $25 when the article was first published. We’ve left it on the list since prices on Amazon tend to fluctuate often.

A natural clay mask that has a cult-following

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This mask, as seen on Insider. It transformed my skin and is probably my most recommended product. The best part? It’s $10! — Chelsey Hoffman

A milk frother for homemade treats

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This thing is the BOMB. So easy to use and clean, and to spice up my weekend coffees/matcha drinks at home, allowing me to live my best bougie life. — Kirstie Jiongco

Ingredients for a favorite recipe

Natierra Nature's Organic Freeze Dried Strawberries

I buy a lot of recipe ingredients, spices, and hot sauces on Amazon that I’m less likely to find in stores near me, like these freeze-dried strawberries. They are the star ingredient in my Berry Crinkle Cookies recipe; I use one whole package per batch. — Ellen Hoffman 

A salt lamp that gives off a nice, warm glow

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My partner gave me this salt lamp for the holidays, and I love turning it on at the end of the day. It provides a nice, warm glow that’s bright enough for some late-night reading or just creating a gentle ambiance, which is much appreciated when coping with the chaos of living in New York. — Sally Kaplan

A wash and stain bar that will keep your shirt collars looking nicer for longer

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No $6 has had a more positive impact on my effort to preserve my clothing than the $6 I spent on this bar by The Laundress. I learned about this product from executive editor Ellen Hoffman and I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve done for my dress shirts. One bar has lasted me well over a year, and I just need to wet my shirt collar and rub the bar back and forth a few times before washing. It gets rid of all of the grime and oil from my collars. I was able to rehab shirts that were ready to go to charity or become rags. — Breton Fischetti

A pack of inexpensive toy mice to keep your cat entertained

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Just For Cats Cat Toy (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

This $6 pack of toy mice is cheap, but it manages to keep my cat entertained for days on end … until she manages to trap all of the mice under the couch and I have to rescue them. — Ellen Hoffman

A mini waffle-maker that gets the job done and takes up minimal countertop space

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This teeny tiny waffle maker is small but mighty. For those rare instances when I’m craving a waffle or two, this very small appliance easily gets the job done and stays out of the way when it’s stored. It’s very easy to use and clean; just plug in and wait for the light, add your batter and close the iron. To clean, wait for the iron to cool down, then wipe with a damp cloth and you’re done. — Melanie Winer 

Hangers that actually keep your clothes hung up

AmazonBasics Slim Velvet Hangers

Clothes falling off hangers are a thing of the past once you upgrade to these grippy velvet hangers. — Ellen Hoffman 

Fun colorful handles for your cast iron cookware

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I love my cast iron Lodge pans, but sometimes you need to grip the handle while it’s hot, and you obviously can’t when it’s hundreds of degrees — so I bought a few bright silicone hot handle holders for all my cast iron cookware. Now my hands are safe, and my black skillets have fun colorful handles. — Malarie Gokey

A pair of $15 earbuds that sound like they’d cost way more

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These Panasonic earbuds were easily the best $8.25 [price at the time] I ever spent on Amazon. The sound quality is fantastic and they’re incredibly comfortable. I’m not someone who would ever spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of over-the-ear headphones, so these are exactly right for me. — Andrew Meola

A little ‘Tub Shroom’ that catches your hair before it clogs the drain

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Between her curly red hair and my long brown hair, my roommate and I shed a lot. Our tub doesn’t have a drain catch and after a particularly effortful session with a plastic drain cleaner, I decided it was finally time to try this viral hair catcher out. This small silicone tool fits into most standard tub drains and collects all the hair before it washes down and clogs your drain. Take it out, remove the hair with a piece of toilet paper, and it’s ready for the next shower.”  — Connie Chen 

A no-fuss traveling garment steamer

TRAVEL SMART Conair 450 Watt Dual Voltage Garment Steamer

The first time I brought a steamer to Europe, it basically exploded 30 seconds after I turned it on. Lesson learned. I found this inexpensive travel steamer that’s dual voltage, and while it’s not the best I’ve ever owned, it gets the job done and I don’t have to worry about electrical mishaps. — Ashley Phillips

A smart home camera at a fraction of the cost you would expect to pay

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I was completely surprised at how advanced this camera was given the very affordable price. Set-up was so easy, and the camera does everything the expensive models do, and possibly even better. Highly recommend. — Melanie Winer

A sound machine to replace the sounds of the city at night with nature or white noise

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I use this white noise machine while sleeping at night to blur out the street sounds of this noisy city. It’s also really easy to travel with. Whether you want to blur out the crickets, car horns, loud neighbors, or just need some white noise, it’s a must-have for the bedside table. — Chris Roth

Comfortable, public-friendly sweatpants

SweatyRocks Women's Drawstring Waist Striped Side Jogger

As work from home continues, I’ve been looking for more sweatpants that I can comfortably work in that are also appropriate for walks and socially distant plans. These sweats are affordable, have sustained washes and all-day wear, and the rainbow stripe down the side adds a bit of fun.” — Emily Hein

A really thin wallet for just the essentials

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I use this slim RFID wallet every day. It’s thin but sturdy and holds everything I need. — Navah Maynard

No-slip gel gripped socks

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These PEDS socks are the only ones I use, and I wear sneakers almost every day. The no-slip gel grips on the heel keep them from falling off and bunching up. — Sally Kaplan

A hairbrush that won’t break after a few months

wet brush

My thick hair has a long history of eating brushes, but the Wet Brush finally put a stop to that! It painlessly smooths out tangles and the bristles are tough enough that I only have to buy a new one every year or so. Before, my brushes only ever made it a few months. — Ashley Phillips

An inexpensive, well-designed measuring cup

OXO Good Grips 3 Piece Angled Measuring Cup Set

OXO is my go-to kitchen brand for cheap, well-designed tools. This measuring cup set has a geniously angled surface that allows you to see measurement markings from above as you’re pouring, so you can better measure ingredients without bending or lifting the cup to eye level. 

I also highly recommend OXO’s silicone baking mat for creating a non-stick surface that makes for easier cleanups and this cookie scoop for scooping out balls of dough that are all the same size. — Ellen Hoffman 

A slim wastebasket that fits almost anywhere, but also fits a lot of garbage

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Love this slim garbage can that fits into narrow spaces, but still holds a lot. — Navah Maynard

Affordable jewelry that lets you save up for an investment piece

BBTO 9 Pieces Women Girls Layered Choker Necklace

I love chokers and layering different necklaces together, but I have a short attention span when it comes to jewelry. I tend to lean more towards affordable jewelry that I can experiment with on different looks before committing to staple pieces that I know I’ll wear forever. This choker set was a great addition to my summer looks, and now I have more of an idea of what I’m looking for when I eventually take the plunge on long wear jewelry. — Emily Hein

A PopSocket to make gripping a large iPhone less strenuous on your fingers

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When I got my iPhone X, I also picked up a PopSocket grip to make it easier to hold my phone without straining my fingers. I love it because it’s practical, keeps my phone secure, and lets me express my crazy cat lady side— Malarie Gokey

Editor’s note: They come in a variety of colors and designs.

Reusable K-cups for your Keurig or to use as impromptu tea balls for loose-leaf tea

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I recently got a Keurig for the sake of convenience, but I knew I didn’t want to use wasteful plastic pods with it, so I got these reusable ones instead. They work great for their intended use, but I also figured out that they make excellent tea balls for brewing loose-leaf cups. — Sally Kaplan

A super effective foot mask to give you smoother feet

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This foot mask is the best/worst thing I’ve ever bought for under $25 on Amazon. My feet are so soft and smooth now, but my team did have to listen to me complain about my feet peeling for two weeks. — Maureen Lamping

A wallet phone case that lets you keep your bag at home

ZVE Zipper Wallet Case

This wallet case holds enough that you never need to carry a bag. I always have at least 5 credit cards, my ID, my insurance card, a MetroCard, a few punch cards, and sometimes cash in mine. I bought my first ZVE Wallet Case in 2017, and between myself and my mom (who I’ve evangelized), we’ve ordered 7 of these cases through 4 generations of iPhone. It might be too chunky for some, but I highly recommend this if you hate needing to carry a bag. Plus, when things start happening again, you can skip the bag check lines at sporting events and concerts. — Elisabeth Chambry

A rapid egg cooking machine that’s completely foolproof

 Dash Rapid Egg Cooker

After I read Jen Gushue’s review of this under-$20 rapid egg cooking gadget, I was fully influenced to buy it. It makes hard-boiled eggs in half the time of traditional methods with absolutely no guesswork, saving me a good chunk of time during the week and ensuring I actually eat breakfast on busy mornings. — Ellen Hoffman

This handy water bottle that takes the guesswork out of hydration

Cactaki 32oz Water Bottle with Time Marker, BPA Free, Non Toxic, Leakproof, Durable

This water bottle comes with me everywhere I go. The secure lid ensures no spillage in my bag and the removable strap adds versatility in transportation. The printed tracking is the main selling point as a quick glance can let me know how I am doing with my daily water intake and if needed motivate me to ensure I am drinking at least 64oz of water per day. In a sense, this water bottle has gamified drinking water and that’s fun! — Frank Massaro

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The 3 best juicers we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

If you buy fresh juice regularly, you may want to invest in a juicer. The best ones can pulverize an entire farmer’s market haul into smooth, flavorful juice with little foam, easily fit on the counter, won’t wake up the whole house, are simple to clean, and come with a decent warranty (10 years is the industry standard).

There are two basic juicer types on the market: centrifugal and masticating (or slow). The larger, noisier, and more affordable of the two, centrifugal juicers use a high-speed blade and tend to yield less juice and more foam than their slow-juicing counterparts.

Masticating juicers steadily turn an auger that pulverizes fruits and veggies, leaving more nutrients and enzymes intact and producing smoother, silkier, and better-tasting juice overall. For these reasons, this guide focuses solely on slow juicers.

To arrive at our top picks, we juiced everything from hardy root vegetables to leafy greens, and considered the resulting juices’ taste, texture, foam levels, and oxidation rates. We also measured the volume of liquid each machine produced and the amount of pulp left behind, as well as the juicers’ speeds and noise levels. Lastly, with the help of a mechanical engineer, we pulled apart several juicers to see if they were made with identical parts (despite differences in size and price).

We’d also like to note that, while some people claim green juice can help you lose weight and clear the body of “toxins,” these ideas are not medically supported.

“Even if you’re making it yourself, juice is still more processed than a whole fruit or veggie, and studies consistently show that it’s more beneficial to eat foods in their more natural state,” Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, author of “Sugar Shock” told us. “Our bodies don’t register the calories we drink in the same way they register calories from food, so you don’t get the same level of fullness from juice as you would from eating an apple or veggie.”

However, Cassetty said fresh juice is still an excellent way to add more nutrients to your diet, and based on our testing, the juicers below all perform at the top level.

Here are the best juicers you can buy in 2021

The best juicer overall

hurom hp slow juicer

Not only was the Hurom HP Slow Juicer one of the most powerful models we tested, it was also the most compact and user-friendly.

Pros: Small size, intuitive design, 100% BPA-free plastic, 10-year motor warranty, easy to clean, high juice yield

Cons: 2-year parts warranty, somewhat slow (even by slow juicer standards), juice is slightly less concentrated than its more expensive competitors’

While Hurom’s HP Slow Juicer is the smallest machine we tested, it uses the same powerful motor as models that take up nearly twice the space (like the Omega VSJ843, for example). We discovered this after disassembling and examining several highly-rated juicers with the help of a mechanical engineer — a process that we describe in greater detail under “Our Methodology,” below. 

The HP comes with a fine strainer, a larger strainer to allow some pulp to pass through — always a good idea, nutritionally — and two cleaning brushes. In other words, it has exactly all you need and nothing you don’t. That doesn’t mean the machine is without its conveniences, though; we’re fans of the inner spinning brush that helps clear the strainers while you’re juicing, allowing for a higher yield.

Indeed, the HP did produce a high yield. It pulled the most liquid out of every single fruit or veggie we juiced, and consistently had among the driest discarded pulp (in these respects, it even outperformed our other recommendation from Hurom, the H-AI Self-Feeding Juicer). The resulting juice was clean, bright, and refreshing, and contained little foam, although it wasn’t quite as rich and intense as its pricier competitors’ output. 

When it’s time to clean up, there are no awkward angles to scrub, and that cleaning brush does an excellent job of removing pulp from hard-to-reach spots thanks to a convenient pick built into its handle. Hurom cautions against running the machine’s parts through the dishwasher, although we managed to do so without a problem. (Is this cleaning method a good idea, long-term? Probably not, but we wanted to make sure the HP could handle it in a pinch.) 

A note to those who tend to juice while rushing out the door: if speed is of the essence, Hurom’s HP Slow Juicer may not be the machine for you. It runs at 43 RPM, which is a bit slow even by slow juicer standards. For comparison, the Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer and the previously mentioned Hurom H-AI — two models included in this guide — run at 60 RPM, while the Omega Cold Press 365, which we’re currently testing, runs at 90 to 110 RPM. 

Aside from its relatively gentle pace, the only thing that leaves this juicer wanting is a 10-year motor warranty and a 2-year parts warranty — you’ll get better coverage from Kuvings and Omega. 

In the end, the HP’s ease of use, simple clean-up, and compact size make it a clear winner for us. After all, if your juicer is compact enough to live on your countertop instead of a cabinet, you’ll notice — and therefore use — it all the more often.

The best multi-use juicer

kuvings slow juicer

The Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer produces rich, velvety juice, and goes beyond the usual call of duty to act as a citrus juicer and ice cream maker with the help of attachments. 

Pros: Versatile, 10-year warranty on all parts, BPA-free plastic, extra-wide feeding spout

Cons: Heavy, some attachments sold separately, cleanup can be time-consuming

The Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer is a sound investment if you like the idea of an appliance that can do quadruple duty. Not only is it an excellent slow juicer in its own right, it’s designed to accommodate three attachments: smoothie and frozen dessert makers (both included) and a citrus juicer (sold separately).

To use the citrus juicer attachment, you palm halves of citrus over a reamer that’s turned by the machine’s motor. It’s simple and gets the job done, and while we think the price of the attachment is higher than it needs to be, it’s still far more affordable than purchasing a separate appliance. 

During our testing, we used the smoothie strainer to make a berry and banana smoothie that was texturally consistent, foam-free, and silkier than anything we’ve pulled from a blender. The blank strainer for frozen desserts was more difficult to master: we were successful with banana gelato, but not much else. It seems that a particular level of frozenness (and practice) is required to churn out sorbets, gelatos, and ice creams as effortlessly as this YouTuber.

As far as its main duty goes, the Whole Slow Juicer’s 3.2-inch-wide feeding spout can accommodate larger pieces of fruit than our top pick, and at 60 RPM it’s a bit faster, too. The extra speed may come at the expense of maximum juicing; compared to the Hurom HP, the Kuvings squeezed less liquid out of our fruits and vegetables, and its wetter pulp suggested that there was some good stuff left behind in the discard pile. 

That being said, the Whole Slow Juicer produced the richest, most velvety juice we tried during our taste tests, with and without the detachable external strainer that helps catch any residual pulp. 

There is one design quirk we should note, though: the chute makes an awkward turn towards the auger, which means harder fruits and vegetables like carrots and beets get hung up, while softer ones like grapes leave a significant amount of mush in the bend. We had to reverse the auger more times for the Kuvings than for any other juicer, and while we were able to send most of that aforementioned mush back through, it was an extra, messy step.

That turn in the chute also made for more complicated cleanup work, but that’s only nominal when it comes to juicers. Plus, any additional time spent was mostly offset by the Kuvings’ self-cleaning internal strainer, whose basket is lined with pulp-sweeping brushes. Like everything we tested, its parts withstood the dishwasher. 

Small flaws considered, if you want a juicer that does it all, this is the only one we know of that can make smoothies, frozen desserts (with some trial and error), and citrus juice. It’s also BPA-free and includes a 10-year warranty on all parts, which tops all of the other product warranties on our list. 

The best self-feeding juicer

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Hurom’s H-AI Slow Juicer has a small footprint, is easy to clean, and because it’s self-feeding, does a lot of the work for you.

Pros: Easy to use and clean, space-saving, self-feeding hopper is a time-saver, BPA-free plastic, 10-year warranty on motor

Cons: Only a two-year warranty on parts, some produce gets stuck in self-feeding hopper (though only peaches and pears, in our experience)

A self-feeding juicer like Hurom’s H-AI Slow Juicer can make juicing a good deal easier, and because it takes up so little space, it’s not unreasonable to leave it out and ready for use.

There’s a bit of debate as to whether or not the self-feeding hopper works well, but in our experience over the past two years we’ve only had two problems: once with peaches, and another time with pears. In both instances, the fruits were bordering on overripe and turned into a mush that could not be fed from the hopper into the auger. While it’s true that another juicer might have handled this problem better, most of us aren’t juicing a ton of overripe fruits. Further, if you start to encounter this problem, a good solution (before it’s too late) is to intersperse some harder fruits into the mix to help push the rest through.

Otherwise, everything we put into the hopper made it through to the auger and came out as juice, and the pulp was among the driest from the juicers we’ve tested (aside from our top pick, the Hurom HP). We also ended up with notably less waste from this juicer than any other. 

This machine yielded more juice than the Kuvings — despite the fact that both turn at 60 RPM — thanks to a preparatory blade in the hopper. However, the results weren’t as rich as the Kuvings’ and the H-AI produced a little more foam, although the difference was marginal. 

Because this machine is completely vertically integrated (even the pulp canister is built into it vertically), we found cleanup to be markedly quick. Everything pulls apart easily, and the self-feeding hopper is much more open than the Kuvings’ chute. 

If you find you don’t like the self-feeding hopper, or want to use a chute for softer fruits, there’s a two-inch-wide one in the kit, along with a fine and large strainer, so you have juicing options. 

Every component of this juicer, save for the stand and motor, has been through the washing machine well over 20 times, and we haven’t had any problems to date.

This is an expensive machine, but it has worked flawlessly for us for over two years of rigorous use. If you want a juicer that does everything, the Kuvings might be for you, but if you’re looking to juice with exceptional ease, the Hurom H-AI is tops.

Like the Hurom HP, this juicer comes with a 10-year warranty on the motor and a two-year warranty on the parts. We wish Hurom would extend the full warranty to parts, but that’s about the only shortcoming we can point to in all of the time we’ve been using it.

Our methodology

2lb carrot juice test

To test the juicers’ ability to handle a variety of fruits and vegetables, we ran beets, carrots, kale, and black seedless grapes through each machine. We weighed the produce beforehand to make sure we were putting the exact same amount in each juicer, then measured the volume (fluid ounces) of the resulting juice.

We noted the amount of foam that settled at the top of each cup of juice, the rate of oxidation (some juices browned faster than others), and the amount of pulp left behind. 

And, of course, we measured taste, however subjectively, and found that some juices were more watery than others (we used a fine strainer throughout testing) while others were incredibly rich.

We also pulled apart four juicers after speaking with Duncan Freake, a mechanical engineer at Epam Continuum, who posited that certain parts, including the augers, strainers, and receptacles were the same between Omega and HP. Sure enough, while the parts inside each of the juicers we disassembled weren’t exactly identical, it was clear that they came from the same factory, or used the same components, from Korea. And while both brands advertise that their juicers are made in Korea, they don’t divulge that many of their parts come from the same set of factories as their competitors, Zhejiang Linix Motor Co., Ltd. Granted, this is a common case with many household appliances, and something we found to be true when researching for our guide to the best countertop ice makers, too.

What else we recommend

Breville Juice Fountain Plus: If you do want a centrifugal juicer, this is one of the best in its category. We’ve used it many times in the past, we’ve seen it hold up at several small juice stands, and the price is right. Still, it produces a lot of foam, and it’s a good deal larger than the vertical slow juicers we recommend.

Omega VSJ843: This juicer, down to almost every single part, turned out to be identical to the Hurom HP. The big difference is that it comes with a 15-year warranty on “parts and performance” versus a 10-year warranty on the Hurom juicers’ motors and a two-year warranty on other parts. In the end, the motor warranty is a bigger consideration, because if you break a part (and it’s not due to defect), it’s still on you to replace. We’re going to work on comparing customer service between the two companies for further consideration.

What else we considered

Breville Bluicer: This could be a handy machine if you happen to need a juicer and a blender at once, but it’s large, and comes with a lot of parts you might not want to use (let alone store). We found the juice yield so low and the amount of foam so high, though, that on top of other detrimental factors such as size and noise, we decided against recommending it in this guide.

Hamilton Beach Big Mouth: This centrifugal high-speed juicer is more affordable than the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, but while it worked, it produced a ton of foam.

Smeg Slow Juicer: Smeg’s Slow Juicer had a lot of the same qualities as the Omega VSJ843 or the Hurom HP, but at about $500, you’re mostly paying for its ’50s-vintage appeal.

Check out our other small appliance guides

KitchenAid 5 Quart Stand Mixer

The best KitchenAid stand mixers


The best citrus juicers


The best blenders


The best espresso machines


The best ice cream makers

Read the original article on Business Insider

68 thoughtful and fun gifts that won’t cost you more than $25

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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The elements of a good present – being thoughtful, useful, or novel – aren’t restricted to a big budget. But the best gifts under $25 are usually hidden in a minefield of totally expendable knickknacks.

As a team of product journalists and reviewers, we’ve put together a list of the best affordable gifts we know of, based on gifts we’ve received, gifts we’ve given, and others we’ve found along the way. All of them are things we have or would gladly buy and use in our daily lives.

Check out all 60+ gifts under $25:

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Under Armour. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*

A book that’ll make you a cheese connoisseur

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The New Rules of Cheese, available at Uncommon Goods, $15

Master the art of cheese for your next charcuterie board. This book tells you all you need to know about different types of cheese, how to pair them, and how to store each one. You’ll know exactly what to serve with an extra-sharp cheddar or a smooth, melty brie.

An at-home lavender growing kit

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Mason Jar Lavender Grow Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Grow English lavender indoors with this reusable, self-watering kit. It’s perfect for the novice gardener or someone who doesn’t have the outdoor space. Just combine the seeds in the self-watering system, set it in a sunny window, and adore your fragrant lavender in its vintage jar.

The bedside storage essential

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Bedside Essentials Pocket, available at Uncommon Goods, $15-$20

Whether it’s your remote controls, books, and reading glasses, your bedside or couch essentials will fit perfectly in this convenient felt pouch. It slides between your mattress or under your couch cushion without looking like an eyesore.

The self-confessional book you can burn after writing

Burn

Burn After Writing Book, available at Amazon, $7

This bestseller went viral across TikTok because of its unique approach to self-reflection. With inquisitive prompts, the notebook works as a giant confessional you can quite literally burn after writing. 

A reflective card game that encourages connection

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We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game, available at Target, $25

This card game is unlike any you’ve played before. Its three carefully crafted levels of questions spark connections and stimulate reflective conversations. You’ll leave the game making friends out of strangers or diving deeper into your friendships. 

A custom plaque for the music lover in your life

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Custom Spotify Song Plaque, available at Etsy, starting $20

These custom music plaques have become a popular gift for music lovers. Commemorate their favorite song with this clear piece of home decor that pulls up music with a quick scan. It’s great for anniversaries, letting you add a personal photo along with you and your significant other’s song. 

An assorted cookie tin

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6-Count Cookie Tin, available Milk Bar, $20

Satisfy their sweet tooth with this assortment of cookies. You can’t go wrong with Milk Bar’s best, from its fudgy Chocolate Confetti Cookie to its fruity Blueberry & Cream Cookie.

An ambient moon lamp

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Saturn Moon Lamp, available at Amazon, $23.99

This Saturn-shaped moon lamp gives off a soothing ambient glow to brighten up their room. Whether they use it as a subtle night light or as a room accessory, they’ll have fun matching the lamp to their mood with its 16 color options.

Hip wine glasses that elevate a nice dinner

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Hip Wine Glasses, available at Crate & Barrel, $6.95

There’s nothing that screams elegance more than a nice set of wine glasses. At only $7 each, Crate & Barrel’s stemware styles are the perfect guest to accompany your next charcuterie board. 

A sentimental card to keep forever

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Aya Paper Co. Gratitude Greeting Card Set, available at Kohl’s, $15

Is their love language words of affirmation? Then this is the perfect find. Express your admiration for the ones you love with these greeting card keepsakes. 

A milk frother that brings the taste of a cafe closer to home

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PowerLix Milk Frother, available at Amazon, $18.95

A milk frother is an unexpectedly convenient tool to have around the house, and it can make a frothy latte or cappuccino that tastes closer to what you’d find at the cafe.

Reusable straws that fold up on the go

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Food52 Reusable Straw Set, available at Food52, from $25

Food52’s reusable straw sets come in a pretty color palette, and each pack includes carrying cases and cleaning squeegees. They can toss one set in their bag, leave one at work, and keep one in the car.

A cult-favorite clay mask that basically vacuums out pores

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Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, available at Target, $7.99

The Aztec Clay Mask has been called “the world’s most powerful facial” and it’s also under $10. It can be mixed with water, but it works best with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. You can read a full review here.

A cozy, activity-ready beanie

Cheap gift ideas Under Armour

Unisex UA Truckstop Beanie, available at Under Armour, $22

There’s no such thing as too many beanies, and Under Armour’s truly stands out thanks to its sweat-wicking, quick-drying material. Its acrylic knit design will keep them warm on long walks, but it’ll also keep them from overheating during winter workouts. If they’re into fitness but not into hats, Under Armour’s gift guide is a great place to check out clever gift ideas.

*Sponsored by Under Armour

Their new favorite pair of socks

bombas

Women’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Men’s Tri-Block Ankle Socks, available at Bombas, $12

Bombas is one gift we find ourselves giving friends and family every year. They’re the best socks we’ve ever tried, and they’re a little more expensive than someone is likely to spend on socks for themselves, making them a great gift.

A Disney+ subscription

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Subscribe for $6.99/month or $69.99/year

It gives you unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.

And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.

A large photo print of a meaningful memory

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Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $20

Artifact Uprising makes luxury prints at accessible prices — and they make especially thoughtful gifts that look like they should cost much more. Get one of their favorite photos printed on archival fine art paper for $20 and up, or thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per custom card. You can also make a color series photo book for $20, a set of prints for $9, and a personalized calendar on a handcrafted wood clipboard for $25.

A roulette of spontaneous date night ideas

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Date Night Bucket List, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Never run out of fun and new date night ideas — and take some of the pressure off deciding on an activity.

A cold brew coffee tool that makes a quart of liquid

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Takeya Deluxe Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon, $20.10

This cold brew maker is as inexpensive as it is convenient, and it can save hundreds of dollars per year on iced coffee. It easily fits into most refrigerator doors, is simple to use, and makes a good amount of cold brew at once. If they need more than one quart, there’s also a two-quart option.

A trio of bestselling lipstick shades

Beauty gifts under $25 Pat McGrath

Pat McGrath Labs Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio, available at Sephora, $25

This paraben-free, ultra-pigmented trio features tiny but mighty editions of Pat McGrath Labs’ MatteTrance lipsticks.

A hair towel that cuts down on drying time by as much as 50%

aquis hair turban

Aquis Original Microfiber Hair Turban, available at Amazon, $20.99

Aquis’ cult-favorite hair towels have inspired a slew of rave reviews online, including one from our own team of product reviewers.

The towels are made from a proprietary fabric called Aquitex that’s composed of ultra-fine fibers (finer than silk) that work to reduce the amount of friction that hair experiences while in its weakest state. Plus, it speeds up drying time by as much as 50%.

Textured dip bowls for condiments

Gifts under $25 dip bowl

Textured Dip Bowl, available at West Elm, $6.50

Ideal for snacks, condiments, and the basics they love to cook with frequently. 

An approachable cookbook that’s great for hosting

Where Cooking Begins

“Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook” by Carla Lalli Music, available at Amazon, $18.69

This is the cookbook to beeline it to if your recipient loves to host friends for dinner. You can find more great options here, too.

A holiday shave set from a popular startup

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Shave Set, available at Flamingo, $16

Flamingo is the women’s brand of Harry’s, and it’s got the same M.O.: to make better hair removal products for a reasonable amount of money, and to present them in a way that makes them feel special. Its Shave Set comes in a recyclable pouch with a razor and two blade cartridges, luxe foaming shave gel, and a shower hook.

Smart outlet plugs that let you turn devices on or off from anywhere

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Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini, available at Best Buy, $17.99

A small but convenient gift, smart wifi plugs let the owner turn their electronics on or off from anywhere with their smartphone thanks to the Kasa app. If they have a smart home gadget, they can use the voice assistant to turn things on and off as well. In the Kasa app, they can also set schedules and “scenes” for controlling many devices with one button. 

A custom family portrait – including pets

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Custom Family Portrait, available at Etsy, from $15

For an especially thoughtful, impactful gift, order ahead of time and get a custom portrait of your little family — pets included.

A mini griddle that makes individual servings of breakfast foods

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Dash Mini Maker: The Mini Waffle Maker Machine, available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $9.99

This tiny waffle maker is perfect for single-serving breakfasts, or for meal prep (just freeze your waffles ahead of time). It’s compact for confined spaces, heats up in a few minutes, and has a non-stick surface that’s easy to clean.

A lifetime REI membership

REI

REI Membership, available at REI, $20

Perfect for the outdoorsy types, an REI membership offers a lifetime of benefits for a one-time purchase. That includes 10%-back dividends, special offers, access to in-store REI Garage sales, and special pricing on REI classes and events. Find out more here.

A set of three silk hair scrunchies

SlipSilk

Slipsilk Mini Scrunchies, available at Sephora, $20

Silk is often used in products like headbands and pillowcases to reduce friction and breakage of hair, and these hair ties serve the same purpose. Designed to keep hair from catching, crimping, and pulling, these hair scrunchies are gentle on strands and around the wrist.

Containers of Belgian chocolate for fondue

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Decadent Chocolate Fondue, available at Uncommon Goods, $20

Order a stoneware container of Belgian chocolate that you can heat up for a night of hassle-free fondue. 

A water bottle with a built-in filter system

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Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle, available at Amazon, $16.99

The Brita water bottle has a built-in filter that can improve the taste of water by reducing its chlorine content and smell. It can replace an estimated 1,800 single-use plastic bottles each year.

A reusable shopping bag that comes in tons of fun colors

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Baggu Standard Reusable Shopping Bag, available at Amazon, $12

Baggu bags are popular for a reason — they come in tons of fun prints and can fold down to pretty much nothing even though they can hold 50 pounds of stuff. 

An indoor wireless smart home camera

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Wyze Alexa-Enabled Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera, available at Chewy, $25.98

The popular Wyze Indoor Camera is an inexpensive, Alexa- and Google Assistant-enabled smart home camera that lets you see inside your home from anywhere when using your mobile device. It also has night vision. 

*This product was selected at a price point below $25, but prices can often fluctuate slightly above or below $25. 

A spray that protects your shoes from stains

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Jason Markk Repel Spray, available at Amazon, $17

This Jason Markk spray repels water and oil to keep your shoes free of stains and water spots. It’s water-based, so it’s okay to use on a variety of materials — from suede to nubuck leather to canvas and others. It sprays a fine mist that covers large areas both quickly and evenly. 

Soft, cozy underwear that comes in holiday patterns

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MeUndies Boxers, available at MeUndies, $24

MeUndies makes some of the most comfortable underwear and loungewear for men and women that we’ve found at Insider Reviews. And, beyond that, we love their festive patterns.

Because they’re pricier than most people are willing to pay for their own underwear, these make a great and surprisingly luxurious gift. 

Coasters made from reclaimed vinyl records

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Upcycled Record Coasters, available at Uncommon Goods, $18

These upcycled coasters are made from reclaimed vinyl records and sealed against moisture. Each set includes a variety of music genres. 

A water bottle that keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours straight

Gifts under $25 Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask 12 oz Kids Wide Mouth Bottle, available at Hydro Flask, $20.97

Hydro Flask’s cult-favorite water bottle keeps chilled drinks cold for up to 24 hours. This particular version is marketed with kids in mind, but the smaller size and bright colors also work well for adults on the go.

Fast-absorbing, moisturizing hand sanitizer

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Touchland Hand Sanitizer, available at Touchland, $12

Touchland makes hand sanitizers that aren’t sticky or drying. We like them because they’re fast-evaporating, moisturizing, and effective

An eco-friendly utensil set for eating on the go

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United by Blue Utensil Kit, available at United by Blue, $24

Perfect for eating on the go or at a campsite, this utensil kit comes with two stainless steel straws, one silicone straw tip, one straw cleaner, one stainless steel spork, and one pair of stainless steel chopsticks.

United by Blue is an eco-friendly outdoors retailer, and the carrier is made from 100% recycled polyester ripstop with a water-resistant finish.

A protective phone case

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Incase Phone Cases, available at Incase, from $14.95

Incase probably already makes your laptop case, and their phone cases are great for many of the same reasons. They’re lightweight, add another layer of protection, and allow for some fun personalization. 

A membership to unlimited reading

Scribd

Scribd Membership, available at Scribd, $9.99/month

Enjoy unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of books, audiobooks, and magazines for less than $10 a month with Scribd. (Or $13 per month for access to Scribd and the New York Times). If they aren’t a bibliophile already, Scribd will make them one. 

A cult-favorite fidget toy

speks

Speks Classic Magnet Balls, available at Speks, $24.95

Speks are one of our all-time favorite fidget accessories. They’re tiny magnetic balls that you can break apart, reconfigure, and otherwise mold, mash, and build with. They help us divert just enough energy to remain productive throughout the day. 

Herbs de Provence in a cool ceramic crock

Cheap Valentine's Day Gifts

Herbes de Provence in Ceramic Crock, available at Williams Sonoma, from $14.95

Switch it up for the cook in your life with this tasty herb mix. The classic blend of thyme, basil, savory, fennel and lavender hails from the South of France, and Williams Sonoma recommends using it to accent poultry, meat, sauces, and soups. 

Spiral hair ties that don’t leave kinks in their hair

Gifts under $25 Invisibobble

Invisibobble Pouch of Awesome, available at Ulta, $11.50

Inivisibobble makes popular spiral hair ties that apply even pressure to a ponytail, providing a strong but comfortable hold. This set comes with four hair ties: the Slim, Scrunchie, Basic, and Power.

Chip-resistant, vegan nail polish that comes in over 40 colors

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Smith and Cult Nail Polish, available at Smith and Cult, $18

Smith & Cult’s rich, chip-resistant nail polish comes in 47 colors and the kind of beautiful bottle you leave out on the vanity because it’s just that nice to look at. The formulas are vegan, cruelty-free, and don’t have potentially harmful ingredients like formaldehyde or camphor,  among others.

An advent calendar of 24 herbal teas

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Pukka Advent Calendar, available at Amazon, $14.17

This pack of 24 tea bags in different varieties supplies a full month of daily spontaneity and self-care. According to Pukka Herbs, all its teas and supplements are ethically and sustainably sourced. 

Charitable lottery tickets that donate money to a deserving organization

lottolove

Scratch-off Donation Card, available at LottoLove, from $5

When you scratch off a card from LottoLove, you won’t win any money. Instead, you “win” a charitable prize that’s donated to someone in need. There are four possible prizes, which help provide clean water, solar light, nutritious meals, or literacy tools. To date, LottoLove and its charitable partners have impacted lives in over 60 countries.

Lip gloss that’s moisturizing and not sticky

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Tower 28 Beauty ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora, $14

Tower 28 makes soft lip glosses with subtle color and a non-sticky, moisturizing formula with ingredients like raspberry seed oil and rosehip oil. Pick it up in 10 colors. 

A set of glasses that have a how-to diagram for Bloody Marys

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Bloody Mary Diagram Glassware, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $25

These cute Bloody Mary glasses make a playful science out a truly perfect spicy and savory Bloody Mary. 

Reusable beeswax sandwich wraps

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Beeswax Reusable Sandwich Wrap, available at Food52, from $18

Beeswax Sandwich Wrap is made from cotton infused with beeswax and natural oils. It acts as an eco-friendly substitute to plastic sandwich bags, and which can be reused over and over and over again.

Gourmet flavored syrups that are perfect for coffees and teas, and even cocktails

monin mini coffee syrup

Monin Mini Coffee Syrup, available at World Market, $9.99

Did anyone — anyone at all — say cocktails? Monin’s coffee collection has everything needed for café-inspired drinks, be they cocktails, lattes, coffees, or teas. It includes five syrups ranging in flavors from amaretto to Irish cream. Plus, Monin has a recycling initiative that works to improve the health of bee populations. 

A smart chip that helps you find items you’ve lost

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Tile Mate, available at Target, $24.99

How nice would it be if every time you lost something, you could find it within a few minutes? Use your smartphone to make the Tile Mate ring aloud, and you’ll be able to locate your keys or wallet using the sound. 

A travel-size duo of two cult-favorite NARS products

cheap gifts

NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil Duo, available at Sephora, $20

NARS’ velvet matte lipstick pencils are travel-sized so your giftee can bring them on trips or easily throw them into purses and pockets for on-the-go use. The formula is non-drying and long-lasting, and they can be used to line, define, and fill in lips with colors that range from subtle to rich. 

A popular lip mask that creates a protective seal to lock in moisture overnight

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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, available at Sephora, $22

Laneige’s hyper-successful Lip Sleeping Mask uses a combination of vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, minerals, antioxidants, and fruit extracts to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture overnight. It has over 7,000 ratings on Sephora, and an average rating of 4.5-stars out of five. 

A slip-resistant armband to keep their phone in place on a run

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Tribe Cell Phone Armband, available at Amazon, from $14.98

If you’re going to buy an armband for a runner, you’re probably going to wind up buying this version from Tribe. It has over 18,000 reviews on Amazon (with a 4.2-star rating overall) and, while it’s not the most perfect out there, it’s frequently recommended for its water-resistant and no-slip design. 

Knee-high socks from one of the best loungewear companies online

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Tommy John Knee High Casual Sock, available at Tommy John, from $16

Tommy John is another company responsible for some of the very best loungewear and underwear on the internet. Their knee-length socks have light compression to support blood flow, and the “comfort cuff” design means you should be able to peel them off without finding marks left over. 

A ceramic jewelry holder and ring dish

cheap gifts

Cactus Jewelry Holder Dish, available at Amazon, $16.99

A cute, quirky ceramic ring dish and jewelry holder that looks like a cactus.

An adjustable phone stand for their desk, dinner table, or kitchen counter

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Lamicall Adjustable Cell Phone Stand, available at Amazon, from $11.99

Whether they use it as a desk accessory or to prop up their YouTube search for “how to chop onions” while they cook at home, a lightweight, adjustable phone stand comes in handy more often than you’d expect. 

One of the best new books of the year

book

“The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon, from $17.39

If you’re looking for a good book to gift, look no further than the reading lists already on Amazon — from the best books of the month, to the best books of the year, to the 100 you should read in a lifetime

All the tools you need for a delicious, fast avocado toast

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Avocado Toast Breakfast Set, available at Walmart, $11.50

This set of breakfast tools makes a thoughtful gift for anyone who wants a delicious meal faster, which is never a bad thing in the morning.

A photo book with some of their best memories

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Custom Softcover Photo Book, available at Artifact Uprising from $15

For a sentimental gift under $25, we recommend these beautifully designed photo books that look like a personal magazine, curated by you for them.

Bath salts that are the perfect excuse for relaxation

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Herbivore Botanicals Calm Bath Salts, available at Dermstore, $15.30

Herbivore Botanical’s bath salts include nutrient-rich Pacific sea salts combined with ylang-ylang and vanilla essential oil. They’ll moisturize the skin and provide a deeply relaxing, calming effect on the brain to decrease anxiety and restlessness.  

The best hair mask you can buy

its a 10 miracle hair mask

It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask, available at It’s a 10, from $12.49

Perfect for color-treated, heat-styled, and otherwise damaged hair, It’s a 10’s hair mask deep-conditions strands with a blend of moisturizing ingredients like oat kernel extract, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, and linseed extract. We ranked it the best hair mask you can buy

Fruit ice molds to liven up water or cocktails

Gifts under $25 fruit ice balls

Fruit Infusing Ice Balls, Set of 4, available at Uncommon Goods, $10

This slow-melting ice mold can add a crisp, refreshing burst of fruit or herbs to their water. All they have to do is add their fix-ins to the mold, fill with water, and freeze.

A cute, bunny-shaped loose-tea infuser

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Fred & Friends Brew Bunny Tea Infuser, available at Amazon, $9.79

Gift them some relaxing time spent sipping their favorite tea (which you could pick up as an accompanying gift). 

The makeup remover tourists stock up on in French pharmacies

Bioderma

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Makeup Remover, available at Amazon, $14.90

Bioderma’s makeup remover is a cult-favorite among makeup artists, celebrities, the average person, and the Insider Reviews team. We’ve ranked it the best makeup remover you can buy, and it’s one of the many beauty products tourists are known to stock up on when visiting a French pharmacy. 

Silicone gloves that keep the other half of the avocado fresh

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Avocado Huggers, Set of 2, available at Uncommon Goods, $8

These little silicone cups hug the remaining half of an avocado to keep it fresh in the fridge. 

Tickets to an event you know they’ll appreciate

StubHub gift card

Live concert and game tickets, available at Stubhub, from $15 per person

Once it’s safe to attend live events again, is there a good concert, play, or game you think they’d love? It doesn’t have to be expensive to be impactful. Grab tickets and make a night of it — or, if you live far away, make sure they get to go with a friend or two.

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The 5 best skewers of 2021 for grilling, roasting, or garnishing cocktails

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Whether at the grill or around a firepit, a quality skewer makes cooking easier.
  • Bamboo is a good option for one-time use, while stainless steel is a reusable alternative.
  • We rounded up the best skewers for grilling, roasting marshmallows, making cocktails, and more.

A set of skewers is a valuable addition to any kitchen or grill set-up. Before purchasing, consider how you intend to use the skewers to help decide between materials and lengths. Most skewers are made of bamboo or stainless steel, but lengths can vary from four to more than fourteen inches. A longer skewer is better for an open fire, and shorter ones are great for use as cocktail garnishes, sandwich picks, and grilling small items. Whatever your needs may be, here are the best skewers for grilling, making s’mores, and more.

Here are the best skewers

Best multi-use

Norpro Stainless Steel 14-inch Skewers
The wide body of the skewer helps to keep food stationary while grilling.

The Norpro Stainless Steel Skewers are versatile tools, with the length to reach a campfire and the shape to lay flat on a grill.

What we like: Good for open fires and grilling, looped handle

The Norpro skewers are the best option for multiple uses because of their length and shape. The 14-inch skewers are longer than average for kabobs, but this makes them more comfortable for roasting marshmallows. Additionally, they are flat and made of stainless steel, which is the ideal combination for grilling. The small, looped handle at the end of the skewer is easy to grasp with tongs and makes hanging storage possible. 

Best for grilling

Blue Donuts Stainless Steel Kabob Skewers
Use the small loop at the end of the skewers to hang and store them.

The Blue Donuts Kabob Skewers are made for grill masters and constructed from dishwasher-safe stainless steel.

What we like: Top rack dishwasher safe, flat length, pointed end

These flat, 12-inch long skewers are great for making kabobs, sausages, and more on the grill. Since the entire skewer is stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about taking special care of the handle. There are 24 in a pack, so you will always have some at hand even when others are in the dishwasher. Though they’re meant for grilling, these skewers can be used for fondue and close-up marshmallow roasting.

Best for s’mores

SUMPRI Marshmallow Skewers
With six different colored handles, these skewers are great for groups.

Roasting the perfect golden marshmallow is easy with the dual-pronged SUMPRI Skewers that extend up to 34 inches.

What we like: Comfortable handles, adjustable length

You can get close to a small camping fire or stay comfortably distant from a bonfire with this set of six marshmallow roasting skewers. These skewers extend from 10 to 34 inches, including the handle, and allow users to adjust the reach whenever they want. The stainless steel dual prongs do need to be hand-washed, but the convenience of having reusable roasting sticks that won’t burn your hand is worth it. The included travel pouch makes this set great for vacations. 

Best for cocktails

Top Shelf Bar Supply Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks
These cocktail sticks are also great for hors d’oeuvres and as sandwich picks.

The Top Shelf Bar Supply Stainless Steel Cocktail Picks are classic and practical cocktail skewers that easily add flair to drinks while holding garnishes in place.

What we like: Dishwasher safe, classic design

Simple and elegant, these cocktail sticks are balanced with a sharp point to pierce garnishes and a rounded top to handle. The stainless steel sticks come in sets of 12 and are available in lengths of four and eight inches. They’re dishwasher safe, so you can spruce up at-home drinks with minimal extra work.

Best bamboo

Fu Store Bamboo Skewers 8-inch
Bamboo skewers are eco-friendly and disposable.

For a cheap and disposable option, Fu Store has bulk packages of bamboo skewers in a range of sizes.

What we like: Bulk purchasing, multiple size options

If you don’t plan to use your skewers frequently, disposable bamboo skewers are an easy and cheap option. The Fu Store Bamboo Skewers are made with multiple uses in mind, offering sticks in four lengths and packs of 100 or 200. The six and eight-inch skewers can be used as long cocktail sticks, and the 10 and 12-inch skewers are ideal for grilling.

When grilling, keep in mind that these skewers are round and don’t have handles. Kabobs will need to be positioned so there is part of the skewer to grab onto. As with all bamboo skewers, soak these in water for 30 minutes before using near heat.

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Popular bedding brand Tuft & Needle is offering major discounts right now on mattresses, bed frames, and sheets

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

tuft & needle sale

Tuft & Needle’s Spring Refresh sale is here to make it easier for you to redecorate and freshen up your bedroom this spring. Now through April 18, the popular mattress retailer is offering discounts of 10% off across the site and 15% off bed frames. These discounts will get you up to $200 off all bed frames and up to $25 off pillows and sheets.

If you’re looking to purchase a new mattress during the sale, we’ve arranged an exclusive code for Insider Reviews readers that will bring the discount up to 15% off the Mint and Original mattresses. Use code INSIDER15 at checkout to save $164 off the Mint mattress and $104 off the Original mattress. Check out our reviews of the Tuft & Needle Mint and Tuft & Needle Original mattresses. Both are already great mid-priced and budget options, respectively; an extra 15% makes it a great time to take the plunge.

The sale also features discounts on bedding like sheets, pillows, blankets, and mattress protectors. The only thing you won’t find on sale is the Calm Meditation Cushion and Hybrid mattress. Although discounts are ongoing through April, we recommend shopping the sale soon for the best selection on product colors and sizes.

These are the best deals for Tuft & Needle’s Spring Refresh sale:

Original Mattress (Queen) (medium)Mint Mattress (Queen) (medium)Mattress Protector (medium)Jersey Sheet Set (medium)Down Alternative Duvet Insert (medium)Quilt (medium)Original Foam Pillow (medium)Wood Frame (medium)Box Foundation (medium)

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Walmart+ members can currently get free shipping on dozens of products during Walmart’s Spring forward Rollback event

This story was created by the Insider Reviews Team in collaboration with Walmart+. We earn money from our partners. Learn more.

Walmart Plus Home Screen 4x3

While many will adjust their clocks forward by an hour on Sunday, Walmart has been focusing on a different kind of rollback. All Walmart shoppers can currently save on hundreds of popular products during the Spring forward Rollback event.

Though the rollbacks span across many different product categories, some of the best current deals are on major tech, home, and kitchen products. Chromebooks, earbuds, and air fryers are all seeing significant discounts. We’ve profiled some of the best deals currently available below.

Walmart+ members can potentially save even more by receiving free next-day and two-day shipping on some of the below products. You can shop all rollbacks here, and products that qualify for free shipping with Walmart+ are noted throughout.

Chromebook Spin 311 (small)Powerbeats Wireless Earphones (small, Preferred: Walmart)ION Robot® Vacuum RV750 (small)Foodi 4-in-1 8-qt. Air Fryer (small)Contact Smokeless Ready Grill (small)

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Le Creuset has a little-known ‘Specials’ section of its site where you can find discounts on Dutch ovens, nonstick pans, and bakeware – here are the best deals available

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

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  • Le Creuset, known for its beautiful cookware, has specials you can shop year-round featuring huge discounts.
  • Some of our favorites, including the Mini Cocottes Set, are included in the discounts; we’ve also listed more of our favorite deals below.

Le Creuset is known for its beautiful, well-crafted, and oftentimes, pricey cookware. While we’ve found that they’re worth the price, it definitely helps when you can find some versatile stoneware and more at a discount.

Outside of deal events like Presidents’ Day and Black Friday, you can find solid discounts on some of the Le Creuset lineup on its site, year round. The Specials section holds tons of excellent discounts pretty much all year – so you should never settle for paying retail price for Le Creuset cookware.

This time around, shoppers can also save up to 50% on select Le Creuset cookware and accessories as well, including ramekins, griddles, dinner plates, and more.

Shop the Le Creuset Specials now or keep scrolling for some of our favorite deals in the sale

Demi Kettle and Mug Set (medium)Sauteuse (medium)Craft Series Utensil Set (medium)Mugs (Set of 4) (medium)Heritage Square Baking Dishes (Set of 2) (medium)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)Product Card (medium)

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We ordered from Omaha Steaks, and it’s a definite step up in quality from what your supermarket sells

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Omaha Steaks Lifestyle

  • Online food company Omaha Steaks has been in business since 1917 and ships out 4 million orders annually.
  • It sells meat and other foods for as little as $39.99 per bundle, and offers bulk packages to help you stock up.
  • Every cut of meat ships in its own vacuum-sealed package and comes with precise, easy-to-follow cooking instructions.

Filet Mignon Dinner (small)

You’ve heard of Omaha Steaks. It’s the mail order meat company that sent your boss some filet mignon as a thank you from his boss. Or maybe your uncle has been talking about it ever since he got that one box of steaks back in 1998. Or it’s possible that you saw it advertised in some in-flight magazine.

If you’re like many folks out there, you probably think the company sells quality meats but at prices that put their foods outside of your comfort zone. If you only focus on Omaha Steaks’ packages, like the $299 Butcher’s Backyard Basics or the $159 Build Your Own Holiday Feast complete with pork loin roast, savory sides, and sweet desserts, then yeah, you’d be right. On the other hand, you can also order a box of food from Omaha Steaks for less than $40.

What you get from Omaha Steaks

Try a package of four 5-ounce top sirloin steaks (seasoning included). In other words, you get a fine meal for four people at $12.50 per person. And that, friends, is better pricing than you would find for dinner at most restaurants.

The fact is, until you get into the larger packages or the choicest cuts of meat (Filet mignon costs a lot of money, okay?), ordering food from Omaha Steaks isn’t all that much more expensive than getting it from the grocery store, and the selection and quality are better than what most supermarkets offer.

Omaha Steaks Ribeye

And ordering your steaks, pork chops, burgers, lobster tails, and all sorts of other meats and sides from this hundred-year-old company is a whole lot cheaper than dining at a steakhouse. With all the variety Omaha Steaks offers, from entrees and sides to desserts and even wine, it can easily become a one-stop online shop for most of your dinner-making needs.

What the food from Omaha Steaks is like

Insider Reviews contributor Steven John tried out a combo called The Best of Omaha Steaks ($60, temporarily sold out), which came with two four-ounce filet mignons, two four-ounce top sirloins, four pork chops, four jumbo franks, four apple tarts, and a seasoning packet for the meats.

He says, “One night, when my brother and his wife and kids were visiting, I cooked up all the steaks and chops, serving three adults (my wife is a vegetarian) and three kids (four were present, but being five months old, my daughter isn’t really eating steak yet). So six people ate, and I still had the hot dogs and tarts for another time. Assuming those would create the centerpiece of another meal for four, we’re talking about 10 servings of food for $60, or $6 a person. Not bad at all.”

Other members of the Insider Reviews team have tried a variety of meat, sides, and desserts from the company. We loved the taste, not to mention the excuse to indulge in dishes like bacon-wrapped sirloin, crispy steakhouse hash browns, and red velvet cake.

Some of the best deals on the site currently are the Stock-Up Packages and Free Shipping Combos, which will help you get all the protein and sides you need to feed your house for a while – all delivered straight to your door.

Convenience and prep

omaha steaks review

Beyond the value of ordering from Omaha Steaks, there’s plenty to be said for ease of prep.

Everything you get from Omaha Steaks comes carefully wrapped in vacuum-sealed plastic, making freezer storage simple and allowing you to choose the exact portions you want each time. On the back of each box, the company provides step-by-step preparation and cooking instructions, which helped Steven grill some of the best steaks he had cooked in months.

Standard shipping costs range from $17.99 to $21.99 depending on your cart total, and there are expedited shipping options available as well. Right now, you can expect your order to be delivered within eight to nine days with standard shipping.

The bottom line

If you don’t have access to a butcher shop, which will generally be the best place to get your meat locally, consider Omaha Steaks. And if you need a great gift idea for an uncle or your boss, a box of meat is always a fine option.

Shop all meat from Omaha Steaks here

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The 6 best electric and stovetop tea kettles in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

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  • The best tea kettles are easy to fill and pour and bring water to a boil quickly and consistently.
  • Our top electric pick has various water temperature settings, a durable design, and an accessible price.
  • While our top stovetop pick features drip-free pouring, large capacity, and other special features.

There’s nothing more comforting than a hot cup of tea, but boiling water and safely pouring it into a mug or teacup is a surprisingly difficult task without a proper kettle. If you want to quickly and easily make boiling water – so you can relax with your tea sooner – you should invest in an electric or stovetop kettle.

Each style has its own merits, and the type you choose comes down to personal preference. Electric kettles are faster and you can heat water to the exact temperature your tea requires. Stovetop kettles have a more classic look and they often whistle loudly to grab your attention.

We’ve included the best of both in our guide, and you can read more about them here.

Here are the best tea kettles

The best electric kettle overall

best tea kettle

The Krups Cool Touch Adjustable Temperature Kettle heats water to the perfect temperature for brewing a variety of teas. It looks sleek and it costs much less than similar kettles.

Pros: Affordable, adjustable temperature settings, easy to use, attractive metal design

Cons: Some users experienced leaking

If you’re serious about your tea and you like to drink all different kinds of tea, you need an adjustable temperature kettle. This 1.7-liter kettle has six preset temperature settings to ensure that you never burn your green tea leaves with scalding hot water ever again.

It’s remarkably easy to select the temperature setting you need with pre-sets for delicate, green, white, oolong, and herbal teas. If you just want black tea, hit “boil” and watch the water go up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit within five minutes or less.  

Believe it or not, using the right temperature is a big deal. Whenever I make green, white, or oolong tea with this kettle, I always set it to the right temperature instead of just hitting the button. The teas’ flavors come out in full force when brewed at the right temperature, and it’s so easy to select the right temperature on the Krups kettle. 

The kettle automatically stops boiling when it hits the temperature you selected or if it runs dry. The kettle will even keep your water warm for a time before automatically shutting off to protect the heating element. 

The kettle is made out of brushed stainless steel, and it looks gorgeous in my kitchen. The kettle jug is unattached, so you can pick it up and pour the water over your tea, oatmeal, or cooking pot without worrying about the length of the cord. The cord is concealed in the base and you can have it as short as you need it to be. 

There’s a big button on the top of the kettle, which pops the lid open when pressed. The handle is big, comfortable, and always stays cool for easy handling and pouring. There is a water window as well, so you can check how much is in there. Krups put the anti-scale filter in the spout of the kettle, and you can remove it if need be.

The best stovetop kettle overall

OXO kettle

If you’re looking for a classic kettle that heats quickly, fills easily, and is simple to pour, the OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle is an excellent choice.

Pros: Wide bottom for quick heating, easy to fill and pour, large capacity

Cons: Can rust if not properly cleaned

The OXO Brew Classic Tea Kettle has a traditional shape with its wide-bottom body that narrows at the top and a spout that draws from near the bottom of the kettle. More importantly, it has a strong whistle that alerts you when the water is boiling. Once the water boils, you open the spout cover, and the spout offers precise, drip-free pouring.

This kettle is made of high-grade stainless steel that is supposed to be rust-resistant. OXO recommends wiping the kettle down regularly to keep cooking oils from wearing away at the steel. The handle and spout have silicone touch points that resist heat for burn-free use. The handle folds to the side for storage or easy filling. The kettle holds 1.7 quarts, which is a good amount for a big pot of tea.

OXO offers a satisfaction guarantee, so the company will refund or replace your kettle if you are not satisfied for any reason.

The kettle also has a handle that folds out of the way, there’s good interior visibility, and it’s easy to fill thanks to its broad opening.

The best electric kettle on a budget

Secura kettle

The fast-heating Original Secura Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle is about the same price as plastic models, but it’s completely BPA-free.

Pros: Made of durable 100% stainless steel, keeps water warm, shuts off automatically, two-year warranty, easy to clean

Cons: No water gauge to see how much is inside, no variable temperature settings

Sometimes you just want a no-frills appliance that works and comes at an affordable price point. The Original Secura Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle fits the bill as a budget-friendly stainless steel electric kettle that boils water quickly.

It may not have fancy features like variable temperature settings or a water gauge, but it does offer a full stainless steel unibody design and 1500 watts of heating power. The kettle turns off automatically so you don’t boil a dry pot and damage the heating element.

Secura’s kettle is about the same price as cheap plastic ones, but it’s completely BPA-free and no plastic ever touches your water. The stainless steel inner wall is easy to clean after each use, so you can avoid mineral buildup over time. It has a double-wall construction, so the outer layer of plastic stays cool to the touch even as the water boils inside.

As long as you don’t need variable temperatures for tea or want to see the water level inside, the Secura kettle is a real winner — especially at this price point.

The best stovetop kettle on a budget

Cuisinart Kettle

Not only is the Cuisinart Aura Steel Stovetop Tea Kettle inexpensive, it also has a large two-quart capacity that is useful for much more than tea making.

Pros: Limited lifetime warranty, inexpensive, large capacity

Cons: Very loud whistle, can rust without proper cleaning

The Cuisinart Aura is a basic stovetop tea kettle, and sometimes that’s all you need. It gets the job done at a great price point, and if it breaks or rusts, it won’t break your heart.

The Cuisinart Aura features a two-quart-capacity solid stainless steel body — enough for eight cups of tea. The large capacity is also handy for boiling water for oatmeal, instant noodles, or anything else you need to quickly boil water for. This kettle notifies you that your water is boiling and ready with a whistle that increases in intensity. Sometimes it’s a bit too intense and you’ll find yourself running over to the stove to make it stop.

To pour the water, there’s a lever on the handle that you push to open the spout cap, ensuring you’ll never have to put your fingers near hot steam or boiling water to remove a cap. The handle is stationary and made of plastic, and the wide lid allows for easy refilling of the kettle.

To top it off, the entire setup is backed by a lifetime limited warranty.

The best high-end electric kettle

smeg electric kettle

The Smeg ’50s Retro-Style Electric Kettle adds style to any kitchen with its fun old school look, and it’ll heat your water quickly, too.

Pros: Fun 1950s-inspired design, stainless steel, automatic shut off, removable stainless steel filter, water level indicator, lots of color options

Cons: You’re paying for form more than function

Smeg’s ’50s Retro-Style Electric Kettle adds much-needed flair to the traditional kettle with its ’50s color palette and fun design aesthetic. You can get it in multiple color options, including cream, blue, green, red, black, chrome, and pink.

The kettle is made of stainless steel that’s powder-coated for added durability and protection from mineral buildup. If anything goes wrong, Smeg offers a one-year warranty.

Inside, there’s a removable, stainless steel limescale filter that you’ll need to clean every now and then to prevent too much of a deposit from building up. If you have hard water, you’ll have to clean the filter more often. It also has a water level window so you can check how much water is inside.

You are paying a premium for the design, but anyone who loves well-designed appliances or has a retro-inspired kitchen will love this kettle.

The best high-end stovetop kettle

kettle

If you are looking for a stylish tea kettle that heats quickly and stores easily, you will be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Le Creuset Enamel-on-Steel Zen Teakettle.

Pros: Heat-proof handle folds down, loud whistle, can be used with any stove type, including induction

Cons: Expensive, may dribble

The enamel-on-steel body of the Le Creuset Zen Teakettle makes it more resistant to rusting and thus more durable than its counterparts. The kettle holds 1-5/8 quarts of water and has an inverted bowl shape, which helps it heat quickly. The arched handle folds down for storage and filling, and the lid is wide for easy cleaning and filling.

Though the enamel of the kettle is “chip-resistant,” Le Creuset warns that repeated banging may damage the exterior enamel. The Zen Teakettle comes in ten colors, including Marseille, cherry, dune, and palm. Plus, each style comes with a limited five-year warranty.

Additional nice features are its heat-proof handle, loud whistle, and the fact that it can be used on any type of stovetop. However, the price is a bit steep for a kettle.

FAQs

Electric kettles vs. stovetop kettles — which should you buy?

Electric kettles: For real tea fanatics, it can be difficult to get just the right temperature water for your brew, and nuking H2O in the microwave is simply out of the question. That’s where electric kettles come in. They boil water faster than a watched pot on your stove, and the best ones even offer adjustable temperature settings to ensure that the water is just right for your delicate tea leaves.

You can also use electric kettles to boil water quickly for any cause. No matter your needs, it’s good to have a dedicated appliance in your kitchen that boils water quickly.

Stovetop kettles: The hardest part of making tea is remembering that you’re making tea. An electric kettle won’t notify you when the water is ready. Conversely, the whistle of the stovetop kettle demands attention more intensely — you can’t forget you’re making tea with something that whistles

What are kettles made of? 

Most kettles are made of stainless steel, plastic, enamel-on-steel, or some combination of these materials. There are a few glass kettles available, but they receive low marks for performance from both buyers and experts.

Due to research linking bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates to cancer, many people are a little squeamish around kettles made out of plastic, especially since heating plastics can cause chemicals to leach into liquids or foods. However, the plastics that have been shown to cause cancer are used to make clear, hard containers or soft, flexible products. Tea kettles don’t fit into either of these categories.

But, if you are concerned about drinking hot water that has come into contact with plastic, make sure you choose a tea kettle that avoids this problem. Each of the kettles in our guide uses plastic sparingly, but never in the main part of the kettle.

What’s the best way to prevent rust or mineral buildup in your kettle?

Though the name may suggest otherwise, stainless steel tea kettles are susceptible to rusting. The best way to combat this is to regularly wash your kettle and dry it completely. If you do notice rust, fill your kettle with a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, boil it for a few minutes, empty it, and then wash your kettle per the manufacturer’s specifications. Rusting is less common with enamel-on-steel kettles.

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