10 Everyday Kitchen Luxuries Under $40

Luxury doesn’t have to equal a high price tag. Browse our favorite tools and make cooking (and dining) a little easier without breaking the bank.

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hen you think about luxury in the kitchen, a little can go a long way. A perfectly responsive automatic hand soap dispenser helps you avoid spreading messes (and bacteria) around your kitchen. For those who like wine but dread decorking a bottle, our favorite twist corkscrew makes the process foolproof. And our top-rated salt storage container is one gadget that’s handy for everyday cooking—and it’s handsome to boot. Gathering friends and family for a cozy, lingering weekend meal is another great way to treat yourself. In our book All-Time Best Sunday Suppers, we’ve selected 75 of our favorite recipes for weekends, ranging from traditional dishes including Classic Pot Roast to new favorites such as Mexican Lasagna with Pork, Corn, and Pinto Beans, as well as a whole chapter of quicker, easier options so you can spend less time cooking and more time at the table.

This continuous-turn corkscrew was astonishingly easy to use, requiring no expertise and removing corks in an average of 12 seconds. Its 4.75-inch worm accommodates corks of any length, and its nonstick coating helped ensure that it pierced even brittle older corks almost as smoothly and neatly as our waiter’s corkscrew. It’s slim and lightweight—nearly as compact as our favorite waiter’s corkscrew—making it easy to handle and store.  More on this test

This model was literally the clear winner—its transparent plastic soap chamber with a wide opening made it easy to fill. It was fast, and it neatly released soap with no wisps trailing behind. Finally, we liked that this dispenser was the shortest in our lineup, making it less obtrusive. One complaint: It had “plus” and “minus” buttons that allowed us to adjust the soap amount, but the settings weren’t marked, so we didn’t know which one was selected.  More on this test

"This dispenser made pulling sheets of plastic wrap downright enjoyable."

Our winning product had concealed metal teeth that easily cut clean sheets every time. It also sits slightly higher than the other dispensers we tested, which made it more convenient to pull plastic wrap over bowls. The one tiny drawback? It doesn’t fit in most kitchen drawers. But we like everything else about it.  More on this test

The heaviest, thickest ramekins in our lineup, these sturdy ceramic dishes didn’t slide around in a slippery baking dish and stayed perfectly still while we layered delicate berry pudding. Straight sides meant soufflés and puddings emerged picture-perfect, and thick walls provided gentle insulation, producing baked eggs with creamy whites and runny yolks. A bonus: They stack securely for easy storage.  More on this test

This sturdy flip-top salt box held plenty of salt and provided easy access to it, accommodating most testers’ hands. While somewhat vulnerable to humidity, this box was great at shielding salt from messes. It was a breeze to fill and clean and could be opened with one hand; a small handle made it convenient to lift for on-the-fly seasoning.  More on this test

This basket-style tea strainer had the biggest capacity in our testing, equivalent to 13.5 tablespoons—more than enough for good water circulation. With a 2.5-inch opening, it was easy to fill and clean. And its tightly woven mesh basket kept even the finest leaves out of the finished tea. As a bonus, it has a top that can also be used as a saucer, holding the basket and catching any drips after or between infusions.  More on this test