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Best Prime Early Access Deals on Kitchen Gadgets and Organization Essentials

Consumer Reports 10/12/2022 Consumer Reports

Save on must-have culinary and storage tools

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By Consumer Reports

Whether you’re looking to bring a little more order to a pantry or cut down on single-use plastic in the kitchen, there are plenty of tools and accessories that can get the job done. That means the only thing standing between you and a beautifully organized, Instagram-ready kitchen is a streamlined storage solution. And don’t forget those handy little kitchen tools that can keep things running smoothly.

We’ve tested everything from pantry organizers to mandolines and citrus squeezers to help you find the best options. And we track the prices of all of them so we can alert you when the best ones go on sale.

Don’t know where to start? We have you covered with an assortment of staples plus, a handful of kitchen gadgets to boot. And better yet, you can snag it all on sale thanks to Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale. Just act fast—these deals won’t last. 

And don’t miss out on Walmart’s Rollbacks and More sale, which runs through Oct. 13.

Get discounts, product recommendations, and buying advice from the shopping experts at CR. Sign up for our ShopSmart newsletter.

Kitchen Tools

AeroGarden Harvest360

The circular AeroGarden Harvest 360, among the smallest AeroGarden models, is the one CR recommends if you’d like to start an indoor garden. The starter kit includes six ports for seed pods, and it comes with various lettuces. Of the four gardens CR tried, the AeroGarden was the most fun for our tester to use, in part because most of the lettuce sprouted in a week and grew fast. The unit was also relatively easy to operate; there are even indicator lights that let you know when your plants need more water. Total setup took just 8 minutes. 

Why it’s a good deal: At a little over 50% off, this model is at its lowest price.

Dash Safe Slice

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If “safety first” is your motto, this stand-up mandoline from Dash can’t be beat. Its safety features are great for people who fear traditional mandolines or have mobility issues. Unlike other mandolines where the blade is stationary and exposed, this mandoline has an internal guillotine that slices your food, not your fingers.

Why it’s a good deal: This model hasn’t been on sale in a while, and a 20 percent discount is always worth a look.

Vitamix FoodCycler FC-50

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The Vitamix FoodCycler is an electronic countertop appliance, an alternative to traditional composters, that quietly dries and grinds food scraps before you throw them away in the trash or turn them into a nutrient-rich soil additive by adding probiotics via “foodilizer tablets.” What comes out of the FoodCycler will degrade faster in landfills than fresh food, and the device prevents rotting food from stinking up your kitchen.

Learn more about the Vitamix FoodCycler.

Chef’s Choice Model 4643 AngleSelect Professional Manual Knife Sharpener

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The Chef’s Choice 4643 knife sharpener looks like the analog version of the brand’s electric sharpener, but it works a bit differently. It has two basic sharpening settings, one for sharpening knives to 15 degrees and another for sharpening knives to 20. A third stage polishes the edge of any knife, regardless of which sharpening angle you choose. Like the brand’s electric sharpener, the 4643 feels well designed, with grooves that hold your knife at the perfect angle as you slowly draw it through. 

Why it’s a good deal: This sale price is $1 lower than last week, making it the best price we’ve seen all year.

Müeller V-Pro 5 Blade Mandoline

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We tried 11 mandoline slicers at home, and this one by Müeller was the most “extra,” and by that we mean it had the widest variety of attachments. It can make thick cuts, beautiful thin slices, and fun waffle cuts. The julienne blades are easy to use, too.

Why it’s a good deal: This is nearly $10 less than the price last week.

Learn more about the Müeller V-Pro 5 Blade Mandoline.

Gorilla Grip Durable Cutting Board (Set of 3)

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Even at its everyday price, this trio of plastic cutting boards from Gorilla Grip could be considered a steal. Our assessment found that these boards stayed all but glued to kitchen countertops while we prepped everything from parsley to poultry. They’re reversible, easy to transport, and dishwasher-safe. 

Why it’s a good deal: At just under half off, you’re hardly paying more than $7 per board.

Instant Milk Frother

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As one of the more affordable options among the best milk frothers we’ve evaluated, this Instant Milk Frother works with a variety of milk types and offers four modes: cold foam; warm foam; warm, thick foam; and warm, no foam. Of the two warm-foam modes, the regular warm-foam mode seemed to perform better across the different milk types, yielding froth that’s easier to pour (helpful if you want to try making latte art).

Learn more about the Instant Milk Frother.

Label Makers

Cricut Joy Label Maker

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For serious crafters, the Cricut Joy label maker is a must. Highly regarded as a go-to splurge item in the crafting and scrapbooking world, the Cricut Joy is large and almost 4 pounds. It can print on vinyl and can be used for extensive crafting and labeling beyond the basic label printers—which means you can also use it for lunchboxes, T-shirts, hats, and so much more. The device’s labels are meant to be extra durable; they’re full vinyl adhesives, which are likely to last a bit longer than other label makers.

Why it’s a good deal: This is the lowest price we’ve seen.

Phomemo D30 Label Maker

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The Phomemo D30 Label Maker was the choice label maker in our evaluations. Using an app, you can produce labels in under 10 seconds or connect it to your printer for more elaborate jobs. The Phomemo offers extensive font options and a preview of what they will look like as well. The lithium battery comes charged and ready to print, and you can even print pictures, bar codes, and date and time stamps. The easy-tear labels can be separated with just one hand, and the device is smart enough to calibrate the paper roll to the proper position if you don’t align it perfectly.

Learn more about the Phomemo D30 Label Maker.

Phomemo M110 BT Label Maker

The Phomemo M110 is the bigger, bulkier version of the Phomemo D30 above and offers a bit more flexibility with the size of the label you’re creating. It uses the same app as well, and has a wide variety of fonts, styles, and images, with quick creation and easy label cutting. Its size, compared with the smaller Phomemo, makes it a bit less portable, and its alignment isn’t as precise when it comes to cutting the label exactly on the cut line compared with the other label printers. But it’s still a solid option for a durable label printer. 

Why it’s a good deal: The retail price tends to jump from this low to around $80, so make sure to buy while it’s at its lowest.

Citrus Squeezers

Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer

One of CR’s cooking enthusiasts recently tried out popular citrus juicers at home to learn more about the pros and cons of each one. This squeezer model from Chef’n was given the distinction of Editor’s Choice because it’s easy to use and works well with little to no splatter. The handle provides a comfortable, sturdy grip, and it’s designed to sit flat on the counter without tipping over for less mess. Its deep-ridged well cleverly holds fruit in place when squeezed but also lets it seamlessly slide out when the task is done. The only drawback? That well is just a bit tricky to hand-wash.

Learn more about the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer.

Zulay 2-in-1 Lemon Lime Squeezer

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The Zulay 2-in-1 citrus squeezer is meant to serve as a versatile device that can work with lemons and limes. In our at-home evaluations of the best citrus squeezers, we found that this model was somewhat easy to use, though it still required a bit of effort and wasn’t as mess-free as other devices. That said, the double flaps make this one conducive to squeezing citrus of varying sizes. 

Why it’s a good deal: With the on-page coupon, Amazon has the best price we’ve seen for this squeezer.

Zulay Kitchen Lemon Squeezer Stainless Steel

In evaluating the best manual citrus squeezers, this stainless steel Zulay Kitchen lemon squeezer proved to be easier to use with more ripe lemons, and little pulp made it into the cup. Its sleek composition makes it ideal for storing in compact drawers, and it’s dishwasher-safe. 

Why it’s a good deal: This is a decent discount from the original retail price. But keep in mind that we’ve seen the price drop below $20 before, so hold off or choose a different model if you want to save a few bucks.

Vacuum Sealers

Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00

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The Anova Culinary is the smallest of all the vacuum sealers we’ve tested, and it’s also the quietest. It seals quickly and can handle moist sealing with aplomb. The only thing holding it back? Its lackluster ease-of-use score. Only the bottom gasket can be removed for cleaning, and the catch basin must be cleaned in place. Of the seven models we tested, this is the only one that doesn’t come with a bag roll, though you can buy one separately. There’s no onboard storage for a bag roll, a trade-off made to reduce the size of the unit.

CR’s test results: Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 vacuum sealer

Geryon E2900-MS

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Earning top marks for dry-food sealing and speed, the Geryon E2900-MS is a relatively quiet vacuum sealer. While it lacks storage for plastic rolls, it comes with them for making custom-sized bags. The device’s control buttons are sensitive to the touch, and it features an accessory port and hose for vacuum-sealing containers with special lids. 

Black+Decker Premium BD8173

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This vacuum sealer from Black+Decker is a great option. It gets high scores in CR’s lab tests for speed and dry-food sealing, and its performance for wet-food sealing (e.g., marinated foods) is nearly as strong. It does get lower-than-average scores for noise, but that’s fairly common for this sort of kitchen tool.

Why it’s a good deal: This model originally cost $130 and typically retails for closer to $100, and this discount makes it even more appealing.

Storage and Organization

Xomoo Reusable SIlicone Bags (Set of 6)

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The wide openings and stand-up bottoms on this set of six silicone food bags make them easy to fill and store. The seals are also easy to open and close. But beware: The looser seals make them prone to freezer burn and leaks if placed on their sides.

Why it’s a good deal: You get six bags in this set, so that’s less than $6 apiece.

iDesign Linus Pantry Bins

The key to a neater fridge or an organized pantry can be as simple as using a streamlined storage bin like this iDesign version. Its minimalist composition means you can easily stack them—either side by side or on top of one another—while the clear plastic build makes it a cinch to see what’s inside. It’s versatile enough to hold fruits, veggies, and even dry goods like chips or bags of flour, and corralling your pantry staples is made much easier with these containers.  

Why it’s a good deal: This sale price is a couple of dollars less than usual, so it’s a great value if you want to upgrade your fridge storage.

Stasher Reusable Silicone Bag

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In our silicone food storage bag at-home evaluation, we looked at both flat bags and stand-up bags, and the Stasher did a stand-up job of preventing leaks and resisting food stains. We loved the ease of heating up food in this bag, which can stand up equally well in a pot of boiling water and in a microwave without splattering sauce.

Why it’s a good deal: These reusable bags are an affordable and sustainable way to prep healthy snacks to grab on the go.

Chef’s Path Cereal Containers Storage Set

When it comes to pantry staples bought in larger quantities—such as cereal, oats, and rice—stackable canisters or basic jars can help maximize shelf space. This Chef’s Path storage set comes with four 4-liter airtight containers that are primed to keep your dry goods neatly in place and easily accessible. 

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.

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