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HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDES

15 of the Best Kitchen Gifts to Give This Year

Alvin Ward
Cooking made fun and easy, thanks to these kitchen gifts.
Cooking made fun and easy, thanks to these kitchen gifts. / Le Creuset / Cuisinart / Philips / Amazon; Justin Dodd, Mental Floss (background)
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We all know someone who had to put on a fake grin upon receipt of a hot dog cooker and bun warmer for the holiday gift-giving season. (Perhaps that someone was you.) While there are a lot of cookware gadgets that don’t result in much use, others can transform meal preparation and make for a more productive dining experience. Take a look at 15 of the best kitchen gifts you can wrap up for someone special this year.

1. Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker; $45

Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker
Chemex Pour-Over Glass Coffeemaker / Chemex / Amazon

Help the coffee lover in your life enjoy their morning cup even more with this pour-over glass coffeemaker. It might seem daunting to use—especially if your giftee is someone who is used to a programmable device—but it’s actually pretty simple to master. All they have to do is put the grounds up top, then trickle hot water over them slowly. And if they brew too much for one sitting, that’s OK, too: They can cover and refrigerate this elegant borosilicate glassware for future sips without sacrificing any of the flavor.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Great Jones The Dutchess Dutch Oven; $110

The Dutchess Dutch Oven in blue
The Dutchess Dutch Oven / Great Jones

There are so many great Dutch ovens to choose from now, but this pretty pick from Great Jones is sure to stand out on a tabletop unlike any other. Available in seven fun shades (including the blueberry option pictured above), this 6.75-quart, enameled cast-iron oven is safe for all stovetops (including induction), and the oval shape is roomy enough to fit a whole chicken.

Buy it: Great Jones

3. Instant Vortex Plus 6-Quart Air Fryer Oven; $130

Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven, 6 Quart
Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven, 6 Quart / Instant Pot Brands / Amazon

With its six-in-one functionality, this air fryer-oven is poised to become a true workhorse in your giftee’s kitchen. The Instant Vortex Plus can do everything from broil to dehydrate foods, and features customizable programs that can make certain cooking feats (like whipping together some wings or crispy fries) much easier. Plus, it requires very little time to preheat, and offers a temperature range up to 400°F, so they can use it in place of a conventional oven if needed.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Our Place Always Pan; $145

Lavender Always Pan on a countertop surrounded by fruits and veggies.
Our Place Always Pan / Our Place

Whether your intended recipient is a recent college grad or a certified foodie, there’s a lot they’re sure to love about Our Place’s buzzy Always Pan, which has been an online sensation for the last couple of years. Designed to replace up to eight pieces of traditional cookware, the Always Pan works as a fry pan, steamer, saucier, and saucepan, all in one (to name a few of its functionalities). Because it’s nonstick, cleaning it will be a breeze, and due to its versatility, it can help someone who might not have all the cookware essentials still prepare some excellent meals.

Buy it: Our Place

5. Lodge Cast Iron 12-Inch Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder; $30

Lodge Cast Iron 12-Inch Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder
Lodge Cast Iron 12-Inch Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder / Lodge / Amazon

When it comes to cookware, cast iron is often celebrated for its longevity and the distinctive flavors it can help draw out of (and add to) all kinds of foods. Lodge is the best-known brand in the business for kitchen cast iron, and this 12-inch skillet is an easy (and affordable) way to introduce the gourmand in your life to the perks of using this type of material for meal prep.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker; $30

Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker
Cuisinart Classic Waffle Maker / Cuisinart / Amazon

For big, thick waffles—the kind you’d expect to be served at a restaurant—consider this classic appliance from Cuisinart. It can help your giftee have more fun planning lavish weekend brunches at home, and offers up to five settings, so they’ll have full control over how brown the edges get. They can also choose a specific cooking temperature, and because the grids are coated to be nonstick, plucking a waffle up from the device once it’s done shouldn’t be a hassle.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Caraway Baking Sheet Duo; $90

Caraway Baking Sheet Duo
Caraway Baking Sheet Duo / Caraway

Caraway is another popular brand for cookware that has sprung up over the last few years and taken the internet by storm. When we tested their bakeware, we were impressed by their performance—and specifically, by the brand’s baking sheets, which were great for roasting Brussels sprouts and baking cookies and required minimal elbow grease when it came time to clean up. With this set, your intended gift recipient will get one medium and one large sheet, and you can choose from seven colorways to find the best match for their current kitchen aesthetic.

Buy it: Caraway

8. Aroma Housewares Rice and Grain Cooker; From $40

Aroma Housewares Rice and Grain Cooker
Aroma Housewares Rice and Grain Cooker / Amazon

Make sure your gift recipient’s meals stay healthy with this rice and grain cooker from Aroma Housewares. Available in 4-cup (uncooked) or 10-cup (uncooked) capacities, this useful gadget can help keep a big table fed, while the non-stick interior makes cleanup simple.

Buy it: Amazon

9. BLACK+DECKER Crush Master 10-Speed Blender; $30

BLACK+DECKER Crush Master 10-Speed Blender
BLACK+DECKER Crush Master 10-Speed Blender / BLACK+DECKER / Amazon

This countertop blender might seem like nothing special, particularly if you judge it against something as dynamic (and expensive) as the Vitamix Ascent Series A3500, which features a touchscreen instead of switches and Bluetooth functionality to sync with one's phone. But where the Crush Master succeeds is simplicity: It’s compact, blends smoothly, and has a basic control panel with easy-to-understand functions. The unassuming appearance and budget-friendly price belies its true status as an excellent blender for smoothies and more.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Philips Automatic Pasta Maker Plus; $300

Philips Automatic Pasta Maker Plus
Philips Automatic Pasta Maker Plus / Philips / Sur La Table

Making fresh pasta can be a lot of work, but with the right appliance, this process can go much more smoothly. The Philips Pasta Maker Plus is up to the task: It can fully replace the old hand-rollers that folks often use for pasta prep, sparing them the hand cramps that often accompany such an arduous endeavor. Users just need to measure and add the ingredients, and then let the device do all the work. It mixes, kneads, and spits out succulent spaghetti strands and more. It even comes with special shaping discs to make penne, fettuccine, and lasagna.

Buy it: Sur La Table

11. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Bread Oven; $300

 Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Bread Oven
Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Bread Oven / Le Creuset / Sur La Table

Your giftee could opt to bake bread using a standard loaf pan, but with this enameled cast iron bread oven from Le Creuset, they’ll bake their next loaf in style. The domed lid helps trap heat and circulate steam evenly, while the enameled cast iron offers stellar heat retention. Not only that, but the base of this little oven has elevated ridges, which the brand claims will eliminate the need to use parchment paper, as loaves are raised slightly off the bottom.

Buy it: Sur La Table

12. Hamilton Beach Electric Hand Mixer; $33

Hamilton Beach Electric Hand Mixer
Hamilton Beach Electric Hand Mixer / Hamilton Beach / Amazon

Nothing beats a dependable beater, and this Hamilton Beach model has all the handheld power you could want. Best of all, cooks won’t have to go hunting for their attachments again—a removable storage case keeps everything in one place.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker; $99

Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker / Anova Culinary / Amazon

Sous-vide cooking refers to a unique meal prep method, which involves vacuum-sealing food within a bag and letting it sit in a water bath at a specific temperature until it’s done. Fans of this style claim it produces incredibly succulent meats and may even reduce the risk of over-cooking poultry and seafood. To try it, your giftee needs a precision cooker like this one, which is built to circulate water at an exact temperature and attaches easily to a stockpot via a clamp. It can also sync up to an app on their phone (because it’s Bluetooth-enabled) to offer helpful tips and notifications when food is ready to nibble on.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Nostalgia Electrics Retro Microwave Oven; From $100

Nostalgia Electrics Retro Microwave Oven
Nostalgia Electrics Retro Microwave Oven / Nostalgia Electrics / Amazon

Most microwaves perform essentially the same functions, but their aesthetics is one way to tell them apart. If your Secret Santa is into the retro look, this 0.9-cubic-foot microwave looks like it came out of a 1950s kitchen. It’s available in aqua (pictured), ivory, jet black, retro red, and pink.

Buy it: Amazon

16. KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer; $450

KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer / KitchenAid / Sur La Table

The king stay the king, and when it comes to stand mixers, the KitchenAid Artisan still reigns supreme. While you can find affordable dupes, this five-quart wonder is widely celebrated because of its powerful motor, tilt-head design, and range of included mixing heads, which can be useful for kneading dough for bread or pizza crusts, mixing batters, whipping up fluffy cream frostings, and so much else. If someone on your list has been extra-nice this year and deserves a big surprise, consider this the gift of all gifts.

Buy it: Sur La Table

A version of this article originally ran in 2020 and has been updated for 2022.

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