If you’re looking for an awesome gift for the home chef in your life – or stumped for what to tell people you want – I have gathered the BEST Kitchen Tools this Year – tools that I’ve loved and have received strong ratings from other home chefs. Below you’ll find my Top Ten Kitchen Gifts as well as Kitchen Gifts under $20.
Best Kitchen Tools
When putting together this list my first thought was “what are the tools and small appliances I have used the most?”
As a result, my Top Ten Kitchen Gifts are not gimmicky or one-use-only. These are versatile tools that have made my cooking and baking so much easier or more efficient this year. Each of the top ten are essentials in my kitchen – and if any broke or disappeared, I’d rush right out to replace them because I can’t even imagine going without them now that I know how amazing they are.
The bottom ten gift ideas are my Kitchen Gifts under $20 – a mix of essentials and fun kitchen gadgets. A digital kitchen scale, silicone baking mats and non-stick silicone spatulas (with no removable heads!) are absolute essentials that no kitchen should be without.
I left something off this list that you simply can’t live without please comment and let me know!
Cook & Carry Crock Pot
I actually own 4 Crockpots – it may be a problem! Three are different sizes and the forth is the new Crock Pot Thermoshield Slow Cooker model which locks shut for safe transportation and the sides do not burn little fingers when it’s up on the counter. (Also be sure to grab some Crockpot Liners for easy clean-up.)
Here are some of the recipes we made this year with our Crockpot:
Zoku Icepop Maker
Rather than buying popsicles or trying to guess in advance what flavor of homemade popsicles the kids will want tomorrow, I keep our Zoku in the freezer all summer long and we make fresh popsicles when we want them!
We own the triple ice pop maker – and I highly recommend it even if you just have one or two children, especially if you often host playdates in the summer.
Here are some of the recipes we’ve made with our Zoku.
I love the sear I can get on my meat with my cast-iron and it’s versatility to go from stove-top to in the oven – plus we take it camping with us!
You don’t want anything smaller than an 8″ or you’ll deal with overcrowding (which can prevent you from getting a good sear) – I find my 10″ Lodge Skillet is the perfect size for 4-5 chicken breasts.
Here are some of the recipes we made this year with our Cast Iron Skillet:
- Skillet Santa Fe Flank Steak
- Skillet Poached Eggs in Italian-style Tomato Sauce
- Skillet Birthday Cookie
A good-quality food processor is worth it’s weight in gold! You can use it to chop vegetables, make homemade nut butters and oat flours, or even make homemade pasta!
While cheaper, smaller food processors might be tempting – you’ll get frustrated quickly. Go for a 7 cup food processor for seamless chopping, pureeing, and shredding.
Here are some recipes we made this year using our Food Processor:
Hands-down the most used small kitchen appliance in my home this year has been our Instant Pot. Fully cooked chicken in 10 minutes with like 1-2 minutes of effort? It’s a mom’s best friend.
I am buying a smaller version this year – but an 8 quart is a great starter Instant Pot that will do everything you need it to.
Lattisma Pro Nespresso Machine
Starbucks no longer entices me now that I have this beauty on my counter. It makes coffeeshop-quality espresso-based drinks in one-touch and warms and froths up the milk perfectly.
It may seem like quite an investment but when you add up the cost of a twice-weekly latte from Starbucks, the machine pays for itself in just 7 months! (And if you drink lattes even more often than that, it pays itself off faster.) It’s also great for entertaining and has helped me cut down on how many cups of coffee I drink in the morning because that first one is so satisfying!
Here’s a quick video that shows how to make a quick latte with the Lattisma Pro – and also a quick recipe for French Toast Muffins!
My Christmas gift to me this year! After having the most tender chicken at ETA Chicago, I had to splurge and get myself a small sous vide machine. You can also buy little gadgets to McGyver your own sous vide but this worked better for me.
Ceramic Pizza Stone
When I first bought a pizza stone, I went with an unsealed version which got ugly-looking fast. These glossy ceramic stones are easier to clean and don’t show their age – because there’s something about eating off of a clean-looking pizza stone that makes it better.
Here are some of the recipes we’ve used our …
OK, I’ve always been a bit hesitant about stand mixers until recently. The more I make homemade ice cream or recipes requiring frothed egg whites, the more efficient a stand mixer helps me be! It’s also great for kneading homemade bread and
Here are some recipes that really benefit from using a stand mixer:
I hate overcooked food – but undercooked can be dangerous, so I always have a reliable meat thermometer to ensure that the food I’m serving my family is safe. I’ve been using a Thermapen for a couple of years now and love it so much I’ve found them for all of my family members.
Kitchen Gifts Under $20
One Click Butter Cutter $12 Perfect little butter pats – for spreading on toast or just measuring out the perfect amount for cooking. (It seems gimmicky but dirtying a knife everytime you need to cut off a piece of butter now seems wasteful – and it serves as a butter keeper.)
Breakfast Sandwich Maker $19 If stopping for a breakfast sandwich is part of your daily routine (or the routine of someone you know) this sandwich maker is going to save you tons of money.
Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Cutters $14 These cutters make the perfect mini ice cream sandwiches and are simple enough for kids to use.
Meat Shredder Claws $9 So much easier than the two-fork method (and way less likely to result in meat on your ceiling like the viral hand mixer method…)
Nessie Soup Ladles $9 A kitschy kitchen gadget is always a fun gift – try to make it something they either don’t have or can’t get enough of! (Maybe it’s a cute tea infuser or a bicycle pizza cutter instead of soup ladles?)
Sushi Roll Maker $16 Goodness, this is going to save me a lot of money! I’ll probably use smoked salmon for kid-friendly sushi.
Silicone Baking Mats $10 An essential in my kitchen, this cuts down on waste and burnt cookies. Win-win.
Digital Kitchen Scale $9 Whether you’re using it for portion control or for best baking results, a kitchen scale will make you a better, healthier chef if used properly.
Non-stick Silicone Spatulas $15 for 3 If you have spatulas that come apart, you need to swap them out for these one-piece spatulas! They are much easier to clean and there’s no risk of lurking bacteria.
Stainless Steel Soap Bar $8 If you love cooking with garlic or onions, you need this on your kitchen sink to help remove the smells from your hands after cooking.