Just yesterday, I bought my first gift for the upcoming holiday season. I know it might seem like overkill, but hear me out: Once the weather starts to get colder, that’s when I know it’s time to start coming up with present ideas for all of my family members. It really is never too early to start hunting them down, and no matter how well I know my relatives, landing on the perfect gift is a time-consuming process.
But there is one kind of item I can always rely on to be a hit — kitchen gadgets and cookware. My mom and grandma are both excellent cooks, so when I finally find something that they don’t have — or that they might want to upgrade to — I pounce on it. And, a bit of advice: It’s always safer to go the more practical (and less frilly) route. You should choose products that you know, without a doubt, will see a ton of action in their kitchens. To help inspire you, we’ve compiled 14 sensible presents that the home chef in your life will absolutely love. Happy shopping!
KT Practical Gifts for Home Chefs 2023
It doesn’t get much more practical than the Instagram-famous Always Pan, which can perform 10 different functions in one vessel. It’ll save your giftee tons of space and look gorgeous on their stovetop. “I’ve been testing the Always Pan 2.0 for two weeks and I’m thoroughly impressed with its design and all the details that make it the kind of pan that you want to use, well, always,” Kitchn contributor Nic wrote in his review.
A quality knife is paramount to a quality cooking experience, and they don’t have to break the bank to deliver good results. This $40 option is perfect if you’re a gift giver on a budget. “I have a ton of knives, and while I love my santokus, nakiris, and German-style blades, I find myself reaching for the Imarku time and time again because of its sharp edge, comfortable handle, and ability to tackle almost every kitchen cutting task I encounter,” said senior commerce editor Ian.
Ever since I got my own stand mixer earlier this year, I totally get why owners rave about them — I can’t believe I was whisking my cookie dough by hand all these years. If you’re looking for a solid option that won’t hurt your wallet like a KitchenAid model would, this Hamilton Beach stand mixer (that also doubles as a hand mixer) is the way to go. (It earned Ian’s stamp of approval, which you can read about here.)
Worried your giftee may not have room for a stand mixer on their countertops? Try this hand mixer, which has nine speeds, Flex Edge Beaters, and a soft start option to avoid splattering, which we all know can be a lifesaver. It also features an ejector button so you can switch out accessories easily.
A cutting board may be a sensible gift, but this dishwasher-safe one is pretty, too, which is always a bonus. Not to mention, it would be perfect to pair with the Imarku knife! “As for functionality, the reBoard is significantly easier on my knives and comes with a textured surface that makes it painless to slice through slippery foods. Although it’s lightweight, it’s also sturdy enough to handle chopping heavier ingredients, like a butternut squash,” recipe director Lauren wrote.
It’s hard to find a colander that’s more efficient or better looking than Great Jones’ Full Steam Duo. Even though they seem a bit pricey at first glance, the pair are actually four-in-ones, since they can work as steamers, splatter guards, trivets, and colanders, and they collapse to save space. (Read more about them in our review here.)
This spoon-spatula hybrid would make for a great stocking stuffer! This $13 tool can do just about anything with its scooping capability, spatula-shaped head, and silicone body. “I have yet to find a dish that it isn’t perfectly suited to handle,” contributor Nic wrote. “I use it to stir-fry broccoli and flip over chicken thighs, then take it to a sheet pan to scrape up crispy, smashed potatoes with no struggle. I’ve even used it to lift up and plate salmon filets without breaking them.”
Ian was impressed after putting the three-pack of this peeler to the test, and contributor and former restaurant worker Stella added that “[they] are in every restaurant kitchen.” At only $10, you really can’t go wrong with this as a small gift.
Especially if the home chef you’re shopping for doesn’t have abundant cabinet or counter space, a hand blender is a total lifesaver. Shopping writer Nikol said that the KitchenAid tool has helped her eat more greens. “I love blended soups in general, and thanks to this tool, I now make them at least once a week using ingredients that would’ve likely gone to waste otherwise,” she wrote.
Dutch ovens are a complete workhorse in the kitchen, and if your giftee doesn’t already have one, you should totally snag this affordable Lodge piece. (And even if they do have one, you should get them another, especially if they’re feeding a lot of people around the holidays.) In fact, Stella said this item was the best gift she ever got from her partner on Valentine’s Day!
A home chef will know that homemade ice cream is leaps and bounds better than the store-bought stuff — and this quick and easy device is one of the best ways to get it, according to Ian’s review. This gadget is affordable and compact, which is ideal for you and your giftee.
Contributor Kristina put it perfectly: “With the price of eggs these days, the last thing I want to do is risk having a dozen slip off the shelf and onto the kitchen floor. Precious eggs are worth organizing well and storing properly in a dedicated place in the refrigerator.” That’s where this organizer comes in, which Kristina (and shopping editor Britt) said makes your eggs way more accessible.
You’ll be itching to give this gorgeous baking dish to your recipient before it’s time to open presents, since it’s so suited for winter baking and serving. It even comes with a platter lid for transport between locations! Plus, Le Creuset is an editor-loved brand, so you can be sure that it’ll deliver performance-wise.
This made our list of the best saucepans you can buy — in fact, it won best overall — so if that’s not reason enough to snag this piece of cookware, I don’t know what is. A quality saucepan will always be appreciated by a home chef, since it has a ton of uses in the kitchen, from boiling a couple servings of pasta to reheating soup.