See below for my favorite kitchen tools. These would make for a perfect gift for any home cook in your life – or to keep for yourself!
My KitchenAid mixer brings me back to my baking days. It’s a kitchen essential, especially when you want to bake things from scratch. It’s super easy to use, comes in a bunch of funky colors, and gives you the ability to approach recipes you may have been intimidated by before. People also don’t realize how many different things you can do with a KitchenAid. The dough hook allows for doughs from scratch, and there are a number of attachments you can add for vegetable prep, meat grinding, and even homemade pasta. Gift this to someone who is looking to expand their horizons in the kitchen.
Even though you’ll find a mandoline in 99% of restaurant kitchens, this kitchen tool is highly underrated for home cooks. You (and whoever you are holiday shopping for) need a mandoline! This tool helps with quick and easy slicing and gives you uniform and precise cuts. You can adjust the thickness of what you’re slicing, so it’s perfect whether you want thinly cut red onion or shaved raw broccoli. Be sure to be careful when working quickly and watch your fingers! This is a great gift to give to the cook in your life without shelling out tons of cash.
The microplane is another underrated tool I consider a necessity for a home cook. Similar to the mandoline, a microplane cut is…. Not great. So be careful! I use a microplane on a daily basis, from citrus zest to grating garlic, ginger, or fresh nutmeg. A microplane is a great way to incorporate strong and unique flavors quickly and easily. Plus, you can feel really fancy when you whip out your microplane to grate fresh parmesan over a box of pasta. This is another great gift option that doesn’t break the bank.
I love my Le Creuset Dutch oven, especially in the winter when I’m braising stews and making soups. It comes with a heavy, ovenproof lid which keeps any proteins from drying out and retain moisture during long cooking times. You can use a Dutch oven for a variety of cooking methods such as roasting, frying, casseroles, and bread. Yes, you can make bread in your Dutch oven. Le Creuset makes their Dutch ovens in a variety of awesome colors which helps to personalize your gift.
Staub makes great cast iron cookware and should be a staple for any cook. Cast iron allows heat to spread evenly across the dish which makes for better and more consistent cooking. I love this gratin dish because I can start whatever I’m making on the stovetop and finish it in the oven. This gratin dish is great for anyone who is consistently working on multiple dishes at once in their kitchen because of the ability to set up your meal and leave the dish to do the work for you.
A Vitamix is a great investment to have in your kitchen, mostly because of its functionality. Soups, smoothies, sauces, the world is your oyster. I’ve had mine forever, and they usually last beyond the warranty. It’s also a great tool to use when you’re having groups of people over as it can blend decent quantities at a time. A Vitamix is a perfect gift for someone who is looking for extremely useful and versatile kitchen equipment.