“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go,
Take a look in the five-and-ten, it’s glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes that glow.”
It seems I have a new Christmas song stuck in my head each day now. Although the inspiration for today’s song comes from today’s post.
Because today is all about gift giving for the cooks in your life.
So what do you give a person who loves to cook?
The answer is not the latest fad kitchen gadgets on the market.
The cook, much less anyone else, does not need (or want) an avocado cutter. It’s just another little used and relatively useless kitchen gadget cluttering the kitchen drawer.
When you see my list, you’ll immediately think: “Why would I buy something the cook already has?” or “Those are all practical, that’s not a good gift.”
Practical is not always boring, especially to the cook. And yes, the majority of cooks will have everything or most of everything on this list.
BUT do they have high-quality upgraded versions of these kitchen gadgets?
One of my favorite gifts from my hubby is my dream chef knives.
I already had a good set of knives, but I always wanted Shun chef knives. They are lighter, sharper and much more fun to use than the knives I owned.
But I didn’t need new knives. My J.A. Henckel knives were in good shape. And the three Shuns I wanted, cost as much as my entire set of J.A. Henckel knives.
Instead, for years, I drooled over them in the store.
So the thrill of opening up that gift box and seeing the 8″ Shun chef knife was amazing.
I bet many of the cooks in your life are in the same boat. They have plenty of kitchen gadgets that work and work well.
But would they enjoy an upgrade to a higher quality product?
TIP: higher quality does not necessarily mean more expensive. It may just be better construction, material or design.
So this year, instead of buying the latest fad kitchen gadgets, buy the cook in your life an upgrade.
Check out this list of 12 high-quality kitchen gadgets guaranteed to make the cook in your life happy.
Mandolines, Graters and Zesters
Slicing, grating and zesting happens daily in my kitchen. High-quality tools such as mandolines, graters and zesters are important.
Features to look for on a mandoline include stainless steel, safety features, non-slip feet, adjustable thicknesses and multiple blade options. The Progressive International PL8 Mandoline Slicer is a nice option for around $55 on Amazon.
Good grater features are easy to clean and use, non-slip options, dishwasher safe and several grating sizes. One of my favorites is the OXO Good Grips Complete Grate and Slice Set for around $30 on Amazon.
Don’t skip on the zester just because you have a fine grater. Zesters are easier to use and handle when zesting fruit. Look for a comfortable grip, stainless steel grate edge and dishwasher safe. I love my simple and cheap Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater, around $8 on Amazon. A perfect stocking stuffer.
Pressure cookers reduce cooking time in the kitchen and increase food flavor. They are also good for preserving items which cannot be safely canned in a hot water bath. Consider the construction material, cooking levels and whether you want standard or programmable when choosing a pressure cooker. Cheap is not recommended on pressure cookers since they can be dangerous if not constructed correctly. I’ve included options for both standard and electric pressure cookers.
Standard: MIU France Stainless Steel Professional 8-Quart Pressure Cooker is an excellent choice, costing around $108 on Amazon.
Electric: Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-n-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart/1000W, priced around $140 on Amazon.
Knives are one of the most important kitchen gadget items a cook can own. It’s important to consider construction, weight and design. Chef knives are so personal, snoop to find out what brand your cook prefers. Magnet strips knife holders also make great gifts.
One of my personal favorites is the Shun DM0706 Classic 8-inch chef’s Knife, priced around $140 on Amazon.
I used to take cutting boards for granted. Until I started traveling and using the cutting boards in other people’s houses. Many were either worn out or cheap, plastic or glass and ugly.
Wood or bamboo cutting boards are the way to go. They are safer to use for several reasons. Despite claims to the contrary by government safety agencies, wood cutting boards kill bacteria; whereas plastic and glass do not.
Wood and bamboo cutting boards also do less harm to the knife blade, don’t have a problem with knives slipping while cutting, are easy to clean and come from renewable resources. Personally, I’ve fallen in love with bamboo cutting boards.
Things to look for in cutting boards are size, thickness, construction and material used.
Personally, I’ve fallen in love with bamboo cutting boards. Greener Chef’s Best Organic Extra Large Bamboo Cutting Board with Groove prices at $25 on Amazon is a nice gift option.
I love my stick blender. It took me awhile to get one but after I did, I prefer not to live without one it’s such a useful tool. Features to look for in a high-quality stick blender are is easy to assemble, easy to clean, light, variable speeds, powerful motor and a comfortable grip to use. Extra attachments are a bonus.
I use the Cuisinart Smart Stick 2 Speed Hand Blender, priced at around $42 on Amazon.
Over or under-cooked meat is not an option for a good cook, making meat thermometers quite useful.
The ThermoPro TP20 Wireless Remote Digital Cooking Food Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe for Smoker Grill Oven BBQ for around $60 on Amazon is an awesome meat thermometer.
In all my travels, I have yet to visit a kitchen equipped with splatter guards. Cooks use splatter guards to reduce mess and kitchen clean up. And while you can spend a great deal of money on splatter guards, it’s not really necessary. Material construction holding up to high heat and ease of cleaning is important for splatter guards.
My favorite splatter guard is the IKEA 13″ Stabil Stainless Steel Splatter Screen priced at $5.99.
I love having a garlic press. It makes mincing garlic so easy. And a good press means not having to peel the garlic before pressing or having to press too hard. Stainless steel presses are a nice upgrade.
I like the Alpha Grillers Stainless Garlic Press and Peeler Set for around $20 on Amazon.
Measuring cups and spoons
Every cook uses measuring cups and spoons. Measuring cup and spoon upgrades include high-quality stainless steel, glass or pottery types. I prefer to avoid plastic type materials for these items and use both a Pyrex glass and a stainless set.
I like the Pyrex1-cup to 4-cup glass set because of the large size, found on Amazon for around $15.
For stainless, I have my eye on the Morgenhaan Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons 12-Piece Set, priced around $40 on Amazon.
Salt and Pepper Mills
Not all salt and pepper mill containers are the same. Many don’t grind smoothly. Or they take too much effort to turn or don’t hold enough product and have to be refilled every five minutes. It’s also nice to have easy to clean and adjustable grinding size.
The Levav Premium Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Mill with Adjustable Ceramic Rotors for around $19 on Amazon is a sexy set of mills.
A good vegetable peeler is worth its weight in gold. Cheap ones hurt the hand and are rarely sharp. A good peeler saves time and your wrist. They are also good for more than just vegetable peeling. Use them to make chocolate curls and shavings or to slice thin slices of vegetables or cheese.
Cheap utensils usually end up melted, burned or break. High-quality utensils hold up well to high temperatures, are well-built and rarely burn or break. I prefer a mixture of wood, stainless and silicone utensils.
I love the Neet Organic Wooden Bamboo Spoon Set, priced around $12 on Amazon. For cooking the Starpack Premium Silicone Kitchen 5-Piece Utensil for around $23 on Amazon are awesome.
Please note that I have not received any compensation for any of the above-mentioned places, sights or products. I happily recommend products that intrigued me while using. My opinion and reviews are always 100% genuine.