The best kitchen gift is something they’d never buy—or even think of buying—for themselves. Just like this stuff.
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There’s magical “soap” that banishes strong, lingering scents and mixing bowls that stay put even when the whisking gets tough; a sleek little planter that brings the pleasures of gardening indoors and a delightful, plate-warming device that elevates dinner gatherings to five-star heights. Like we said, the kind of stuff the favorite cook on your list wouldn’t either think to get, or wouldn’t buy on their own, but that is crazy-useful to have.
This list of useful kitchen gadgets and tools are great for gifting, and will be appreciated for years to come. And, at a variety of price-points, in a range of sizes, and selected with the goal of fulfilling real needs, you might just fall in love with something yourself, too.
Made from durable stainless steel, dishwasher- and freezer-safe, and designed to nest with space-saving ease, this set of three mixing bowls with lids is a baker’s dream. (So are these 25 perfect gifts for bakers!) Our favorite features? Volume measurements within the bowls eliminate the need for measuring cups—especially useful when there’s limited countertop space—and the anti-slip silicone bottoms make for reliable grip and no-slide mixing. Nearly 650 Amazon reviewers who sing its praises agree with us.
Buy it: $35.99, amazon.com
The perfect egg is a culinary masterpiece that even the best chefs can take years to master. Luckily, the Dash Rapid Egg Cooker eliminates the need for years, instead needing only minutes for yolk perfection every time. Soft- or hard-boiled, poached or deviled, scrambled or omelet, the top-selling egg cooker on Amazon does it all. Cook up to six eggs at a time with just a push of a button. And it’s cute to boot.
Buy it: $24.35, amazon.com
We’ve all been there: cooking on multiple burners, with timers abuzz, pots dangerously close to boiling over, pans sizzling, and utensils nearly spinning through the air. It’s supposed to be a feast, but it turns into a production. A must-have for any chef who enjoys orchestrating culinary productions but isn’t a pro juggler, this inexpensive stainless-steel, dishwasher-safe stand tidily holds everything—lids, spoons, splatter screens, you name it. That way, that your hands are free to conduct kitchen magic.
Buy it: $8.99, amazon.com
Sleek, soilless, and stress-free, this is indoor gardening at its best. This indoor gardening kit is the ideal gift for organic plant lovers, healthy eaters who want to control what they consume, and even the nature-curious kid. iRSE’s hydroponics technology and two LED modes that mimic the sun’s light make it simple to grow your favorite greens inside year-round. One impressed Amazon reviewer raves that “the veggies and herbs tasted amazing.” Another found it to be the perfect conversation starter at the office: “The seeds sprouted in just two days, and the plants are growing nicely. The best part about the garden, is that it’s drawn people to my cubicle. To me, it isn’t just a gadget for growing plants, it’s also helped me to grow some relationships, too!”
Buy it: $79.97, amazon.com
For the cook with a clean aesthetic and taste for organized, practical style, this is the spice rack that will complete their kitchen vision. The transparent acrylic shelves blend well with any décor and allow sorting: by color, name, frequency of use, or whatever system makes sense to your recipient. That the three shelves are designed to be individually wall-mounted encourages personalization—hang them side by side, stack them in tiers, or get creative and integrate them into a space in new and unexpected ways. (These 5 spices will make everything you cook more flavorful.)
Buy it: $27.99 for three shelves, amazon.com
Some of the best kitchen hacks and food tricks are passed down reliably through the ages (mix apple cider vinegar and soap to repel fruit flies; use baking soda to absorb fridge stench; and place avocados next to ripe bananas to speed-soften them). Another less popular but just as useful? Steel soap! It’s a must-have for any kitchen. Under cold running water, rub the “soap” between your hands; within seconds, your skin will be odorless. It even erases the lingering smells of fish and garlic. Many variations on the market resemble bars of soap. We like the playful, food-inspired shape of Alessi’s “Savon du Chef” best, and every cook on your list will, too.
Buy it: $24.94, amazon.com
OXO’s conceived a classic in this space-saving utensil holder, equipped with a removable drip tray and stocked with 14 of the most essential kitchen gadgets. The handy set includes a spoon and a slotted spoon, grater, square turner and flexible turner, 12-inch tongs, pizza wheel, can opener, balloon whisk, spatula, ice cream scoop, swivel peeler, meat tenderizer, and potato masher. Phew! This purchase is a bit on the pricier side, but it can last through a lifetime of meals and memories. It’ll serve as great gift for the young adult who’s beginning to fill their first home with essentials, and for a family member who deserves a kitchen upgrade but will never splurge for themselves.
Buy it: $99.95, amazon.com
We love gadgets that improve our lives on several levels without complicating or cluttering them. This set of three streamlined canisters ensures dry ingredients, like granola, grains, cereal, and beans, stay fresh for up to 45 days, while also deploying them cleverly. Contents are dispensed in neat, 1-ounce portions with the turn of a knob. The small portions promote conscious, healthy eating, and the clear canisters make it a breeze to keep track of what you’re running low on before you run out. A smart gift for any organization freak or turbo-busy mom. (Psst! We found the 5 best meal-prep food containers for weight loss.)
Buy it: $35.15 for triple canister, amazon.com
Slicing herbs has never been smoother than with this smart, gourmet gift. Designed for versatility and comfort, this herb tool features a soft-touch ergonomic handle that feels good in the hand, stainless-steel cutting blades that rotate to allow for palm or grip use, and a top that pops off for easy cleaning. One satisfied Amazon customer loves how it “zips through leafy stuff like basil, parsley and cilantro with ease,” and another offers this pro-tip: “The drier the herb, the better this thing works with it.”
Buy it: $16.24, amazon.com
Shred and slice everything sans mess—chocolate, cheese, and veggies—with this stainless-steel grater set. Outfitted with five interchangeable grating blades (for thick shredding to feathery shaving, plus slicing, grating, and zesting), the multipurpose set comes color-coded and stacked inside a handy, lidded storage container. Consider this an essential gadget gift for any kitchen. (Add a spiralizer to your kitchen collection with one of these top picks from Amazon reviewers.)
Buy it: $8.99, amazon.com
Serious chefs know that hot food must be served on a hot plate; otherwise, it risks becoming less appealing to the eye and palate. For the at-home cook who doesn’t have the at-restaurant luxury of extra ovens for stashing plates, the Waterbridge Plate Warmer is the perfect solution. Thermostatically controlled and safe to set atop any surface, the insulated electric plate warmer can heat up to 15 large plates at once in a series of stacked folds. It’s even safe to use on fine bone china. This is such a cool thing for anyone who likes to entertain, and would make a great gift to express your appreciation for all the memorable meals and gatherings your recipient has hosted.
Buy it: $74.99, amazon.com
As elegant as it is functional, and as much kitchen gadget as it is art object. Part of the Object Bijou collection by Alessi, the stainless-steel Voile, with its variable-sized rings, makes it a cinch to perfectly portion out spaghetti in serving increments of one, two, or five. This is one of those timeless chef accessories that seems much too beautiful to justify purchasing for oneself, but that anyone would be delighted to receive as a gift. This will please both the design and carb lovers in your life. (Here’s your guide to finding the healthiest pasta.)
Buy it: $26.56, amazon.com
Ditch that old metal splatter screen and file this under genius innovations we can’t believe someone didn’t come up with sooner. The Gowanus Kitchen Lab Frywall is the first guard to offer consistent protection and access to the cooking surface. Amazon customers love it. “[It’s] great to be able to access the food without having to remove anything,” one writes. No more oil leaping from the pan to the stovetop or, worse, onto your clothing or skin. Frywall’s design allows steam to escape, which means sauces reduce faster, veggies sauté without becoming soggy, and meats sear perfectly. It’s also dishwasher-safe, and rolls nicely into a sleeve for easy storage.
Buy it: $21.95, amazon.com
Savvy and sleek, this battery-free, touch-free soap dispenser helps to cut down on the transfer of bacteria and mess when you’re washing up between tasks. Place your hand close to the valve for a dash of foam or lower beneath it for more; it’s as easy as that. The pump comes with a lavender soap cartridge, but click-in cartridge refills are available from a variety of partnered brands in a range of scents, all delightfully aromatic. It’s available in brushed or polished stainless steel, or rose gold steel, so pick the best one to match your recipient’s décor.
Buy it: $49.99, amazon.com