The best kitchen upgrades for the everyday cook in 2024

Someone got gift cards and not sure what to do with them? These accessories will help elevate the kitchen and cooking of anyone moving beyond the basics.
The best kitchen gifts

Brandt Ranj / Popular Science

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A good home cook will already have the basic tools they need—so you can use the holiday season to buy them the best kitchen gifts they might not even know they need. It could be a big fancy gadget, but it could also be a small upgrade to a simple, classic one. Either way, they can put these accessories to good use cooking delicious food all year long … and maybe sharing some with you. Win-win!

Best multicooker: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1

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Look, we know this is an obvious choice for a kitchen gift. Instant Pots are just the new sous-vide machines in terms of go-to gadgets. But here’s the thing: They’re popular for a reason. Want to make slow-cooked stews on a weeknight? Or perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs every time? Who doesn’t? The basic version is affordable, even for the largest size. If you want to upgrade to the 10-in-1, go for it, but rest assured this one will get all the jobs done.

Best smart oven: GE Profile Smart Oven with No Preheat

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The GE Profile Smart Oven with No Preheat solves the biggest issue most home cooks face when trying to get food on the table: Time management. The 11-function smart oven requires no preheating; instead, you place your meal inside, set your time and temperature, and hit start. The GE Profile Smart Oven will begin cooking your food immediately rather than requiring you to wait for it to come to temperature, automatically adjusting its heating elements to ensure you get the proper level of doneness based on your recipe. Multi-function smart ovens have become popular, but this is the first one that doesn’t require preheating on any of its modes, which include air fry, bake, pastry, roast, and broil. If you’re shopping for someone who doesn’t have a lot of counter space (or time), this is an amazing gift.

Best water purifier: AquaTru Connect

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All of us should be drinking at least 2.7 liters of water per day, according to the Mayo Clinic, but that’s difficult if you’re uneasy about what’s coming out of your tap. If you know someone in that situation, AquaTru’s Connect makes for an excellent gift. The appliance uses a three-stage filtration system and reverse osmosis to purify water and remove everything from rocket fuel and radium to pesticides and herbicides. Naturally, it’ll also filter out unwanted tastes and odors. We could easily pick up on those last two factors during our tests but felt good about the other nasty stuff getting filtered out, too. Using the AquaTru connect is equally simple. All you have to do is fill up its tank and press a button. AquaTru’s app lets you know the status of all three filters, so you know when they need to be replaced, along with stats on how much water it’s filtered. Looking for other options? Not a problem.

Best pepper grinder: MÄNNKITCHEN Pepper Cannon

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Giving a pepper grinder as a gift may seem odd, but Mäankitchen’s is the exception that proves the rule. We were impressed not only by its ultra-solid build quality but also by the level of control it gave us over our grind. The company says its grinder is 10 times faster than a typical one, and you should believe the hype. A simple knob on the bottom of the pepper grinder allows you to switch from coarser to finer settings, so you can find the perfect one for your salad and steak and switch between them very quickly. Yes, the Mäankitchen Pepper Cannon is overkill, but that’s exactly why it’s such a great gift.

Best toaster: Tineco Toasty One

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If you know someone who can’t start their day without toast, a bagel, or an English muffin, Tineco’s Toasty One will blow their minds. The smart toaster allows you to select your preferred level of doneness using a visual indicator, which is far more useful than figuring out whether you like setting number two or three on a traditional toaster. There’s no app required to use this toaster, as its main feature is the 4-inch touch screen. We were impressed by the performance of this toaster, especially the ability to select individual settings for the left and right slots. It also helps that the toaster actually looks cool on a countertop, with just the right mix of futurism and minimalism.

Best utensil set: Fortessa Bistro 18/10 Stainless Steel 20 Piece Flatware Set

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A set of Fortessa’s stainless steel utensils is the type of practical kitchen gift that’ll be an upgrade used by the person you gift it to on a daily basis for decades. The 20-piece set features enough flatware for four people and includes a salad fork, table fork, table knife, dessert spoon, and coffee spoon. If properly maintained, these dishwasher-safe utensils will last a lifetime.

Best stand mixer: Wolf Gourmet High-Performance Stand Mixer

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Wolf Gourmet’s Stand Mixer is the most luxe gift in our guide, but it’ll astonish any home baker who receives it. The company paid meticulous attention to small details, like how easy the power knob is to turn, the click that happens when the large-capacity bowl is in the correct position, and how long it takes for the mixer to increase its speed. The mixer comes with a whisk, paddle, and dough hook attachment, which we’ve used to make cakes, cookies, and bread, respectively.

This mixer has extraordinary power under the hood, so much so that we casually made double or triple batches of a recipe without thinking twice. A half-full bowl of cookie dough never impeded the paddle attachment from spinning, nor did it make the mixer shake violently, which happened when we tried the same test with another machine. Wolf Gourmet includes an indispensable accessory in addition to its attachments: A plastic shield that goes over the top of the mixer’s bowl to prevent dry ingredients from flying everywhere when you first incorporate them with wet ingredients. The shield has a slot that allows you to slowly feed ingredients into the mixer as it’s being used.

Wolf Gourmet’s Stand Mixer isn’t your average gift, but it’s one that its recipient will treasure for the rest of their lives. We could easily see this mixer get passed down from generation to generation, along with handwritten family recipes. Looking for something more affordable/traditional? We always love a KitchenAid.

Best sheet pans: Great Jones Little Sheet

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Sheet pans are essential for the home cook who bakes or roasts food often, and this eye-catching pair of quarter-sheet trays from Great Jones will liven up every kitchen. They’re dishwasher-safe and the perfect size for a personal pizza, small sheet of cookies, or cornbread. We’re especially fond of their raised lips, which makes it possible to use them for small sheet cakes. Most home cooks have half-sized sheet pans but may be sleeping on smaller ones. Great Jones also offers a bundle that includes these two trays and a larger one.

Best Dutch oven: Smithey Ironware 7.25 QT Dutch Oven

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Smithey Ironware’s 7.25 QT Dutch Oven is a luxe gift for serious home cooks who routinely cook big batches of food for an entire family. One could easily bake a massive loaf of bread, fry an entire broken-down chicken, or slow-cook an entire pork butt while still having room to spare. The company says you’ll be able to cook acidic foods like sauces in it after the first few cooks without the risk of ruining its coating. If you go to one specific person’s house every year for the holidays and have watched them struggle to get enough food out at one time because their cookware was too small, a Dutch oven could seriously help them out.

Best pizza oven: Ooni Volt

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What’s better than a pizza oven that allows you to make pizzeria-quality pies at home? One that can be used whether it’s sunny, rainy, snowy, or anything in between. The Ooni Volt is the company’s first electric pizza oven, the ultimate gift for aspiring pizzaiolos. The oven can reach temperatures of up to 850 degrees Fahrenheit (most conventional ovens top out at either 500 or 550) and has heating elements above and below the pizza stone to ensure even cooking. Dials on the front of the Ooni Volt make it easy to adjust its temperature, bias heat to the top or bottom heating element, or set a cooking timer. When the Volt is at its maximum temperature, you can cook a twelve-inch Neopolitan pizza in under two minutes. Little design touches, like a clear pane on the front door that allows you to monitor your cook, ensure you’ll always get excellent results.

Best electric kettle: Fellow Corvo EKG Electric Tea Kettle

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Fellow’s electric kettle is a thoughtful gift for anyone who loves tea, coffee, or wants to expedite cooking tasks like rehydrating dried vegetables. This kettle has an immaculate, minimalist design, but its understated look belies its impressive technical features. You can set the kettle to a precise temperature, which is displayed on an LCD screen on the kettle’s base. Additional features include the ability to set a stopwatch to fully extract the flavor of your tea and coffee, which is helpful for those who use expensive leaves and beans, respectively. This countertop appliance has a place in almost any kitchen, and the person you gift it to will wonder how they did without one for so long. Know somebody who wants to take pour-over control to the pinnacle? Invest a bit more in the Fellow Stagg EKG Pro Studio Electric Gooseneck Kettle.

Best ice maker: Oraimo Nugget Ice Maker

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Oraimo’s ice maker is the ideal kitchen gift for the host in your life who’s always worried about managing their freezer space. The countertop appliance can make a little over one pound of nugget ice per hour, and up to 33 pounds per day. You can set the ice maker on a timer to begin and stop working on a schedule, which is helpful if you want plenty of ice the day of a party, but don’t want to wake up early to start the first batch. Ice can be made by pouring water into this ice maker’s tank, or by directly hooking it up to a water line. If you’re shopping for someone who can’t get enough of making homemade frozen margaritas or just wants a convenient way to keep a lot of drinks cold during a get-together, this is a very thoughtful holiday gift.

Best cocktail glasses: Fortessa Malcolm Cocktail Glasses

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This set of six cocktail glasses from Fortessa will elevate the drink game of whoever you gift them to. Each 15-ounce glass has two textures, which make them easier to grip and fun to look at. While designed for cocktails and mocktails, the glasses will (nearly) fit an entire pint of beer or water. We’re especially fond of the fact that Fortessa offers these glasses in three colors, so you can get a set that matches the style of the person you’re gifting them to.

Best microwavable cookware: Anyday Everyday Set

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There’s “microwave-safe” cookware, and then there’s the Everyday Set from Anyday. The frosted glass cookware is dishwasher safe, freezer safe, non-toxic, and comes in multiple sizes, so we’re inclined to jump in with both feet and gift the Everyday set. We’ve been pleased not only by how well this cookware performs—our from-scratch and reheated microwaved foods have never been cooked so consistently—but by how each size is perfect for different applications. The home cook with this set will be able to make everything from a full pot of rice to a small chicken completely in the microwave. The company’s website offers a bevy of new recipes for the microwave skeptic, too, in case you’re shopping for a skeptic.

Best pasta maker: MARCATO Atlas 150

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If you’re shopping for someone interested in making homemade pasta, our only gift recommendation is the MARCATO Atlas 150. Made in Italy from steel and colored aluminum, the machine feels solid in the hand and is designed to last a lifetime. The hand-crank pasta maker comes with a clamp to hold it steady and a pair of blades to cut thick and thin noodles. The Atlas 150 can be used to make pasta sheets between .19 and .020 thick, which means it’s suitable for making any well-known pasta shape, including lasagna sheets. Using the Atlas 150 will require some elbow grease—unless you generously gift them a drive motor, too—but the results will be well worth it. Once they start making homemade pasta, it’ll be hard for them to go back to a box.

Best for small kitchen: Kuhn Rikon 4th Burner Pot

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Kuhn Rikon’s 4th Burner Pot was specifically designed to be used on the smallest burner found on a stovetop. If you’re shopping for a home cook who cares about efficiency, this gift will please them immeasurably. The pot comes with a steam basket, which can also be used to boil smaller vegetables or thick pasta (think rigatoni) and easily lift them out of boiling water. Small touches, like the covering on the top and side handles that make both parts grippier are especially nice touches. We guarantee the chef in your life doesn’t have this tool in their arsenal, and they’ll immediately begin figuring out the most efficient ways to use it.

Best skillet: Smithey Deep Farmhouse Skillet

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Endgame is the only way we’ve found to articulate how we feel about Smitey’s Deep Farmhouse Skillet. Once you gift this to someone, it may very well be the only pan they use for sauteing, searing, and pan frying everything from steak and eggs to vegetables and tofu. Hand-forged, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful piece of cookware we’ve ever tested. Every detail, from the slope of the handle to the incline at the edges has been thought through to optimize how it feels in the hand. This skillet’s aesthetics are matched only by its performance. The person you gift this to will be amazed at how quickly it gets hot, how evenly heat is distributed, and how easily food slides on and off of it. This gift will not only last a lifetime when properly maintained, it’ll become a tool that’s passed down through several generations of home cooks.

Best cake plate: Lenox Lx Collective Cake Plate

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Any baker who’s proud of their latest creations would find Lenox’s Lx Collective Cake Plate to be the perfect gift. Regal-looking on its own, the marble and wooden kitchen cake plate stands five inches tall and 12-inches around. A raised lip will keep their bakes from unintentionally sliding off, while also acting like a frame to improve their presentation. This is a luxe gift, but it’s a piece of equipment few people would get for themselves. Be prepared to see Lenox’s cake plate featured prominently every time a new cake, crumble, or other confection hits social media.

Best bakeware set: Falcon Enamelware Bake Set

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Falcon’s five-piece Enamelware Bake Set is a great gift for a baker who wants to up their brownie, mac & cheese, crumble, buckle, or crisp game. It’s comprised of one 1 x 14½-inch bake pan, one 1 x 13⅜ bake pan, one 1 x 12¼ bake pan, and a pair of 2 x 7⅞ inch pie dishes. Each piece is made from dishwasher-safe, freezer-friendly, ceramic-covered steel. This bakeware can be used safely in ovens set up to 530 degrees Fahrenheit but is unsuitable for microwaves. One of our favorite aspects of this set is that each piece fits neatly within the others, making it easy to store and grab. Anyone who wants a fully-equipped but clutter-free kitchen will love this gift. It’s even available in three colors: white with a blue rim, pillarbox red, and pigeon grey, so you can find one that matches their style.

Best storage containers: Rubbermaid Brilliance BPA Free Food Storage Containers

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Rubbermaid’s storage containers are actually a two-in-one style gift that the organized home cook will begin to rely on each and every day. Each piece is made from BPA-free plastic and comes with a snap-on lid that keeps air from getting in or out. These containers can be used to store dry goods—think pastas, grains, and flour—for extended periods of time, but they can also be used for leftovers. Both the lids and containers are dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning them up simple after they’re empty. Efficiency and cleanliness are the signs of a harmonious kitchen, and this gift can help the home cook in your life achieve both.

Best for meal prep: Souper Cubes

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We all know at least one person who likes to think ahead and always have a meal ready in advance. Do them a favor and gift them a set of Souper Cubes. The silicon containers have four 250mL (roughly 1.1 cup) cavities, which can be used to store liquid or solid ingredients to be deployed at a moment’s notice. Your giftee could use two molds for soup and leave the other two for flavorful toppings. Pre-shredded vegetables and cheese separated into their own sections could be defrosted and deployed during an at-home taco night. The Souper Cubes are an excellent gift for the efficient home chef or someone who likes to cook at home more often but runs out of time.

Best non-stick cookware: Calphalon Classic Hard-Anodized Nonstick Cookware Kitchen Essentials Set

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Non-stick cookware is a wonderful gift for the home cook who doesn’t have the time to clean up pans every night—especially if they don’t have a dishwasher. This six-piece set from Calphalon includes two skillets, a saucepan, and a saute pan. Each piece is made using a technology called AquaShield that Calphalon says will extend their life significantly further than traditional nonstick cookware, and two pieces come with tempered glass lids. These pans can be used in an oven at temperatures of up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and are dishwasher-safe for even easier cleanup. This is the ultimate gift if you’re shopping for someone who loves to cook but doesn’t because of how much time it takes to clean up.

Best for apartments: AirHood Wireless

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Anyone who’s cooked in a poorly ventilated kitchen (aka most apartments) knows the frustration of accidentally setting off the smoke alarm while sauteing or searing food on the stovetop. The Airhood Wireless solves this issue, which makes it a must-give gift this holiday season. The battery-powered countertop appliance works like a traditional range hood but is far more compact and easy to move. When turned on, the AirHood Wireless sucks up the air, filters it through a mesh stainless steel oil filter and charcoal filter, and shoots it out the other side. If the AirHood Wireless is set up next to the pan that’ll be used before the fat reaches its smoke point, you’ll end up with a smoke-free kitchen. Home chefs won’t even know this type of kitchen gadget exists, and it’ll blow their mind after using it once.

Best saucier: Misen 3 QT Stainless Steel Saucier

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Misen’s 3 Quart Saucepan is the type of kitchen tool many home chefs aspire to use, and giving it as a gift could make that a reality. The 5-ply stainless steel saucepan heats up evenly, but its handle is designed to be easy to hold and reduce its heat exposure. Three of this saucier’s layers are made of aluminum, which conducts heat more quickly to reduce the cooking time. This construction also allows the saucepan to withstand heat up to 800 degrees if you need to prepare food in the oven. Whether they want a fresh bowl of rice, homemade popcorn, or reheated soup, this is the tool they’ll continue to reach for.

Best bread maker: Panasonic Automatic Bread Machine

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Aspiring bakers can get tripped up in bread baking because so many things can go wrong, from taking a loaf out too soon to accidentally overworking or under-proofing the dough. Panasonic’s Automatic Bread Maker lives up to its name, allowing you to make everything from brioche to sourdough with a few button presses. It even has a slot where you can pour in mix-ins like seeds, dried garlic, and other spices to ensure they’re incorporated evenly. We’re typically skeptical about single-use kitchen gadgets since counter space is such a premium resource (especially in apartments), but the Automatic Bread Maker more than earns its spot. If they make bread often enough, the person you gift it to may never put it away.

Best for bread baking: Emile Henry Modern Bread Cloche

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If the person you’re shopping for this holiday season isn’t interested in using an appliance to bake bread, we have the solution: Emile Henry’s Modern Bread Cloche. This two-piece ceramic baking dish creates the perfect baking environment for an artisan loaf by tightly surrounding it with radiating heat. Additionally, using this Cloche won’t require a baker to lower their dough into a too-hot-to-touch preheated Dutch oven, however carefully. When the loaf is done, the top piece can be easily removed to unveil the loaf, while the bottom piece of the Cloche features a textured pattern, which prevents the bread from sticking to it. Whether they’re making the dough by hand, stand mixer, or machine, Emile Henry’s Modern Bread Cloche will ensure each loaf they’ve proofed comes out perfectly.

Best air fryer: Cuisinart TOA-95

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Cuisinart’s TOA-95 should be one of the first gifts to consider if you’re shopping for someone with limited counter space. The sleek-looking appliance can bake, broil, roast, reheat, toast, and air fry, with dedicated buttons for preheating, slow cooking, and air frying. The TOA-95’s display makes it easy to see which setting is selected, and the function and time/temp knobs are easy to navigate its interface. Many people associate air fryers with french fries (the TOA-95 excels at making them ultra crispy), but it’s large enough to roast an entire chicken. Overall, Cuisinart’s TOA-95 is a winner, and we highly recommend getting it for any home cook. However, we’ve got you if you just want dedicated air fryers!

Best electric knife: BUBBA Kitchen Series Cordless Electric Knife

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Know somebody who has the honor of carving up the main dish at every holiday party? Bubba’s Cordless Electric Knife will become their new best friend. The knife is extremely efficient at cutting through thick cuts of meat—even through bone—to deliver clean-looking, perfectly portioned slices. Bubba includes three blades for different applications, though we typically stuck with the seven-inch carving blade during our time with it. We must admit we were impressed at how well this knife fit in our hand. The curved hilt gave us a solid grip, and the thumb rest on top allowed us to put constant pressure on what we were cutting while keeping the blade steady. Bubba even cared about the quality of its carrying case, which makes the knife easy to store safely when not in use.

Best knife set: Anolon AlwaysSharp Japanese Steel Knife Block Set with Built-In Sharpener

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A dull knife can lead to injuries, so spare your favorite home chef from nicks and cuts by gifting them this eight-piece knife set with a sharpener built into its block. The set comes with a chef’s knife, slicer, bread knife, santoku knife, serrated utility knife, paring knife, and kitchen shears. These are all the tools they’ll need to carve, slice, chop, butterfly, or otherwise slice and dice protein and vegetables. All the knives fit neatly into a single block with a large sharpener built into it for easy access. All they’ll need to do to keep their knives sharp is to run their blades through the sharpener a few times on a regular basis. A knife sharpener on its own would be a great gift, but having it built into a block with an eight-knife set makes it even better.

Best steak knives: Viking Culinary German Stainless Steel Pakkawood Steak Knife Set

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Our final kitchen knife gift recommendation is this six-piece set of stainless steel steak knives from Viking. Each knife is stored in a separate slot within a wooden box, which screams class each time they’re used. The knives are forged from stainless steel, with a pakkawood handle affixed to them with a pair of rivets. This gift has one real use: effortlessly cutting through steak, which is just fine if you’re shopping for a carnivore.

Best for breakfast lovers: MadeIn Carbon Steel Griddle

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Need a gift for someone who wakes up every morning ready to make bacon and eggs? MadeIn’s Carbon Steel Griddle, which is long enough to fit across two burners, has a large surface area for bacon, eggs, french toast, pancakes, and other breakfast delights. Its carbon steel construction is pre-seasoned and naturally nonstick, and its sides are tilted inward to catch grease and keep your kitchen clean. You can use this griddle on gas, induction, and electric cooktops. While we’re recommending this for folks who love breakfast, it’s just as useful for making smash burgers, sauteed vegetables, and plenty of other savory delights.

Best indoor smoker: Weston 2-in-1 Slow Cooker & Electric Indoor Smoker

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Nothing bums out a pit master quite like winter, when the smoker has to go away until springtime, which is why they’ll love Weston Brands’ slow cooker. The appliance doubles as a smoker, with a small canister for wood chips and settings for hot, cold, or combo smoking. A temperature probe will prevent them from overcooking their meat, which is particularly helpful during long cooks. The countertop-friendly appliance can cook a 6-pound chicken or 4-pound roast, which is more than enough to feed a group, especially when you factor in side dishes. There’s nothing quite like this indoor smoker (most home cooks rely on liquid smoke during colder months), so whoever you gift it to will be very pleasantly surprised.

Best kitchen scale: OXO 11-Pound Food Scale

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Everybody knows a home baker who uses measuring cups instead of weighing ingredients, and you can help them seriously up their game by gifting them a kitchen scale. Their bakes will turn out consistently, and the scale can be used in savory applications to portion meat and vegetables before cooking them. We like OXO’s scale because of its magnetic slide-out screen, which makes it possible to use the scale when weighing food in a large container. These containers would block the display of a lesser scale, which defeats the purpose of using it. OXO is one of our go-to cookware companies, and we can recommend its salad spinner as another great gift idea for picky chefs.

Best cordless appliance: KitchenAid Go Cordless Hand Mixer

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Counter space is a kitchen’s most premium real estate, and KitchenAid’s new Go Cordless Hand Mixer offers power and precision without taking up an inch. One of six appliances in the company’s new “Go” line, the 7-speed mixer can be used for everything from whipping up egg whites for a meringue to thoroughly mixing batters for cakes and brownies, to whipping cream. One of this hand mixer’s big features is its removable, rechargeable battery, which lasts up to 60 minutes per charge. This battery is compatible with all the handheld appliances in KitchenAid’s Go line, so you can swap them whenever necessary. This hand mixer is the perfect gift if you know a home cook with tired hands but limited space.

Best microwave: Sharp SMC1169HS

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Sharp’s SMC1169HS should be the first kitchen gift you consider for anyone living in a dorm or moving into their first apartment. It has all the standard features of a microwave, including preset buttons for common foods, but has many you wouldn’t expect. Three auto defrost buttons allow you to thaw meat without worrying about times, temperatures, and power levels, while support for Amazon’s Alexa allows you to operate this appliance totally hands-free. The microwave has even been certified by Orville Redenbacher’s® to make popcorn effectively. Microwaves are a common countertop appliance, but the Sharp SMC1169HS’ extras turn what could be mundane into a cool gift.

Best baking mats: Silpat Half Size Nonstick Baking Mat

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Silpat’s nonstick baking mats are legendary for their durability and the ability to keep even the stickiest substances—looking at you, molten-hot sugar-leaking cinnamon buns—from sticking or leaving a mark. This two-pack of half-sized baking mats is designed to fit perfectly inside a pair of 13- x 18-inch baking sheets. These mats can withstand temperatures up to 480 degrees Fahrenheit and only need to be lightly rinsed with water to clean. A baker tired of tearing off sheets of parchment paper each time they bake, which can be especially tedious during long baking sessions, would be thrilled to receive these Silpat Baking Mats as a gift.

Best for bakers: PantryChic Smart Storage System

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It’s ultralux, but PantryChic’s Smart Storage System is a kitchen tool your giftee will treasure for years to come. The appliance allows you to store your dry ingredients in a BPA-free container and then dispense them in the perfect quantity—down to the gram—thanks to a built-in scale. This helps cut down the time it takes to bake by reducing, if not completely eliminating, the need for measuring cups and spoons. PantryChic’s machine can use over 100 ingredients, from flours and coffee grounds to nuts and seeds. Baking is mostly an exact science—though creativity is encouraged—and PantryChick’s Smart Storage System can help amateurs and experienced bakers alike get the best results every time.

Best juicer: Hurom H310A

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Hurom’s H310A is so good it may well convert your favorite home chef from someone who orders overpriced juice at a specialty shop into someone who makes them at home. The juicer’s self-feeding hopper will continually ingest chunks of fruits and vegetables while its blade mimics the amount of force used for manual juicing. Hurom says the H310A wrings as much juice as possible from fruits and vegetables, and that’s been true in our tests. The H310A consistently made tasty juice from whatever we threw at it, and cleaning it by hand was a quick affair. The best part about this juicer is its small size. This juicer offers the same level of performance as a bulkier one in a far more svelte package. Fresh, organic juice is very expensive if you order it out, so gifting this juicer will actually save the person you’re shopping for money without using a lot of time.

Best water carbonator: Ninja Thirsti Drink System

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If you’re shopping for someone who loves fizzy water—or wants to cut down on the number of energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and sodas they buy—Ninja’s Thirsti Drink System should be your go-to gift. The appliance can make carbonated water at three intensity levels in 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-ounce batches. Water is fed to the machine from an external tank, which should be kept in the fridge for the best results. The Thirsti also comes with a set of flavor pods, and you can flavor the intensity of your drink in addition to its level of carbonation and size. The results are always consistent, and you can even mix the flavor of two pods together for a more customized taste.

Best ice cream maker: Ninja Creami

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The Ninja Creami is the only gift you should consider for someone who loves ice cream. The set-it-and-forget-it nature of the Creami allows you to make ice cream, gelato, sorbet, milkshakes, Italian ice, and other frozen treats with minimal intervention. After freezing the ice cream base in the included pint container overnight, you stick it into the Creami and hit one button, and the machine takes care of the rest. Blades will churn the ice cream to the correct consistency based on your selected frozen treat. You can pause midway through to fold in mix-ins, but beyond that, all you have to do is wait for the machine to do its job. This deluxe package comes with a pair of XL-sized prints, each holding 24 ounces of ice cream. Additional XL pints can be purchased separately if you want a constant supply of ice cream.

Best premium cookware: Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Cookware Set

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Luxe doesn’t even begin to describe Le Creuset’s 10-piece Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Cookware Set, the premium set of cookware we could wholeheartedly recommend. The set comes with an enameled Dutch oven, saucier, skillet, roaster, grill pan, braiser, and four lids. Each piece in this collection is at the top of the class in its respective kitchen tool category, and to have them all bundled together will leave the person you gift this to completely gobsmacked. They can reach for these tools while baking bread and brownies, browning a steak, making a sauce, frying foods, and just about everything in between. We’d go so far as to say these are the only kitchen tools a home cook could ever truly need—though the appliances, accessories, and other tools we’re recommending would be a big help.

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Fifth & Cherry’s F&C 14 is a statement piece that deserves a place in any home cook’s kitchen. The 14-inch cutting board is thick enough to feel substantial but still easy to move around when necessary. Fifth & Cherry went the extra mile to ensure its cutting boards immediately catch the eye, but their attention to detail is more than skin deep. We chopped, scraped, kneaded, and served food on this board, and it held up very well after repeated use. The cutting board will accumulate cut marks over time, but the nicks shouldn’t go deep enough to impact its performance. If they do, Fifth & Cherry offers a free refinishing service. Calling a cutting board beautiful may seem odd, but the F&C 14 earns that distinction—and many more.

Best colander: Dreamroo Collapsible Multi-purpose Colander

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Every sink and recipe is a little different, but your giftee won’t have to worry about that with Dreamroo’s colander, which can expand and contract between 14.5 and 19.5 inches. This feature allows you to use the same colander to clean a pint or quart of fruit without reaching for a separate tool. This is the colander to reach for if you’re cooking pasta for yourself or a couple of friends. We like this colander because it’s a gift nobody expects but will immediately wonder how they lived without it. It’s even offered in multiple colors (we’re particularly partial to the blue), so you can get one to match their style.

Best knife: MadeIn Engraved 8-Inch Chef Knife

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A chef knife is the most versatile piece of cutlery in a home cook’s arsenal and an investment that, with care, can last decades, with many of them costing upwards of $200-$400. MadeIn offers its professional-grade 8-inch chef knife for just $99, allowing you to personalize its blade for an extra $30. This is a really nice touch that a home cook would appreciate every time they chop, dice, or chiffonade their favorite produce. This French-made knife, which combines the approach of German and Japanese blades, is made from a single piece of stainless steel hardened with nitrogen. It’ll make quick work of tomatoes, potatoes, pineapples, avocado, or anything else thrown at it. If it’s taken care of properly, the chef who gets this knife can use it for the rest of their life.

Best knife set: Cangshan N1

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If you need an incredibly generous gift idea for a home cook who’s just moved out onto their own, our top recommendation is Cangshan’s N1. The six-knife block has everything a chef needs to cut, chop, slice, and filet meat, vegetables, fruit, and anything in between. The star of the show is arguably the wooden block, which is cut at an angle so each knife is easy to grab and use. The blades are forged from a single piece of German steel, so you never have to worry about a handle falling apart. If they’re cared for and sharpened a few times a year, this gift will last a lifetime.

Best dinnerware set: Stone + Lain Porcelain 16 Piece Dinnerware Set

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Another great gift for folks leaving home for the first time is a good-looking set of dinnerware, which should be fancy enough to impress guests but comfortable enough to use daily. Stone + Lain knocked it out of the park with this 16-piece set, a table setting for four people. Plates, bowls, and mugs are all included, so they’ll have everything they need in a single package. We loved how nice Stone + Lain’s dinnerware set looked in person, and the porcelain material felt fancier than we expected. Importantly, every piece in this set is microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Best mandoline: Benriner Mandoline Slicer

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It’s not generally good practice to give people products they could hurt themselves with—but if you’ve got a friend or family member who loves cooking up elaborate meals, this mandoline will be a godsend. It lets you quickly shave thin slices off even the hardiest veggies, making everything from salad prepping to gratin layering much faster and easier. Plus, it has a little gripper so your loved ones don’t accidentally slice their fingertips off.

Best grater: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Grater

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Yes, you could use a microplane to grate your ginger. But that’s assuming you want to clog up the tiny blades with fibers and spend twice as long doing it. Instead, you could just get this little Japanese device designed to perfectly mash up your ginger root (or garlic or fresh turmeric) without the hassle. It’s simple. It’s easy. It’s ceramic. And it’s got a silicone ring on the bottom to keep it from slipping.

Best spice grinder: FinaMill Pepper Mill & Spice Grinder

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FinaMill’s spice grinder is the type of gift an avid home cook wouldn’t expect but would definitely enjoy. The battery-powered grinder comes with clear pods with blades attached and can be filled with whole spices. Sticking the grinder on top of the grinder will initiate the blades and pulverize the spices to your preferred level of coarseness. The best part is that the spice can stay in these pods to retain their freshness over time. And because each spice is sequestered to its own pod, you’ll never get cross-contamination, which can alter their taste. You can also stick spices into the pods and use the FinaMill as a grinder to season your food with pepper or the spice of your choice.

Best for travelers: Nordic Ware Cakes and Cupcakes Carrier

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We all have that one person in our lives who loves bringing baked goods to parties but frets about them getting there in one piece. Nordic Wae’s Cakes and Cupcakes Carrier is the perfect gift for such a kind soul. The kitchen tool will allow them to transport 12 cupcakes or a 9- x 13-inch cake safely. The cupcake holder even has an individual slot, so delicate pipework isn’t ruined by one cake rubbing up against the other. A hard plastic shield prevents anything from accidentally touching the cakes, and handles make it easier for the carrier to take bakes from a car seat into a home and vice versa. Sometimes, you can’t beat practicality. Nordic Ware also has a baking pan and lid set that serves a similar purpose but won’t require them to transfer their bake from its baking dish into a separate container.

Best sous vide: Breville Joule Turbo

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OK, sure … we did start this whole list saying that Instant Pots are the new sous-vide machines. But that doesn’t mean the real things went away. If anything, they’re just hitting their stride. Breville’s Joule Turbo is the latest model in the company’s successful sous vide line, and it solves the biggest issue with this style of cooking: the time commitment. The Turbo modulates the water bath temperature rather than keeping it at a set temperature to reduce the cooking time of certain dishes dramatically. You still get all the benefits of sous vide cooking, including getting consistently perfect results with little to no fuss, just more quickly. The amount of time you’ll save will vary based on what’s being cooked, but some cook 50% faster. The home chef who “already has everything” will undoubtedly love this kitchen upgrade.

To recap …