Maybe you're the cook in your house and you need to treat yourself to some holiday culinary supplies. Or maybe you can barely boil water, and you're looking for a thoughtful—albeit self-serving—present for the person who keeps you well-fed. From soup to nuts, here are our recommendations for stocking up your favorite kitchen this holiday season. Note: this article was originally published at this time last year. We've updated it to make sure the best products are represented.
Let's start at the very beginning: Le Creuset is simply the best. Enameled cast iron is an extremely versatile cooking surface, too. Baking bread? Yes. Preparing a roast? Certainly. Stewing up some stew? Do it. This cookware is an insta-heirloom, and the chef you gift it to will owe you food for life, basically. Starting at $339 on Amazon, depending on color.
Lodge is the cookware that says "I understand you want a Le Creuset, sweetie, but I just don't love you that much." It's just as versatile a piece of cookware as more expensive competitors. It might not last for five generations or have quite the same Christmas morning impact as the more prestigious brand, but Lodge is so affordable that it's hard to turn down. Starting at $48 on Amazon.
Sometimes the greatest gift you can give is the gift of time. Slow cookers aren't just for folks who don't have time to cook after coming home from work (though they're great for that). You can use your slow cooker to do everything from mull wine to make apple butter, with plenty of melt-in-your-mouth stews and perfect soups in between. With this model, you can even use a built-in meat thermometer to cook a chicken or roast to perfection in your absence. That will free up the real chef in the house to work on side dishes. $50 on Amazon.
Time to level up from slow cooking? Pressure cookers work by trapping steam inside, raising pressure and the boiling point of the liquid inside. That means your food can get hotter than it can in a traditional pot, cooking faster. Meanwhile, the trapped steam means food will stay moist and delicious. InstantPot is fully automated and totally safe. You can make a perfect poached egg in two minutes. Chicken stock in half an hour. Barbecued meats in all of twenty minutes. It's a game changer. What are you waiting for? Starting at $70 on Amazon.
The Sweethome rates this Victorinox knife as the best tool for carving a holiday bird, and its stellar reviews on Amazon confirm its superiority. This is a knife for a turkey carver who means business. From $46 on Amazon.
If one knife seems like too shabby a gift for your chic chef friend, just go for a whole block of 'em. Victorinox is still undoubtedly the way to go, with a range of cutlery assortments (and prices, of course) to pick from. The 22-piece set is basically a proposal of marriage, just saying. From $163 on Amazon.
If you give a chef a knife, they'll want a cutting board to go with it. These personalized, engraved cutting boards on Etsy caught our eye—and start at just $17.
Look, not all gifts are gonna be glamorous. To be honest, we recommend bundling a pair of kitchen shears in with some prettier tools and gadgets before you put them under the tree. But as long as a pair of scissors isn't the only gift you're giving the person who cooks your dinner, they'll undoubtedly be pleased—especially if they're planning on spatchcocking this year's turkey. $13 on Amazon
Say that three times fast. This ThermoPop thermometer is another great basic stocking stuffer. It's a tool the chef in your life needs, full stop. This affordable little number is top rated by loads of reviewers, including Cook's Illustrated. And if keeping you fed is more of a team effort, you can order five of these puppies—in a whole rainbow of colors—at a discounted rate. From $29 on ThermoWorks.
Sticking with the stocking stuffer theme, here's a spatula by Get it Right that quite simply gets it right. The single piece of silicone is a breeze to keep clean, and it's perfectly designed to handle all sorts of mixing and smoothing. Plus it comes in a whole bunch of delightful colors. $13 from GIR or available on Amazon Prime for $17 if you just can't wait.
Even the best chefs splash sauce on themselves every now and again. This stone washed linen half apron from Magic Linen will let them make dinner in style. $29 on Etsy.
Want to send your favorite cook on the ultimate adventure in flavor exploration? The Indie Chef Kit contains a big ol' cube of maple sugar, fig balsamic vinegar, smooth whole grain mustard, sea salt flakes, and extra virgin olive oil—plus a trio of fancy wooden spoons to stir it all up with. You can snag the set for $123 at Mouth Foods.
You might not be able to take them around the world, but for just $6 a month you can do the next best thing. SpiceBreeze is a subscription box that sends small packages of fresh spices to your door each month—along with international recipes designed to highlight their amazing flavors.
Interested in talking about deals and gadgets? Request to join our exclusive Facebook group. With all our product stories, the goal is simple: more information about the stuff you're thinking about buying. We may sometimes get a cut from a purchase, but if something shows up on one of our pages, it’s because we like it. Period.