If you’ve got an avid chef at home—and let’s hope you do—then you’re probably thinking about the best holiday gift ideas right about now. Or maybe you are that chef.
Whichever, our kitchen pros have vetted this list of the five must-haves for every well-stocked culinary creation zone. You can either get something for your sweetie-in-the-apron or tuck the list sneakily somewhere your gift-giver is bound to find it—because the best utensils, cook’s tools, and gadgets help create the best, most seamless meals, of course. Time to get cooking!
The Essential Kitchen Gadgets List:
1. A Little Potato!
Yes, they’re great for eating, convenient to prepare, and healthy, but Creamers are also the secret to a no-stick grill.
This clever device means you’ve inadvertently shaved off a sliver of your finger for the last time. You can use the mandoline for (safely) creating julienne carrots and other veg, crinkle-cutting, super-thin slicing, and waffle-cutting Creamers, cucs and the like. It’s easy to wash, too. Look for something with grips and finger/hand protection. Hot brands are De Buyer, Rosle, Oxo, and Cuisinart.
3. Chef’s knife
No. 1 is a professional chef’s knife. You want the best you can afford for this cornerstone of all kitchen work. A stainless-steel handle is de rigeur nowadays, and Global is an oft-praised brand, as well as Wusthof, MAC, Shun and Henckels. If you’re getting just one all-purpose blade, go for the eight-inch. The good news is these knives can last 30 years or longer. Practice your knife skills while preparing our Rosemary Goat Cheese Scalloped Potatoes.
4. Silpat Baking Sheets
Once you’ve used Silicone baking mats, you won’t want to bake without ‘em. They’re tough, can withstand high temps, and don’t stain or stick—basically, an easy-to-wash, reusable parchment paper replacement. Originally invented by a professional baker, the French company Silpat is the pioneer and leading brand. Try our seriously delicious Chocolate Dipped Sea Salt Potato Chips.
5. Immersion blender
Forget about blending goopy soup in batches dribbling hot liquid from pot to blender and back again. Just lower the Cuisinart Smart Stick into a container of hot soup ingredients and purée it on the spot. Ditto for egg whites, from-scratch mayo, sauces, gravy, and so on. You’ll want a device that’s easy to clean (i.e., in the dishwasher) and store. And like us, you’ll probably be asking, how come I don’t have one already?
Blenders are great at making our winter-hearty, vitamin-packed Vegan Potato Soup with Beans & Kale and flavorful puréed Creamy Cashew Curry Potato Soup (vegan).
WHAT’S YOUR SECRET-WEAPON KITCHEN GADGET? WHAT CAN YOU NOT DO WITHOUT? IF YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING TO ADD TO THIS LIST, PLEASE GET IN TOUCH.