The best kitchen gifts are sometimes the little things. I talked about the best gifts for the chef last year, but if your chef already has all of their key items (or you just have no idea where to begin), a smaller gift is often a great idea. It gives you the flexibility to be creative… And the flexibility to make mistakes! A “frivolous” appliance, attachment, or other culinary tool can add to a food-lover’s kitchen without interfering with their daily routine.
Kitchen gifts for the table
As someone who loves hosting, kitchen gifts for the table are always a hit with me. My kitchen drawers are always slightly chaotic, with plates and bowls of a dozen different shapes and sizes. I love playing with different flatware depending on the holiday, or different cutlery depending on the meal—I could talk your ear off about my favourite small spoons. (It depends on the dessert, okay? Things that you eat in large scoops need different spoons than things that you want to savour in little bites, and fancier desserts need a spoon with a fancier handle.)
I had a small obsession with double-walled glass Bodum mugs as a child, so this set of six Pavina glasses stuck out to me for this gift guide, too. These sleek mugs will keep your hot chocolate nice and toasty during an after-dinner chat around the fireplace, and with six mugs, there’s plenty to go around. Six is an awesome number for mugs to be sold in: it’s just enough to go around if you have company for dinner but not everyone wants an after-dinner coffee. Or, you can look at it from the other side: mugs enough for a family of four, plus two extras to replace the ones that you will inevitably break.
(Double-walling keeps mugs condensation-free, though, so you’re probably less likely to break these than usual!)
Useful kitchen gifts with an edge
In the kitchen, you’ll need a little more than just a couple different dessert spoons. I like kitchen gifts that serve a functional purpose, like this beautiful set from Hamilton Beach. These gifts don’t necessarily need to be pretty (though these knives are). They just have to work well and make my life a little easier.
Take, for example, KitchenAid attachments. I always call the KitchenAid the gift that just keeps gifting, because there’s a seemingly-endless variety of attachments you can follow up with. With each attachment, the mixer’s abilities grow. The KitchenAid Fresh Prep Slicer/Shredder Stand Mixer Attachment Pack shreds, slices, and grates—but what makes it a truly great gift is that it erases the need for its recipient to ever grate a single block of cheese ever again.
I hate shredding cheese, but not enough to commit to buying only pre-shredded cheese. (What a mark-up!) I’d sign right up for a KitchenAid attachment that would do it for me. To see the shredder in action, check out my colleague Shelly’s Kitchenaid attachement reviews on the Best Buy Blog.
Finally, something like the Norpro Round Pancake/Egg Rings would make a great add-on or Secret Santa gift. My partner surprised me with egg rings last year, and I made a rather embarrassing “squee!” noise. (They had eggs on them, okay? The handles were eggs.) No one ever needs their pancakes or eggs to be perfectly round, but there’s something deeply satisfying about round eggs—making these the perfect gift idea.
Plus, just like any other kitchen gift, you always run the “risk” of creating a gift that just keeps giving: you can bet that I pull out those egg rings every Sunday to make little egg sandwiches for brunch!
Winter day beverage making
I wanted to close this gift guide on a really fun note: kitchen gadgets. I love a good kitchen gadget. From popcorn makers to avocado slicers (yes, they exist, and yes, they’re awesome), a good gadget is something that you didn’t need at all—but it’ll enrich your life all the same.
One of my favourite kitchen gadgets under $100 comes from Nespresso. I’m not a coffee person, but I love settling in with a hot cup of something on a cold winter day. My family uses their Nespresso Aeroccino Milk Frother religiously. Its one-touch button lets you make cold or warm milk froth, and it even does well with high-performing oat milks. (The ones from Earth’s Own are great, and have an excellent shelf life.)
The Aeroccino is designed to be used for froth more than beverage, so it holds a smaller amount—it’s roomy enough to froth the milk for your latte, for instance; not to froth your entire drink. Because of this, I actually find that the Aeroccino’s design helps keep me in line. I’ll use its maximum fill line to determine the size of my drink, so I never end up indulging in too much rich, spicy hot chocolate.
Indulgent gadgets throughout the year
As fond as I am of the Aeroccino, I’ll admit: I don’t drink hot beverages all year round. Throughout the summer, I really only reach for my milk frother a few times a month on cold nights.
For the rest of the year, something like an entry-level SodaStream Genesis makes a great gift. No one really needs their water to be bubbly, but it’s a delicious treat. I switched to sparkling water when I found out how terrible wine is for your teeth (something that I wish my dental hygienist had never told me, honestly), and I definitely feel like everyone needs an at-home soda maker in their life.
Products like the SodaStream aren’t just great for making sparkling water. They’re also eco-friendly (at least, at the levels that I guzzle bubbles) and health-conscious. You can add the brand’s drink mixes in any concentration to create a low-sugar beverage, if you so choose. I think they’re a great idea for families during the holidays, too—my family used to always pick up a few bottles of sparkling apple cider for everyone to drink together on New Year’s Eve, and a made-to-order version would be a lot of fun for kids at midnight.
Wrap up a little love
When it comes to kitchen gifts, there’s really no right or wrong way to go about it. There are so many different things that you could gift to someone, from fancy drink machines to odd kitchen knick-knacks. As someone who tries not to keep too many things around the house, little gadgets are a gift I always love. They’re both silly and functional; a delicious justification for my own excess.
Shop these kitchen gizmos and more at Best Buy online.