Let me start this by saying that I’m no Michelin star chef — the air fryer and slow cooker are my best friends in the kitchen, and most of my cooking-related Google searches are something along the lines of “easy meal prep” or “one pot dinner.” If you’re like me, you might be at a loss when it comes to finding gifts for the star cooks and foodies in your life. Luckily, I — and a bunch of my kitchen-obsessed friends who gave some great advice — have you covered with the best kitchen gift ideas, ranging from practical tools to funky contraptions.
— Best Gadget: Drinkworks Home Bar Classic
— Best Unique Gift: Thermomix TM6 + Free Blade Cover
— Best for Cooks: Schmidt Brothers Acacia 24″ Magnetic Wall Bar
— Best Time-Saving Gift: Fullstar Vegetable Chopper
— Best for Organizing: Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organizer
— Best for Wine Lovers: Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener with Foil Cutter
— Best for Coffee Lovers: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
— Best for College Students: Hamilton Beach Digital 3.7 Quart Air Fryer Oven
The Best Kitchen Gift Ideas
Best Cool Kitchen Gadget: Drinkworks Home Bar Classic
Key Selling Point: This machine delivers your favorite cocktail at the push of a button.
If I say so myself, this machine is sick. It’s basically a Keurig for cocktails (the machine is made in partnership with Keurig) making it the best cool kitchen gadget. Here’s how it works: like a regular Keurig, you fill up the water tank with ice and cold water (I’ve just been using cold water since I don’t have an ice tray, and it still works well). Then, you pop a pod filled with all your cocktail ingredients into the basket on top of the Home Bar Classic and hit the start button. A bar code on the pod tells the machine whether the drink needs to be carbonated. If it does, a self-installed replaceable CO2 cartridge carbonates the water, and your cocktail comes out perfectly bubbly.
The Home Bar Classic has definitely been a hit when my friends come over to watch The Bachelorette on Tuesday nights. We’ve tried a bunch of different cocktail options, including palomas, rum punches, and cran codders (courtesy of Drinkworks), and they also offer dozens of other flavors and fun variety packs, like a Brunch Cocktails pack and a 12 Days of Cocktails holiday sampler. The Home Bar Classic takes up little real estate, making it ideal for apartments with limited kitchen counter space. I also like that the CO2 cartridges (which each last about a dozen or so drinks, in my experience) and pod tubes are recyclable, and that Drinkworks has a pod recycling program to reduce single-use plastic waste. If you want a few more bells and whistles, the Home Bar Pro chills your drinks for you, but takes up a bit more space on your counter and in your wallet.
Best Unique Kitchen Gift: Thermomix TM6 + Free Blade Cover
Key Selling Point: It’s like having a personal sous chef 24/7.
With 24 cooking modes, the Thermomix TM6 can pretty much do it all, from sautéing to emulsifying to fermenting. The digital display comes with thousands of Cookidoo-guided recipes to help you prepare something new for your loved ones or to make sure you remember the instructions to your favorite dish. An integrated scale weighs your ingredients, speed and temperature settings help you cook your meal exactly right, and a timer ensures you never miss a beat. Making this gadget the best unique kitchen gift.
The inclusion of a free blade cover means you can take advantage of the machine’s sous-vide and slow cooking functions. It’s also easy to clean: a pre-cleaning mode gets rid of any residue before you more thoroughly clean the dishwasher-safe parts. Plus, for every Thermomix TM6 sold, $40 will be donated to Feeding America through the month of December.
Best Gift for Cooks: Schmidt Brothers Acacia 24″ Magnetic Wall Bar
Key Selling Point: The best alternative to knife blocks and covers.
When I reached out to the best cooks among my friend groups, my friend Ben immediately pointed me to this magnetic wall bar for knives as the best gift for cooks. Included mounting hardware makes this easy to attach to the wall, and it holds approximately 12 to 16 knives. At 24 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 3 inches high, this product doesn’t take up too much wall space in the kitchen. Schmidt Brothers also has an 18-inch Acacia wood and an 18-inch black oak model available.
Ben has invested in nice knives, and he said that in taking care of them, it’s important to make sure you’ve completely dried them. Otherwise, the moisture gets stuck in the blade protector or knife block, and it can cause bacteria buildup and give your tools a shorter shelf life. The magnetic wall bar prevents moisture from gathering, and it also provides an accessible and attractive way to see your knives.
Best Time-Saving Gift: Fullstar Vegetable Chopper
Key Selling Point: Dice, slice, and julienne vegetables with one device.
This ultra-convenient tool helps chop meal prep time if you’re in a rush, making it ideal for your friends who seem to be juggling four tasks at all times. With four interchangeable blades — a small dice blade, large dice blade, spiral blade, and ribbon blade — you can cut your vegetables to your liking in a matter of seconds. A built-in chop lid allows you to just push it down for chopped veggies, and the collection tray negates the need for a cutting board.
A soft-grip handle uses rubberized thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to provide a comfortable but firm hold on the chopper. On top of being convenient during cooking, the dishwasher-safe Fullstar Vegetable Chopper is also easy to disassemble and clean post-meal. And with dimensions of 10.6 by 4.5 by 4.7 inches, it’s simple to store.
Best Kitchen Organizing Gift: Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organizer
Key Selling Point: This organizational tool functions well in narrow drawers, making it ideal for kitchens.
This Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organizer is a godsend for apartment dwellers. At 15.55 by 4.33 by 2.24 inches, it fits neatly into tight spaces, providing five compartments for your spoons, knives, and forks. The compartments are stacked at an angle to provide maximum storage, and they have icons in the shapes of spoons, knives, and forks to help you organize.
The organizer features non-slip feet to help it stay in place at all times. The compact organizer needs to be hand washed and dried, and it’s available in gray, white/green, blue, and bamboo. Joseph Joseph also makes a larger drawer organizer and an organizing tray.
Best Kitchen Gift for Wine Lovers: Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener with Foil Cutter
Key Selling Point: This tool makes wine bottles a breeze to open, coming especially in handy during parties.
Never worry about accidentally losing half the cork in your bottle of wine again. The Oster Cordless Electric Wine Bottle Opener easily removes up to 30 corks on one charge — just push the button to get it started. The recharging base and opener have lights that indicate whether it’s charged, and the soft-grip handle makes it comfortable to use. It also comes with a foil cutter to remove seals before uncorking the bottle.
Best Gift for Coffee Lovers: Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug
Key Selling Point: This smart mug keeps your coffee hot all day using an app and charging coaster.
I’m an iced coffee girl myself, but taking a sip of a cold cup of coffee when you were expecting a steaming mug can throw off your morning — it really sucks the 10:30 a.m. burst of motivation out of you. Enter the Ember Mug 2, a smart mug that uses a built-in battery to heat your drink. When fully charged, the Ember Mug 2 can keep your drink at temperatures between 120 and 145 degrees Fahrenheit for up to an hour and a half. It can also stay hot all day if you keep it on the charging coaster.
The hand wash only mug is available in 10-ounce and 14-ounce sizes, and in the colors copper, gold, rose gold, stainless steel, black, gray, and white. A 12-ounce travel mug with a three-hour battery life is also available.
Best Kitchen Gift for College Students: Hamilton Beach Digital 3.7 Quart Air Fryer Oven
Key Selling Point: This has six pre-programmed settings and doesn’t take up too much space on the counter or in a cabinet.
You’ve probably heard everything you need to know about why air fryers are the best and you should definitely have one — but let me tell you why I love this one in particular. The Hamilton Beach Digital 3.7 Quart Air Fryer Oven’s heat and time settings are easy to navigate, and it has six pre-programmed settings: fries, chicken, seafood, steak, baked goods, and veggies. The handle stays cool even as the food heats up, and the non-stick basket is easy to hand wash.
My mom kindly gifted this to my roommate and I when we moved into our new place in April, and I’ve been kicking myself for not getting one in college. My roommate and I use this air fryer nearly every day — it’s perfect for anything from toasting a slice of bread to reheating pizza for a perfectly crispy crust. It also conveniently fits perfectly into one of our narrow cabinets, which I’m particularly thankful for since we don’t have a ton of counter space. We’re both pretty on-the-go people who don’t want to fret about making lunch in the middle of a busy day, and this air fryer makes our lives so much easier by being both efficient and easy to clean.
The Final Word on Whipping Up the Best Kitchen Gift Ideas
A lack of finesse in the kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t get a great kitchen gift for your favorite amateur chefs. It’s important to keep in mind how much space your giftee has in their kitchen, and what gear they may already have. My personal favorite on the list is the Drinkworks Home Bar Classic, but the Joseph Joseph DrawerStore Compact Cutlery Organizer is a great budget pick (especially for those living in apartments). When in doubt, keep an ear out for tools they mention wanting or a challenge they’re having that could be solved with a kitchen gadget.
Related: The Best Tech Gifts
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