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For too long, “kitchen gifts” have referred to kitschy, single-use products (think novelty aprons, egg cookers) that are more likely to get stuck inside some drawer than proudly displayed and used day after day. Even the most well-intentioned gift givers tend to draw a blank when it comes to the kitchen and succumb to the lure of plastic gadgets and funny mugs.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way. To help you gift smarter and better, we’ve rounded up the best kitchen gifts of the year that people actually want and love. Whether you’re shopping for an experienced chef or someone who uses their oven to store clothes, we’ve got you covered. These are the best kitchen gifts of 2019, according to Reviewed:
1. For the one who wants an air fryer: Philips Airfryer XXL
Air fryers were the hottest kitchen gadgets (literally) again in 2019, and they're popping up all over wish lists this holiday season. With so many on the market, it can be hard to tell them all apart—that's why we tested over 20 of the best air fryers to see which are actually worth buying. The Philips Airfryer XXL easily claimed the top spot, churning out massive batches of crisp french fries, crackling fried chicken, and perfectly cooked burgers with ease.
If your giftee can't decide between an air fryer and an Instant Pot, the other trendiest gadget on shelves this year, we recommend checking out the Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooker that can sear, bake, pressure cook, air fry, and more.
2. For the one who doesn't want an air fryer: Breville Smart Oven Pro
While the idea of an air fryer might sound nice, not everyone can afford that extra countertop space—and having a massive black plastic appliance out at all times isn't the most design-friendly. For those cooks who prefer sleek minimalism, the Breville Smart Oven Pro is the appliance of their dreams. It scored top marks in our toaster oven roundup, but it's so much more than a toaster oven. It can bake, broil, and roast as well as a full-size oven, and its convection bake setting yields crispy results like an air fryer.
If you didn't know that an air fryer is just a small convection oven, now you know—now share that with your loved ones and get gifting.
3. For the wannabe "Bake Off" contestant: KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
The KitchenAid brand is synonymous with “stand mixer” for a reason—their timeless, high-performing mixers are simply better than the competition. The 5-quart Artisan stand mixer remains No. 1 in our roundup of the best stand mixers on the market thanks to its powerful, quiet motor and user-friendly design. Hobby bakers and professionals alike adore this model, which has almost 7,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Oh, and it comes in 20 stunning colors—but if you're not sure what color your giftee would love, you can never go wrong with Empire Red.
4. For the one who wants an Instant Pot: Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1
For busy home cooks who don't already have a pressure cooker, you can never go wrong with an Instant Pot. The incredibly popular family of multicookers still has everyone buzzing—but there are too many models to tell apart! If you don't know where to start, we recommend the Instant Pot Ultra 10-in-1, which took first place in our roundup of the best multicookers and offers the most valuable options for the money. It's sleek interface and convenient controls will have your giftee thanking you again and again.
5. For the health-minded smoothie lover: Ninja Fit Personal Blender
We all know someone planning to get a jump-start on their health goals in the new year, and this blender is for them. With a 700-watt motor packed into a compact machine, Ninja’s personal blender can whip up any smoothie or health shake in seconds—or maybe an icy cocktail, if it’s been a long day. It took place in our personal blender roundup, and we can attest to its longevity.
6. For the trendy chef who has everything: Anova Bluetooth Precision Cooker
Sous vide cooking produces some of the tenderest, most delicious meat and vegetables known to man, and the technique is more popular than ever among home chefs. While there are a few sous vide tools everyone needs to get started, the only truly essential device is an immersion circulator.
Our favorite is the Bluetooth-equipped Anova Immersion Circulator, which is the top sous vide machine on Amazon with a 4-star rating and over 3,000 user reviews. It topped our own roundup of the best immersion circulators thanks to its ease of use, excellent responsiveness, and affordable price. And according to our testing, it's a much stronger performer than the Nano, Anova's latest release.
7. For the cook who needs to feed a crowd: Staub Cast Iron 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte
A classic, well-designed Dutch oven is a great gift for just about anyone, but they’re particularly handy for people who tend to cook a lot of food at once. You might assume that Le Creuset has this category on lock, but the best Dutch oven from our testing is actually the 5.5-Quart Round Cocotte from French competitor Staub, a sleek, stylish, and versatile vessel for cooking just about anything.
If you’re put off by the price tag on the Staub, we recommend the Lodge 4.5-Quart Round Dutch Oven, our top budget pick.
8. For the grill master missing the summer: Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe
Unless your giftee lives in a warm locale where outdoor grilling is an option year-round, they'll need a good indoor option to stave off the winter blues and make delicious food. And while grill pans can work in a pinch, having a devoted electric grill is the way to go. The Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe is our favorite of the best indoor grills—it's packed with features and can be used as an open grill, a panini press, and even as a griddle.
Prefer an appliance that can do more than grill? The Ninja Foodi Grill is a great smokeless option that can also roast, bake, dehydrate, and even air fry.
9. For the busy couple trying to order less takeout: Home Chef gift card
Sorry, Blue Apron: Home Chef is the best meal kit delivery service on the market. We spent three months testing these services and were consistently impressed by Home Chef’s unique recipes and the delicious meals they helped me create. Whether someone is trying to save time and avoid the grocery store, learn how to cook from scratch, or just pick up some new techniques, a subscription to Home Chef is an incredibly useful tool.
10. For the beginner in need of knives: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Gourmet Classic Knife Block Set
Experienced chefs might find the number of knives in a knife block excessive, but for beginners and households with multiple cooks, a block is essential. We tested the best knife sets on the market and found the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Gourmet Classic Knife Block to be the most comprehensive set with the sharpest blades—very giftable.
11. For the sommelier-in-training: Simon Pearce Barre Carafe
Simon Pearce's gorgeous glassware has been given as gifts to foreign dignitaries and to presenters at the Oscars. Why not share a little bit of that elegance with your loved ones? The Vermont-based Irish designer has a number of beautiful designs, but we love this striking and simple carafe. It's perfect for wine, but also for water, orange juice, and anything else someone might want to set out to impress their guests.
If you want to give the gift of wine, a Firstleaf subscription box is a truly personalized option that pairs nicely with the carafe.
12. For the one who wants to save the turtles: Hummingbird Glass Straws
Straw bans and single-use plastics have been all over the news since last year, so we tested the best reusable straws to help you make the best environmentally conscious decision. Our favorite, the Hummingbird Glass Straw, is beautiful, durable, and easy-to-clean, making it the perfect stocking stuffer for on-the-go sippers who want to be a little kinder to the Earth.
13. For the family who meal preps: Totally Bamboo Kauai Cutting Board
You might think that every cutting board is basically the same, but you’d be wrong. This medium-sized cutting board is made from two-tone bamboo, making it both harder and lighter than most wood boards of the same size. It’s the perfect cutting board to add to a family’s collection or replace that old one they’ve been meaning to throw out for a while. It also took top honors in our roundup of the best cutting boards and the best part? It only costs $20.
14. For the caffeine-addicted early riser: Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville
If your giftee is looking to leave their Keurig behind as we enter a new decade, the Nespresso VertuoPlus by Breville is the coffee maker to replace it. This sleek and easy-to-use machine is the best pod coffee maker we've tested, thanks to its speciality brewing system that makes delicious coffee every time. Plus, you can use it to make espresso, lattes, and more. Sorry, coffee snobs—pod machines are actually good now.
15. For the classic style icon: Baker Stripe Dish Towels
Dish towels can (and should) be a lot more than some rags you keep around to your kitchen. With their colorful pinstripes and high-quality knit fabric, these stylish dish towels evoke thoughts of French patisserie windows and dreamy summer fantasies of a simpler life. OK, and they’re soft and absorbent and highly rated on Anthropologie. If you’re just looking for clean white towels or even simpler designs, check out our roundup of the best dish towels for some great options.
16. For the one saving for an Italian vacation: Marcato Atlas Pasta Machine
Making homemade pasta is a great way to take anyone's culinary skills to the next level, whether they're casual home cooks or serious chefs. And with a good pasta maker, it's surprisingly easy to turn out a pappardelle or linguine as fresh and delicious as what you'd get in Rome. We found the Marcato Atlas Pasta machine is as well-built and easy to use as it is affordable, snagging first place in our roundup of the best pasta makers.
17. For the couple renovating their kitchen: Coninx Magnetic Knife Holder
For those who prefer to choose individual knives instead of buying a knife set, it can be difficult to know how to store them and keep the blades sharp. This magnetic bamboo knife holder from Coninx acts just like like those knife strips people like to install above their countertops, but with no installation required. It's sturdy, sleek, and a life-saver for those who hate kitchen clutter.
18. For the talented chef: "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman
Cookbook collectors can be hard to shop for, but there's a good chance they don't already have the 20th anniversary edition of How to Cook Everything from Mark Bittman of the New York Times. Released just this month, this edition expands on Bittman's excellent recipes and deep explainers on all-things cooking. This is a tomb with something to teach novices and experienced chefs alike.
Looking for something easier to digest? Celebrity chef Samin Nosrat's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, the book that launched her hit Netflix show, is a colorful and eye-opening guide to mastering the elements of cooking. "Just reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will make you a better cook, adept at seasoning, balancing, and understanding what it really is you’re doing and why," writes Bon Appétit.
19. For the one who tends to overcook things: ThermoWorks ThermoPop
Some people know exactly when to take their meat out of the oven or off the grill—and some people don't. The best meat thermometers, like our winner from ThermoWorks, can help take the guesswork out of cooking by giving quick and accurate temperature readings. The ThermoPop also comes in a ton of fun colors, so it's not just some stodgy practical gift.
20. For the family who hosts pizza night: Lodge Cast Iron Pizza Pan
Pizza is always a crowd-pleaser, and so is this multi-purpose pizza pan from Lodge. It snagged first place in our roundup of the best pizza stones for its portability, affordability, and heat retention, and it can easily be used in an oven or on a grill. And because it's essentially just a massive cast iron pan, it's also great for preparing roast veggies and other dishes all year round. Hello, pizza night.
If sky's the limit on your budget and you really want to wow someone with the ultimate pizza gift, this miniature pizza oven from Breville is the best of the best. We tested it with an actual pizza chef and he was wildly impressed with how evenly and quickly it could churn out some delicious Neapolitan pizzas. We've even seen it used in the Bon Appétit test kitchen, so you know it's the real deal.
21. For the holiday baker: Emile Henry Modern Classics Pie Dish
Every holiday party has one—the amazing person who arrives with a freshly-baked pie in their arms. Thank the baker in your life with the best pie dish we've tested, the Emile Henry Modern Classic Pie Dish. It's deep enough to hold plenty of filling and made with ruffled edges to support that perfect, flaky crust they're looking for. Oh, and it's available in three gorgeous colors, so you can find one to match their Le Creuset.
22. For the one who loved the "Downton Abbey" movie: Trudie Coupe Glasses, Set of 4
Elegance abounds with this gorgeous set of gold-rimmed champagne coupes from Anthropologie. Coupes have been trending all year and are perfect for serving all sorts of cocktails, not just champagne. They add a bit of old-world glamour to weeknight meals and weekend gatherings—gift them to your stylish mother, or that friend who is really into costume dramas.
23. For the hostess with the mostest: Williams-Sonoma Molcajete
You've heard of a mortar and pestle, but have you heard of a molcajete? These traditional Mexican variations on the stone grinding tool are perfect for grinding spices and, as you might have seen at restaurants, preparing and serving guacamole. This highly-rated molcajete from Williams-Sonoma is the perfect gift for saying say thank you to the host or hostess that's always feeding you chips and margaritas.
24. For the family with young children: Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker
If you're stumped with what to get the growing family with young kids who still want to be involved in the kitchen, we recommend the Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which took first place in our roundup of the best ice cream makers. It's fun, simple to use, and can easily churn out delicious ice cream or non-dairy treats in about an hour. Don't trust us? It also has over 4,000 5-star ratings on Amazon.
25. For the chef who makes a mess: Hedley & Bennett Apron
Novelty aprons can be cute, but do you know what people really want? Cool aprons. The LA-based, woman-founded Hedley & Bennett sells a ton of colorful and practical designs beloved by celebrity chefs and restaurant owners. We even use their mint and coral apron in our own test kitchen. You can get your hands on some of their most popular designs right on Amazon.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed.com: Best kitchen gifts of 2019: 25 perfect gift ideas for home chefs