The best cooking gifts for 2023


The holidays are a time to gather, drink and share your favorite dishes. And for the people who are doing the cooking, there’s no better way to show your appreciation (besides offering them a helping hand) than by giving them something to make the process faster, simpler, or just more fun. So regardless of whether they prefer baking, cooking savory dishes or making healthy juices, we’ve got a huge range of tried and tested gear that will make great gifts for foodies.

KitchenAid Cordless Variable Speed Hand Blender

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Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

While KitchenAid’s cordless hand blender isn’t as powerful as some of its wired rivals or countertop models, what it lacks in oomph it makes up for with convenience. There are no speed dials to adjust, just squeeze harder on the trigger to make it go faster. Meanwhile, the lack of wires gives you one less thing to worry about when you’re making sauces or smoothies (especially if you’re doing it on the stovetop). And with a battery life that can blend up to 25 bowls of soup on a single charge, your loved one will probably run out of energy before this thing does. — Sam Rutherford, Senior Reporter

$80 at Kohl’s$80 at Amazon$80 at Macy’s

Made-in Half Sheet Pan

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Made In

A good half-sheet pan is a must-have and Made-in’s is exactly the kind of simple, no-frills bakeware that should be a staple in every kitchen. It’s available in both standard aluminum or non-stick versions and is oven-safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It stacks nicely when not in use and it’s so good that after I bought my wife a set, my mother-in-law went and bought three for herself. Who says utility isn’t trendy? — S.R.

$35 at Amazon

Silpat Baking Sheet

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Silpat

If you’re looking for a good gift for the baker in your life, a classic Silpat is a key piece of kitchen equipment they should have. The non-stick sheet makes pumping out dozens of cookies, scones or biscuits a cinch. There are even versions with outlines for macarons, so you can make sure your confections are a consistent size. I’ve had the same Silpat for almost 10 years and it’s still as slick as ever. This is one kitchen tool that can stand the test of time. — S.R.

$33 at Amazon

Breville Juice Fountain

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Engadget

It can be hard to justify an expensive kitchen gadget that only does a single thing while taking up a bunch of counter space. But if you know someone who strives to live healthy and loves a vitamin-rich drink every day, a good juicer could change their life. Thanks to its dual speed settings, Breville’s Juice Fountain can capably handle both soft ingredients like berries and hardier fare like ginger and carrots. It can also separate out pulp so you get super smooth and luscious juices and, despite having a number of components, cleaning it isn’t as much of a chore as you might think. So while it’s not a multitasker, the Juice Fountain does one thing really well, and there’s something admirable about that. — S.R.

$200 at Amazon$200 at Macy’s$200 at Sur La Table

Kan Kitchen Chef Knife

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Engadget

I got this knife as a gift earlier this year and it quickly became my favorite, so now I can’t think of a better present for a serious home cook. Out of the box, it was razor sharp, while its inverted teardrop handle fits comfortably in the hand. It’s also perfectly balanced which makes it easy to wield. And while its 66 Damascus layers are certainly pretty, the blade also features little dimples that help prevent food from sticking while cutting. If anyone you know has been looking for a new kitchen MVP, Kan’s 8-inch chef knife is a top pick. — S.R.

$139 at Kan Kitchen

Kyocera Ceramic Chef Knife

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KYOCERA

Everyone has their preference when it comes to cutting tools, but I think everyone could use a ceramic knife in their arsenal. Starting at under $50, they’re relatively affordable. But more importantly, they are much sharper,hold an edge up to 10 times longer and are lighter than traditional steel blades. That makes them less tiring to use, and you don’t ever have to worry about them rusting either. Just remember, ceramic is more brittle than metal, so tell your giftee to stick to slicing fruits, veggies and boneless meats – leave hacking through bones to other knives. — S.R.

$59 at Amazon$65 at Ace Hardware$60 at Abt Electronics

Misen Non-stick pans

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Misen

After being disappointed with a bunch of non-stick pans from big names like All-Clad to smaller brands plastered across social media, I went on a quest to find something I could trust. And after trying out Misen’s options, I found a winner. Not only are Misen’s pans significantly cheaper than premium legacy brands, but I’ve also found they maintain their non-stick coating (which is also PFOA-free) much better over time. So if you know someone who would appreciate a good, affordable no-nonsense pan for cooking eggs, crepes or anything else that can get a little gummy, look no further. — S.R.

$33 at Amazon

Instant Vortex Plus air fryer

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Engadget

Air fryers might seem like just a fad. After all, they’re just compact convection ovens, right? That’s true, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. In our experience, pod-shaped air fryers are able to produce crispier foods than their convection oven counterparts and they’re much easier to clean too. If you have someone in your life who loves the idea of “frying” foods without the oily mess, an air fryer could potentially be a fantastic gift.

Our favorite air fryer is the 6-quart Instant Vortex Plus with ClearCook and OdorErase. It has a display window so your giftee can check how the food looks. It also uses odor-eliminating filters that help reduce cooking smells – a feature that many air fryers lack. The six-quart size in particular is what we recommend; it’s large enough to fit four large chicken thighs or a whole pound of wings. The basket internals are nonstick so it’s easy to clean, plus the inner rack is dishwasher safe. — Nicole Lee, Commerce Writer

$120 at Amazon$120 at Kohl’s$140 at Macy’s

Anova Precision Cooker 3.0

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Anova Culinary

A sous-vide machine makes an excellent gift because, while it’s great for cooking meat and eggs, its somewhat limited usage means it’s the kind of gadget many people can’t justify buying for themselves. But if you give one as a present, it can unlock a higher plane of cooking precision thanks to the ability to dial in the doneness of a steak down to a single degree. Never again will you have to guess whether a filet is medium or medium rare, it’ll be perfect every time. Anova’s Precision Cooker 3.0 also features a powerful 1,110-watt heating element and Wi-Fi connectivity so you can keep tabs on your dish from your phone. And if you ever run out of ideas for what to cook, Anova’s handy companion app comes with a huge list of recipes. — S.R.

$145 at Amazon$150 at Sur La Table$200 at Kohl’s

Microplane Classic Grater

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Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

A good grater is a must-have in the kitchen, and just like Band-Aid is to adhesive bandages and Kleenex is to tissues, Microplane has become synonymous when it comes to zesting and grating. The classic model comes with a no-slip plastic handle and an included protective cover and it can handle anything from parmesan cheese to garlic to nutmeg. And priced at $16, it’s an ideal kitchen gadget gift even if you don’t have a ton to spend. — S.R.

$14 at Amazon$16 at Walmart$19 at Stonewall Kitchen

ThermoWorks ThermoPop 2

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Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

There’s no shortage of instant-read thermometers out there, but ThermoWorks’ ThermoPop has been a staple in my kitchen for a long time. Yes, it’s cute, but that’s only one reason to buy it over others. The latest generation, the ThermoPop 2, is quite accurate and provides temperature readings in just a couple of seconds, plus it’s splash resistant and pretty easy to clean. It also has a screen that you can rotate to show you the temperature in different orientations, making it easy to use in all kinds of positions. Plus, you can’t beat its $35 price tag, which is a steal for an accurate thermometer like this that also has an attractive, pocketable design. — Valentina Palladino, Senior Commerce Editor

$35 at ThermoWorks

John Boos cutting board

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John Boos

Anyone who has watched even a handful of cooking shows or videos has probably seen this cutting board in the background. And the reason is that they’re just great products that deliver everything you need and nothing more. Boos blocks are available in a huge range of shapes, sizes and woods, from small circular boards to huge maple slabs with juice grooves. That said, if you’re planning on gifting a cutting board this nice, don’t forget to include proper care instructions, which at the very minimum include oiling it once a month. — S.R.

$86 at Wayfair$95 at Amazon$95 at Sur La Table

The Good Shears by Material

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Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Everyone needs a good pair of scissors, and it doesn’t hurt if they look good too. The Good Shears sport soft silicone handles and sharp micro-serrated blades that should make quick work of anything short of beef bones. And unlike a lot of cheaper competitors, the Good Shears are dishwasher safe and can be taken apart for sharpening or cleaning. — S.R.

$35 at Material

Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker

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Zojirushi

Sure, you can cook rice on the stovetop or even in an Instant Pot. But unless you’re a pro chef, the results will never be as good as what you get from this. For years, Zojiriush has made some of the best rice cookers on the market and this model uses induction heating to make rice faster and quieter than before. There’s also dedicated settings for practically any type of rice you can think of (white, brown, jasmine, sushi, Gaba brown and more) along with the ability to keep rice warm for hours, without it getting soggy or overcooked. It’s an essential kitchen gadget for anyone who cooks a lot of Asian food, and if your recipient needs to feed a big family, there’s even a larger 10-cup model. — S.R.

$315 at Amazon$330 at Wayfair$365 at Macy’s

Vitamix Explorian blender

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Engadget

A good blender can completely change the way someone cooks. It can simplify and speed up the process of making a velvety hollandaise, or you can use it to make homemade flour from ingredients like rice and oats. And if you’re using a nice one like Vitamix’s Explorian, you can even blend and cook entire soups in it. But most importantly, with Vitamix’s reputation for durability and five-year warranty, this blender is a gift that will keep on giving for years and years. — S.R.

$350 at Amazon$350 at Macy’s$350 at Sur La Table

OXO Good Grips Precision scale

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Engadget

A good kitchen scale is an essential kitchen gadget, especially in times when loose volumetric measurements just don’t cut it (like baking). Not only does OXO’s Precision Scale support both metric and imperial measurements, it also features accurate 0.1-gram measurements that go up to six pounds. There’s also an easy-to-read digital display with a built-in timer, and its minimalist design will look good in practically anyone’s kitchen. — S.R.

$52 at Amazon$52 at Wayfair$56 at Kohl’s

SodaStream Terra

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Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Admittedly, this might not strictly be a gift for a cook, but it’s definitely handy to have around the kitchen and great for creating a custom sodas or cocktails. The SodaStream Terra, is the company’s most affordable sparkling water maker. For just $100, the starter kit includes the device itself, a reusable 1L bottle and a CO2 cylinder. You can also spring for the $130 hydration pack if you’re shopping for an avid cocktail maker or seltzer addict. That tacks on two more 1L bottles, two 0.5 liter dishwasher-safe bottles and 40ml lemon flavor drops. The whole setup is super easy to use too, and doesn’t even need to be plugged in. Just attach the CO2 tank, fill up the bottle with water and then tap to add bubbles. From there your giftee can mix and match flavor packs to suit their taste while also cutting down on waste from packaging and transporting heavy cans or bottles. — S.R.

$100 at Amazon

ButcherBox Favorites

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Butcherbox

If you have a meat lover in your life, ButcherBox’s Favorites is quite possibly the best gift they’ll ever get. Each shipment will have all of the company’s bestsellers lovingly vacuum-packed and frozen for their enjoyment. The contents include two pounds of ground beef, four eight-ounce boneless pork chops, three one-pound packs of boneless chicken breasts, two six-ounce filet mignons, one pound of sirloin tips, a 12-ounce pack of apple gouda sausage and a 10-ounce pack of bacon. That’s more than enough to keep them satisfied for at least a month, perhaps even longer. At least, if they don’t gorge it all in one go. — N.L.

$165 at Butcherbox



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