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This post could also easily be called, things I love and use all the time in my kitchen or 14 things everyone should have in their kitchen. When it comes to gift giving, often times you need a little inspiration, so these suggestions can help you find the perfect gift for someone on your gift list this year.
As you all know we travel a lot.This is the list we wish every kitchen had! Boy would it be much more pleasant to cook!
If you know someone that loves to cook or someone that is just starting out, perhaps a new graduate a newlywed or a new homeowner, then this is the list for you. Have a look at this list of ideas for the perfect gift for any cook or kitchen.
Note: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase we may earn a small commission. Thank you for your business.
1. Glass Storage Containers
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Pyrex makes glass storage containers– they go straight from the refrigerator to the oven or microwave. Serve in the same dish and then place it straight into the dishwasher. And they are much healthier than plastic.They stack neatly in both the cabinet and the refrigerator.
And another advantage, you can easily see what’s in them. Costco,Walmart and Amazon all sell Pyrex storage sets. Make this the year you finally switch.
2. Glass Measuring Cup
Much like the glass storage above, glass measuring cups have lots of advantages.You can see what is in it, put it in the microwave as well to heat or melt ingredients. Perfect for storing liquids in the refrigerator.
It’s healthier than the plastic option. And cleans up easily in the dishwasher. Buy a set and you can even use the larger size for batters. The spout makes for easy pouring.
3. Le Creuset Cast Iron Cookware
There is a reason this French cast iron cookware is so highly rated and used widely by professional chefs. Le Creuset is very high quality cookware. Honestly, you will have it your entire life. It doesn’t wear out, it doesn’t break.
Le Creuset is top quality and the heat is conducted evenly. Perfect for low simmering, soups and stock.This cookware goes from stovetop to oven no need to change pans.
Once you own one you will be amazed how often you use it. The classic dutch oven is a perfect choice. And it might seem expensive but on a cost per use basis over time it will be one of the best buys in your entire kitchen. And the exterior of the pot will always look as good as the day you bought it!
And if that wasn’t enough, you can even put it in the dishwasher!
4. A Cast Iron Skillet
Yes Le Creuset makes one, and there are a few other good makers of cast iron skillets. A cast iron skillet is great for high heat, low fat cooking. Great to sear a steak, make gravy, hash browns and lots of other uses.
Cast iron retains heat, and is perfect for the stove top or grill. You can go straight into the oven as well.
Once you have a cast iron skillet you will wonder how you ever lived without it.
5. White Dishes
A set of all white dishes. If you only have one set of dishes make them white. They are very versatile. You can dress them up or down depending on the occasion. They look great and they are tough wearing. Amazon has a wide selection to choose from but my favorite place for white dishes is William Sonoma. They look great and are very tough wearing.
6. Measuring cups, spoons and bowls
Buy a set each of measuring cups, measuring spoons and mixing bowls. Make sure they are the kind that stack. It will save room in your cabinets and make your life easier.
A good set of mixing bowls is essential when you have a big day of cooking.If you or a kitchen you know have a hodge podge of bowls taking up way too much room in your drawer or cabinet and you can never find the size you want, now is the time. Just do it. You will be glad you did. Depending on what you buy, you can use the bowls for serving as well. Buy a set of glass, crockery or stainless steel. They clean up easily and can go in the dishwasher.
7. Essential Kitchen Utensils: Tongs, Egg Flip and Wooden Spoons
You may wonder why these are together? Because they are essential for food handling. Tongs offer precision and length to reach items in a pan or pot. Wooden spoons are great for soups, stews, mixing. An egg flip is handy pancakes and the like.There are lots of other utensils you can have (maybe that is the subject for another post) but these are the three most used items in our house.
Good wooden spoons will last a long time. And much like the arguments for using glass for storage, wooden spoons are better than cheap plastic ones (that often melt).
8. A Wooden Cutting Board
Another item with much debate, but wooden cutting boards made of hardwoods are the healthiest option. Plastic is not as sanitary especially over time and glass dulls your knives. Buy a good, wooden cutting board, treat it well and it will last a long time.
9. Good Knives
Sharp knives are essential. You don’t need lots of knives, you will use the same size again and again: a good sized utility knife, a carving knife and a serrated – edged knife are the basics. And learn to sharpen your knives. Also proper care, hand washing and using non-glass cutting boards will help keep your knives sharp.Buy the best quality knives you can afford. A good set of knives will last a lifetime with proper care and sharpening.
Wusthof and Zwilling JA Henckels are two well-rated, widely available brands.
10. Roasting Pan and Rack
The traditional roast with veggies made all in the same pan is the ultimate one dish meal. And so passive all you need to do is put it in the oven. Buy a good roasting pan and rack and add the joys of roast chicken, beef, pork, vegetables and lamb to your weekly menu.
11. Mortar and Pestle
Yes, you can probably survive without a mortar and pestle. But if you move away from store bought marinades, sauces and spices rubs and begin to make your own, you will want a mortar and pestle. A mortar and pestle is the correct utensil to properly crush your herbs and spices rather than a food processor or coffee grinder that damages the herbs using high speed blades. Crushing releases the flavors and maintains the color of the herbs. It is the perfect implement for crushing roasted spices into powders.
12. Food Processor
A good food processor makes your life much easier in the kitchen. It chops, dices and purees better than you could ever do by hand and much quicker.
And if you buy a good food processor, it will last a long time and you will never need to buy another kitchen appliance to chop, dice, puree, or blend ingredients. Kitchen Aid is the market leader in food processors for quality and versatility, and has a price tag to match. Cuisinart is also a well regarded brand at a lower price point.
13. Coffee Plunger or French Press
This is an easy way to make great coffee. We prefer plunger coffee (or French Press) to percolated coffee. And while we love extracted coffee (what many people associate with Italian style) I am content to buy that when we are out rather than make it at home.
So our go to coffee maker at home is a plunger or French Press. A plunger is easy and quick and makes great coffee. All you need is to add hot water. Look for a good quality glass jug, with stainless steel feet and a good lid. Bodrum is a well known brand and makes high quality products which last a long time. You can wash the plunger in the dishwasher. Bodrum also sell replacement jugs just in case you have a breakage.
14. Salad Spinner
Before I owned one, I couldn’t work out why a salad spinner was an essential item. Once you own one you have no idea what people do without one. A salad spinner is great for washing, drying and freshening up lettuce leaves or herbs. No more watery plates or dressings because your lettuce leaves were too wet. You can also clean your lettuce and store it in the spinner in the refrigerator.
And these days some of them are quite clever to take up less space.
All of these items are available on Amazon or from other local stockists. If you would like to do your Christmas or other regular shopping online try an Amazon Prime membership which provides free 2-day shipping. You can try Amazon Prime on a 30-Day Free Trial.
If you didn’t find what you were looking on this list for you can browse in the Compass & Fork Shop which contains a hand-picked selection of items from our featured destinations and find try these other gift guides for food and travel lovers:
Great Gift Ideas for Men: Dad, Grad or Husband
Great Gift Ideas for Frequent Travelers
15 Terrific Gift Ideas for Travelers that Love Food
So now it’s your turn, do you have an essential or favorite kitchen item that would make a perfect gifts for any cook or kitchen? If so leave us a comment below.
And feel free to PIN 14 Perfect Gifts for Any Cook or Kitchen for future reference. Use the red pin-it button below to see the custom pin for this post.
Agree with all except for the roasting pan. We have never used ours! I would substitute a jelly roll pan or half-sheet pan. We use it for roasting veggies, fish or chicken as well as for baking cookies or cooking bacon.
Thanks for your comment. I think it depends what you are cooking. My roasting pan is heavily used to cook roasts – whole chicken and big pieces of pork, beef and lamb – along with all the accompanying veggies. I don’t think I could do without it.
this is a good review. i was looking at the henckels knife block set. i’ve used henckels for a couple of years and like them very much. i find they fit my have well and comfortably. i particularly like that the knife was right next to the cutting board. so sad to see people with nice knives cutting on marble boards.
Thanks Mike. If you have good knives you must use a wooden cutting board.