Are there folks in your life who love to cook? Want to learn to cook? Need to cook more to save money? Give them tools to help them grow and save more money. Check out these Kitchen Gift Ideas to give this season, including cookbooks and the tools or gadgets to pair them with!
The holiday season is approaching. That means it’s time to put your thinking cap on. Don’t go out and shop willy-nilly. If you decide to be purposeful in your gift giving this year, you’re more likely to save money and give a gift that truly works for the recipient.
Since I’ve always been a cookbook collector, I’ve loved to receive or give cookbooks as gifts. While they don’t all stay on the shelf forever, many of my favorites are those that I received from friends. And many of those same books, like the muffin book from Lorrie Nelson or the soup book from Lisa Jolley, were accompanied by a tool, gadget or other kitchen item to help me put the book to good use. In these cases, Lorrie gave us a great airbake muffin pan that I still use twenty years later. Lisa paired the soup book with a giant ladle for serving up soup.
I think that’s the ideal kind of pairing! Not only are you providing the inspiration (the cookbook) to make some great meals, but you’re also providing some tools to make it happen.
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School
While The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kat Flinn is not a cookbook per se, it’s an excellent book to help someone get comfortable in the kitchen and learn basic cooking skills.
Her emphasis on using what you have and shopping your kitchen is invaluable info for all of us to review on a regular basis.
Make a book into a complete kitchen gift by accompanying a copy of the book with a good chef’s knife.
A Basic Pillsbury Cookbook
I own both the 1972 version and the 2000 version of Pillsbury’s general cookbooks. I learned to cook as a child from the former and bought the 2000 version awhile back to learn more updated skills.
These basic books help you learn some general techniques and expose you to a wide range of flavor profiles.
Pair this starter cookbook with a few basic gadgets, like a whisk, wooden spoon, and rubber spatula for a super fun kitchen gift.
Good Cheap Eats
I wrote Good Cheap Eats as a basic primer for saving money, including tips for keeping a frugal kitchen and 200+ budget-friendly recipes.
From a reviewer, “I love to read through the book from time to time to refresh my perspective and get me motivated to be more efficient in the kitchen.”
The Good Cheap Eats cookbook makes a great kitchen gift wrapped up with a great skillet with a lid.
The Waste Free Kitchen Handbook
The Waste Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana Gunders is a great resource if you’re wanting to reduce food waste and save more money. The guide lays out how to buy, store, and use up a wide variety of ingredients so that you don’t waste money wasting food.
Take this kitchen gift idea over the top with a set of Stasher Bags, reusable ziptop plastic bags.
Use It All
If you ever had wished that An Everlasting Meal had pictures and less prose (raises hand) then Use It All is the book for you! Written by Australians, Alex and Jaimee, the book has some tricky vocab for Americans, but the pictures help!
This book lays out a wide variety of ingredients, how to buy it, how to store it, and then provides lots of recipes for using it up. Similar to the Gunders book, but less like a textbook and more colorful and mouth-watering.
Make this a more complete kitchen gift when you pair this book with a good set of Snapware glass storage dishes.
The Food Lover’s Companion
I’ve owned the latest edition of the Food Lover’s Companion since 1994 when I randomly found it in a Borders bookstore. Remember them?
This book is a treasure trove of information about pretty much every food ingredient under the sun. For many years it had a home on the dinner table as my kids would ask questions about different foods and we’d look them up together. It’s a great resource book to have on hand.
A copy of this book would make a great kitchen gift paired with a gift card to a gourmet shop, such as Harry & David.
A small kitchen appliances can make a great kitchen gift, but they do take up space. Each of these lays a claim on valuable real estate in my kitchen, but I use them often, so they’ve earned their keep.
Make sure your gift recipient has room and desire for another small kitchen appliance as you don’t want your kitchen gift to go the way of the donation pile.
Here are the ones I recommend:
Instant Pot Duo Plus – Pressure cookers of the past were scary. The new electric ones are not. You can make beans, rice, eggs, and poached chicken with a few clicks of a button. And Instant Pot Banana Bread is out of this world.
I bought this one a few months ago and I really love the upgrades, especially to the pressure valve. Look for sales; I paid $80 back in July.
I bought one of the early air fryers and was hugely disappointed. The thing was too small to feed more than two people. Air fryers have grown over the last 4 years. The new (almost) 6-qt size is perfect for us.
I have always been a waffle fan, and Cuisinart has never disappointed me. This 4-slice Belgian waffler lasted us almost ten years before I bought a replacement.
I’ve had a food processor for almost 30 years. I use it all the time for pie crust, salsa, shredding cheese, and dough. It makes perfect purees.
I’ve also always owned a Cuisinart. This 14-cup model is closest to what I have and it’s been with me for over ten years. It’s a pricier kitchen gift, but it should last quite a long time.
Those are my favorite kitchen gift ideas, things I specifically own and use on a regular basis as well as items that I would buy for my kids should they be interested in them once in their own kitchens.
What about you?
What are your favorite kitchen gift ideas? What have you received that you loved? What on this list do you have reservations about? Let’s chat in the comments.
This post was originally published on November 18, 2013. It has been updated for content and clarity.