As the year winds to an end (ahem, 2020, don’t let the door hit ya), I know people are looking for some great ideas for gifts during the holidays, and for upgrading the kitchen for the coming year. Here are some price-friendly ideas that have my seal of approval!
Be sure to also check out my top ten picks for gifts under $100 here.
- Citrus Squeezer – Great for making margaritas from scratch, juicing lemons, limes, and small oranges, I use mine every week. This one is about $14 and as I prefer, it is metal which is great for cleaning and longevity.
- Citrus Zester/Grater – Zest lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits with the very same tool that makes gorgeous shaved parmesan or other hard cheeses, nutmeg, chocolate, and so on. Great for every cook or aspiring bartender and is about $12
- Nesting Measuring Cups – My go-to set of nesting measuring cups happens to be metal, but I do have several sets. I recommend metal for anyone who wants one good set that will last a lifetime because they’re easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher. This set is excellent and is only about $20.
- Prep Cup Set with Lids – At just under $20, this set of small glass prep cups with lids does it all. From portion-sized snacking to attractively serving condiments, to storage and prepping, I use these every single time I cook. They stack nicely in the fridge and you can see the contents. Great for taco night, dipping sauces, nuts, seeds, chopped veggies, and just about everything else, I cannot sing their praises enough.
- Reusable Parchment Sheets – You’ve seen me mention these before because not only are they better for the environment, but I actually think these work better than regular parchment for every job, cooking or baking. This set of three is less than ten bucks and at that price, you can afford to do cut them to fit your most-used pans and baking sheets. They wash like a dream by hand or in the dishwasher. I like to have a set for baking and a set for cooking, but that’s just because they’re so easy to store and so affordable.
- Mortar & Pestle – This attractive and versatile mortar and pestle will provide a lifetime of use in grinding fresh-roasted herbs and spices, salts, peppercorns, and so on. If you know someone who doesn’t have one, it is time to treat them, and for under $25 that is a good deal by any measure.
- Whisk Set – For just under $15 this set of multi-sized whisks will get the job done. These are worth the price. Stainless steel whisks are by far my favorite for longevity and washability. Durable, reliable, and endlessly useful.
- Metal Prep Bowls with Lids – This set makes a great space-saving and uber useful addition to your kitchen. Whatever set you get, you want them to nest, and you want lids. Stackable, and so great for cooking, canning, baking, soaking, brining, rinsing, mixing, and…well whatever else you can think of. Worth. Every. Penny. And just under $25.
- Cookbook Stand – I have three (yes, three) cookbook stands. The one I use most guards the pages or my kindle/tablet from splashes, and you’ll thank me later for that. I stash recipes torn from magazines in it too when I’m trying to remember to actually try using them. Protects your beloved cookbooks and recipe cards from splashing, and makes viewing easy while freeing up space on the counter. This one is adjustable and goes with any style.
- Digital Kitchen Scale – If the sourdough craze of 2020 didn’t already inspire you to make this purchase, consider it now. Bakers especially know that measuring by weight (and with easy-to-convert units) yields better results. But I would argue that any cook will find a good scale to be an affordable upgrade that will keep you from avoiding recipes that call for measurement by weight. This one does all of that for about $16.
Here are more lists of tools I love and use in my kitchen.
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