The best gift for a serious or aspiring home cook is one they’ll actually use, and it helps if said present is also stylish.
Here are some suggestions for equipment and gadgets for those on your holiday list who (happily) spend most of their time in the kitchen.
That daily takeaway Starbucks can quickly add up. The all-in-one Barista Bundle from EspressoWorks allows you to brew and froth your favorite coffee drink at home at a fraction of the cost. The espresso maker and latte machine comes with an electric coffee bean grinder, milk frothing pitcher, and two ceramic espresso cups. $220 at Amazon.
Pots and pans
Chefs with high expectations love high-performance equipment. Anolon’s bronze nonstick Ascend Set delights with three sauce pans, an 8-quart stockpot with lid, a 3.5-quart sauté pan with lid, and two frying pans. Made from hard anodized aluminum that withstands scratching, all 10 pieces are engineered to keep oil right where you want it for even cooking — in the middle, directly under foods. $350 at Macy’s.
A good stand mixer is essential for serious home bakers, especially when it comes to breads. The Ankarsrum Assistent Original Mixer this year beat out Kitchen Aid’s artisinal and original mixers to be named the number one stand mixer overall by America’s Test Kitchen. Handmade in Sweden, it boasts a 600-watt engine and huge, 7-liter bowl. It’s pricey, but boy is it gorgeous! $750 at In The Kitchen, Strip District.
Is hot cocoa a favorite household beverage? Fans will love Capresso’s froth Control machine. In addition to frothing milk for flat whites, cappuccinos and lattes, it allows users to add chocolate chips or chunks directly into the pitcher to create frothy hot chocolate. A simple one-button operation with illuminated control makes it easy to use. $70 at Target.
Oil is among a cook’s messiest ingredients. A quality oil mister cuts down on the mess, and means less waste. Williams Sonoma’s Stainless-Steel Oil Mister can hold 3 ounces of your favorite oil; a spray top gives you fingertip control over how much oil you use in pans or to top salad greens or vegetables. $32.95 at Williams Sonoma.
Throwing kitchen scraps in the garbage can be stinky and it’s also not especially good for the environment. Oggi’s 1-gallon Countertop Composter Pail makes it easy to be green by composting vegetable trimmings, eggshells, banana peels, coffee grounds and other household scraps. A charcoal filter and eco-liners reduce mess and odors until the waste can be transferred outside; its 7-inch diameter allows for easy storage next to or under the sink. $35 at Wayfair.