This Christmas I have vowed to give my family useful gifts. We don't know when we will wear nice shoes or dress clothes again, but I do know that I have been spending A LOT of time in the kitchen. As a Chef's Wife I am lucky to have some pretty cool tools in my kitchen, many of them inexpensive, but they work perfectly. Like everything, cooking becomes much easier when you have the right tools. Here are my suggestions for the best gifts for home cooks under $25.
In case you are looking for thoughtful gifts for your family and friends, I thought I would compile the list of my favorite kitchen accessories - all under $25 and available on Amazon** to receive in time for Christmas. If you have a home-cooking foodie in your life they will certainly appreciate these thoughtful gifts. There is nothing like upgrading the tools you use on a daily basis to give you a sense of appreciation for the everyday.
You don't need to be a pastry professional to get good use out of the scale. I started using mine for measuring out yeast for baking baguettes and then realized that it opened up an entire new world of baking and cooking to me. I can now follow European recipes that use weight measurements! This is the Escali Pastry Scale I have at home. It works like a charm.
I love this brand of French glassware. These little glass bowls, in varying sizes are my key to a good "mise en place". I pre-chop my ingredients and separate them into these bowls so I know which ingredients to add and when. I also love to use them when cooking with my three year old daughter - no need to worry about her getting the measurements right, she just needs to dump the ingredients in the bowl! Duralex ramekins are super sturdy and can also withstand heat - such as when making chocolate mousse in a bain marie...mmmmm.
I have this set of 6 3.5 Inch Duralex Bowls and also varying sizes of the bigger bowls which also double as my salad bowls.
My husband swears by these glasses. They are quintessentially French and immediately bring back grade school memories for him. (look closely - you will notice a number on the bottom of each glass - at lunch time it is the kid with highest number that would get the most dessert!) The little Espresso glasses are so cute and we use these tumbler glasses for everyday. I have seen these glasses bounce back from my tile floor more than once and they have never broken. The small Duralex Picardie Tumblers are perfect for kid's drinks.
Le Creuset Stoneware Coffee Mugs
We have had our Le Creuset mugs for over 8 years and we use them daily! I Love the Marseille Blue collection. They are worth collecting, one by one and would be a great stocking stuffer 🙂
It makes a difference to have a strong, large sturdy cutting board. I love this one because it fits into the dishwasher and doesn't warp. This is the number one requested link from viewers of my stories on Instagram. The grooves around the side also help to keep my countertop clean.
I place these rubber rings under the cutting board to hold it in place. This is one of Le Chef's #1 tips for cooking - always secure your cutting board!
Anything by USA Pan
For Mothers Day my husband bought me a small collection of pans to accompany me on my baking journey. Once you see how easily muffins pop out of the USA Pan muffin tin you will never go back. Full disclosure - the muffin tin is currently $27.95 but this cake pan is on sale for $15.97 and has been one of my go-to's for brownies, cobbler, clafoutis and lasagna. This loaf pan is currently in my shopping cart too.
Professional kitchen tongs
My husband bought me my first pair of tongs and I haven't gone back. I use them for flipping meats in the pan, grabbing pasta out of the pot, or moving hot trays around in the oven. In my experience, the simpler, heavy duty professional stainless steel tongs work best.
The next two gifts are out of stock currently and arrive after Christmas - but I highly suggest getting them for yourself:
I use this for everything and feel like such a Chef each time I do! My Microplane is perfect for zesting lemons into a cake batter, Orange peel to enliven a beef stew, parmesan on top of pasta or almonds on top of my favorite salads.
Pyrex Measuring Cups
I use the 1 cup all the time and recently was gifted the 4 cup measuring cup and it has been a game changer for making soup. Until I am the fortunate owner of a "pot filler" spout over my stove (a girl can dream...) having a big 4-cup measurer minimizes my trips to the sink and back while cooking my weekly pot of soup.
What is the kitchen tool that you swear by? I would love to hear from you!
Le Chef's Wife
** This post includes affiliate links which means I receive a small commission from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you. I hope you find the information I compiled useful and I thank you for supporting my business.
Patricia A Flynn says
I love the Bonjour plates pictured with the cranberry lemon cake (which I will try!). Are they available somewhere?
Hello Patricia, thank you for your comment! the Bonjour plates were bought at Anthropologie a few years ago - they might still have them online. Have a great day!