In addition to basics, like cookware and knives, utensils and cutting boards, there are various kitchen gadgets that can be useful to have in the kitchen. Their usefulness depends on the cook, of course, but sometimes there are gadgets that do just one thing — but do it really well — and become indispensable. We gathered a list of some of our favorite (useful!) kitchen gadgets that make excellent stocking stuffers or gifts for the home chef who seems to have it all.
One of my favorite (and only) one-use gadgets is a spaetzle maker, used for making tiny German dumpling-like noodles that are tossed with butter and herbs or (preferably) cheese. My family loves spaetzle with various German and German-inspired dishes, but I couldn’t for the life of me make them using any of the “hacks” folks like to share. Luckily, the spaetzle maker is easy to store and super simple to use, so it’s worth making room for. It also makes a fabulous gift for anyone who loves German food. Click here to shop.
While not always great for everyday tasks, silicone bowls are pretty handy in certain circumstances. The squishiness of the material makes pouring batter easy and mess-free, and it facilitates better control over portions. The bowls from Norpro are sturdy enough to be used for mixing and things, so they definitely can be used every day — they’re just not very big and they’re not as sturdy as, say, porcelain or metal. Also worth checking out are the pinch bowls, also from Norco, which are fantastic for meal prep and very versatile (just read some of the reviews — people use them for everything!) Click here to shop.
The zoodle had its moment, in part thanks to Pinterest, but isn’t quite as viral as it once was. However, the spiralizer (needed to create said zoodles easily and prettily) is still a popular gadget, and it’s a great gift to give to the health conscious people in your life. If this all sounds like gibberish to you, here’s a quick rundown: A zoodle is a noodle-shaped zucchini that is served like pasta. Spiralizers can make zoodles or any kind of squash or firm veggie noodle. We’ve covered the best spiralizers on the market, and our top pick is the inexpensive OXO model, available here.
Anyone who frequently uses fresh herbs is likely to love a pair of good herb scissors. The five blades on the Jenaluca scissors let you chop in seconds, and they offer versatility in use. This pair includes a cover for easy storage as well. Click here to see them.
Cold Brew Maker
There are plenty of fancy coffee makers out there that can create a range of fancy coffees, but iced coffee lovers have fewer options (I mean, aside from throwing ice in those fancy coffees, right?). This cold brew coffee maker is clever and a perfect gift for anyone who drinks iced coffee. It includes a spill proof mug and the instructions are very simple, so everything will be ready to go as you go rushing out the door. Click here to shop.
This is such a simple product, yet it’s absolutely genius in its simplicity. Tovolo’s vented cover for the microwave fits over most plates to protect against splatters, and it’s collapsible for easy storage. It’s inexpensive (under $10), which is good considering it doesn’t seem to hold up well for a long time based on customer reviews. There are also some complaints about the design, so keep that in mind if you are buying. Even with the faults, it’s still a gadget worth checking out, both for the functionality and the easy storage. Click here to shop.
Heat-Conductive Ice Cream Scoop
It might seem a little excessive to spend almost $20 on an ice cream scooper, but plenty of ice cream lovers say it’s worth it. The Zeroll scooper has a “heat conductive fluid” inside, which warms the scooper and makes it easy to serve ice cream right out of the freezer. This would make a fantastic gift for ice cream enthusiasts; it would also be a great item to add to an ice cream social or movie night themed gift basket.
Chances are you’ve seen these or similar brands before, but why not give them as a gift now? These shredding claws are fun and functional, making short work out of any kind of meat you’d like to have shredded. Available in a variety of colors and under $15, this would be a great stocking stuffer or white elephant or office gift exchange gift. Bear Paw is the original brand, and widely considered to be the best.
Want to see even more gadgets and gizmos? Click here to read about which kitchen gadgets you should make room for.