Holiday Gift Guide: Kitchen Tools to Last a Lifetime

Gift guides — are you tired of 'em yet? We love rounding up the best things for your kitchen, but we promise we're drawing near to the end of our holiday gifting. Here's just one more list of things that may be useful now or later: our picks for long-lasting, lifetime gifts. These are the big gifts, the ones that won't fit in a stocking (or a stocking-stuffer budget). But sometimes it's just right to give something that will last a long time.These are all things that I either own or covet! They are also things that, if I own them, I treasure and use all the time; and, if I don't own them yet, I would really like to. Each of these items have the potential to become a backbone of the cook's kitchen, and if you're in the position to give someone a really big gift this year, one of these might be the thing.

TOP ROW
• 1 Staub 6-quart Coq au Vin Pot, $220 at Sur La Table - A big, beautiful Dutch oven is always on my wishlist.
• 2 6-quart All-Clad sauté pan, $170 at Cookware & More - I love this pan. I use it all the time. (See more about it here.)
• 3 OVOPUR Water Filter System, $700 at from Aquaovo - I am pretty smitten by these water filters, but they are definitely a splurge. Gorgeous design!
• 4 The Element Grill by Fuego, $449-$649 at Fuego - I've had this grill all summer and fall and it's been a pure joy to use. It's slim, stylish, and very powerful for such a compact appliance.
• 5 KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixers, $323.99 at Amazon - Where would this list be without a KitchenAid mixer? I use mine almost every day, and I am always grateful that I bought the largest bowl and strongest motor they have.

BOTTOM ROW
• 6 Copper Mixing Bowls, $200-$2000 (!!) at French Copper Studio - A copper bowl seems to be as much of a status symbol as a really functional accessory in modern kitchens, where the KitchenAid is usually whipping the egg whites anyway. But these are just so lovely they made the list. For, you know, when you win the lottery.
• 7 Custom-made chef's knife, starting at $600 at Jay Fisher - I love my inexpensive Forschner knives, but someday I would also love to have just one unique knife made by a craftsman. This is a truly special gift (although you have to avoid the superstition about giving knives as gifts!)...
• 8 Big clay pot, $138 at Bram Cookware - I am totally enamored of clay pots these days, and while this one is over $100, it's still dramatically cheaper than enameled Dutch ovens its size.
• 9 Vita-Mix blender, $500 at Amazon - Sara Kate has raved about the Vita-Mix. There aren't many appliances worth this price tag, but the Vita-Mix is a classic workhorse of the professional kitchen.
• 10 Cast-iron skillet, 10-inch skillet $18.95 at Lodge - Ah ha! One sleeper on the list. Yes, everything else here is pretty expensive. But here's one more shoutout to the cast iron pan: it will seriously last a lifetime and beyond but it's much less expensive than everything else here.

Overall, as we've demonstrated in most of our other gift guides, the simple essentials in the kitchen don't have to cost a lot of money. A good knife, a couple good pots, and you're set. But there are a few things here and there that are worth some premium cash.

If you had a few hundred dollars to spend on one kitchen item, how would you spend it?

See more 2009 Gift Guides from The Kitchn
Wine and Accessories for Wine-Lovers
Kitchen Gifts Under $10
10 Kitchen Basics Under $25
15 Small Luxuries for Home Cooks
Cool Green Cleaning Products
Homemade Edible Presents for Mailing
Gifts for Good Causes
For The Outdoor Cook

(Images: Product manufacturers and Amazon)

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