Cooking Tools to Last a Lifetime: Kitchen Gifts $100 and Up

Gifts for Food-Lovers & Cooks

It's Birthday Week, and we're rounding up some of our favorite gifts for food-lovers and cooks. Our earlier roundups were on the economical end, but now is the time to look at that handful of covetable, forever-useful kitchen tools that cost a little more (and rightly so), but will last a lifetime. There are the usual suspects — Dutch oven, stand mixer — plus a few other special splurges for a loved cook or for yourself!

• 1 Le Creuset Signature Oval Dutch Oven, $225.00 - $370.00 at Williams-Sonoma. - A weighty, beautiful Dutch oven — perhaps the most-coveted high ticket kitchen tool?
• 2 Vitamix CIA Professional Series Blender, $498.95 at Amazon. - Another expensive yet totally solid tool we love.
• 3 Splash-Proof Thermapen, $89 at ThermoWorks - At just shy of $100, the Thermapen is a splurgey sort of thermometer. But its speed and accuracy make it one of the most-used tools in my kitchen (review here).
• 4 All-Clad® Stainless Steel Multi-Cooker, 12 qt., $169.95 at Sur La Table - A really, really big pot, that comes with multiple inserts to make steaming and pasta-cooking easier. A super price for an endlessly useful pot.
• 5 KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer, $279.99 at Amazon - Surely another of the most-coveted expensive kitchen tools. And a stand mixer is truly useful: It speeds up so many kitchen tasks!

• 6 Sodastream Crystal Soda Maker, $179.95 at Amazon - If you like seltzer water, then a Sodastream is a great investment, cutting down on wasted bottles. Just make your seltzer yourself. Also a great semi-luxury gift that people don't think to buy themselves.
• 7 Shun Premier Chef's Knife, 8-Inch, $119.95 at Amazon - Knives are considered unlucky gifts, but you can circumvent this old tradition by giving a knife with a penny, which the recipient returns to you to "buy" the knife. A technical way around giving a very welcome, very useful lifetime gift!
• 8 DeLonghi Gelato Maker , $248 at Amazon - Have an ice-cream-crazed friend or relative? There are cheaper ice cream machines, but I love the luxury of this compressor model, which lets you make batch after batch without the hassle of keeping a big bowl in your freezer. See my review here.
• 9 Staub Baker, 3 1/4-Qt., $100 at Williams-Sonoma - When it comes to enameled cast iron, Dutch ovens get all the love, but don't overlook the cast iron baking pan. It's fantastic for roasting, and beautiful on the table.
• 10 Fuego Element Portable Gas Grill, 149.99 at Amazon - A little gas grill that even apartment-dwellers can use! See our review here.

Have you ever given (or received) a more splurgey yet forever useful kitchen gift?

More Kitchen Gift Roundups
Smart Food Gifts $10 and Under
Useful, Beautiful Kitchen Gifts Under $25
Kitchen Tools & Edible Gifts Under $100

(Images: Williams-Sonoma; Amazon; ThermoWorks; Sur La Table; Amazon; Williams-Sonoma; Amazon; Amazon; Williams-Sonoma; Emma Christensen)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.