10 Classic Gifts for a New Cook’s Kitchen

published Dec 8, 2015
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(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Have a newbie cook you’re eager to support in the kitchen? If they’re already set with the basics — a few pans, a good chef’s knife, measuring cups and spoons — you’re left with the fun part: picking out a classic cooking tool to give them that’ll go far and live long in their kitchen. Here are 10 ways you can show them you believe their best cooking days are yet to come.

10 Classic Gifts for New Cooks

  1. Le Creuset Heritage Baker, $49.95 from Sur la Table: You’d be amazed how far one beautiful baking dish can take you. A classic enameled stoneware version like this Le Creuset baker — in your color of choice! — moves from oven to table to the freezer with ease. A nice upgrade from plain glass or metal.
  2. Brass Salad Servers, $59 from Amara: Salad servers are often underappreciated until the moment you make a big salad for guests and have no decent way to serve it. This gorgeous brass set ups the ante on the usual stainless steel.
  3. Peugeot 9-inch Pepper Mill, $44.95 from Amazon: This classic French-made mill has a smooth grind and a design that never goes out of style.
  4. Duralex Glass Mixing Bowls, Set of 10, $39 from Kaufmann Mercantile: A set of nested mixing bowls — particularly a glass version like this, which can be used for prep or serving — is infinitely useful.
  5. 5-Piece Mesh Colander Set, $39.95 from Crate & Barrel: Five colanders of various sizes may seem like overkill, but when you’re prepping a bunch of ingredients at dinnertime, you’ll realize how invaluable they are.
  6. Pallarès Solsona 8-Inch Kitchen Shears, $125 from Quitokeeto: The kitchen shears to beat all kitchen shears. These will last a lifetime.
  7. Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus 3-Cup Food Processor, $35.99 from Amazon: The hardest-working small electric appliance in the kitchen! For a relatively small footprint, this 3-cup food processor is super helpful and perfect for a new cook — for all cooks, really!
  8. Inlaid Wood Bread Knife, $82 from Spartan Shop: The three kitchen knives every cook should have: a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife. Out of those three, the bread knife is the only one that can afford to get a little showy, so why not let it show off? We love the gorgeous inlaid wood patterns on these New Mexico-made bread knives.
  9. De Buyer 10-Inch Fry Pan, $34.95 from Chefs Catalog: We all love and frequently recommend cast iron, but let’s not forget about carbon steel! De Buyer’s slick, chemical-free nonstick skillet deserves a spot in the kitchen. (Read why here.)
  10. Classic Thermapen, $83 from King Arthur Flour: New cooks need all the confidence boosting they can get. A pro thermometer that lets them have a firm handle on how the cooking is going? That’s a solid start.