Face it: there’s only one Ina Garten. And while we can’t all be the Barefoot Contessa, with the right tools and a little bit of planning, every meal this holiday can be a five-star affair. Here’s a selection of the best kitchen gadgets you need to make dinner easier, quicker, and best of all, tastier.
Whether you’re roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving or baking up a batch of spritz cookies, there’s a tool out there to make these arduous tasks a little more doable. This way, you have more time to binge on holiday movies and hang out with family and friends. You know, all that noise.
Best Kitchen Gadgets for the holidays
Many of these offerings are on the higher end. A cool hack I do each year is treating myself to a fancy gift before the holiday that I can utilize throughout the season. However, when applicable, I’ve also provided a more affordable offering that will similarly get the job done.
Who would have thought cooking food in plastic bags submerged in water would have taken off so well? As goofy a concept as it sounds, there’s some serious science behind the magic that comes from this incredibly precise cooking method.
This machine circulates water at a precise temperature that can pull off some seriously amazing things like making a cheap chuck roast as tender and succulent as prime rib or making mini cheesecakes in mason jars. Best of all, once the food is done, it can chill in the “bath” for quite some time, giving you plenty of flexibility schedule-wise. If you’re looking for more affordable version of one of the best kitchen gadgets with fewer frills, Anova will get you close.
If you could only choose one cooking vessel for the holidays and the rest of the year, make it the Le Creuset enameled cast iron braiser. It may not be as deep as their Dutch oven offerings, but you get tons of wide real estate to sauté, steam, braise, and even deep fry.
Because it’s totally oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, you can also use it to make big holiday roasts. And since it travels from oven to stovetop, you can turn all those drippings into show-stopping sauces and gravy. Lodge makes a similar model braiser at the fraction of the cost, albeit, a little less sexy than the French standard.
Is there another time of year aside from the holidays when around-the-clock baking is a given? Throw out that cookie sheet your mom gave you ages ago and upgrade to the best baking material conceived.
This non-stick bakeware is covered in a commercial-grade ceramic coating that evenly distributes heat for perfect batches of cookies, cakes, muffins, and even savory options like veggies and bread. They’re easy to use, but even more important, they’re even easier to clean, so you won’t be spending precious hours hunched over a sink.
Every holiday is rampant with Starbucks runs, especially if you have family visiting. It’s the season of Earl Greys, espresso, chai, cocoa, and every manner of latte under the sun. This ingenious little device creates thick, luscious foam for coffee house quality drinks that usually require cranking on a very expensive machine.
Not only does this machine save counter space, but it also requires little barista training to use. Skip the drive-thru coffee, and create Instagram-able drinks throughout the holiday. Best of all, you can do it in your jammies.
Despite what many professional chefs believe, you truly only need one knife, as long as it’s a really good one. And they don’t get much more versatile than this seven-inch cleaver. It can easily dispatch a chicken or a standing-rib roast, slice crusty bread, and even mince veggies with unreal precision.
The black titanium-nitride coating doesn’t just make for a striking presentation, but it provides plenty of corrosion resistance and enhances its non-stick properties. Because the blade is so wide, you can use it to scoop ingredients from board to pan, making it a cooking prep must-have. I actually look forward to chopping onions with this thing.
Whether you’re making a Buche de Noel or giblet gravy, you’re going to need a liquid measuring cup. Pyrex used to rule this domain, but it’s about to be dethroned. These silicone numbers are heatproof so they can go in the microwave.
Unlike other heatproof models, you can grab them without mitts because of the honeycomb pattern on the outside. Plus, they’re flexible and have a pour spout which means precise pouring.
If you’re going to plop down a big chunk of change on a prime piece of red meat, be it a tenderloin, a prime rib roast, or even a big porterhouse for two, you need this gadget. It’s a meat thermometer without any cumbersome wires, but it’s far more than that.
It connects to your phone so you can monitor your cooking in the kitchen from the comfort of your couch. The built-in advance estimator algorithm even times out how long you should cook and rest your meat. Every step of the process is done for you, so you don’t have to stress about delivering a subpar entree.
Staring down the drudgery of kneading milk bread and whipping meringues would be absolute nightmare fuel. That is unless you have a big and powerful stand-mixer. A 500-watt motor will not only save you time, but elbow grease.
This one comes with standard attachments including beater, whisk, and dough hook attachments. Additionally, it comes with a splash guard so you won’t have to worry about flour spraying all over the kitchen. It’s also available in 13 flashy colors, so you can proudly display one of the best kitchen gadgets on your countertop year-round.
Like knives, you truly only need one sturdy cutting board to complete most kitchen tasks. You can use one side for meat and poultry, and the other side for veggies, fruit, and everything else.
This thick and sturdy board is made from responsibly sourced walnut, so it resists splintering and splitting. One side of the board even has a groove to catch especially juices from ripe fruit or roasts. This model is available in many sizes, but I recommend you go big.
Induction cooktops offer precision cooking, but the aptly named Control Freak is perhaps the most precise of them all. Crank up the digital display to heat up induction-ready cookware from 86 to 482 degrees. Because it has a powerful built-in fan, you can cook all night if you want.
But that’s just the beginning. Because it has a built-in probe, you can also use it for precision deep frying, sauce-making, cooking sugar, and tempering chocolate directly in the pan. It even comes with a USB stick so you can program recipes into it. It’s one of the best kitchen gadgets out there, but it also makes a great gift for hobby cooks in your life. That is, if you don’t fall in love with it yourself.
The Daily Dot may receive a payment in connection with purchases of products or services featured in this article. Read our Ethics Policy to learn more.