9 Kitchen Must-Haves That Make Great Holiday Gifts

Bonus: Each one of ‘em is $100 or less.

November  8, 2022
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

We’ve teamed up with LifeStraw to make your holiday shopping a cinch this season with a lineup of thoughtfully designed gift ideas for the kitchen—starting with the LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher.

As a food editor who also cooks a lot, I've put all sorts of kitchen gadgets, cookware, and culinary tools to the test in my own home. Some didn’t quite meet the mark (the hands-free automatic stirrer was a nice idea, in theory), while others became staples that I simply can’t make a meal without (like my go-to chef’s knife and cutting board).

Whenever the holidays roll around and I’m brainstorming gift ideas, I turn to my kitchen must-haves first—especially if I’m shopping for someone who loves to cook, eat, and drink well (which might as well be a prerequisite for being my friend). Here are the products topping my list this year:

Photo by Ty Mecham

1. LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher, $59.99

Give your tap water a serious upgrade (and say goodbye to single-use water bottles forever) with the LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher—a favorite of Food52 editors and my parents alike. Here, a sleek, hand-blown glass design meets powerful filtration, removing microplastics, bacteria, parasites, PFAS, and over 30 contaminants, all while improving taste and reducing waste. Added bonus: For every product sold, a child in need receives safe water for a year through LifeStraw’s Give Back program.

Photo by Ty Mecham

2. FinaMill Spice Grinder, $44.99

Seasoning your food has never been as fun (or easy) as it is with the FinaMill Spice Grinder—a handy gadget that transforms interchangeable spice pods into freshly ground spices at the press of a button. Gift tip: Include a few different types of whole spices along with the grinder to make it extra thoughtful.

Photo by Wüsthof

3. Wüsthof Gourmet 6” Chef’s Knife, $100

A reliable chef’s knife is a home cook’s best friend—and this do-it-all knife from German maker Wüsthof is as reliable as they come. Crafted using high-carbon steel, this lightweight yet durable model is great for a variety of tasks, including chopping, mincing, slicing, and can even tackle meat and fish.

Photo by Ty Mecham

4. Handmade Ceramic Oil Cruet, $90

Snag this limited-edition ceramic oil cruet from Brooklyn-based Franca ceramics studio while you can. Each piece is one of a kind, but they all feature a hand-painted finish, stainless-steel pour spout for mess-free drizzling, and a ceramic base for protecting your oil from harmful sunlight.

Photo by Ministry of Kaapi

5. South Indian Brass Coffee Filter, $52

Sipping a cup of South Indian filter coffee is a daily ritual in our house (if you’re not familiar with this delicious style of brew, read up here) and to make it you need special equipment, like this brass filter from Ministry of Kaapi. It makes a lovely gift for the coffee fan on your list, even more so if you include a bag of their finely ground coffee blend to go with.

Photo by Fredericks & Mae

6. Small Confetti Cutting Board, $32

Who says cutting boards have to be boring? This confetti cutting board adds a bit of funky flair to even the most mundane chopping tasks—and its professional-grade plastic construction means it won’t wear out on you. Psst: It also comes in multiple sizes and colors, depending on your style.

Photo by Ty Mecham

7. Food52 x Dansk Købenstyle 2-Quart Casserole, $95

A Dansk Købenstyle Casserole is a showstopper on any stovetop or dinner table. This 2-Quart version (available in so many dreamy colors) comes in at a nice price point for a gift and is a much-coveted cookware staple among the Food52 team.

Photo by The Laundress

8. The Laundress Home Cleaning Best-Sellers Kit, $61

The Laundress is best-known for their (you guessed it) laundry essentials, like their incredible-smelling No.723 Detergent, but they also make powerful, plant-derived home cleaning products. Their Best-Sellers Kit features a selection I use in my own kitchen, like their Surface Cleaner, Scented Vinegar, and All-Purpose Bleach Alternative.

Photo by Villa Malodor

9. Villa Manodori "Artigianale" Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, $49.50

Chef Massimo Bottura, the mind behind one of the world’s best and most innovative restaurants, knows good ingredients. So it’s no surprise that his collection of oils and vinegars are some of the best I’ve ever tasted. The "Artigianale" Balsamic Vinegar of Modena is perhaps my favorite; its aromatic aroma and syrupy consistency elevate every dish it’s drizzled over (I love it on scrambled eggs).

What kitchen gifts are on your list this holiday season? Tell us in the comments!

Our partners at LifeStraw are making hydration more safe and sustainable with products like the LifeStraw Home. This pitcher removes more than 30 contaminants from water, including microplastics, bacteria, and parasites. It also makes tap water taste better, so it's an eco-friendly way to make every day more fresh.

This post contains products selected by the Editors, and Food52 may earn an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases.

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.