Shopping & Reviews

2012 Gift Guide: Kitchen Tools

For the avid cook, the amateur baker, or the inventive home mixologist, a new toy for the kitchen is the ultimate holiday gift. They'd be thrilled to receive any of these options—from a ten-in-one bartender tool to a clay-lined slow cooker. See all our perfect present ideas in the 2012 Holiday Gift Guide »

Le Creuset Stoneware Bowls

Their enameled cast-iron cookware is duly famous, but Le Creuset’s other products are kitchen essentials as well–namely, these stoneware bowls, which nest and stack, are oven-safe, and are colorfully fired in hues to match your dutch oven. _Le Creuset Stoneware Bowls, $25-$55 at Amazon.com_

Sløjd cutting boards

Made from the reclaimed wood of Nordic elms destroyed by Dutch elm disease, these arty surfaces have the origin of the wood engraved along one edge, and a smooth, hard top-surface showcasing the lines of the wood grain. Much more than showpieces, they’re durable planks that will last a lifetime. _Sløjd Wood Cutting Boards, $125-$335 at Slojd.org_

All-Clad Copper Core Saucepan

Few things make a kitchen look lovelier than a shiny, beautifully-constructed pot on the stove. All-Clad’s Copper Core series envelops high-performance copper in gorgeously high-gloss stainless steel; the 1.5-size saucepan is versatile enough for almost any use. All-Clad Copper Core 1.5-qt Saucepan, $159.95 at

Japanese Copper Graters

Ideal for grating garlic or ginger–or just showing off on display–these tin-coated, hand-shaped copper graters from Japan were made using a technique dating from the Edo period. Japanese Copper Graters, $40 each at

Falcon Enamelware Pie Set

UK company Falcon has been producing their famous color-accented enamelware since 1920, and little has changed about the product since then. Their pie set of five nesting rectangular dishes is perfect for casseroles, roasts, or–yes–even pie. _Falcon Enamelware Pie Set, $98 at anthropologie.com_

The Bar10der

It’s a Swiss Army Knife for bartenders, and it’s not a joke: the incredibly clever Bar10der does ten things in one remarkably sturdy package: it zests, it strains, it muddles, it reams, it peels, it jiggers, and–best of all–it has everyone in our office in love with it. Bar10der 10-in-1 Bar Tool, $50 at

Acadia Salt and Pepper Mills

The classic tableside grinder, Vic Firth’s 8-inch wooden pepper and salt mills are both modern and timeless. Acadia Salt and Pepper Mill, $45.95 each at

Glass Microwave Popcorn-Popper

This simple glass vessel is in fact a work of genius: put a handful of kernels in the bottom, a pat of butter on the perforated silicone top, and after few minutes in the microwave you’ve got a snack infinitely better than anything that comes in a bag. _Microwave Popcorn Popper, $22.50 at Williams-Sonoma.com_

Dansk Kobenstyle Casserole

A classic work of Scandinavian design, Jens Quistgaard’s sculptural 1956 designs have long been prizes for diligant collectors. Crate & Barrel’s reissue brings iconic midcentury design to your kitchen without the scrounge. Dansk Kobenstyle 4-quart Casserole, $99 at

Baker's Measuring Board

Marked with circles for rolling pie crusts, a ruler for dough, and a measurement conversion table for–well, for converting measurements–this lovely bamboo cutting board is an essential tool for any baker. Core Bamboo Pro-Baker’s Measuring Board, $89 at

Benriner Mandoline

Nearly every chef we know swears by some version of Benriner’s razor-sharp, incredibly useful mandoline. This version, with a handy collection tray just under the (swappable) blade, makes both prep and cleanup a pleasure. _Benriner Mandoline with Collection Tray, $41.80 at Amazon.com_

Verismo Coffee System

Coffee giant Starbucks makes their first foray into capsule-brewing with this clever, streamlined machine, which pulls espressos, lungos, and brewed coffee with equal facility. Starbucks Verismo 580 System, $199 at

VitaClay Multi-Cooker

From tagines to baked beans to basmati rice, this two-in-one slow cooker can do it all. The programming is digital so it’s easy to use, while the chemical-free natural clay cooking pot promotes even, no-fuss cooking. _VitaClay 6-Cup Programmable Multi-Cooker, $69.99 at Amazon.com_

Kenwood Cooking Chef

Clocking in at just under $2000, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill kitchen gadget: What appears at first glance to be just another stand mixer is actually also a blender, food processor, and induction cooking surface. It doesn’t just belong in your kitchen–it practically replaces your kitchen. Kenwood Cooking Chef, $1999.95 at

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