We understand: not everyone is a true home cook. I admit that when I’m cooking for myself, beyond the pasta, frozen veggies and rice out of the box, I can get lucky without too much mental preparation. Cooking for the whole extended family? I don’t know how anyone is doing it. Even regular family cooks may need a little help when in-laws come to town.
So we’ve gathered a lot of knowledge from experts (and our own colleagues) on kitchen utensils, small appliances, and accessories that can help you cook better and more efficiently.
We’ve gone through our previous coverage and gathered some much-loved cookware that we think can help anyone in charge of making that great dinner party. We specifically looked for high-quality products that won’t take up too much storage space (which is especially important if preparing large feasts is a once-a-time, maybe twice a year effort).
Kitchen utensils for holiday dinners
We purchased these products from the previous Select cover of kitchenware, small appliances and accessories. We pulled products from the previous cover that were either recommended by experts or chosen by selected editors based on expert advice or reader interest. We’ve also included staff favorites that our own writers bought and loved.
We previously featured this hand mixer in our guide to small kitchen appliances, noting that hand mixers can save more storage space than stand mixers. If you’re not a frequent cook and only take the mixer out on vacation, hand mixers are a solid option.
This KitchenAid five-speed hand mixer features two stainless steel TurboBeater attachments, 60 watts of power and a 3-foot-long cord.
A cooking thermometer is essential in determining whether certain foods are safe to eat, especially if you’re cooling large meats like whole turkeys, where you can’t poke to see the center. This cooking thermometer, which we previously highlighted in our guide to grilling thermometers, features a 2-inch display with backlight and provides a 3-second reading with a margin of error of less than 1 degree Fahrenheit, depending on the company.
Wüsthof Classic 9 piece knife block set
We have already featured Wüsthof knives in our kitchen knife guide, and this specific set in our kitchen gift guide in 2021. Selected contributor Jonathan Bender, cookbook author, called it the classic chef’s knife in the kitchen. ‘firm the knife he finds himself “reaching again and again.” The set includes six knives, a pair of kitchen scissors, a knife sharpening tool and a storage block.
After seeing the article for the first time on Instagram and among influencers, Select writer Zoe Malin now devotes an entire kitchen drawer to Stasher bags (and recommends them to her colleagues whenever she has them. opportunity). These are reusable, microwave and dishwasher safe plastic bags that aim to reduce the need for disposable plastic bags. Malin says she can store leftover food there, then microwaves it right into the bag the next day, then putting it in the dishwasher to start the process over again. They might not be a necessity when cooking for a large crowd, but once you’re done and have mountains of leftover meat, veg, cookies, etc. Stasher bags are a solid choice.
Nordic Ware stackable cooling rack
Previously featured in our baker’s gift guide, this cooling rack is a solid space saver – you can stack and un-stack the metal layers to create a tower, then fold it up for storage. This is especially useful if you plan to bake cookies or other baked goods while on vacation. According to the company, the individual racks are non-stick and can be used in the refrigerator and freezer. Each set comes with two brackets and a set of legs.
If you cook meat, a basting brush can be essential for flavoring the meat. This silicone brush, which we already featured in our guide to grill accessories, is dishwasher safe and has bristles that “resist smudges and odors,” according to the company.
Our Place Home Cook Duo
Featured writer Mili Godio called home cooking duo Our Place “the perfect kitchen gift”. The set includes Our Place’s ever popular Always Pan and their new Perfect Pot. Together, according to the company, this pot and pan can “replace 15 kitchen utensils.” The Always Pan and the Perfect Pot both have a ceramic coating which Godio says is “extremely non-stick” – making cooking easy and cleaning painless. But besides the versatility of the set, Godio loves the set because of their aesthetic colors and style.
Food processors are like blenders, except you don’t need a liquid ingredient for them to work. In our guide to small kitchen appliances, experts told us that food processors are good at slicing veggies, making sauces, chopping herbs, and more. This is a versatile kitchen appliance that is suitable for many home chefs, especially when entertaining guests or preparing multiple dishes.
This Ninja Food Processor has a 9 cup capacity, a 100 watt motor and three speeds (low, high and pulsed). It also has four preset modes: chop, mash, disc, and dough. According to the company, three blades are dishwasher safe.
We’ve featured this pan in our baking accessory guide before, but a good baking sheet can be essential if you want to bake cookies, roast veggies, or use your oven for general baking. According to the company, these pans are made of “pure aluminum” and resist rust.
This rolling pin, which we featured in our guide to pie-making tools, has tapered ends, which Lisa Ludwinski, owner and head baker at Sister Pie in Detroit, says it’s lighter than a rolling pin with handles. According to the company, the rolling pin is resistant to cracks and warping. It is 22 inches long.
GIR 3-piece cooking set
Malin, owner of the gluten-free bakery service To Be Gluten Free, called GIR a brand “that she would love to receive anything from” in our gift guide for bakers. The set includes their silicone baking mat, as well as their Ultimate and Mini spatulas. According to the company, they are oven safe up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, dishwasher safe, and come in a festive design.