This gift guide is a round up of my favorite kitchen tools to make cooking easier for the busy mom. It’s filled with practical gifts for moms and those that want to fill their kitchen with a handful of quality items they will use over and over again.
Over the last several years, I’ve slowly streamlined our kitchen to only include tools that I use on a regular basis. Yes, I have our large roasting pan that I might only use a couple times a year at holidays (which I store up high out of the way) and those serving pieces that are for special gatherings. But in general, I’ve been really intentional about what I bring into our kitchen. And this has actually made cooking EASIER! Why? because there’s not so much clutter and I don’t have some silly gadget that I never use taking up precious real estate space. I feel like when my kitchen tools have room to breathe in the cabinets, I have room to breath because I can find things easily. Also, fewer gadgets that do individual things = fewer dishes.
My cookbook collection is another story 😂. But I’ve included the ones we come back to over an over again, plus a couple of new ones that I’m loving lately.
This gift guide is a roundup of the kitchen tools that I use daily and have earned prime real estate in our kitchen. These are the products that I recommend whole heartedly when friends or family ask me what to buy.
This is not sponsored, but some of the links are affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission if you choose to purchase the product, at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!
The Best Pots, Pans & Large Cooking Appliances
Worth every dollar of the investment you’ll make on these!
- Food 52 x Green Pan 8″ & 11″ pan. I use both of these multiple times per day. They are perfect for cooking almost anything and can transfer from the stove to oven. The best part is that they are non-stick ceramic, making them a great non-toxic option. After throwing out several cheaper pans that were made with lower quality materials, I’m glad we made this investment.
- Le Creuset 6 3/4 qt Dutch Oven: Another pot that gets weekly use (even more in the cooler months) is this dutch oven. It’s by far one of the most used wedding gifts we received. I use it for everything from soups, stews, and chili to mussels and seafood dishes. It also can move from the stove to the oven. Worth every penny of a splurge!
- Let Creuset 3 1/2 qt Dutch Oven: This was my first Le Creuset pot back when I was single and it was perfect for cooking for 1. But I still use it several times per week to cook pasta, heat up soups or leftovers, or make a smaller batch of sauce. I love that the Le Creuset pans cook everything so evenly and things rarely stick. If I had to choose one, I’d go with the 6 3/4 qt option now and then get this one at a later date.
- Lodge cast iron pan: My. husband actually got this pan way before we met (back when he used to cook!). 10+ years later, it’s still as good as new and is what we use to sear scallops, sear steak inside if the weather is not appropriate for grilling, and to make frittatas.
- Crockpot Slow Cooker: We use ours several times a week in the colder months and make the best hands-off meals (need I say more?). The one I linked to is similar to the one I have that I bought 10+ years ago and still works great. It’s an inexpensive, basic model that does a great job. That said, if you’re looking to splurge, this is the one I will buy if ours ever dies because it has a few other functions that would be nice to have in a slow cooker such as a browning option that allows you to sauté things pre slow cook.
- We use our Cuisinart food processor all the time — for sauces, energy balls, dips, shredding vegetables, you name it. The first one I had was from my great aunt, who had probably used hers for 30+ years if I had to guess. It finally died a couple years ago and I invested in this one and have been very happy with it since.
The Best Small Cooking & Baking Tools
These are great stocking stuffers or for smaller gifts for any cook in your life.
- Every cook needs a really good chef’s knive and pairing knife. These are the two I come back to over and over again (and my chef friends agree!). The rest of the knives are just fluff in my opinion. I’ve had both Wustoff and Shun, and Shun are by far my favorite. Definitely worth the splurge.
- This angled silicon spatula is my most used spatula style tool. I use it multiple times per day. It’s great for sautéing, making eggs, and making almost anything that goes in in a pot or on a pan. It was a gift from my mom years ago, who insisted I needed it, and boy was she right!
- Another daily tool, I use this microplane for grating ginger, garlic, lemon/lime zest, and Parmesan cheese. I’ve had other sizes, and this is my favorite.
- After trying multiple different citrus juicers, I can say with confidence, that this is the easiest one to use (and clean).
- If you like making pizza at home, you need a pizza stone and a pizza peel! I have the round version of this stone (I got it at the WS outlet probably 8 or 10 years ago, so can’t find the exact one) and this pizza peel.
- Silicon baking mat + muffin tin liners. These silicon muffin liners are a game changer for anything that sticks (and no more single use paper liners) . Silicon baking mats make baking cookies a breeze. Say buh-bye to wasteful (and difficult to use) parchment paper. The best baking investment.
Best Gifts for Cooking with Kids
- Learning Tower/Kitchen Helper. We have been using this with our son since he turned 1 and it’s been a game changer for us. He loves being at counter height and now that he’s 2 can actually help me cook (it’s also great for washing hands/playing in the sink). I love the one we have and have recommended it to many friends because it folds up and can be stored out of the way. Unfortunately at the time I write this post, it’s sold out everywhere. This one looks similar, except it doesn’t have the mesh back to keep them from falling out when little. That was essential from about 12-18 months, but it’s not needed for us now.
- These matching aprons are just too adorable. I have the kid’s one for my 2-year old and it’s a little big but we just fold it over. I need one myself to match him!
- An alternative to a learning tower for younger toddlers is this clip on high chair. Our son not only ate most of his meals in this at our counter, but I would also put him in it when I needed to cook and he was with me. This way he could watch and play with the food/some safe cooking tools while I did what I needed to do.
Best Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Food Storage
We’ve really been trying to get all the plastic out of our kitchen. I’m not perfect and still use plastic wraps and bags for some things, but whenever I can, I use glass, silicon, or another non-toxic, eco-friendly option.
- Bees Wrap. Great for wrapping fruit, vegetables, citrus, or covering a bowl.
- Stasher bags: I wasn’t sure how I’d like these, so I started out with one and have grown my collection to 10 bags now. I probably will get more next time I see them on sale. Great for anything from cut fruits and veggies to washed greens and cooked grains.
- Souper cubes: A newer find for our kitchen, these are great for freezing individual portions of soup, stews, chili, or tomato sauce.
- This is a good started set of glass containers for storing leftovers of anything!
Top Cookbooks for Busy Moms
- DINNER: Changing the Game: Love the variety of recipes and most are easy with common ingredients.
- Eating Out Loud: A new book that celebrates Middle Eastern/Israeli cooking and all things plants. Most recipes are suitable for a weeknight with some for a special occasion.
- Bowl + Spoon An oldie-but-goodie that I come back to over and over again.
- Love Real Food: Another favorite that celebrates plants with meals so delicious, you don’t even miss the meat.