The 15 Best Gifts for the New Cook

Shop for the best gifts to get that novice cook in your life

dad cooking with son

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Do you have a new cook on your holiday shopping list? Whether it’s someone who is setting up their first kitchen or someone who has newly embraced the idea of cooking more meals at home, there are a few items that would make great gifts to enhance the cooking experience and help improve the chance of success.

Someone who is just starting out might not need the absolutely top-end products, but quality is still important. Better quality cooking tools and appliances perform better and last longer. Although attractive kitchen equipment doesn’t necessarily make cooking easier, it can make it more fun.

  • 01 of 15

    Best Bakeware Set: Circulon Nonstick 5-Piece Bakeware Set

    Rachael Ray 10-Piece Cucina Nonstick Bakeware Set, Latte Brown with Cranberry Red Handle
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    Every new cook needs bakeware, whether it’s for trying out mom’s famous brownies or for a quick snack of slice-and-bake cookies. This 5-piece set includes everything a new cook needs, without extra odd pieces that will take up precious storage space. The chocolate brown color looks elegant, and the nonstick surface and the ridges in the pan ensure that baked goods will release easily and the pans will clean up in a snap. The pans are made from heavy-gauge steel for even heating and the rolled rims make them resistant to warping. These are safe to 450 degrees, and have wide handles that are easy to grab.

    Take a peek at some of the other best baking pans you can buy.

  • 02 of 15

    Best Small Appliance: Conair Cuisinart Smart Stick Two-Speed Hand Blender

    Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75BC 200 Watt 2 Speed Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome
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    This stick blender can be used for making smoothies right in a glass, or for blending soups or refried beans in a pot. It can take the place of a countertop blender for many uses, and it’s easy to store in a small kitchen. If the new cook is a little bit adventurous, a stick blender can be used to make mayonnaise, which can be the first step to more adventurous cooking. While it’s not something a novice might think of, once they have it, they’ll find lots of uses for it.

    Take a peek at some of the other best hand blenders you can buy.

  • 03 of 15

    Best Cookware: Lodge Enameled 4.5-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

    Lodge EC4D43 Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 4.5-Quart, Island Spice Red
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    An enameled Dutch oven is a very versatile piece of cookware that can go from stovetop to oven. It also looks attractive enough to serve from at the table or on a buffet. The heavy cookware promotes even cooking so food won’t burn as easily. Besides using the Dutch oven for cooking and braising, it can be used for baking bread or for frying, so it’s a very useful piece for any kitchen.

    Take a peek at some of the other best dutch ovens you can buy.

  • 04 of 15

    Best Carafe: Bormioli Rocco Carafe

    Bormioli Rocco Premium Carafe 50 6/8 oz
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    This carafe makes a lovely presentation for everything from water to orange juice to cocktails and would look just as nice on display on a shelf or used as in impromptu vase. A carafe isn’t something most people will purchase for themselves, but that makes it even better as a gift.

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  • 05 of 15

    Best Roasting Pan: Calphalon Contemporary Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack

    Calphalon Contemporary 16-Inch Stainless Steel Roasting Pan with Rack
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    This is the roasting pan that will last a lifetime. There’s a heavy gauge aluminum core for even heating, completely encased by stainless steel, so it can withstand oven, broiler, and stove top use. Since it doesn’t have a nonstick coating, you can use metal utensils in this pan with no worry. When it’s time for cleanup, it can be washed in the dishwasher, and you can use any scrubbers or cleaners you like.

    This includes a nonstick v-shaped roasting rack that can hold a turkey up to 25 pounds, and the handles on the pan itself are triple-riveted for a secure hold. It’s a little bit expensive if you’re only going to use it once a year for a turkey, but worth it if you do a lot of other roasting.

    Take a peek at some of the other best roasting pans you can buy.

  • 06 of 15

    Best Cookie Press: OXO Good Grips Cookie Press

    OXO Good Grips Cookie Press with Stainless Steel Disks and Storage Case
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    Cookies are fun, and this cookie press will yield decorative cookies with little effort. It's great form making treats for parties, for bringing to work or potlucks, or for serving at home. The press includes several disks that create different designs, and more disks are available separately, for different seasons and holidays.

  • 07 of 15

    Best Measuring Cups: The Nessie Family

    The Nessie Family
    Courtesy of

    This cute and quirky set includes a colander, a soup ladle, and a tea infuser, all shaped like the infamous Loch Ness monster. But these aren’t just cute, they’re useful. The ladle is handy for serving soup, chili, and stews; the colander can lift vegetables, pasta, or other foods while straining out liquid, and the teas strainer can be used for loose tea or infusing spices into liquids.

  • 08 of 15

    Best Coffee Press: Bodum Columbia Stainless Steel Thermal Vacuum Coffee Press

    Bodum Columbia 11055-16 4-Cup Double Wall French Press Coffee Maker, 0.5 litre, 17-Ounce, Stainless Steel
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    With this coffee press, the new cook won’t need a large electric coffee maker that takes space on the counter. It’s easy to use, and since it doesn’t require proprietary pods, it’s also inexpensive to operate. This one is made from stainless steel rather than glass, so it won’t break, and the double-wall construction keeps the coffee warm for that second cup.

    Take a peek at some of the other best french press coffee makers you can buy.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Best Cutting Boards: Totally Bamboo 3 Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set

    Totally Bamboo 3 Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set, For Meat & Veggie Prep, Serve Bread, Crackers & Cheese, Cocktail Bar Board
    Courtesy of

    Wooden cutting boards are classic, but bamboo is popular as well and has the same natural look as wood. This set includes three boards of different sizes. The largest board is ideal for use as a cutting board, while the smaller ones can be used for prepping small quantities or for serving.

    Take a peek at some of the other best cutting boards you can buy.

  • 10 of 15

    Best Rolling Pin: Black Walnut French Style Rolling Pin

    Black Walnut French Style Rolling Pin: Tapered Solid Wood Design. By Top Notch Kitchenware!
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    This rolling pin is both beautiful and functional, making it a lovely gift that will last a lifetime. While a rolling pin is used mostly for baking, it can also be used for other kitchen tasks, like pounding meat or crushing nuts or crackers.

    Take a peek at some of the other best rolling pins you can buy.

  • 11 of 15

    Best Mixing Bowls: Paula Deen Signature Pantryware 3-Piece Melamine Mixing Bowl Set

    Paula Deen Signature Pantryware 3-Piece Melamine Mixing Bowl Set, Red Stripe
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    A set of good mixing bowls is essential for any kitchen. These have a red stripe for a pop of color, they nest for storage, and they’re dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean. Besides using them for mixing, they’re attractive enough to use for serving at the table or as fruit bowls on the counter.

  • 12 of 15

    Best Mandoline: OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicer

    OXO Good Grips Mandoline Slicer
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    A mandoline makes fast work of making even, consistent slices. It’s adjustable for different thicknesses, so it’s great for new cooks who might not be skillful with a knife. Besides making straight slices, it can make wavy or waffle slices or julienne cuts, and it includes a food holder for safety. The blades all attach to the mandoline, and the food holder snaps onto the bottom to keep all the parts together for storage.

    Take a peek at some of the other best mandolines you can buy.

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Best Knife Set: Wüsthof 8-Piece Stainless-Steel Steak Knife Set

    Wusthof 8pcsteak 8-Piece Stainless-Steel Steak Knife Set with Wooden Gift Box
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    Steak knives are a bit of a luxury item, since most flatware sets include knives that work well enough. But a good set of steak knives makes eating steak, pork chops, or other meats a little easier. These are made entirely from stainless steel, and they come in a wooden box for storage.

  • 14 of 15

    Best Pizza Stone: Emile Henry Flame Pizza Stone

    Emile Henry Made In France Flame Pizza Stone, 14.6 x 14.6", Burgundy
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    Pizza stones are good for more than pizza—you can bake bread or heat flatbreads in the oven. This one is safe for use in the oven, under the broiler, or on a grill. It’s safe for cutting the pizza right on the stone, and has a coating that makes it dishwasher safe. While this is meant for cooking, it can also be used for serving, making it even more useful.

  • 15 of 15

    Best Countertop Appliance: Cuisinart ICE-60W Cool Creations Ice Cream Maker

    Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker
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    Cuisinart has recently updated their popular ice cream maker with a few extra features. It has a 2-quart capacity so you can make ice cream for a crowd, and a countdown timer so you can see at a glance when the ice cream will be ready. The control panel has three different settings and multiple speeds for making ice cream, gelato, sorbets, and more.

    The paddle design has been improved and processing time has been decreased in this model. The ingredient spout makes it simple to add crushed cookies or other add-ins, and it has an integrated measuring cup so you won’t need to hunt for another cup. The machine shuts off automatically when the ice cream is done.

    The freezer bowl has to be frozen for 24 hours before making ice cream. It should be washed by hand after it is completely thawed. 

    Take a peek at some of the other best ice cream makers you can buy.