10 Favorite Kitchen Tools (Gift Ideas for Mom)

My favorite Mother's Day gift is a handmade card from my children and a card with a personal note from my husband.  If someone wants to give me a gift as well (like this yogurt maker), I would not complain.  I cannot tell you what we are giving my mother for Mother's Day because she reads this blog.  So, instead, I'll tell you about 10 of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  Kitchen gadgets have been some of my favorite gifts because they make the green practice of home cooking more enjoyable.

These gadgets range from $3.50 to $40.  I bought (or dropped hints and received as a gift) most of these in my early married life when I had lots of time to research the best gadgets on Cook's Illustrated.  These are tried-and-true kitchen tools that have been used daily or weekly for years, have never been relegated to a difficult-to-access drawer, and have survived several pre-move purges.

10 Wonderful Kitchen Gadgets to Give Mom

Kuhn Rikon Epicurean Garlic Press

Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press ($40)
After using this press once while visiting me, my mom remarked, "this is the nicest garlic press I have ever used."  There are a lot of cheap crummy garlic presses out there.  This all stainless steel press is like the Ferrari of garlic presses.  If your mom loves to cook with garlic, and has a crummy garlic press that she rarely bothers to use, this just might be the perfect gift.

Kuhn Rikon Safety Lid Lifter Can Opener

Kuhn Rikon Can Opener ($16)
This wonderful can opener leaves no sharp edges.  It takes a few times to get the knack of how to use it, but then this opener is wonderfully easy to use.  After my nephew cut his hand and needed stitches from playing with a can lid in the recycling bin and needed stitches, I gave one of these to my sister.  No more hazardous lids!  Mine is actually all stainless steel, but I can't find that one on Amazon at the moment.

Spice Measuring Spoons ($13)
I love my long slender spice measuring spoons.  How did I ever get by without them?  They work perfectly for measuring everything, not just spices, but if you need 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, these are the only choice.

Cuisinart Immersion Blender ($35)
I love my immersion blender.  I use this blender primarily for two things: smoothies and pureeing soups right in the pot.  I don't even own a regular blender.  I was first exposed to the immersion blender while living in Spain, where I watched someone use it to make homemade mayonnaise (yum!).  The immersion blender can't do everything a regular blender can (it can't grind flaxseed, for example), but it is better suited than a regular blender for many tasks, and it is approximately 1,000 times easier to clean.  I actually own this set, which includes a mini food processor (OK for small jobs like bread crumbs and a small batch of pesto) and a whisk (which I use to make whipped cream).  Make sure you get one with a stainless steel blending arm so that you can put it right into warm/hot liquid.

Victorinox 47547 10-1/4-Inch Wavy Bread Knife, Black Fibrox Handle

Victorinox Bread Knife ($29)
If you bake your own bread, or buy unsliced bread, I think a good bread knife is a real must.  We really love this bread knife, and if you are in the market for other knives (chef knife, paring knife, etc.), you should know that Cook's Illustrated always rates the affordable Victorinox knives very highly.

Prime Pacific Euro Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls, Set of 4

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls ($15+)
I used to use IKEA's plastic mixing bowls, but after a few years they look kind of old and worn.  Now I much prefer my stainless steel ones.  I don't think the brand matters particularly much (I bought a set of 5 for $10 at Marshall's), but I like a set that is deep rather than shallow, as well as dishwasher safe, which makes clean up that much easier.

Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press

Norpro Stainless Steel Citrus Juice Press ($22)
We use fresh lemon, lime and orange juice in a lot of things around here.  Before getting this juicer, we squeezed them all by hand.  We love this press.  It is really easy to use and very fast to clean up.  It's even dishwasher safe, although we mostly just rinse it off and set it in the drying rack.  If a friend gives us a bag of oranges from her tree, we'll even use this to make fresh orange juice.  There are cheaper citrus presses too, but I prefer an all stainless steel one (no plastic, no paint to chip off).

Oxo Good Grips Box Grater

Oxo Good Grips Box Grater ($18)
If you buy blocks of cheese instead of bags of grated cheese, it is really nice to have a decent grater.  Having owned a few, I can tell you that some up much better than others.  This Oxo Grater has nice sharp cutting edges and a comfortable handle.  It was top-rated by Cook's Illustrated and is dishwasher safe (LOVE that!). I never use that plastic thing underneath to catch the cheese (I think it's easier just to put it on a cutting board).  If your mom loves using fresh zest from citrus or spices, you might also consider getting her a zester.

Oxo Good Grips Swivel Peeler     
Oxo Good Grips Peeler ($8) or Y-Shaped Kuhn Rikon Peeler ($3.50)
A good peeler is a very nice thing to own.  I have both of these and use them all the time.  The Oxo Good Grips Peeler works really well for potatoes, but I love the Y-shaped one for mangos and some thicker skinned things.  It is really hard to find a peeler that works for mangoes!  These peelers were both recommended by Cook's Illustrated in a kitchen tools buying guide.

Oxo Good Grips Small Cookie Scoop

Cookie Scoop ($10+)
I have the Oneida stainless steel cookie scoop and it works well for me.  I bought it because it was one of the only things I could find that I actually wanted at Walmart while trying to use up store credit.  I have not consulted any ratings on cookie scoops.  I can't believe how long it took me to get a cookie scoop!  I've been making cookies regularly for 10 years and this is my very first cookie scoop.  I always thought it was a gadget I didn't really need, but now that I make my "healthy cookies" on a regular basis, and get interrupted 100 times while making the balls of dough, and feel like I have to wash my hands every time I stop because I'm handling dough with raw eggs, well, I decided it was time for a cookie scoop.  I spritz my scoop with a little oil using my Misto and the dough comes out easily.

For more culinary gift ideas, check out my favorite My Favorite Plastic-free Bakeware and Cookware.

Other Mother's Day Gift Guides (I will be updating this list in the coming weeks):

Photo: Find the reusable fabric gift wrap pictured at the top of the post on Reuseit.com.

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  1. I also absolutely love this can opener and have purchased a few as gifts. It's easy to find one that leaves no sharp edges on the lid but this leaves the can and the lid so smooth, I just love it! I also want a nice garlic press :)

  2. I need that bread knife!! And the immersion blender. I literally think of ways to use that almost every week!

    Great post!

  3. A good bread knife is an absolute must! We have a hardcore garlic press from IKEA that doesn't even flinch at elephant garlic. Also stainless steel and seems to be indestructible.

    I think one of my next purchases will be stainless steel mixing bowls...or ceramic. I have plastic ones from IKEA at the moment and they're looking pretty worn as you mentioned :)

    Great list!

  4. I'm glad to hear that IKEA has a good garlic press, although I doubt it's as good as mine :)

  5. I just put the immersion blender and the oxo peeler on my Amazon wishlist!
    I am totally in love with my cookie scoop. I use it for cookies (obvs), but also for pancakes, muffins, cupcakes and balling fruit. Loves!

  6. Great list! I love that everything is stainless-no plastic! I have many things on the list-my favs are the good grips peeler, can opener and garlic press. I use the opener all the time and really like that there are no sharp edges.

  7. My mom recently got an immersion blender and seems to really enjoy using it. These gadgets look quite useful!

  8. Great informative post! Thanks for these ideas. I would like to give such a gift package to my mom. Hope she will like.

  9. Too many beautful themes to choose from. I adore them all.
    Cooking Equipment


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