Mother’s Day Gift Ideas from Our Gadget Expert

Gifts chosen by a mom who loves to cook, for a mom who loves to cook.

Published Apr. 28, 2020.

Lisa McManus

If your mom loves food and cooking, Mother’s Day is an excellent opportunity to give her a kitchen-related gift that she can enjoy at home right now, all year round, and for years to come. Here are some gift ideas for kitchen equipment that I love, at a wide range of prices, that I think may delight your mom, too. Our team has chosen each of these items as our Test Kitchen favorite after testing them against many competing products in that category, judging their performance as well as how easy they are to use and maintain in your home kitchen.

If you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out our Mother’s Day Pop-Up Sale, which includes 65 of our favorite pieces of equipment, swag, prints, and books at discounted prices.


Perfect DrinkMarcato pasta makerClick and Grow
From left: The Perfect Drink Pro Smart Scale and Recipe App, Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Machine, and the full-size Click & Grow Indoor Garden.

The Perfect Drink

The Perfect Drink Pro Smart Scale and Recipe App (about $100) may seem like a gimmick—until you start using it. This internet-connected kitchen scale, plus classic steel cocktail shaker and a phone/tablet stand, work together with an app that literally walks you step by step through making hundreds of cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks, even if you’re a beginner. The scale also works independently as a general kitchen scale (we tested its accuracy), and if you download two more free apps from Perfect Company for baking and blending, you get even more options.

Pasta Machine

I was stunned to learn how easy it is to make tender, flavorful, fresh pasta at home with our winning manual pasta roller, the Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Machine (about $47). The dough comes together in minutes. Rolling it out is actually fun—a throwback to when you were a kid fooling around with Play-Doh. You can make fettuccine or spaghetti with the cutting attachment that comes with it, or use uncut pasta sheets to shape your own ravioli, lasagna noodles, and more. The fresh noodles cook in just 2 or 3 minutes, and taste like you went out to a fancy restaurant. Best part is, you can feed a whole family with a few cups of flour and a handful of pantry ingredients.

Indoor Garden

Home cooks know that using fresh herbs makes a huge difference in recipes, but buying them bunch by bunch at the supermarket is costly. An indoor garden like our favorite by Click & Grow comes in two sizes (3 or 9 plants apiece), is compact, works anywhere without sunlight, and offers a wide variety of herbs and even flowers to grow. Planting takes a minute, maintenance is minimal, and the rewards are both visual and delicious.

DIY Colander, Dish Towels, Tongs, and Olive Oil Gift Basket

RSVP colanderDish towelsOXO tongsOlive oil
From left: RSVP colander, Williams-Sonoma striped dish towels, OXO tongs, and Gaia Fresh premium olive oil.

Here’s the secret of this gift: Our favorite colander by RSVP (about $26) is a game-changer and so much better than any other colander we’ve tested. Its stainless steel body never dents or rusts, the high walls and all-over tiny holes drain instantly and let nothing escape, the tall base lifts it well above the sink bottom. But just giving Mom a colander may seem less than festive, so you might package it with one or more of these other winners: our favorite kitchen-tested Williams-Sonoma striped dish towels (which wear like iron, absorb like crazy, and look cute), our winning OXO tongs (the 9-inch set is a nice handy length, strong and precise enough to pick up everything from a tiny toothpick to a whole chicken), and a bottle of nice olive oil (your pick), since this year’s freshest extra virgin olive oil is just now being released after last fall’s harvest. Now you’ve assembled an amazing and practical gift basket that she’ll appreciate more and more as she begins to use each item. 

Salt boxChef's knifeParing knifeSerrated knife
From left: Totally Bamboo Round Salt box, Victorinox Forschner 8-inch chef's knife, Victorinox Swiss Army paring knife, and Mercer Culinary Millennia serrated knife.

Salt Box

This clean, classic Totally Bamboo Round Salt Box (about $10) is a delight. It holds plenty of salt for easy sprinkling or measuring for recipes, and its swinging lid slides open or closed with one hand when you’re busy cooking. If you like, you can include a box of Maldon salt or our favorite kosher salt from Diamond Crystal, so it’s ready to go to work. 

Better Knives

Forget flowers and frills: Moms also need great knives. Quality knives make a world of difference in making cooking easier and more enjoyable. You don’t have to spend a lot, either. We recommend these three, which are the most essential knives: Our winning 8-inch chef’s knife, 3.25-inch paring knife and 10” serrated bread knife are sharp, comfortable, and effective. Each is a bargain, and all three together will set you back less than $100. Or throw in our Best Buy kitchen shears and invest in our Essential Knife Set, which is available in our Shop for only $85.

For more Mother's Day gift coverage, check out these articles. And for other cooking resources and recipe recommendations, use these links:

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