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The 2023 ATK Reviews Kitchen Equipment Gift Guide

Give the gift of great kitchen equipment. We’ve gathered our ATK Recommended picks for every person on your list. 
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Published Nov. 29, 2023.

On the ATK Reviews team, we’ve tested thousands of pieces of kitchen equipment. We know the difference between a game-changing appliance and a flashy, overpriced item that will collect dust in your cabinet. In fact, we literally wrote the book on it: Kitchen Gear: The Ultimate Owners Manual.

Our encyclopedic knowledge about the winners (and losers) of our reviews makes us popular at the holidays. As our friends and family start shopping, we field a lot of phone calls and texts. We love to help people shop smart and save smart, so we’re always delighted to share our advice. But that expertise isn’t reserved for people we know in real life. We want you—and the people you’re shopping for—to benefit from it too. 

One option is for you to comb through all of our reviews. We can do you one better, though. 

We’ve gathered the best of the best in a single holiday gift guide. Each item included has aced our rigorous side-by-side testings of multiple models and been designated an ATK Recommended pick. Whether you’re shopping for someone whose favorite food is coffee or someone who is never happier than when they’re baking, our ATK Reviews 2023 Kitchen Equipment Gift Guide has you covered. Who knows? You might just find something to gift yourself while you’re at it!

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Essentials for Everyone

Shopping for a novice cook or helping someone upgrade their most-used equipment? This equipment works well and is sturdy enough to last for years to come. 

Our Best Buy Cast-Iron Skillet

Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet

We love cooking in cast-iron skillets; they’re an essential part of our kitchen. Whether were searing, frying, baking, braising, or roasting, these pans are incredibly sturdy; theyre also naturally nonstick.

This skillet’s gently nubbly texture quickly gained seasoning, and by the end of testing it released food and cleaned up perfectly. At about 8 pounds, it’s heavy, but that weight helps with heat retention and browning. Its roomy surface and high sides make it a versatile performer—all at a great price for a pan that will last forever.

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The Best Stainless-Steel Skillet

All-Clad D3 Stainless 12″ Fry Pan with Lid

A stainless-steel skillet is our top choice for achieving golden, uniform browning and developing fond. A good stainless-steel skillet is a secret weapon of chefs. Our longtime favorite skillet still beats all newcomers, with a clean design that includes no unnecessary frills. We appreciate its wide cooking surface and low, flaring sides that encourage excellent browning and evaporation. Its steel handle stays cool on the stovetop and won’t rotate in your hand, and the skillet’s overall weight and balance hits the sweet spot between sturdiness and maneuverable lightness.

If there’s one pan to get a new cook or cook who needs to upgrade their cookware, this is it.

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The Best Carbon-Steel Skillet

Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan, 11"

A good carbon-steel skillet can literally do it all: You can bake, broil, sear, and stir-fry in it; plus, you can cook delicate foods like fish and eggs in it with no fear of sticking. It’s no wonder that these skillets are used by so many professional chefs in restaurant kitchens around the world. This pan had it all: thick, solid construction; a smooth interior with no handle rivets to bump the spatula or trap food; an ergonomically angled handle; and sides flared just right for easy access but high enough to contain splashes.

The 12-inch size is the most versatile but we’ve also tested and love the 10-inch and 8-inch models. One would be a great gift; all three would make an incredible gift.

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The Best Food Processor

Cuisinart Custom 14 Cup Food Processor

There’s nothing like a good food processor. Our favorite excels with power; precision; and a compact, streamlined design that takes up less space than most food processors, despite having one of the largest capacities.

Its smooth, simple bowl and blade design are easy to handle, monitor during use, and clean. It comes with just three blades for chopping, shredding, and slicing that can all be stored inside the bowl, with no accessories box to deal with. Just about anyone will find ample use for this versatile appliance. The shredding and grating disks work much faster than a boxed grater, and the machine can easily whip up everything from pie dough and pizza dough to mayonnaise.

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The Best Rimmed Baking Sheet

Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet 

Rimmed baking sheets, also called half-sheet pans, are true workhorses in the kitchen. We also use them for baking chicken or fish, toasting nuts and seeds, roasting vegetables such as green beans and asparagus, and baking jelly roll cakes. We think that everyone should have several.

Many of us have a hodgepodge of baking sheets of somewhat dubious quality and with strange dimensions that don’t work well with standard recipes. Replacing—or supplementing—someone’s existing collection with a few sturdy, reliable rimmed baking sheets will make a world of difference. This simple, no-frills sheet cooks everything appropriately and evenly. It also resists warping and stands up to years of use.

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The Best Instant-Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE

Every cook should have an instant-read thermometer. It's a kitchen essential that takes the guesswork out of cooking and baking.

The newest instant-read thermometer by ThermoWorks is the best we’ve tested yet. It has several features we love: a large, grippy handle; a rotating screen with large, highly legible numbers; and a backlight that goes on when viewing conditions are dim. It’s waterproof to a water depth of 39 inches for 30 minutes, it goes to sleep when not in use, and the display wakes up automatically when you pick up the entire unit. As its name indicates, it takes just 1 second to measure a temperature. 

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New Release!

Kitchen Gear: The Ultimate Owner's Manual

Boost Your Equipment IQ with 500+ Expert Tips

The Budding Baker

Is there anything better than a really great pie or a crusty, chewy loaf of homemade bread? Give your loved one the gift of superior baked goods all year long. 

The Best Dowel Rolling Pin

JK Adams Plain Rolling Dowel Pin

It’s time for the baker in your life to upgrade their hand-me-down rolling pin with handles. Dowel-style rolling pins offer more control and make it easier to roll out dough evenly and to the perfect thickness. We’ve recommended this rolling pin for years—and it remains the best dowel-style model on the market. It’s 19 inches long, giving plenty of space to roll out doughs of all sizes, from slab pies to big croissant doughs. It’s worth buying even if you only bake occasionally. Because the wood is slightly rough, it held onto a dusting of flour and dough never stuck to it.

For someone who regularly makes cookies, pie dough, croissants, and other pastries, this rolling pin is a must-have. If you’re lucky, they’ll send you delicious homemade goods with their thank-you card. 

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The Best Tapered Rolling Pin

JK Adams Tapered Rolling Pin

Shopping for a baker with a bit more experience or someone who aspires to be the absolute best on the block? Consider a tapered pin instead of a dowel.

This style of rolling pins is slightly lighter, narrower, and more maneuverable than dowels, and this model is the best we tested. It tapered gently at each end and has the most usable flat surface area, 9.5 inches, of all the tapered rolling pins we tested, so it was easier to form dough into rounds. The rough wood gave the dough something to cling to, so it responded efficiently to the movements of the pin. There was no sticking because a fine dusting of flour clung to the pin nicely.

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The Best Bread Oven

Challenger Cast Iron Bread Oven

You can use a Dutch oven to bake bread but many bakers prefer to have a dedicated bread oven. They can often accommodate larger loaves (instead of just round boules) and make it a bit less likely that you’ll accidentally burn your knuckles.

The Challenger Bread Pan produced gorgeous loaves of bread with moist crumbs and blistered, deeply caramelized crusts. Its base was big and broad enough to accommodate large kilogram-weight boules and batards. We loved that it came with two sets of handles—one set for transporting it into and out of the oven and another set on the lid that made it particularly easy to lift or lower. While it’s not cheap, this sturdy, well-designed oven will reward your loved one with wonderful bread for years to come.

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Our Best Buy Bread Oven 

Lodge Cast Iron Bread Oven Combo

Originally intended for use over a campfire, this “combo cooker”—essentially a shallow cast-iron skillet and saucepan—has become a cult item for many home bakers.

It’s relatively compact and lightweight, so it’s easy to move and maneuver, and it can make beautiful, well-browned boules weighing up to a kilogram. Because it’s round, it can only make smaller batards. Its single pair of handles makes it a touch trickier to use—you must remember to offset the handle on top from the handle on the base if you want to be able to pry the two halves apart during use. For the price, though, it’s a fantastic option, especially for someone with limited storage space.

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The Best Stand Mixer

Ankarsrum Original 6230 7 Liter Stand Mixer

We tested stand mixers of nearly every size and price. For bakers who often do a lot of heavy-duty, large-batch baking, especially breads, we suggest investing in this Swedish stand mixer that’s been produced since 1940 and is rapidly catching on with American bakers.

It aced our tests, whipping just two egg whites into airy, stiff peaks; creaming cake batter and cookie dough; and effortlessly kneading pizza and bagel bread doughs. It is large with a lot of parts to store and there’s a learning curve for people more accustomed to other styles of stand mixer. However, we quickly grew to appreciate its powerful performance, excellent visibility, sturdy parts, and easy handling. Any avid baker will too.

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The Best Digital Scale 

OXO Good Grips 11 lb Food Scale with Pull Out Display 

A good scale is helpful for any cook and a non-negotiable for a baker. Weighing ingredients is the single best way to ensure that baked goods turn out perfectly every single time.

Our longtime favorite sports sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items, a handy feature that sets it apart from other models we’ve tested. The easy-to-read screen has brightly lit digits on a dark background. Users can choose from several different units of measurement. Once your favorite baker has a reliable scale, they’ll wonder how they ever got by without one.

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The Best Precision Scale

American Weigh Scale Digital Pocket Scale 

Buying a gift for a baker who already has everything—or who thinks they do? Consider a precision scale. Often referred to as a gram scale, it provides measurements to a fraction of a gram.

This scale has a simple design and is straightforward to use. A plastic cover protects the platform from dust and other potential risks when the scale is not in use. It’s precise: It consistently registered results within a 0.02-gram error range, making it especially useful for accurately weighing tiny amounts of ingredients when baking (or cooking). It reads relatively fast too.

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The Coffee and Tea Lover 

Know someone who can never get enough caffeine? Gift them the appliances they need to make the best-ever coffee or tea and keep it piping hot too. 

The Best Cold-Brew Coffee Maker

Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker

We love cold-brew coffee. Compared to coffee brewed with hot water, cold brew tastes more floral and fruity and less sour. When you make it at home, you get a concentrated brew that you can dilute to your liking.

This easy-to-use model made consistently delicious and full-flavored coffee concentrate with notes of “chocolate,” “maple,” and “orange.” Its two-layer system of filtration gives the brew a clear appearance and clean taste that was free of off-flavors, earning it top marks in our tasting. We also appreciated its no-frills design and clear, easy-to-follow instructions. With this cold-brew coffee maker, your loved one will always have great-tasting coffee on hand.

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The Best Hot Water Dispenser

Zojirushi VE Hybrid Water Boiler & Warmer

Hot water dispensers offer convenience for those who don’t want to wait for water to boil every time they make a hot beverage. They are convenient for people who go through lots of hot water daily, whether making tea, instant coffee, baby formula, instant noodles, or instant soup.

This hot water dispenser was exceptionally accurate; the temperature stayed within 1 degree of 195 degrees for 8 hours. We liked that a small screen displayed the model’s heating progress and that it had easy-to-read water-level inside and outside of the machine. If you’re looking for a gift for someone who makes hot drinks or instant soup throughout the day, look no further.

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Our Best Buy Water Dispenser

Tiger Electric Water Boiler and Warmer

For a great hot water dispenser at a slightly lower price, consider our Best Buy instead. Water fluctuated about 2 degrees from the set temperature, which was slightly less accurate than our winner but still impressive. The display screen gave us real-time information on the water temperature, so we were able to track the progress as it heated. We also appreciated that it alerted us with a gentle, continuous beep before adjusting the temperature to the default hold temperature.

It’s one of those appliances that people might be unlikely to buy for themselves but will be absolutely thrilled to receive as a gift.

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The Best Smart Mug

Ember Mug², 14 oz

Do you know someone who always forgets about their coffee and then microwaves it? Get them a good smart mug. These devices, which often work with a smartphone app, keep a hot beverage at a specific temperature for an extended period of time.

Our winner is simple to set up and easy to use, and when used with its app, it is the most accurate model we tested. We liked that the app sent an alert when the coffee had reached our set temperatures. It charged in just 2 hours, one of the shortest charging times in our lineup. We also liked its built-in safety features; it automatically “sleeps” when it’s empty or after 2 hours of inactivity. With this gift, a key part of your loved one’s morning routine will be so much better.

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The Best Pro-Style Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Origami Pour Over Coffee Dripper Medium

Pour-over coffee makers—also called pour-over coffee drippers—are inexpensive and can make excellent coffee in just a few minutes. Instead of trusting things to a machine, you control the water temperature and brew time yourself. A good model makes an excellent gift for anyone who appreciates good coffee and loves the opportunity to tweak the process for their ideal cup. 

The Origami dripper impressed us with the most rounded, sweet, and vibrant coffee, according to our tasters. It was made possible by the 20 vertical, accordion-like gutters to allow air in to speed up the process. A wooden collar, which is sold separately, is needed to secure it over a mug or a carafe. It’s an excellent and beautiful pour-over coffee maker.

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Our Best Buy Automatic Drip Coffee Maker

Zojirushi ZUTTO Coffee Maker 

If you love drip coffee, you know how disappointing many automatic drip coffee makers turn out to be—all promise and no delivery, making coffee that’s weak, sour, acrid or bitter, or not hot enough. Not so with our winners.

Our Best Buy is an efficient little machine that boasts a compact profile; easy-to-fill, removable water tank; simple control switch; and quick cleanup. Tasters described its coffee as having “full body” with “balanced flavor.” While it has a glass carafe, which we don’t prefer, its coffee won’t sit around long: The five “cups” it brews totals about 20 ounces of coffee, just enough to fill one big travel mug, or two 10-ounce mugs. It’s great for households that want only a serving or two at a time.

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The Breakfast Lover

Everyone’s happier when their day gets off to a delicious start—whether it’s with healthful homemade smoothies or a giant griddle filled with pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Life is all about balance. 

The Best Personal Blender

Beast Health Blender

The best personal blenders are intuitive to use, whip up great smoothies, and allow you to bring them on the go. This sleek blender wowed us with its ability to quickly turn fibrous kale and pineapple into luscious smoothies and effortlessly incorporate chopped herbs into a smooth dressing. It’s relatively quiet and comes with three leakproof lids for various occasions: a travel lid that was easy to drink from, a lid with a handle loop for easy carrying, and a closed lid that felt secure when jostled in a backpack.

If you’re shopping for someone who starts the day with a smoothie—or who wishes they did—this makes a great gift.

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Our Best Buy Personal Blender

Nutribullet Personal Blender

For a less expensive smoothie blender that still works well, consider our Best Buy.

made great salad dressing and did a good job of blending fibrous kale and pineapple into smoothies, although they were a tad icy. It has a simple twist-to-start mechanism, allowing us to walk away while blending. The travel lid permits leak-free transportation and on-the-go sipping. It’s ideal for someone who wants to make a single-serving smoothie each morning or small batches of salad dressings. It’s also great for cooks with limited storage or counter space.

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The Best Stovetop Griddle

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Double Burner Griddle 

Are you shopping for someone who thinks breakfast is the best meal of the day? They probably need a stovetop griddle.

This griddle heated quickly and evenly, consistently searing burgers and speedily cooking dish after dish with ease. Its 1-inch-tall sides kept grease safely contained, and its large cooking surface easily fit eight pancakes at a time. We also liked its upright, sturdy handles, which allowed for effortless maneuvering. Its nonstick coating didnt scratch in our durability tests and always rinsed clean with minimal scrubbing. This griddle is versatile: compatible with induction, electric, and gas cooktops alike.

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The Best Cast-Iron Stovetop Griddle

Lodge Pro Grid Iron Reversible Griddle

With this cast-iron stovetop griddle, it’s easy to cook lots of pancakes, eggs, and burgers perfectly. It’s also fairly compact and easy to store, though it’s heavy. Because it’s made from cast iron, it can be used on a stovetop or on a grill or open fire without any risk of damage, and it excels at making smash burgers with especially thick, deep-brown crusts. And it’s relatively inexpensive, providing excellent value for its price.

Another nice perk: The griddle is reversible, with a flat griddle side and a ridged grill-pan side. Anyone who regularly cooks for a crowd or aspires to have great brunch parties will love this griddle.

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The Outdoorsy Cook

Some of the best cooking happens in the backyard. Grill gloves ensure safety. Fire pits and open-fire grills ensure spectacular fun. 

The Best Grill Gloves

WZQH Leather Forge Welding Gloves

Grill gloves aren’t just for the pros. Home cooks need a pair too—even if they never do anything more elaborate than grilling burgers and hotdogs.

We loved that these gloves come in four sizes, which made it easy for testers to find the pair that fit them best. The gloves’ suede exterior is simultaneously soft and sturdy, allowing for an impressive level of dexterity and nimbleness as we cooked. Underneath the suede are layers of air-isolated aluminum foil and flame-retardant cotton, both insulator materials that contributed to the strongest heat protection of all the models we tested. We were also impressed that these gloves were long enough to protect our forearms. Good grill gloves such as these are a game-changer for anyone who likes to grill or cook outdoors.

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The Best Outdoor Fire Pit for Cooking

Breeo X19 Smokeless Fire Pit Grilling Bundle

A fire pit makes an incredible gift. It’s a backyard centerpiece, a place to gather around and stay warm while roasting s’mores and hot dogs. With the right model and accessories, it also opens the door to spectacular outdoor cooking.

This pit comes fully assembled. We could adjust the grate vertically and swing it laterally, moving food toward or away from the heat as needed to add logs to the fire or speed up cooking. The diamond-mesh cooking grate had small gaps that didn’t let food fall through, and it was sturdy enough to support a full Dutch oven of chili. We were also impressed with how effectively this model reduced smoke.

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The Best Open-Fire Grill

The KUDU 3.0

We’re big fans of open-fire cooking. There are few things more satisfying—or more fun—than getting outside and grilling or roasting some food over a wood fire. While most of us are content to do our open-fire cooking in a fire pit, some adventurous cooks prefer to use an open-fire grill.

The KUDU 3.0, the latest model from the company, improves on an earlier version that we also tested and loved. It can be used with both wood and charcoal; attachments, including a Dutch oven or a rotisserie, are sold separately. It was easy to adjust the height of both the grate and the skillet, thanks to new cantilever locks. And we appreciated the coal grate, which improved air flow when we were cooking with charcoal. With this fire pit, it’s easy to take outdoor cooking to the next level.

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New Release!

The Outdoor Cook

Go way beyond burgers and basic proteins to become your best outdoor cooking self. Whether you use a gas or charcoal grill, flat-top griddle, open-fire setup, smoker, or pizza oven, you can revel in the outdoor cooking lifestyle. By learning to harness fire and smoke the ATK way, you’ll even be able to convert many of these recipes between different cooking methods.

The Eco-Conscious Cook

Give a gift both you and the recipient can feel great about. These top-rated, reliable tools are easy to incorporate into everyday routines both in and out of the house. 

The Best Overall Eco-Friendly Cleaner

Grove Collaborative Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate Set

We get it. A spray cleaner doesn’t sound like an obvious gift for a loved one, but hear us out.

This is a great thing to give anyone who’s trying to reduce the single-use plastics in their home. Its powerful grease-fighting formula easily powered through messes throughout testing and cleaned just as effectively as conventional cleaners. We liked that this product’s small glass vials of concentrate saved us storage space. We also loved how easy they were to pour from and recycle after using. We also liked its pleasant citrus-rosemary scent. Best of all: It requires no single-use plastic.

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The Best Silicone Food Covers

GIR Suction Lids

When we need to cover a bowl for storage or transport, we usually reach for plastic wrap. Silicone food covers (often called silicone lids or reusable lids) are heat-resistant, dishwasher-safe, reusable alternatives. These covers excelled by easily creating tight seals with only the slightest effort and resisting stains and damage throughout our durability testing. They stored fruit salad as effectively as plastic wrap did, and their nearly round shapes covered bowls nicely and sealed our winning 12-inch skillet well when we used it to cover the skillet and steam broccoli. They even maintained their seals in the microwave.

The covers are available in 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, and 12.5-inch round models. Perhaps your loved one would like a complete set?

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The Best Travel Mug

Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug (SM-SE)

Whether it’s hot coffee for the commute, ice-cold water for a workout, or cool rosé for a leisurely picnic, travel mugs are ideal for keeping your favorite beverage at its proper temperature. Testers raved about this travel mug, which not only kept coffee hot and cold for far longer than any other mug we tried but also was the easiest to use. Slim from top to bottom, it was comfortable for hands of all sizes to hold, open, and close, but because the opening is narrow, we had to aim a little more carefully when filling it. A simple push of a button popped open its lid, exposing the clean drinking spout within.

Testers also loved that this leakproof mug came with an equally easy-to-use locking mechanism, which provided good insurance against accidental spills. It comes in a variety of colors, so you can pick one your gift recipient will like best.

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