I’ve compiled a few of my favorite, fairly inexpensive, kitchen items that you can buy for friends, family or yourself. I broke out the items into sections, but honestly a lot of them cross-over from one section to another. Everything is under $40 USD and a couple of items are in the single digit dollar price range, so there’s some stocking stuffers in here.
Give the list a scroll and see what I’m recommending. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below if you have a kitchen tool that you love.
I own all the items I’m recommending here unless I write otherwise. So, I’ve tested everything. Also: the prices listed may change without notice. I’m offering prices so you have an idea/guess before clicking through to the product.
Note: all of these are affiliate links. This means if you buy something using my links, I will get some benefit.
Gifts for Sandwich Enthusiasts
The wrapping papers
Wrapping your sandwiches is a good thing. I like wrapping sandwiches in paper or aluminum foil just like they do at take-out restaurants because wrapping a sandwich helps the sauces and spreads mix with the ingredients in a sandwich. If it’s a hot sandwich, wrapping also helps keep everything warm and melts your cheese.
Note: this is not for smoking drugs.
Deli Squares – Wax Paper Sheets (12 x 12) (Pack of 100) (Plain)
The squeeze bottles
A set of squeeze bottles is crucial if you ever plan to make any sort of dressing or sauce for sandwiches. Salad dressings are perfectly stored in these containers, and you can even transfer your store bought mayo over if you want to squirt it instead of spread it.
Pinnacle Mercantile Plastic Squeeze Condiment Bottles with Red Tip Cap 16-Ounce Set of 6 Wide Mouth
The sandwich baskets
If you or your friends throw sandwich focused parties, these are fun to have. They’re great for serving burgers or just hanging out with a few chicken tenders, french fries or bread sticks in a basket.
New Star Foodservice 44140 Fast Food Baskets, 9 1/4-Inch x 6-Inch Oval, Set of 12, Red
Gifts for bakers
The flour shaker
I didn’t think a flour shaker would be very useful, but I bought this cheap one on a whim and kept it filled with a little flour and left it on the counter and it’s a mainstay now. If I’m dealing with some dough, I just reach over and can shake/dust some flour on my surface and be back in business. Buy one for your baker friends.
Winware Stainless Steel Dredges 10-Ounce with Handle
The sheet pans
If you or your friends bake or cook, you probably already have at least one of these, but they can always use more or replace the aging ones they have.
As a baker, I often will have bread rolls proofing on a sheet pan, prior to baking, and I use a second sheet pan as a hat to protect the dough while it rests.
$24 (for two)
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
The sheet pan racks
Every baker needs at least two baking racks. These are great for letting fried food rest as well as lifting cooking food up off the hot sheet pan and allowing air to circulate, crisping up cooking food as well.
Hot biscuits and bread can cool on racks so that air circulates, and we don’t end up with soggy bottoms.
$17 (for two)
Checkered Chef Cooling Rack – Set of 2 Stainless Steel, Oven Safe Grid Wire Racks for Cooking & Baking – 11 ¾” x 17″
The bench scraper set
Every baker or biscuit maker needs a bench scraper set. Even non bakers would find a use for these for things like scooping up and transferring chopped veggies or scraping out the last of the sauce from a bowl.
The round one scrapes out bowls and the metal one is great for cutting dough or scraping up things off your cutting board. This is a fairly cheap gift for yourself, or a baker friend and it will be used. I own and use two.
Chef’n Pastrio Set Bench Scraper and Chopper, Includes Stainless Steel and Plastic, Red
The sourdough starter jar
If you know someone with a sourdough starter, they could definitely use a glass jar like this. The jar has a super wide top which grants access to scrape out and dump ingredients in very easy.
The straight sides also make it so you can scrape down from the top in a super convenient manner. There are three lid types that come with this jar, but the best for sourdough starters in my experience is the plastic snap lid.
Weck Tulip Jars – Sour Dough Starter Jars – Large Glass Jars for Sourdough – Starter Jar with Glass Lid – Tulip Jar with Wide Mouth – Weck Jars 1 Liter Includes (Cork Lid & Keep Fresh Cover)
You can’t be a baker without a scale. I should stop writing now, but everyone knows that isn’t going to happen.
Just buy a scale if you don’t have one and if you know someone who is aspiring to bake, this is a no brainer. Also: start looking for gram only recipes if you own a good scale and want to bake. They’re way more consistent and your results will be a lot better.
Escali Primo Lightweight Scale, Standard, Pumpkin Orange
The King Arthur Baking Companion
This is a great cookbook for a baker of any experience level. It was updated and re-released in 2021 so it’s likely that the person you might be shopping for has not purchased it yet. For 20-ish bucks, this would be a great gift of a very dense baking cookbook. Highly recommended.
The King Arthur Baking Company’s All-Purpose Baker’s Companion
The Pyrex bowl set
These bowls are great for anything from making biscuit dough, to whisking up homemade mayonnaise and dressings.
The lids make it so you don’t have to waste plastic wrap if you need to proof dough or store something in the refrigerator. You can find cheaper Pyrex sets without lids, but I really like having them.
Pyrex 8-piece 100 Years Glass Mixing Bowl Set (Limited Edition) – Assorted Colors Lids
The small Pullman pan
I’ve written about this pan a few times this year since I bought it and it’s a great pan for consistent loaves that rise straight up without mushrooming.
There’s something to say for consistency and this pan is definitely something you might want if you want to make Japanese milk bread loaves or even a small square Pullman.
USA Pan Bakeware Pullman Loaf Pan, Small
The large Pullman pan with lid
This pan is a great pairing with the pan above. They both share the same top size so you can buy the large Pullman pan (with lid) and you can use the lid on the smaller one if needed. This makes them very useful to own both as a pair. Don’t bother buying the small lid because you can share.
USA Pan Bakeware Pullman Loaf Pan with Cover, 13 x 4 inch, Nonstick & Quick Release Coating, Made in the USA from Aluminized Steel
Gifts for burger makers
The smash burger trowel
Yes, this is a tool for fixing up your house. You can buy these at the big box home improvement store.
BUT, they’re perfect for smashing two burgers on a griddle. I use one every time I make smash burgers. Just don’t use it to spread grout in your bathroom and then bring it back to the kitchen. If you’re buying one of these for smashing burgers, leave it in the kitchen and hand wash it clean like your other kitchen tools.
ZJNOTED Masonry Finishing Trowel plastering Trowel Hand Tool Drywall Trowel, Carbon Steel Finishing Masonry Trowel
The infrared thermometer
You need a thermometer. One thermometer is not enough.
I use this one pretty much whenever I’m cooking to tell how hot the cooking surface is. It’s become almost second nature for me to grab this thermometer and double check things.
Unless you’re a professional cook, something like this could greatly contribute to your cooking skills.
Etekcity Infrared Thermometer 774, Digital Temperature Gun for Cooking
The burger flipper or spatula
This is the spatula I use for flipping burgers. You can spend more money and get one with a wider surface, but this one works just fine for me and I recommend it since the price is really good.
OXO SteeL Lasagna Turner
I don’t own this exact griddle. The one I own is a no-name brand that I received at a white elephant Christmas party, and it works just fine. But if I was going to replace mine, I would buy this one. Lodge is a good company, and this is a pretty good price for something that will stand up for years and maybe even decades of use.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 16.75 Inch, Black
Gifts for biscuit lovers
The biscuit rings
Sure, you can make biscuits without stainless steel biscuit cutters, but I usually don’t. When making biscuits with the expectation of layers, you need to cut swift and straight and you can only do that with a knife via straight line cuts or you need straight up/down cuts with a sharp circular biscuit cutter.
These cutters will get the job done and you can also change up your biscuit size and use these to cut cookies as well.
These biscuit cutters can also be used to shape sausage patties for cooking to fit your biscuits and they can be used to mold a cooking egg for the proper size for a biscuit or English muffin sandwich.
RIHAI Stainless Steel Round Cookie Cutter Set, 12 Circular Biscuit Cutters Round Donut Ring Molds for Baking 1.2 Inch Height
The butter dish
I’m a big fan of this butter dish. This is the one I leave on the counter with the GOOD BUTTER in it. It’s easy to clean and looks nice on the counter.
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Butter Dish
The rolling pin
I don’t own this exact rolling pin. BUT it’s the one I would buy right now, because it’s a reputable company and it’s only ten bucks. The rolling pin I typically use is so old that Amazon didn’t exist when it was made.
But if you are interested in making biscuits and need a rolling pin, a flat one like this with a 10-inch base is exactly what you would want. Get this one unless you need a fancier French rolling pin (a French-style rolling pin is NOT very good for biscuits).
Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin, 17.75-Inch, Natural
Gifts for home cooks
The liquid and dry measuring cup
Alton Brown introduced me to something like this back in the 90’s/2000’s. My wife and I liked it and she bought something similar at that time. We can’t find the exact version that we bought, but this one looks similar and is from a good company. I would be buying one of these if ours was lost or broken.
It’s great for measuring things like mayonnaise or molasses or most anything that needs to be scooped and spread into a container. Once you get it into this measuring cup, you can use the plunger to just slide it out, leaving almost no leftover in the container. This also makes for easy cleanup.
If you don’t have anything like this, you need one.
OXO Good Grips 2 Cup Adjustable Measuring Cup
The parchment holder
My Mom gave us this parchment paper holder (and the plastic wrap holder below). I was skeptical at first and questioned why she gave it to us but once we started using it, I will never go back.
It’s hard to describe exactly why this works, I think it’s the weight and the top closure that makes dealing with and cutting parchment paper so much easier. Try it, you’ll like it.
ChicWrap Baker’s Tools Parchment Paper Dispenser with 15″x 41 Sq. Ft Roll of Culinary Parchment Paper
The plastic wrap holder
You can read what I wrote about the parchment paper holder above to get the gist of why this is a great kitchen purchase for me.
Basically, everyone knows that plastic wrap can be troublesome at times. This holder and the swiping cutter magically makes plastic wrap easier to cut and handle, even with wet or messy hands in a semi-emergency situation (we’ve all been there).
ChicWrap Triangle Refillable Plastic Wrap Dispenser with Slide Cutter and 250′ of Professional BPA Free Plastic Wrap
The KitchenAid measuring cups and spoons
A nice set of measuring cups and spoons. When you’re measuring wet ingredients like honey or mustard, the ingredients slide off very easily because of the smooth surface.
KitchenAid Classic Measuring Cups And Spoons Set, Set of 9, Aqua Sky/Black
The OXO silicone whisk set
I really like these silicone whisks. They won’t mess up any of your non-stick pans and in my experience, they work as well for making something like whipped cream or homemade mayonnaise just as well as a metal whisk.
OXO Good Grips 2-Piece Silicone Whisk Set
The KitchenAid tongs
I love tongs! This is a good pair, and the silicone tips mean you won’t scratch up any of your pots and pans. I like the quick release action on these tongs and use them all the time unless I’m grilling outdoors.
KitchenAid Silicone Tipped Stainless Steel Tongs, 10.26 Inch, Black
The splatter screen
Every single time I fry in a pan or skillet I use this bad boy. It’s SUPER easy to clean and it stops splatter. If you plan to deep fry or even fry in a skillet I can’t suggest this item enough.
It even folds up and takes up less space. Other than the fact that this thing costs money, there’s almost no reason why it shouldn’t be in your cabinet.
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Splatter Screen with Folding Handle
And that’s about it for now. I did the best I could to brainstorm about the tools and utensils that I use on a regular basis. There’s a good chance that I will update this list from time to time over the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions, put them down in the comments and I’ll try to help.