Gift Guide

All of our favorite gifts.

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I tested dozens of stovetop pressure cookers before settling on Kuhn Rikon's Duromatic. It has a heavy sandwiched aluminum-and-steel base that gives you even heat, and a pressure gauge that makes telling exactly how much pressure has built up inside visual and intuitive.  — Kenji

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No pasta machine? No problem. This book is devoted to the art of handcrafted Italian dumplings, from yeasty spindle-shaped cecamariti to classic gnocchi to golden-brown parallelograms of deep-fried crescentine. If the adage "practice makes perfect" fills you with excitement rather than dread, this is the kind of book that will make you utterly determined to prevail.  — Niki

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I'll admit it: I'm a pepper mill snob. I need my mill to produce a shower of evenly crushed peppercorns. I want to be able to control the size of those grains, from a rough crush to a fine powder. Not only that, I want my pepper mill to last. With a solid metal burr and a unique easy-to-load design, this is my favorite pepper mill of all time.  — Kenji

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They may not come in the most festive or glamorous packaging, but you can't go wrong with Effie's Oatcakes. Buttery, crumbly, nutty, and salty-sweet, they're insanely addictive. Case in point: I've eaten three in the last 10 minutes. My advice? Purchase them in bulk so you can stuff a stocking or two and hoard the rest for yourself.  — Niki

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A good digital scale is an essential tool for bakers or home charcuterie makers. The OXO Food Scale comes with an easy-to-clean removable stainless steel weighing surface, great accuracy and precision, and a pull-out backlit display to make measuring easy, even for large or unwieldy items.  — Kenji

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There's not a lot of this fantastic spirit around—only 642 bottles in total are for sale. But that's just part of what makes it such a special gift. Crafted from wild Tepeztate and Tobala agaves, it tastes a bit like a complex Islay Scotch, without the vanilla flavors of barrel-aging. It's salty and herbal, nutty and resin-y, savory and floral, with a wisp of sweet charred bay leaf on the finish.  — Maggie

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I've used many, many oyster knives in my life, and the R. Murphy Duxbury knife is my hands-down favorite. It has a fat, grippy handle that's easy to wield, and a short blade that tapers to a point and always manages to find the sweet spot on an oyster's hinge. Pop! The slightly sharpened blade edges make slicing through the muscle and removing the top shell as smooth as butter.  — Daniel

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A good pair of kitchen shears is one of those things that are hard to appreciate until you have them. Sure, there are all the obvious uses, like opening food packages with a snip and cutting up poultry, but that's just the start. Take another look at those things. Yes, that's right, they're also a nutcracker. Aha, yup, and a bottle opener. Did you see the flathead screwdriver built into them? Handy, right? Oh, they can also be used to unscrew stubborn jar tops. They're way more than just a pair of scissors. Plus, the two blades come fully apart, so you can wash them really well—no icky chicken juice hiding in the recesses. Isn't avoiding salmonella poisoning a gift worth giving?  — Daniel

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Having The Cocktail Chronicles at your side is like having a friend who always knows a good drink recipe for whatever you've got on hand. It doesn't talk your ear off or suggest something with a dozen ingredients. Instead, it shares classics, recent spins on classics, and drinks you've never heard of but can easily mix up and enjoy, and the introductions are never preachy or boring. This book will appeal to full-on cocktail fanatics and newbies alike; there's something delicious on every page.  — Maggie

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High-quality Swedish steel and Japanese design, along with great features like a perfectly balanced handle and blade and an ergonomic bolster, make the Misono UX10 Santoku the most-used knife in my arsenal.  — Kenji

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If you like your whiskey with a giant ice cube, then you'll really be into Mammoth Cubes—unlike ice cube trays from current competitor brands, these make eight cubes (not six) and are actually stackable, so they don't require a section unto themselves in your freezer.  — Serious Eats Staff

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It may sound nuts to mail-order cornmeal and grits, given that they're found on any supermarket shelf. But I'd argue that you haven't experienced the best cornbread, grits, or other classic Southern dishes until you've had them made with the kind of high-quality stuff Anson Mills is selling. It'll change how you understand those foods and what they can be.  — Daniel

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What's a quarter sheet pan? Well, it's half the size of a half sheet pan. What's a half sheet? It's the rimmed baking sheet we all use at home for cookies and such. (If you're wondering what a whole sheet pan is, you'll find them in restaurant kitchens.) So why would anyone want a quarter sheet pan? Oh, man, because they're AMAZING. I love them for all kinds of recipe tasks, like holding small amounts of ingredients I'm prepping or roasting. I reach for them just as often as I do the half-sheet size, because sometimes you need the SUV, and sometimes you need the compact. Simple as that.  — Daniel

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Warning: Reading this book might lead to the purchase of some very expensive plane tickets. The Roads & Kingdoms crew will get you hungry for a journey to Japan: for onigiri basted with chicken fat, juicy one-bite gyoza, milky-white tonkotsu ramen broth, and briny sea urchin. Is Japan the best place on earth to eat? This book will convince you that it is.  — Maggie

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My all-time favorite food-focused Tumblr, none other than LiarTownUSA’s Apple Cabin Foods, now has an official 2016 calendar, which means you can have a whole year populated by the nonsensical murmurings of orange hopefuls, chicken whispers, and shrimp pull-ups. Confused? That’s the point. I think.  — Niki

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There are some kitchen tools that make the difference between amateur-looking food and pro-level stuff. A small mandoline is one of them. This one, from Oxo, is compact, easy to use, and very sharp. It only has three thickness settings, but in my experience, that more than covers most home slicing needs.  — Daniel

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This is hands down the KitchenAid attachment I use most often. It takes all of the frustration and fussiness out of making fresh pasta, and, unlike the manual alternatives out there, it's incredibly easy and efficient to operate on your own. Hello, homemade ravioli!  — Niki

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When fall and winter roll around, I start thinking about rich, comforting casseroles, which means that these stoneware casserole dishes get pulled out, filled, and popped into the oven at least once a week. They're great-looking on the table and provide gentle, even cooking all around for really nice, crisp edges on your lasagna.  — Kenji

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Spending $50 on cheese knives feels a little silly, especially when a regular knife does the trick just fine. But that's why they're the perfect gift—arguably unnecessary, but nonetheless useful, they feel like a real luxury. I'm pretty sure they also raise your "real adult" status by at least 10 points. Especially when they're these beautifully crafted Dubost Laguiole knives. I like the simplicity of the olivewood handles, but they do come in other colors and styles, with the same high-quality blades.  — Niki

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Few things get me as excited as a good raw bar, but most of the time, I eat far less than I want because, after the first couple dozen oysters or so, it just gets to be too expensive. That's even truer when the oysters are top-notch, like the briny little suckers from Island Creek up in Massachusetts. But here's the good news: You can order Island Creek's oysters online by the 50- or 100-count for much less than they cost at most restaurants and have them in your hands the next day for an at-home shucking extravaganza. (Obviously, it helps to learn to shuck first.)  — Daniel

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Time was, you had to build an actual wood-fired stone oven to get Neapolitan-style pizza in your backyard. With the Serious Eats edition KettlePizza and Baking Steel combo, you can convert your Weber kettle grill into an honest-to-goodness wood-fired pizza oven that'll bake Neapolitan-style pizzas in minutes.  — Kenji

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There's form, and then there's function. The aprons from Tilit are great on both fronts. Made from waxed cotton, they offer breathability along with water resistance, but they're also damned handsome. Several NYC restaurants have commissioned custom apron designs from the company for their chefs and cooks, and I'm pretty psyched to wear one of these bad boys at home, too.  — Daniel

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This epic set of stainless steel pastry tips is perfect for the home baker with professional-grade aspirations...or the food-enthused, arts-and-craftsy kid in your life (or, you know, your heart). With this kit in hand, nothing but practice stands between you and gorgeous piped flowers, leaves, stars, and beyond.  — Niki

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Manhattan chef Jody Williams's Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food, is as charming and inviting as the restaurant that inspired it. This is a book to get greasy and damp as you cook through its pages, and it's a nightstand read, dreamy and warm, to flip through as you wind down. Channeling a traditional French bistro, with a bit of Italy and a touch of New York thrown in, the recipes are classics, both inspirational and totally doable. Some are so simple that they hardly count as recipes at all—they're more like suggestions for how to better your day with a plate of food, from breakfast through dessert after a lingering, late-night supper. Perfect for your impossibly, effortlessly stylish friend.  — Serious Eats Staff

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If her first two books are any indication, Nancy Singleton Hachisu is poised to become the Julia Child of traditional Japanese home cooking. In this, her second book, she tackles the deeply fascinating—and even more delicious—world of Japanese preserving. From easy pickles made by packing foods in miso (kabocha squash! eggs! apple pears!) to homemade miso, salt-rubbed vegetables, and air-dried fish, this should be the next frontier in all your home preservation undertakings. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.  — Daniel

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A good bench scraper is one of those tools people don't think they need until they start using it. I use it for everything from transferring chopped vegetables or herbs from one place to another, to portioning dough, to giving my cutting board a quick clean. Next to my chef's knife, the bench scraper is the tool you'll see in my hand most often.  — Kenji

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My good friend and former Food & Wine coworker, Kristin Donnelly, runs this awesome lip balm company called Stewart & Claire with her husband, Phil. Every lip balm she makes uses great ingredients that you wouldn't hesitate to smear all over your mouth, but even cooler are the scents she comes up with, many of them inspired by foods and cocktails. Recently she teamed up with the talented folks at Death & Co, a great NYC cocktail bar, to develop three limited-edition scents. I've been walking around with "Smoky" in my back pocket for the past couple of months: It's inspired by the smoky scent of Scotch and mezcal cocktails, using smoked olive oil, along with citrus and spice notes, to achieve that effect. It's like a mezcal Negroni or Rob Roy for your lips, but subtle enough to sit under your nose all day.  — Daniel

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Sorghum syrup is made from the pressed juice of sorghum grass, which grows prominently throughout the American South. This amber-colored syrup has a unique nutty flavor that's both sweet and savory. And since the 1960s, the Guenther family of Muddy Pond, Tennessee, has been making some of the best.  — Keith

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Do you know someone who's getting into tea? Like, really into tea? This is the tea set to get for that person. It comes with a traditional Chinese brewing vessel (a gaiwan), a decanter, four tasting cups, and a beautiful wood tea tray with a rack to store all the pieces. At $120, it's not cheap, but it's a bargain compared to other well-made tea sets, especially when you consider the high-quality, paper-thin porcelain. For tea lovers looking to dig into tea ceremonies, this set has everything you need.  — Serious Eats Staff

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Oh, man, do I love my Vitamix. Whether I'm making super-quick smoothies or the creamiest, smoothest purées and soups imaginable, the Vitamix is unparalleled in its power. Best gift I've ever received (thanks, dear!).  — Kenji

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There are few activities that so easily produce the sensation of soul-sucking helplessness and all-around inadequacy as going head to head with a stubborn jar. A quality opener is a major game-changer, guaranteed to pop those lids every time—no dejected pleas, prying, smacking, or self-loathing required. This particular model, from Restoration Hardware, actually looks nice and has held up to extensive use in my own kitchen.  — Niki

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Sure, you can serve crushed-ice cocktails in a regular old glass, but these shiny pineapple-shaped tumblers really up the ante and make a tiki party feel special.  — Maggie

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It's hard to find a better curated food catalogue than Zingerman's. They are righteous folks, they know seriously delicious food when they come across it, and they sell it at a fair price. Nothing in the catalogue is cheap, but then again, good food rarely is. So whether you order cheese or olive oil or bread from Zingerman's, you can be confident you're going to be very happy when it arrives at your house.  — Ed

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In the inexpensive-thermometer department, the ThermoPop is the new kid on the block, but he comes in an impressive package. An easy-to-read display rotates at the touch of a button, so you don't have to twist your head to read it. It takes a few seconds longer to read temperatures than its big brother, the Thermapen, but it's every bit as accurate.  — Kenji

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These wine glasses feel fancy enough for an elegant dinner party—and you can throw them in the dishwasher after, which is a pretty rare attribute. I've had a few sets for five years now, and have found them remarkably sturdy.  — Maggie

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Punt e Mes is both bitter and sweet, like a rich bottled vermouth cocktail that'll please lovers of Italian amari. It's delicious stuff; wonderful chilled on its own and fantastic with Cynar, lemon, salt, and orange bitters in this cocktail. If your favorite drinker hasn't tried it, make the introduction.  — Maggie

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A pressure cooker is a cooking vessel that just keeps on giving: Once you discover the time-saving feats it's capable of, you'll never look back. The good ones aren't cheap, but man, is it ever worth having one. A countertop electric model gives you set-it-and-forget-it convenience. With the Breville Fast-Slow Pro Cooker, not only do you have complete control over your pressure cooking (including any pressure level from 1.5 to 12 psi), but you also have a slow cooker and a rice cooker built right it. It'll even sear meat for stews.  — Kenji

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Know someone who's interested in sous-vide cooking? They're gonna want this. And it's handy for way more than just sous-vide cooking. A vacuum sealer makes it really easy to save meats or other foods in the freezer, and it keeps air (read: freezer burn) off it all. The Oliso sealer uses a unique resealable bag system which means far less wasted plastic than a conventional cut-and-seal vacuum sealer.  — Kenji

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Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, the La Canne company makes flavored sugars that are sure to give added depth to everything from baked goods to your morning coffee. Flavors include ginger, lavender, and pecan smoked sugar, which is smoked over real pecan shells.  — Keith

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I don't know if there's a book about cooking that I've thought about more than this one by Tamar Adler, a former Chez Panisse cook who was once an editor at Harper's Magazine. It's about cooking simply, and enjoying the simple meals that naturally follow from one another if you begin to think of your ingredients in cycles. We forget, sometimes, that the leftover stems from blanched broccoli are wonderful cooked with olive oil and piled on toast, that their cooking liquid could be the base of a soup, that the stems of greens like Swiss chard and kale make a lovely pesto. She reminds us that stale bread can make something delicious and that yesterday's bean broth could be the start of a pasta dish today. I read this book over and over again to help myself remember that dinner doesn't always need to be a big deal.  — Maggie

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Kentucky-based writer Ronni Lundy is an expert on the foods and foodways of the Mountain South. In her latest book, Sorghum’s Savor, she explores the history and folklore, and the many uses, of the region’s staple sweetener. Recipes range from fried chicken to sorbet.  — Keith

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Homemade ice cream tastes better than almost anything you can buy in a store, and it's a snap to make. This ice cream maker, from Cuisinart, is all the gear you need: an easy-to-use workhorse that makes delicious ice cream every time. The simple construction means that there are few moving parts to break, and the wide mouth at the top makes it easy to add mix-ins and scoop out your ice cream when it's at its fresh, creamy best.  — Serious Eats Staff

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A good carbon steel has many of the qualities that make cast iron great—it's durable, it forms a completely nonstick surface if cared for properly, and it's inexpensive—but it's lighter and easier to maneuver, making it great for sautéing and searing everyday foods.  — Kenji

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My good friend Jordana Rothman co-wrote this thoughtful ode to tacos with chef Alex Stupak, and it's a must-have for anyone ready to take a deep dive into corn, masa, tortillas, and everything—modern and traditional—you can stuff into them.  — Daniel

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Sous-vide cooking—cooking foods in vacuum-sealed pouches in precisely controlled water baths—is no longer relegated to fancy restaurant kitchens. The Anova Precision Cooker is the best home water bath controller on the market, with an easy-to-use interface, Bluetooth support, rock-solid construction, a sleek look, and an affordable price tag to boot.  — Kenji

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If you're following my advice to buy someone julep cups, you might as well go all the way and grab a canvas Lewis bag as well: It's used to smash ice into a fine powder with a mallet. Unless, of course, the person you're buying for already has an ice crusher.  — Daniel

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Not all containers are built the same. OXO's Pop Containers stack neatly in the cabinet, make it easy to see exactly what's inside, and have a neat push-button top that forms a perfectly airtight seal, keeping your dry pantry goods fresher for longer.  — Kenji

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A good steak knife should cut steak well, and it should look good while doing it. French-made Laguiole knives are the gold standard in performance, with extra-sharp edges for easy cutting, a long life, and gorgeous handles with distinctive bee-shaped bolsters. (Beware inexpensive knockoffs!)  — Kenji

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The best ham on earth doesn't come cheap, but this is the caviar of pork: jamón ibérico puro de bellota, from purebred Iberico pigs raised on acorns for a ham that's nutty and sweet with meltingly soft fat.  — Serious Eats Staff

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I have a sizable cocktail book collection, but at drink o'clock, I find myself turning to this app. Enter all the bottles you have at home when you start, and the app will tell you all of the drinks you can make, with recipes straight from New York's famous PDT cocktail lounge. You can also search for drinks of a certain type or cocktails created by a favorite bartender, and save favorites for making again. (To give an app as a gift, look for the arrow to the right of the "buy" icon.)  — Maggie

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When my little sister first moved out and started cooking on her own, this straight-sided sauté pan from All-Clad was the first gift I sent to her. It has a wide, flat base for searing off big batches of meat, and high sides so you can braise, stew, or simmer several meals' worth of food directly in it. It's the ideal dish for stove-to-oven dishes like this Braised Chicken With White Beans, or a one-pot pasta dish like our Macaroni and Beef. Versatile and robust, it makes comfort food all the more comforting.  — Kenji

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Another essential kitchen tool, the Microplane grater does fine grating work way better than those tiny, raspy holes on a box grater. Whether you're quickly grating fresh nutmeg or cinnamon, taking the zest off a lemon, or turning a clove of garlic into a fine purée, the Microplane is the tool to reach for. It'll make a great stocking stuffer for the budding cooking enthusiast. Just be sure to keep the safety guard on it—the idea is "stocking stuffer," not finger-shredder.  — Daniel

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How do you make perfect caramels, ice cream, gravies, and reductions? A nifty pot called a saucier. The durable stainless steel is cladded with aluminum for even heating, essential for temperamental ingredients like caramel and egg custards. A curved bottom makes whisking a snap (no more lumpy gravy!), and the wide top encourages evaporation for fast sauce reductions. You can buy cheaper versions than this All-Clad saucier, but this is one piece of equipment where quality really makes a difference.  — Serious Eats Staff

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I don't often recommend single-function items, but for the cocktail enthusiast, a couple of julep cups really are fun to have. There's nothing like holding that metal cup frosted with ice on a blisteringly hot summer day—glass just doesn't pull the effect off in the same way. If the recipient doesn't have an ice crusher, check out my Lewis bag suggestion as well.  — Daniel

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Woks are the best tool for stir-frying if you want to get that distinctly smoky wok hei flavor, but they're also versatile vessels that you can use for braising, deep-frying, or even indoor smoking.  — Kenji

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One of the best cookbook gateways into Middle Eastern cuisine—an obsessive and personalized exploration of the many cultures and traditions that make up Jerusalem's culinary world. What will you find here? A recipe for the best hummus of your life, for starters; messy-beautiful dips and salads; and the delicately spiced soups, grains, and vegetables Ottolenghi has become famous for.  — Serious Eats Staff

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This isn't just a chili cookbook. Robb Walsh digs deep into the beloved dish's ancestry, tracing threads through Mexico City, San Antonio, and Santa Fe—as you might expect—but also Hungary, Greece, and the Canary Islands (off the coast of North Africa). Walsh is one of food writing's best storytellers, so the book is satisfying even if you never whip out your Dutch oven and get cooking. You should, though: The fascinating tale is best enjoyed with a big bowl of chile con carne. (Walsh's recipe from El Real in Houston is killer.)  — Maggie

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The Cadillac of kitchen thermometers is indispensable when roasting meat, cooking steaks, making candy, deep-frying, or at any other time precise temperature control is needed. With a big display and a blazing-fast measuring time of under two seconds, you won't find a better, easier-to-use thermometer out there.  — Kenji

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The slope-sided skillet, like this one from All-Clad, is a chef's best friend and one of the most versatile pans in the kitchen, whether you're sautéing vegetables, searing meat, or cooking one of our dozens of one-pan meals. The best have solid stainless steel construction, with an aluminum core for even heat distribution.  — Kenji

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Old cast iron has a perfectly smooth nonstick surface that's surprisingly easy to maintain. You can sear, bake, roast, braise, stew, and deep-fry in it, and there's nothing more thoughtful than a gift that you have to expend a bit of effort to find (check out eBay, yard sales, and flea markets). Of course, these modern Lodge pans will do in a pinch if vintage isn't in the cards.  — Kenji

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With their smooth surface and cool temperature, marble pastry slabs are a baker's best friend. They're great for rolling out pie crusts, laminating doughs, and tempering chocolate—plus, this one's pretty enough (albeit heavy) to use as a serving platter.  — Niki

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Plenty More highlights the versatility of vegetables with 120 inventive plant-based recipes. It takes a degree of commitment to cook through this book—many, though not all, of Ottolenghi’s recipes require extra time spent sourcing unusual ingredients or toiling in the kitchen—but the reward is food that is enigmatic and downright dazzling. The ideal gift for anyone who thinks vegetables are boring, and for those who know they’re not.  — Serious Eats Staff

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I never knew how much I'd appreciate having a soda-maker at home until I got one. I'm a fizz fiend, and that used to mean sugary sodas. Now it means sparkling water at the touch of a button. For an extra $50 you can upgrade to the Power Source, which allows you to choose your carbonation level at the touch of a button.  — Kenji

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I must admit that I'm predisposed to like any confection that's simply called a "finger." A finger implies a certain size and scope that speaks to me. When the box of Nuubia SF's chocolate fingers I'd ordered arrived at our office, I made a beeline for the countertop that serves as Food Central at Serious Eats World Headquarters. It's a good thing, because they were gone in a minute—and with good reason. Creamy hazelnut praline mousse, surrounded by smooth and not-too-sweet dark chocolate, is my idea of a perfect finger food.  — Ed

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Native to Cincinnati, Ohio, goetta (pronounced "get-a") is a sublime beef and pork sausage made with steel-cut oats (as opposed to the cornmeal used in its close cousin, scrapple). Glier's is one of the biggest and best producers of the German-style pork product. Just slice it, fry it, and serve it with eggs and toast.  — Keith

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When I had these Texas beef sausages delivered to Serious Eats World Headquarters, people were skeptical. The moment they took their first bite of these supremely juicy links, though, the office became totally silent. Louie Mueller's beef and jalapeño sausages reduced the entire office to stunned, rapturous silence. And these suckers are so affordable, even with the shipping, that they're perfect for serving at parties. You just might want to hand out bibs to protect everyone's shirts. Phone orders only: (512) 352-6206.  — Ed

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Winter is all about slow-cooked braised dishes, and Molly Stevens's text is the bible on the subject. Stevens first devotes dozens of pages to discussing the equipment and technique behind braising in incredible detail. Then she provides unfussy but impressive-sounding recipes to make the most of your newfound braising skills. A little hint: The vegetable recipes are some of the best.  — Serious Eats Staff

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Whether I'm making a puréed soup directly in the pot, a batch of 2-Minute Mayonnaise (or 2-Minute Hollandaise), or whipping up a single serving of whipped cream, the hand blender is the easiest way to get there. The great power on this one, from Cuisinart, gives you the best bang for your buck.  — Kenji

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This hand-blown and -etched mixing glass from Japan looks stunning on a bar cart and even better in action, whether you're stirring a Negroni, a Martini, or a Manhattan. Mixing glasses made from two parts joined together sometimes split at the seam, but this version, made in one piece with a beaker-like spout, can stand up to heavy use.  — Maggie

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A good cookbook stand makes cooking at home much more pleasant. And this collapsible beechwood stand from West Elm has its own built-in conversion chart to boot.  — Keith

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Forget those puny kitchen torches designed to make crème brûlée for ants. If you want some serious torching power in the kitchen, for putting the final touch on fancy desserts or for finishing off a sous-vide steak, you want a high-output torch like this one. You'll get a deeper char than you'll ever be able to get from using a skillet alone.  — Kenji

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Brisket is Texas's best-known contribution to barbecue culture, and though you can now get slow-smoked brisket in just about every major American city, you still need to go to the source to get brisket so good it will make you cry. But if you can't make it to Texas, ordering Louie Mueller's brisket is the next best thing. The Muellers have been smoking brisket since 1949. The key here? They ship the whole brisket, which means you get plenty of the critically important fatty half. Why is it critically important? Because we all know that fat IS flavor. Phone orders only: (512) 352-6206.  — Ed

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Breville's newest entry in the food processor department is powerful, large, and packed with features that make it best-in-class, like a blade drive that runs like the base of a blender (no more leaking sauces) and a slicing blade with adjustable width, giving you more power and versatility in the kitchen.  — Kenji

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This is the electric kettle of my coffee-delayed dreams. It has an elegant gooseneck spout that makes pouring a thin, controlled stream easy (very helpful for Chemex and other pourover coffee methods), and a base with controls that allow you to set a specific temperature and hold it there.  — Daniel

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A New York Times best-seller! The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt is his eponymous Serious Eats column on this very website, blown up to 900+ pages (and 7+ pounds) of concentrated culinary science. Gorgeous color photos, detailed how-tos, and elaborate explainers cover ingredients, technique, gear, and the secrets of the universe underneath it all. May include puns.  — Serious Eats Staff

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Coffee geeks will have a lot of fun with this coffee scale. It pairs with a smartphone through Bluetooth, and an accompanying app helps walk you through the brewing processes, like pourover and French press, calculating bean-to-water ratios and brew times. It can handle customization, so with each successive batch, you can really dial in on the variables to make a cup that tastes best to you. It can also be used as a basic kitchen scale with a two-kilogram (about four and a half pounds) maximum weight, so it's versatile beyond its primary purpose.  — Daniel

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I never realized how incomplete my kitchen was until I added a stand mixer to my appliance lineup. It's obviously great for mixing batters and doughs, but I especially love the range of KitchenAid attachments available for purchase—once you have the base, there's suddenly a whole world of homemade sausages, ice cream, pastas, and fresh juices at your fingertips.  — Niki

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I have a problem with wooden spoons. I collect them like nobody's business. But there are a few I always turn back to, and this one, from Le Creuset, is one of them. It's gorgeous to look at; it has a flat front, which makes it great for scraping up fond or stirring vegetables; and it's got a smooth, ergonomic grip that makes using it a joy.  — Kenji

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On more than one occasion, I've been tempted to try out the cool new pepper mill on the block, but none of the ones I've used have held up over time. That's why I've settled on a good old classic, a wooden Peugeot pepper mill. The steel burrs last and deliver whatever grind I want, from fine-as-silt to chunky and coarse.  — Daniel

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I've been making legit espresso at home for about a year now on this machine from Breville. I like that it has a built-in burr grinder that will stay set at whatever dosage you've decided is best for your shot, as well as adjustable pre-infusion time. Getting the hang of it—and dialing in—takes a while, but ultimately, the results are impressive.  — Maggie

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A bean is a bean is a bean. Or is it? Once you go down the rabbit hole of eating quality dried beans (after they're cooked, of course—raw dried beans aren't so great), you'll fall in love with their variety of flavors, textures, and colors. Some are starchy, some are nutty, some are earthy, and some are slightly sweet. Rancho Gordo is one company that sells some really cool ones to try. You won't look at dried beans the same way again.  — Daniel

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I've cracked my way through quite a few baking stones. With the Baking Steel—a solid sheet of steel designed to replace a baking stone—that's a thing of the past. Not only will it last forever, but, with superior thermal properties, it produces the best pizza crusts I've ever seen in a home oven.  — Kenji

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Serious Eats' own J. Kenji López-Alt brings his popular column to life in this six-episode series. With help from food blogger and cook Katie Quinn, Kenji demonstrates techniques, busts myths, and 'splains the science behind perfect burgers, tender roast chicken, exquisite chocolate chip cookies, and much more. Rent or download individual episodes or the whole show!  — Serious Eats Staff

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How much praise can I throw at a Le Creuset Dutch oven? This is one of those things couples put on their wedding registries and desperately hope someone buys for them. This is a pot you hand down to your kids. This is a piece of cookware that you will use for everything, including serving at the table, and then you won't want to put it away because you just like looking at it. This is a workhorse of the kitchen. Yes, it costs a lot. But things that are built to last a lifetime despite daily use usually do.  — Daniel

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Published on what would have been the late British author’s 100th birthday, Elizabeth David’s On Vegetables will teach you how a bag of grocery store onions can be transformed into an unforgettable roasted side dish, and how some fresh shelled peas can yield the most vibrant soup you’ve ever tasted. Filled with recipes that are simple, straightforward, yet often revelatory, this book also features a few of David’s best essays, as well as gorgeous photography.  — Keith

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I can't tell you how many times I burn bread crumbs or forget about the nuts I'm toasting in the oven. At least, I used to. That was all before I got myself a couple of these easy-to-use, loud kitchen timers that I can hang around my neck, so I never forget about something in the kitchen, even if I leave the room.  — Kenji

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I eat a lot more vegetables than meat these days, so my paring knife sees more and more use in the kitchen. This one from Wüsthof is a classic, with solid blade and handle construction, a full tang for strength and durability, and a razor-sharp edge to make trimming, peeling, and dicing vegetables a snap.  — Kenji

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Lightweight and virtually unbreakable, melamine can be super convenient for outdoor entertaining or big parties. Unfortunately, it's not always super attractive. That's why I'm so in love with these plates, which look like hand-painted ceramic, with the weight and heft of, well, plastic. Plus, I get complimented for them all the time.  — Niki

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If you're looking for one definitive primer on pasta-making in its myriad forms, this is it: Superlative step-by-step photographs take the guesswork out of potentially intimidating fundamentals like mixing and kneading dough, as well as more intricate tasks, like pleating teardrops of corn- and cheese-stuffed culurgiònes. Better yet, Vetri arms you with the tools and knowledge that allow for controlled, intelligent experimentation and exploration before sending you into the fray.  — Niki

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