Sometimes a stocking stuffer is so on point, you like it better than any of the larger presents under the tree. Give that kind of gift. The present for the gourmand in your life doesn't have to be expensive. A useful gift goes a long way.
Then again, it's nice to receive something fancy that you wouldn't buy for yourself but you'd love to have. To find the holiday's must-have food and cooking gifts, we surveyed our food-loving public and gathered the most-desired items we think you (and your gift recipient) will love.
1. Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer | Buy Now
Squeeze yourself some fresh citrus with the Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer. This brightly colored juicer produces up to 20-percent more juice than conventional juicers, thanks to an innovative dual-gear mechanism that produces more pressing power and reduces hand fatigue. This kitchen and bar tool is great for juicing lemons, limes, and other small citrus fruits. It's top-rack dishwasher safe. Buy it here.
2. Das Gourmet Salt Sampler | Buy Now
This sampler of some of the world's best salts is all natural, with no added flavors, colors, or preservatives. (We'd hope there'd be no preservatives, as salt itself is a preservative!) The salts are procured directly from farmer cooperatives: black lava and alaea from Hawaii; sel gris and fleur de sel from France; and pink himalayan and kala namak from India. Buy it here.
3. Kuhn Rikon Silicon Rainbow Whisk
These whisks come with a twist: The colorful nonstick silicone wires brighten up the kitchen, but they're not just pretty. Use them with nonstick cookware when you want to protect your pots and pans from scratches. They're also dishwasher safe. You can get 8-inch or 10-inch whisk. Buy it here.
4. Microplane Soft Handled Zester-Grater | Buy Now
Recommended by food notables such as Cook’s Illustrated and Smitten Kitchen, the Microplane is the easiest way to zest your citrus. The razor-sharp, stainless steel edges creates flakes of hard cheese, chocolate, and zest. Use it to top salads and pastas, or for crème brûlée and vinaigrette. And for anything that calls for zest. The Microplane grates fine, lacy wisps from even the hardest cheeses. The soft-touch handle is an added luxury to keep your hands feeling fine. Buy it here.
5. Saxy Pot Lid Lifter | Buy Now
When things are getting steamy in the kitchen, and good vibes are in the air, you won't let the pressure of hungry, waiting people get to you. Keep a lid on it; it’s saxy time. Made in Italy by Rocket Designs, Saxy the Lid Riser was created to raise the lid just the bare minimum to prevent contents from boiling over. Its silicone body does not fear high temperatures, and it keeps cool to the touch, even when exposed to direct heat sources, making it easy both to place on the edge of your pot and to remove it. Buy it here.
6. Fig Condiment | Buy Now
The perfect balance of sweet and sour are found in this condiment made from Italian figs and blended with Giusti Balsamic Vinegar and cooked-grape must. This condiment offers versatility paired with a rich, fruity flavor. Use it to boost the flavor of braises, or simply serve as an accompaniment to cold meats and cheeses. Buy it here.
7. Kuhn Rikon Piranha Swivel Peeler | Buy Now
The Kuhn Rikon Piranha peeler's serrated, stainless steel blade bites into smooth and fuzzy skins and peels them off in smooth, thin strips. The vertical-blade peeler has a plastic handle and is ergonomically designed for an easy grip. Buy it here.
8. Metal Hand-Stamped Spreaders| Buy Now
We adore charming puns, especially when buttering our buns with those puns. Handcrafted in India, this set of two cheese (or whatever is soft) spreaders is stamped by hand with the phrase "lay it on thick" and comes individually boxed for the perfect host or hostess gift. Buy it here.
9. Cat Egg Mold | Buy Now
Cat ladies and cat gentlemen: Incorporate cats into your breakfast in a new way. Simply place the cat mold on your frying pan and crack two eggs. Place the yolks into the rings and watch as these eggs slowly transform into an adorable cat. The eco-friendly, BPA-free, lead-free silicone is also FDA-approved as food safe. The Cat Egg Molds are heat resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and are dishwasher safe. Buy it here.
10. Homm Garlic Peeler Tube | Buy Now
This little tube looks so simple, yet it can make your prep so much faster. Get your garlic peeled more easily by putting the garlic cloves inside the peeler and rolling it with a bit of pressure. The special dimples inside will provide more grip on the cloves to get the peels off easier. The peeler keeps your hands free from smelling like garlic, and because it's heat-resistant, the peeler can be used also as a pot handle holder. Also use the peeler to open bottle caps. The materials are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. It comes in a set of two: one red and one blue. Buy it here.
11. Joseph Joseph Foldable Cutting Board | Buy Now
This might be one of the most practical stocking stuffers on our list. The dishwasher-safe cutting board folds into a chute to pour chopped ingredients into the pot or pan. The hinges fold inward when you squeeze the handle to guide food into the pot. The 15-inch-by-8.75-inch plastic chopping board has nonslip feet and a 4-inch, soft-grip handle. This award-winning kitchen accessory was designed by twin brothers Richard and Antony Joseph. It's available in three sizes and two colors. The photo shows the medium size. Buy it here.
Norpro Colorful Mini Wood Spoon | Buy Now
Made from thin layers of hand-dyed wood laminated together and polished to a sheen, the spoon is covered in a water-based, food-safe lacquer. This small spoon is 6-inches long and can hold 2 teaspoons. Use it with only dry ingredients. It's not dishwasher or microwave safe, so clean it with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly to prevent cracking and other signs of wear and tear. It's too pretty to mess up. Buy it here.
And … a few more ideas: linen kitchen towels, bitters, unique hot sauces, artisan liqueurs, herb scissors, a great corkscrew, spice blends, ice cream scoops, vegetable/fruit savers, gourmet candy and chocolate, infused olive oils, and mini spatulas.
Amy Sowder is a NYC-based food and fitness writer as well as the assistant editor for Chowhound. She loves cheesy things, especially toasties and puns. She's trying to like mushrooms. Her running habit is the excuse for her never-ending ice cream pursuits. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, What Do I Eat Now. Learn more at AmySowder.com.