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Holiday gift buying for home cooks is not a simple task. There are presents that seem like a good idea at the time, but are a total hassle in reality (hello, ice cream maker). Then, there are those go-to kitchen tools ambitious cooks will actually use (hopefully, to make you dinner). Below, what to buy for those amateur chefs in your life (and maybe yourself).

OXO Handheld Mandoline, $25 on Sur La Table

OXO mandolin slicer

Sur la Table

Slicing carrots for stew, or apples for pie is infinitely faster with a mandoline. It’s also more precise, meaning everything will cook more evenly when it’s chopped within the same quarter-inch. This one comes with a guard too, which protects all digits.Buy Now

Aunt Martha’s Gray Striped Dish Towels, $7.75 on Amazon


One can truly never have enough clean dish towels, which double as oven mitts, a mat for sliding cutting boards, and napkins in a pinch. They’re also a pain to launder, so trust us when we say that no one will turn away clean dish towels. No. One.Buy Now

Stainless Steel Round Biscuit Cutters, 5 for $14.95 at Sur La Table

stainless steel round biscuit cutter set

Sur La Table

Even if you don’t make biscuits that often, this set of five cutters will surely come in handy when it’s time to cut sugar cookies or make ravioli.Buy Now

Cuisinart SmartStick Immersion Blender & Chopper, $57.99 on Amazon


Blenders and food processors aren’t a bad thing to have, but nothing is easier than an immersion blender, which can be dipped into soups, salsas, and smoothies. And the clean-up is a total breeze. Tell that to your giant plastic food processor that came with a million attachments.Buy Now

OXO Good Grips Pop-Up Cookbook Holder, $54.90 on Amazon


Not only does this sleek cookbook holder keep your recipes from falling over, a splatter-proof guard means that your bolognese won’t ruin your pages, or worse, your iPad.Buy Now

Jenaluca Herb Scissors, $14.87 on Amazon


Even though single-use items aren’t the most economical things to keep in a crowded kitchen drawer, this one is worth having on hand. From slicing through chives to mincing cilantro fast, herb scissors elevate any salad, and in record time.Buy Now

Silicone Splatter Screen, $15 at Sur la Table

silicone splatter screen

Sur la Table

It seems like something you don’t really need—until you take a look at your stovetop after whipping up some stir-fry. This splatter screen is simple and uncomplicated—yet a nice step up from the usual stainless steel mesh model—and you’ll be glad you have one when it’s time to deep fry, well, anything.Buy Now

Silpat Perfect Cookie Baking Mat, $26.95 on Sur la Table

Sur la Table

Anyone who’s ever baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies knows how important spacing is—and how expensive and wasteful rolls of parchment paper can be. This non-stick silicone mat is a must for even the occasional cookie-maker.Buy Now

Marca Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $9.95 at Sur la Table

Marca Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sur la Table

Nothing’s more annoying than running out of olive oil while you’re in the middle of making a dish. Save the day by gifting your favorite home chef a bottle of the good stuff—this is affordable but has near-perfect reviews.Buy Now

Bee’s Wrap, 3 sheets for $18 on Amazon


It’s more eco-friendly than plastic wrap, and the warmth of your hands helps makes it mold to almost any food item. It’s a total lifesaver for a chef who always has leftovers.Buy Now

For more great gift ideas, see our Gourmet Food and Drink Gift Guide.

Header image courtesy of Amazon.

Julie Vadnal is a writer and founder of the newsletter JULES. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Esquire, Glamour, and Real Simple. Follow her on Instagram at @julievadnal.
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