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With so many deals and discounts available during the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to stock up on kitchen staples.
It’s likewise a great time to grab a few kitchen gifts and gadgets for those on your list with culinary aspirations.
Whether you know someone who’s just learning to cook or are looking to grab a few items yourself, we rounded up the best kitchen essentials for under $100.
The products included in this list were chosen based on the following criteria:
- Utility. We included products that are useful for daily cooking and suitable for beginners.
- Value. We looked for items that provide the best quality for under $100.
- Reviews. All of the kitchen essentials either come highly recommended from trusted sources or have mostly positive reviews online.
- Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s business standards.
Here are 15 kitchen must-haves to add to your shopping list this holiday season.
Cuisipro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
A good set of measuring spoons is essential for every beginner chef, and this set from Cuisipro is a great option.
Made from high quality stainless steel, these measuring spoons are designed to fit into narrow spice jars, and they can even sit on the counter without tipping over.
They also stack together and include a storage clip, making it easy to stay organized if you’re short on space.
The basic set includes 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon.
There’s also an odd-sizes set, which comes with 1/8, 2/3, 1 1/2, and 2 teaspoons.
OXO Good Grips Wooden Corner Spoon
From mixing brownie batter to scraping the bottom of a soup pot, a wooden spoon is a must-have in any kitchen.
This wooden spoon from OXO is not only affordable but also an incredibly durable, versatile, and high quality tool for beginners. What’s more, it has over 11,000 five-star ratings online.
The spoon is made from beechwood and features a unique shape that can scrape along every corner of your cookware.
It also includes a natural oil finish, which helps protect the wood against damage with long-term use.
DI ORO 3-Piece Seamless Spatula Set
Regardless of what you’re cooking in the kitchen, this three-piece set of spatulas can definitely come in handy.
These spatulas are not only dishwasher-safe and suitable for temperatures up to 600°F (315.5°C) but also free of bisphenol A (BPA), a harmful chemical often used to make plastic products (
Plus, they’re resistant to odor, bacteria, and stains, as well as covered under the DI ORO “Forever Warranty.”
The set is available in black or red and includes a standard spatula, mini spatula, and spoonula, which is perfect for stirring curries or folding egg whites into cake batter.
Microplane Premium Classic Stainless Steel Zester and Cheese Grater
For a simple and convenient way to grate or zest ingredients like limes, ginger, garlic, and cheese, look no further.
This best-selling grater from Microplane features a stainless steel blade and heavy duty plastic handle for easy use.
It’s also more compact and lightweight than a box grater. As such, those with limited storage space may prefer it.
As a bonus, the zester comes in 20 bright colors, including coral and turquoise.
Fibrox Pro 8” Chef’s Knife
Perfect for chopping, dicing, mincing, and more, this chef’s knife from Fibrox can be a versatile addition to any kitchen.
It includes a nonslip, ergonomic handle and razor-sharp blade, which is perfect for carving meat and slicing raw vegetables.
Plus, it boasts a long list of positive reviews and comes with a lifetime warranty against any defects in material and workmanship.
All-Clad Stainless Steel 5 Piece Measuring Cup Set
These sleek, sturdy measuring cups are made from high quality stainless steel and built to last a lifetime.
Unlike other measuring cups, all markings are permanently etched into the steel, so they won’t fade or disappear over time.
They are also dishwasher-safe and can be conveniently stacked to help save space in your kitchen cabinet.
Similarly to the Cuisipro measuring spoons above, these cups come in standard and odd sizes.
Material Kitchen reBoard
Made entirely from pulverized kitchen plastic scraps and renewable sugarcane, these colorful cutting boards are a must-have for any eco-conscious beginner cook.
They’re not only highly rated by customers online but also durable, easy to clean, and available in seven unique colors.
Best of all, 50% of profits from each purchase go to nonprofit organizations like Heart of Dinner, which helps combat food insecurity, and Drive Change, a program that promotes professional development for formerly incarcerated young people.
Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
This set from Cuisinart includes three stainless steel bowls and tight-fitting lids, which are perfect for mixing or storing ingredients in the fridge or freezer.
They’re also easy to clean, long-lasting, and dishwasher-safe, making them well worth the investment.
Plus, as Healthline Nutrition and Fitness Market editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD pointed out, the bowls have taller sides than many other options, so you don’t have to worry about your cake batter spilling or losing some of your salad ingredients to the floor.
This mixing bowl set has over 3,000 five-star reviews online.
Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice and Grain Cooker
For perfectly prepared rice and grains without fail, check out this easy-to-use rice cooker from Aroma.
In addition to rice, it can cook oatmeal, risotto, stew, and vegetables and includes a 15-hour delay timer, making it ideal for those who like to meal prep.
It also comes with a steam tray, measuring cup, and serving spatula and holds up to 8 cups (1.6 kg) of cooked rice.
Zwilling Madura Plus 10-inch Nonstick Aluminum Fry Pan
Designed for durability, the Zwilling Madura Plus is a nonstick frying pan that’s ideal for everyday cooking.
In addition to being dishwasher-safe and scratch-resistant, it features a dripless pouring rim to avoid spills and messes.
Additionally, the base of the pan has an aluminum core, which helps it heat up quickly and evenly distribute heat.
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
Whether you’re trying your hand at baking or cooking complex dishes, this food scale from OXO can help ensure that you’re able to accurately measure your ingredients.
It’s built with a digital display, which slides out to prevent shadowing from bowls or plates, and measures in 0.1-ounce or 1-gram increments for extra precision.
Additionally, it’s super compact and lightweight, making it easy to store when it’s not in use.
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack & Snap Food Processor
This budget-friendly food processor is incredibly versatile and can be used to chop, shred, purée, and slice ingredients, saving you time in the kitchen.
With its unique stack and snap design, there’s no need to struggle with twisting or locking the lid, which makes it a great choice for beginners.
It also has a large pour spout to prevent leaks and spills, along with a feed tube to streamline and simplify meal prep.
ThermoWorks Classic Super-Fast Thermapen
Whether you’re learning to make candies or grilling steak, this high tech thermometer can help ensure that you’re able to get the temperature just right.
It’s equipped with a folding probe, easy-to-read digital display, and battery life of over 1,500 hours, so it’s always ready when you need it.
Plus, it’s highly rated by customers and holds a Calibration Certificate from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce.
Lodge Cast Iron Enameled Dutch Oven
Available in five sizes and a wide range of shades, this classic Dutch oven from Lodge is perfect for adding a pop of color to your kitchen.
It can be used to broil, braise, bake, and roast foods in the oven, or to fry, simmer, and sauté dishes on the stove.
It’s also one of the best-selling models on the market, with nearly 24,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
Click and Grow Smart Garden 3
While it may not seem like an essential kitchen item, the Smart Garden 3 makes it easier than ever for beginner cooks to venture into growing their own fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
This simple indoor garden features biodegradable plant pods, an LED lighting system, and a large tank that holds enough water to last up to 3 weeks.
You can choose from over 50 plant varieties, which can give almost any dish you cook an instant upgrade.
From graters and mixing bowls to multicookers and food scales, this list contains a variety of kitchen gadgets and tools at every price point.
All of the items above are under $100, and they make great gifts for the budding chefs on your shopping list.
Use the list above as a starting point, and be sure to consider factors like the price, value, and customer reviews when shopping for gifts for beginner cooks.