I’ve shared my top kitchen items a few times, and around this time of year I start thinking about sharing more of this kind of information. Why? Because right around now, I’m cooking so often and using so many of my favorite kitchen items! Also, I find that these are the kinds of helpful holiday gift idea lists I’m looking for myself. My kitchen is pretty much packed to capacity, yet I still yearn for new things and am always browsing kitchen listicles. What do I want this year? This glorious loaf pan from Nordic Ware and the new Great Jones sheet pan looks amazing. What am I currently using in my own kitchen that I’d recommend to anyone? Read on for that!
My husband and I have been married for 17 years now and I still remember the fun of going to the store with that little price scanner thing to pick out all the items to make our new home complete. Back then, we had limited options – we chose Bed Bath and Beyond and Pier One. This was before Target and Walmart had stepped up their game to become a force in home décor, and before Amazon was known for much more than books. We went to the store and swiped for the items we thought we needed. And 17-almost-18 years on some of those items have worn well and others, we shouldn’t have asked for at all.
This post began because I thought it would be helpful to round up a list of those tried, true and tested items that we have truly found useful to us as a couple that cooks often. I’m not talking about fancy crystal or fine china, I mean the stuff you will use all the time. This may be useful to you if you’re shopping for your dream kitchen items for Thanksgiving or Christmas, shopping for a friend’s wedding, registering for your own, or just setting up your kitchen with items that will last and last.
11 Gifts That Should Last (At Least) A Decade
Kitchen Aid stand mixer – We have had ours for 17 years. My mother-in-law has had hers for 35 years. They’re both still working! Your Kitchen-Aid mixer is truly the kitchen workhorse, a beautiful piece of equipment that can set the color scheme for the rest of your appliances. Plus you can make just about anything with it.
Lodge cast iron cookware I’ve raved over mine in several posts here before. I still love and use my Lodge cast iron daily and as someone who’s been diagnosed as anemic in the past it’s an intentional act to get more iron in my life in all of the ways, PLUS these pots are amazing. I use either my 10” or 12” skillet almost every day. Also, there’s this preconceived notion that cast iron pots are hard to clean and that just isn’t true – you just have to make sure to dry them properly to prevent rust. And yes, you can wash your cast iron with soap – click here to see for yourself!
Breadmaker Breadman Ultimate – I debated including my Breadman, because truth be told – it’s not making as aesthetically pleasing a loaf as it used to. But to be fair, our Breadman is officially 17 years old and it’s been pretty consistent in turning out great loaves and incredible pizza dough for 17 years. Even though my loaves aren’t as pretty anymore, they’re still good and totally edible. I read excellent reviews of newer models, so know if you’re getting one of these it’s gonna last you a while!
Fiestaware — There’s china that sits in your cabinet and looks pretty, and then there’s Fiesta – everyday china that’s fun, colorful, durable and made for everyday use and mixing and matching. I am an unabashed Fiesta fan and collector. Every piece I have has been of the same consistent great quality, whether it’s a vintage bowl I scored on eBay or a beautiful pitcher sent straight to me from the factory. Can’t recommend enough.
A classic Crock Pot or Instant Pot – I got my first Crock Pot for our wedding 17 years ago and it’s still going strong. I love a good slow cooker that’s simple and basic in instruction. Add your ingredients, set the time and live your life! I got my Instant Pot maybe 2 years ago and it’s a game changer for speeding up your cooking time. You can make things like collards, beef stew and pasta sauce SO much faster than ever before with this thing!
Tea kettle – mine is by All-Clad and I use it daily. It’s lasted forever and is definitely a good, solid investment if you’re a tea fiend like I am.
Foodsaver – I am all the way here for a kitchen appliance that helps to save money and the Foodsaver is DEFINITELY that. It makes fresh produce, meat, leftovers – anything you use it on, really – last so much longer and stay so much fresher. Just today I used it to reseal a bag of salad and then later, a bag of potato chips. Because life is about balance.
Pyrex storage — Sometimes the best, most long lasting gift is the most obvious. If you have a kitchen, you probably already own a Pyrex brand product (or a Pyrex wannabe). But the glass storage sets are an undeniable essential and they’re always coming out with new sets and fun colors and patterns, so a regular degular gift like this can also have personality.
Cuisinart food processor — Another item we got for our wedding that has lasted 17 years. A food processor is such an essential piece of cooking equipment, you can do so much with it! Use it to chop things up, to make dough, to pulverize or puree anything you need!
Kuhn Rikon 4th burner pot — This is the latest tool in my kitchen and I’m already obsessed. I usually find myself cooking on two or three burners, but this tall, slender pot is perfect for the 4th burner so you can make things like rice, asparagus, pasta or green beans while you cook all the other stuff. Plus the lid locks on it so you can strain items really easily.
Braun immersion blender – Currently, I am the proud owner of two Braun immersion blenders. One is over 15 years old and still works great but it’s just super basic and older. The other is the brand spanking new Braun Multiquick 9 hand blender which is so quiet it’s won awards, and it comes with a bunch of attachments making it a true multiuse machine –a beaker, a whisk, a 1.5 cup chopper, a masher, a jug blender/ice crusher and a food processor. If you have a small kitchen, get this and skip the bigger appliances!
Those are my top kitchen gift ideas for those looking to expand their cooking abilities with products meant to last! Hope this is helpful to you or someone else.
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