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Dec 122012
 December 12, 2012  Posted by  At Home, Shopping
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As an avid cook who feels at home in the kitchen, I’m familiar with lots of kitchen tools and gadgets. This list of affordable kitchen gifts will make life easier for the home chef on your holiday list.  I own most of these items myself and use them often enough to know that they’re worth the space in my cupboard or pantry; I’d certainly be eager to replace them if something happened to them. These all ship free from Amazon with purchases over $25.

  • Lodge Logic L10SK3 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: $18.97
    We use our cast iron skillets constantly, and Lodge is a great American brand. These come pre-seasoned, so less food will stick from the start and they will become even more non-stick with regular use.  Cast iron pans are nearly indestructible with proper care and can last for decades.  If you’re only cooking for one or two people, the 10-inch skillet may be a better option and is less expensive.  Note: These pans are heavy, so if your recipient has strength limitations, these may not be a great option.  We usually leave ours on the stovetop so we aren’t constantly having to move it around.
  • Ateco Dipping Tool Set: $9.38
    You can use a fork to dip candy, but I find that it’s messier and wastes more chocolate. These dipping tools make candy-making less of a chore and more of something that I’m willing to do more than once a year.  I live in the land of “buckeye candy,” so if I ever want to make buckeyes, these are a must. Pair this gift with some chocolate discs or molds, and maybe you’ll be the recipient of some tasty candy soon.
  • Back to Basics 286 5-Piece Home Canning Kit: $13.49
    Many folks are going back to basics and learning to live more self-sufficiently for financial and environmental reasons. Canning is back in style again and this kit will help the recipient get started.  Include a canning cook book or some canning jars for a more complete gift.
  • World Cuisine Silicone Nonstick 16-3/8-by-11-5/8-Inch Baking Mat: $16.42
    I’ve been baking on silicone mats for years and I’ll never go back. Nothing sticks and it helps prevent cookies from burning on metal pans.  The mats are easy to clean and will last for years. These can be used in place of parchment paper or foil in your pans, so you’ll create less waste, too.
  • Norpro Mandoline Slicer Grater with Guard: $18.57
    Mandoline slicers are a great gift for people who like to cook but don’t have excellent knife skills. Slicers help create equal and uniform pieces more quickly than using a knife.  This one has excellent ratings and is collapsible to save space.
  • Presto 05100 PowerCrisp microwave bacon cooker: $15.73
    While you can cook bacon a variety of ways, this is probably the easiest and least messy. The grease will drip into the trays and the bacon will cook uniformly. The breakfast lover on your list with love this tool. This is the only item on the list that I don’t own a version of, but I can see the appeal. Currently I put my husband on bacon duty or bake it in the oven.

Slight Splurge

World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer: $31.59

 This item is over $25, but I wanted to include it because I love it so much. I received one as a gift last year and have since made many batches of curly fries, sweet potato fries, zucchini pasta and apple strings. It’s easy to use and easy to clean, and makes a great gift for the creative chef on your list.

Note: Amazon prices may fluctuate.

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Val McCauley

Val McCauley was drawn to writing about Living on the Cheap after moving to Columbus from her small hometown after college. She realized that there were a ton of events and activities going on around the city, but there wasn't a website that made it easy to find out about these things. Her love of travel and desire to get out of debt after college cemented the need to live on less while still having fun. Over the last several years, she has paid off all of her debt and still has fun. In her free time, she loves to workout, play sports, and cook gluten-free meals. Val is the owner and operator of Columbus on the Cheap and That’s What We Did.

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