Stuff the Turkey, Then the Stockings

If you know a cook, there's no trouble finding a perfect gift

Looking for stocking stuffers for that cooking enthusiast?

We asked Peter McNamara, a Boston-area culinary expert - who has tested the best and the worst of products - to lead a kitchen gadget treasure hunt. After scouring a half dozen stores, we came up with a list of simple, but helpful tools.

Store managers and owners offered some of their bestsellers as well as their personal favorites. While we tried to gravitate toward the less-expensive gadgets, we couldn't resist a few splurges.

Here's a wish-list, in no particular order. Almost all of these items can be found in any good cooking or kitchen-supply store.

ACEA garlic "madeline." $8.95. A must-have: Mince or slice garlic without using knife and fingers. (One customer approached us and said, "it's the best thing I ever bought for my kitchen.")

Stainless tea infuser. $4.95. Crate & Barrel. Grabs loose tea right from the can; it looks like a mini open-fire popcorn popper.

Cedar Fresh Jarpop - "World's easiest jar opener." $2.99. Kitchen Arts. Buy two, one to hold the bottom of the jar on the counter, the other for opening.

Hand-held wooden citrus squeezer. $8.50. Williams-Sonoma. Easy, hassle-free.

Wooden tongs. $5.They're not just for toast, you can use them to turn steak, bacon, and other things. Magnet on back lets you keep them handy.

AMCO measuring spoons. $9. Stainless steel. Is a tablespoon really a tablespoon? Tests indicate that many measuring spoons are not consistent. These are laboratory accurate.

Oxo's "Good Grips" can opener ($10) and vegetable peeler ($6). Not only do their thick rubber handles make for easy gripping, but the products' overall performance is a cut above. Dishwasher safe.

"The Original Pop-Up Sponges." $9.50 for package of 12. Williams-Sonoma. Super absorbent, can withstand bleach, and you can throw them in the washer or dishwasher.

Acu-rite Instant chef's thermometer. $7.95. Crate & Barrel. An absolute must.

Bodum round kitchen timer. $9.95. Crate & Barrel. White, black, bright orange or green. Especially if you need reminding.

lan Garlic peeler. $7.95. Roll off the odious skin in a second. Who knew this cylindrical tube could be that useful?

Fox Run ceramic pie weights. $4.99. Lechters. For conventional use or microwave. They heat evenly, and, they're washable/reusable.

Sieger nutcracker. $19.95. Kitchen Arts. Its conical shape allows for the ultimate control - the shell cracks; leaves nut meats intact.

Rapid Ice. $7. Brookstone and other stores. This space-age-looking sleeve chills bottles and soda cans in five minutes. Comes in small and large sizes.

Bonjour Caf Froth or Bodum Latto. $19.95. Kitchen Arts. Non-electric plunger makes milk frothy in minutes.

Pickle fork or pickle grabber. $1.95. Keep your fingers dry.

"Nonion." $7.25. Metallic alloy "washes" odors from your hands without soap.

Kayser Houseware's Cutaway flexible cutting mat. $3.95. Like a placemat you can cut on. Group the crumbs or scarps, slide them into garbage.

Citrus zester. $5, Crate & Barrel. Makes a tedious job a snap.

Bird-shaped lemon slice squeezer. $6. Williams-Sonoma.

Stainless steel, hand-held scraper-chopper. $6.50. Crate & Barrel. Great for working pastry and cleaning up afterwards.

Splurges that can still fit in a stocking:

Cuisinart Mini-Prep. $32.50. Williams-Sonoma. Perfect processor for parsley, pesto, homemade salad dressings, or homemade mayonnaise.

Wusthoff kitchen scissors. $41.50. Stoddards. Stainless, hot-dropped forged. Super durable, great strength (can cut through chicken bones).

Unicorn Minimill. Pocket pepper mill. $17.50. For when you can't do without your special pepper. Or Unicorn (one-handed) Peppergun. $23.50.

Chef's Choice 110 "diamond hone sharpener" knife sharpener. $86.95. So many chefs wore out the motors on the first model, the company has come out with a stronger version. Top of the line. (P.S. about the worst thing you can do with a valuable knife is run it through a dishwasher.)

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.




Save for later


Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items


Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items