These kitchen gadgets make cooking easier—and make great gifts for family and friends. Here are my favorites this year…
$20 OR LESS
Anolon Holiday Cookie Pan. Make gingerbread men, snowflakes and holiday trees with this 12-cup cookie pan. Just drop the dough into the cups, bake and pop out. $19.99. 866-748-5511, www.Anolon.DedicatedCookware.com.
Rockin’ Good Seesaw Herb Chopper safely and easily lets you chop herbs with one hand. It has a seven-inch stainless steel blade and comes with a blade safety guard. $10. www.Amazon.com and other kitchen stores.
AMCO Easy Release Grease Separator. This mess-free way to strain fat from broth is different from other fat separators in that the perforated lid strains food particles as you pour in the broth. And the lever on the handle directs the flow of grease-free broth through a bottom opening into a bowl or pan. $17.99. 877-310-9102, www.AmcoHouseworks.com.
E-Z Squeeze Stand Alone Baster. No more messy drips. This baster stands on its silicone bulb and has a cleaning brush that stores inside the measuring tube. $10. www.Amazon.com and other kitchen stores.
Microplane Elite Series Graters. Grate or shred food with new paddle-shaped handheld graters. They have transparent covers that double as a receptacle that holds one cup. The fine grater zests citrus fruits, nutmeg and hard cheese. Shred chocolate and coconut with the ribbon grater—and the star grater is great for feathery gratings of Parmesan cheese. Each grater is $16.95. 877-812-6235, www.Williams-Sonoma.com.
MORE THAN $20
Rose Double Boiler. Baking diva Rose Levy Beranbaum sells a double boiler that is perfect for melting chocolate or butter…defrosting food… warming milk…and making cream sauces. Its 1.75-quart double-walled pot has an internal water chamber that eliminates the need for two pots. $59.95. 800-624-1526, www.Rose.NewMetroDesign.com.
Circulon Frittata Pan. Solve the problem of flipping over a frittata, quesadilla or any other food that needs to be cooked both on the bottom and top. Two nonstick skillets feature interlocking side handles. Cook the frittata in one pan, attach the second pan and turn it over. Each pan can be used on its own. Nine-inch pan, $59.99. 800-326-3933, www.Circulon.com.
Wüsthof Double-Serrated Bread Knife. An additional serration inside the bread knife’s traditional serrations allows for crush-free slicing. $109.95. www.CutleryAndMore.com/wusthof and other kitchen stores.
Chef’s Choice Pronto Pro. Quickly sharpen straight-edge kitchen knives, Santoku knives, sports knives and serrated knives with this manual sharpener, which has three grooves. $39.95. www.Amazon.com and other kitchen stores.