The Perfect Gift Solution: Kitchen Gifts Recommended by Our Board Scientists

Still looking for holiday presents?  Think about giving a gift to your favorite friends or relatives' kitchens. Those gifts would be seen and used often. Four of our Advisory Board scientists have told us about some nifty, novel kitchen ideas.  If none of these work as gifts from you, check this site's holiday lists from past years. If those don't work either, heck, there are always  gift certificates for food or cooking utensils.  Everybody eats and drinks, and almost everybody does some cooking or at least reheating of what others have cooked.  Kitchens are gift-worthy!


Suggestions from Dr. Catherine Cuttter:

1.       Wine preservation opener by Coravin. This gadget allows you to serve wine one glass at a time without uncorking the wine bottle.

[Note: The above item was also recommended by Dr. Joe Regenstein as well as by my husband, a devoted gadget-lover.] 

Since we don’t drink a lot of wine, this approach will allow us to keep it longer. I don’t have to waste wine and/or dump it out!

2.       Air fryers cook food by circulating hot air at high speed, producing a crispy layer around the food.

This gadget appears to do away with leftover oil, thereby preventing off flavors and rancidity when oil sits around too long. (I heard I am getting one for Christmas!)

3.       The chopper ( is my go-to gadget in the kitchen. Easy to clean and strong enough to cut through celery, nuts, etc.

4.       The hyperchiller, a rapid drink chiller. Go to:  (I like the idea of cooling things quickly, and this one appears to get it done.)

5.       Another intriguing idea is the food cycler. Go to:  We have a compost pile in our backyard.  This gizmo would work for getting our scraps smaller and making fewer trips to the pile. The only downside is finding enough space on my countertop for it!


Suggestions from Dr. Timothy Bowser:


1.      If you like pasta and might enjoy making some at home, the Marcato Atlas pasta machine is a great bargain. It is a rugged, durable machine that works perfectly and will last for ages. It comes with some options (width, color, and drive motor) with a starting price of about $85. See


2.      Digital thermometers are a must for cooking meat and many other dishes. These continue to get better and the following example has many excellent features like a folding probe, engraved temperature chart for meats, calibration feature, quick-response tip, and more for about $15. See  it  at


3.      Grillaholics makes a unique burger press to help you make the perfect stuffed burger for grilling. The price is about $15. See it at


4.      Grating is a difficult chore, so why not make it easier by using the Raniaco stainless steel grater? It has an ergonomic rubber handle and it is designed to be a snap to clean. It sells for about $10. See it at


Suggestions from Dr. Karin Allen:

One of my favorite and most versatile tools (next to my chef knives) is a good quality whisk.  These can be used in many ways, for example whipping eggs or stirring thickeners into soup or gravy.  I have also begun recommending them in place of traditional sifters in light of the recent flour recall due to E. coli contamination.  Whisks are easy to use to combine dry ingredients (e.g. for cakes, cookies) and work well to separate clumps in flour, cocoa, and powdered sugar.  Plus, they are easier to thoroughly clean than sifters and can be washed in the dishwasher, reducing the chances of build-up or residue that can harbor bacteria. Whisks made entirely of stainless steel with solid (not wire) handles are easiest to keep clean.  If you are using a whisk in a coated pan (non-stick or enamelware), look for one that is coated with heat-resistant silicone.  I prefer “piano whisks” to “French whips” because the wires of piano whisks are thinner and more flexible.  These work very well for dry ingredients and soups, but French whips are better for thicker foods.





Karin E. Allen, Ph.D., Utah State University, Dept. of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Timothy J. Bowser, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, Dept. of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering


Catherine Nettles Cutter, Ph.D. , Pennsylvania State University, Department of Food Science


Joe Regenstein, Ph.D., Cornell University, Dept. of Food Science 


You must be logged in to post a comment or question.

Sign In or Register for free.