Wedding season is just around the corner. If you’re like us, you’re frantically skimming registries in search of the best gift. We like to buy practical wedding gifts newlyweds will actually use. Since we believe some of the best memories for married couples are made while cooking in the kitchen, we put together a list of newlywed-kitchen essentials! Then again, these kitchen gifts are great for anyone who enjoys spending time in the kitchen. If you’re like us and you waited until the last minute, most of these are available via Amazon and can get to you in a couple of days. Here are our top picks for kitchen gifts for any budget.
Best Kitchen Gift ideas, Over $100
Espresso Machine – Breville Barista Express
We need a latte before 9 in the morning—daily. If we don’t have one by then, the worst caffeine headache sets in. The problem is that lattes cost money. Over the course of a month, we were spending hundreds of dollars. Just do the basic math of 2 lattes from an independent coffee shop a day: $5 per latte, $10 per day, 30 days, $300. We wanted to stop spending so much, but we didn’t want to sacrifice the quality of our coffee.
- It grinds fresh coffee beans. Latte snobs like us know that pre-ground beans sacrifice the quality and yummy goodness of the coffee bean. Contamination, oxygen, and moisture, just to name a few, take over once beans are ground. Waiting to grind the beans until right before extraction preserves all of the taste and aroma in the beans.
- It has a grinder, espresso extraction, and steam wand, all in one unit. In many other units we reviewed, we had to purchase the grinder separately from the unit with the espresso extraction and steam wand. There’s nothing wrong with them being separate; we just didn’t want to take up extra real estate on our limited counter space.
- We can adjust the settings to make it basically a foolproof, espresso-for-dummies machine, or we can put it manual settings to improve our espresso-making prowess. Making a perfect latte is definitely a skill that must be learned, but the foolproof option ensures we always have a delicious cup.
We love our Breville Latte Machine for the reasons above but have also been amazed with its quality. We’ve had it almost 7 years and use it practically every day (usually for multiple lattes). Aside from running vinegar through it for a quick cleaning every 6 months or so, we haven’t had to do any other maintenance or run into any issues with it. I wish someone would have bought this for our wedding as it would have been the best wedding gift ever! If you have a coffee-loving friend in need of a gift—and you’re looking to splurge a little—this may be the best gift you can buy.
Automatic Tea Maker – Breville One-Touch Tea Maker
We always wanted to be fancy, loose-leaf tea drinkers, but it seemed to require too much work. Depending on the type of tea, we had to heat the water to a certain temperature and steep the tea for different amounts of time. Way too much thought and work for us. We saw the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker while walking through a Teavana one day, and it appeared to be the answer to our tea-making woes.
The Breville Tea Maker has a tea basket at the top of the jug that automatically lowers when the water reaches the perfect temperature for your type of tea and then lifts after steeping for the right amount of time. We can also set it to automatically make tea at a specific time of the day. It also has a ‘keep warm’ feature where it does just that—keep the tea warm for 60 minutes after it steeps. If the newlywed couple you’re shopping for loves tea, the Breville One-Touch Tea Maker is the perfect gift!
High-Quality, Affordable Kitchen Knife Set – Global 7-Piece Ikasu Knife Block Set
After getting married, we moved into our first home with the knife set we had from college. It was a 14-piece knife set that we bought for about $25. The perfect set for college students who never actually cook and only used knives to open pre-packaged food. When we actually started to cook real food, we realized our knives struggled to even cut apples. We were absolutely floored with how much knives cost and the wide range of prices.
After much research, we bought the Global 7-Piece Ikasu Knife Block Set. It has seven knives that cover the basics of any cutting, slicing, or peeling we need to do in the kitchen, including a paring knife, prep knife, chef’s knife, and bread knife. The bamboo knife block is modern and looks nice in our kitchen, and the knives hang directly down, which avoids unnecessary dulling of the knives by resting the blades on the block. This is the perfect knife set for transitioning a newlywed couple into adult cooking and is a kitchen essential everyone should own.
Best Kitchen Gift Ideas, Under $100
Meal Subscription – Blue Apron
You already know we love the Blue Apron meal delivery service (read more about our Blue Apron experience and our Blue Apron v. Hello Fresh comparison). Getting a newlywed couple a subscription to Blue Apron will start them off with making great memories in the kitchen. After a long day at work, it’ll be a gift that encourages them to be together and present with each other—and they’ll be thinking of you while they make great memories! If you give this gift, consider adding a few of the items below as perfect supplements to make their cooking experience that much easier!
Leakproof Storage Containers – OXO Good Grips Smart Seal Leakproof Plastic Food Storage Container Set
Storage containers are often an after thought when it comes to the kitchen. Growing up, our parents used various Cool Whip or take-out containers as substitutes for real storage containers. After several spills and leaks in the kitchen and a fridge full of mis-matched, ugly containers, we decided that these weren’t a long-term solution for us. We purchased this OXO set because we’ve always been impressed with the quality of the OXO brand and the range of sizes in the set. It hasn’t disappointed us. Oddly enough, of all the things in our kitchen, these containers are one of the most complimented, and we absolutely love having nice storage containers. We’ve had ours for many years and they still look great and keep the air out of our leftovers better than anything else we’ve tried. These containers are an unexpected essential for every kitchen.
Flexible Cutting Boards – Olivivi Colored Mats
We love these cutting boards for a number of reasons. (1) They are flexible. After cutting up vegetables, we can easily funnel them into a pot of water or pan. (2) They are slim, making it easy to stack all of them in a thin drawer. They also have a handle we can use to hang all of them. (3) They are different colors and have different food-item icons, like meat and vegetables, so we can keep track of what we’ve cut on each board. It makes it so easy to remember which board has had raw meat on it and shouldn’t have anything else on it! These are a great, affordable addition to the kitchen.
Best Prep Bowls – Luminarc 10-Piece Set Stackable Bowl Set
After cooking hundreds of Blue Apron recipes and cramming each chopped vegetable into its respective corner of the cutting board (only to have them mix as the cutting board gets too full), we wish we had bought these bowls sooner. These bowls make it so easy to stay organized by separating each vegetable as we prepare them. They are also handy bowls for dips and other snacks we may want to set out for a party.
Space-Saving Strainers – 3-Piece Collapsible Kitchen Colander/Strainer Set
Blue Apron recipes often have us strain or drain multiple ingredients per recipe. This colander/strainer set is perfect because it comes with multiple strainers that are different sizes. Since the strainer is collapsible, we can easily store these in a drawer or other tight space. The perfect gift for couples with a small kitchen. The price is also very reasonable for the quality!