8 Gifts for the Kitchen Rookie


Shopping for a foodie kid, kitchen newbie, or college student? Chef, Nisa Burns, has a few tips for you this year! She suggests you focus on the essentials, timesavers, and comfort. Because, after all, easing into the kitchen is a process. “That’s what I’ve learned from my college workshops, where I teach busy students ‘kitchenability’ — the confidence and basic skills to get them cooking for themselves (in lieu of processed fast food),’ says Burns. Drawing on her own experience, she pulled together a list of 8 of the best kitchen-starter gifts to give the people you love for the holidays. Here are her 8 Must-Have Products to help the novice cook on your list become more kitchen-able in the New Year.

  • Rice Cooker 1 of 8
    Rice Cooker
    A Rice Cooker is a must-have, all-in-one amazing kitchen appliance for every cook. And don't think it needs to be used just for rice. As featured on, you can use it to cook all kinds of dishes, including my Chicken Chili, Pasta with Garlic Sauce and Kielbasa, and Caesar Salad Pasta
  • Kitchenability 101 Cookbook 2 of 8
    Kitchenability 101 Cookbook
    Kitchen Ability 101: The College Student's Guide to Easy, Healthy, and Delicious Food focuses on recipes that are anything but complicated; I offer personal and practical advice to help new cooks increase their kitchenability anywhere—from dorm room to first apartment. It's about developing a partnership with your kitchen, knowing what you can do and how you can play in it.
  • Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 10-pc. Cookware Set 3 of 8
    Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 10-pc. Cookware Set
    The Rachael Ray Porcelain Enamel 10-pc. Cookware Set is a great beginner set of pots and pans. They have a non-stick coating and come in all the most frequently used sizes. And, who can resist their amazing bright orange hue? A dash of color in your kitchenware can brighten both your space and your outlook on cooking.
  • Rachel Ray Lazy Spoon 4 of 8
    Rachel Ray Lazy Spoon
    This handy silicone Rachael Ray Lazy Spoon is my favorite kitchen utensil. Hook it on the side of your pot instead of making a mess on your counter. Because if cleanup is made easy, you're more apt to resort to your own kitchen when hunger strikes.
  • Oxo Good Grips Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads 5 of 8
    Oxo Good Grips Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads
    One of the best things about these tongs is that they have nylon heads, which means they're safe for use with non-stick cookware. Get some tongs! They are an essential item for any cook. And, utensils with added features make it simple for new cooks to have everything they need and more (they'll graduate to the other functions when they're ready).
  • Furi Rachael Ray Gusto-Grip Basics Line 6-Inch Santoku Knife 6 of 8
    Furi Rachael Ray Gusto-Grip Basics Line 6-Inch Santoku Knife
    Cut out the confusing, overwhelming aspect of knife shopping with this knife. It's my favorite chef's knife for everyday chopping and dicing. And it's inexpensive! Chef's knives can cost a pretty penny, but this one is affordable.
  • TOMS Shoes 7 of 8
    TOMS Shoes
    Everyone needs a pair. Wear them while trekking across campus or playing in the kitchen. If your feet are still happy after a long day, you're more likely to source dinner from your own kitchen, while exhausted feet may opt for take-out. Plus, TOMS' one-for-one mission is amazing. When you buy a pair, one pair goes to a child in need.
  • Swiffer 8 of 8
    Seriously, the Swiffer is the best thing since sliced bread. I know this doesn't sound like the most fun gift to give, but I promise the recipient will be happy to have it, especially after hosting a study group or holiday party. It makes cleanup quick and easy, and it's compact size makes for handy storage in the smallest of apartments and dorm rooms.

Article Posted 4 years Ago

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