Kitchen Gift Ideas for $50 & Under

Top-scoring toasters, coffee makers, personal blenders, waffle irons, and more from CR's tests

Several wooden kitchen cooking tools
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Is there a home chef in your life that might appreciate new tools this holiday season? There’s no need to splash out on pricey processors or budget-busting blenders. Consumer Reports has some great gift ideas, including a top-scoring toaster, coffee maker, personal blender, and waffle iron that will raise any cook’s game in the kitchen—for less than $50 a pop.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

Toaster
Bella Pro Series 90062
Bella Pro Series 90062

    Bella Pro Series 90062

    CR's take: Gluten-free bread, which is denser than regular bread, doesn't toast quite the same. Bella picked up on this and added a gluten-free setting to the two-slice Bella Pro Series 90062. It works as promised, turning out nicely browned gluten-free toast. As for regular bread, the Bella earns an Excellent rating in our time tests, putting it among the fastest two-slice models in our ratings. Overall, it combines top performance and a reasonable price, making it a CR Best Buy.

    For more options: Best Toasters From Consumer Reports' Tests

    Toaster Oven
    Black+Decker 4-Slice TO1755SB
    Black+Decker 4-Slice TO1755SB

      Black+Decker 4-Slice TO1755SB

      CR's take: This Black+Decker toaster oven is rated Excellent at making toast. And it's adept at reheating lasagna and baking muffins and cookies, all for hundreds less than many of the other toaster ovens recommended in our ratings.

      For more options: Best Toaster Ovens From Consumer Reports' Tests

      Cast Iron Pan
      Lodge Cast Iron Pre-seasoned
      Lodge Cast Iron Pre-seasoned

        Lodge Cast Iron Pre-seasoned

        CR’s take: Lodge has been making cast-iron frying pans in its Tennessee foundry since 1896. This 12-inch Lodge is top-notch at browning scallops and earns an Excellent rating for searing a steak. Baking is only so-so, though. Heating evenness is also mediocre. It weighs 7.8 pounds, which is about average in this category.

        For more options: Best Cast Iron Frying Pans From Consumer Reports' Tests

        Nonstick Frying Pan
        Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick
        Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick

          Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick

          CR's take: A 10-inch nonstick pan, this Calphalon Contemporary pan is made of anodized aluminum—the aluminum has been through a process that hardens its surface and prevents aluminum from leaching into acidic foods. Food cooks evenly, earning it a Very Good rating in that test. When the pan is new, you'll have to nudge food out of the pan a little, and, like all frying pans, more so as the coating starts to wear.  

          For more options: Best Frying Pans for $40 or Less

          Drip Coffee Maker
          Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable 49465R
          Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable...

            Hamilton Beach 12-cup Programmable...

            CR's take: An extraordinary value, this inexpensive drip coffee maker beat dozens of pricier models in CR’s battery of tests. Brew performance is Excellent, and it can be programmed to have piping fresh coffee waiting in the morning.

            For more options: Best Drip Coffee Makers From Consumer Reports' Tests

            Food Chopper
            Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2A
            Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2A

              Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus DLC-2A

              CR's take: A top chopper in tests, Cuisinart’s 3-cup model combines great value with solid performance. It's particularly adept at chopping (we test with almonds and onions) and grating (hard Parmesan cheese), earning it Very Good ratings in both tests.

              For more options, check our food processors and choppers buying guide.

              Immersion Blender
              Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75
              Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75

                Cuisinart Smart Stick CSB-75

                CR's take: Excellent at puréeing vegetables for soup, this gadget—the perfect size to fit in a drawer—is also great at blending yogurt. The Smart Stick also comes with a three-year warranty, better than most we tested.

                For more options, check our buying guides and ratings for blenders.

                Waffle Maker
                Chefman Anti-Overflow Belgian Waffle Maker
                Chefman Anti-Overflow Belgian...

                  Chefman Anti-Overflow Belgian...

                  CR’s take: The Chefman was the only waffle maker we tested to snag a CR Best Buy designation. For far less money than most of the competition, this machine churns out evenly browned round waffles. It garners a Very Good rating for its color-range settings, meaning there’s a remarkable difference between waffles made on the darkest setting (brown and crispy) and lightest setting (light and fluffy). Pros include an indicator to let you know when the waffles are ready, the option to store it vertically to save space, and a batter cup for precise portioning. Con: The handle and latch get uncomfortably warm during cooking, so you may want to use an oven mitt when opening and closing the lid.

                  For more options: Best Waffle Makers From Consumer Reports' Tests

                  Hand Mixer
                  Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50
                  Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50

                    Cuisinart Power Advantage HM-50

                    CR's take: Cuisinart’s well-priced 5-speed hand mixer has no trouble powering through stiff cookie dough in our tests, and it's very quick at whipping heavy cream. We also like the mixer’s wire beaters, which are easier to clean than the traditional center-post variety. But this mixer is louder than other models in CR's tests. Still, hand mixers are used in such short bursts that the noise may not bother you.

                    For more options, check our mixer buying guide and ratings.

                    Personal Blender
                    Black+Decker PowerCrush PB2000G
                    Black+Decker PowerCrush PB2000G

                      Black+Decker PowerCrush PB2000G

                      CR's take: The sleek PowerCrush PB2000G can crank out smoothies every morning, no problem: It earns an Excellent rating in our tests for making icy drinks. Family members and roommates will appreciate it, too, because this blender earns a Very Good rating in our noise test, meaning it’s relatively quiet. (All the other blenders we tested rate only a Good or Fair.) Black+Decker’s personal blenders earn a Very Good rating for predicted reliability, based on data from CR’s member survey.

                      For more options: Best Personal Blenders for Smoothies To-Go 

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