The holiday season is all about food (sure, there are gifts too, but food is definitely at the forefront). When all your friends and family are on their way over to your place, you're going to want to make sure the kitchen is fully stocked and ready to go. We're talking the must-have baking gear, casserole dishes, tools, and gadgets that will make your life infinitely easier when you're trying out new recipes or maneuvering menus. Whether you have guests staying at your home or just dropping by for appetizers and vino, set yourself up so it's a snap to pull it all together.
If crafting fancy cookies or pies is your thing, a good set of baking gear is key when the holidays come around. If you're newlyweds or cooking for a crowd is relatively unfamiliar to you, an all-in-one gadget like the Instant Pot will help make prep time so much more streamlined and 100 percent easier to take on. And don't forget about the other meals you might be participating in like neighborhood cocktail parties, cookie swaps, and family brunches. We've got you covered!
Here are the 16 must-have kitchen items you need for the best (and easiest) holiday ever.
Fancy Panz To-Go Casserole Carrier
'Tis the season for potlucks and family dinners! The not-so-fun part is spilling your casserole in the back seat on the way to grandma's house. This ingenious carrier ensures that your disposable aluminum tray won't buckle or bend in transit. Bonus: it also looks cute on the table.
SHOP NOW: Food 52, $32 - $40 for set of two
Instant Pot Duo 80
This all-in-one wonder was Amazon's top-selling product (again!) during the Black Friday sales. And there's a reason—you can do everything from slow cook meats to make a delicious chili (in half the time it would take on the stovetop).
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $90
SMEG Standing Mixer
This retro-style machine is a must-have for any home baker. With 10 speeds, a powerful motor, and a variety of mixing attachments, you'll be able to whip up a bunch of cookies on the fly for guests.
SHOP NOW: Urban Outfitters, $460
Staub Oval Cocotte
This oven-to-table classic will become your best friend when the holidays roll around. The enamel-coated cast iron conducts heat perfectly, so you'll be able to make anything from perfectly crispy roasted chicken to savory stuffings and casseroles.
SHOP NOW: Sur La Table, was $591, now $365
Copper Measuring Spoons
If you're about to embark on a baking binge, get yourself a nice set of measuring tools that will lift your spirits. This shiny set stays together on a ring (so you'll never lose one) and adds a metallic pop of color to your kitchen.
SHOP NOW: World Market, $6.99
OXO Cookie Scoop
Lay out evenly-sized balls of cookie dough with this little gadget (your new best friend if you love to bake). The result? A batch of perfect-looking cookies for your office cookie swap.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $14
Stacked Cooling Rack
Perfect for effectively cooling down sheets of cookies and biscuits without taking over the whole kitchen, this space-saving rack will up your baking game.
SHOP NOW: King Arthur Flour, $25
All Clad Mixing Bowl Set
These shiny bowls nest inside each other and feature a rounded edge for easy pouring. The handle does double duty as a hook that can loop on the side of a pot to make a double boiler (ideal for when you're melting chocolate).
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $89
Dansk Kobenstyle Large Baker
A good-sized baking dish is holiday season essential for casseroles, apple crisps, and all the other comfort foods that you and your family love. (Dig in before January detox season starts!)
SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $120
Nonstick Bakeware Set
If you're not in the holiday mood already, this heavy duty baking set will surely get you there. With 10 pieces in all, it includes everything from a loaf pan for your famous banana bread to cookie sheets and muffin tins.
SHOP NOW: Wayfair, $40 for 10 pieces
Fox Run Marble Rolling Pin
This sleek pin is made of marble, which not only looks pretty on your countertop but also stays cool when you're rolling out sticky pastry dough.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $18
Copper and Wood Kitchen Utensils
You'll be mixing, frying, spooning, and serving over the holidays, so why not do it in style? These acacia wood and copper finish utensils will make your kitchen prep that much easier (and they make a great gift for the foodie in your life).
HOP NOW: World Market, was $30, now $22
Boska Ceramic Fondue Set
There's nothing more wintery to serve for dinner than a big pot of melted cheese set over a soft flame. We're talking fondue—the 1970s trend that only gets better with age. This classic ceramic-and-wood set includes everything you need from the burner to the fondue forks (add in bread and cheese and you'll be good to go).
SHOP NOW: Food 52, $80
All-Clad Belgian Waffle Maker
Cooking breakfast for a crowd is never an easy task, but a good waffle maker will make it so much easier (and delicious). This deluxe model features seven settings so you can adjust the crispiness per person.
SHOP NOW: Williams Sonoma, $200
Cuisinart Thermal Coffeemaker
Hosting out-of-town guests means that you have to think beyond your usual grab-and-go coffee run. This 12-cup model has a thermal carafe that keeps brews hot for longer, which makes it perfect for the brunch crowd.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $99