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Super useful kitchen gadgets that make great gifts

Philips espresso machine
From this luxe Philips espresso machine to an Amazon reviewer-loved smart meat thermometer that doesn't break the bank, gifting the right kitchen gadget will brighten any chef's holiday. Philips via Amazon

Shopping for home chefs, cooking enthusiasts and even kitchen beginners takes a little tactical thinking. After all, most people who cook already have the basics, such as vegetable peelers, mixing bowls, measuring cups and pots and pans. However, some very handy gadgets, small appliances, and other techy devices to upgrade the home kitchen, always make the perfect gift during the holidays or other gift-giving occasions throughout the year. 

The latest Amazon Echo Show can serve as a kitchen assistant. A coffee-slash-espresso machine that brews nearly every handcrafted barista beverage makes their morning all the more enjoyable. And the latest multifunctional pressure cooker-air fryer-oven from Ninja can eliminate the need for other bulky gadgets. 

Here are 10 CBS Essentials top picks to please any cook this holiday season. 

Yummly smart meat thermometer 


This Bluetooth-enabled smart thermometer boasts presets, timers and alerts for different types of meat, taking the guesswork out of grilling and meat cooking. Cooking can also be monitored via the free Yummly App, available on iOS and Android, allowing the chef to step out of the kitchen without worry.

Yummly smart meat thermometer, $87 (reduced from $99)

Amazon Echo Show 10 


Amazon's latest digital workhorse, the Echo Show 10, majorly upgrades any kitchen. It offers the home chef a gateway to watch favorite shows and movies, make video calls to family, stream a favorite cooking show and listen to motivating music. The major upgrade from previous incarnations involves a voice-sensitive screen that rotates toward sound, so while the chef is making magic all around the kitchen, all their recipes, visual guidance and entertainment remains in perfect view. And Alexa can also take questions about unit conversions, setting timers and adding items to a grocery list. 

Amazon Echo Show 10, $250

Want a more affordable option? Check out the Echo Show 8 (2019 model), currently on sale at Amazon.

Amazon Echo Show 8, $70 (regularly $110)

Ninja Foodi pressure cooker steam fryer with SmartLid


This serious multi-tasking appliance might be on the larger side, but it replaces your pressure cooker, air fryer and, in some cases,  even an oven. In addition to performing traditional tasks, it boasts technology to steam and crisp food simultaneously, creating juicier dishes fast. It offers 14 cooking functions in total -- pressure cook, steam and crisp, steam and bake, air fry, broil, bake/roast, dehydrate, sear/saute, steam, sous vide and slow cook.

Ninja Foodi pressure cooker steam fryer with SmartLid, $330

Vitamix Professional Series 750 


A forever blender, the Vitamix Professional Series blender is a kitchen gadget on nearly every cooking guru's wish list. Dependable and durable, this U.S.-made-and-assembled gadget whips up smoothies, acai bowls, carrot-ginger soup, baby food and even nut milks, all with the touch of a button.

Vitamix Professional Series 750, $570 (regularly $595) 

Philips 3200 LatteGo espresso machine 


This luxe, do-it-all espresso machine transforms the average person into a coffee house barista. It starts by grinding coffee beans, eliminating the need for a coffee grinder. It then brews up nearly any coffee drink, from traditional drip and Americanos to frothy lattes and double shots of espresso. With Philips' LatteGo technology, it mixes milk and air at high speed in a frothing chamber, adding it directly to the drink. It also cleans itself for the most part, with only occasional maintenance and cleaning needed. While it might be a splurge, Amazon reviewers rave that it functions better than more expensive models.

Philips 3200 LatteGo espresso machine, $800 

Revolution Cooking InstaGLO toaster

Revolution Cooking/Amazon

InstaGLO takes the guesswork out of toasting. The smart toaster has 63 settings in total, including five food settings (bread, English muffin, bagel, waffle and toaster pastry), three toasting modes (fresh, frozen and reheat) and seven toasting shades. The perfectly crisp (but unscorched!) slice requires three easy taps.

Revolution Cooking InstaGLO toaster, $280 (reduced from $300)

Black and Decker Crisp 'N Bake air fry toaster oven

Black and Decker/Amazon

This highly rated toaster oven-slash-air fryer earns the counter space it takes up, offering multiple functions including bake, broil, toast, keep warm and air fry. A smaller model is available, but the extra large comes in handy for cooking up a feast with enough room for eight slices of bread, a 12-inch pizza or a 9-inch by 13-inch pan. 

Black and Decker Crisp 'N Bake air fry toaster oven, $80

Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill Plus 


What do you get for the sausage lover who has everything? A grill made specifically to cook every type of sausage imaginable. Wisconsin-based sausage giant Johnsonville designed this foolproof machine to cook links, patties and brats to perfection, no matter the season. It features removable plates for each type of sausage and works similar to a George Foreman grill, hugging the meat until it sears to perfection while sealing in juices and flavor. Armed with a temperature probe, the guesswork of grilling is eliminated. 

Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grill Plus, $95 (regularly $101)

All-Clad immersion blender


All Clad's sleek, high-performance immersion blender simplifies so many food-prep tasks. Equipped with a powerful motor, it blends, thickens, purees and emulsifies in moments, featuring varying speeds to give you precise control. 

All-Clad immersion blender, $100

Philips smart pasta maker


Philips' latest pasta machine transforms a few simple ingredients into handmade penne, fettuccine, spaghetti, lasagna/dumpling, angel hair, thick spaghetti, tagliatelle and pappardelle in less than ten minutes. Fully automated, it completes the tedious tasks with the touch of a button, from weighing the flour and calculating the right amount of liquid to mixing, kneading and forming the preferred type with the included interchangeable discs. 

Philips smart pasta maker, $350

Panasonic HomeChef 4-in-1 microwave oven


Multi-functional kitchen appliances majorly save counter space and eliminate the need for multiple machines. Panasonic Home Chef, an all-in-one large capacity, small footprint convection oven, air fryer, inverter microwave and FlashXpress broiler, will majorly upgrade any kitchen. Pop popcorn, bake brownies, roast a chicken and crisp french fries -- the possibilities are endless with this gadget. Some people even use it as their primary oven. 

Panasonic HomeChef 4-in-1 microwave oven, $530

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