22 Essential Gifts for Their First Grown-Up Kitchen

New home, who's this?
By Mary Claire Lagroue
Updated December 01, 2020
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Moving into a grown-up home for the first time means bringing along home goods fit for the milestone (like stainless steel flatware instead of random plastic) and ditching belongings that, well, belong in a dorm.

But "adulting" means more than replacing red solo cups with actual wine glasses. The time has come to invest in staples like cookware, linens, and a food processor. Help your favorite young adults assimilate into the world of renter's insurance and HOA fees with gifts they could use right about now.

Great Kitchen Gifts for First Homes in 2020

Credit: Pottery Barn

Glazed stone-white dinnerware strikes a balance between classic design and on-trend minimalism. This 12-piece set includes four of all the first kitchen basics: dinner plates, salad plates, and cereal bowls.

Buy It: Finn Stoneware 12-Piece Dinnerware Set, $79; Pottery Barn

Credit: Crate & Barrel

This three-piece stoneware bakeware set has a sleek, Scandinavian-like feel. Complete with bamboo lids, these dishes are also practical for meal-prep sessions, keeping just-baked cinnamon rolls warm, and transporting baked pasta to parties. 

Buy It: Baking Dishes with Bamboo Lids, Set of 3, $50; Crate & Barrel

Credit: Made In

A professional chef helped design these top-notch, editor-praised sheet pans, but you wouldn't know it from their price. Made In sells directly to consumers, eliminating the extra cost of going through a retailer.

Buy It: Made In Sheet Pan, $19-25; Made In

Credit: World Market

Machine-washable table linens are a must. Classic, French-inspired stripes make these cotton napkins fit for dinner parties. 

Buy It: Black Villa Stripe Napkins, Set Of 4, $8; Cost Plus World Market

Credit: Anthropologie

Mason Cash's six-piece set of wooden kitchen utensils features a baker's spoon, slotted spoon, slotted turner, balloon whisk, pastry brush, and spatula. What's more, it comes with silicone attachments for a jar scraper and reamer to make it extra useful.   

Buy It: Mason Cash Kitchen Utensils, Set of 6, $58; Anthropologie

Credit: Cost Plus World Market

Another multitasker from Mason Cash, this glazed stoneware spoon rest includes measurement conversions to save cooks the trouble of googling the answer, again.

Buy It: Mason Cash Innovative Kitchen Spoon Rest, $10; Cost Plus World Market

Credit: Uncommon Goods

Your gift recipient can proudly rep their home state with these colorful dish towels, each illustrated with landmarks, local traditions, hometown heroes, and more. 

Buy It: State Dish Towel, $20; Uncommon Goods

Credit: Anolon

Made from hard-anodized aluminum and a PFOA-free coating, the Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick Skillet will come in clutch for everything from pan-fried fish to pancakes. In fact, our product tester named it the "Best Overall" nonstick skillet. 

Buy It: Anolon Advanced Home Hard-Anodized Nonstick Skillet 10.25-inch, $120; Macy's

Credit: Cost Plus World Market

Orange, yellow, and black stripes outline the waffled texture of these absorbent cotton dishcloths. Who would reach for paper towels over this eco-conscious alternative?

Buy It: Waffle Weave Dishcloths, 3 Count, $10; Cost Plus World Market 

Credit: Mercer Culinary

One good chef's knife — like this affordable, durable 8-inch knife from Mercer Culinary — can replace an entire block for the home cook.

Buy It: Mercer Culinary Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef's Knife, $48; Amazon

Credit: John Boos

This gorgeous maple cutting board from John Boos won our product tester's vote for "Best Wooden Cutting Board" thanks to its sturdiness, stature, and juice groove. It reverses to a flat surface, meaning it can even double as a cheese board or serving platter.

Buy It: John Boos Reversible Maple Wood Cutting Board with Juice Groove, $78; Amazon

Credit: Great Jones

A practical heirloom? Yes, please. Our product tester dubbed this enameled cast-iron beauty the "Best Oval Dutch Oven" for its quality, price, and design. (It comes in seven stylish matte colors.) At six quarts, it can cook anything from an entire chicken to a batch of cinnamon rolls.

Buy It: The Dutchess, $155; Great Jones

Credit: West Elm

A set of four reusable bags from Stasher will come in handy time and again. Made from non-toxic, food-safe silicone, these bags can go in the freezer, microwave, and dishwasher.

Buy It: Stasher Reusable Sandwich Bags, Set of 4, $48; West Elm

Credit: Union Wine Co.

Citrusy and tropical, this sparkling white wine would make a festive housewarming gift. 

Buy it: Underwood The Bubbles, Pack of 4, $28; unionwineco.com

Credit: Target

These striped cotton pot holders, available in blue and khaki, are easy on the eyes and the hands.

Buy It: Two-Pack Striped Pot Holder Set, $5; Target

Credit: Anthropologie

We consider this top-rated design the best coffee mug to gift. Each of these 26 sturdy stoneware mugs features a letter in a traditional typeface — a safe bet no matter your gift recipient's taste. Look closer, and you'll notice how intricate (and special) each design is.

Buy It: Monogram Mug, $10; Anthropologie

Credit: West Elm

These cotton placemats are anything but basic with their fringed edges and modern, muted hues.

Buy It: Frayed Edged Placemats (Set of 2), $20; West Elm

Credit: West Elm

What could be a cheerier table centerpiece than one of these bowls filled with fruit? Or, gift someone a mismatched set for tossing salads, mixing batters, serving chips, and even feeding pets.

Buy It: Hand-Painted Pattern Pop Bowls - Large, $17; West Elm

Credit: Crate & Barrel

Use these simple, stackable glasses for wine, ice cream, condiments, water, whatever. Translation: Perfect for small kitchens. 

Buy It: Bodega 7 oz. Glasses, 7.5 oz (Set of 12), $20; Crate & Barrel

Credit: Hamilton Beach

Chopping veggies, shredding cheese, and pureeing sauces becomes much, much easier with this 8-cup food processor.

Buy It: Hamilton Beach Food Processor, Slicer and Vegetable Chopper with Compact Storage, $40; Amazon

Credit: Hamilton Beach

This Hamilton Beach slow cooker holds six quarts, which translates to a six-pound chicken, a whopping 24 cups of soup, and a lot of leftovers. Affordable and reliable, it came in second in our list of The 6 Best Slow Cookers to Buy in 2020

Buy It: Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, $50; Amazon

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