Even if you're not cooking a big meal every day, kitchen gifts like small appliances are always great to give and receive. Just in time for the holidays, Consumer Reports reveals five top kitchen classics, each for under $50.
What to get your favorite caffeine lover? The Bella coffee maker is a Consumer Reports Best Buy based on its performance, scoring better than coffee makers costing twice as much, and it's just $40. It has a comfortable, balanced carafe, and its clear, convenient controls were rated Excellent.
If you'd like to be invited for morning waffles, gift another CR Best Buy, the Chefman Anti-Overflow Belgian Waffle Maker. It features a groove to catch batter overflow, so no messy counters. Testers gave it top marks for browning, and it performed well at all of its settings.
The top-rated Brita water pitcher filters as it pours, so no more waiting for the water to pass through. It earned a score of Very Good from CR testers for reducing flavor and odor in water. Write "Drink Me" on a card and you're done!
Got a baker on your list? Cuisinart's Power Advantage hand mixer whipped the competition when mixing cookie dough. It has five speeds, and the beaters easily pop in and out for cleaning.
And if you want to be remembered for generations to come, give your cook the gift of cast iron! The 12-inch seasoned skillet from Lodge does an excellent job of searing and browning foods. Testers gave it a Good rating for baking cornbread as well.
For more unbiased advice on what to get your friends and family, go to our website for a link to CR's Gift Hub. CR buys and tests tons of tech and appliances, even down to the best batteries to run those toys.