Stock Their First Kitchen With These Graduation Gifts

Encourage young adults to cook for themselves with the right tools. Help stock their first kitchen with graduation gifts they'll use every day.

Graduation is right around the corner for high school and college students. It’s an exciting time for both parents and their young adult children.

One big challenge of being on your own is feeding yourself. Take-out gets expensive, and frozen or packaged meals contain lots of sodium and other preservatives. Instead, encourage grads to cook for themselves with the right tools. Help stock their first kitchen with graduation gifts they’ll use every day.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: Small Appliances

They’ll make it to that eight o’clock class with a few extra dollars in their pocket thanks to this Capresso coffee maker. It makes ten cups at a time, and the thermal carafe keeps the coffee warm without scalding it. It’s even programmable, though we encourage college students to use all their brain power for passing their courses.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: Breville Mini Smart Oven

Instead of a microwave, consider a toaster oven for their dorm suite or first apartment. The Breville Mini Smart Oven (above) not only toasts, bakes, and roasts, it even has settings for pizza and cookies. This toaster oven was made for a college student!

Finally, even the most disinterested young adult cook can use a slow cooker. The Breville Slow Cooker With EasySear is a great way to help them avoid resorting to take-out. Pair it with a collection of your favorite slow cooker recipes for beginners.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: Cookware and Bakeware

Two pieces of cookware no kitchen should be without: a good-sized skillet, and a good-sized saucepan. We recommend this 10-inch stainless steel skillet and this 3.5-quart covered stainless steel saucepan, both from OXO Good Grips.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: Nordic Ware Compact Bakeware Set

To go along with the Breville Mini Smart Oven, consider the Nordic Ware 5-Piece Compact Ovenware Set (above). It includes a muffin pan, casserole pan, and baking sheet.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: RSVP International 5-Quart Colander

A smart buy that will come in handy more often than you’d think is a colander. Consider how much pasta new grads will probably eat. They might still have this 5-quart colander from RSVP International (above) when they celebrate their own kids’ high school graduations. Use it to drain pasta, rinse rice, and wash fruit and vegetables.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: Essential Tools

Every cooking utensil a new cook will need is in this 10-Piece Kitchen Tool Set from OXO Good Grips (below). Just like the OXO cookware we recommended above, these tools will hold up to wear and tear. The set includes a pizza cutter and an ice cream scoop, along with a handheld can opener and locking tongs. We know some well-established home kitchens where this set would be welcome too.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: OXO Good Grips 10-Piece Kitchen Tool Set

We know graduates can handle fractions, but we still think this set of RSVP International measuring cups with 3/4-cup, 2/3-cup, and 1/8-cup sizes would be helpful. Likewise, we want this set of RSVP International measuring spoons (below) for ourselves. The smart, slim design means they’ll fit into spice jars, for more accurate measuring and less waste.

Graduation Gifts for the Kitchen: RSVP International Measuring Spoon Set

Our final recommendation concerns cutlery. We’re firm believers in using quality tools, and we think every kitchen needs a paring knife and a chef’s knife (or Santoku knife) at minimum. We also realize quality cutlery doesn’t belong in every dorm suite.

If you’re buying for a graduate who’s ready for the good stuff, we recommend the Wusthof Classic Starter Knife Set. It includes a 3.5-inch paring knife and a 6-inch chef’s knife. With proper care, these knives will still be in rotation for decades.

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