Chowhound Gift Guide 2019: The Best Picks From Direct-to-Consumer Brands


This year was a good one for direct-to-consumer kitchen startups. These companies offer high-quality kitchen goods at affordable prices by cutting out the middlemen in the distribution chain (think retailers and resellers) and happy shoppersourselves includedjust cant get enough of their new wares. After all, who doesnt want top-notch cookware for a fraction of the price?

If you want to spread some DTC joy this holiday season, our favorite kitchen startups offer a wide range of products that would make amazing gifts. Whether youre shopping for friends, family, coworkers, or even a Secret Santa, theres something on this list of DTC kitchen presents thats perfect for everyone on your list.

Best Overall

Made In Personalized 8-inch Chefs Knife, $109

Made In

Its useful. Its thoughtful. Its personal. Basically, this chefs knife from Made In is the ultimate holiday present. The 8-inch French-made knife is 100 percent fully forgedaka, its made from a single rod of metaland it has a riveted handle thats available in red, black, or white. However, the best part of this product, hands down, is that you can have it personalized for free! Thats right: Made In will engrave the recipients name into the handle, making it that much more thoughtful a gift.

Engraved knives take around two to three weeks to ship, so make sure you plan ahead of time. You wont regret purchasing this custom knife, though, as reviewers say its incredibly well-balanced and strong, writing that they would buy this knife over and over. Its sure to become a favorite utensil in anyones kitchen.

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Best Under $25

Field Company Leather Handle Cover, $22

Field Company

Looking for a stocking stuffer or Yankee swap gift? You can keep your budget low and still deliver an enviable gift with this cool handle cover for cast iron pans. Cast iron is a favorite among many home chefs, but the downside of this material is the handles of your pans can get quite hot. Thats why a leather handle cover is such a great purchase: It allows you to grab the pan without worry, saving you the hassle of searching for pot holders.

This handle cover is made from vegetable-tanned leather and is hand-stitched in the U.S. Its inner dimensions are 1- by 5 inches, so it will fit on many cast iron pans, including the ones made by Field Company. Reviewers say this product is a handsome cover and makes working with cast iron that much more convenient. Plus, its so affordable that you might want to grab one for yourself.

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Best Under $50

Five Two Ultimate Apron, $45

Five Two Ultimate Apron


The Five Two Ultimate Apron makes for a thoughtful gift under $50. This unique kitchen apron was designed by Food52 with input from thousands of readers, and the end result is a multifunctional kitchen coverup that your friends are sure to love. The Ultimate Apron is made from 100 percent cotton with a metal buckle on its tie, and it comes in five pretty colors to suit anyones style.

What makes this apron unique? For one, it has built-in pot holders at the bottom corners, as well as a handy hanging loop, extra-long waist ties, an adjustable neck strap, and three spacious pockets. Theres even a conversion chart inside one of the pockets to help cooks adjust recipes on the fly. Buyers absolutely rave about the handy design of this product, calling it the smartest apron that has ever existed.

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Best Under $75

Material Kitchen The Base Knife and Utensil Holder, $60

Material Kitchen

Normal utensil holders pale in comparison to the sleek, super-functional Base from Material Kitchen. This wooden design is both a knife and utensil holder, and it would make a stunning addition to anyones kitchen. The Base comes in walnut, maple, and black finishes, and it hides a few unique features that make it a chefs best friend.

For instance, the inner wall of The Base has a magnetic strip that holds knives in place, allowing you to keep them organized without dulling the blades tip. It can hold up to three knives, and it also has a separate compartment for other kitchen tools that need to be within arms reach at all times.

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Best Splurge

Great Jones The Dutchess, $145

Great Jones Dutch oven

Great Jones

Even our splurge pick is not all that expensivethats the beauty of DTC brands. If you want to spend a little more on a gift for someone special, The Dutchess is a stunning Dutch oven from the trendy brand Great Jones, and we cant see anyone not loving this gift. The enameled cast iron pot has an oval shape to give you extra room for browning meats, and it comes in seven pretty colors.

The Dutchess has a 6- quart capacity, and it weighs 15 pounds. Naturally, it comes with a tight-fitting lid, and its smooth enamel finish makes it easy to deglaze and clean. This Dutch oven has roomy handles, is dishwasher-safe, and is oven-safe to 500 degrees. Reviewers are quite smitten with The Dutchess, saying, she is gorgeous and versatileshell be a workhorse in my kitchen over the fall/winter months for sure.

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Best Cookware Set

Potluck Cookware Set, $160


If youre shopping for someone whos outfitting their first kitchen or is in desperate need of all new cookware, you can make their year with this seven-piece cookware set from Potluck. The surprisingly affordable set includes 1.5- and 3-quart saucepans, a 10-inch skillet, and 8-quart stock pot and three lidsall the essentials of a well-stocked kitchen.

These pans are made from triple-ply stainless steel with riveted steel handles. Theyre oven-safe up to 600 degrees, and they wont react to acidic ingredients. The pans all feature rolled edges for easy pouring, and the lids have a subtle dome shape that directs condensation back into the pan.

Dont believe us about how good this set is? Just read what reviewers have to say: For the past couple of years, Ive been searching for the ideal set of cookware, something with both form and function, and Potluck has nailed it! Im in love.

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Best Utensil Set

Five Two Wooden Spoons, $99

Five Two Wooden Spoons


We all know someone who collects kitchen utensilsand someone in dire need of new ones. Either way, this set of five Two Wooden Spoons would make an ideal addition to their kitchen. After all, wooden spoons are jacks-of-all-trades when cooking.

This set comes with five teak spoons, including the Mix Master, the 2-in-1, the Big Dipper, the Corner-Getter, and the Flip and Scrape. As you may have guessed from their names, each utensil is designed with specific tasks in mind, from flipping fish fillets to scraping food from the corners of a pan. With these five lightweight, sturdy spoons in the drawer, your recipient will always have the perfect tool for the job. And it also helps that theyre quite pretty!

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Best Cutting Board

Material Kitchen The Angled Board, $77

Material Kitchen

This is more than just a cutting board; its a beautiful accent for any kitchen. The Angled Board from Material is an update to the classic wood cutting board, and it comes in both walnut and maple finishes. On one side of the double-sided cutting board is a groove around the edge to catch liquids, and people love the unique angled edge that makes it easier to collect chopped ingredients.

The Angled Board measures 17 by 12 inches, and its 1-inch thick. While its amazingly functional and will make dinner prep much easier, its also pretty enough to use as a serving board at a party. Seriously, reviewers go as far as to call it the most beautiful cutting board theyve ever owned and a kitchen dream come true. If that doesnt sell you on this product, we dont know what will.

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Best for New Cooks

Misen Essential Knives Set, $130


If theres one thing new chefs are generally lacking, its a high-quality set of kitchen knives. For that reason, theres no better gift for the budding chef in your life than a set of amazing Misen knives. This brand started out as a crazy-successful Kickstarter campaign, and now it sells a range of cookware, including an Essential Knives Set.

This three-piece set comes with a chefs knife, paring knife and serrated knife, all of which are made from premium high-carbon stainless steel. (Theres also a five-piece set that adds a santoku knife and utility knife.) The knives have a unique sloped bolster to help chefs master their pinch grip, and the 15-degree blade angle provides a noticeably sharper cutting face.

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Best for Frequent Hosts

Snowe Cheese Board Set, $130

Snowe Cheese Board Set


If youre shopping for someone whos always hosting get-togethers, you cant go wrong with a product like this Cheese Board Set from Snowe. The American-made cheese board is crafted from beautiful walnut wood, and it comes with three sturdy cheese knives.

There are several colorways to choose from, including walnut and oxidized walnut finishes for the board and brushed gold, black satin and stainless utensils. The board itself is a hexagon shape, and it has finger rests on two of its corners for easy transport. Reviewers say the craftsmanship of this piece is excellent: Its simple, but elegant and looks quite expensive. Many also note it makes a great hostess gift.

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See all our favorite gourmet food and drink gifts for 2019.

See our sister sites tech gift guides, gaming gift guides, fashion and beauty gift guides, TV gift guides, and Rachael Rays gift guides, for more.


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