20 Grad Gifts Under $20
Congrats, grads! You've proven you can take the heat in the classroom — now how about in the kitchen? Set your favorite graduate up for a lifetime of good eats with Target's top tools and kitchenware.
12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet, $20
Whether you're a novice or a pro, no cook's arsenal is complete without a sturdy cast iron skillet. This kitchen workhorse is the first pan you'll reach for whenever you need the perfect sear on steak, pork chops, chicken and vegetables. Even sweet cobblers and pies emerge from the oven with a gorgeous golden crust when given the cast iron treatment.
Buy It: 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet
12-Piece Nonstick Cutlery Set, $17
If you were planning on buying a single knife and calling it a day, we've got news for you: One blade will not fit all kitchen tasks. This affordable set of 12 comes with everything a new cook needs: a paring knife, a utility knife, a santoku knife, a serrated bread knife and an 8-inch chef's knife.
Buy It: 12-Piece Nonstick Cutlery Set
12-Piece Dinnerware Set, $20
You didn't think we'd forget to include plates and bowls, did you? Recent grads are moving on up from eating directly out of pots and pans. This striking blue stoneware collection is both durable and stylish.
Buy It: 12-Piece Dinnerware Set
4-Quart Stainless Steel Multi Cooker, $20
Like the rest of us, you probably ate a lot of microwaved Cup Noodles in college. Now that dorm days are over, it's time to upgrade to a more adult version — and that will require a large, stainless steel stock pot. Use it to boil big batches of pasta or to simmer soups and stews. This model even comes with a steamer basket, so there's no excuse to skip the veggies.
4-Piece Double Old-Fashioned Tumblers, $15
Whether you're gulping down water to nurse a hangover or working toward one with the help of your favorite bourbon, post-college life calls for a set of drinking glasses. These playful polka dot tumblers can hold up to 15 ounces of liquid — which is exactly what you want when you're turning up and winding down.
4-Quart Slow Cooker, $17
Even with a fully stocked kitchen, there will be plenty of nights where you're not up to the task of monitoring your oven or stovetop. On these occasions, let the slow cooker do the hard work. Just select the cooking temperature — this one only has two options, low and high — dump in the ingredients, set a timer and walk away.
Buy It: 4-Quart Slow Cooker
3-Quart Stainless Steel Covered Saucepan, $15
A well-executed sauce is the mark of an experienced cook. We don't expect your marinara or your bechamel to be flawless from the start, but if you ever plan on reaching Iron Chef status, you're going to need lots of practice. This easy-to-clean nonstick pan will set any new graduate down the path to sauccess.
Cutting Board, $20
Scuff up apartment countertops and we guarantee the landlord will be none too pleased. Luckily, this gorgeous hardwood cutting board will ensure your favorite grad gets their security deposit back. Best of all? It even doubles as a serving board, so get out the Brie and crackers.
Buy It: Cutting Board
Pyrex Mixing Bowls, $20
A collection of small, medium and large bowls is useful for all kinds of kitchen tasks, like whipping up pancake batter, tempering chocolate and storing your leftovers. What makes this set so perfect is the reusable locking lids, which means you can do all of the above — mix in them, cook in them and store in them.
Buy It: Pyrex Mixing Bowls
Can Opener, $12
It's no surprise that canned foods like tuna, black beans and tomato sauce are the budget staples that new grads depend on in the early phases of adulting. And they're going to have to pry those lids off somehow.
Buy It: Can Opener
Swivel Peeler, $8
Eating fruits and veggies won't feel like such a chore if you're able to quickly remove the blemishes. There's no better tool for this task than a good old-fashioned swivel peeler. This multi-use gadget is also great for shaving thin pieces of red onion for salads or quickly softening butter by shaving off only the amount you need.
Buy It: Swivel Peeler
Slotted Nylon Turner, $6
It's not an exaggeration to say that all the best foods (pancakes, burgers, omelets — the list goes on and on) require a turner, aka a spatula. Luckily, this ubiquitous kitchen tool is one of the cheapest and most durable on the market.
Buy It: Slotted Nylon Turner
9-Inch Nylon Tongs, $10
Once you start hosting friends, co-workers — even a potential new boo here and there — you'll discover the beauty of serving utensils. Rather than using the clumsy fork-and-finger method, confidently serve everything from carved meats and poultry to salad and roasted vegetables using these heat-resistant tongs.
Buy It: 9-Inch Nylon Tongs
Kitchen Towel, $3
So, you spilled a little ... nobody's perfect. And since it's good to be prepared for the inevitable, stock up on inexpensive, dishwasher-friendly kitchen linens. Choose ones with graphics that match your grad's design sensibilities. (We like a kitchen towel with some sass, like the one pictured here.)
Buy It: Kitchen Towel
Salt and Pepper Set, $5
Owning a twin set of salt and pepper shakers is the final frontier of full-blown adulthood, and we think these Mason jar-inspired shakers are pretty darn precious. Add them to the tabletop for a quick and budget-friendly injection of sophistication.
Buy It: Salt and Pepper Set
Jumbo Cookie Sheet, $9
When an unstoppable craving for cookies hits, you'll need the necessary tools to curb it. Maybe every so often this versatile sheet pan will even see some vegetables. We think that justifies the purchase.
Buy It: Jumbo Cookie Sheet
2-Piece Oven Mitt and Potholder Set, $6
A potholder and oven mitt set are required purchases for a new grad pad. It doesn't hurt if they're covered in cheerful sunny-side-up eggs, either.
Stainless Steel Colander, $4
If you plan on cooking a lot of pasta — a budget staple of new grads everywhere — you're going to need to strain it somehow. It's time to invest in a sturdy, rust-resistant colander like this one.
Buy It: Stainless Steel Colander
6-Speed Hand Mixer with Case, $19
Nobody — we repeat, nobody — deserves to be trapped at home with a voracious brownie craving and no hand mixer to prep the batter. Prevent the crisis before it arises by stocking your grad's baking cabinet with an electric hand mixer.
Buy It: 6-Speed Hand Mixer with Case
Measuring Cups and Spoons, $7
Our culinary heroes weren't born with a sixth sense for measuring ingredients. So, while it's impressive to watch Alton or Ina eyeball a tablespoon of flour or a teaspoon of vanilla, this skill comes with years and years of practice. Arm your recent grad with a handy set of measuring cups and spoons to skip the guesswork.
Buy It: Measuring Cups and Spoons