Holiday help: kitchen gifts less than $50

Consumer Reports suggests five classics

SAN ANTONIO – 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.

For your favorite coffee lover, the Bella coffee maker is a Consumer Reports’ “best buy” based on its performance. It scored better than coffee makers costing twice as much, and it’s $40. It has a comfortable, balanced carafe, and its clear, convenient controls were rated excellent.

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If you’d like to be invited for morning waffles, CR suggests another “best buy." It’s 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 on all 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.

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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, CR suggests 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.

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