A Simple Holiday Gift for Home Cooks

11/20/2013 at 03:27 PM ET

Maxwell Ryan The Kitchn Oils
Courtesy Maxwell Ryan

Maxwell Ryan is the founder of Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, a web magazine about home cooking and kitchen design. Visit PEOPLE.com Wednesdays for his spins on celebrity recipes and more.

As you have probably guessed by now, I cook at home a lot—and I use oil in almost every meal. From cooking oils to finishing oils, I’ve accrued quite a collection in my pantry. For a long time, though, when it was actually time to cook, I would find myself rifling around in the cabinets, again and again, looking for the right oil for a particular recipe. What a pain!

My solution: It’s more elegant and more useful to place oils in decorative pour jars. I keep these out on my counter to double as pretty display pieces and they’re all within arms’ reach when I need them.

I use olive oil the most, so I put it in a big oil jar—a size usually reserved for a restaurant table. Since I only use peanut oil in high-heat cooking, like when I grill a steak, I put that in a smaller jar that I found (meant for dish soap, but that’s okay!).

Looking for a stocking stuffer for the cook in your life? An oil jar is a great gift. You can pick any jar that catches your eye, but make sure each one has a good spout, pours easily and has a stopper that won’t get lost inside.

My favorites, pictured above, are from Dean & Deluca and ABC Home in New York City. Using varying shapes and sizes helps make my countertop beautiful—and hey, I’m ready to whip up a frittata at a moment’s notice.

FILED UNDER: Food Blog , The Kitchn

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