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These 7 appliances make sneaky smart gifts for the holidays

Give the gift of a gadgety appliance this holiday season -- here are the ones we'd recommend.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Here's a tip if you're shopping for good gifts this holiday season: Seek out things that your lucky loved ones can use every day. Appliances fit the bill surprisingly well -- but which ones are worth the cash? 

That's where the CNET Appliances team comes in. We've spent the past 12 months seeking out the best home appliance upgrades of the year, and we've got plenty of recommendations ready for the holiday buying season. Click the gallery above for our full selection of picks, or scroll down to see the best of the bunch. 

Disclaimer: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

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Brian Bennett/CNET

Bonavita Metropolitan Coffee Maker

Let's start with a no-brainer gift for your favorite coffee snob: the Bonavita Metropolitan. Currently available for about $80, it's a budget-friendly drip coffeemaker from one of our favorite brands, and its flavors hit the spot when we tested it for ourselves. 

The design is simple and a bit plasticky, but it's easy to use and easy to keep clean, and at the end of the day (or, in all likelihood, the start of it) the quality of the coffee makes it a clear best buy, and a terrific gift, too.

Read CNET's review of the Bonavita Metropolitan Coffee Maker

SEE IT ON AMAZON
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Chris Monroe/CNET

Char-Broil Performance XL

Summer is fading fast in the rear-view mirror, and there's a good chance you've got someone on your list who's already suffering from the winter blahs. If that's the case, consider plunking down $300 on the Char-Broil Performance XL, one of our favorite gas grills of the year. 

No, they probably won't get much use out of it in the dead of winter unless they're truly tenacious, but it'll at least give them lots of cookouts and backyard barbecues to look forward to. And if you're lucky, you might be able to catch a nice sale -- grills typically aren't hot sellers this time of year.

Read CNET's review of the Char-Broil Performance XL

SEE IT AT WALMART
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Ry Crist/CNET

Eufy RoboVac 30C

Another option that costs $300 -- the Eufy RoboVac 30C. It's a smart cleaner that you can control from your phone or with voice controls via Alexa or Google Assistant, a first for the brand -- and it costs considerably less than comparable models from brands like iRobot and Neato.

And hey, if you just end up keeping it for yourself to help clean up after your next holiday get-together, that's okay, too.

Read CNET's preview of the Eufy RoboVac 30C

SEE IT ON AMAZON
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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

FirstBuild Paragon Induction Cooktop and Mat

We liked the sous vide smarts of the $300 Paragon Induction Cooktop, which combines an electric cooking surface with a wireless temperature probe to automatically regulate the temperature of a pot of water, allowing you to bring vacuum sealed meats to a perfect, edge-to-edge-pink medium rare.

This year, the pitch got even stronger when FirstBuild introduced the Paragon Mat ($299 at Amazon), an accessory that comes bundled with the cooktop at no extra cost. The mat lets the Paragon regulate the temperature of your cookware itself, which brings things like precision frying and sauteing into play -- and if you get it as a gift for someone, there's a decent chance they'll cook you something scrumptious with it.

Read CNET's review of the Paragon Induction Cooktop and Mat

SEE IT ON AMAZON
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Chris Monroe/CNET

Instant Pot Ace 60 Cooking Blender

Speaking of new and improved kitchen gadgets, the team behind the Instant Pot decided to double down on their ultrapopular pressure cooker this year by releasing an accompanying blender called the Instant Pot Ace. And wouldn't you know it, they cooked up another winner.

With a built-in heating element, the Ace doesn't just blend -- it actually cooks. It aced our tests, too, making delicious, well-blended soups, smoothies and sauces. Best of all, at $99, the price is just right, making this one of our top appliance recommendations of the year.

Read CNET's review of the Instant Pot Ace

SEE IT AT WALMART
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Chris Monroe/CNET

LG LSXC22436S Side-by-Side Smart Refrigerator

If your fridge could stand to be replaced, then consider surprising the family with a new one for the holidays. For my money, the LG LSXC22436S belongs right at the top of your list. It's the best-performing side-by-side fridge I've ever tested, and the clean, counter-depth design will blend in with just about any kitchen. It'll even sync up with Google Assistant, or send your phone an alert if your kid ever leaves the door open. 

Best of all: It won't break the bank. I'm currently seeing it on sale at a variety of major retailers for about $1,700, which is an absolute steal for a fridge as good as this.

Read CNET's review of the LG LSXC22436S Side-by-Side Smart Refrigerator

SEE IT AT HOME DEPOT
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Chris Monroe/CNET

PicoBrew Pico Model C

"An almost perfect beer-making bot." That's how my colleague and good pal Andrew Gebhart summed it up after testing the PicoBrew Model C this year, and he should know -- he's literally spent years putting PicoBrew's various homebrew gizmos to the test. The Model C is the one that came the closest to earning his outright recommendation, and you can buy it for the beer aficionado on your list for less than $300 right now.

Read CNET's review of the Picobrew Pico Model C

SEE IT ON AMAZON