What’s more rewarding than having someone in your life who actually enjoys cooking? Most chefs we know, whether they cook professionally or just do it for fun, are happiest when the people they love are stuffing their faces with something delicious that they’ve created. All the stovetop sweat and onion tears, the knife’s edge slices and burns on their fingertips — they see these as minor prices to pay for the satisfaction of being able to express their love through flavor. So when it’s time to buy gifts for cooks for their birthday or holiday, we want to choose something that displays our profound appreciation for their gourmet skills, as well as gratitude for their generosity.
Okay, let’s be honest — we also want to get something that encourages them to cook even more food so that we can eat it. Is this self-serving? Maybe. But I prefer to view it as a mutually beneficial exchange. The more we eat, the more time they get to spend playing with their toys in the kitchen. Everybody wins.
If you’re not a chef yourself, you might find it difficult to choose a gift that you know will be appreciated by the cooking experts in your life. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the best gifts for cooks of any level of expertise, all of which come with a stamp of approval from the cooking snob we’ll be blessed to share a home with. Take it from here: any of these gifts will be sure to win you brownie points with the chef–or if you’re lucky, an actual plate of brownies.
Gifts for Cooks
Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking
Those serious about cooking know that preparing a delicious meal is a work of art. For the artsy cook with ambition and skill, no cooking gift caters to their eye for detail quite like the Modernist Cuisine cookbook. A thorough history and scientific analysis of cooking complete with accessible language and colorful imagery, This astonishing cookbook is a necessity for any chef feeling stuck in a rut. Through the six volumes included in the box set, your loved one will discover inspiration, new techniques, and a world of flavor that they never thought to explore. Boasting the 2012 James Beard Award, praise from the New Yorker, and countless 5-star reviews, there is no doubt that modernist Cuisine has taken the world of cooking by storm.
Good Grips Meat Shredding Claws
Cooking tender, tasty roasts may be appealing to the stomach, but experienced butchers know the struggle of creating the perfect pulled pork or poultry – until now. OXO meat shredding claws allow the cooker to effectively shred that savory brisket without ever dirtying their hands (or their beloved meal). Intrinsically designed to lift, turn, and thoroughly shred even the toughest dish, the claws ensure a tasty roast without the hassle and contamination. Heat resistant materials make it comfortable and safe, whether your loved one is working on the counter or within the slow cooker. Before their next summer barbecue, be sure that you’ve given your chef this useful gift – your stomach will thank you!
Cuisinart Portable Venture Gas Grill
The barbecue is a staple of summer, but the inconvenience of moving and setting up the grill can be a huge deterrent to even the most passionate chef. This summer, your loved ones can enjoy the smoky, savory flavors of a freshly grilled meal wherever the road takes them with the portable, lightweight Cuisinart gas grill. 16×13-inches and only 20-pounds, your chef can bring this compact gift to the beach, the park, or just to the backyard – where the Cuisinart goes, the party will follow! With 154-square inches of cooking space and an impressive 9000-BTU burner, this summer is sure to be a flavorful one.
Char-Griller Akorn Jr Kamado Kooker
Where the Cuisinart Gas Grill is fun for the family, the Char-Griller is a heavy-duty grill for those most serious about their meat. As impressive as 153-square inches of cooking space may be, what truly defines this industrial-standard grill is its strong, insulated design. With less charcoal and less air, the small but versatile grill and smoker serves steaming hot cuts of your favorite barbecue classics that rival the flavors of your local rib joint. Next time your cook has the family over for dinner, you will want to be sure that they’re serving you directly off of this 22-gauge steel beast of a gift.
Evercut Furtif Utility Knife
Utility, precision, and durability are key when it comes to the ultimate knife. Needless to say, this next cooking gift makes the cut. Evercut, a black stainless steel knife featuring sleek modern design and durable, enduring materials, is the only knife your loved one will ever need again. The laser bonded titanium carbide blade is sure to withstand slice after slice, providing clean, neat cuts on vegetables, fruits, and meats galore, and the simple but elegant angular handle is guaranteed to never go out of style. Gift your loved one the Evercut paring knife, Santoku knife, or carving knife, or pick up the complete 5-piece set and watch their smile grow. Whichever you select, know every gift is a winner with an inspired Evercut knife.
Kuchenprofi Roast Cutting Tongs
You can’t go wrong with a tong! Kuchenprofi kitchen tongs are hardly the most exciting tool in the kitchen, but for a dedicated chef with an eye for the greatest cooking gifts, these practical grips are sure to please. Capable of expanding from 2.5-inches to an impressive 6-inches, this roast cutting tongs are ideal flipping, turning, and serving every dish, from bite-sized vegetables to entire roasts. Straight, symmetrical prongs guarantee your chef is able to achieve perfect, uniform cuts as they plate their cuisine, and dishwasher safe materials make sure that clean up is a breeze. Though unassuming in appearance, the Kuchenprofi kitchen tongs are sure to become a staple of your loved one’s kitchen by the end of the season.
Hardmill Leather Cast Iron Handle Cover
Is your loved one fed up with the burns and bruises that come with cooking with cast iron? Then the Hardmill skillet handle cover is the gift they can’t do without! Though only a tiny 4-ounce cover, the leather cover is the ultimate addition to cast iron skillets of all shapes and sizes. The convenient universal fit allows a cook to transform every cast iron cooking experience – just quickly slide on the cover, and they have a comfortable, heat-resistant cover worthy of the pros! As the leather materials harden over time, the Hardmill only improves, conforming to fit your favorite skillets more snugly, so you can expect this gift to stick around for a good many years to come.
Breville Smoking Gun
Regular patrons of the summer cookout know the wonderful, warm flavors of a smoky, well-cooked meal, but sometimes a full barbecue is simply not an option. But never fear: the Breville smoking gun is bringing natural smoky flavors to all your loved one’s dishes year-round! The food smoker is a lightweight alternative to traditional smoking tools, but still serves a kick of cool, smoky tastes and smells to any dish. Unlike other smokers, it doesn’t run on heat, making it safe for indoor and outdoor use year-round. Additionally, this practical gift easily disassembles into 5 separate pieces, allowing for compact, convenient storage for the most cluttered of cooks.
Magnetic Cooking Utensil Set
Cooking is all about timing. The difference between the sear and a burn, a fresh crunch and a soggy slurp, a creamy sauce and a curdled mess — it all comes down to how organized and well-paced your cooking is. So when a chef is busy in the kitchen, the last thing they want to do is interrupt their flow to search for the proper utensil. This wall-hanging set of spoons and spatulas gives the gift of convenience, in terms of both accessibility and storage. It can be hung just about anywhere: above the stovetop, on the side of a refrigerator, on a backsplash, you name it! These nylon utensils have a sleek, modern design that will look right at home in any kitchen.
Chefman Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Cooking is a science, and experienced cooks know that precision is the key to producing superior quality dishes. This Precision Cooker makes sous vide cooking a breeze, whether you’re preparing eggs, seafood, vegetables or meat. Sous vide is a method of cooking ingredients submerged in water in airtight bags at precise temperatures for long periods to guarantee ideal results every single time. It’s healthier than most other cooking methods, with no added fat from cooking oils and no loss of minerals or vitamins from heat exposure.
It can be safer, too, eliminating the risk of consuming harmful bacteria in undercooked meat. This immersion cooker is user-friendly and versatile, guaranteeing incredible flavor and reliably perfect texture with every use. Who needs fancy restaurants, anyway? This gift will be sure to produce dishes so mouthwatering, you’ll want to stay home for every meal.
Overwatch Loot Box Ceramic Cookie Jar
Chefs tend to have very particular tastes. When it’s time for them to snack, any old treat simply won’t do. That’s why any cook would be glad to have a camouflaged cookie jar like this one to protect their favorite goodies. This ceramic container looks just like a loot box from the Overwatch video game, and it’s an ideal storage spot for candies, chips, nuts, and popcorn, as well as cookies- – easily overlooked by the casual observer, but a beacon of promise to those in the know! This makes a great gift for cooks and video gamers alike.
Australian Iron Commercial Grade Cookware
To some of us, pots and pans are all pretty much the same. If they allow us to heat something up without melting in the process, then all is well. Not so for chefs, though. To an experienced cook, quality tools are key, and the shape, size, and material of cookware can have major impacts, not only on their cooking experience but on the taste and presentation of their final product, as well.
Even the most particular chef will be impressed by this cookware set. These pots and pans are each carved from a single piece of Australian iron, meaning there are no rivets holding things together that might loosen over time or collect hard-to-clean grime in their crevices. There are venting slots carved into the ergonomically shaped handles to minimize heat transfer from the pan. The iron is thick and durable, designed to prevent heat warping and guarantee an even, reliable cooking surface throughout many years of use. They are non-stick and come pre-seasoned, ready to use right out of the box.
Ultra Fast Defrosting Tray
Defrosting meat can be a real pain. When you use pre-set menu options on the microwave, you run the risk of overcooking it; but if you choose to defrost in the refrigerator, you might not get to eat your planned meal until 3 AM the following morning. This defrosting tray will get the job done for you without using any chemicals, batteries or electricity. Better still, it will get frozen ingredients thawed quickly, so it’s a lifesaver for busy cooks. It’s large enough to defrost several large pieces of meat at once but thin enough to store with your cutting boards. Best of all, it’s dishwasher safe. What more could you want?
The Big Easy TRU-Infrared Smoker Roaster & Grill
Smoked ribs, roasted chicken, perfectly grilled corn on the cobb — you can have it all with this three-in-one outdoor cooker! It features TRU-Infrared technology that ensures the meat is cooked evenly and consistently delivers that crispy-on-the-outside, tender-and-juicy-on-the-inside texture we all love. Its interior basket is large enough to cook a Thanksgiving turkey inside, but the entire unit is compact and easy to move around single-handedly. It’s easy to use, even for novices, and offers incredible value for the cost. This is a gift any chef will be eager to use as soon as they’ve torn off the wrapping paper.
Premier 8” Chef’s Knife
To most chef’s, there’s no gift more luxurious than a set of premium cooking knives. These wooden-handled blades come in three sizes ideal for everyday use, with or without an accompanying sharpener, and they are built to last. They’re lightweight but precise with a hammered texture on the blunt edge of the blades to prevent foods from sticking to the metal. Handcrafted with care and visually stunning, these Japanese knives are a gift that’s sure to take any chef’s breath away.
Stove Top Smokeless Grill Indoor BBQ
Nothing quite compares to the taste of meat and vegetables fresh off the grill. But let’s face it: outdoor cooking isn’t always an option for those of us who live in places with heavy rain, snow, or unbearable heat. That’s no reason to sacrifice flavor, though. With this indoor grill, you can step up your flavor game while reducing your fat and cholesterol intake, all right on your stovetop. It works on both gas and electric burners, so it will suit any kitchen setup. It also comes with a drip pan to minimize smoke and contain messes from grease splatter, as well as four stove-top liners to make clean-up quick and simple after your meal. Even inexperienced cooks will appreciate this thoughtful gift.
Hero Portable Charcoal Grill
With this portable grill, your favorite chef will be able to whip up a delicious meal in any location. With clean-burning and environmentally friendly charcoal pods, you can start this grill up in just about ten minutes. After that, it’ll stay hot for an hour or longer–plenty of time to cook for the whole family or go back for seconds!
This kit comes with a meat thermometer and wooden spatula for convenience. It comes with a waterproof carrying case, too, which makes it an ideal tool to bring on camping excursions and road trips. You could also bring it to the beach, to the park, or on a long hike, and spend your time soaking in the atmosphere rather than fussing over the grill. Give this gift to any chef who could use a little more adventure in their life.
Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags
When it comes to advanced cooking methods and complex recipes, it’s wise to prepare meals in big batches to save time and energy. That’s why these reusable storage bags will come in handy for any ambitious chef; they’ll make for easy storage and preservation of leftovers, whether they’re solid, soupy, or somewhere in between.
These bags can contain up to a gallon of food and zip up with an airtight leak-proof seal, so they’re great for freezing foods as well as marinating meats and even dry food storage. They’re also safe to boil, so you can cook them sous vide. My favorite feature is that they’re dishwasher safe, so there’s really no good reason not to use them over and over in place of disposable zip bags. These bags are a practical gift, but one that any chef is sure to see the value in.
Portable Solar Cooker
Here’s another fun gift for the chef who wants to take their cooking skills into the great outdoors! This portable solar oven uses the power of sunlight to heat most meals in less than half an hour, reaching internal temperatures as high as 550 degrees under clear skies. It can easily boil water to cook rice, pasta, or other dried foods, and works great for meat and vegetables, too. As hard as it may be to believe, fans of this solar cooker claim it produces flavors that are just as savory, juicy and tender as anything cooked on a grill. With this gift, the chef you love will truly be prepared for anything, with no excuse not to work their culinary magic on-the-go.
Mighty Carving Knife
With this electric carving knife, there’s nothing a chef can’t slice through at the table. With a lightweight ergonomic handle and the appearance of a mini-chainsaw, it’s a fun and entertaining way to present the main dish at parties, cookouts and holidays, sure to get a laugh out of your guests. It’s good for more than just laughs, though; this tough and durable stainless steel blade carves like a dream, especially if thin slices are your goal. Let the feasting begin!
CookKing Master Grill Pan
As the weather warms up, the grills come out. The grill cook with family and friends to feed no doubt knows the pain of catering to the tastes of a crowd. Are they tired of spending the entire barbecue at the grill and missing out on the summer festivities? The Master Grill Pan makes it easy to prepare food for all in one fell swoop! Serve up fruits and veggies, sauces and of course, all the meats imaginable and still have time for relaxing by the pool. Not only is the cooking pan the time-friendly choice – with its grease draining system, but it’s also the heart-friendly choice, too.
Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker
Rice may be a staple of many a heartwarming dish, but cooking up the perfect bowl is a skill few have perfected. For the chef ready to expand beyond cheap boil in bag grains, the Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker is just the gift. Cooking fluffy white rice, steamy couscous or hearty polenta has never been easier; just add water and your grain of choice, set the timer and let the microwave do the rest! From culinary school freshmen to 5-star chefs, every cook can appreciate the value of a well-cooked bowl of rice and can benefit from such a convenient means of preparing this beloved grain.
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
Don’t just know the recipe – know the science behind it. Successful cooks don’t just memorize flavorful recipes; they understand how ingredients react to one another and what flavors complement each other best. The Food Lab is an essential cooking gift for any freestyle chef. Behind this modern white cover, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt provides a thorough guide to the science behind cooking that is accessible to chefs (and scientists) of every skill level. There’s something for every chef contained within these pages, so make sure your loved ones have a copy on their shelf today!
Select-A-Spice Auto-Measure Carousel
In the midst of a cooking frenzy, a chef doesn’t always have the time, tools or motivation to precisely measure every pinch of cinnamon, every dash of thyme and every scoop of parsley. Fortunately, the Auto-Measure Spice Carousel has arrived to protect tongues from the heavy-handed foodie! Never worry about adding too much red pepper or too little oregano because you know every dash from the Spice Carousel is precisely 1/4 teaspoon, no measuring spoons required. Dinner is saved!
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Handmade Inupiat Ulu Knife
Tools might not make the chef, but a reliable, well-stocked kitchen is certainly a gift for any cook. The Inupiat Ulu Knife is one of the most beautiful utensils a chef could hope to get their hands on, from its smooth dark walnut handle to its custom Damascus blade. And rest assured, this knife is more than just a pretty face – and if anyone doubts it, they can contend with the sharp, durable carbon steel blade. Quality is key in this exquisite knife, making it just the utensil to transform a novice baker into a Michelin star chef.
Berkel Primitive Chef’s Knife
In the age of stone tools, knives weren’t the razor-sharp utensils we know today. Still, stones with sharpened edges were superior cutters to anything else of the period, and their oblong form provided a smooth, controlled cutting experience. Inspired by these Stone Age ancestors, the Berkel Primitive Knife features a modern steel blade presented in this oblong shape to reap the benefits of both modern sharpness and pre-historic control. Cooks with a passion for history will be thrilled to let out their inner caveman with this Stone Age gift in their hands.
Smart Portable Speaker with Amazon Alexa
When a cook is elbow-deep in their latest culinary creation, searching a smartphone for the right playlist isn’t an option. For times when all hands are on the cutting board, the Smart Portable Speaker with its voice control technology is the best gift. Music, radio, and internet are only a voice command away with this state of the art technology, perfect for the chef prone to making a bit of a mess.
Wireless Smart Meat Thermometer
Meal prep isn’t just about harnessing delicious flavors. Cooking for family and friends means taking simple ingredients and ensuring that they are safe for consumption. Fully cooking a turkey roast, a steak dinner, or any meat is vital for the health of loved ones, so a gift like the Smart Meat Thermometer can prove to be a literal lifesaver. With this thermometer and the corresponding app, your chef can monitor temperature and cooking time to ensure that every slab is cooked to perfection every time.
Atlas Pepper Mill
It’s no secret that fresh ingredients are generally superior to their pre-prepared counterparts. Freshly ground pepper can be the perfect finishing touch to a well-cooked meal, but cheap pepper grinders don’t always do the trick. For thoroughly-grinded, full-flavored pepper, your resident cook needs the Atlas Pepper Mill. Each hand-made Pepper Mill is built to high standards to ensure that as long as it’s in use, it’s serving up flavorful freshly-ground pepper.
Leather Knife Roll Storage Bag
Not every chef stays in the kitchen all day. In particular, those in the catering business will frequently find themselves needing to pack up the essentials and take their cooking on the road. If your favorite cook is constantly on the move, a handy, portable gift like the Chef Knife Bag is a huge help. A durable leather bag that securely stores up to 10 kitchen utensils, and makes organizing an on-the-go kitchen a piece of cake!
While a famous philosopher once told us that you’ve “got to do the cooking by the book”, there is, unfortunately, no recipe for you to follow on how to cook up the perfect friendship. Still, you can’t bake a cake without cracking a few eggs, and you can’t impress your favorite cook without trying to find the ultimate gift for their refined tastes. When the kitchen heats up, there’s else that you can do other than put on your apron, roll up your sleeves and wrap an amazing cooking gift, the likes of which your loved one has never known.