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Buying for cooks is the gift that gives twice! Something nice for them, and something tasty for you, once they’ve put their new kitchen gadget to good use! And yet, buying for loved ones passionate about cooking isn’t always easy. Knowing what knives are best, or which cookware is necessary and which isn’t, is not something that comes naturally to most people.
Thankfully, we’ve scoured the internet (and our pots and pans!) and have put together this cooking-themed gift guide full to the brim with the best gifts for cooks. Scroll through, and we’re sure that you’ll find the perfect gift for the chef in your life, from stocking stuffers and holiday gifts, to birthday presents and everyday valentine’s day affections. This is our list of the 30 best cooking gift ideas available in 2023!
By Cal Bannerman • Published Jan 2 2023
According to legendary chef, rock'n'roller, TV personality and all-round dude Anthony Bourdain, contrary to popular belief, a cook only ever needs one good knife. With a proper, stainless steel, high-quality chef's knife, a cook can chop and slice, dice and de-bone anything they like, from parsley to lamb chops, tomatoes to lobster. This particular knife is the creation of expert craftspeople Baccarat, who have riveted the German steel blade into the handle for precision balance and grip, and given the whole thing their lifetime guarantee, as a cherry on top. The perfect gift for any cook worth their salt.
If there's one thing that every cook can never have enough of, it's cookbooks. East by Meera Sodha is one of my absolute personal favorites. Chock full of the most tantalisingly tasty (and surprisingly easy-to-follow) recipes from all across Asia, it is one of the very few cookbooks I've ever come across that doesn't have a single dud recipe. Though the dishes might look and taste deliciously exotic, the ingredients lists are typically short, and the ingredients easy to come by. Thrown together often with little difficulty, this is a book full of inspiration for any cook, whether they're veggie, vegan, or a full-blooded meat-eater.
A lot of the personalized cutting boards available out there are flimsy, thin and easily-breakable things. After a few months of washing them, the wood is bound to snap or wear away. This cutting board, on the other hand, is a monster. Every cook needs a range of good quality chopping boards for their countertop, and this unique recycled oak wood board from Etsy would make a great gift, no matter how many they already have. Personalize it with a "[Name]'s Kitchen" monogram etched into the side, and no-one will tread on the chef's toes ever again!
We all love a deep-fried something-or-other from time to time. We all love French fries, chicken nuggets, falafel, you name it! Even when not deep-frying, frying in olive oil is a staple cooking method in the home cook's kitchen. But whilst tasty, oil is hardly healthy. Which is where the Vortex Air Fryer Pro comes in. An air fryer cooks food in a vortex of super-heated air whilst utilising only minimal oil. Thus, it cooks and crisps up food in a much healthier way than the traditional deep-fat fryer or frying pan, and it does it all by itself! A luxury gift for a loved one.
The Dutch Oven (also known as a casserole dish) is one of the greatest assets in any foodie's bakeware. Ideal for cooking stews, roasts, soups, casseroles and even baking, this cast iron pot is the sort of cookware that will become a family heirloom in time. Le Creuset is famous the world over for their kitchenware, and especially for their Dutch Ovens. Definitely one of the most expensive items on this list, but worth every penny, this would make a perfect gift for any special occasion (plus you might get a good roast dinner out of it too!)
Cuisinart, like Le Creuset above, are renowned the world over for their cookware and kitchen tools. This electric grinder is no exception. A mortar and pestle is all well and good for grinding seeds and mixing spices, but when it comes to powdering whole cinnamon sticks, star anise, nutmeg and more, you need something with a little more power than just elbow grease! The Cuisinart Nut & Spice Grinder is dishwasher safe and easy to use. A great gift to give, since it makes cooking that bit easier, and thus that bit more enjoyable for any home chef.
In our opinion, it's the smallest details with make the home chef's kitchen not simply a place of productivity, but a place of artful respite. In other words, it's the little added extras that make a kitchen the sort of place your loved one will want to spend time in, and feel good about. Little added extras like a pair of beautifully crafted glass re-usable olive oil and vinegar dispensers with drizzle tops. Instead of that plastic bottle from the store standing out like a sore thumb, they can instead keep (and infuse) their oils in an attractive gift set, courtesy of you!
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered together with one mission: preserve the authenticity and beauty of simple, regional Italian cooking. Their work culminated in the production of this book: La Cucina, a recipe book containing 2,000 authentic Italian recipes, from simple polenta with tomato sauce, to the more elegant chicken with lemon and capers. This book should take pride of place on any European or American's kitchen shelf, and would make a wonderful affordable gift. Perfect, perhaps, as a Valentine's Day Gift, since a bowl of pasta and a glass of red wine can hardly be more romantic!
Not every cook needs a kitchen, nor even a traditional cooker! Some of the chefs in our lives would much prefer an open flame, a grill, and a hearty rack of meat to work with. For the aspiring pit masters, amateur BBQ-ers, and indulgent gridlers, this is a perfect gift. Stonewall Kitchen's "Grilling Favorites" gift box contains a range of delicious and unique marinades, sauces and rubs to accompany any meat. It even comes with a silicone basting brush and a meat-lover's tea towel. A great last-minute idea if you've got no clue what to get someone over the holiday season!
Sticking with the topic of barbecues and marinated meat for a moment... don't you think the meat-loving cook in your life would absolutely love a proper set of steak knives? Whether it's for a night in with their friends, a fancy steak dinner with their partner, or just for guzzling some sneaky sirloin by themselves whilst plonked in front of the TV, this full-tang, fully-forged French steak knife set will make an awesome addition to their kitchen, and no doubt about it!
Could a salt & pepper set possibly look more incredible? We don't think so. Sold by an independent Etsy seller, these antique spice mills would add some bohemian beauty to any kitchenette. Perfect for grinding coarse black pepper and flavorful sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, these mills are handmade in Turkey using the same method which has been employed for the past 300 years. Despite all that, they remain super affordable, and would make for a truly unique kitchen gift that we can assure you no-one else will have thought to buy them.
Hot sauce most certainly isn't for everyone, but for those who like it, it is everything. Still, some hot sauce brands tend to go too far, making a product that is designed simply to char your mouth, rather than add flavor to your food. El Yucateco (we can promise you) is the opposite. Their hot sauces are richly, powerfully flavorful, focused on adding an extra dimension of deliciousness to your food (with a kick, of course) with a range of sauces to suit a variety of heat-thresholds. This six-pack from Amazon gives the gift of a unique experience to the home chef with an eye for spice.
If there's one thing that really grates (pun intended) on me in the kitchen, it's trying to slice potatoes sliver thin for dauphinoise, or julienne veggies for salads, using just my chef's knife. Potato dauphinoise, tarte tatin, gratin, galettes, pies and salads, all are made exquisitely easy with a mandoline. This particular one from House is made with professional quality stainless steel blades and an easy-grip handle to make the whole process simple and streamlined. Not a glamorous present, but one which anyone passionate about cooking will be absolutely over the moon about, we can guarantee you!
I'm not American, but a lot of the recipes I tend to follow are, and I can tell you that the single most important and integral kitchen tool in my inventory is my set of nesting measuring cups. Ranging from 1/2 teaspoon through to 1 cup, these eight measuring cups from Amazon make following recipes a breeze, since you always have the perfect measurement to hand, every time! Whether you're needing precise amounts of flour, sugar, water, and butter for baking, broth for cooking, or spices for frying, a nesting measuring cup set is a kitchen gift no aspiring chef should be without.
Lodge was founded in the Appalachian Mountains of the USA way back at the end of the 19th century, and to this day their famous cast iron cookware has continued to stand the test of time. Lodge is also the sole cast iron manufacturer still operating in the United States, giving them a certain kudos other manufacturers don't enjoy. Ideal for open flame or even induction stovetops, with this cast iron skillet you can happily sear, fry, sauté, grill, roast, bake, braise or boil, indoors and out. A gift for generations to come.
Who said safety can't be sexy? Or, at least, good-looking! We tend not to pay much attention to the aesthetics of our most practical kitchenware, and yet for those of us who spend a great deal of their lives in the kitchen, aesthetics can brighten up even the drollest of cooking sessions! These double-oven mitts are printed in a floral style with dandelions against a golden yellow background. Even the dingiest of kitchen will be made prettier with a pair of these. A simple stocking stuffer, or gift to a best friend.
A pressure cooker is the ideal gift for those of us who love to cook, but don't always have the time to slave away over the stove for hours on end, tenderising, stirring, and taste-testing. Pressure-cooking utilizes high-pressure steam at high-temperatures to cook just about anything from risottos and stews, to meats, pulses, and sauces. The Lakeland 3L pressure cooker is a great addition to the smaller kitchen with less cupboard space, and comes with a range of handy additional features. It's freezer safe and can even be used on the hob just like a normal pan! A gift for mid-range budgets and hungry stomachs.
A fresh-out-the-oven apple pie; pumpkin pie with whipped cream; chicken pot pie... makes the mouth water, doesn't it? It's easy to think that a pie couldn't look any better than it already does, but that's where you'd be wrong. This pie dish from Anthropologie is a work of art in and of itself. Styled to look like a tiled mosaic, it features an attractive blue and yellow butterfly design on the rim, and inside. Affordable, chic, unique, this is the perfect gift to the budding baker in your life!
Featuring a traditional 'Kashubian' embroidery design, this handmade wooden embossing rolling pin is one of the most recognisable pieces of folk art from Northern Poland, and Eastern Europe in general. Having rolled out your cookie dough or biscuit batter, simply make a pass over the baking with this folk pattern pin and your cookies will come out looking as pretty as a picture. The sort of warm, heartfelt gift that absolutely no-one will expect you to get them, but which everyone will feel better for having.
Truffle is one of the world's most expensive and most sought-after ingredients. Rich, pungent, deeply flavorful, a little truffle tends to go a long way, and can elevate almost any meal to a whole different level of tastiness. This aioli (like a fancy garlic mayonnaise) is infused with truffle oil to make it extra special. A jar of this in a home chef's larder could be used in a thousand different ways (or just eaten straight out the pot!). A perfect stocking stuffer or added extra onto a larger gift.
The Japanese do cuisine unlike just about anyone else in the world. The flavors, textures, and careful attentiveness which goes into the preparation of each dish are unique to the small island nation of the Rising Sun. But that doesn't mean that the cook you're buying for can't indulge in a little authentic Japanese cooking. This Sushi Masters sushi-making kit comes with two high-end ceramic sauce trays and chopstick rests, two natural bamboo chopstick sets and rolling mats (Makisu), and a large rice spoon (Shamoji). It even includes a an elegant wee booklet with instructions to get them started!
Mexican cuisine is full of vibrant color and a depth of flavor uncommon outside of the country, but at its heart is a very simple, subtle, humble component: the tortilla. Whether for tacos, burritos, huevos, quesadillas, tostadas or some other tasty dish, the only way to properly enjoy Mexican food is with an authentic tortilla. And the only way to properly enjoy an authentic tortilla is to press it out yourself, DIY. This particular press is engraved with a rose petal design, scared to many world cultures, and is made of pine wood with a beech wood handle. It is a truly stunning piece of continental kitchenware.
When 'Kitchen Confidential' first hit bookstores, the world went up in arms. Restaurateurs, chefs, line cooks, dishwashers and all those associated with the hospitality industry were in love - for the first time ever, someone was talking about what it was really like to work in restaurants. Whilst for the rest of us - for the customers - the book was less than appetising. Revealing dirty secrets and scandalous health practices (today, thankfully, extremely rare in hospitality), the book was an instant success. It is compulsory reading for any cook, and as such would make a great gift.
Cooking is a messy affair. Even the simplest recipe or quickest lunchtime snack can end in stains, splashes, and ruined clothes. When preparing grub for a dinner with friends, you often have to prep the meal in your best dress, and the last thing you want is to spoil it with some stray marinara sauce. An apron is key for any cook, and this one is just about the cutest we've found. In a gender-neutral sage, it is embroidered with a little group of mushrooms for added aesthetic charm. Affordable and unique, it's a gift any dabbler in the kitchen can appreciate.
KitchenAid are probably one of the world's most recognisable cookware brands, having produced food processors, ranges, dishwashers and refrigerators among a whole host of other integral kitchen units. But without a doubt one of the most recognisable of their products is the tilt-head mixer. Useful for everything from making meringues, to bread, dough, batter and more, these units are made to seriously last. A bit on the expensive side, we recommend this as a gift for a keen baker on their birthday or Christmas.
Fettucine, spaghetti, lasagne, linguine. Whatever your favorite flat or noodle pasta, the Baccarat home pasta maker is an essential piece of kit for anyone who knows that nothing tastes quite as good as fresh, homemade pasta. Making pasta can seem really complex, and too daunting to approach, but with a pasta maker, the process becomes quite simple. Make the dough, roll it through the maker, and boil it until al dente. They'll never have tasted pasta quite like it, and can wear their Italian chef's hat with well-earned pride when serving you up that steaming-hot bowl of bolognese!
A bad workman blames his tools, but a chef with a burnt frying pan has a reason to be angry! Or so the saying (kind of) goes. In other words, when trying to cut down on how much oil you cook with, traditional frying pans tend to become quite frustrating to cook with. Eggs, fish, chicken, veggies - no matter what you fry in them, they can instantly get stuck to the bottom, burning and even spoiling the meal. Non-stick frying pans, on the other hand, are coated with a material which ensures the foods cooked in them never stick to the bottom. An ideal gift for the student going off to college, or the homeowner's first house, this is a mid-range, mid-budget non-stick frying pan (with lid) that won't ever let them down!
And if you want to do something even more special for them than buying them a top-of-the-range frying pan, why not buy them a full 5-piece non-stick pot and pan set? Whether they're moving into their own home, going off to college, or are just in dire need of a an upgrade on that cheap IKEA set of pots and pans they're currently cooking with, this Eco set is the perfect gift! Made from recyclable materials (and recyclable itself), five trees are planted by the manufacturers every time these five non-stick pots and pans are purchased. Good for the environment and good for their bellies!
Let's face it, cooking can often involve a lot of standing around waiting for timers to go off. One of the best things about cooking in your own kitchen (or someone else's for that matter) is that you can fill those moments with music and dance (glass of vino optional). This attractive print from Etsy is actually printed directly onto metal via sublimation, and delivered framed, ready to be hung above a door, on the wall, or hung from shelving. Something to liven up their kitchen, no matter if they've enough floorspace for a mosh pit, or just a gentle waltz!
Our mothers, grandmothers, dads and great grandpas may well have passed down their family's secret recipes in recipe books for us to cook from and cherish, but what about the future generations? These days, with out smartphones, delivery apps, and Google at our fingertips, the chances are that few people are making up and writing down their own recipes anymore. Well, that can all change with this lovely, thoughtful gift from Etsy: a personalized A5 recipe diary for them to record their soon-to-be family secret recipes in. In time, perhaps they'll even pass it on to their own offspring.