15 Great Christmas Gifts for Your Favorite Chef

Last Updated on September 26, 2022

The holiday season is a great opportunity to show our loved ones how much we appreciate them. If you’re lucky enough to have a cooking enthusiast in your close circle – especially if that precious someone is in charge of the Christmas dinner table – welcome the opportunity to buy them the perfect culinary gift as a token of gratitude.

If you don’t know where to start, we’ve created a list of 15 Christmas gift ideas for your favorite chef to help you out. Read on!

1. Silicone Baking Mats

What better way to impress Santa than baking some gingerbread cookies that fill the house with the most wonderful wintery smell? 

A set of silicone baking mats, like Silpat, can be a great gift for the baking enthusiast in your life. They can be used as a replacement for parchment paper or as a mat when kneading the dough on the kitchen counter. They stick and release very well, floured or not, and are great for spreading a little cookie magic.

2. Infrared Thermometer

When the red and white striped canes start to pop up around you, you know it’s that time of the year. And who doesn’t like candy, especially if it’s homemade?

Making homemade candy seems complicated at first but the trick is to combine the right ingredients at the right temperatures. This level of accuracy might not be of grave importance when making soups and stews, but if you ask any confectioner, they’ll tell you that preciseness is the key. Once you know exactly the temperature of your ingredients, there’s little room for error.

An infrared thermometer, like the ThermoWorks Industrial IR Gun, can be the best tool to measure any temperature in the kitchen – even the candy canes in the oven – without opening the door.

3. A Mortar and Pestle Set

A mortar and pestle is a great gift for both pro and home chefs. From mixing pastes and sauces to grinding spices and cracking hard nuts open, this ancient tool set has many purposes. 

You might think that a mortar and pestle set is redundant when you compare them with food processors and immersion blenders. But a sturdy set of mortar and pestle, like the handcrafted KROK mortar and pestle, can make a great difference in the food preparation habits of your beloved chef.

Thanks to the stone-to-stone action, which brings out the natural oils in the ingredients by bursting the cell walls open, you get a richer and creamier paste and even more aromatic spice powders. So, help your beloved chef level up their paste and spice skills this Christmas, and the eggnog will never be short of zesty.

4. Set of Mixing Bowls

What are the most frequently used kitchen tools? A humble and sturdy set of mixing bowls probably follows the swaggy duo of a good knife and a chopping board on the list. The set is great for mixing sauces, tossing salads, washing fruits and vegetables, and even serving food.

This Christmas Eve, get your beloved chef a nice set of holiday-themed mixing bowls so they can show off their dishes on the table.

5. Reusable Chopsticks

Chopsticks are very versatile and fun cooking tools once you learn how to use them. Does the soup need a bit of stirring? Is the pasta al dente? Is it time to flip the bacon? The scrambled eggs won’t scramble on their own? You can grab a pair of chopsticks to do all those things and more!

6. Assorted Spices

Some chefs are very hard to find gifts for, as they have everything they need in their kitchen — and are quite picky when it comes to adding a new piece of equipment to their kitchen arsenal. To stay safe, your best bet is to get them some really nice consumables, like spices.

We’re talking Spanish/Hungarian paprika, really nice cayenne, anise, vanilla beans, kaffir lime leaves, fennel pollen, or even a little bit of saffron here. These special spices are sure to make the Christmas eve dinner — and every succeeding dinner — nothing less than spectacular.

7. Citrus Reamer

It’s amazing how much of a difference a splash of citrus can make to a dish. These fruits have the power to transform an everyday recipe into an extraordinary one when done right. Pasta with lemon butter sauce or chicken soup with a zesty twist is always better than their plain versions.

Lemon juice also contains lots of vitamin C that protects you from the seasonal flu. So keep yourself safe from a sore throat and keep on singing Christmas carols with citrusy drinks this Christmas.

8. Oven Mitts

Cinnamon cookies and ginger pastries are almost synonymous with the Christmas spirit. A pair of oven mitts might not be what your favorite baker needs the most, but why not make them embrace the cliche and bake some cinnamon buns or gingerbread cookies with a Christmas-themed pair of oven mitts to keep their hands safe.

9. Chef’s Press

Chef’s presses are weights designed for pressing down the meat on the pan to increase the surface area that’s in contact with the heat.

Culinary operations like preparing the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, searing a slice of meat, or glazing the fish filet all require maximum heat contact. The direct contact of the food with the hot surface is where flavor-boosting chemical reactions take place.

This is possible to achieve with the beautifully designed Chef’s Press weights that will do the job optimally, without room for any error. You can stack the weights on top of each other and let the meats or vegetables cook until they reach the ultimate crispiness.

10. Smoking Gun and Aromatic Wood Chips

A smoking gun lets you infuse anything with a delicious, refreshing wood scent in only 5 minutes. You place the wood chips in the gun, turn on the power switch, and watch the smoke running down, carrying the charred wood flavors to the meat, fish, oil, butter, cheese, or even whiskey and old-fashioned cocktails. If drinking hot buttered rum on Christmas eve is a tradition for you, you can punch it up easily with the help of a good smoking gun like Breville.

11. A Subscription to New York Times Cooking

New year’s resolutions usually end up under the rug after a couple of weeks if not days. Obviously, making promises doesn’t make anyone get up and do the thing. The trick is to motivate yourself until it turns into a habit.

If your beloved chef wants to try new recipes or simply dip into the world of cooking even more in the following year, a great way to motivate them is to buy them a subscription to a cutting-edge cooking publication like New York Times Cooking. As the issues pile up on their shelf, your favorite chef will be equipped with lots of tips and tricks on the art of cooking. 

12. Cast Iron Skillet

Cooking with a cast iron skillet unlocks a different level of tastiness. Because cast iron skillets hold the heat like no other kitchenware, harnessing the power of one introduces you to superior glazes and even heartier simmers.

A cast iron skillet can develop a nonstick coating when properly seasoned, and gets even better after years of heavy use. A cast iron pan can be a long-lasting memoire to your favorite chef, that’ll only get better as the years pass by. 

13. Sous Vide Equipments

By Mel Hill Photography

Sous vide is a French term that literally translates to “under vacuum”. The cooking technique is to vacuum seal food in a bag and then cook it under a temperature-controlled water bath. Because of the airtight sealing, this technique preserves most of the flavor, even more than steam cooking. Thanks to the over-the-top control it provides, sous vide cooking yields perfect results every time. This is especially useful for preparing dishes that cook pretty fast, like shrimp, lobsters, chicken breasts, and steaks.

Sous vide is a really different technique from any other method a regular chef might have tried. But if your chef is an adventurous spirit — and has made it to Santa’s nice list — sous vide equipment can bring a breath of fresh air into their kitchen.

14. Ice Cream Maker

Imagine being able to make ice cream at home, at will. Forget about the store-bought ice cream and make one from the comfort of your own house, with any flavor you like. You can even experiment with flavors like matcha tea, hibiscus, and vanilla beans that’ll fit the color scheme of the Christmas tree.

15. Aprons for the Whole Family

Christmas is all about cherishing the things we are blessed with and sharing the love. And what’s a better blessing than family? Matching Christmas jammies are fun, but you can stir things up a bit by getting matching aprons for the whole family and passing down some family recipes to the next generations.

Over and Out!

Shopping for gifts can be stressful, especially if you’re a procrastinator. But it’s not that hard, as the only thing you need to do is to think about the things your friends and family members are passionate about — like cooking! We encourage you to see the holiday season as an opportunity to show how much you appreciate the cook of your tribe.

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