Last Updated on February 23, 2023
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the cook in your family or group of friends, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve compiled a list of the best gifts for people who love to cook, regardless of whether they’re professional chefs or serious home cooks.
These top kitchen tools range in price and functionality, but all are sure to impress. From meal prep essentials to appliances that allow you to enjoy delicious meals at home, these gifts are indispensable and will make even the most serious cook in your life very happy.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best gifts for people who love to cook.
1. KROK Mortar & Pestle
The mortar and pestle is a timeless kitchen tool that is often overlooked in Western kitchens but remains a staple in kitchens worldwide. Whether you’re crushing, grinding, breaking down fibers, or emulsifying sauces, the mortar and pestle is an essential tool that can handle it all. Its unique ability to burst open cells and release natural flavors cannot be replicated by modern kitchen tools.
After evaluating 12 different options, we can declare the KROK Mortar and Pestle as the best on the market. Its versatility, quality, affordable price, and expert craftsmanship make it the ideal choice for any recipe. The chef in your life will love the added depth of flavor in their basil pesto and curries once they start using the KROK Mortar and Pestle.
2. Chef’s Knife
One of the most important tools for every chef is a good knife. With this sharp tool, you can cut through almost anything, so you don’t have to waste money and counter space on those large 12+ knife sets. A few simple knives on a magnetic wall strip centered around the chef’s knife are all that’s needed.
One of the most recommended, industry-standard options is the Global 8” Chef Knife. It comes with a hefty price tag of around $100, but keep this knife sharp, and you’ll never need to replace it.
For a more affordable option, the Babish 3-Piece Knife Set comes with an 8” chef knife, an 8” bread knife, a small 3.5” paring knife, and a three-slot canvas knife roll. Coming up at half the price of the Global knife, this set has everything a home cook needs.
3. Rice Cooker
Talk to any Asian or Latin American household, and they will tell you that a rice cooker is an indispensable unit. At its most basic function, you can expect perfect rice every time, no matter the cooking style.
You can also use it to prepare rice and meat dishes of any kind, porridges and rice soups, steamed vegetables, and dumplings.
Zojirushi is an industry-standard brand that offers many options. At its most basic, the Zojirushi NHS-10 has only two settings – cook and warm — and can hold up to 6 cups of uncooked rice.
For a more advanced option with additional settings, such as delay timers and the ability to change temperature and cooking times depending on what the rice needs, nothing beats the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy. Either one would be a great gift for your fave foodie and help them save time and prepare fresh batches of rice and more whenever they feel like it.
4. A Good Pepper Grinder
If you need large amounts of ground black pepper, go for the KROK, as it will give you complete control over the texture of the final product. But for quick, small amounts of freshly ground pepper, always keep a pepper grinder nearby. It doesn’t take much more energy than a pepper shaker, but the freshly ground pepper will always (and impressively) taste much better than pre-ground pepper.
The options for a good pepper grinder are endless. A great, affordable option is the Peugeot Pepper Mill. For those with a bit more money to spend, the best pepper grinder money can buy is the Pepper Cannon, at an impressive $200.
5. Kitchen Torch
A kitchen torch is one of those tools you can initially do without, but once added to your kitchen, you can’t imagine preparing meals without it. Its uses are endless, from melting cheese and searing meats to charing tomatoes, chilies, and other vegetables. You can use it to flambé alcohol in a hot pan or prepare dessert toppings.
The Jo Chef Superior RX kitchen torch is a great option to start with. It has a safety lock and adjustable flame that gets super hot — up to 1300°C — and comes ready to go with a butane tank. Purchasing this torch also gives you access to an ebook with 15 recipes, so you can quickly learn a few of the many ways to use your new torch in the kitchen.
6. Pasta Maker
If your loved one is interested in making a fresh batch of homemade pasta – as it’s undeniably delicious and so much better than dried pasta – a hand-cranked pasta maker is a must! Most options come with a roller section to roll out the dough and a cutting section to make thinner noodles like spaghetti or a bit wider noodles like fettuccine.
The Imperia Pasta Maker is the standard in most Italian kitchens, manufactured in Italy since 1932. While this option comes with the two main sections listed above, there are numerous other attachments sold separately for many other types of noodles.
If you already have a KitchenAid mixer, they sell attachments with roll and cut functions so that you can get the same results as the hand crank options.
7. Pizza Stone
Another necessary piece of equipment for Italian cuisine: pizza stone. If your loved one is passionate about baking delicious, crispy-crusted pizzas, a pizza stone is a must-have kitchen accessory.
A good pizza stone retains and distributes heat evenly, providing a perfectly baked crust every time. Additionally, the porous surface of the stone absorbs excess moisture, giving the pizza a crispy texture. Not only can it be used for pizza, but it can also be used to bake bread, pastries, and more.
This Cuisinart Pizza grilling set comes with a stainless steel pizza peel and a pizza cutter. Perfect for Italian pizza aficionados. If you’re looking for a more versatile tool, check out this cast iron pizza pan that you can use on stovetops or even over a campfire.
Are you entertaining a serious cook? We’ve got your back. A multi-cooker is a multi-functional kitchen device that can cook food in various ways and can be a great gift for someone living a fast-paced tempo.
If you’re into cooking, you must have heard about the famous Instant Pot, a well-known brand name for a multi-cooker, similar to how Kleenex is associated with tissues.
The functions of an include boiling, simmering, baking, sautéing, steaming, frying, roasting, stewing, pressure cooking, and keeping food warm. This makes it an ideal choice for compact kitchens as it replaces multiple appliances. Plus, it significantly reduces cooking time compared to traditional methods and saves you a lot of space when you consider it combines a rice cooker, yogurt maker, slow cooker, and pressure cooker.
If you’re looking for a multicooker, Instant Pot Duo comes with 7 functions: pressure cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, slow cooker, saute pan, and food warmer.
9. Sous Vide
Sous vide is a method of cooking food in airtight plastic bags in a temperature-controlled water bath. This technique allows for precise control of the cooking temperature, leading to perfectly cooked dishes every time with consistent texture and flavor.
Sous vide is commonly used for cooking meats, vegetables, and eggs and can also be used for infusing flavors into liquids and making delicate sauces. The popularity of sous vide has increased in recent years due to its convenience and the ability to achieve restaurant-quality results in the home kitchen.
Joule by Breville is recommended for someone new to sous vide cooking. And for more seasoned sous vide enthusiasts Anova Precision Cooker Pro is perfect.
10. Kitchen Shears
Sometimes the best cooking gifts are the most obvious ones. While most of us keep a pair of scissors near our kitchen, having designated, high-quality kitchen shears is a game-changer. These will usually have a few more functions than your normal scissors, such as bottle openers, center sections for cracking nuts and bones, notches for jar opening, and heavy-duty metal for cutting through any joint and breaking down poultry.
This is another good tool with lots of great options across all price points. When shopping, be sure your choice has at least some of the above features if not all. A perfect, affordable option with all of these features (and more) is the Gerior Kitchen Scissors, coming way under $20. This is more of a universal pair that can do anything. If you only plan to use shears for one thing (like breaking down poultry), you can look for a specialized pair.
11. Meat Thermometer
Meat thermometers are a surprisingly cheap tool that has yet to find its way into more kitchens. With its help, you can cook meat to perfection every time. No more overcooking and drying out your dinner or worrying about the safety of what you’re about to eat.
The ABTER Dual Probe meat thermometer has a built-in probe and an extra-long wire probe so you can leave the gauge while grilling or smoking. The oven-safe wire probe is also sturdy enough to handle your oven or grill door closed, so you don’t have to worry about heat loss. The alarm will go off once the oven or grill hits the desired temperature, so you don’t have to watch it yourself.
12. Wooden Cutting Board
Every kitchen needs at least one cutting board, or better yet a few for different tasks, from meat butchering to quick vegetable chopping.
When it comes to chopping boards, choosing between plastic and wooden is a controversial topic. Plastic is thought to be easier to clean since it’s usually dishwasher-safe and requires less maintenance. However, thanks to the natural wood’s properties, like natural tannins, wood cutting boards are actually more hygienic than plastic ones. Plus they are more durable and easier on your knife blades.
Really, the best set-up is a high-quality wood cutting board, as large as your kitchen can handle, and maybe one or two small plastic boards for quick jobs.
If you’re willing to spend some money on your gift, the only option for home chefs is an end grain board made from a high-quality wood like this Friendly 4est European Oak Butcher Block. It comes in two sizes, so pick whichever one fits your kitchen and your wallet. For a more affordable option, this HHXRISE Organic Bamboo Cutting Board should work just fine. Be sure to have something like food-grade mineral oil to condition the board every so often.
13. Dutch Oven
Sure, you can make stews in any kind of pot if you set your mind to it. However, a cast-iron dutch oven does wonders for the meat, thanks to its excellent heating capacity. Plus, you can put it in the oven and combine various cooking styles.
The Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven comes in eye-catching colors and a reasonable price while boasting exceptional cooking performance, rivaling that of pricier alternatives. Its unique features, such as spacious handles and a broad cooking surface, distinguish it from other ovens in our evaluation.
14. A Set of Ramekins
Ramekins are usually ceramic mini cooking dishes that can go into the oven, microwave, and freezer. They are a very underrated piece of kitchen equipment, as the list of things you can do with them is endless.
Because they are portion-sized, they allow you to make delicious-looking sweets, quiches, and many other dishes that you won’t have to cut when serving and risk everything falling apart. You can also use a kitchen torch on them or use them as mini casseroles to make portion-sized stews.
Depending on the style of your head chef, you can get a classy-looking set of 6-piece ramekins from Mora Ceramic. If you’re shopping for a more contemporary-looking kitchen, check out this Delling Geometric Ramekins set that comes in shades of blue, black, and white. For a cuter look, this set of Between Islands Ramekins is our pick with its candy-colored design.
Whichever one you get for your favorite cook, you’ll thank us for the idea when they serve you a nice soufflé or creme brulee.
15. Himalayan Salt Stone
A plancha much more elegant than usual: this block of Umaid Natural Himalayan Rock Salt Block transforms the traditional backyard barbeque into a real gourmet experience. All you have to do is add a little oil on top and slowly heat the rock on the barbecue to make it a cooking surface that’s also suited for adding seasonings.
The block can be used on a barbecue, heated by flames, or placed in the oven. You can use it for meat, mushrooms, fish, shellfish, and vegetables. To vary your palette, you can also use it cold to impress guests when serving sushi or fresh fruit.
16. Japanese BBQ
A compact Japanese barbecue will allow you to barbecue at home and will enhance the Sunday picnics while catching everyone’s eye with its authentic design. It’s also portable, so you can take it with you when camping or enjoying a day at the beach.
You can even use it indoors too, but only with the proper charcoal — Japanese binchotan — because fumes from regular coal can be dangerous. There are three sizes: small, medium, and large, depending on the size of the family and gatherings.
17. Smart Planter
One of the things that turn a good dish into a gourmet meal is the freshness of the produce. You can make sure you have the freshest ingredients if you shop at a farmer’s market or if you’re mindful about the contents of your fridge and spot the food that’s gone bad on time.
However, this may easily become a burdensome task, so adding a few fresh herbs to a dish can also do wonders.
You can grow basil, marigold, mini peppers, parsley, mint, dill, sage, rosemary, thyme, and other herbs, as well as small vegetables like tomatoes. Whatever seeds you can put your hands on.
Now, we do admit that this SereneLife Smart Starter Kit is a bit pricey, but its led grow lights with the hydroponic — meaning soilless — garden features will yield the best result when it comes to indoor gardening. Its different timer modes adapt to the growth stage of the plants, which you can easily control from the front panel, helping your fave foodie grow their fresh herbs and veggies all year round.
18. A Whetstone
Even though the whetstones are a bit overshadowed by the knife sharpeners and honing rods, they are actually the best tool for the job, as they sharpen and hone your kitchen knives at the same time.
We admit that whetstones are not the most straightforward tools to use when you’re dealing with a dull knife because the excellent results depend on the angle at which you hold the knife and how much you wet the stone. However, once you start doing it right, you will see that stone sharpening is extremely effective!
There are a variety of materials and grains available on the market. The most common ones are made of composite materials like corundum powder, such as this Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone. They are perfect for hard metal blades like carbon steel.
There are also so-called natural stones, meaning they come directly from a natural material taken from quarries, such as this Arkansas Sharpening Stone Set. These stones are made of Novaculite, quartz found only in this region. You can use them on kitchen knives but also table knives for regular maintenance.
19. Bottle for Olive Oil and Vinegar
Small touches like salt shakers or napkin holders can do wonders to a regular dinner table. An olive oil and vinegar dispenser set is one of those things, especially if your recipient loves to serve salads.
The best gifts are never the regular ones that everyone has seen enough of unless they specifically asked for those classy-looking ones. Check out this funky olive oil and vinegar dispenser from Boaller that’ll make sure to add a wow factor to the table. It’s simple, interesting, and budget-friendly.
If you’d like to go for a unique gift, you can get a pair of authentic dispensers with handmade tile art on them or maybe these handmade minimalist ceramic bottles.
20. Mushroom Knife
If the serious chef in your life is a mushroom enthusiast, we have the perfect gift idea for you. A mushroom knife is an absolute accessory for foraging. Even if they aren’t into it yet, it can motivate them to take up a new hobby with these multi-featured mushroom knives. While picking mushrooms is a hobby that requires some know-how, it can be great for someone who likes hiking in the forest and cooking.
Because mushrooms have delicate stems, the harvesting process is sometimes complicated. A mushroom knife is exactly what you need to pick them up without damaging the mycelium. Thanks to its hawk-bill-shaped blades, a mushroom knife can really slice up those finds.
This pocket-sized Hanziup Classic Mushroom Knife is well-equipped for foraging. It’s easy to carry around and has a stiff brush to clean mushrooms without damaging them. Its stylish handle offers a perfect grip, and the blade’s design is very safe. It also comes with a book on foraging mushrooms, making it the perfect gift for a wanna-be forager.
21. Electric Knife Sharpener
Nothing beats the pleasure of cutting with a perfectly sharp knife that can cut even the thinnest tomato slices smoothly. Whetstones are great for keeping knives in their best condition, but they do require some time and effort to master. And even after mastering it, it’ll take some time to get a perfectly sharpened knife.
Electric knife sharpeners are so easy to use that it’s virtually impossible to go wrong. You just put the knife in the slit and let the sharpener do its job. The only thing you should consider is the type of blades you’ll be sharpening with these tools because some work best on specific knife types, like Japanese knives or ceramics, while some are designed to sharpen multiple blade types.
Presto EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener is fast, quiet, and efficient for non-serrated knives. This knife sharpener’s 4 blade guides fix the blade at the optimum angle, letting you sharpen and polish your blades in a minute.
If you’re looking for more of a professional sharpener, this Chef’s Choice Trizor XV Sharpener has 3 stages used to hone, sharpen and polish the blades. You can easily sharpen both regular and serrated-edged knives with it. You’ll be surprised how it turns even the cheapest knives into professional grade.
22. Digital Food Scale
You would be surprised to see how misleading measuring cups can be depending on the ingredient, the dampness of the air, or the way you scoop stuff up. A digital food scale, on the other hand, gives you consistent and accurate measurements every time.
The precision of the ingredients might not be very important when making a meat stew since you can’t really go wrong with that if you don’t leave aside common sense. However, baked dishes and fermented ones require closer attention.
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale is incredibly accurate and has multiple functions, such as a pull-out display, a removable scale bed, and a unit conversion feature to measure kilograms, ounces, and pounds. For a more budget-friendly alternative, the Escali Primo Precision Food Scale is easy to use, comes with a lifetime warranty, and simply delivers what it promises.
23. Mushroom Log Kit
Some people simply don’t need more cooking gifts. If you feel like there’s nothing left that can surprise them, let us prove you wrong. Have you heard about mushroom log kits?
Howard Berk and Todd Pittard’s Shiitake Mushroom Log Kit and Oyster Mushroom Log Kit made of recently felled tree trunks and organic spores let you grow meaty shiitake and velvety oyster mushrooms in your home.
All you need to do is to soak the wood in water and keep it in a dark, damp, cool place for about 6 weeks. The kit will reward you with a lot of delicious mushrooms without taking up too much space. After you harvest the mushrooms, you can repeat the growing process every 6 weeks up to 3 years. Once you get this mushroom log kit, you’ll be set for all the sauces, stir-fries, stuffings, and soups for a long time.
24. Spice Jars With Labels
Great meals start with fresh ingredients. These AOZITA 36-piece spice jars with labels will help keep spices fresh and easily accessible, making it a breeze to add that extra pop of flavor to any meal. A neatly organized spice drawer not only adds convenience but also elevates the cooking experience.
With clear labels, finding the right spice is effortless, saving valuable time in the kitchen. This thoughtful gesture is sure to bring a smile to the face of your favorite cook and make a meaningful impact on their daily cooking routine.
25. Cast Iron Garlic Roaster
Roasted garlic is a great condiment and makes your house smell incredibly delicious. You can spread it on bread, mix it with veggies, add it to soups, or — if you’re like us — you can even eat it straight.
With this practical and cute little cast iron garlic roaster, you can roast garlic in the oven or on a grill. It eliminates the need for aluminum foil, which can release harmful chemicals into the food. Because you’ll be exclusively roasting garlic in it, you don’t need to clean it thoroughly every time you use it.
26. Tofu Maker Kit
Whether you’re a vegan or not, tofu is a great way to incorporate a new texture into your diet. If you’ve ever been to Japan, you know that the Japanese know how to serve tofu and incorporate it into their cuisine. What if you could make some delicious tofu at home? All you need to do is to get some soybeans and this Yamako tofu maker kit.
The kit is made of a Japanese Cypress tree that’ll add a nice aroma to your tofu. Homemade tofu is much fresher than the ones you buy from the store, and it tastes much sweeter and nuttier.
After you soak the soybeans in water overnight and run it through a blender — to make soy milk — the tofu-making process takes about only 1 or 2 hours. You can also use store-bought soy milk if you don’t want to deal with soybeans.
27. Silicone Lids
Even the tidiest home cook can lose track of the lids from time to time. These Five Two Airtight Silicone Lids are cute, useful, and fit most bowls and cups. The multiple sizes in the set can fit any type of dish, and you can use them on anything from skillets to silicone cups.
Apart from being an eco-friendly substitute to plastic wrap, they are heat resistant up to 280°C, so you can even cover a simmering saucepan with these silicone lids or shield your microwave from splatters. When you put them on a dish or pot with a smooth rim, gently pull the lid by its handle to have airtight suction, and you’re good to go.
28. Clip & Drain
Some kitchen tools are only there because of old habits, such as that bulky drainer you only use for draining pasta. This Chef’s Planet Clip & Drain is a very clever tool that acts as a built-in strainer on any pot you attach it to, be it a small saucepan or a mixing bowl.
You can easily drain pasta, meat, and veggies without hassling with a bulky colander — not to mention washing it afterward. It’s made of silicone, so it won’t be damaged even when draining boiling water, and it’s safe to wash in the dishwasher.
Sharing is Caring!
Gift-giving is an important tradition and a great way to leave mementos for our family and friends. It’s great when the gift is also functional or something that gives a head start to your favorite home chef.
We hope you found a few great gifts for your beloved cooking enthusiasts. Some of these are necessary tools any home chef should have, while others are more niche tools that’ll give your friends and family a huge smile on their faces and encourage them to try something new.