Gifts for people who like to cook
Cooking is a wonderful hobby. It takes practice and study but it’s also highly accessible, no matter what size of kitchen you’re working with. If you have a chef or baker in your life, adding to their collection of recipe books, equipment and accessories is the ideal gift for any occasion.
There are gifts out there for any chef, no matter their proficiency level or the type of cooking they like to do — whether you’ve got a beginner baker or a professional chef to buy for, you can choose something that will suit their ability levels.
Types of cooking gifts
Before you choose the right gift for cooking, it’s a good idea to think about the different genres and styles of gifts you can choose from, including:
- Cookbooks and recipe books
- Kitchen equipment and tools
- Accessories such as aprons and oven mitts
Within each of these areas, you’ll also find vastly different price points; it’s worth setting yourself a budget before choosing your gift.
Best gifts for beginner cooks
How to Cook Everything The Basics by Mark Bittman: available at Amazon
Our take: To help beginner chefs get a grip on the basics, this complete guide provides recipes and cooking instructions for core cooking techniques.
What we like: With over 1,000 techniques and recipes, you'll never get bored.
What we dislike: Some recipes may require a trip to the grocery store to complete.
Our take: Every utensil that a beginner chef will ever need is in this set.
What we like: This set is durable, comprehensive and designed to last a lifetime.
What we dislike: Users report that the set may be a little large for small kitchens.
Maison d'Hermine Colmar Kitchen Apron: available at Amazon
Our take: This apron is a cute and practical gift for beginner chefs of all sizes.
What we like: The beautiful style was inspired by the town of Colmar in France.
What we dislike: Users report that ironing is almost always required after washing.
Our take: Protect your beginner chef from nasty burns with these oven mitts that withstand heat up to 302 degrees.
What we like: These gloves are machine-washable. Silicone patterned grips make holding pans and cookie sheets safe.
What we dislike: Some users suggest that these gloves may be a little big for smaller hands.
Kizen Digital Meat Thermometer: available at Amazon
Our take: For the beginner chef who’s nervous about cooking meat and other food to the correct temperature, this thermometer is great for every type of meat and cooking style.
What we like: Temperature readings are available in as little as 3 seconds.
What we dislike: Users report that the electrical unit is not waterproof.
Best gifts for advanced cooks
Chef'sChoice Professional Electric Knife Sharpening Station: available at Amazon
Our take: Chefs pride themselves on the quality and sharpness of their knives, so this set is sure to bring a more advanced cook's prep to the next level.
What we like: This machine offers sharpening solutions for all types of knives.
What we dislike: Some users report that this product can take some practice to get working to a professional level.
Our take: For the cook who’s ready to start making pasta from scratch, this machine helps you produce restaurant-quality fresh pasta.
What we like: Made in Italy with chrome-plated steel with easy-to-use instructions.
What we dislike: May not be suitable for less pliable pasta doughs.
Aaron Leather Goods Leather Knife Roll Storage Bag: available at Amazon
Our take: A beautiful storage bag that’s helpful for chefs who take knife care seriously.
What we like: Handcrafted with quality leather.
What we dislike: This bag is not water-resistant.
Clark’s Complete Cutting Board Care Kit: available at Amazon
Our take: This set is a simple way to keep cutting boards looking good as new.
What we like: This all-in-one set comes with soap, oil, wax and brush.
What we dislike: The oil bottle can be leaky.
Burt's Bees Hand Repair Gift Set: available at Amazon
Our take: Advanced and professional chefs spend a lot of time using and washing their hands, so this set can help keep them soft and reduce irritation.
What we like: The almond milk hand cream and beeswax hand cream keep hands soft, restore moisture and repair cuticles.
What we dislike: Not suitable for users who prefer fragrance-free products.
Best gifts for bakers
Our take: With these bowls, bakers never need to worry about slipping when mixing again.
What we like: Save storage space with the nesting design.
What we dislike: The plastic may get damaged easily.
Evermarket Paisley Embossed Wooden Rolling Pin: available at Amazon
Our take: This rolling pin allows the baker to apply a beautiful paisley design to their pastry creations.
What we like: The easy-to-grip handles make it simple to roll smoothly.
What we dislike: Some users report that the patterns can stain the dough.
Kootek Cake Decorating Kit: available at Amazon
Our take: This cake-decorating supply kit is perfect for bakers of all levels to find new and creative ways to decorate their creations.
What we like: 52 separate pieces for shaping and decorating cakes and pastries.
What we dislike: Easy to mislay some of the pieces, as it doesn’t come with storage.
Nicewell Digital Food Scale: available at Amazon
Our take: Useful for bakers when they need decimal point accuracy in their measurements.
What we like: Designed with a food-grade stainless steel platform that’s easy to clean.
What we dislike: Some users suggest that the scale is delicate and may break easily.
Scott's Bakery Antique Round Metal Cake Stand: available at Amazon
Our take: This antique-style round metal cake stand is just right for displaying your baked goods.
What we like: Suitable for celebrations, tea parties, birthday parties and Instagram-worthy photos of baking projects.
What we dislike: May be a little small for larger cakes.
Lauren Farrell is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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