Holiday Gift Guide For Culinary Lovers
Have a food lover in the family or friends circle? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There is a lot of cooking gadgets and diddies on the market these days and it’s easy to get lost in the hub bub of it all if you don’t know what you’re doing. Holiday shopping can be overwhelming enough—no need to throw more stress on top of it! That’s why we’ve compiled this great list of some of the most versatile and useful gifts any novice or expert chef could appreciate. And who knows, maybe they’ll even cook you some awesome food in return!
Follow this shopping guide to shower the culinarians in your life with some unstoppable and thoughtful gifts!
Non-stick pans don’t have anything on the cast-iron skillet. These are the most heavy duty frying pans you could ever come across, capable to make just about anything. They’re made of cast-iron which means they’re not going to get loose screws or broken handles. They’ll more than hold their own for decades to come. In a time when fancy, futuristic sounding non-stick pans dominate the market, the cast-iron skillet is often overlooked and missing from the kitchen. Don’t let that happen to the special culinarian in your life. Enlighten them on the beauty of the old-fashioned skillet!
We don’t mean for it to happen. But somewhere along the way you start to notice that your hand only gravitates toward one specific tool in your drawer. There’s something about it that feels so nice in your hand, and (gasp!), could it be that it even makes food taste better? Whether we like to admit it or not, we always end up picking favorites when it comes to our most handy kitchen utensil: the stirring spoon. It’s our best companion at the stove, guiding us through recipe after recipe. We’re not quite sure why the long-handled wooden spoon just feels right but we’re embracing it with open arms!
This is perhaps one of the best little something’s you can pick up. Have a holiday party you’re attending and want to gift the hosts something thoughtful and nice? A delicious infused olive oil can say the perfect amount of “thanks”. And with tons of different types on the market, you can rarely go wrong with the one you pick up. Garlic? Rosemary? Truffle? Any of those options can greatly enhance even the simplest of dish. Also, they make great stocking stuffers!
Serving Bowl Set
Whether or not the cook in your life loves to also entertain or not, serving sets can come in handy for a number of reasons. They’re convenient for separating everything out for the mise en place, for serving dinner when it isn’t a special occasion or, my personal favorite, to store leftovers in the fridge. This is especially nice when making big batches of anything that won’t take the typical Tupperware. My ceramic serving bowls are always coming to my rescue in different ways.
They make pretty much every type of cookbook you can think of now. By chef, by cuisine type, by culture, by city, by country, by state, by continent, by dish, by ingredients, by diet and cleanse and plants and colors and spices and everything. There’s really no stopping it at this point. So even if you only know a dish someone likes or a cooking show they enjoy watching or a restaurant they frequent—that’s all you really need to pick out a good cookbook. Plus, to buy someone a book even when it is a cookbook, can be some of the most personal gifts. They show you listen, you know them and you care!
Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
This should really be on everyone’s Christmas list, whether they know it or not. This piece of equipment can be the most useful and most necessary part of a kitchen and you can use it for just about everything. Let’s go over some of the main reasons why:
1) It’s made of cast-iron which basically means it’ll last forever.
2) It can be used both on the stove and in the oven, meaning it’s convenient and eliminates other dishes. Win win!
3) The enameled ones require no seasoning
4) You can use it for: soups, sauces, braises, roasts, casseroles, stews,
5) They’ve been used to cook food for hundreds of years. In fact, most soup recipes and gumbos and braises that you would make in one were first invented and tried out in the dutch oven.
6) They’re not that pricey! You can pick up an enameled one for about $60. At that price point, this thing will outlive any other thing you would think of getting.
Electric Knife Sharpener
I’m not one for fancy gadgets in the kitchen but one whole year of complaining how dull and awful my knives were landed me one of these for Christmas. I had honestly never even considered an electric knife sharpener but I was open to try anything at that point. With the flip of a switch and a grind here and there, my knives were turned into a dull nightmare into a tool I could actually use in the kitchen without being afraid to lose a finger (they were that bad). Since most people don’t know how to use the old fashioned ones, this makes for a nice trade that actually let’s someone use it. They’re also pretty small which doesn’t burden someone with something large to try and fit in their already packed cupboards. Have a loved one in online cooking school? You will quickly become their favorite person in the world if you get them one of these.
There are few cooking occasions where a food processor doesn’t come in handy. We can’t tell you how many things we’ve made in one of these babies, from hummus and salsa to bread dough and soup, there’s a lot more you can do with a food processor than you make realize. Shoot, sometimes we even use it to quick chop veggies on the fly. Depending on the type or how big the food processor is, these things can run from totally affordable to a bit pricey so it can be a great option no matter the recipient.
High Quality Knives
A good knife is the most useful tool a chef can have in the kitchen. No questions asked. But nice knives are often a purchase someone won’t make on their own so they can be the ultimate gift for someone you really love. Depending on the company, a good chef’s knife can go all the way up to $200 but don’t let that price scare you off. It’s often a one-time purchase that will leave the recipient jumping for joy. I know, I’ve totally been there and totally done my own little happy dance.
Most people have no idea how much ones of these can come in handy until they encounter a recipe where they could really use it. This especially rings true for all those soup recipes that require you to transfer some of the concoction to a blender. Don’t need that step anymore with one of these! But beyond soup, emulsion blenders help make sauces, whipped cream, custards, mashed potatoes, mixed drinks and much more.