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Got a chef who is always experimenting, a baking enthusiast, or coffee lover in your life? There are lots of gifts to help them work smarter in the kitchen, tickle their taste buds, or cook over live fire.
Whether you’re shopping for someone who is a novice in the kitchen or a passionate food preparer, here is a compilation of appliances, cookbooks, gadgets, and delicious bites to delight them. Many chefs are always in need of everyday basics like measuring spoons and soap-dispensing brushes. Interesting cookbooks and time-saving gadgets like a chopper are always appreciated. It might be that the “chef” you’re shopping for is a dad doing meal prep on Sundays who is excited about a scale to keep portions precise.
Remember this as you begin your gift search: Chefs can be quirky, fanatical, and particular—maybe you’ve watched The Menu?—so it may be more challenging to purchase a knife set or pots and pans—all of which can be pricey—unless you know the recipient very well.
The ideal gift for a chef doesn’t have to be expensive, though. In fact, the options here start at $4. More than price, what will make the difference, what will add panache to your present, is choosing something personal for your recipient. Maybe your friend who has a serious sweet tooth would appreciate a box of artisan chocolates. Is your sister a budding baker who is in need of the right tools to whip up a batch of next-level cookies and breads?
No matter who you are shopping for—a professional chef, a recipe tinkerer, a novice home cook—there is something here for all of them, from everyday staples to out-of-the-ordinary surprises. Happy shopping and mangia bene!
Best Gifts for Chefs
For the Playful Chef: Dunk N’ Egg Separator
You Dip. I Dip. We Dip.: Nostalgia Chocolate Fountain
For the Budding Pizzaiola: Ooni Karu
For the Busy Cook: Cuisinart Elemental 4-Cup Chopper/Grinder
For Outdoorsy Cooks: Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set
The Expert: I’ve worked in restaurants, written cookbooks, and made most of the dinners in my household for the past 20 years. I’m a food writer for national publications who develops recipes, tests appliances, and recommends kitchen tools people should buy. I am always interested in talking about food and love knowing what someone is having for dinner.
What to Consider in a Gift for a Chef
If you want to get it right, buy chefs what they won’t purchase for themselves. Maybe it’s an eye-catching appliance in a color that coordinates with their kitchen décor or it’s simply a new cooling rack to replace a bent one of theirs. Cooks will typically work things until they break and they generally don’t reward themselves. This is your opportunity to treat them.
It might even be an actual treat like artisan chocolate or great olive oil, but it might also be about selecting an item to make a kitchen process easier like grinding spices or a gadget perfectly suited to a certain task like capturing egg yolks. A standout gift for any chef, for example, is one that makes it effortless to keep their kitchen clean.
A note here on what you might want to avoid: Knives and pans. Chefs can be particular about what knife they use to cut veggies, meat, and more. For pans, some chefs prefer stainless steel while others have a kitchen full of non-stick and griddles. Do a little research or subtly check out what’s in their cabinets before you go down this avenue.
How We Selected Chef Gifts
I balanced what I have found useful in my career as a product tester, recipe developer, and maker of dinner for children with what another chef or cook might enjoy unwrapping themselves. Since I’m the main cook in my house—and frequently receive products from companies for testing, as well as culinary gifts from friends and family—I’m familiar with lots brands, such as Cuisinart and KitchenAid. Even if I haven’t tested or used a particular item, I’m well-versed in evaluating different brands, types of appliances, and kitchen gadgets.
Additionally, I consulted gift guides from Good Housekeeping and researched online reviews from people who had spent real time using an appliance or kitchen tool on sites like Amazon, Food & Wine, and Wayfair. While I leaned into products that provide real utility in the kitchen, I also focused on gifts like a sushi rolling kit and an air fryer with a glass viewing window that might surprise or push a chef in a new direction.
Dunk N’ Egg Separator
Forget cracking an egg with one hand. The real joy is slamming an egg on a tiny basketball hoop that catches the yolk and lets the whites fall into the bowl below. Swish!
3-Tier Chocolate Fountain
Wonka wannabes will see beautiful tiers of flowing chocolate, while the Guy Fieri set might envision a waterfall of nacho cheese. This is a personal dip fountain where a little bit of heat transforms your recipient’s dessert and taco bars.
Karu Outdoor Pizza Oven
Make it personal. Give your recipient a way to make and enjoy their own pizza. Running on wood or charcoal, this outdoor pizza oven cranks out a pie in 60 seconds, and is the kind of backyard toy where the real joy lies in chasing perfection.
Elemental 4-Cup Chopper/Grinder
Take the time-consuming prep out of meal prep with this 4-cup chopper and grinder that fits in the most compact of kitchens. Your giftee can effortlessly grind spices, chop carrots, or whip up hummus. The bowl and cover are dishwasher-safe, which make for quick clean ups.
Adventure Camp Cook Set
Stanley makes a nifty cooking kit for brewing coffee (or hot cocoa) in a stainless steel pot over a campfire. Once warm, the brew can be poured—perhaps with a splash of cinnamon whiskey— into a pair of insulated mugs. What cook would refuse this cozy concoction?
Organic Strawberry Grow Kit
Want to give someone special the chance to go berry picking without ever having to leave the house? This strawberry kit comes with everything your buddy needs to snack on strawberries any time of the year.
Ice Cream Maker
Ice cream is a popular guilty pleasure. Now your recipient can skip the line at the local place and instead make and enjoy this fun treat anytime they want. Cuisinart's tabletop ice cream maker mixes up silky, decadent desserts in under 20 minutes thanks to a simple but effective freezer bowl. (It comes in pink, too!)
Get rid of dinner decision fatigue with nine food dice. Roll to get a protein, carb, herb, bonus ingredient, and seasonal veggie, and your favorite chef won’t have to take a gamble on what to make. There are over 400,000 possible meal combinations. Another acceptable option: select the ‘Take Out’ die and place it on the table.
15-Piece Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
Bakers are precise. Your giftee will easily manage measurements with this set that includes everything needed to accurately calculate dry ingredients. Its stainless steel measuring spoons and cups, which have both the standard U.S. measurements and metric equivalents engraved, are all dishwasher-safe.
The Super Easy Teen Cookbook
It may be tough to impress teens, but this cookbook is a great gift for the growing giftee. Inside are 75 recipes, and best of all, the tone embraces cooks of all levels. There are detailed instructions on how to make everything from ramen to chocolate chip pancakes along with tips, tricks, and a section of cooking terms explained.
Bake It Better Cooling Grid
No chef will ever complain that they have too many cooling racks. These inexpensive, non-stick grids are big enough to fit a dozen cookies easily or let a fresh loaf of bread cool before dinner.
Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
This KitchenAid Stand Mixer is the hub of so many kitchens because it is not only durable, its incredibly pretty. It quickly mixes dough and beats eggs and comes in colors like light pink or pistachio green. For your significant other or someone special, this is an amazing present they will proudly display and enjoy.
Some chefs love to clean as they work. This nifty soap-dispensing brush has stiff bristles topped by a container for dishwashing liquid so they can tackle messes when they happen. The palm-sized brush comes with a case for storage so it's easy to take on camping trips, cookouts, or tailgates.
DIY Sushi Making Kit
Sushi doesn’t have to be an intimidating meal to make. This kit is ideal for that friend or family member who isn't afraid to try something new. Included are instructions, a bamboo mat for rolling, along with seafood and spices for seasoning eight sushi rolls (48 pieces) at home.
Thirsti Drink System
This is the rare sparkling water machine that lets your recipient adjust the strength of the bubbles. Your favorite chef can tweak the fizz, add in flavor, or adjust the size when making bubbly water or something a little stronger.
Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, Joanne Chang, and Thomas Keller are among the dozens of famous chefs who show your giftee how to bake and cook in video chapters from this online subscription service, which starts at $10 a month.
Since you can’t share your password, do the next best thing and get the chef in your life a Netflix subscription. Let them binge Top Chef and Nailed It to learn what to do and not do in the kitchen. Plans start at $6.99 a month.
Cookie Cutters for Every Season
From gingerbread to four-leaf clovers to hearts, there is a cookie shape for every occasion. This fun present ensures your favorite baker is ready to celebrate all the holidays properly. Made of certified food safe American steel, these cookie cutters are keepers.
Pronto Digital Scale
You can be loosey goosey in the kitchen with lots of things, but not bread flour. This lightweight scale, available in lots of cheery colors like Crystal Rose, Teal, and Lime, is simple to use, clean, and store.
This present is perfect for the friend who works on their own schedule. This pair of timers makes sure cookies are never forgotten or brownies undercooked. These timers have an on-off switch to save the battery and are magnetic, enabling you to stick them on the fridge, the stove, or other places where they can't be lost or forgotten about.
Kitchen Measuring Jug
Your friend or family member will flip for this essential for making pancakes. The ceramic jug has measuring lines on the inside and a wide spout and handle for pouring perfect circles of pancake batter onto the griddle.
Outdoor Digital Read Thermometer
Take the guesswork out of backyard and campground grilling with a digital meat thermometer. Your giftee will get an instant reading and be able to check it against the recommended temps on the handle to see if their steak is done.
Home Bakery Virtuous Plus Bread Maker
Wait, a breadmaker for those who are vegan or gluten-free? Yes! This machine features various healthy course settings including gluten-free, multigrain, whole wheat, rapid whole wheat, salt free, sugar free, and vegan. Cooks can delay the end of the baking cycle by up to 13 hours so it's possible to wake up to the smell of freshly baked, homemade bread.
Gift the coffee lover in your life this easy-to-use, hand-held milk frother. They’ll be able to top off a latte or cappuccino (or even a well-mixed cocktail) with the press of a button.
3-Cup Rice Cooker
Ahhh, well cooked rice. It's not always easy to achieve. This 3-cup rice cooker is small enough for a personal meal or big enough for a family, plus it’s plug-and-play. It’s the single, single-use appliance everyone should have in their cupboard and makes a great gift for anyone without one.
Acrylic Cookbook Holder
Trying to keep an iPad screen clean or a cookbook open to the correct page while following a recipe is an adventure. Minimize maneuvering with this acrylic stand that holds either your device or cookbook comfortably and is easy to wipe clean.
The Self-Cleaning Glass Bowl Air Fryer
Forget a boxy, black air fryer. Get your giftee a space-age fryer with a self-cleaning mode and glass window. Your chef will be able to watch cheese melt and nuggets crisp up like an Instagram time lapse on their counter.
Countertop Nugget Ice Dispenser
The good ice. The crunchy ice. The nugget ice. This pebble ice maker has a built-in dispenser and self-cleaning cycle so the good ice is available whenever it's wanted. It produces a maximum of 30 pounds of ice over 24 hours and has internal ice storage of 2 pounds.
Silicone Utensil Rest
Cleanliness is important to chefs. Oil and sauce drippings aren't welcome in the best kitchens. For your recipient, this utensil rest keeps counters clean and helps your chef stay organized while working multiple pots on the stove.
Microwave Bacon Cooker
Yes, bring home the bacon! This is a favorite food but messy to make. With this microwave appliance, bacon strips are arranged over crisping stands that can then pop right in the dishwasher when cooking is done. That BLT awaits!
5 Items or Less Cookbook
Your chef’s grocery list becomes their meal plan with this handy cookbook. Each recipe has five ingredients or less from the grocery store that is on every foodie’s feed.
Companion to Spirits and Cocktails
Author David Wondrich's guide gives your giftee insight as to what's in their glass. This book pulls in stories and techniques from across the globe so your cocktail fan can be a better bartender and learn a little bit along the way.
A cup of tea is an invitation to chat or relax. This electric kettle boils water for tea, ramen, or hot chocolate in just minutes. With more free time on their hands, your giftee can get to the business of spilling tea with friends much faster.
The Foolproof Salad Dressing Bundle
Stop salad stressing and start salad dressing. A bundle with extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar, a spout, and whisk, this has everything your favorite chef needs to make the base of a beautiful salad dressing.
These are definitely the only mice you want in the pantry. An adorable mix of white, milk, and dark chocolate mice, these are almost too cute to eat.
Expert Jonathan Bender on Splurge Gifts, What Not to Buy, and Unique Presents to Consider.
What is a great splurge gift?
Chefs cook and bake every day and that’s why they’ll appreciate a workhorse. By finding something dependable like a Cuisinart appliance, you can give them a gift they’ll appreciate for its quality and style.
Anything not to buy a chef?
Chefs are particular about how a knife feels in their hand, and they have preferences when it comes to cooking with stainless steel or a cast iron pan. Also, not all cookware works with every stove, so it’s safer to ask before buying pots or frying pans.
I want to give a subscription-type gift. What works?
Chefs look for inspiration in a wide variety of places. It might be a meal at a restaurant or the tantalizing beef sandwiches on Hulu’s The Bear. Consider buying them an entertainment subscription because it’s something they might want, but wont' purchase for themselves.
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