Great Gifts for Your Favorite Home Cook

Food enthusiasts will love these versatile gifts, like handy cookware, countertop accents and clever gadgets.

October 01, 2018
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Photo By: Jeff S. Saxman

Photo By: Kari Lovequist Photography

Staub Petite French Oven, White with Copper Knob, $150

A great gift for newlyweds, empty nesters and new grads, this striking cocotte finished with glossy white enamel is perfect for cooking small quantities of rice, simmering individual portions of soups and stews — and even baking a fruit cobbler for two!

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Egg Fry Rings, $6

The humble B.E.C. may seem like an easy enough breakfast feat, but getting the fried egg to fit neatly within the edges of your English muffin or Kaiser roll is no simple task. Luckily, perfectly circular fried eggs (and pancakes!) are within your grasp with the help of these handy fry rings.

Misen Essentials Knife Set, $120

A chef’s knife, a serrated knife and a paring knife: These are the three essential knives you need to cook like a pro. Made using easy-to-sharpen, AUS-8 steel, this set offers durability and precision at a competitive price, especially when compared to other "premium" knives on the market.

Francis Apron by Hedley and Bennett, $85

Any good cook knows clothes can get dirty in the kitchen and the Francis apron from Hedley & Bennett is sturdy enough to handle any mess you create.

Marble Cheese Board, $13

Over-the-top cheese plates have gone viral on Instagram this year. Gift your favorite host this gorgeous marble board that's big enough for a piled plate with all the fruit, meat and cheese.

Available at HomeGoods stores nationwide

Kuvee Key 2-Wines Gift, $75-$85

We’ve all felt pressure to polish off a whole bottle of wine so it doesn’t turn to vinegar on our countertops. Finally, with the Kuvee Key 2-Wines Gift, you can keep multiple bottles open at the same time. For the budding sommeliers and wine connoisseurs in your life, you’ll forever be remembered as the world’s greatest gift-giver.

Zakarian Home Sous Vide Circulator Stick, $130

Sous vide, which is French for "under vacuum," has been favored by professional chefs for decades thanks to its consistency, accuracy and ability to be left alone while other tasks are completed. Home cooks can reap the benefits with Geoffrey Zakarian’s own Home Sous Vide Circulator, which takes the worry out of overcooking expensive proteins like steak and fish.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker, $35

Stopping for drive-through breakfast sammies on the way to school or work is a ritual for many families —but the cost adds up quickly! This handy sandwich maker basically pays for itself after just two or three mornings. To use it, just choose your bread and layer on the fixings, like egg, cheese, deli meat, sliced peppers and more. Five minutes later, it pops out two perfectly golden sandwiches.

T-Fal Airbake Copper Pizza Pan, $15

Burnt or soggy pizza crust has never been so far from the realm of possibility. Made with MicroDome technology to decrease baking time, T-Fal’s nonstick aluminum pizza pan is designed to cook your homemade pies more quickly and evenly than ever before.

OXO Glass Pour-Over Set, $50

It’s easy to excuse homebrewed coffee that's bitter and watered-down as a common, if not inevitable, dilemma, but this glass pour-over makes hand-crafted coffee a simple feat for novices. The server is double-walled to insulate heat and prevent condensation, resulting in a rich, homemade brew, hot or cold, that stays at the right temperature until you’re ready for your second cup.

Fancy Panz, $20

We’d all be more keen on potlucks, tailgates and at-home entertaining if only it were easier to set up and clean up. Fancy Panz tackles that issue headlong by dressing up your disposable foil pans so they’re easy set up and pack up —and they even look great on your table!

Robot Nutcracker, $29

If you’ve seen the first act of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, then you’re likely to think of these kitschy nut-cracking aids as mere fragile decoration. But this 21st century version finished with a gleaming paint-job is designed to break into any nut, from the smallest hazelnut to the toughest walnut.

Bee's Wrap — Set of 3 Sizes, $18

Made of beeswax and organic cotton, these reusable wraps offer a natural food-storage alternative to plastic wrap. Use one to wrap up bread, cheese and vegetables, or simply to cover a bowl. Your holiday host will be glad to have these on hand when it comes time to store the leftovers.

Tortilla Warmer, $38

Upgrade Taco Tuesdays with the help of these heavyweight canvas tortilla warmers, which hold in the heat while you prep taco fillings. Trying to steer clear of one-trick ponies? Don't worry; these warmers work just as well with pancakes, waffles and pita bread.

Photography courtesy of Mark Weinberg and Rocky Luten

Baking Steel, $89 to $128

Tell the master pizzaioli in your life to toss out their pizza stones, because they’ll never achieve a better crust than one that’s left to crisp up on this sturdy baking steel. It’s preseasoned, flat (and therefore easy to store) and virtually indestructible. You can pop it in the oven, heat it up over a grill or even use it as a stovetop griddle.

Photography courtesy of Mark Weinberg

Fagor Innova Pressure Cooker — 6-Quart, $140

Any food aficionado will preach the wonders of slow-cooked meals, from juicy carnitas to creamy custard. But as for time efficiency, the slow cooker leaves a lot to be desired. Give the gift of flavor and efficiency in the form of a stovetop pressure cooker, which can reduce cook time by up to 70 percent — wowza!

Textured Mortar & Pestle, $24

If your friends and family members are hooked on preground spices, it’s time to show them the benefits of grinding your own. Once pulverized, aromatics begin to lose their flavor and potency, so it’s worth the time and effort to do it yourself — ideally with an elegant mortar and pestle like this sturdy stoneware option. Not only is it functional, but it also makes for a stylish countertop accent.

Calphalon Signature Flat-Bottom Wok, $100

Addicted to stir-fry? You’ll achieve a more even sear with this nonstick, flat-bottomed wok. Crafted from hard-anodized aluminum, it's so durable that you can cook with metal spatulas, spoons and whisks — and yes, it's dishwasher-safe.

Nessie Ladle, $16

Innovative kitchenware brand Ototo has given the fearsome Loch Ness Monster a serious image overhaul in the form of this whimsical ladle designed for navigating the deepest of stock pots. Avid sauciers will rejoice the 4-footed bottom — never again will your ladle tip and sink into the bubbling deep.

Acacia Salt Cellar, $10

Those of you who hide frumpy boxes of salt in the pantry can start displaying your salt proudly on your countertop in this rich acacia-wood salt cellar. That way, it will always be at your fingertips. You can even use it for storing dried herbs and other seasonings.

Emile Henry Flame Braiser — 3.4-Quart, $180

As we enter another winter, nothing will be of greater use come mealtime than this burgundy clay braiser. Designed to withstand high temperatures and direct heat, this elegant oven-to-table vessel will carry you through one comforting braised meal after the next.

OXO 7-Piece Grate & Slice Set, $30

Meal prep sometimes feels so daunting that it drives us to order takeout — even if we like to cook. But a handy mandoline and box grater will help you grate, slice and julienne your vegetables and cheese.

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender & Chopper, $60

If the cook in your life is still pureeing soup in a blender, it's time to get him or her an immersion blender. This one will puree a pot of soup in seconds and can make a smoothie for one, but it also has a chopping attachment and a whisk, so it acts as a stand-in for larger appliances. You can whip up a small amount of whipped cream or chop an onion half without using (or washing) your mixer or food processor.

Food Network 5-Piece Mixing Bowl Set, $30

Mixing bowls are crucial to meal prep, but there's no reason for them to be drab or clunky. This multicolored option adds a lively touch to any kitchen — and the bowls nest for easier storage.

Hot Sauce Challenge, $15

Put any hot sauce lover to the test with this kit made up of 10 bottles ranging from jalapeno to ghost pepper!

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