19 Great Gifts for the Serious Home Cook

Whether you're looking for a big gift or a stocking stuffer, these picks are perfect for anyone who wants to cook like a pro.

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November 30, 2020
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Everyone has a friend or family member that makes the best meals — whether it’s a weeknight dinner or a holiday party. Show your appreciation for all those delicious dishes by giving them upgraded kitchen tools they'll treasure for years to come and ingredients they'll swear by. This list is a combination of Food Network-tested favorites, our test kitchen recommendations and the newest must-haves, so you know they're top-notch picks!

Serious cooks know that having a solid spice rack is everything in the kitchen. Refresh their shelves with quality jars that they'll use over and over again.

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The serious home cooks we know have a serious collection of cookbooks they love. Gift the cook in your life a cookbook and tablet stand this year. For just $30, this one can be customized with an engraving and is perfect for holding cookbooks, magazines and tablets for cooking along with Food Network Kitchen classes.

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For anyone who's gained more confidence in the kitchen this year and is looking to expand on their skills, a Food Network Kitchen subscription is an ideal gift. Once you purchase a six-month or year-long subscription, the recipient will be sent an email to start their subscription immediately. They'll be able to cook witht their favorite stars right from the comfort of their own kitchen.

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Sure, candy and trinkets are great stocking stuffers, but so is this spatula. A test kitchen staffer swears it's his secret to the best scrambled eggs, and it's one of the few spatulas with a paddle that never slips off the handle.

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Is there anything more luxurious than a truffle-topped dish? While the straight-from-the-ground truffles can be pricey, this truffle salt from Trufflin is the ideal stocking stuffer for a home cook who loves to add some flair to their dishes. If you're looking for even more truffle-flavored products, we recommend snagging a bottle of the ranch and Sriracha — for yourself!

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Most of the home cooks we know have a multi-cooker by now. If your food-loving best friend does too, it's time to trick out their favorite appliance with a host of accessories.

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Serious home cooks need workhorse pans — and this one fits that bill. Our tester claimed these pans cooked and felt just like restaurant kitchen quality and could withstand all kinds of recipes.

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This bamboo cutting board was one of our favorites when we test-drove a bunch of wood and plastic boards. The size, weight and special features like a tablet/phone rest made this one stand out among the crowd. Plus, the price tag makes it more affordable than many like it on the market.

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These bottles of premium olive oil straight from Italy sell out regularly, so we recommend getting your hands on a bottle or two whenever you can. Snag a club subscription for a good friend, and we promise you'll be a regular dinner guest in the new year!

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The right acid can pull a dish together, and these brand-new vinegars from Brightland are just as pretty as they are delicious. The brand is known for their olive oil, so it's no surprise that their vinegars are ideal for vinaigrette.

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If your favorite home cook is in the market for a new apron, get them one that's durable and gives back. These aprons, sold in both adult and kid sizes, were designed in partnership with Alexandra Bowman, a nationally-published Black artist. For each apron sold, at least five aprons are given to Black-owned restaurants in need.

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This Instant Vortex air fryer is our test kitchen's favorite model. The fryer has serious power and heats food more evenly and quickly than any other models we've tried. Plus, for less than $100, it's the right price for gifting. A note about stocking: This model is insanely popular and currently sold out at Amazon and in low stock at Walmart. We will continue to update this story with new stocking information as we get it.

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No serious home cook should be without a solid cast-iron skillet. While we love the tried-and-true Lodge, our test revealed the Victoria as the top skillet on the market. A lighter weight, wider pour spouts and smoother surface makes this pan the one to buy.

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Another ideal stocking stuffer, this mini-whisk clocks in at just nine inches and is a test kitchen staffer's favorite tool. She loves the control it provides and the fact that it can reach the nooks and crannies of any bowl.

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For the home cook who values functionality and has little space, the Always Pan from Our Place is the perfect gift. The pan functions as a skillet, steamer, saucier, sauce pan, spoon rest and more. It's sold out 10 times, so grab one as a gift before it's too late.

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Our test kitchen loves this Dutch oven for its size and versatility — and price tag. It's sturdy cast-iron construction and heavy duty lid make it ideal for various tasks, and we love that buying it won't break the bank.

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Food storage would be a strange gift for anyone not cooking up a storm this time of year. We love these Rubbermaid Brilliance containers for their spill-proof lids and crystal clear construction. No more wondering what those leftovers are!

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Pizza time! This gorgeous pizza stone from the iconic Emile Henry brand is a fun way to show the 'za lover in your life just how much you care. The ribbed design allows for air flow in the oven, resulting in a crunchy crust every time. The red color also makes it ideal for an oven-to-table presentation.

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In Falastin, Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley (the co-authors on Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem and Ottolenghi Simple, respectively), weave together a rich tapestry of recipes and stories to paint a wider picture of the people, food, history and future of Palestine. The more than 110 recipes are a contemporary collection of those that Sami grew up with (like his father's za'atar eggs or his mother's buttermilk fattoush), mixed with Palestinian classics (such as chicken musakhan or the upside-down rice cake maqlubeh) presented in a new light. The book is about more than just broader Middle Eastern food and a formidable nation that gave the world some of its most beloved foods, but a love letter to Sami's country and to the mother he lost at age seven. The profiles are poignant and sometimes sobering, the photography luscious and mouth-watering, and the recipes worthy of a deep dive.

- Drew Salvatore, Recipe Editor

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