We love good food and we typically practice cooking three times per day. To us, eating home-cooked meals is far more convenient and cost-effective than driving somewhere to purchase subpar food (that’s often made with subpar ingredients).
Since our diets are highly seasonal with much of what we eat coming from our garden or foraging, we also enjoy experimenting and trying new things in the kitchen. We have no idea what category or label we fall under due to our eating patterns… Foodies? Kitchen nuts? Home chefs?
Whatever we’re called, there’s a good chance you might be shopping for someone special who also loves spending time in the kitchen — even if the kitchen in your own house is unused, neglected, and covered with a thin (or thick) layer of dust.
Not to worry! Our gift guide for home chefs will help you find the perfect gift for that special someone in your life…
Gift guide for home chefs and people who love to cook
The 30+ items listed in our home chef gift guide span a wide price range, so you can find the perfect gift regardless of your budget.
Click on any of the images or links in this gift guide to learn more information about the product (current prices, color variations, etc).
1. Cast iron cookware
A kitchen without cast iron cookware isn’t a kitchen, it’s simply a room with potential. We absolutely love our cast iron cookware and use it daily. We have a mix of antique and new cast iron, and prefer it to enameled cast iron cookware because it doesn’t chip.
Why do we love cast iron cookware? They’ll last forever (some of ours are 100+ years old), they heat/cook very evenly, and they don’t contain hazardous materials like teflon,
Cast iron essentials that any home chef will love:
2. Shun kitchen knives
A few years back we bought each other a set of absolutely stunning Shun kitchen knives for Christmas. These hammered steel Japanese knives are stunning works of art, and they’re also extraordinarily functional in the kitchen.
If you only get one, we recommend a Shun chef’s knife:
Wild-foraged chanterelle mushroom powder, black garlic, smoked pepper powder, candied homegrown Buddhas hand citron… We make and process a LOT of the foods we grow and forage in our 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, which has the highest consumer ratings on the market for a reason. After 10+ years of use (and abuse) ours runs as well as it did on Day 1.
4. Ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet maker
There’s often ripe fruit to be found in our garden or on a foraging adventure. When it’s blazing hot outside, that ripe fruit often gets transformed into frozen desserts… Guava & Meyer lemon ice cream and pawpaw passion fruit sorbet are two of our faves.
People who love making food also enjoy making delicious seasonal desserts, so a Cuisinart ice cream/sorbet/frozen yogurt maker could make the perfect gift:
5. Kefir grains or powder
Most people have heard that yogurt is a good probiotic. However, as we’ve detailed elsewhere, milk kefir is a far better probiotic than yogurt. Plus, kefir tastes better (in our opinion) and is far easier to make than yogurt.
Two ways to make kefir (both of which could make a great gift):
b. kefir starter powder (doesn’t require continual tending like grains do)
6. Mixers and blenders
Having good mixers and blenders is essential for the home chef (and home baker). Three that we can’t do without:
a. Bamix immersion blender. An immersion blender lets you blend sauces, soups, etc right on the stove without cooling or transferring it to a traditional blender.
b. KitchenAid stand mixer. Essential for sooo many baking recipes.
c. Countertop blender. Because immersion blenders aren’t ideal for all circumstances (example: making pesto). Ninja blenders are amazing.
7. Kitchen scale
A kitchen scale is a great small item gift (like a stocking stuffer) for a budding baker. If you’ve ever baked, you might have noticed that lots of recipes list ingredients by weight, not by volume. Hence the need for a kitchen scale…
If you’ve ever had authentic Moroccan food or any food made in an earthen tagine, it’s pretty life-changing. The best tagine we know of (and the one we have) is the Flame Tagine by Emile Henry. Three reasons we love it: 1) it’s very easy to clean and can go right in the dishwasher, 2) it’s large enough to make 6-10 servings, and 3) it can go up to 900°F, so we can use it in our wood-fired cob oven.
9. DIY wood-fired cob oven
Speaking of wood-fired cob ovens… If you want to give the ultimate gift to a food-loving friend, spouse, or family member, you could offer to cover the cost of materials for a DIY cob oven that you make together with a few other people (using our cob oven construction guide). Cob ovens make the most incredible food, and your gift recipient will think of you every time they fire theirs up.
Oh, and when the cob oven is ready, a 42″ wooden pizza peel will solidify your position as the all-time best gift giver:
It’s not as sexy or authentic, but a stainless steel pizza peel is also great for indoor use and cleans easier as well (we use both when doing cob oven bakes):
10. Pizza stone
You can also make fantastic pizza indoors using pizza stones. Here’s a really good pizza stone that even comes with its own pizza peel:
11. Fermentation crock
Sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles… There are so many wonderful fermented probiotic foods you can make in a fermentation crock.
12. Swingtop glass bottles
We ALWAYS have jars of homemade fermented liquid concoctions in our fridge or bubbling away on our countertops. And we always use reusable glass swingtop bottles for storage, whether it’s for cider, kombucha, ginger bugs, or other tasty beverages.
13. Conical stainless steel fermenter + glass carboys
Continuing on the fermentation theme… All of SS Brewtech’s fermentation equipment is top notch. Our 3.5 gallon mini brew bucket fermenter is currently bubbling away with a wild pear and garden pumpkin cider that we’ll be bottling soon. Before that, it temporarily homed an elderberry wine and a pumpkin champagne.
If your food-loving gift recipient loves making their own homemade adult beverages/ferments, they’ll love this gift!
Transferring/racking the final fermented concoctions (such as beer, wine, or cider) into glass carboys after fermentation is also essential. We’d advise against using plastic (even if it’s supposed to be food grade) to store or make any high acid and/or fermented liquids due to the potential for leaching.
For the home chefs and beverage makers who want to take their mixed drinks to the next level with homemade ingredients, a home distiller will make an awesome gift.
Option 1: 3 gallon Trulystep home distiller. We have a still very similar to this stainless steel version. Our condenser is copper (for the reasons mentioned below), but the mash pot is not. It’s one of the most unique presents we’ve ever been gifted (thanks Lisa & Rob!), but we’ve yet to use it. It’s on the goal list for the coming year though. We can’t wait!
Option 2: 5 Gallon Hammered Copper Alembic Still. The oldest form of still used, it can be used for hydro-distillation, steam distillation (for essential oils) and distillation of spirits.
While the copper construction of this still makes it seem a bit “extra,” there’s good reason & argument for buying a copper still. Copper reacts with alcohol on a molecular level, helping to reduce any sulfur off-flavors that can be a result of natural yeast fermentation, in addition to producing a cleaner, more pleasing end product than a stainless steel still might.
This one is breathtakingly gorgeous and you can easily imagine it becoming a family pass-along one day.
15. Pressure canner
Water bath canning is fine for jellies and jams but if someone is serious about canning and wants to safely can things sucfh as soups and stews with zero botulism risk, a pressure canner is essential. The All American pressure cooker-canner is perfect.
In the US, we’re used to the metal-lidded canning jars. However, in parts of Europe Weck canning jars are universally used. Why? 1) Weck canning jars have reusable glass lids, and 2) they don’t have the BPA coating found on our standard metal canning jar lids.
Check out Weck’s full list of canning jars or give a set of six like this:
We can’t have a gift guide for home chefs that doesn’t include a few cookbooks! Here are three of our absolute favorite cookbooks that any kitchen dweller will love:
b. Forage, Harvest, Feast: a wild-inspired cuisine by Marie Viljoen (an awesome human, forager, and gardener we also happen to know):
We hope our 30+ gift ideas for home chefs will help you find the perfect gift for the special food-loving, food-making friend, partner, or family member who makes your world taste better!