Shopping for home cooks can be challenging, especially when they already have a well-stocked kitchen full of the latest and greatest gadgets. When selecting a gift for your favorite home cook, it’s best to find something functional and versatile that will fit their design and cooking style. Considering many home cooks are working with limited space, a thoughtful gift should also be easy to clean, care for, and store. For the ultimate list of the best kitchen gifts, we rounded up some of the most chef-loved and expert-tested products to help find a quality gift for even the most hard-to-shop-for cook. We also spoke to chef and TV host Elena Besser for her tips on how to shop for the perfect gift.
“Price range doesn’t matter as long as the gift you are giving is thoughtful and classy,” Besser says. “The best gifts should help home cooks understand the foundations of cooking and give them more confidence in the kitchen,” she adds.
We also asked F&W editors what they would buy for their own kitchens and for their loved ones. From a surprisingly nonstick skillet to a bold and vibrant set of dried spices, this is our ultimate list of the best gifts for home cooks, no matter their skill level. Read on for our favorites.
Breville The Handy Mix Scraper
For the home baker who doesn’t have space for a bulky stand mixer, a hand mixer can be a fantastic alternative. If you’re thinking of gifting one to your favorite home cook, consider this strong, efficient, and multifunctional option from Breville. The digital control panel is easy to understand, and we love that all the accessories can be housed in a convenient storage container.
Price at time of publish: $150
Philips Premium Airfryer XXL HD9650
Air fryers are a fantastic gift for the home cook because they add crispy, golden-brown crunch to anything you cook, and they’re an easy way to revitalize soggy foods. They’re perfect for frying, heating, dehydrating, and baking. In fact, this one bakes just like a regular oven, and the extra-large cooking surface can accommodate up to 7 quarts of food. In addition, the digital control panel is easy to read, and the nonstick inner surface is easy to clean.
Price at time of publish: $154
Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker
Homemade waffles are the ultimate breakfast indulgence, and this gadget makes it easy to have them every day of the week. The vertical waffle maker is efficient and compact, so it doesn’t take up too much space on the countertop.
Price at time of publish: $58
Mac Knife 8-Inch Hollow Edge Chef’s Knife
Every chef needs a reliable knife, and for a passionate home cook, there’s no better gift. Though there are a ton of styles to choose from, we think this is a great option. It’s sharp and lightweight, with a nonslip handle that promotes an ergonomic grip.
Price at time of publish: $140
Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender
Immersion blenders make easy work of soups, smoothies, and sauces. This one from Breville is intuitive, efficient, and strong, so it can quickly break down many foods. This hand blender can help add variety to your weekly meals by making tedious tasks — like emulsifying salad dressing — go much faster. Most of all, we love that it’s simple to use, store, and clean.
Price at time of publish: $130
If you’re looking for a hostess gift that’s as functional as it is attractive, try this casserole dish from Great Jones. Perfect for lasagna, baked macaroni and cheese, or blueberry cobbler, it makes for a fantastic gift for any type of cook. The large, looped handles make it easy to grab from the oven, and the ceramic construction is naturally nonstick. We baked a ton of lasagnas to find the best casserole dishes, and this one produced perfect results every time — winning it the top spot overall.
Price at time of publish: $75
Solo Stove Ranger Cast Iron Wok Cooking Bundle 2.0
Cooking outside is an experience that always adds a little fun and excitement. If you’re sick of your standard grill, try this wok and fire pit bundle from Solo Stove instead. Perfect for camping or trips to the beach, the cast iron wok sits on top of the solo stove fire pit so that you can achieve a smokey flavor and crispy, golden-brown texture.
Price at time of publish: $410
Ooni Koda 16 Gas Pizza Oven
Another editor-loved gift is this pizza oven that achieves crispy, restaurant-quality pizza right from your own backyard. When shopping for a home cook who has everything, a pizza oven is a fun option that can add a little variety to your weeknight meals. This one heats up quickly and cooks evenly, so pizzas come out with crisped edges and perfectly melty cheese.
Price at time of publish: $599
John Boos Chop-N-Slice Maple Wood Reversible Cutting Board
Every home cook needs a cutting board, and this one is so elegant that it can stay on the countertop all day long. Made from hand-selected, American hard maple wood, these cutting boards showcase the rich, natural grain of the wood. Thick and heavy-duty, the high-quality board is perfect for chopping, but it also makes for a chic and decorative serving board.
Price at time of publish: $87
Brightland The Mini Essentials
A set of fresh and flavorful oils is an ideal gift for any cook, no matter their skill level. Besser notes this set of high-quality oils and vinegars from Brightland as one of her favorites. “Every cook uses oil, acid, and salt when cooking, and they can never get enough of it,” she adds. Keep your favorite home cook stocked with this set that includes two oils and two vineyards from Brightland.
Price at time of publish: $70
Zwilling Madura Plus 11-Inch Non-Stick Aluminum Deep Fry Pan
High-quality nonstick pans are invaluable in the kitchen. They’re the secret to perfect omelets and the key to searing flakey fish. We tested 13 of the leading models, and this option from Zwilling easily bested them all, winning the spot as Best Overall in each of our tests. The nonstick surface is slick and durable, which makes it easy to use and clean. This efficient pan is a game-changer that any home cook deserves to have.
Price at time of publish: $118
Crate & Barrel Maeve Dipped Ceramic Measuring Cups
Every home cook needs a quality set of measuring cups, especially if they love to bake. This attractive set from Crate & Barrel is made of glazed stoneware and is dishwasher safe, so they’re easy to clean. They’re great for anyone who wants to add a pop of color to their kitchen, and the measurements are stamped clearly in the bottom of the cup with a convenient fill line included on the side so you always know you’re being precise.
Price at time of publish: $17
Smithey Ironware Company No. 10 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast iron skillets are a heritage item that can be passed down from generation to generation. Smithey makes some of the finest ironware perfect for gifting, thanks to the smooth, polished surface that is both elegant and functional. In addition, these skillets are durable and heavy-duty and feature curved walls and an extra-long handle.
Price at time of publish: $170
Le Creuset Cast Iron Bread Oven
For adventurous home cooks looking to try their hand at breadmaking, set them up for success with a bread cloche from Le Creuset. Bread cloches create the perfect environment for dough to thrive in — and this one helps users achieve crispy crust with a solid base and tender, structured center. Available in a range of gorgeous colors, this petite cooker from a classic brand makes an elegant and timeless gift.
Price at time of publish: $300
OXO Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker
Enjoying cold brew at home is something every coffee lover should do. Our editors love how simple and convenient this option is — just fill the container with your favorite coffee grounds and top with water. The rainfall effect helps evenly distribute water, so the grinds steep consistently. The ultra-fine stainless steel strainer helps filter out any bits of coffee grinds, leaving you with fresh, smooth cold brew. In fact, this cold brew maker is so efficient that it took the top spot in our official list of best cold brew makers.
Price at time of publish: $48
Peugeot Paris Salt and Pepper Mill Set
Elegant salt and pepper mills are just as much a piece of decor as they are functional gadgets. Peugeot makes some of the best — the classic company has been doing so for over a century — and this set is no different. Made from sustainable Beech wood with a stainless steel core, Peugeot’s heavy-duty mechanism cracks peppercorn without crushing it. That means you get the freshest flavor with every crank.
Price at time of publish: $111
Le Creuset Olive Oil Cruet
Fancy olive oil deserves to be displayed in a fancy bottle. This cruet from Le Creuset’s Olive Branch line is made of durable stoneware that protects the oil from harmful sunlight, and the elegant design makes for the perfect host or hostess gift. The stainless steel spout is designed to open when pouring and close when finished, which provides a steady, dripless pour.
Price at time of publish: $50
Burlap and Barrel Fundamentals Collection
Using high-quality spices is the key to deep, fresh flavor. You can’t beat the quality of these single-origin spices from Burlap & Barrel — they’re non-GMO and made without additives or fillers. They’re ethically sourced and representative of the unique culinary regions they hail from. Any home cook will love this gift bundle’s vibrant and pungent flavors with six spices like purple stripe garlic, silk chili, and flowering hyssop thyme.
Price at time of publish: $53
Bachan’s Three Pack Japanese Barbecue Sauce Bundle
This pack of salty and sweet barbecue sauce is an easy way to elevate a variety of dishes. Perfect for marinades or dressings, Bachan’s Japanese barbecue sauces have a flavor similar to teriyaki, which makes them ideal for drizzling on chicken, shrimp, rice, or steak. Free of preservatives, additives, and GMOs, it packs a strong, fresh flavor thanks to the cold-filling process that’s true to the original recipe. This pack of three includes flavors like original, yuzu, and hot and spicy.
Price at time of publish: $33
Merten & Storck Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Induction 12″ Frying Pan Skillet
If you’re a fan of cast iron but haven’t tried cooking with carbon steel yet, now’s your chance to do so. Professional chefs agree that this type of cookware is a game changer — it combines the benefits of nonstick skillets with the heat retention abilities of cast iron. It’s a heavy-duty workhorse that can sear, fry, or bake, so it’s a functional gift for any type of home cook. We put eight of the leading pans to the test, and this affordable option unequivocally won the title of Best Overall.
Price at time of publish: $40
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
Besser suggests a cookbook as a fun and easy way to help home cooks hone their skills in the kitchen, and this is one of her favorites. Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is a delightful turn through the basics (and the intricacies) of cooking through the lens of four main elements. Both novices and seasoned cooks will love the histories, illustrations, and recipes woven through the book. It’s both a comfort and a conversation piece.
Price at time of publish: $27
Made In Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
While this piece first caught our eye because of its rich inky-blue color, it also passes muster in the kitchen. We especially love the wide cooking surface and the slick enamel coating that keeps proteins from sticking to the pot.
Price at time of publish: $249
The swipe of blue on the underside of this sheet somehow makes your chocolate crinkles for the holiday cookie swap look even tastier. Plus, the piece is covered in a nontoxic ceramic coating that makes for super easy release.
Price at time of publish: $55
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 16-Inch Roasting Pan With Rack
Make sure your roasting pan is ready to run the holiday-season gauntlet. This heavy-duty version from Cuisinart is made from stainless steel and is safe for all types of cooktops as well.
Price at time of publish: $65
Vitamix A3500 Ascent Series Professional-Grade Smart Blender
“I don’t feel any rush to get married, except I worry that I won’t receive a Vitamix unless that happens. Let’s normalize gifting single people Vitamixes because they deserve to have super silky smoothies, soups, and sauces too!” — Maria Yagoda, Senior Editor
Price at time of publish: $572
Material Kitchen The Trio of Knives
“Material’s bestselling 8-inch chef’s knife is one of my go-to knives, and this set includes that knife, plus a smaller 4-inch knife and a serrated knife. The new limited-edition Sage colorway feels gift-worthy for the holidays.” — Danielle St. Pierre, Commerce Editor
Price at time of publish: $170
Field Company No. 8 Cast Iron Skillet
“I didn’t think I’d care about having a luxury cast iron skillet until I started using one. These pans feel (and look) like very high-quality tools, and I can use them for pretty much anything. They’re beautifully made, and when I want to give a thoughtful gift to a home cook, they’re my first idea.” — Merlyn Miller, Social Media Editor
Price at time of publish: $145
Laguiole en Aubrac 4-Piece Steak Knife Set
“I was lucky enough to try this Laguiole En Aubrac set during our steak knives test, and I’m now in love. Their Sandvik steel blades have maintained their edges after months of use, and every guest I’ve had over has commented on how comfortable their olive wood handles are to hold. Yes, this set is an investment, but I think anyone will appreciate these blades for a lifetime.” — Katie Macdonald, Senior Editor
Price at time of publish: $350
As a person with a small kitchen, these jars were such a game changer. They made it easy to maximize my storage space, they look nice, and they keep dry goods fresh for so much longer. — Merlyn Miller, Social Media Editor
Price at time of publish: $58
Joseph Joseph Bread Bin with Bamboo Lid
If you’re shopping for a home cook who bakes a lot of bread, this bread box from Joseph Joseph is great for storing freshly baked loaves of bread and can keep them fresh for longer. If you’re concerned about moisture protection on the inside, you can always use a reusable cloth bread bag for an additional barrier. And the best part is that its lid acts as a built-in cutting board once you flip it over. But even if you don’t bake much bread, it’s still an attractive and convenient storage box for your countertop.
Price at time of publish: $60
Threshold Modern Diamond Table Runner
Every cook needs a well-adorned table, and this Threshold runner is sure to enhance any tablescape. With its minimal and fun geometric design, it can fit in with a variety of kitchen and dining room aesthetics and will accent your favorite dinnerware no matter what its color or style. Best of all, it’s machine-washable for easy cleaning and maintenance between uses.
Price at time of publish: $18
Illume Boulangerie Jar Whipped Cream & Pear Candle
This scrumptious candle will make a great addition to any cook’s kitchen. Its light pear scent with hints of warm vanilla, whipping cream, and apple peel will fill the room in the best way, without overwhelming your senses. We think it’s a great gift for anyone who loves a nice luxury candle with a fresh and fruity fragrance.
Price at time of publish: $22
Libbey Selene Glass Cake Stand with Dome
Although they don’t always get put to everyday use, a good cake stand is a great piece of serveware to have in your kitchen. This would be a great gift for anyone who loves to bake delicious confections that look too good to be hidden away in a box or storage container. And since it comes with a beautiful glass dome, you can store and display all your sweet treats at the same time.
Price at time of publish: $45
Our Place Kitchen Linens Set
There are a few things that serious home cooks can’t live without: a good apron, durable dish towels, and heat-resistant oven mitts. This Kitchen Linens set from Our Place brings all these essentials into one giftable package. It also comes in three appealing colors (blue salt, sage, and lavender) that are sure to complement any kitchen.
Price at time of publish: $95
Farmhouse Pottery Wood Candlesticks
Nothing sets the mood at the dinner table like a few well-lit candles, and these farmhouse-style candlesticks are sure to add a bit of rustic charm. Made of hand-turned ash wood, they’re stained in light neutrals that show off the natural grain of the wood, and their sleek, curved shape will bring a modern touch to your more traditional farmhouse aesthetic.
Price at time of publish: $65
Laura Denby is a food and beverage writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and years of experience working in professional kitchens. With the goal of helping home cooks become more efficient, she focuses on creating thoroughly tested buying guides for sites like FoodNetwork.com, Forbes Vetted, Saveur, Real Simple, and more. For this piece, she relied on her personal experience working with these products, along with her professional culinary background and industry insight.
Elena Besser is a Brooklyn-based chef and TV host. With a culinary degree from the International Culinary Center, she honed her professional culinary skills as a chef at New York Times 3-Star Restaurant, Lilia. Previously an instructor on the Food Network Kitchen app, she is currently a culinary personality on the Cooking Channel’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” Amazon’s “Today’s Deals Live,” and a red carpet host for The James Beard Awards’ Twitter livestream.