The Best Gifts for People Who Love to Cook

As we're approaching Obligatory Gift Giving Season, many of us start mentally filing away gift ideas for family and friends. What was that hobby your college bestie picked up during quarantine? What's grandma's favorite color again?

Luckily, tons of people love to cook at home, so we're providing a handy-dandy little guide to gifts for home cooks and aspiring chefs. Whether you're gifting Culinarie or shopping for someone who's already subscribed, you'll find some great cooking gift ideas below.

The Perfect Chef's Knife

A chef's knife laying on top of a honing steel

A good chef's knife is invaluable for any chef, whether they're cooking at home or in a professional kitchen. If your favorite cook doesn't have a knife they cherish, it's time to get them one! Things to consider when choosing a chef's knife gift:

Size: Chef's knives come in many sizes, but 7-8" is about where you'll want to land. 6" would be fairly small for a grown man but might be perfect for someone with small hands or a teenager, and larger wouldn't feel clumsy in most home kitchens.
Grip: Wood handles look and feel great, but can be harder to care for. Opt for plastic if your chef giftee tends to leave dishes soaking in the sink or relies on a dishwasher.
Brand: There are dozens of good brands on the market, but my personal favorites are Wüsthof and Victorinox for a combination of durability, holding an edge, and affordability.

Color: Don't buy painted or dyed knives. Just don't. They'll end up with color specks in their food, and there are far better garnishes out there.

The Best Home Knife Sharpeners

For the home cook who already has their favorite knife, consider helping them upgrade their sharpening game. Roller sharpeners (the kind where you insert your knife and pull back) will inevitably damage a blade and can be dangerous, so avoid them. Look into a whetstone or a honing steel.

A whetstone or honing steel makes a great knife sharpening gift, will sharpen blades efficiently, and—contrary to popular belief—safer. Working with a sharp knife is much safer than working with a dull one! Both require practice and skill to use, but typically come with instructions. There are also lots of helpful Youtube videos that can help with technique. 

 

A Tablet or Phone Stand for Recipes

Tablet reader on a bamboo stand

Cookbooks are wonderful, but let's be real, we're all reading recipes off of our devices these days. If you're looking for an easy stocking stuffer for someone who likes to cook, a waterproof tablet or phone stand could be the answer. It will keep a device off of the counter, which helps keep a cook's workspace clean and safe. The one in the photo is by Lipper International.

An Herb Garden Kit

Fresh herbs on white background to inspire an indoor herb garden

Culinary herbs can still be grown indoors even though we're heading into winter. If you're trying to dream up the perfect gift for a home cook who seems to have every kitchen gadget already, go organic! An indoor herb garden can keep those fresh summer flavors flowing during the cold months, and provide a nice natural accent to any kitchen as long as there's some natural light.

 

Demitasse or Tasting Spoons

Wooden asting spoons next to a cloth bag

Let's face it: washing dishes sucks. Realizing you've gone through all your spoons while taste-testing that sauce is just plain frustrating! For an affordable but super useful gift, pick up a few tasting spoons. You can find simple metal ones that you can drop in the dishwasher, or some nicer decorative wooden tasting spoons like the ones pictured above from Itza Wood via Bloomist.

An Electric Spice Grinder for Whole Spices

green cardamom

In my house we have two grinders: one for coffee, and one for spices. The potency of fresh ground spices is incomparable, and when we're talking powerful flavors like cardamom or cumin seed, there's really no substituting with the dried stuff.

An electric spice grinder might seem like a luxury, but you can pick one up for under twenty bucks and open up a whole new world of flavor for your favorite chef.

A Chef-Designed Cooking Apron

Hedley & Bennett Crossback apron

We're ages past those flimsy "kiss the cook" aprons (though it's still a classic, we'll admit). Nowadays you can purchase heavy duty, tactical aprons designed by professional chefs. With pockets in all the right places and durable, stain-proof material, a sturdy apron will quickly become a go-to gift for anyone who loves cooking.

Love the one in the photo? So do we. It's by Hedley & Bennett.

...and Culinarie Cooking Gift Boxes, of course.

Culinarie Kit cooking gift box with many culinary ingredients on gingham plaid fabric

You didn't think you'd get through this list without us telling you about our delectable new gift boxes, did you?! Of course not!

Culinarie gift boxes are packed full of interesting gourmet ingredients created by artisans around the world. No grocery store spices here! A subscription to Culinarie Kit ships quarterly, so your giftee will receive one box of new and delicious cooking ingredients every three months.

If you're not sure about giving a cooking subscription gift, check out our one-off culinary gift boxes. Our brand new Lava Kit (coming in November) makes an awesome gift for someone who loves spicy food and hot sauce. Or go with everyone's favorite aromatic and gift our Garlic Kit with brand new ingredients this holiday season. Looking for a gift for a plant based diet? You can't go wrong with our Vegan Chef gift box!

Garlic Lover's Kit featuring garlicky cooking ingredients

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