Looking for the best christmas gifts for foodies and chefs? Don’t waste your money on gimmicks, these are the tools they REALLY want this year!
NOTE: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS.
The foodies and chefs in your life often won’t tell you what they really want for Christmas because some of these are a bit of a splurge.
We’ve got some smaller items too but for some of the more expensive ones grab a few family members or friends and pool your funds to get something that will really WOW that special cook in your life!
Having the right tools makes all your jobs easier! You wouldn’t use a saw to pound in a nail and likewise it’s important to use the right tools in the kitchen.
Running a commercial recipe testing kitchen and photography studio, we work with a ton of housewares companies and test A LOT of products every single week! These are the ones that have stood up to our abuse. They are the winners that we consider high quality, essential and worth the space. These are the items that we go out and buy ourselves for our tiny home kitchens!
Let’s jump in!
The infamous Instant Pot!My husband literally will not let this thing out of our house. I’m buying another 2 this week just to get them back to the studio for video shoots. It’s been the #1 christmas gift for foodies for several years and for good reason!
Don’t think…just order one of these for everyone on your list and you’ll be the hero this Christmas. Frozen chicken to cooked in 20 minutes. Rice in 10 minutes. Shut up and take my money.
Having 2 in the kitchen is great if you frequently do a cooked meat portion and want to cook rice simultaneously and have dinner done asap. Plus you can cook multiple dishes at the holidays that way too!
High Quality Knives
I cannot stress how important good knives are. They are the backbone of any kitchen. They make your job easier and faster and are absolutely the #1 thing I recommend investing in. I absolutely love my WÜSTHOF Gourmet Knife set. I have smaller hands and they are perfectly balanced and ridiculously sharp. The top knife is perfect for larger hands and the center knife is my personal favorite.Can’t spring for the full set?
A Fantastic Cutting Board
I’ve spent years using cheap cutting boards. No more! I am a big believer in upgrading the items you use the most to really give yourself an improved experience in every area of your home. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen this Madeira Teak Edge Grain Jumbo Chop Block is one upgrade you have to put on your list. A quick wipe down after prep and it doubles as the perfect serving board too. Used daily for over 2 years and has not cracked or warped.
High Powered Blender
A high powered blender is perfect for making smoothies, pureeing soups and sauces, grinding your own bread flour, and can function as a stand in for a food processor if you don’t have the space for both. My Vitamix Professional Series 7500 is used at least daily in our studio if not more and is a total workhorse. I LOVE that it is shorter than the other Vitamix blenders which was my biggest beef with them before.After extensively testing both the Blendtec Designer Series and the Vitamix for over 3 years Vitamix has taken the #1 spot. It’s significantly quieter, blends faster and more consistently. In addition I have had an issue with TWO of my Blendtec jars going out (which they replaced for free).
The mechanics of the Blendtec vs Vitamix are very different, Blendtec blends with force and dull blades, Vitamix blades are sharp and cut through the items. This aids it in being more stable and overall feels like it is less violent and will last much longer.
NordicWare Big Sheets
These are super size cookie sheets that take up the entire oven rack. They are MAGICAL, a great price and commercial quality. But they aren’t just awesome for cookies. Roast tons of veggies, bake two small pizzas side by side, make giant batches of cinnamon rolls to feed an army…not to mention all the other things you need trays for. We use these on our wooden countertops to save on cleanup, prep trays for recipes, carrying dishes and plants around, keeping the kids tiny toys in one place when they are playing. The lipped edge and ample size makes them an invaluable piece here for us!Buy some for your friends and tuck a few under the tree for yourself this year!
The Spiralizer is so fun and make eating vegetables a breeze. The kids love to come in and help (supervised of course) and they are always so much more excited about eating the vegetables when we make them like this!
Perfect for making zoodles and all kinds of low carb comfort dishes and making your summer salads look oh so fancy.
A Beautiful Baker Dish
Everyone needs a gorgeous baker dish and this Staub 8×12 Baker Dish is my go to pan to grab for everything from cinnamon rolls, casseroles, and roasting vegetables that need to be covered in foil. Versatile, easy to clean and oh so pretty to take straight to the table.
A bit of a christmas gift splurge but it’s a piece that will last forever and is drooled over by every cook out there.
A Heavy Duty Mixer
It’s the classic for good reason. I just recently upgraded my KitchenAid stand mixer to this beautiful Professional 6500 version from my hand me down KitchenAid mixer from my grandmother that is still going strong. From making pasta to ice cream, whipping meringue or churning ice cream these machines do it all in style. I am loving the larger capacity on this version, the quieter motor and increased power. Worth the splurge if you plan to use it daily!
A newer option we tried this year is the Bosch Universal Plus Stand Mixer. If you don’t have space in your kitchen for a larger KitchenAid but really need a really heavy duty work horse of a machine the Bosch may be right up your alley. It has a low profile so it fits easily on most counters. We love it!
It also has a plastic bowl which my grandmother pointed out to me is a huge help to her because she has arthritis so lifting the heavy glass bowl and mixer is harder for her now. I really like that there is no head over where you are mixing too, so adding ingredients is even easier and the head doesn’t get dirty.
Both are used frequently here and have held up great.
3 Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter Attachment Set
Making pasta by hand is great…but if you really want to make it a part of your normal routine this attachment set makes quick work of turning that dough into perfectly cut pasta every time.
It’s the perfect christmas gift for the foodies in your life!
A Beautiful Breakfast Tray
A classy breakfast in bed called and it’s got your name on it!
This Mikasa Loria Rectangular Wooden Tray with Metal Beaded Rim is our favorite way to be served breakfast in bed.
Simple, elegant and super well made it’s a timeless classic piece to add to your loved one’s collection.
A Large Sized Food Processor & A Mini Food Processor
From salsa to pie crusts, shredding cheese and chopping nuts, having a food processor is one of those things that just plain makes life easier. Yes you can use a blender for some of those things as well but not all of them and there are some things were you just want to additional real estate that a food processor gives.
This Cuisinart 14 cup food processor is fantastically large but has a compact footprint so it doesn’t take up tons of cupboard or countertop space like some do. Used for over 2 years constantly and it stands up to all our abuse.
Equally important is a mini food processor. We have a no name one I bought at a grocery store but when it breaks I’ll be buying the Cuisinart Mini-Prep food processor.
A Gorgeous Slate Cheese Board
Every entertainer needs a beautiful slate cheese board. This gorgeous Sparq cheese board is our favorite.
Of course tucking in some gourmet cheeses and a bottle of wine wouldn’t hurt either.
A Good Salad Spinner
Got a veggie lover in your life? They need this! I cannot properly explain the frustration that a bad salad spinner can cause or the (gasp) disappointing soggy runny salads that happen if you don’t own a spinner at all. I have thrown away more salad spinners than anything else in my kitchen. The Good Grips Salad Spinner is the best of the brands.
They have a mini version that is perfect for herbs or just 1-2 people too! Gift it with a wooden salad bowl too for a perfect combo!
A Good Non Stick Skillet
A good non stick skillet is essential to any cooks repertoire. I am absolutely in love with my Anolon 12 inch Nonstick Deep Skillet! It’s my go to pan for everyday cooking from eggs to a quick pasta for dinner to taco shells for taco tuesday. Extra deep makes it so versatile. Buy this pan today!
Buy the whole set!
We use this pan set for EVERYTHING at the studio and at my house and I absolutely love them. We have gone through a ton of other sets that we either didn’t love or hated. Once I tried the single pan I had to have the whole set!
They are super easy to clean, heavy duty and stand up to high volume cooking without breaking down. The color is also gorgeous and it’s matte so it photographs beautifully and doesn’t discolor like our copper pan set did (so much maintenence on true copper!). Highly recommend.
Enameled Dutch Oven
If I could I would seriously marry this Staub 6 Quart Cocotte. It’s beautiful, cleans easily, and transitions perfectly from stovetop to oven to table in perfect style. Sear, braise, simmer, roast…you name it this pot can do it. The 6 quart is plenty enough for our family of 4 and a nice sized pork or beef roast.
While I’m obsessed with neutral colors it also comes in TONS of exciting colors.
I love using this when I want to go straight from stove or oven to table…it’s so pretty and cooks fantastically. The seasoning on the cast iron is fantastic and has never rusted on us unlike other cast iron we have worked with.
Cast Iron Skillet with Lid
A High Quality Rice Cooker
Making rice can be done in a pot it’s true. But with kids underfoot and being slightly ADD I find that a rice cooker eliminates needing to remember something else. I do make rice also in the Instant Pot, but the Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker is fantastic!
The Instant Pot you have to remember to immediately release the pressure on the rice right at 10 minutes or it will overcook the rice, and it’s not great for holding it warm for much more than 30 minutes.
The Zijirushi has way more customizations for different varieties of rice and it keeps the rice warm for hours without the bottom of the pan turning into a sticky burned mess. But it definitely takes longer than the Instant Pot so keep that in mind!
An Immersion Blender
An immersion or stick blender is one of my new must have tools! There is nothing more frustrating (or dangerous!) than trying to transfer a pot of hot soup or sauce to a blender. This Cuisinart Smart Stick also makes quick and quieter work of a late night milkshake without waking up the whole house too!
A Gorgeous Coffee Maker
If you are going for looks don’t look any further than this Chemex 6-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker.
Isn’t it stunning?!
We don’t personally have this one yet but it’s on my holiday list and comes highly recommended from a close friend.
We are OBSESSED with this little Nespresso Milk Frother. The froth this machine puts out is impressive and it can run hot or cold so your froth is perfect for every cup.
We were all buying loads of cups of expensive coffee from coffee shops before this arrived.
Love love love this little machine.
Bonus points that it cleans super easy and is compact enough to tuck into the corner or store away.
Insulated French Press
We are on our second GSI insulated french press after we dropped the first one and snapped the plastic pour spout after 5 years. It was a wedding gift and used daily at home until then.
Great press and it keeps the coffee hot for hours!
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