Eating, drinking and enjoying food is one of life’s purest joys. Some enjoy consuming delicious meals, and others feel right at home in the kitchen making them. We’ve all got chefs in our life — whether it’s the head chef at your favorite neighborhood spot or your grill-master father whose tongs are basically an extension of his arm.
Food isn’t just meant to fuel us; it’s meant to be savored and enjoyed — and chefs help us foodies get there by creating something to marvel at from the simplest of ingredients. The holiday season also comes with many meals. So, make sure to thank those who create those heart-warming, spirit-lifting meals year-round with one of the best gifts for chefs available.
Chefs need all sorts of things to make their prize-worthy meals happen — including comfortable shoes, cooking tools, serving dishes, kitchen gadgets and more. Gift them something that’ll not only make their meal preparation more leisurely but streamline the process of those delicious dinners making their way onto your plate. Delicious food is a gift that keeps on giving, so you might want to be extra generous this year. We’ve pulled the best gifts for chefs of all kinds — from novice dinner prep-ers to full-blown professionals — so everyone can feel special this year.
1. MEATER Plus Smart Meat Thermometer
The MEATER Plus Smart Meat Thermometer is one of the best meat thermometers out there, both in its quality and the convenience of its design. It’s one of the first wireless intelligent meat thermometers available that offers you the ability to track your meat’s temperature from outside the oven. It syncs up with an app on your phone, cooks with your food, and, within a 165 feet range, alerts you to the progress of your meat so you can take it out exactly when it’s done. You can set custom alerts based on the temperature or time, and dual temperature sensors can track your meal’s internal and external environment for spot-on accuracy.
2. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
This kitchen gadget is infamous in the home-cooking world for a reason — it’s truly a unicorn of dinner prep and makes so many complicated kitchen tasks more manageable. The Instant Pot Duo makes a great gift for a chef of any caliber because it makes complex recipes easier and lower-maintenance while eliminating steps for more skilled chefs in the kitchen. It combines seven appliances, saves counter space, and features smart programs for everything from ribs to yogurt and desserts.
3. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Not only are these dutch ovens some of the best ones available, but they also look great stationed on the stove when not in use. This specific design has 45% larger handles, making gripping and transporting in and out of the oven easier, and the cast-iron makes the heat distribution top-notch. The composite knob up top makes lifting the top simple and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees.
4. Super-Birki Shoes
A must-have in the kitchen? Comfortable shoes. All that walking, standing and leaning makes high-quality shoes with superior support necessary to longevity, especially when cooking large, elaborate meals. These Super-Birki shoes are super comfortable and also resistant to water, dirt, oil and grease. They’re a great, resilient shoe to wear in the kitchen, and they come in men’s and women’s sizes.
5. Cangshan Thomas Keller 3-Piece Knife Set
This knife set is the ultimate chef’s gift of 2021, as Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller designed the knives. The set includes a 3 1/2″ paring knife, an 8″ chef’s knife, and a TAI walnut knife block. These gorgeous steel chef’s knives are the real deal — they’re made of Swedish Damasteel RWL34 powdered steel known for its strength and hardness. The 6-stage heat treatment the blades have received has also created a Rockwell hardness rating of 61 +/-2, so the blades have incredibly sharp edges. The white polymer handles are contoured for a comfortable grip, and a stainless steel end cap on each knife adds balance.
6. Sur La Table Copper Measuring Cups Set
Measuring cups are used in just about every recipe, so it’s crucial to have a high-quality set of them that’ll provide reliable measurements for years to come. This set is copper-plated and made of stainless steel on an easy-open ring that makes storage and retrieval simple.
7. ButcherBox Subscription
ButcherBox is a meat subscription service that delivers butcher-picked or customized boxes of meat, fish and poultry each month right to your door. The meat is high-quality, grass-fed, free-range, heritage-breed and wild-caught. If you’ve got a chef friend who loves a trip to the butcher, but hates having to leave their house, this is a perfect gift. The options are plentiful, and all of it comes frozen and ready to cook.
8. Chef Kenny’s Ultimate 5-Spice Gift Set
This spice set was created by celebrity chef Kenny Gilbert and includes low-sodium, freshly ground spices for all your holiday recipes. It’s the perfect gift for the chefs in your life who are always looking for new flavors to experiment with. The kit covers a variety of dishes and includes Fried Chicken Seasoning, a Moroccan spice blend, Cinnamon Coffee Rub, Raging Cajun and Jerk Spice. This set invites everyone to “Cook Like the Big Dogs” and comes with recipe cards to refer to during your Kenny-inspired creations.
9. Carson Cheese Board
Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie spread? Let your chef throw a cheese plate together for their guests to enjoy while cooking dinner and present it on this extra-long cheese board. This cheese board measures 36 inches long, which gives them plenty of room to arrange their favorite gruyere, goat and gouda along with grapes, nuts, gherkins and other cheese board must-haves.
10. MY DRAP Dinner Napkin Roll
This dinner napkin roll has 12 reusable, washable dinner napkins that can be easily torn and folded to set the table. These napkins are pre-cut on the roll with a perforated design so you can separate them and keep a clean finish. They’re made of 100% cotton and are 100% biodegradable, so there is no harm to the environment. You can wash them up to six times and bring a touch of elegance to your tablescape quickly, which makes your chef’s job easier.
11. Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor
This handy kitchen gadget has a 10-cup capacity, perfect for making large amounts of food without emptying the machine and starting over. It has attachments to the sides that scrape the edges, bringing the food closer to the blades. It has a large feed chute that makes inputting into the machine less complicated. It has two speeds with 450 watts of power available to simplify trying recipes.
12. Bamboo Cutting Board with Juice Groove
Making clean-up easier is perhaps one of the best things you can do for the chef in your life. This cutting board has grooves to prevent the juices from your vegetables or meats from getting all over the counter. It’s crafted from eco-friendly bamboo and has pyramid-shaped ridges in the center to hold meat in place while you carve.
13. Cast Iron Tagine Pot
You may have never heard of a Tagine, but your cook friend certainly has. It’s a Moroccan cooking instrument used to make delicious and flavorful stews. It’s kind of the original slow cooker that infuses meat, poultry and fish with aromas and flavors through its unique shape and heat-conduction abilities. It’s an excellent gift for an experimental chef who’s always looking to try out new methods, tastes and cuisines.
14. Temple Tape Headband
Ever heard the phrase “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”? It was made famous for a reason— it really does get hot in the kitchen. This headband is perfect for keeping sweat and hair out of their eyes while they cook and is made from a breathable material to help them stay cool and comfortable. It’s machine-washable and designed to dry quickly, so long shifts at the restaurant are a breeze.
15. Berkeley Waist Apron
Every chef needs an apron. Even if they wear a chef coat that they don’t mind getting dirty, it’s still helpful to have a waist apron with pockets to hold some essentials and wipe their hands on. This one is 100% cotton and machine washable with two hip pockets and a drawstring tie to fit any waist.
16. The Fundamentals Kitchenware Set
This set of kitchen essentials from Material includes the seven tools your chef will probably reach for when preparing every meal. Sure, they might already have these tools, but they could use a high-quality set to revamp their collection and kitchen. Each item serves at least one fundamental purpose in the kitchen and is designed using high-end materials.
17. Coca Cola Pop Art Brushed Aluminum Wall Clock
Kitchen clocks are crucial for keeping the house moving and getting dinner on the table at the right time. This one is evocative of an old-school diner with a pop-art background and classic Coca-Cola logo. It has large numbers and thick hands, so your chef will be able to read it from across the room and keep their recipes on track.
18. Chef Specialties Imperial Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
Almost every recipe needs a little salt and pepper — so don’t let your chef go without imperial flavor with this salt and pepper grinder set. They’re colorful, handy and offer each guest the opportunity to hand grind their seasoning to their exact specifications. You can also adjust the coarseness level, and the red color will add a pop to your chef’s kitchen counter, dinner table, or prep station.
19. Global Hot Sauce Gift Box
Every chef needs a little heat (or a lot), and if yours loves the spice, this hot sauce gift box is a great gift. It’s a global-inspired hot sauce gift box that provides a variety of heat from around the world for heat-seekers to try. It includes five different sauces with tastes and influences from India, Ethiopia, and even southern BBQ from right here in the U.S. Some work better with meat, others with eggs — so no matter what, your chef will have fun experimenting with the variety of spicy flavors.
20. Carnivore Club Subscription Box
Take care of the appetizers for your chef friend with this charcuterie board subscription box that offers various gifting options. They feature premium cured meats shipped right to your door from different artisans worldwide, highlighting a specific artisan each time. There are between four and six meats in each box ranging from salamis and prosciuttos to bacon and beef, and when paired with some cheese, crackers, olives, and grapes, you’ve got yourself a delightful snack board with items you can’t find at your local grocery store.
21. Dowd Recycled Teak 17.7″ Placemats
These decorative placemats made of teak are elegant, durable, and stain- and water-resistant. They’re also reversible, so your chef has options when setting the table that’ll streamline the process. A lovely tablescape is crucial for a successful dinner party, and these unique placemats have neutral colors but an exciting design that’ll catch the attention of attendees.
22. Mueller Austria 9-Speed Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is one of the most valuable tools in the kitchen for sauces, soups, and other blend-able ingredients — making it an excellent gift for the dedicated chef looking to refine their skills in that area. This one has a comfortable, ergonomic grip with a powerful copper motor and three different attachments.
23. Brightland Olive Oil Set
Brightland’s all-natural, locally sourced olive oils have become hugely popular for a reason. They’re bold and flavorful, particularly those in this set of three. They’re infused with lemon, chili, and basil to complement any dish perfectly. Any chef from amateur to professional will appreciate this gift and make good use of each beautiful bottle.
24. Joyce Chen Unlimited Scissors
If you don’t cook a lot, you may not realize how useful and essential it is to have a good pair of kitchen scissors. They’re perfect for cutting herbs and vegetables, chopping salads, or even cutting the shells off of shrimp and the fat off of meat. It’s easier than using a knife for many of these tasks, with comfortable, flexible handles and stainless steel blades for a sharp and precise cut.
25. Whiskey Decanter
Not only do chefs appreciate good food, but they also often can appreciate good alcohol. If the chef in your life likes to unwind with a nice, high-quality glass of whiskey, get them this decanter as a gift. It makes for a beautiful, elegant addition to any bar cart, and it’ll help release the flavors and aromas of the whiskey.
26. Tamagoyaki Omelette Pan
Any breakfast chef will know what tamagoyaki is, but it’s a traditional Japanese rolled omelet if you’re not aware. Even if they’ve never made it before, they’ll likely be excited to try something new and master this new delicious dish. Get them this pan as a gift so that they can expand their breakfast horizons with the best possible tool.
27. Manual Spice Mill
Anyone who takes their cooking seriously probably uses fresh spices, requiring a manual spice mill. It grates your spices with Microplane blades and then keeps them fresh in the airtight compartment at the top. It’s a great and affordable gift for chefs.
28. Gas Powered Pizza Oven
Everyone loves pizza, which means some spin on it is always a popular dish for chefs to make. The best pizza is made in a pizza oven, but those aren’t so easy to come by in just any house. Luckily, this gas-powered pizza oven fits in any outdoor space. It’s gas-fueled for the ultimate ease and control, cooks stone-baked 12-inch pizza in just 60 seconds, and reaches 950 degrees. Help your favorite chef cook fantastic pizza in the great outdoors.
29. Yeti Rambler Water Bottle
Since it does get quite hot in the kitchen, it’s common for chefs to sweat a lot during a shift. Since they’re probably swamped, it’s also likely that they’re not drinking enough water. If you want to remind your chef to stay hydrated, get them this Yeti water bottle. It holds 26 ounces of water, keeps it cold and it’s dishwasher safe.
30. Handmade Ceramic Butter Crock
The only thing that can make homemade butter better is serving it in a handmade ceramic butter crock. It’s a beautiful addition to your kitchen, and it makes the butter look even more official. It also keeps it fresh and at room temperature, so it’s always soft and easy to spread.
31. Cookbook & Tablet Stand
Even established chefs sometimes still have to follow recipes. Whether they use old-fashioned cookbooks or find their recipes online, this cookbook and tablet stand will make following along while cooking that much easier. It also breaks down into two pieces so that you can easily store it away in a drawer when not in use.
32. Paella Burner and Stand Set on Wheels
This set will help the chef in your life add some flare to their paella. They can cook and serve it anywhere, even outside, making it their new favorite thing to make at any outdoor dinner. It creates an authentic Spanish restaurant-quality presentation for them and their guests to enjoy.
33. Momofuku Seasoned Salts
There’s no way that anyone in the food world isn’t familiar with Momofuku. Ten years of flavor research by the best in the business allowed them to develop these three seasoned salts. They’re an easy and convenient way to take any cooking to the next level with ease, packed with the same umami-rich ingredients they use in their restaurants.
34. Portable Espresso Machine
Being a chef often means long hours, late nights, and little time to run out for a cup of coffee. They likely appreciate quality in anything they consume so that they may put a lot of thought into their beans. Get them this portable espresso maker so that they can enjoy a delicious latte or rich double espresso with their favorite blend wherever they go.
35. Oil + Vinegar Set
Those who care about their food most likely also care about presentation. Instead of keeping those bottles of oil and vinegar out on the table or kitchen counter, get them these lovely matte bottles to hold these essential kitchen items. It’s also a more convenient way to keep the oil and vinegar to pour and splash quickly, whenever needed, with one hand.