Eating, drinking and enjoying food is one of life’s purest joys. There are some that enjoy consuming delicious meals and others who 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 is not 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 — it’s actually one of the only COVID-friendly traditions left to enjoy this Christmas and New Years. 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 easier, 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
This 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 smart 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 165ft 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 the internal and external environment of your meal 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 easier. This makes a great gift for a chef of any caliber because it makes complicated recipes easier and lower-maintenance while eliminating steps for more skilled chefs in the kitchen. It combines seven appliances into one item which saves counter space, and comes with smart programs for everything from ribs to yogurt and deserts.
3. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Not only are these dutch ovens some of the best ones available, they also look great stationed on the stove when not in use. This design has 45% larger handles which makes gripping and transporting in/out of the oven easier, and the cast iron makes the heat distribution top notch. The composite knob up top makes lifting the top easy and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees.
4. Rothy’s The Lace Up Shoes
A must-have in the kitchen? Comfortable shoes. All that walking, standing and leaning makes high-quality shoes necessary to longevity, especially when cooking large, elaborate meals. These shoes from Rothy’s are super comfortable and machine-washable (actually), so any sauce droplets or grease stains are easy to get out.
5. Cangshan Thomas Keller 3-Piece Knife Set
OPRAH’S FAVORITE THINGS 2020
This knife set is the ultimate chef’s gift of 2020, as the knives were designed by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller. 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 pretty much 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’re got a chef friend who loves a trip to the butcher, but hates having the 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
OPRAH’S FAVORITE THINGS 2020
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. Table Grazing Extra Long Cheese Board
Who doesn’t love a good charcuterie spread? Let your chef throw a cheese plate together for their guests to enjoy while they finish up dinner and present it on this extra long cheese board. This cheese board is just shy of four feet long which gives them plenty of room to arrange their favorite gruyere, goat and gouda to their liking along with grapes, nuts, gerkins and other cheese board must-haves.
10. MY DRAP Dinner Napkin Roll
This dinner napkin roll has 12 reusable, washable dinner napkins on it that can be easily torn and folded to set the table. The 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 no harm to the environment is done. You can wash them up to six times and bring a touch of elegance to your table scape easily, which makes your chef’s job easier.
11. Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor
This handy kitchen gadget has a 10 cup capacity which is 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 easier, and it has two speeds with 450 watts of power available to make trying recipes simpler.
12. Personalized Juice-Catching Cutting Board
Making clean-up easier is perhaps one of the best things you can do for the chef in your life. This cutting board has a slope design that keeps runaway liquid, seeds and other food gunk from running all over your counter. You can also customize it! A nice feature that adds to the appeal of this gift option.
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 a great gift for an experimental chef who’s always looking to try out new methods, tastes and cuisines.
14. Yes Chef! Headband
This chef headband is perfect for keeping sweat and hair out of their eyes while they cook, and is made of high-performance t-shirt fabric designed to help them stay cool and comfortable. It’s machine-washable, breathable and is designed to dry quickly so long shifts at the restaurant are taken care of.
15. Herb-Saving Apron
Growing your own herbs is a sustainable, convenient and easy solution to fresh herbs that many chefs have adopted. This apron will help them pick the herbs and store them until they’re ready to be used. It’s a cloth pouch that you can wear around your waist that has three different compartments for organizing your freshly picked, flavorful additions. After you’re done picking, you simply get the pouches wet, roll up the apron and place it in the fridge so the herbs stay fresh until you’re ready to use them. It’s a convenient, multi-tasking and machine-washable gift your chef will thank you for.
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 of them to revamp their collection. 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 the pop-art background and Coca Cola logo. It has clear 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 a variety of gifting options. They feature premium cured meats shipped right to your door from a different artisans around the world, highlighting a specific artisan each time. There are 4-6 meats in each box ranging from salamis to prosciuttos to bacon, 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, stain and water-resistant. They’re also reversible, so your chef has options when setting the table that’ll streamline the process. A nice table scape is crucial for a successful dinner party, and these unique place mats have neutral colors but an interesting design that’ll catch the attention of attendees.
22. Mueller Austria 9-Speed Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is one of the most useful tools in the kitchen for sauces, soups and other blend-able ingredients – making it a great 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.