Two of the things that I love: gift-giving and home cooking. So what better than to combine these into one thing and make a gift guide for the home cook? I know that not everyone likes gift-giving, and even if you do, you might not be into cooking so have no idea what to get for someone who is.
Well, let me tell you, I have been around the block when it comes to kitchen equipment. Just about everything on this list is something that I personally own and use, and the few items I don’t have are on my wish list.
So no matter what your budget is, if you have a cook in your life who you need a gift for then look no further than this gift guide for the home cook!
Cheaper (less than $50)
America’s Test Kitchen cookbook ($15-40)
There are so many different options for this for this. I personally LOVE America’s Test Kitchen (like, ok, I may be a little obsessed) and recommend them to everyone I know who is at all cooking-inclined. They have a cookbook for just about every different kitchen appliance, cuisine, and diet so definitely check them out.
Goldtouch pan (around $20)
Not only are these pretty, but they are great nonstick pans. The golden color is a great in between for browning so that your baked goods aren’t over or under done. Williams-Sonoma has a whole line of goldtouch pans, and OXO’s line of golden colored pans is another great option.
Super fun for making things like zucchini noodles or whatever other kind of vegetable noodles.
Oven mitts ($30)
This is a super basic item, but a good set of oven mitts will always come in handy. My older oven mitt just fell apart, so I have my eyes on a set by All-Clad, which is one of my go-to kitchen brands because everything they produce is so well made. I also like that they come in multiple colors.
Pretty pie pan ($40)
A pretty pie pan could be a goldtouch one from Williams-Sonoma or perhaps a ruffled edge, deep dish one in your friend’s favorite kitchen color. There are lots of different options.
Classic cast iron pan ($43)
A cast iron pan is just an all around solid, classic item for your kitchen.
What’s great about cast iron is that it retains heat crazy well and heats the pan evenly. If you get non-coated and season it correctly then over time they actually become better as they become more and more nonstick.
This is super great because it gives you access to all three of America’s Test Kitchen’s sites (America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country, and Cook’s Illustrated) as well as access to watch both of their tv shows.
I use this all of the time. If I’m out and about I’ll look up a recipe in their app, and sometimes before I make something I like to watch a clip of them making it to make the recipe extra easy to understand.
Manual pasta machine ($70)
Homemade pasta is just such a wonderful thing. I don’t make it nearly as often as I should because it tastes great and making your own seriously feels so satisfying. My first times making it I felt like such an accomplished cook (ok, I feel that way anytime I make it).
Ice cream maker ($70)
Another great, fun option. There are many different kinds of ice cream makers, so make sure you know which kind you are getting. The three main kinds are crank (which takes ice cream salt), canister style (which has to be refrigerated ahead of time—and means you can only do one batch at a time), and self-refrigerating (which can be really expensive).
If you’re getting an ice cream maker as a gift then a canister style is a great in-between option as it is much easier than the crank ones and not as expensive as self-refrigerating. I myself go back and forth between whether I want to get a canister style or splurge and get self-refrigerating. We’ll see!
Waffle maker ($85)
Waffles are great weekend food, so for a breakfast person, like me and my husband, then having the option to make your own is really nice. I splurged and got the heavy duty All-Clad Belgian waffle maker, but there are some great cheaper options too, like this Cuisinart version.
Dutch oven ($65-96)
This is one that I included on the list twice on my gift guide for the home cook because it’s such a great purchase but is available at various price points. The beauty of a cast-iron dutch oven is that they are gorgeous pieces and extremely versatile. I use mine all the time for things like soups and stews, steaming vegetables, and even baking bread.
If you are in the market for a really high-end gift then I recommend a Le Creuset dutch oven, but if you don’t want to spend that much then Cuisinart, Crock-Pot, and Lodge all have good options at lower price points.
Instant read thermometer ($100)
Ok, so this may seem like a really boring gift to some people, but I have come to realize that a good kitchen thermometer is so underrated. If you get a nice one then there is no waiting for the thermometer to catch up and read the temperature of your food while said food overcooks.
Heavy-duty cutting board ($100)
Always a great staple, particularly if you have a nice set of knives.
All-Clad pan ($170)
You can’t really go wrong with All-Clad, and they are consistently rated as having the best stainless steel pans out there. Their triple ply pans are known to heat and cook extremely evenly and be very durable. These are some items I aspire to add to my kitchen at some point.
Le Creuset pan ($180-200)
Similar to All-Clad, it’s hard to go wrong with Le Creuset. Le Creuset makes great enameled cast-iron skillets, a more expensive version of the classic cast-iron pan.
They come in beautiful colors, and the nice thing is that you don’t have to worry about seasoning or cleaning an enameled pan in a special way. They also don’t react with more acidic foods (like tomato sauce) the way that classic cast-iron pans can.
Sous vide machine ($200)
This one had to make it onto my gift guide for the home cook because of how awesome these machines are. If you haven’t heard of sous vide, it’s basically cooking bagged food in water at a very precise temperature.
By cooking it this way you get perfectly moist food with no risk of overcooking. Plus it’s super hands-off and easy. What more could you ask for?
High-end (more than $200)
Pressure cooker ($220)
A pressure cooker is something I have had on my wish list for a while because they’re so handy. You can cook food in a fraction of the time it would normally take.
You can go the modern route and get an Instant Pot that combines pressure cooker settings with a bunch other others (like rice cooking or slow cooking) or get a stove top version that just has one function (pressure cooking) but does that one function really well.
Food processor ($230)
These are really nice to have around for tasks like chopping and shredding, and I use mine to make things like pie or pizza dough and tomato sauce.
KitchenAid mixer ($300)
A simple, elegant classic. KitchenAid mixers are beautiful appliances that come in so many pretty colors that it makes me want to buy another one, even though I have absolutely no use for a second stand mixer.
Wüsthof knife set ($400)
Wüsthof is consistently rated as one of the best knife brands available, and a good knife set will always be useful. Be careful you know which Wüsthof line you’re getting, though, because I’ve heard that their “Gourmet” line is not very good.
Le Creuset dutch oven ($400)
If you have the budget for it and want to go with a dutch oven then I highly recommend Le Creuset. It is a French company that makes beautiful kitchen pieces, but they are known in particular for their wonderful dutch ovens. A Le Creuset dutch oven, if properly cared for, is the sort of piece that could be passed down for generations.
All-Clad pan set ($500)
A single All-Clad pan is a great present, but if this is more your price-point then an entire set of All-Clad pans is even better!
Anova Precision oven ($600)
If sous vide is great, then this oven is even better! It is super high on my wish list, and I’ve been closely following the Anova’s announcements about it.
Basically it’s an oven that has the same function settings as a sous vide cooker but works bag-less using steam. And because it’s a full on oven it can do things that the sous vide can’t, like baking and crisping.
For a more complete guide of what to keep stocked in your kitchen check out my post The 55 Kitchen Essentials You Need.
If you are looking for an awesome gift for that home cook in your life then any of these things could be a great choice; all you have to do is pick a price range!
What kitchen items do you think make great gifts?
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.