gifts they might actually want

The Best Gifts for Every Type of Home Cook

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

If you’re looking for a holiday gift for someone in your life who loves to cook, the task can be more overwhelming than you might think — but now’s the time to get on it. Avid home cooks tend to be particular about their kitchen gear. Perhaps they make nearly every meal in their perfectly seasoned cast-iron pan, or they’re already married to a particular brand of salt. Maybe you think that their pantry is so well stocked, they couldn’t possibly need anything else, or that they bake so much, they have every cake and pie pan there is. But in our years of talking to both amateur and professional cooks, we’ve heard about countless tools and ingredients that are guaranteed to please either by upgrading an old standby or introducing a totally new discovery that will become an integral part of the kitchen. Here, we’ve gathered 35 gifts for every type of home cook — the expert host, the budding pastry chef, the dedicated cookbook user, and so many more. Things are selling out fast these days, so get on it if you want yours to arrive by Christmas.

For the home cook known for their holiday roasts

Even if they’ve perfected their recipe, they will surely appreciate something to ensure the main course is cooked to perfection. This wireless thermometer is one of the best-rated on Amazon, with tens of thousands of positive reviews — and it will arrive in time for Christmas.

For the home cook who serves wine with every meal

Riedel Swan Decanter
$425

If you’re worried about offending them with a bottle they wouldn’t buy themselves, a nice-looking decanter would be a great way to show your thanks for all the food — and wine — they offer. One of the best wine-related gifts that Roman Roth, winemaker and partner at Wölffer Estate Vineyard, has received is the Swan decanter from Riedel. “It is a showstopper. The most elegant decanter in the world,” he says.

For the home cook who starts every meal with bubbles

A more fun (and approachable) take on a traditional Champagne glass — or, as one expert puts it, “better than a stereotypical flute.” But they certainly still give something special.

For the home cook who starts every meal with a cocktail

Gin or whiskey? Easy-drinking or boozy? This cocktail book has a comprehensive flowchart to help them figure out exactly what they want to drink and how to make it.

For the home cook who always uses fresh herbs

Click & Grow Smart Garden 3
$89
$89

This indoor vegetable-and-herb garden is self-watering and has a built-in grow light and pre-seeded plant pods to grow fresh cilantro, basil, and even chili peppers if the kitchen has no windows. The white and the black will both arrive before Christmas.

For the home cook who just bought a new coffee table

Ease their fear of ring stains with these graphic coasters from Areaware, which are a Strategist favorite. When placed together, they double as a trivet.

For the home cook who values presentation

If they’re as into plating as they are about making the food, they probably care about everything they put out on a table. These salt and pepper grinders come from beloved brand Le Creuset (yep, they make more than everyone’s favorite Dutch oven), and there are tons of color options to choose from.

For the home cook who knows how to set the mood