The Wishlist: Chef’s Holiday Gift Guide

Photo: 7 Piece Knife Block Set

When you get someone a knife, a bowl, or any other cooking utensil, you are giving them a whole lot more than just one gift. You’re giving them meals they wouldn’t have otherwise cooked themselves, flavors they wouldn’t have experienced, and company they wouldn’t have otherwise had over. Cooking utensils and appliances truly are the gifts that keep on giving.

It can be hard, though, to figure out exactly what you want to give to that aspiring chef in your life. Should you go for the gimmicky and fun picks that you know will get a laugh when opened? Or should you help them stock up on basics they wouldn’t otherwise have bought for themselves? We’ve assembled a list of picks that are great for the person just starting to build out their own set of basics, or the seasoned chef looking to add a little bit of class to their already well-stocked setup. From award-winning toasters to everyday kitchen essentials – we have all of the gifts for the chef you could want.

hot handle holders

Lodge Striped Hot Handle Holders

These are incredibly useful to have around the kitchen. Instead of wrapping your hands up in spare, damp dishtowels laying around the kitchen, experienced chefs and aspiring ones alike can grab these up and safely take that pie, or roast right out of the oven safely. No more singed fingers.

Purchase: $7

bear paws

Bear Paws BBQ Shredder

We can’t honestly say that these are a solid buy just because they’re good at pulling apart bbq’d meat. That’s only half, or maybe only quarter of the reason you put these things on. The other 3/4? You look like a combination of Mario Batali and wolverine.

Purchase: $9

oyster knife

Dexter Russell Oyster Knife

A simple but useful tool to have in your drawer for when you decide you want to go out and pick up some oysters. Made from a 2 and 3/4 inch high-quality carbon blade set in a beechwood handle, this American made oyster knife is a great gift for the seafood lover.

Purchase: $13


Microplane Zester

You aren’t going to use a zester every day, but you are damn sure going to want one when you read the recipe for that cocktail, stew, or cake. This kitchen drawer essential is made from a high quality 8.5 inch 18/8 stainless steel that’ll stay nice and sharp even after regular use. To top it off, cleaning is easy thanks to its dishwasher safe build.

Purchase: $12


Hand Juicer

Be prepared when a recipe calls for lemon or lime juice. This simple but sturdy squeezer is built to give you easy, seed-free juice without killing your hands or falling apart in a few months. Built with 18/10 stainless steel and boasting a comfortable handle, you’ll be good to squeeze out juice to your heart’s content.

Purchase: $20


Benriner Mandolin Slicer

Instead of killing yourself trying to get those cucumbers, onions, carrots or whatever else sliced just right with a paring knife, using a mandolin makes it so you can get the right cut every time. Featuring three interchangeable blades and a thickness that can be adjusted from .3mm to 5mm, you’ll be good to slice up fruits and veggies for any salad or dish.

Purchase: $25

chefs knife victorniox

Victorinox Chef’s Knife

Owning an all-purpose knife for tackling all of the kitchen’s tasks from chopping to dicing and crushing is imperative. Measuring in at 8 inches long and featuring an ergonomic non-slip fibrox handle, it’s a great pick.

Purchase: $45

bottle grinder

Bottle Grinder

Salt and pepper shakers are small things, but they’re constant. You can find them on every dinner table, on the side of every stove. So why not go for something a little more unique and fun? These minimalist grinders are a perfect for the chef looking for a fun and attractive look to add to their kitchen.

Purchase: $83


iDevices iGrill2 Bluetooth Thermometer

Temperatures on your grill or on your oven can often vary and prove unpredictable or inaccurate. One of the best ways to keep a close eye on that expensive cut of meat is to get a reliable thermometer like his one from iDevices. The device’s four probes can give you read outs on more than one point, and thanks to its 150 foot Bluetooth range and 200-hour battery life, you don’t have to constantly get up from your seat to go check it.

Purchase: $98

steak knife set

Zwilling Porterhouse Steak Knives in Wood Box

Good steak calls for good knives, and we’d by lying if we said that this set from Zwilling isn’t a cut above the rest. Made in Spain, these high carbon stainless steel blades forged using Zwilling Friodur’s ice-hardening technique are harder than most you’ll find, and hold a sharper edge for longer. A full tang on the blade makes for a more balanced knife that’ll last a whole lot longer than the steaks you’ll be slicing into.

Purchase: $100


OptiGrill Stainless Steel Indoor Electirc Grill

An indoor grill built to adapt its grilling cycle in accordance to the thickness of the food. With a handful of automatic programs ranging from burger to poultry, panini, and fish, it’s a great pick for the griller who gets trapped inside during the winter months.

Purchase: $125

cast iron skillet

Finex 8″ Cast Iron Skillet

A good cast iron skillet is always welcome in any kitchen. Not only do these just look damn good on the stovetop, but they do an incredible job of evenly distributing heat to whatever is getting cooked up, and they manage to also keep all of the good oils and flavors with each new use. This one from Finex features an octagonal shape at the top that makes pouring off excess juices that much easier.

Purchase: $125

teak cutting board

Teak Cutting Board

This is the kind of cutting board that you’ll be proud to present a bunch of cuts of cheese, crackers, or even a full steak on for guests. It’s 20 by 14 inches wide, and is 2.5 thick, making it both a substantial and attractive pick.

Purchase: $127

smeg 2 slice toaster

Smeg 2-Slice Toaster Pastel Green

This is exactly what it looks like. A sturdy, well built, old-school 2-slice toaster. You can rely on this thing to work morning after morning to deliver your trusty toast to have alongside your eggs and coffee. Not only is it a real looker of a toaster, but it’s won multiple design awards from Red Dot and others. An ideal addition to the fan of 1950s era appliances.

Purchase: $150

Cuisinart DPF 14 Cup Food Processor 1

Cuisinart DPF 14 Cup Food Processor

This 720 watt Cuisinart uses a stainless steel slicing disc, shredding disc, and chopping blade that can be changed out of the 14 cup container just seconds to take on any task. You may not use this thing every day, but when you need it, you’ll be glad you have it. Whether chopping up onions, grinding meat, or making your own pasta sauce – it makes the process faster and much easier.

Purchase: $174

pressure cooker

Breville Pressure/Slow Cooker

This combination pressure cooker and slow cooker is a great addition for the cook who has a lot on their plate. You can easily turn it on to cook up a big batch of carnitas as a pressure cooker for a quick dinner, or you can set it to slow-cook a big batch of stew and head out to work of the day. The best part about it? The big beautiful display on the cooker takes all of the guesswork out of the cooking.

Purchase: $230

stand up mixer

Kitchen Aid Stand Up Mixer

This 325 watt, 10-speed mixer from Kitchen Aid does away with all of the trouble of hand mixing and makes it easy to whip up dough, batter, or chip dip thanks to the wide number of included accessories like the wire whip, dough hook, flat beater, and 1 piece pouring shield. To top off all of the functionality and sturdy build is the look of the thing. If you are a sucker for 1950s appliances, this is a sure win.

Purchase: $290+

wusthof knife block

Wüsthof 7-Piece Knife Block Set

A great gift for the person in your life looking to take a step up from their randomly assorted knives. This set from Wüsthof includes four knives, one pair of kitchen shears, a honing steel, and a 13 slot storage block that comes in either maple or walnut. The knives are made from a high carbon steel that’s designed to stand up to constant use thanks to the inclusion of the brand’s Precision Edge Technology making for better edge retention.

Purchase: $300

dutch oven

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

For how simple they look from the outside, dutch ovens can be incredibly versatile. You can use them to cook up big stews, or even loaves of bread. Made from cast iron and coated in enamel, these pots are surprisingly good at evenly distributing heat to whatever you’re cooking up. An essential for any kitchen.

Purchase: $320


Vitamix 1300

You may not drink them that often, but try and take a look next time you get a chance at the prices of juices and smoothies nowadays. Yeah. They aren’t joking. They really want that much for a juice. Instead of coughing up all that dough in order to get a nice smoothie to start off your morning, you can opt instead for making your own with a Vitamix. It’s a gift that your green, crunchy, or more health conscious friends and family will love. It has a 64-ounce capacity, unbreakable polycarbonate container, and can operate on two speeds to juice up all of your veggies and fruits.

Purchase: $380