10 Smart Gifts for Expert Home Cooks
When shopping for someone who’s been through culinary school, or who’s been cooking for many years, it’s easy to get stuck wondering what gadget they don’t already own. Any expert home cook will have an arsenal of appliances they use religiously, but that also means they can always use a fresh version of their overworked tools. We’ve rounded up a few of the best gift ideas for the home cook who has everything. From brand new Damascus steel knives to meat grinders and kitchen scales, these are the best tools for advanced home cooks to own right now.
This scale from Zwilling can weigh up to 22 pounds of food, and the tare feature can weigh multiple ingredients in a single container. The LCD screen is readable from any angle, and the glass surface is easy to clean. For avid bakers and type-A cooks, this is an essential kitchen tool. $50 at williams-sonoma.com
Nespresso Vertuo Next
Coffee is the backbone of many households, and having a great cup or three early in the morning can be the key to starting the day off right. A Nespresso machine is a smart choice for optimizing counter space for a perfect coffee, whenever you need it. The latest Vertuo Next is more sustainable (made from recycled plastics) and can make everything from a 5-ounce espresso to a full 18-ounce carafe. Each recyclable capsule guides the machine for brewing at the right temperature, time, and cup size. $120 at nespresso.com
The Vitamix A3500 is the blender to rule them all. The laser-cut stainless steel blades are designed to pull ingredients in and blend at the most powerful 1500 watts. It has smart programs that blend according to container volume, and the touchscreen display makes it easy to use and wipe clean. The five programs include smoothies, hot soups, dips & spreads, frozen desserts, and of course the best setting: self-cleaning. $600 (originally $700) at williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
A santoku from Shun is a beautiful knife any home cook would covet. 34 layers of Damascus stainless steel, an ultra lightweight pakkawood handle and free sharpening as long as you own it. For a level up, Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer’s exclusive design is a kitchen workhorse that looks like a work of art.
This professional-grade set is the apple of the expert home cook’s eye and loved by our test kitchen. Their best-selling set is on sale right now and includes 10 pieces of forged stainless steel tools with Hestan’s “ProCore” aluminum, which is 35% more conductive than traditional stainless steel cookware. These pots and pans heat quickly, evenly, and will last for years to come. $600 (was $1,395) at hestan.com
When it comes to juicers, Hurom’s tools are unparalleled. The slow-squeeze technology extracts all the best parts of your produce without heating things up, as well as making nut milk and even ice cream with frozen ingredients. At 43 RPMs, it’s also quieter than most other juicers on the market. $439 at amazon.com
The machine is both compact and heavy-duty and will grind 3.5 pounds of meat per minute. It’s got three grind plates and yes, a sausage stuffing kit. Any home cook with a love for homemade sausages and burger patties will be delighted to have this around. $180 (originally $235) at williams-sonoma.com or amazon.com
The Anova Nano is one of the best sous vide tools available today, and the compact size and smart functions make it hard to beat for a gift idea. Smaller than the original Anova Precision Cooker, this tool will fit easily in a drawer for storage. It’s easy to use via the app on your smartphone or tablet. Make perfectly cooked meats, chicken, and fish every time with this beauty. $99 at amazon.com
High Tech Toaster
You might think a toaster is a toaster, but this tool is something different. Upgraded heating technology and precise settings for frozen, bread, bagels, and even toaster pastries make this the fastest toaster on the market. The touchscreen displays the exacting browning desired, a special upgrade for anyone who makes toast regularly. $300 at williams-sonoma.com
Half of the cooking process is the cleanup, and having a tool to do it automatically is the most underrated gift of all. Roomba vacuums have only gotten more advanced by the year, and can now map the floorplan and know exactly where to pick up those pesky crumbs as well as dust and pet hair. It will automatically increase suction on carpets, works with Google Assistant and Alexa, and certain models will empty themselves and resume cleaning. For home cooks who love to bake or need an extra hand in prep cleanup, this is a genius gift. $400 (was $589) at amazon.com