Gifts That Real Chefs Recommend For Avid Home Cooks

These gifts are the perfect blend of practical, thoughtful and delicious.
Burlap & Barrel spices, a Shun Premier Nakiri 5.5-inch knife, a hand-painted cutting board, rice syrup from Kim'C Market and The “Good Shears” from Material Kitchen.

If you have some serious home chefs in your life or just love to cook (and eat) with your friends and family, kitchen presents can be the secret to nailing gift-giving. From annual cookie swaps to seven-course meals, many holiday traditions revolve around food, so giving someone something they can use to keep these rituals going is the perfect blend of practical, thoughtful and delicious.

But it can be hard to gauge what the home chefs in your life want from Santa, especially if you hope to keep some of the surprise factor as they’re unwrapping. So instead of directly asking what kitchen gear they need, we did the heavy lifting for you: We asked our favorite chefs, bakers, restauranteurs and cookbook authors for the best culinary-related treats to give this season.

While some options borderline professional equipment (i.e. cost more that $200), there are plenty of under $100 items that are perfect for more casual cooks or anyone who wants to step up their spice cabinet.

HuffPost and its publishing partners may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. The experts consulted for this story do not necessarily endorse the products ahead unless otherwise noted.

The Good Shears from Material Kitchen
“The ‘Good Shears’ from Material Kitchen are so sleek and sharp. I love my golden pair so much, and they’ll fit nicely in any kitchen." — Anna Gordon, chef and owner of The Good Batch in Brooklyn, New York
The Suisin Inox three-piece set from Korin
"I recommend the Suisin Inox three-piece set from Korin Knife Shop. It's a great starter knife set." — Austin Johnson, chef and owner of One White Street in New York, New York
A Caraway 10.5-inch frying pan
“This season, my favorite gift to give is the Caraway’s 10.5 inch frying pan. [It’s] my favorite pan to utilize when cooking for my family. It’s versatile, naturally nonstick and easy to clean. It’s an essential tool in my house." — Mike Friedman, owner of The Red Hen and All Purpose Pizzeria in Washington, D.C.
A Lodge cast iron skillet
"Lodge makes decent [cast iron skillets] that are marked very reasonably. It just makes a really good multipurpose tool (especially for baking bread if you don’t have a Dutch oven) or for getting a nice sear on veggies to make them a bit more special." — Angie Hossain, executive chef at Huda in Brooklyn, New York
El Color de la Artesana
A hand-painted cutting board from El Color de la Artesana
“One of my favorite gifts to buy for home cooks this holiday season is the Brenda wooden board from the women-owned company El Color de la Artesana, which shares local Mexican artistry. Their amazing hand-painted Mexican cutting boards are durable and beautifully designed. You can never have too many for serving baked goods, cheese boards or cutting citrus for holiday cocktails.” — Rick Martinez, chef, food personality and author of "Mi Cocina"
An Ooni pizza oven
“If money were no object, the gift I would love to give to a few of my foodie friends is an Ooni pizza oven. I received one from my husband last year and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever received! There are also so many varieties, choose the electric version for cooking indoors or the wood, charcoal or gas version if you have a backyard. What better way to host friends than around freshly made pizza!" — Susan Jung, food journalist and author of "Kung Pao and Beyond: Fried Chicken Recipes from East and Southeast Asia"
Kim'C Market
Authentic Korean sauces from Kim'C Market or Gotham Grove
"'Jang' is a catch-all phrase for sauces, particularly of fermented kinds, that makes huge building blocks for Korean cuisine. They are the mother sauces of Korean food. Kisoondo Doenjang (fermented soy paste), Gochujang (fermented chili paste) and soy sauces are some of the best you can find. Headed by the matriarch Soondo Ki, who is a designated Korean Food Grand Master, these sauces are made with hyper-local ingredients in Damyang, South Korea, in a super traditional way that her family held together for over 300 years. When I visited them, I was blown away by their deep commitment to tradition and craft. I used to buy luggage full of their sauces on my way back from Korea, but now you can just get them more easily from KimC Market or Gotham Grove. Just like a really great olive oil or parmigiano reggiano, it will instantly transform your dishes, whether you're making bulgogi, bibimbap or adding a bit of it into any soups and broth as a secret ingredient. Highly recommend it." — Ji Hye Kim, chef/owner of Miss Kim in Ann Arbor, Michigan
A HexClad pepper grinder
"The [HexClad] pepper grinder is a game-changer. I love black pepper and it is essential to making food taste good, and this grinder positively showers black pepper onto your food. We use lots of black pepper at Pulkie’s to make a seasoned crust on our turkey and brisket. You can feel the blades grinding, it is super easy to re-load, and it is awesome." — Harris Mayer, chef, owner and founder of Creamline and Pulkies in New York, New York
New or vintage Braun automatic coffee grinders
"The Braun automatic coffee grinder is one of my favorite sleek and durable appliances. Etsy has some great vintage models, which I love as a quirky and useful statement piece." — Camille Becerra, chef-partner of As You Are and the Ace Hotel in Brooklyn, New York
La Boîte spice mixes
"For the curated spice mixes from La Boîte, Chef Lior Lev Sercarz has made such an impression in first-rate restaurants around the country with his unique and delicious spice blends. His array of offerings has me spending hours on his website, and when I’m not down that rabbit hole, I’m diving deep into his amazing cookbook, 'Mastering Spice.'” — Friedman
A Nest Homeware Dutch oven
"One of my favorite gifts this year is the Nest Homeware Dutch oven... [It’s] a great gift for any home cook or chef. love a cast iron Dutch oven, and this is not only great for cooking soups and stews this winter, but it can also be used for baking your weekly bread!" — Monti Garcia, chef at Eli's Table in New York, New York
A Vitamix Vita-Prep blender
“If you really love someone, buy them a Vitamix Vita-Prep blender. They are simply the best tool anyone can ask for. A close consolation is a great knife which is super important for anyone looking to be successful in the kitchen." — Franklin Becker, chef at Point Seven in New York, New York
Williams Sanoma
A Shun Premier 5.5-inch Nakiri knife
"My other go to gift would be the Shun Nakiri knife. Every good cook deserves a good knife, and Shun knives are some of the best! I personally love both the Nakiri and Santoku shapes.” — Garcia
Joe’s Stone Crab delivery
"There’s nothing better than Joe’s Stone Crab mail order delivery for a friend who loves to celebrate the holidays with seafood!” — Ken Oringer, chef at Faccia a Faccia in Boston, Massachusetts

Goldbelly lets you order food and treats from your favorite restaurants and shops around the U.S. and delivers them right to your door.
Burlap & Barrel spices
"Burlap & Barrel spices are all really great. I especially love the royal cinnamon and robusta peppercorns. If you choose three they come packaged in a nice box so it feels like you curated a spice kit for someone. I also can’t help but love any of the Floyd Cardoz blends." — Dan Kluger, chef/founder of Greywind, The Bakery at Greywind and Spygold in New York, New York
A stovetop espresso maker
"I like having a little morning ritual that lets me start my day fresh. A nice coffee helps sometimes." — Hossain

For coffee lovers, Hossain recommends gifting a traditional stovetop espresso maker, like this classic metal Moka Pot. They're quick and foolproof coffee makers that make a strong cup right at home.
Sur La Table
A Breville Smart Scoop ice cream machine
"The Breville ice cream machine is the absolute best machine you can get for under [$1,000]. The best part is that there is an internal compressor, so you can plug it in and make ice cream any time of day, week, or year." — Tyler Malek, co-founder and head ice cream maker at Salt & Straw Ice Cream in Portland, Oregon
Durant olive oil
"The Arbequina olive oil from Durant Oregon Olive Mill is the key ingredient in the very first ice cream recipe in our Salt & Straw cookbook and, as soon as you taste it, you’ll know why. Made from olive orchards speckled between our famous pinot vineyards, this olive oil is more delicate than the spicy California oils you might be used to, making it perfect as a topping for desserts." — Malek
A Cangshan bread knife
“This Cangshan bread knife is an incredible gift for any household that eats a lot of fresh bread. I use mine daily, and it makes the cleanest slices, plus the extra length makes it great for big, crusty loaves." — Anna Gordon, chef and owner of The Good Batch in Brooklyn, New York
Everything from Gestura
"Gift the whole Gestura lineup for that serious cook in your life. Their beautiful and well made cooking spoons, plating and cooking tweezers and fancy cake testers are crafted in Japan and designed by a former chef. Gestura can be found tucked into the coat pockets of chefs the world over. We all love their products!" — Becerra
Williams Sonoma
An Anova precision oven
"I think the Anova Precision Oven would be a great gift for anyone who loves to cook. It’s essentially a home model combi oven, which is a tool that we rely on heavily as chefs in restaurants. Basically it’s an oven that can also steam, which opens up a world of cooking techniques (everything from cooking rice to sous vide cooking without the bag). It also has a temperature probe for ultra precise cooking (to a tenth of a degree or so) AND it has a heating element and fan in the back which is great for everything from dehydrating to 'air frying' if you’re into that sort of thing. I use mine basically every time I cook at home!" — Joseph (Joe) Bliffen, chef de cuisine at Silver Apricot in New York, New York
"The Everlasting Meal: Leftovers A-Z" by Tamar Adler
"Best book of the season. Tamar Adler is such a talent, her first book 'An Everlasting Meal' is a glorious manifesto on how we should all be eating. Her follow up ['The Everlasting Meal Leftovers A-Z'] addresses leftovers!" — Valerie Gordon, baker, chef and owner of Valerie Confections in Los Angeles, California

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