Whether you’re buying for someone who loves to cook, loves to eat – or both – here are some awesome foodie gift ideas for a wide range of budgets. And, since we’re all cooking at home more often these days, why not buy something to make that experience more enjoyable?
If you’ve read my previous posts, you may recognize certain themes in this list: functionality, practicality, quality, and value. (Hmm, when I read those words I think “boring”.) In any case, I would be thrilled to receive anything on this list (full disclosure: I own almost every item and love each one), and I think the foodie or epicurean in your life would, too.
Expert-Approved Foodie Gift Ideas
A lot of these items are recommended by America’s Test Kitchen, and that’s no accident. Bridget, Julia, and the ATK gang are kitchen and cooking experts, their equipment testing process is thorough and rigorous, and I trust their suggestions.
On a final note – these recommendations are purely my own. The reality is, I’ve used (or consumed) almost everything on this list for years, and so I’m a giant fangirl. I just love them and think others might, too!
10 Awesome Foodie Gift Ideas
The list is in (mostly) ascending order by price. Happy shopping!
1. Gourmet salt, nut butter, olive oil, vinegar
Bonus points if it’s local and/or sustainably-produced. I like to stick with something that’s not straight sugar – we’ll all get enough candy this month without buying it for each other as gifts! My go-to providers are JEM Organics Nut Butters and Jacobsen Salt Co. $5 and up at local retailers.
2. Best Value: Kuhn Rikon vegetable peeler set
Your vegetable peeling woes will be over when you purchase these no-frills, manual and very capable peelers. Before finding these in 2014, I would not even buy a whole butternut squash. They come in packs of three for $12-15. Did someone say “stocking stuffers”?!
This set includes a classic straight edge, serrated paring knife, and serrated tomato knife – all extremely well-made for the price, and in a trio of fun colors. Around $20
My coffee stays hot ALL DAY in this amazing cylinder of joy-giving engineering. When sealed, it never leaks (I’ve dropped it at least a dozen times, and it has the dents to prove it). Keeps cold stuff cold, too. Accept no substitutes. $20 – 30
Not just for meat, this handy-dandy thermometer reliably and nearly-instantly gives the temperature of candy, your prime rib, or just the ambient air. It’s magnetic, so you can stick it to your fridge! So fun! $25 – 30
6. Immersion blender
I have this one by Oster, which I did not select myself – received it as a gift several years ago. I use this handy blender several times a week for everything from homemade mayonnaise to pureeing hot soup right in the pan. Believe me, using a stick blender is MUCH better than a stand blender for making mayo and pureeing hot soup! Around $25
7. A good non-stick fry pan.
Anyone who cooks probably uses a frying pan a few times a week, and I’m always shocked at how much people are willing to put up with from less-than-great frying pans. Help your friends out and get them a slippery pan that gets the job done and never requires elbow-grease scouring afterwards. OXO 12-inch fry pan. $40 – 50
8. Victorinox 8” chef’s knife – Favorite Foodie Gift Idea!
The essential tool for anyone who prepares food ever. This knife is the bedrock of my kitchen tools for eight years – I wish I could take it with me when I travel! Straight, sharp, and ergonomically sound, I’ve used mine extensively every day for over five years. Every once in a while, give it some TLC (ie, sharpen it), and it will last forever. You might be tempted to spend more and get a fancier knife, but don’t. $40 – 50
9. Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker
Splurge alert! If you (or, ahem, your friend) drink coffee, the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee maker will change your life! Gone will be the days you feel like you need to “go out” to get a perfect cup of coffee. Justify this purchase based on the money you will save by not going to a coffee shop! Visit the Moccamaster website for all the technical details – in short, the Dutch have perfected coffee-making (to go with their Stroopwafels apparently – it’s a conspiracy!) and now you can too. $300 – 340
10. Honorable Mention: Booze and dark chocolate are always awesome foodie gifts
When all else fails, stick with these crowd-pleasers. Since we live in Oregon, my go-to booze is Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, local winter beer from Bend, or Crater Lake Distillery product. For chocolate, go dark or go home. Dark chocolate is decadent and kind of nutritious – fiber, protein, less sugar … it’s practically health food. 😉 My current favorite is Endangered Species 88% Cocoa, aka “Panther”. It is amazingly velvety in texture and super deep in chocolate flavor. My 10-year old daughter did not even miss the sugar, and she’s usually a milk chocolate fan. $3 and up.
Ready to buy a gift for your foodie?
I hope this list of my favorite food and kitchen things inspires your gift-giving this year, even if the recipient is yourself.
Please share your own ideas or foodie gift-giving victories in the comments below!