As a foodie and cooking enthusiast, I already have a lot of the tools and gadgets that I want in the kitchen, but there are always new things that would be exciting to have. This is my personal list of kitchen gift ideas for friends or family who also love to cook and eat. When I’m in a hurry, I can order anything here to be delivered at the last minute with expedited shipping.
Premium Steaks or Meats
I love to gift premium steaks or meats from a high-end gourmet meat producer like Snake River Farms or Lobel’s of New York. These farms offer fresh prime cuts of meat that I am always delighted to receive myself. Snake River Farms, for example, offers beautiful cuts of Kurobuta pork and Wagyu beef or pre-assembled gift packages for grilling or barbecue. You could also go with the popular and more affordable Omaha Steaks, which offers very nice gift packages for prices under $50 that you can order at the last minute.
Le Creuset Cookware
You’ve undoubtedly seen the signature cast iron Le Creuset dutch oven in someone else’s home if you don’t already own one yourself. Le Creuset makes attractive, essential cookwear for every serious home cook, which you can order at the last minute online. The cast iron pots are versatile enough to go from the fridge to the stove top to the oven, and can be used for roasting meats, baking bread, or slow-simmering stews. The pots look so beautiful and classy that you can serve food right out of them on the dining table. I already have a few sizes and colors, but wouldn’t mind receiving more as a gift!
500 Food Journeys of a Lifetime
The beautifully illustrated Food Journeys of a Lifetime book from National Geographic will inspire you to plan your next foodie vacation right away, and you can order it online at the last minute for next day delivery. It’s a great coffee table book for foodies – anyone who sits down will pick it up and start leafing through the beautifully photographed pages right away. While it’s not a kitchen gift per say, I’ve found that foodies and non-foodies alike can’t put it down.
Every home cook knows that you can’t trust your oven temperature reading. You set it at 400 degrees and yet the food isn’t cooking as quickly as the recipe says it will. More often than not, it turns out that your oven is only 350 degrees. This huge variable in the success of your cooking can be easily fixed with the gift of an inexpensive oven thermometer, which will tell you the real temperature inside your oven. Taylor oven thermometers, which are very affordable and can be ordered at the last minute, can also tell you the real temperature inside your refrigerator or freezer.
Leave in Thermometer
This ThermoPro Thermometer is another essential kitchen gift for cooking meats on the grill, in the smoker, in the oven, or on the stove. Live, real-time thermometers come with a metal probe that you stick inside the densest portion of meat. The probe is attached to a long, heat resistant wire that feeds into the visual output unit. When a recipe says to bake something for 20 minutes, that is really just an average cooking time, but it depends a lot on the oven and the size of the piece of meat. You can easily undercook or overcook meat at the last minute if you don’t know the temperature inside the meat. This probe makes it super easy by beeping when the meat has reached the temperature you want, so you pull it out of the oven or off of the grill at the exact time that meat is perfectly done.
Indoor Herb Garden
I love having fresh herbs at my fingertips when I’m throwing together a last minute dinner on a Tuesday night in the middle of January. AeroGarden indoor herb gardens are high-tech and low-maintenance, and you can actually order them online at the last minute for next day shipping. You can easily grow fresh herbs, vegetables, and salad greens in your home under energy-efficient LED lights with a hydroponic water system. I love having cherry tomatoes and strawberries readily available, and it’s fun for everyone in the house to enjoy this kitchen gift and watch the plants grow.
1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die
1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die is another wonderful last minute gift that foodies will love to read through, particularly those who love trying new and exotic foods and learning the history behind foods from other cultures. Authored by long-time food writer Mimi Sheraton, it’s more of an encyclopedic book to reference before your next vacation so you know what local foods to look out for wherever in the world you are visiting. Her knowledge of international foods is extraordinary. Some of the dishes mentioned in the book also come with recipes and names of specific restaurants they recommend.
Outdoor Pizza Oven
It’s actually affordable these days to have a small pizza oven in your backyard, which will make you a really popular host, especially among kids. It’s really simple to slide a pizza in and pull out a steaming hot pie in only a few minutes. Fire up the PizzaCraft Outdoor Pizza Oven next to your grill at your next party and let your guests design their own pizzas. It’s a lot of fun even for people who don’t normally cook, and you can order it online at the last minute for a fantastic surprise gift.
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling is a bestselling book that was gifted to me last year and has helped me serve perfectly cooked meats at so many dinners. This past Christmas, I had a rack of lamb thrown at me at the last minute to prepare for dinner that night. I flipped to the rack of lamb recipe in here, followed the exact temperature directions but in the oven instead of on the grill, and it came out perfect. Thank you, Meathead. Thinking about grilling and cooking meats as a science has helped me improve tremendously as a cook. Meathead convinced me that a leave in thermometer is critical, and he was absolutely right.
High-end Knife Block Set
Many aspiring home cooks will splurge on one or two really nice knives that they use all the time, but may not splurge on a whole set. Or, like me, they invested in a starter knife set when they first started cooking seriously and have only upgraded one or two knives since then. I would love to receive a new high end set of knives from JA Henckels or a Japanese manufacturer as a gift. And these sets are so easy to order online at the last minute.
With everyone becoming more health-conscious these days, I’ve noticed more and more people making their own yogurt at home. A really easy and affordable way to make delicious, homemade yogurt is with a simple Euro Cuisine digital yogurt machine. It’s quick to put together and beeps when it’s ready. Most importantly to me, I can customize the flavors and sweetness to my liking. This is a great last minute gift for healthy foodies and cooking enthusiasts.
French Press Coffee Maker
This gorgeous Cafe Du Chateau French Press maker has the best filtration system I’ve ever used. I can’t stand coffee grounds in my coffee, but I love the weekend morning ritual and the flavor of the French Press. This makes a delicious, smooth cup of coffee every time. Any coffee lover would appreciate this gift, which can be ordered online at the last minute.
Cocktail Shaker Set
This Professional Home Bar Set from Rare Fool is a great last minute gift for people who love to host parties or just enjoy making delicious cocktails at home. These sets, available online, are nicely packaged as gifts and contain all the important tools for making any drink you want, including a shaker, strainer, double jigger (hourglass-shaped measuring device), and muddler.
Gift Card to Nice Restaurant
I love a good excuse to go to a nice restaurant. If you need a last minute gift for a foodie friend or a family member who loves to cook, you can easily go to Amazon or restaurant websites and order a gift card at the last minute. Print it out, and you’ll have your gift ready in less than 10 minutes.