Shopping for others during the holidays can be a real nightmare—particularly when you don’t know what to get someone. Do you have friends or family who love to cook, but you don’t? If you Google “gifts for cooks” you might stumble upon useless kitchen gadgets that are more shelf ornaments than real tools. Knives could work, but I caution you that they are also quite subjective, often requiring the owner to feel, hold and use the knife to ensure it’s a good fit.
Given the challenges, where do you start?
I’m here to help.
Here’s a simple list of just 5 items that are found in most commercial kitchens that would fit in the home of any great cook:
Immersion blenders have become one of the most convenient tools in my kitchen—so much so, that I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to have one! Perfect for pureeing sauces and soups within the pot, cleanup is a breeze and I’m not wasting as much product from bowl and blender transfers. For extra durability and horsepower, opt for a commercial immersion blender to meet the needs of the cook in your family.
A whipped cream dispenser, or “whipper,” is one of those tools that chefs have been using for ages, but they’re finally making their way into the home kitchen! Easy to operate, these dispensers can be used for so much more than whipped cream (but make no mistake, it does that very well). Use whippers to quickly create a béchamel sauce on the side, or even add it to your bar for cocktails! iSi not only make a great line of whippers, but they also feature an extensive library of recipes to get you started on your culinary journey.
For the ultimate in precision, opt for a scale. Bakers especially like scales because it ensures better accuracy in bread or cake recipes. Using weight instead of scoops as a form of measurement removes variables that could affect your quantities like air. Of course, not just for the cook in your life, scales also help with portion control when it comes to getting healthy in the New Year.
There’s a reason that Cambro is an industry favorite. These food storage containers provide a great seal and their square shape makes stacking and storage a breeze. If you or your chef friend are like me, and you buy items like flour or grains in bulk, then these CamSquare® containers are ideal at keeping your ingredients fresh and safe from cross-contamination.
Small and mighty, the thermometer is a cook’s best friend. No more overcooked steaks and burgers, no more threats of undercooked chicken making you sick. A basic digital thermometer is easy to use, requires no calibration, and means you’ll have perfectly cooked food at each and every meal. My favorite is the Comark PDT300, which I use regularly at home.