11 Gifts for the Home Chef in Your Life

Amazon
Amazon

Everyone knows someone who just loves to cook, but they can't show off their skills if they don't have the proper kitchenware. So if there's someone in your life that's always ready to offer you a homemade meal that tops any restaurant, the holidays are the perfect time to show your gratitude. This year, get them a gift that will make their time in the kitchen even more enjoyable.

1. Instant Pot Duo Mini; $60

Instant Pot/Amazon

Home chefs don’t need a lot of mouths to feed or counter space to justify owning an Instant Pot. This version of the electric pressure cooker has all the capabilities of the original—including quick settings for rice, soups, yogurts, and stew—with a smaller, apartment-friendly footprint. With the colder weather approaching, an Instant Pot should be a staple in any kitchen.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Le Creuset Heart-Shaped Casserole Dish; $199

LE Creust/Amazon

Le Creuset is known for making enameled cast-iron cookware that’s durable and functional. It’s also really nice to look at, and this heart-shaped casserole dish is no exception. Even if the home chef in your life already has a collection of cookware, this two-quart dish makes a great item to have for special occasions.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Veggie Spices; $30

Uncommon Goods

When it comes to special seasoning blends, meat usually gets all the love, but veggies can also benefit from the right mixture of herbs and spices. This veggie lover’s cooking kit can help anyone looking to upgrade their produce from simple side dish to memorable main course. The kit comes with six flavor packets, such as coconut curry, maple brown sugar, and Mexican street corn. And for even more culinary inspiration, a booklet of plant-based recipes is included.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

4. Cast-Iron Garlic Roaster; $25

Charcoal Companion/Amazon

Roasted garlic is great mixed into condiments, mashed into potatoes, or simply smeared onto a slice of bread. The only drawback is that transforming a raw garlic clove into a soft, caramelized flavor bomb requires some time and patience. With this cast-iron garlic roaster from Amazon, the process becomes as simple as possible. Ventilation holes allow the aroma of garlic to fill your home as it cooks, and a silicone accessory lets you squeeze the garlic from its husk when it’s fresh out of the oven, without burning your fingers.

Buy It: Amazon

5. Thai Chef Knives; $70-$80

Uncommon Goods

A good chef’s knife is one of the most important tools a home cook should have in their kitchen. This gift includes two: an all-purpose cleaver and a sleek, lighter-weight blade for more precise cuts. Both knives are forged from stainless steel and hand crafted by artisans in Thailand.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

6. JAWZ Blender; $299

Jawz/Amazon

Whether the foodie in your life prefers to make smoothies or cocktails at home, they’ll benefit from having a high-powered blender in the kitchen. The JAWZ blender boasts 10 speed settings, making it perfect for pulverizing everything from berries and leafy greens to ice cubes and nuts.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Star Wars Death Star Cutting Board; $13

Underground Toys/Amazon

Add some geeky charm to anyone's kitchen with this cutting board shaped like the Death Star from the original Star Wars. With a strong, heat resistant glass surface, this cutting board is a great way to indulge anyone who splits their passions equally between cooking and menacing Imperial super weapons.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Altifarm; $359

Altifarm/Amazon

Anyone who loves to cook at home knows the importance of using fresh herbs and produce in their food, and it’s hard to get any fresher than the bounty offered by Altifarm. The system's built-in LED lights promote plant growth without the need for direct sunlight, and its modular design makes it easy to place your garden just steps away from the stovetop. It works with a variety of plant seeds, including basil, tomatoes, and microgreens. Plus, it’s self-watering, so you only have to fill it once a week and let the garden do the rest. There's no green thumb necessary to reap these rewards.

Buy It: Amazon

9. Spoon rest; $7

Kamenstein/Amazon

Creating a little bit of a mess while cooking is unavoidable, but there are small things cooks can do to keep that mess under control. One of them is to use a spoon rest: Instead of resting a dirty spoon on a clean countertop, or leaning it precariously against a pot, cooks can set it aside in its designated spot. Kitchen surfaces stay clean, and when it comes time to stir or taste something, the tool is within arm's reach. This Acacia wood rest from Kamenstein isn’t just useful—it also looks nice next to the stove.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Air Fryer; $57

Amazon

Deep-fried food is messy and high in fat. Unfortunately for anyone concerned about those two points, it also tastes really good. With an air fryer, you can achieve the delectable texture of frying without the downsides. This model from Dash uses air instead of oil to get food hot and crisp. Plus, it’s compact, making it the perfect addition to a kitchen of any size.

Buy It: Amazon

11. Cooking Temperature Magnet; $7

RSVP International/Amazon

When handling raw meat, looking up the correct cooking temperature for a specific product is best done hands-free. A magnetic temperature chart keeps this information in one convenient spot. It sticks to the fridge, so whether a home cook wants to know the best internal temperature for lamb chops or a whole chicken, all they have to do is glance at it.

Buy It: Amazon

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Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The New Apple Watch SE Is Now Available on Amazon

Apple/Amazon
Apple/Amazon

Apple products are notorious for their high price tags. From AirPods to iPads to MacBooks, it can be difficult to find the perfect piece of tech on sale when you are ready to buy. Luckily, for those who have had their eye on a new Apple Watch, the Apple Watch SE is designed with all the features users want but at a lower starting price of $279— and they're available on Amazon right now.

The SE exists as a more affordable option when compared to Apple's new Series 6 line of watches. This less expensive version has many of the same functions of its pricier brethren, except for certain features like the blood oxygen sensor and electrical heart sensor. To make up for the truncated bells and whistles, the SE comes in at least $120 cheaper than the Series 6, which starts at $400 and goes up to $800. The SE comes with technical improvements on previous models as well, such as the fall detection, a faster processor, a larger screen, water resistance, and more.

Now available in 40mm ($279) and 44mm ($309), both SE models offer a variety of colors to choose from, such as sliver, space gray, and pink. If you want cellular connection, you’ll have to pay a bit more for the 40mm ($329) and the 44mm ($359).

For more, head to Amazon to see the full list of offerings from Apple.

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