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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10 Reusable Gifts for Your Eco-Friendliest Friend

Disposable tea bags can't compete with this pla-tea-pus and his friends.
Disposable tea bags can't compete with this pla-tea-pus and his friends.
DecorChic/Amazon

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

By this point, your eco-friendly pal probably has a reusable water bottle that accompanies them everywhere and some sturdy grocery totes that keep their plastic-bag count below par. Here are 10 other sustainable gift ideas that’ll help them in their conservation efforts.

1. Reusable Produce Bags; $13

No more staticky plastic bags.Naturally Sensible/Amazon

The complimentary plastic produce bags in grocery stores aren’t great, but neither is having all your spherical fruits and vegetables roll pell-mell down the checkout conveyor belt. Enter the perfect alternative: mesh bags that are nylon, lightweight, and even machine-washable.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Animal Tea Infusers; $16

Nothing like afternoon tea with your tiny animal friends.DecorChic/Amazon

Saying goodbye to disposable tea bags calls for a quality tea diffuser, and there’s really no reason why it shouldn’t be shaped like an adorable animal. This “ParTEA Pack” includes a hippo, platypus, otter, cat, and owl, which can all hang over the edge of a glass or mug. (In other words, you won’t have to fish them out with your fingers or dirty a spoon when your loose leaf is done steeping.)

Buy it: Amazon

3. Rocketbook Smart Notebook; $25

Typing your notes on a tablet or laptop might save trees, but it doesn’t quite capture the feeling of writing on paper with a regular pen. The Rocketbook, on the other hand, does. After you’re finished filling a page with sketches, musings, or whatever else, you scan it into the Rocketbook app with your smartphone, wipe it clean with the microfiber cloth, and start again. This one also comes with a compatible pen, but any PILOT FriXion pens will do.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Food Huggers; $13

"I'm a hugger!"Food Huggers/Amazon

It’s hard to compete with the convenience of plastic wrap or tin foil when it comes to covering the exposed end of a piece of produce or an open tin can—and keeping those leftovers in food storage containers can take up valuable space in the fridge. This set of five silicone Food Huggers stretch to fit over a wide range of circular goods, from a lidless jar to half a lemon.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Swiffer Mop Pads; $15

For floors that'll shine like the top of the Chrysler Building.Turbo Microfiber/Amazon

Swiffers may be much less unwieldy than regular mops, but the disposable pads present a problem to anyone who likes to keep their trash output to a minimum. These machine-washable pads fasten to the bottom of any Swiffer WetJet, and the thick microfiber will trap dirt and dust instead of pushing it into corners. Each pad lasts for at least 100 uses, so you’d be saving your eco-friendly friend quite a bit of money, too.

Buy it: Amazon

6. SodaStream for Sparkling Water; $69

A fondness for fizzy over flat water doesn’t have to mean buying it bottled. Not only does the SodaStream let you make seltzer at home, but it’s also small enough that it won’t take up too much precious counter space. SodaStream also sells flavor drops to give your home-brewed beverage even more flair—this pack from Amazon ($25) includes mango, orange, raspberry, lemon, and lime.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Washable Lint Roller; $13

Roller dirty.iLifeTech/Amazon

There’s a good chance that anyone with a pet (or just an intense dislike for lint) has lint-rolled their way through countless sticky sheets. iLifeTech’s reusable roller boasts “the power of glue,” which doesn’t wear off even after you’ve washed it. Each one also comes with a 3-inch travel-sized version, so you can stay fuzz-free on the go.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Countertop Compost Bin; $23

Like a tiny Tin Man for your table.Epica/Amazon

Even if you keep a compost pile in your own backyard, it doesn’t make sense to dash outside every time you need to dump a food scrap. A countertop compost bin can come in handy, especially if it kills odors and blends in with your decor. This 1.3-gallon pail does both. It’s made of stainless steel—which matches just about everything—and contains an activated-charcoal filter that prevents rancid peels and juices from stinking up your kitchen.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Fabric-Softening Dryer Balls; $17

Also great for learning how to juggle without breaking anything.Smart Sheep

Nobody likes starchy, scratchy clothes, but some people might like blowing through bottles of fabric softener and boxes of dryer sheets even less. Smart Sheep is here to offer a solution: wool dryer balls. Not only do they last for more than 1000 loads, they also dry your laundry faster. And since they don’t contain any chemicals, fragrances, or synthetic materials, they’re a doubly great option for people with allergies and/or sensitive skin.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Rechargeable Batteries; $40

Say goodbye to loose batteries in your junk drawer.eneloop/Amazon

While plenty of devices are rechargeable themselves, others still require batteries to buzz, whir, and change the TV channel—so it’s good to have some rechargeable batteries on hand. In addition to AA batteries, AAA batteries, and a charger, this case from Panasonic comes with tiny canisters that function as C and D batteries when you slip the smaller batteries into them.

Buy it: Amazon

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The Mental Floss Store's Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sale Is Live!

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