Here at Serious Eats we fly our geek flag proudly. What does being a geek mean to us? Being precise; diving deep into new and cool techniques; experimenting with tools and equipment (and getting awesome results). So don your pocket protectors, adjust your suspenders, and get excited. Below are our favorite gifts for proud geek cooks.
Precision tools like an immersion circulator take a lot of the guesswork out of cooking. If you have a friend who wants to make the very best chicken breast, then you'll want to get them one of these devices. We've long trusted the Anova for functionality and reliability (not to mention an acceptable price tag), but for small apartments with limited space, the Joule is a great, albeit pricier, option that can confit the perfect duck leg just as well as the Anova can, then get tucked right back into a drawer.
Should your giftee already have a precision cooker, treat them to one of these tools, which provides home cooks with a kind of handheld broiler. They can clap a Searzall on a compatible blowtorch and use it to form a perfect burnished crust on any piece of meat that's been cooked to the perfect internal temperature.
A Precision Coffee Maker
For geeks and caffeine addicts alike, we have this exceptional coffee maker, which allows users to control brew water temperature, time, and the duration of the blooming phase. It was a winner in our review for the best automatic-drip coffee makers and will make a welcome gift for anyone who requires a perfect cup of coffee.
A Pickle Press
Like I mentioned above, exploring new techniques is decidedly geeky. Now you can help your geek giftee immerse themselves in the great world of pickling. To make asazuke (which means "morning pickles" in Japanese), you need one of these contraptions, which use a spring to exert pressure on sliced and salted vegetables. All that pressure will press out excess water from your desired ingredient, making a concentrated brine and a seasoned final product. Want to up the ante? Send them our guide to a traditional Japanese breakfast.
A Korean Fermentation Crock
For those interested in the slow pickling game, grab this cool Korean fermentation crock. Instead of those quick pressed pickles above, which get their acidity from added vinegar, these fermentation crocks are meant for preparations like kimchi, and sauerkraut, or lacto-fermented pickles, all of which share that distinct tang that comes from lactic acid.
Want more inspiration for the proud geek cooks in your life? Head on over here.