The 30 Best Gifts for Cooks and Food Lovers Under $100

Supremely useful holiday gifts for avid cooks.

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A collage of different items (a French press, a burr grinder, a pepper mill) against a colorful background

Serious Eats / Chloe Jeong

Sometimes you want to splurge on an amazing gift for someone special, and sometimes your budget says otherwise. Fortunately, finding the perfect gift for cooks and food lovers doesn’t have to be expensive—we’ve got loads right here that can be had for under $100 (and even more under $50). From tools to books to fun accessories, there’s something for every culinary enthusiast, so let’s get into it.

  • A Do-It-All Dutch Oven

    Cuisinart 5-Quart Chef's Classic Enameled Dutch Oven

    For any cook, a great Dutch oven is an essential. It can sear, braise, bake, simmer, boil, and deep-fry. And this one from Cuisinart is our budget-friendly pick and well under $100.

  • A (Seriously Good) Stainless-Steel Skillet

    Made In 10-Inch Stainless Steel Skillet

    Since we’re on the train of basic-yet-essential cookware, our favorite stainless-steel skillets (both the 10- and 12-inch models) are under $100. If your giftee doesn’t have one, it’s a must. And if they do, well, they could always use another.

  • An Impressive Immersion Blender

    All-Clad Stainless Steel Immersion Blender

    Immersion blenders are one of the most versatile kitchen tools you can have, and All-Clad’s version won our extensive tests. Soup season is on its way, and there’s no better way to achieve a silky-smooth texture than with one of these bad boys.

  • A Great Chef’s Knife

    Mac Knife Series 8-Inch Hollow Edge Chef's Knife

    We’ve tested a lot of chef’s knives, and this one by Mac Knife is one of our favorite Japanese-style blades. It’s sharp, well-balanced, and fairly priced—and sure to be a welcome addition to any home cook’s knife collection.

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  • A Knife Sharpener

    King Sharpening Stone

    A whetstone may not seem very exciting, but a knife is only as good as its edge. We’ve tested more than a few knife sharpeners and can confirm that using a whetstone is the way to go for maintaining your blades, so pairing a nice knife with a flattening stone to keep it in great shape is a more thoughtful gift than you might expect.

  • A Classic Compendium

    Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set)

    No cookbook collection is complete without the finest works of Julia Child, and it just makes sense to give both volumes at once. This set even comes in a nice little sleeve to hold them together and serve double duty as a gift box.

  • A Fancy French Press

    Fellow Clara French Press

    The beauty of a French press lies in its simplicity, but it doesn’t hurt if the vessel itself also looks good. This one from Fellow Cara certainly does thanks to its elegant matte finish and modern lines, so don’t be surprised if your gift recipient chooses to leave it on their counter. Plus, it’s not form over function: in our tests it kept coffee piping hot and its weighted handle made it easy to pour from.

  • A Proper Coffee Grinder

    OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

    Coffee grinders can be expensive—our top pick prices out at $250—but OXO’s conical burr grinder is one of our favorites for everyday use by everyday people. It’ll reliably grind beans to whichever size you (or your giftee) prefer, and the nice design means you won’t have to hide it away in the cabinet between uses.

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  • Daniel’s Favorite Pasta Pan

    Winco Aluminum Stir Fry Pan,11-Inch

    Daniel loves this pan so much he wrote a whole article about it. The deep, sloped slides and lightweight aluminum are an ideal combo for tossing and coaxing sauces to emulsified perfection when finishing pasta. Gift this pan with a suggestion to take it for a cacio e pepe test drive.

  • A Centrifugal Juicer

    Hamilton Beach Centrifugal Juicer Machine

    Does juicing feel like a trend from 10 years ago? Maybe a little, but bottles of the stuff still line the shelves at what can only be considered an egregious markup, so if you know someone who’s dropping too much cash on green juice, a centrifugal juicer just might be the perfect gift. This one is powerful and easy to clean without a massive price tag, so it’s a great place to start an at-home juicing journey.

  • A New Bread Lame

    Goose Lame

    You almost certainly know someone with a sourdough habit, and they’re sure to love Wire Monkey’s latest creation for that all-important pre-bake slash. This snazzy stick lame comes with a magnetic blade guard and an ergonomically crafted handle to allow for all sorts of intricacies. The Goose is beautiful, too, with its black walnut finish.

  • A Gas Grill Get-Up

    GrillGrate Grate Panels (Set of 2)

    GrillGrates are a clever contraption that helps to evenly distribute the sometimes-inconsistent heat of a gas grill. In short, they’ll make it easier for your favorite grillmaster to achieve a perfect sear and avoid cold spots.

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  • Our Favorite Thermometer

    Thermapen One

    OK, so this one is just a tick over the $100 limit, but it’s worth shelling out the extra five bucks if you’re looking at this thermometer as a gift. A reliable, fast-reading digital thermometer is one of the most useful kitchen tools you can have, and it’s worth investing in a good one.

  • Our Other Favorite Thermometer

    ThermoWorks ThermoPop

    If dropping a hundred on a thermometer is out of the question, our beloved ThermoPop will fit the bill just fine. It comes in fun colors and has a big, easy-to-read display—what’s not to love?

  • An Indoor Herb Garden

    Ivation 7-Pod Indoor Hydroponics Growing System Kit

    Growing herbs is a satisfying pastime, and having a hydroponic setup makes the task even easier. Ivation’s affordable system will have its lucky recipient up and running in no time. Thanks to the lighting system, this will fit just about anywhere—no natural light source necessary. If you have a little extra money to spend, we really do recommend the Aerogarden.

  • A Big Piece of Marble

    Crate & Barrel French Kitchen Marble Pastry Slab

    If you’ve ever tried to roll out a buttery pie crust, it can feel like a race against the clock with butter melting at an unreasonable rate of speed. A pastry slab will help keep things cool while you work, whether you’re laminating croissants or tempering chocolate. And by “you” we definitely mean “the person you give this to as a gift.”

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  • A Fly By Jing Trio

    FLY BY JING Triple Threat Trio

    You can make spicy chili crisp at home, but we also love Fly By Jing. This bestselling flavor trio is ready to jazz up frozen dumplings, eggs, ice cream—it’s a great gift set.

  • Functional Wine Stoppers

    Vacu Vin Wine Saver Pump With Vacuum Bottle Stoppers

    Leftover wine is rarely a problem for us, but if you’re going to save the rest of that bottle, you might as well store it properly. This handy set includes four stoppers and a hand-powered vacuum pump, which removes the air and ensures wine stays fresh for at least a week after you’ve opened it.

  • A More-Than-Fine Fine Mesh Strainer

    Rösle Stainless Steel Round Handle Kitchen Strainer, 7.9-Inch

    This incredibly sturdy, fine mesh strainer is our top-top pick. It has a wide bowl hook so it’ll rest on a mixing bowl or pot with ease.

  • A Classic Cocktail Shaker

    Modern Mixologist Tin on Tin Shakers

    You probably know at least one person who loves to mix up a nice cocktail, so a two-piece Boston shaker set proves you’re paying attention to more than just their bar cart when you come over. We like this set for its balanced weight and tight seal.

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  • For Keeping Stock of Stock

    Souper Cubes 1-Cup Extra-Large Silicone Freezing Tray

    Souper Cubes are really just big ice cube trays, but the one-cup capacity is designed with stocks, soups, and sauces in mind. This is a great way to keep chicken stock at the ready, or at least to portion out last night’s beef stew until you remember it three months later.

  • A Nice Hand Mixer

    KitchenAid 9-Speed Digital Hand Mixer

    You don’t have to be an avid baker to appreciate a quality hand mixer. Hand mixers are useful for tedious tasks like whipping cream and beating egg whites, and they’re easy to clean and store. Studio apartment kitchen? No problem. Home cook who already has dozens of small appliances? A welcome addition.

  • A Wooden Spoon

    Le Creuset Revolution Scraping Spoon

    Yes, you can buy wooden spoons for next to nothing, but they won’t perform like Le Creuset’s Revolution. Even Kenji likes this spoon so much he wrote about it, praising the corner-cruising edges and long, comfortable handle. It’s a simple gift that’ll offer a real upgrade.

  • An Apron You’ll Want to Wear

    MagicLinen Pinafore Cross-Back Linen Apron

    Linen is a great fabric—it’s durable, breathable, comfortable—and cross-back straps are an excellent apron design. If you’ve ever fussed with an adjustable neck strap or tied and re-tied an apron string only to have it catch on a drawer handle and undo everything, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of a cross-back apron.

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  • An Upgraded Colander

    RSVP International Endurance Stainless Steel Colander

    Commerce Editor, Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, called this colander one of her best kitchen buys last year, and we’re pretty sure she’s still into it. The tiny perforations prevent the loss of small grains, while the tall base means you (or your gift recipient, of course) can skip the pour-and-lift sink dance that is otherwise necessary to avoid the water you’re trying to drain off flowing back into your squatty colander. Plus, it recently came out on top of our extensive testing.

  • A Quality Scale

    OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale

    A digital scale doesn’t have to be fancy, but our tests have proven that it’s worth spending just a bit more to get a good one. OXO Good Grips’ scale is accurate, quick to offer a reading, and it’s big-vessel friendly thanks to a pull-out face. And if your giftee’s into pourover coffee, might we suggest a coffee scale?

  • A Cool Cooler

    Igloo MaxCold 40-Quart Cooler


    We tested several top-of-the-line coolers, and this affordable Igloo held its own against the likes of Yeti and Cabela’s. It’s a great gift for your buddy who likes to barbecue or your sibling who loves a good beach day—the wheels even make it easier to move than other, more expensive coolers.

  • A Powerful Cleaver

    Dexter-Russell 8-Inch Cleaver With Wooden Handle

    It’s tough to top a knife as a gift for someone who likes to cook, but knives are also kind of a personal thing. What feels nice in one person’s hand may be unpleasant to someone else, but when it comes to a Chinese cleaver, this one from Dexter-Russell is a safe bet. It’s sharp, nicely balanced, and ready to work.

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  • A Functional Set of Wine Glasses

    Libbey Signature Kentfield Estate Wine Glasses (Set of 4)

    When we tested universal wine glasses, Libbey’s was our pick for the best affordable, all-purpose wine glass. The size, weight, and thickness of this glassware suits a wide variety of wine styles, and they’re a good value, too.

  • A Truly Excellent Pepper Mill

    Fletchers Mill Federal Pepper Mill

    A high-quality pepper mill will grind efficiently and stand up to constant use, which is how this one from Fletchers’ Mill ended up at the top of our list when we tested pepper mills. It performs well and its classic shape (and variety of available finishes) means it’ll look right at home in any kitchen.

FAQs

What do you get the cook who has everything?

If you're buying a kitchen-related something for someone who has everything (lucky them!), might we suggest a gift card to their favorite local restaurant? A nice bottle of wine would also be appreciated.

What are some more inexpensive kitchen gifts?

If you're looking for cheaper gifts, we have a whole guide to the best food-related gifts under $50.