If you’re looking for the best gifts for home cooks, you’ve come to the right place. Whether your loved ones adore baking sweet treats or crafting home-cooked dinners from scratch, there’s a perfect gift to suit them this holiday season. The problem is, with so much to choose from comes a difficult decision. How can you tell what’s actually going to get used, and what will end up in the back of the cupboard?
To help you out, we’ve scoured the market to find the best ideas, and there’s one here to suit every budget and situation. So if you’re looking for inspiration, look no further — these are the best gifts for home cooks in 2022.
Katie Mortram is the homes editor at Tom’s Guide and oversees our buying guides and advice for all appliances. She's been testing and writing about appliances for over seven years, from electric kettles to full blown dishwashers, so she knows what makes for the best gifts over the holidays.
KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer
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Of course, the number one spot in our list has to be a KitchenAid stand mixer. If you’re buying for someone who is new to baking, but wants to take their bakes to the next level, one of the best stand mixers is the perfect gift. It essentially takes the manual work out of mixing your ingredients — combining everything quickly and evenly, with the use of 10 speeds. It comes with several attachments to suit different situations, including a beater, dough hook, whip and pouring shield, the latter of which can really help prevent a mess.
It’s much more versatile than at first glance as well, because there are several separate appliances which can be attached to and powered by this mixer, from a spiralizer to a food processor. Check out KitchenAid’s website to see the full range of options. If that weren’t enough, this mixer is available in over 20 colors, so you can match it to any kitchen. It’s available for $349 from KitchenAid.
Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer
If your loved one has always wanted an air fryer, but has never quite taken the plunge, we recommend treating them to the Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer. As our best air fryer, this model performed exceedingly well across the board. Recipes emerged crisp, tender and flavorsome — even a full roast chicken was browned, moist and ready to serve in just 40 minutes. And with a 5.8 quart capacity, it will easily feed a family of 3-5.
All of the parts are dishwasher safe for ease of cleaning, plus this model comes with smart connectivity, so you can monitor it from your phone. The app gives you over 400 video recipes to peruse, and voice control is available using Alexa and Google Assistant. Considering everything you get with this air fryer, $139 from Amazon is a pretty good price to pay. Read our full Cosori Smart Wifi Air Fryer review for more details.
Breville The Super Q Blender
If your recipient spends countless dollars on morning smoothies, a blender could be a generous gift — it will essentially pay for itself in the long run. And if you want the best blender, you should buy the Breville Super Q Blender — this beast of a machine aced our in-house tests. It quickly turned chickpeas into hummus, crushed ice cubes into a fluffy snow, and produced smooth smoothies in minutes.
It also took the top spot because it’s surprisingly quiet compared to the competition. Add to that it comes with a useful 10 year warranty, so you know this performance is going to last. There are 12 speed settings, as well as four program settings (smoothie, green smoothie, frozen dessert and soup), and a useful dedicated self-clean function as well. At $549 from Amazon, this is no cheap gift, but with a stainless steel finish, its quality can’t be improved.
Le Creuset Enameled Signature Cast Iron Skillet
This gift is a brilliant option, because it’s both useful and beautiful at the same time. Le Creuset is renowned for its Dutch oven designs, but we’ve also found its signature skillet to be a solid performer — so much so that it took the top spot as the best cast iron skillet. As the finish is enamelled, it doesn't require constant seasoning, and with useful pour spouts, it’s quick and easy to tip away the oil once you’re finished. Overall, it’s a very convenient design.
We found it comfortable to handle and it performed consistently, searing without sticking, while retaining moisture. If you want to use it in the oven, it’s oven-safe up to 500 degrees F as well. With 11 colors to choose from, you can select your recipient's favorite color, and at $199 from Amazon, it’s a pricey gift, but one that’s likely to be used and loved for years to come.
OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board
Sometimes the best gifts are those with practicality in mind, and the OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board is a product pretty much any chef will want. It came out as the winner in our best cutting boards test, offering resistance to odors, stains and knife scratches, as well as a stable design. It’s double-sided, making it versatile, and there are even soft grip handles to aid comfort in use.
If you wonder what more a cutting board can offer, the OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board also features a drip catcher, should any liquids run-off, and it’s even dishwasher safe for easy clean up. It’s best suited for large prep tasks, measuring 21 x 14.5 x 1 inches, and at just $32 on Amazon, it’s a brilliant gift for those who are in dire need of an upgrade.
Ooni Koda 16
If you really want to spoil your loved one, why not get them that pizza oven they’ve always wanted? If you’re unsure which way to invest, we suggest buying the Ooni Koda 16. As our best outdoor pizza oven, this propane-powered model offers minimal set-up, a large 16-inch cooking space, as well as simplicity in use.
During testing, pies were cooked quickly and evenly in a matter of minutes, requiring only a turn or two. You can keep an eye on the progress from any angle, thanks to the useful internal mirrors as well. A smaller 12-inch version of this model is available if space is limited in the backyard; in either case, this gift is a safe-bet for any pizza-lover. Check out our full Ooni Koda 16 review for more details. You can get it from Best Buy for $599.
Instant Pot Duo
If your giftee wants nothing but convenience for the holidays, we recommend getting them an Instant Pot, namely the Instant Pot Duo. As the winning model from our best Instant Pots tests, it’s safe to say it stands out above the rest of a seemingly similar crowd. It offers several settings, including Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer, and offers an abundance of recipes thanks to the free app.
While you might think there’s less on offer from this Instant Pot compared to others out there, this is still the best choice for a number of reasons. It’s very straightforward to use, even if you’re new to Instant Pots, plus it’s available in a range of colors and sizes to suit different preferences — 3, 6 and 8-quart pots are all available. But, the main reason is the performance; it produced nothing but consistent results, with a tender texture and delicious flavor. With the 6-quart design priced at $99 from Amazon, it’s a very reasonable purchase as well.
Hamilton Beach Artisan Dough & Bread Maker
One of the best bread machines is a brilliant gift for those who value convenience and the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning. Even if you’re buying for a novice chef, these appliances really couldn’t be more simple to use. You just chuck the ingredients in, set the program and you’re good to go. The bread machine will combine the ingredients, knead the dough and bake it, so it's ready to serve a few hours later.
We recommend the Hamilton Beach Artisan Dough & Bread Maker because it comes at a very reasonable price, and yet has a lot to offer. There are a total of 14 settings to choose from, including a useful gluten-free setting and an express setting for when you’re in a hurry. The pan and paddle are both dishwasher safe for ease of cleaning, plus at less than $100, you can’t get a bread machine for much less. The Hamilton Beach Artisan Dough & Bread Maker is currently available from Amazon for $84.
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro
For a more premium gift, why not look to buy one of the best toaster ovens? With one of these, you can air fry and so much more, from toasting to roasting and baking — giving you endless recipe ideas. The model we would recommend is the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro. It was one of the few models we tested which managed to deliver consistent results across the board, from baking a perfect yellow cake, to roasting a moist whole chicken.
With a brushed stainless steel exterior and a large LCD screen, toaster ovens don’t look much better than this, and thanks to the large capacity, it can fit a family-sized meal without issue. It’s no cheap investment at $399 on Amazon, but it’s bound to be the best gift of the season.