Things can change quickly in the cooking world. This can be a bad thing for the cooks, but it's great for the people who give them gifts!
Sometimes it can be hard to find good gifts for the chef in your life. Luckily, there are several options for great gifts you can give. Here are some of my favorite tools and books.
Now that the cost of sous vide equipment has fallen so much, it makes an excellent gift for an adventurous cook.
Our favorite circulator is the Joule by ChefSteps which costs about $200 or the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi, which is less money, around $130, and does not require the use of a smartphone to control. But if you are on a budget, we also recommend the Anova Nano, which is a great bare-bones circulator for under $100.
If someone already has a circulator, but is looking to upgrade their setup, there are several options. If they are still just cooking in a pot, we recommend the Lipavi container, which you can also get a rack and lid for the Anova or lid for the Joule. I also highly recommend getting some magnets or these weights that can be used to prevent bags from floating. We also offer a sous vide timing ruler to ensure their food is cooked perfectly every time.
I'm lucky to have several great butchers in my area, but sometimes I really want to up my game and will turn to some of the online meat sellers. Some amazing meat makes a great gift for the friend who "has it all". I usually order from Snake River Farms because they have a wide variety of beef including Prime, American Wagyu , and dry aged. I also enjoy trying the different ranchers that Crowd Cow has available including their wagyu.
Want to give them some great ideas for food to make? My Healthy Sous Vide book is filled with delicious sous vide recipes. I also have a great book for people getting started, either my best selling sous vide cookbook or my Exploring Sous Vide cookbook.
Know someone that LOVES sous vide and you want to get them something you KNOW they won't have? We just released our line of sous vide t-shirts, sous vide mugs, sous vide bags, and even sous vide notebooks!
I love my whipping siphon and use it for anything from making infused alcohols and cocktails to flavorful vinegars, carbonated fruit, and flavorful foams! In my opinion the best deal is this combo package. It comes with an iSi Quart siphon, 24 nitrous chargers, and my recipe book.
If someone already has a siphon, I love this strainer/funnel set, it's super easy to use and makes adding and straining liquids really simple. You can also buy my book separately from the above combo, Modernist Cooking Made Easy: The Whipping Siphon. And if you want to make fun carbonated drinks or fruits, you can pick up some CO2 chargers as well.
You can do so much fun stuff with moderist cooking, from foams and spheres to tender gels and noodles. Most of the techniques aren't that hard to learn and it's easy to get started with a basic kit or the premium kit. They both come with my 250 page modernist cooking cookbook and several modernist ingredients and tools.
One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is my pressure cooker. I still use an older stove top 8 qt Fagor model that isn't even sold anymore but still works great. In the newer stove top pressure cookers, I prefer the Presto 01370 8-Quart Stainless Steel version. If you prefer an electronic kind the Instant Pot is still the most popular.
Sometimes you just can't make it outside to smoke your food, and the Camerons Stovetop Smoker helps you get some of the same great flavor inside. Or if you just need to add a little smoke, the PolyScience Smoking Gun is a great choice, especially for cured salmon or cocktails! I also turn to my KitchenAid Mixer when I need to make bread, cookies, or pasta dough.
Written by my friend Lori Rice, Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer is a fantastic cookbook for all beer lovers out there. With beautiful photography and creative recipes, this book will keep you inspired to create flavorful foods.
Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide is the authoritative guide to low temperature precision cooking and it will help make sous vide a part of your everyday cooking arsenal. Sous vide is a simple and extremely effective way to cook. This book covers every step of the sous vide process, from seasoning, sealing, and temperature control to how to determine the times and temperatures needed to turn out great food. There are also extensive write ups for the main types of food including steak and red meat, pork, fish and shellfish, eggs, fruits and vegetables, and much more.
The bulk of this book is the more than 85 recipes it contains. Designed so you can skim the recipes, looking for something that inspires you, or turn to a specific recipe to learn all about how to cook the cut of meat it features.
The new EveryDayCook book is a personal collection of Alton Brown's recipes. His 101 recipes are easy to follow, nicely laid out and arranged by "time of day". Not only does he provide the recipe, but Chef Brown gives informative explanations of why he chose a particular ingredient or method for making the dish. His book includes just the right amount of nerdy science and with Alton Brown, there's always lots of humor!
In Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto shows how you can make flavorful, exciting traditional Japanese meals at home. He introduces readers to the healthy, flavorful, and surprisingly simple dishes preferred by Japanese home cooks. The explanations are clearly written with fantastic colorful photos for every recipe; he even included many additional pictures showing the preparation process. This is an excellent gift selection for any cook in your life!
This book focuses on presenting the three main uses of the whipping siphon: Foaming, Infusing and Carbonating. It delivers the information you need to understand how the techniques work and provides you with over 50 recipes to illustrate these techniques while allowing you to create great dishes using them.
Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine by Sarah Lohman is a fascinating deep dive into 8 different flavors from American cuisine, where they come from, and how they got adapted into American cooking. In addition to all the historical information, She also discusses several long-ago recipes for each flavor and even provides several updated versions for today's cook. Sarah manages to share all this info in an engaging and entertaining manner...making the reading go fast while making you very, very hungry!
This book was written by Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo, co-owners and chefs of Fat Rice Restaurant and their former sous chef Hugh Amano. It provides authentic recipes that capture the unique flavors of food prepared in Macau, China. Its heritage was formed from the many world travelers crossing through the area, creating a culinary fusion of Chinese, Portuguese, and Malaysian cooking.
Even though the cookbook has a comic-strip feel to it, it presents a vivid picture of the history and culture of Macau. Beware there is small print and long recipes, so wear your glasses and plan ahead - the end product is definitely worth it!
This book provides all the information you need to get started amazing your party guests with modernist cooking. It is all presented in an easy to understand format along with more than 100 recipes that can be applied immediately to your next party. Learn to amaze and delight your friends!
As the title indicates, this book is geared to help improve everyone's home cooking, regardless of your experience level. It was authored by Naomi Pomeroy, a self-taught chef and owner of 4 restaurants. Step-by-step she breaks down detailed complex culinary information to reveal the simple methods chefs use to get professional results. Chef Pomeroy explains how to balance ingredients in order to bring out the best in each.
The cookbook contains about 140 recipes written in a paragraph format. Because many of the recipes are elaborate, it can make some of them tricky to follow. This book will definitely help elevate your home cooking through the correct use and preparation of easily available ingredients!
This book is the ultimate guide to crafting flavorful infusions using modernist and traditional techniques. It includes more than 140 recipes to help you explore the infusion process. Now you can create many wonderful dishes, from custom cocktails and personalized sodas to flavorful vinaigrettes and sauces. Discover how to create vibrant and amazing infusions that will amaze your family and friends!
To achieve consistent, succulent BBQ and grilling results, understanding the science behind the interaction of food, fire, heat, and smoke is vitally important. Meathead cookbook was written by the popular AmazingRibs.com website founder and editor Meathead Goldwyn, and physicist and food science professor Greg Blonder. They have produced an easy to read and understand blend of chemistry, physics, meat science, and humor.
This extremely popular BBQ cookbook has a 4.9 out of 5 stars rating on Amazon. It contains more than 100 recipes accompanied by full-color photographs. If you want to master barbecue and grilling so you understand how your equipment and recipes work, then this book is for you!
Chef and owner of Sqirl Restaurant, Jessica Koslow has been instrumental in moving the new California cooking scene along. Her book features healthy but delicious dishes, ones that look appetizing, taste refreshing and feel exciting. Chef Koslow shares 100 of her favorite recipes and even provides notes for adjusting her dishes for specific dietary tastes and needs.
Diana Henry has received numerous awards as a food journalist and author. In her book Simple: Effortless Food, Big Flavors her recipes take simple ingredients and transforms them into dishes with unique creative flavor combinations. Because of her journalism background, Diana clearly and concisely explains her recipes. She makes cooking dinner a fun adventure!
Modernist cooking is quickly gaining popularity in high end restaurants and working its way into home kitchens. However, clear, concise information for getting started isn't readily available. That's where Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Getting Started comes in!
This book provides all the information you need to get started with modernist cooking and molecular gastronomy. It is all presented in an easy to understand format, along with more than 80 recipes, that can be applied immediately in your kitchen.
In The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, J. Kenji López-Alt focuses on the science behind treasured American dishes, but his recipes are still firmly rooted in practical home cooking. J. Kenji López-Alt is the managing culinary director of SeriousEats.com, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column The Food Lab, and a columnist for Cooking Light. This full-color illustrated collection of explanations, techniques, and recipes is a must have reference and cookbook for serious cooking enthusiasts.
Modernist Cuisine at Home is by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet. If you want to learn how modern cooking styles can produce amazing taste and presentation in your kitchen, this is the modernist book for you. The focus of the Modernist Cuisine at Home book is on techniques and the use of equipment which are new or recently resurfaced.
Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes that Will Change the Way You Cook written by Kristen Miglore is destined to become many cooks go-to resource for clever, memorable cooking. So what makes a "genius recipe" for Miglore? One that surprises us into rethinking an approach, uses an unexpectedly simple technique, debunks a kitchen myth, or applies a familiar ingredient in a new way.
Do you take pride in cooking great food for yourself, your family, and friends? Are you an extremely busy individual that is on the go all day long? Sous vide has many benefits for people who are busy during the day. Once you understand how to take advantage of these benefits you can get great meals on the table while working around your schedule.
Are there some gifts you are really hoping for? Anything you'd found that is the perfect gift? Let me know in the comments!