Adventurous Cooks' Gift Guide
Find a unique gift for the cooking enthusiast in your life with our Adventurous Cooks' Gift Guide. We have items at all price points so you can find the perfect gift for anyone!
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.
Sous Vide Gifts
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 AN500, which 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.
On the searing front, you can't go wrong with a Bernzomatic torch.
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. Recently, I just got some remarkable steaks from Allen Brothers that were tender and delicious. They also carry a wide variety of products including lamb, veal, pork, game, fish, and poultry.
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. Just recently the International Sous Vide Association published the Champions of Sous Vide cookbook, which is a collection of favorite recipes from two dozen sous vide all-stars, including me.
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!
Whipping Siphon Gifts
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 sieve/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.
Modernist Cooking Gifts
You can do so much fun stuff with modernist 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 numerous modernist ingredients and tools.
When using modernist ingredients it also helps to have a pound scale, a gram scale, and an immersion blender.
Other Cooking 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.
Our Favorite Cookbooks
Amazing Food Made Easy: Healthy Sous Vide - $8
Are you looking for hearty, flavorful meals that won't make you feel bloated afterwards? Then you are in luck! Healthy Sous Vide is one of the latest cookbooks from Jason Logsdon, the best selling author of many sous vide and modernist cookbooks. It shares many of his favorite recipes developed over the years so you can eat nutritious, flavor-packed meals that taste amazing. In this book you will discover an introduction to healthy sous vide cooking with easy-to-follow instructions and full color photographs. More than 70 flavorful, stress-free recipes with full nutritional information that will have you eating great and amazing your friends and family.
Champions of Sous Vide - $25
Every cook has their own take on sous vide, their own recipes, and their own favorite dishes. Through our efforts at the International Sous Vide Association, we have worked more and more closely with some of the top sous vide chefs and authors. During these interactions, the conversation invariably turns to what dishes they absolutely love to make with sous vide. This book stems from our desire to collect all of these amazing dishes in one fantastic resource that home cooks and chefs alike can find inspiration in.
We collected more than 70 recipes from 26 of the most well known names in sous vide. People such as J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, James Briscione, Elizabeth Kearney, Meathead, Scott "The Seattle Food Geek" Heimendinger, Jason Logsdon, Lennis Perez, Cole Wagoner, Stefan Boer, Lisa Marie Todd and Dale Prentice all contributed their favorite recipes. Some dishes are common (72 hour short ribs and pork chops), some are unique (anyone up for crocodile or mackerel?), and some just make the classics so much better (good old-fashioned sous vide cherry pie!), but they all are incredibly delicious! See what dishes make the top sous viders in the world drool!
Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - $24
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.
Amazing Food Made Easy: Exploring Sous Vide - $21
Do you worry you're not getting the most out of your sous vide machine? This book will help you quickly level up your sous vide game! In no time you will be able to make perfect meats, master searing, and discover the sous vide times and temperatures you need to make everyday food amazing and impress your friends and family.
Sous vide isn't magic! Like most cooking methods, having the confidence to use it consistently comes from a little bit of knowledge combined with practice. Once you understand a surprisingly small amount of basic information, you will be able to trust yourself to regularly turn out amazing food with sous vide. To help you get started, I've assembled all the information you need to know into this comprehensive book. So level up your sous vide game and start getting the most out of your machine today!
EveryDayCook - $18
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!
Mastering the Art of Japanese Home Cooking - $30
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!
Modernist Cooking Made Easy: The Whipping Siphon - $16
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.
The Adventures of Fat Rice: Recipes from the Chicago Restaurant Inspired by Macau - $23
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!
Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Party Foods - $23
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!
Taste & Technique: Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking - $25
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!
Modernist Cooking Make Easy: Infusions - $20
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!
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling - $23
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!
Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer - $13
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.
Everything I want to Eat: Sqirl and the new California Cooking - $27
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 Made Easy: Getting Started - $25
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.
The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science - $38
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 - $101
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 - $20
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.
Sous Vide: Help for the Busy Cook - $20
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!
This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the AmazingFoodMadeEasy.com website.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links on this site might be affiliate links that if used to purchased products I might receive money. I like money but I will not endorse something I don't believe in. Please feel free to directly go to any products I link to and bypass the referral link if you feel uncomfortable with me receiving funds.
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