Here is my roundup of the 20 best cooking gifts for the home chefs and foodies on your holiday shopping list.
As the winter holiday season can get hectic, I like to get an early start on gift shopping. For me, that means looking through the internet for the best cooking gifts for the many home cooks in my life. To help you navigate finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, I’ve narrowed down some of my favorite kitchen tools that I use regularly that I think any home chef would appreciate getting this holiday season.
Here are 20 of the best cooking gifts that are sure to delight the foodies in your life and help them kick their home cooking game up a notch. I hope you find something your loved ones will love to help celebrate the holiday season.
Reviews of the Best Cooking Gifts
1. For the Pour-Over Enthusiasts: Hario V60 “Buono” Drip Kettle
If you’re shopping for a coffee enthusiast who is looking to up their home brewing game, look no further than this kettle, which you might recognize from the coffee shop in your neighborhood. I love my pour-over coffee, and many coffee professionals say that it gives the most nuanced and flavorful cup. You’ll need a gooseneck kettle to do so because its narrow spout helps pour hot water more gently to thoroughly immerse coffee grinds for a full-bodied brew. It’s the one I use, and it’s also lightweight and comfortable to hold, making the pour-over process easier. Be sure to get them the brand’s pour-over cone if they don’t already have one!
2. For the One Who’s Always Making Rice: Zojirushi Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer
For me, a meal often just isn’t complete without a bowlful of freshly steamed rice. If someone on your holiday shopping list agrees, a rice cooker should be an essential appliance in their kitchen. Though this model isn’t cheap, it’s worth the price — I’ve had mine for as long as I can remember. Made in Japan, it’s spacious and can accommodate up to 5.5 cups of rice. With presets for different varieties and preparations — from brown to sushi to sweet to congee — this model uses AI to precisely calibrate pressure to cook almost any kind of rice (and even oats) to perfection. It makes perfect rice every time, and it even plays a song to indicate when your rice is ready to eat!
3. For the One Low on Time: Instant Pot Ultra
The Instant Pot, in its many iterations, has been one of the most trendy kitchen gadgets of recent years. As someone always pressed for time, I totally get it. I use mine so much and found that it is perfect for Japanese cooking. In short, the Instant Pot allows me to cook faster and in a more hands-off way than ever before. If you need a cooking gift for someone who is always on the go but still loves to eat well, an instant pot is sure to please. I prefer the Ultra one because it offers more flexibility and creativity for cooking any cuisine.
4. For the Chef Wannabe: JapanBargain Sushi Making Kit
As noted in our Ultimate Sushi Guide, few Japanese foods are as globally beloved as sushi. While it’s possible to spend hundreds of dollars on omakase at some of the finest restaurants in the world, sushi is, ultimately, all about sumeshi (酢飯), or rice with sweetened vinegar. As such, this is a dish that is actually much more accessible to the home cook than you may realize. This kit from JapanBargain makes it accessible to almost anyone. It comes complete with a hangiri (the wooden bowl in which steamed rice is mixed with sweetened vinegar), three bamboo rice paddles, and three rolling mats ideal for making rolled (maki) sushi. Designed to serve 3-4 people, it’s easy to use. If you need instructions on how to prepare rice for your sushi, check out my video guide!
5. For the Skill-Honing Chef: Kikuichi Molybdenum Steel Gyuto Chefs Knife
Regardless of cuisine, a good knife is one of the most vital tools for any cook. I have a whole guide on Japanese knives, and each one serves a different purpose in the kitchen. However, for the typical home cook, one very good all-purpose knife should be more than enough. That’s where this gyuto knife from Kikuichi, one of Japan’s oldest and most respected blade makers, comes in.
Gyuto knives have a tall heel, curved blade, and pointed tip, making them excellent for piercing and rocking. This one is made with high molybdenum alloy steel, meaning it should stay sharp for a long period between sharpening and will likely last a lifetime if well cared for. It’s worth the investment and would make a fantastic gift.
6. For the One Who Packs Lunch: Zojirushi Ms. Bento Stainless Lunch Jar
Whether they’re trying to save money or simply enjoy the charm of a home-cooked meal on the go, there are few experiences more satisfying than cracking open a nourishing bento at lunchtime. I like this one from Zojirushi that allows you to give that experience to someone special on your shopping list.
It comes with two microwave-safe bowls nested inside a vacuum-insulated stainless steel jar that will keep your meal hot (or cold) for hours. The jar, together with the included chopsticks and chopstick holder, fits neatly into the provided tote, making this a compact and convenient food storage option on the go. If you or your loved ones could use some inspiration for packing your bento, I’ve got you covered with these budget-friendly recipes!
7. For the Pizza Lover: Mimiuo Outdoor Pizza Stove
While this list has so far focused on Japanese and Japanese-inspired gifts, it’s time to think a bit more global in scope. And really, who doesn’t love a freshly baked pizza? If there’s a pizza lover on your list, this portable option from Mimiu will let them make delicious pizza at home.
Being propane fueled, in just 12-15 minutes, heats to over 900 degrees F to cook a typical 13-inch pie in as little as a minute. Its real secret weapon, though, is the built-in automatic rotating pizza stone, which allows your pies to cook evenly despite the extraordinarily high temperature.
8. For the One Who Hates Grating Ginger: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Grater
If you’re a long-time follower of Just One Cookbook, you may already be familiar with this grater from Kyocera, which is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I use it to finely grate all sorts of things, mostly ginger, but also onions, daikon, and even parmesan cheese. I love that it saves the juice created when grating and has a non-slip silicone ring on the bottom, preventing it from moving around on the countertop while I’m grating. If you’re shopping for someone who loves to make Japanese curry, salad dressing, or honey ginger tea, this grater will make their time in the kitchen easier.
9. For the Serious Cook: de Buyer Mineral B Carbon Steel Fry Pan
A good flat-bottomed fry pan is essential in a well-equipped kitchen, and I believe we’ve found one of the best on the market in this 11-inch carbon steel option. Made in France by de Buyer, a manufacturer with nearly two centuries of experience in the industry, it’s sure to meet the needs of the most serious home cooks. Carbon steel is more lightweight than cast iron and conducts heat better than stainless steel. With proper seasoning, it can also be made non-stick without any of the chemicals found in artificial non-stick coatings. If well taken care of, it should last the home cook on your shopping list for years.
10. For the Coffee Connoisseur: Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
For the coffee connoisseur, a precise grind is essential for brewing the perfect cup. If you’re shopping for someone with exacting coffee demands, this Breville smart grinder is the one I use and will instantly upgrade your recipient’s coffee routine. It has 60 grind settings, from the coarsest of grinds for French press to the finest for espresso. Its durable stainless steel burrs keep the heat generated by grinding to a minimum, preserving the essential oils in the beans and their complex flavors. You can set a specific grind time in 0.2-second increments, producing a precise dose of ground coffee.
11. For the Shokupan Baker: Chefmade Pullman Loaf Pan with Lid
For me, one of the all-time greatest comfort foods is shokupan, or Japanese milk bread. A sweet, light, pillowy slice of shokupan is delicious any time of the day—as breakfast toast or as sandwich bread. While you can buy it at most Japanese bakeries, not everyone lives close to one. Making shokupan at home is easy, but you’ll need a specific kind of loaf pan to do so. For Americans who aren’t interested in going through the hassle of shipping a pan from Japan, I think we’ve found a winner in this Pullman Loaf pan from Chefmade, and any bread baker can use it to make banana bread or pumpkin bread in perfectly square loaves.
12. For the Pastry Enthusiast: KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
Anyone who loves baking probably has the KitchenAid stand mixer on their wishlist! I like the Artisan stand mixer as its 5-quart bowl size is large enough for most home bakers, and it comes in 20 different colors to match any kitchen aesthetic. And with a long list of available attachments, the Artisan can do far more than just mix ingredients — it can even grind meat and make pasta! It’s another one of those investment pieces that will last your chef for years!
13. For the Cozy Chef: Le Creuset Signature Round Dutch Oven
One of my favorite parts of winter is making delicious hot pot dishes and rich, slow cooked stews and braises to ward off the cold using my Dutch oven. If you’re shopping for someone who also loves these sorts of warm, comforting dishes, a Le Creuset Dutch Oven may be the perfect cooking gift. I personally own this beautiful piece of cookware and find that it’s really easy to clean, and it looks good when you’re serving out of it, too. It comes in multiple colors and sizes to find the best one for your giftee.
14. For the Person Who Likes Cast Iron Cooking: Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
If you’re shopping for someone who likes to cook but not enough to justify a high-end pan, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic cast iron skillet from Lodge. Lodge cast iron is super popular for its affordability and durability, plus the great heat distribution that we like to use for searing meat. While cast iron is heavy and does require seasoning and regular care, we still think it’s a great buy, especially with the silicone handle holder for safety when serving.
15. For the One Who Loves Bao: BirdRock Home Bamboo Steamer
If someone you’re shopping for loves steamed buns and dumplings as much as I do, a bamboo steamer is an indispensable kitchen tool. I use this one from BirdRock that can be used with a wok, pan, or pot you already own, and we appreciate how easy it is to use and clean. If you’re looking for recipes to use with this steamer, my Nikuman (steamed pork bun) or pork shumai recipe would be a good place to start!
16. For the One Who Drinks Matcha: Handcrafted Golden Bamboo Matcha Whisk
Matcha (抹茶), or finely milled green tea powder, has become quite popular these days and it’s important to acknowledge its roots. In Japan, the preparation and serving of matcha can be a highly ritualized affair, as in the ochakai (お茶会), or tea ceremony. With a chasen (茶筌), or tea whisk, you’re giftee can enjoy fresh matcha at home. I recommend this one if you’re shopping for someone who is already a matcha fan or is interested in learning more about Japanese tea culture. Gift them some matcha (I like this one from Ippodo), so they can start making tea immediately.
17. For the One Who Hates Prep Work: Kyocera Adjustable Ceramic Mandoline
Kyocera has a knack for creating convenient and affordable kitchen gadgets, so they appear twice on this list. If you’re looking for a cooking gift for someone who cooks as much as I do, they probably spend a large amount of time doing prep work, like slicing fruits and vegetables, so anything that can simplify and expedite that process is much appreciated. This adjustable ceramic mandoline from Kyocera does just that. More precise and efficient than slicing with a knife, its ceramic blades are also designed to last up to 10 times as long as similar steel blades, and it’s dishwasher safe!
18. For the Morning Sipper: Bodum Bistro Coffee Mug
If you’re looking for a gift to brighten up the morning for a casual coffee drinker who brews their coffee at home or sips matcha, these clear mugs from Bodum look great. Made from mouth-blown double-walled borosilicate glass, they don’t burn your hand but allow you to see exactly what’s inside. With 10 oz of capacity each, they can hold plenty of coffee for the typical drinker.
19. For the Person Who Always Runs Out of Mayo: Kewpie Mayonnaise
While I realize that mayonnaise can be a divisive condiment, I personally love it. If you need a cooking gift for someone who also loves mayo, Kewpie may be a great choice. Kewpie is a Japanese mayonnaise, which has gained a global cult following in recent decades. The secret to Kewpie’s popularity lies in its unique recipe: Rather than using whole eggs, like most mayonnaise in the USA, Kewpie is made using only egg yolks and a blend of rice and apple cider vinegar. Together, these differences lend Kewpie a thicker and creamier texture than American mayo, and a flavor that is sweeter and more umami. It’s something I always have in my pantry, and soon, your giftee will too
20. For the Pantry Stocker: Hikari Miso
If you have friends or family who recently moved into a new home or are looking to stock up their kitchen pantry, organic Hikari Miso from Japan’s Nagano prefecture will make a thoughtful gift. At Just One Cookbook, we’re big fans of Hikari Miso and regularly use this multi-purpose condiment in our daily cooking for everything from simmered kabocha squash to broiled salmon. We even had a chance to tour their factory back in 2021 to see the miso production process! I truly believe this is some of the best miso on the market, and I think anyone who receives it as a gift will agree!
Prices were accurate at time of publishing.