The experienced, adventurous, or gourmet cook most likely owns all of the cooking and baking basics, which might make shopping for gifts a little more challenging. They’ll be looking for things that are a little more unusual, that are becoming trendy, or even things that aren’t quite trendy yet.
But that doesn’t mean shopping has to be difficult. There are always new, updated, better, and innovative products coming on the market that will make any cook swoon. Here are 15 of our favorites for the... gourmand on your list.
01 of 15
Salt blocks can be used for cooking in the oven or for seasoning and serving foods. The food picks up the salt flavor as it sits on the block, so this type of cooking requires recipes designed for the block. It’s great for cooks who want to experiment with methods that are a little unusual. As it is used, the block gets thinner. When it is too thin for cooking, it can be broken up into smaller chunks and used in a salt grinder for seasoning foods.
02 of 15
Bundt pans can create beautiful, decorative cakes that don’t need a lot of decorating with frosting. A sprinkle of powdered sugar is often enough, but this pan creates cakes with nooks that could be filled with chocolate, icing, crushed nuts, or other tasty decorations. The nonstick surface releases cakes easily, and the resulting confections can be quite impressive.
03 of 15
For the person who is ready to take their dessert decorating to the next level, this airbrush makes it easy to add color to cakes and cupcakes, and since the color is just on the outside, there’s less food coloring needed than when frosting is colored. This also produces more vibrant color, since it doesn’t mix with the frosting. An artistic baker can use the airbrush to draw or write, but it can be just as useful for less-artistic bakers who simply want to add swaths of color or shaded designs.
04 of 15
Baking steels are touted as the best surface for baking pizza, and they’re virtually unbreakable, unlike baking stones which are made from ceramic materials. This steel is designed for oven use and can bake a pizza in just 8 minutes once preheated. It can also be used for bread or pastries, so it’s great for anyone who loves to bake.Continue to 5 of 15 below.
05 of 15
The Zeroll ice cream scoop is a classic that has often been copied for a good reason – it just works. Made from aluminum with an antifreeze liquid in the handle, the heat of your hand transfers to the bowl of the scoop to help it glide through the ice cream with ease, and to release easily. The one piece design has nothing to break, and it’s virtually indestructible.
The scoop can be used with your right or left hand. The end cap on this scoop is gold, to indicate the 2-ounce size. Other sizes... are also available, with different colored end caps, in case you have a need for different sized scoops of ice cream – a set of two or three sizes would make an even better gift.
06 of 15
Outdoor smokers are large and expensive, but that doesn’t mean that an apartment-dweller can’t take advantage of smoke flavor. This kettle smoker is designed for use on the stovetop or on a smaller grill, and produces smoked flavor in meats, fish, and poultry. It can also be used for smoking salts, cheese, or other unusual ingredients. It’s great for someone who isn’t sure if they want to invest in a large smoker as well as someone who doesn’t have outdoor space to use.
07 of 15
Tagine is both the name of a piece of cookware and the name of the food that’s prepared in it. The food is cooked at low temperature, much like braising, but with very little liquid. The steam rises and then falls down, creating a moist cooking environment. This ceramic tagine is stovetop safe, or can be used in the oven. It’s also pretty enough for serving, or can be used as a decorative piece.
08 of 15
A good nutcracker comes in handy when faced with bowls of shelled nuts, and this cracker is sturdy enough to handle all of them, in sizes as small as almonds or as large as walnuts. The lever handle cracks the nuts easily and shell bits fall into the nutcracker rather than flinging themselves all over, so they’re easy to dispose of. This looks attractive enough to leave on display, or just tuck it into a bowl of nuts.Continue to 9 of 15 below.
09 of 15
These aren’t your usual piping tips—they’re designed to make intricate designs with just one squeeze of the pastry bag, so they’re great for cooks who want impressive cakes and cupcakes. This set includes 33 different Russian tips, along with pastry bags and a coupler. A storage case is included, to keep all the parts together.
10 of 15
A banneton is a classic basket that’s used for bread making. When the dough is left in a floured banneton to rise, the basket’s design is impressed into the dough, which leaves a pattern on the finished bread. This is often used for making sourdough breads, but it can be used for others, as well. This set also includes a cloth lines and a bowl scraper.
11 of 15
Most folks don’t think about making cheese at home, but there are many simple cheeses that can be produced without a lot of special equipment. This kit includes everything needed—except the milk—to make mozzarella, cream cheese, ricotta, chèvre, or other fresh cheeses. It can be a fun project and a good introduction to more complicated cheese making.
12 of 15
If someone is serious about pie-making, they might want a pretty pie plate to help show off their creations in the best light. The deep fluted edge makes the pies look unique, and the wide rims makes it easier to get the pies in and out of the oven. The plate can be used for other baked goods, like cornbread, pull-apart rolls, or even small casseroles or baked lasagna. It comes in several colors to match the décor or add a pop of color to the table.Continue to 13 of 15 below.
13 of 15
A chopping block is a useful splurge for the gourmet cook who needs more than a basic cutting board. Chopping blocks are thicker, so you can chop on them using a cleaver without worry about cracking the board. The end-grain design is self-healing, so knife marks will be less visible. While this is very useful, it’s also very attractive, so it could also be used for serving.
14 of 15
Any good cook will tell you that freshly ground pepper is much better than pre-ground, so a grinder is essential. This grinder has a clear acrylic cylinder, so you can always see how much pepper remains. It’s attractive enough to use at the table, and sturdy enough for kitchen duty. This grinder cracks the peppercorns first, then grinds them, for optimum flavor, and it’s adjustable from a fine to a course grind.
15 of 15
Sous vide is a cooking method that’s becoming more popular among adventurous cooks. It involves cooking vacuum-sealed foods at precise temperatures in gently circulating water, sometimes for long periods of time. The food cooks through, but doesn’t overcook, so steaks or roasts are always perfect. This unique cooking method can yield results that can’t be had with any other method, so it’s great for adventurous cooks who want to try something completely new. This model has both Bluetooth and... wifi connectivity, so you can control and monitor it from your phone.
Disclosure: At The Spruce, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission.