Sometimes, even when following a recipe fastidiously and being extra careful around sharp knives, cooking just doesn’t go as planned. For some people, this happens once in a blue moon, but for others, it’s more of a routine event. But that shouldn’t stop them from trying. If you’ve got someone in your life who loves to cook despite their failed efforts, these gifts might help them find the top chef within.
Cut- and heat-proof kitchen gloves
If you aren’t used to working with a knife or a hot oven, things can get gnarly quick. These gloves from Bluefire are heat resistant up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit and are made with cut-resistant fiber to make sure a dinner party isn’t ruined by a necessary trip to the emergency room. $30.
1.7-liter electric kettle
Making a cup of tea seems easy enough, but it’s actually pretty easy to damage the leaves with water that’s too hot. Plus it’s not impossible to boil the water in a pot and just…forget it’s there. This electric kettle from Cuisinart has buttons for each type of tea you want to make—black, oolong, or green, for example. So all you need to do is plug in and press start. $70.
An intelligent oven
While any good chef tweaks a few things from the original recipe, instructions like oven temperature aren’t generally one of them. This intelligent convection cooker, which costs an eye-watering $1,495, makes those crucial decisions for you. Its six carbon-fiber elements ensure it maintains a constant temperature the entire cooking process, so there’s never any burnt edges or overcooked corners. It’s an extravagant gift, but what do you expect from one of 2017’s Best of What’s New innovations?
Instant Pot Amazon
Amateur chefs can handle most veggies and probably rice, but meats—and combo meals like stews and chilis—are iffier. On a stove top, they take near constant watching and waiting. For the easily distracted, many things can go wrong. The Instant Pot, essentially a decked out pressure cooker, does all of that for you. And don’t worry, there are a lot of safety measures in place to keep you from accidentally making a bomb. $120.
Measuring spoons meant for amateurs
New Star Foodservice Amazon
What even is a smidge, a drop, or a dash? Sometimes when you get it wrong, like add a dash of cayenne instead of a smidge, things taste a little different, and often not for the better. These measuring spoons take the guessing out of a smidge. $6.
A kitchen scale that tells you when to stop
Perfect Company Amazon
Baking the perfect bread or cookie really comes down to science. While some might find exact measurements relaxing, others find the stress of getting those amounts perfect stressful. The Perfect Bake Pro takes the measurement game out of your hands. A bowl placed on the sensor tells you when to stop pouring. $74.
How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food
Mark Bittman Amazon
The name says it all. This cookbook by food journalist and author Mark Bittman is distinct from your garden variety recipe collection. Instead of just providing follow-me recipes, it actually teaches the reader how to cook. This covers basics like how to dice, chop, simmer, and steam. $20.
A heat-proof spatula
Our friends over at Saveur listed this gadget in their 18 essential kitchen tools they wouldn’t want to cook without. And for good reason. The tool doesn’t melt or break even when you place it straight into a pot of boiling fluid. $8.
An accurate kitchen thermometer
An accurate thermometer is essential if you want to cook a big bird or roast. The ThermoPro thermometer is both accurate and extremely fast. $10.
RSVP International Amazon
Cutting up onions can really put a downer on your cooking extravaganza. The seal on these cooking goggles prevents the vapors emitted from the onions from reaching your eyeballs so you can cook on, tear-free. $15.