If you’re still struggling to buy all the gifts you need to without spending too much, we’re here to help! If you have a chef -- or even a wannabe chef -- on your list, keep reading for some unique ideas.
Consumer Reports’ resident chef Paul Hope says you don’t need to spend lots of money to make a great meal. The same goes for prepping one.
“We tested tons of kitchen gadgets this year that are great gift options for the foodies on your list,” he said.
And the best part, News4JAX searched the recommended gadgets and found all of them selling or less than $25.
Recommended kitchen gadgets
Hope says you can’t go wrong with a digital meat thermometer. Consumer Reports recommends the AcuRite Digital 00295. We found it for $15.95 on Amazon.
Another way to make your chef happy this season is by keeping their knives happy.
“A sharp knife is not only safer it just works better. It makes meal prep easier and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great knife sharpener,” said Hope.
A mandolin slicer is another great gift, especially when consistency and presentation are key and there’s lots of food to slice. Consumer Reports’ testers liked the simplicity of the handheld Kyocera Ceramic Mandoline. It evenly slices hard and medium foods. We found it for under $25 on Amazon and Walmart.
For about $8 on Amazon, you can throw in the Carrollar Flexible Plastic Cutting Board Mats, which come in a set of four, and you’ve got a kitchen gift basket. They’re flexible, which Hope says makes them especially useful for chopping herbs, garlic, and other produce and folding them right into your dish or pan.
Hope says measuring cups aren’t always as accurate as you might think. A kitchen scale is really the best way to measure ingredients like flour and sugar, so you know exactly what’s going into your recipe. And if you’re on the recipient’s cookie list, you just might reap the benefits of a kitchen scale, too.
Finally, Consumer Reports says if you’ve got an eco-conscious chef on your list, they’ll appreciate the sustainability of reusable food storage bags. Consumer Reports checked out several and says the stand-up mini bags from Stasher allow you to pack, freeze, and reheat foods all in the same bag. Right now, they are about $18 at Stasher.
Other gift ideas for cooks
Or if you want to splurge, consider giving your chef the night off with a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or a cooking class so they can master more culinary skills!
If you are looking for even more gift ideas for a cook on your list, Consumer Reports offers a list of options that will cost you $50 or less!