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Gift idea for someone that likes to cook?

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Halfmay May 24, 2013 06:57 AM

My brothers b-day is coming up and he is the type of person that has everything. He has recently started getting into cooking so he doesn't have a lot of cookware! He loves to cook soups,stews, with occasional baking of bread or cookies. I want to give him like the best of any type of cookware that you find extremely necessary when in the kitchen. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks in advance.

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    HillJ RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 07:00 AM

    I'd go gift certificate and shop with him. Part of the learning experience is picking out your own cookware and reading the packaging. Make a birthday date out of it!

    3 Replies
    1. re: HillJ
      PotatoHouse RE: HillJ May 24, 2013 07:46 AM

      I agree, especially if you have a kitchen shop close by.

      1. re: HillJ
        foodieX2 RE: HillJ May 24, 2013 07:57 AM

        I agree as well. if that's not an option, for cookware I would go something along the lines of a Staub or Le Creuset stock pot.

        For a non cookware idea I would give him a series of cooking classes. If he just starting out and intro to braising, roasting or a cuisine he likes could be a lot if fun as well as educational.

        1. re: foodieX2
          melpy RE: foodieX2 May 24, 2013 12:25 PM

          I was also going to suggest the Dutch oven route.

      2. l
        laliz RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 07:54 AM

        A good sheet pan from Pampered Chef. won't warp.
        Sherry Vinegar
        Pepper Mill

        1. Chemicalkinetics RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 10:25 AM

          If your brother has already mentioned/hinted what he likes, then you could considering getting those. Cookware can be personal. So you don't want to get someone a carbon steel fry pan when he actuallys want a stainless steel cladded cookware.

          Some safe choices are:

          Cooking utensils
          A good cutting board
          A sharpening stone
          A pressure cooker -- I find that people are less picky about a pressure cooker than a fry pan
          A toaster oven

          ....etc.

          1. Midlife RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 11:54 AM

            They're pricey, but a good quality enameled cast iron French Oven is one of the best gifts I've ever received. Le Creuset is usually one of the first choices, but there are others.

            On a more basic level, he might also appreciate a quality saute pan or a really good quality knife (set?). Ouch! I just remembered what the reaction was when I bought my mother a steak knife set years ago. I never knew that knives were considered 'ungiftable' by some people............. so maybe that's not such a good idea.......... though she WAS of a different generation.

            1. p
              Puffin3 RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 12:19 PM

              A couple of the best chefs knives you can afford.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Puffin3
                tim irvine RE: Puffin3 May 26, 2013 01:19 PM

                Just ask for a penny for each knife so that they are not gifts. I am sure this is really important, like saying "Rabbit rabbit" first thing each month or tossing spilled salt over your left shoulder!

              2. s
                schrutefarms RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 12:28 PM

                One of the best gifts I ever got was my Cuisinart food processor. I don't think I've ever loved a product as much. But, yeah, a gift card to Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table is probably your best bet. That way he can pick out what will work best for him.

                1. Bada Bing RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 01:58 PM

                  Budget range?

                  1. CindyJ RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 02:07 PM

                    A Thermapen.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: CindyJ
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                      Pwmfan RE: CindyJ May 24, 2013 05:55 PM

                      Absolutely! I gave one to my brother (who also has everything) several years ago. Most of the time I don't know whether or not he really likes my gifts to him but he has told me many times how much he loves his Thermapen

                      1. re: CindyJ
                        h
                        HillJ RE: CindyJ May 24, 2013 06:00 PM

                        http://www.thekitchn.com/a-93-thermom...

                        while a splurge, here's a nifty little blog write up why it's worth the price; especially if you plan to get into certain types of stove top dishes even candy making. I know before I bought one, I went thru a good deal of therms at half the price.

                        Excellent tool.

                      2. greygarious RE: Halfmay May 24, 2013 09:13 PM

                        A good mandoline.
                        A set of glass storage/freezer containers, e.g. Glasslock.
                        The gift certificate is a good idea but your dollar won't go very far at WS or SLT, which have the highest prices on equipment that can be had for less elsewhere. I'd go with Bed, Bath, & Beyond, since Kitchen Etc is no more. You can spend a bundle on LeCreuset and other status brands of cast iron, but economical brands like Tramontina are perfectly serviceable.

                        1. j
                          joonjoon RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 02:38 PM

                          Get him this.

                          http://www.amazon.com/Sous-Vide-PSV-0...

                          1. PotatoHouse RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 05:19 PM

                            If you think it may be something he wouldn't buy for himself, Maybe an infrared thermometer.

                            http://www.cooksdirect.com/prod_detai...

                            1. Breadcrumbs RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 05:55 PM

                              What a nice sibling you are!

                              For Baking I'd suggest:

                              • A gift certificate to a hands on baking class

                              • 2 half sheet pans like this: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                              • 2 silpat mats of the same size

                              • flat parchment sheet pan liners from King Arthur’s Flour

                              • A great baking cookbook. You could post for suggestions on the Home Cooking thread. I’d recommend: Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies, Simply Sensational Cookies: Bright Fresh Flavors, Natural Colors & Easy Streamlined Techniques by Nancy Baggett, Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook by Martha Stewart

                              For Cooking I would recommend:

                              A Le Creuset Dutch Oven (perfect for soups, stews and braises) You could pair this with a great cookbook like All About Braising.

                              Or:

                              A Bamix Immersion Blender which is absolutely perfect for creaming or pureeing soups. If you post on the Cookware board you’ll get further suggestions for the best model.

                              Do let us know what you decide on and what your brother's reaction is to your gift. Lucky him!!

                              1. Atomic76 RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 07:23 PM

                                Perhaps a good stock pot or a ceramic coated iron dutch oven. A high temperature thermometer (for frying) and/or a good meat thermometer would be useful too.

                                1. JayL RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 08:27 PM

                                  This really depends on a few things.

                                  One is your preferred budget.

                                  Another is how many people he usually cooks for. Something like a dutch oven is a great idea, but a different size may be preferred if cooking for 1 person or 6 people.

                                  These are only two important questions to ask...I'm sure there are more.

                                  1. JayL RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 08:28 PM

                                    Honestly, I would totally crap a brick if someone were to gift me with a knife sharpening system like the Wicked Edge.

                                    Now THAT is how you say happy birthday.

                                    1. kaleokahu RE: Halfmay May 25, 2013 08:49 PM

                                      Hi, Halfmay:

                                      Not enough information. What's your budget? Would he mind hand washing? Is he an ahead-of-the curve kind of guy?

                                      Hard to go wrong with a really good saute pan or rondeau. http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-WILLIAMS-SONOMA-COPPER-3-Qt-SAUTE-PAN-W-Handeled-LidLID-/181130431358?pt=Cookware&hash=item2a2c370b7e Or if he's more into baking, perhaps one of these: http://bakingsteel.com/shop/baking-st... Or a very good knife or two...

                                      Aloha,
                                      Kaleo

                                      1. c
                                        ChervilGeorge RE: Halfmay May 27, 2013 04:57 PM

                                        I agree that a Dutch oven would be a great gift. Other ideas:
                                        mandoline
                                        chef knife
                                        bean pot
                                        tagine (so many pretty ones to be found)
                                        silpat
                                        food processor
                                        stand mixer
                                        you can never have enough beautiful wooden spoons
                                        cheese board

                                        What I can't live without are my chef knife, a good vegetable peeler (and I mean a good one), good cutting board, heavy bottomed sauté pan and Dutch oven. I don't WANT to live without a food processor, mandoline, microplane, instant read thermometer and immersion blender.

                                        Frivolous gifts that I've received or given that I think are swell:
                                        bamboo salad bowl (gorgeous) bonus points for matching serving bowls.
                                        serving platters and dishes for entertaining.
                                        decanters for olive oil, vinegar or liquor
                                        seafood forks
                                        cute or cool aprons and dish towels
                                        really nice spices in beautiful jars
                                        cookbooks. I love the William-Sonoma collection of different cities - Paris, London, San Francisco, New York etc. Beautiful photos and great history.

                                        1. s
                                          schrutefarms RE: Halfmay May 27, 2013 07:18 PM

                                          Sometimes, small things are the best kitchen things. I bought a lemon juicer (the handheld squeezer kind) from a discount store for around $8-it's one of the most used appliances in my cupboard!

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