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Gift idea for someone that likes to cook?

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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  1. 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

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

      1. re: HillJ

        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

          I was also going to suggest the Dutch oven route.

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

        1. 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


          1. 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. A couple of the best chefs knives you can afford.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Puffin3

                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. 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. re: CindyJ

                      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


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


                            1. 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.


                              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. 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. 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. 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. 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-WILLI... Or if he's more into baking, perhaps one of these: http://bakingsteel.com/shop/baking-st... Or a very good knife or two...


                                      1. I agree that a Dutch oven would be a great gift. Other ideas:
                                        chef knife
                                        bean pot
                                        tagine (so many pretty ones to be found)
                                        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. 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!