Cookware might not seem like a glamorous gift but to anyone who loves cooking a well-made, artfully designed piece of cookware is a dream gift. Cooking with exceptionally well-made tools is a transformative experience in every way; they speed up cooking time, cook things evenly and are endlessly durable. Treat the chef in your life to one of these cookware gems, you’ll reap the tasty rewards later.
The Ultimate Gift for Small Kitchens/Vermicular: The Vermicular Musui–Kamado, a cast-iron induction cooker, is a countertop multi-tasking workhorse. Completely handcrafted by Japanese artisans, this unit does most everything – sear, musui “waterless” cook, steam-roast, braise, and precision cook—from sous-vide to perfect rice. It is the ultimate gift for a single person or a couple with big culinary ideas and a small kitchen. It comes with a cookbook loaded with dishes that can be prepared exclusively in the unit. You can start by pan searing a chicken breast and then continue by adding vegetables, aromatics and spices, top with the custom-made lid designed for precision heat and steam and let the unit do the rest. This is a product that takes minute to learn and appreciate but once you learn to leverage its many talents, you may never buy another pan again. $670
For The Cook Who Has Everything/Clay Coyote: Clay Coyote crafts some of the most beautiful cookware and the Flameware Grill Basket is no exception. It does the hard work on the grill and looks stunning on the table. A great gift for your home cook who appreciates tabletop style as well. They craft the only handmade clay grill basket in the USA and it won’t won’t warp, flake, or rust; it’s easy to clean, goes in the dishwasher and can take the heat from all manner of grills, including the Green Egg. $145
Truly Lightweight Cast Iron Skillet/Lancaster Cast Iron: This pan might be on the pricier side but the incredible lightweight nature of it, and the fact that Lancaster makes their pans to last for generations, make it worth every penny. The pan’s thin sides and base make it easy to work with and we loved the pour spouts on each side—nice for decanting your bacon fat without a mess. Each pas is made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and their skillets are some of the lightest and smoothest on the market. Everyone should own cast iron – it’s perfect for so many things especially pan searing – and because of its lightweight this is both a perfect gift for the expert and the novice. $225
A World-Class Sheet Pan/Hestan Culinary: We had some misgivings about letting go of the nonstick baking sheet and working with a stainless steel one, but those were short-lived after one go. My roasted potatoes were a marvelous restaurant-quality golden brown and they cooked evenly, no hot spots. The Hestan’s Ovenbond Tri-Ply three piece stainless steel set of roasting pans (half sheet pan with rack and quarter sheet pan) part of the Provisions Ovenbond collection has a tri-ply clad stainless steel core which translates into a serious sheet pan that cooks food evenly, will never warp and will maintain its shape over a lifetime – it even looks presentable on the buffet. $159.96
Top of the Line Fry Pan/Viking PerformanceTi: This new nonstick offering from Viking gets down to business quickly and efficiently. The new offering brings nonstick performance without the need for chemical-based coatings. The layers consist of an induction capable stainless steel exterior, a quick and even heat distributing aluminum core, a lightweight pure titanium layer, and a laser-cladded hardened layer of Titanium on the cooking surface—making them uber scratch resistant. The pans do demand some level of seasoning before becoming truly nonstick, and this is not a pan for the dishwasher – not if you want it to perform at its highest level. The pan’s surface is three times harder than stainless steel and twice as hard as hard anodized aluminum and delivers outstanding searing and easy cleanup. $279.99
American-Made 3 Quart Stainless Steel Sauce Pan/American Kitchen: American Kitchen is a Wisconsin-based company that has been crafting stainless cookware for decades. Yes, this is a standard saucepan, but it has a few things going for it. Made in America with a magnetic stainless steel exterior suited to all surfaces (electric, gas, induction, and ceramic glass) and oven safe up to 500°F. It’s a great gift for a new or experienced cook. They’ll love how it makes basic culinary work such as cooking rice, simmering a soup, reheating chili, so efficient and how easily it cleans up. $109.99
American-Made Ultimate Starter Set /Eater x Heritage Steel: This Clarksville Tennessee based company partnered with Eater to create several cookware sets (10, 8 and 5-piece stainless) as well as some open stock options. Each item will have an 18/10 stainless steel cooking surface, which provides a remarkably stable cooking environment, Heritage’s tri-ply aluminum inner core to deliver amazing heat conductivity. The brushed aluminum look is on trend, but your home cook will mostly appreciate the quality that Heritage products deliver—and the lifetime warranty.
American-Made Dutch Oven/Lodge’s new USA Enamel Collection: Lodge’s new offering brings colorful American-made enameled cookware to the Lodge cast iron line. Manufactured in Lodge’s hometown of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, this might well be the All-American Cookware Gift of the season. Fun fact, Lodge is the oldest family-owned cast iron cookware manufacturer in America. The new collection comes in three colors (Cherry On Top, Cloud Nine and Smooth Sailing) and four different sizes (three quart, four and a half quart, six quart and seven and a half quart). Ideally, the six quart enameled Dutch oven is the just right size workhorse for any kitchen. Simmer chili, gumbo or a winter soup in it all afternoon long. Then bring it to the table -it’s that pretty. $299.95
Stainless Sauté Pan/Made-In: The 3.5 quart offering from Made-In is a dynamic choice for a skilled home cook. It brings five layers of metal to the experience which means you’ll get super speedy and even heating Use if for roasting, braising, simmering, sautéing, and shallow frying. The pan’s wide surface area and shallow depth increases both the rate of evaporation and the quality of searing. The company’s longstanding industry connections have allowed them to collaborate with leaders like Chefs Grant Achatz, Mashama Bailey, and Matt Horn to fine tune each product. $169