The Dollop

2019 Home Chef
Gift Guide

This Holiday Season, the Dollop team of product testers is going to make your gift-giving as painless as possible. Here’s our list of the best nine gifts of the season for home chefs. We recommend these products because we use them in our own kitchens!

If you have any home chefs on your wish list (or you want to forward this to someone so you can get a great gift!), this guide will show you incredible gifts that every home chef will love. We’ve tried to show a range of prices depending on your budget.

We’ve linked to the Amazon product page for each gift so that you can easily do your shopping! The price we’ve shown was the latest price when we created this guide; the prices may have changed since then.

Alright… here it is:

1. Instant Pot

The Instant Pot has been at the top of the home chef must-have list for some time.

It’s a great tool (in fact, this version is seven tools) that will instantly (pun intended!) make you a better home chef.

We primarily use ours for the pressure cooker. A pressure cooker is great for making food that normally takes a long time cook significantly faster. For instance, a restaurant takes a whole day to make chicken stock, with an Instant Pot that will only take about an hour. Making ribs or braised meat goes from a multi-hour process to something that takes minutes. It’s a great way to make better dishes immediately. It also has a rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, warmer and yogurt maker.

We use the 6-quart version, but if you have a large family, the 8-quart version will be better.


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2. KitchenAid Stand Mixer

A classic gift that any home chef will love, in particular, baking enthusiasts. 

Even though we don’t bake a lot, we love the KitchenAid stand mixer and use it all the time. You can make doughs, bread, cakes, cookies, pasta and much more! The mixer comes with three attachments; a flat beater, a dough hook and a wire whip. These are great starts, but there is an endless number of attachments that can be added to make almost anything!

The Classic version, shown here, is the entry-level version. It will work for a lot of home cooks, but if you know someone who is really serious about their home cooking, they may need a more powerful version (basically they have a better motor).


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3. John Boos Maple Cutting Board

The John Boos Maple Cutting Board is the Cadillac of cutting boards. They are made from Northern Hard Rock Maple Wood- widely recognized as one of the finest, most durable food preparation surfaces in the world.

The board is reversible with one side that is completely flat, and one side that features a juice groove. You can use both sides of the board as a cutting surface. One of the many reasons we like these cutting boards is that we can move them to different areas. The integrated handgrips make lifting, moving and cleaning this large board easy.

This version of the cutting board is 21 inches x 15 inches and 2.25 inches thick. For us, it’s the right size, but that might on the larger size for some. They have a variety of different sizes, depending on what you need! Perhaps most importantly, this cutting board weighs over 20 pounds, so it is not going to move around when cutting, chopping, etc.


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4. Chemex Coffee Maker

There are lots of different ways to make coffee, from a French Press through to an espresso machine, but we make our favorite daily brew with a Chemex Coffee Maker. Chemex uses the pour-over coffee method. Put a filter in the top, add your ground coffee, pour hot water on top, and it drips through. It’s one of the easiest ways to make coffee.

The whole coffee maker is made of non-porous Borosilicate glass, which will not absorb odors or chemical residues.

The Chemex is a classic, and every home chef and coffee lover should have one!


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5. Chef’s Apron

A great apron is essential for any home cook. Usually people hang onto old aprons that have seen better days, so what better gift than a new, fantastic apron?!

Chef’s aprons should have a solid material (this one is made of demin) and should have a variety of pockets so you can keep your tongs, thermometer and other small utensils right on you.

We prefer a bib style, like this one, so any splattering won’t ruin your clothes.


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6. Sous Vide Precision Cooker

The Sous Vide Prevision Cooker Nano is the newest creation by Anova, and we think it’s a great addition to any kitchen!

Sous-vide is one of the most popular ways to cook food. It allows anyone to cook restaurant-quality food at home. This device heats a water bath to a specified temperature, and you put what you want to cook in that water bath (in either a ziplock bag or a vacuum-sealed bag) then leave it for a bit (the length of time will depend on what you are cooking). You get perfectly cooked food, every single time.

In the past, these devices cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars, but Anova has released this version, which is perfect for the home cook. Anyone you know who is looking to experiment with a new cooking technique will love this gift!


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7. All-Clad Cookware

If you really, really like someone, All-Clad cookware is a gift any home chef will love. These are the gold standard of cookware for home cooks. Often, if you look at cooking shows, you’ll see the host using All-Clad.

Because they are so fantastic and they’ll last a lifetime, if taken care of properly, they are expensive. You can buy the whole set, or you can just buy one item (we recommend this 12-inch fry pan). There are several different lines of All-Clad pans; for most, the D5 Stainless Steel will be a great choice.


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8. Le Creuset Dutch Oven

The Dutch oven is one of the classic must-have tools in any kitchen. If you know a home chef who doesn’t have one of these, you should think about splurging and getting them one.

For nearly a century, the Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron Round Dutch Oven, has been one of the top kitchen purchases. It is perfect for any slow-cooking process. The cast iron evenly distributes the heat and locks in the perfect amount of moisture to ensure anything braised or slow-cooked turns out perfect.

There is a range of colors, but we like the traditional cherry red. These are expensive, but they are a once-in-a-lifetime purchase; these dutch ovens will last forever. Again, there is a range of sizes, but generally, going larger here is better!


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9. Vitamix Blender

The last item on this year’s list is a great gift for a serious home chef, the Vitamix 5200 Blender.

They are seen in professional kitchens across the world for a reason. They can blend anything! These are more expensive than your regular blender for a reason. They make perfect soups, they’ll grind nuts, mixing up a batter is easy, you can have smoothies and juices and much more.

These blenders are built to last and are the best in their class!


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If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, this is it!

We use this insulated tote for groceries, the beach, picnics and camping! It is wonderful for transporting frozen and hot foods, alike, and the waterproof lining guarantees no messy leaks. It’s very spacious with capacity for 10 gallons and can hold over 40 lbs. We have even used it to keep takeout items, like pizza, hot on the way home. The handles conveniently adjust to transport items horizontally and it folds flat for easy storage in your home or car. This is a very affordable gift for home cooks on the go.


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