Five gifts for the food fan who has it all

Shopping for the hard-to-shop-for family member or friend can be no fun. There are a lot of choices when it comes to kitchen gear, though, from the fun to the fanciful.

All of us are food fans at heart (and skin and bones), but it takes a certain dedication to dive deep into the kitchen. It can be difficult to find gifts for die-hard food fans. Here are a few ideas for the culinary-minded.

The Swissmar Electric Raclette Maker.
The Swissmar Electric Raclette Maker. Williams-Sonoma

Raclette
Raclette is a way of entertaining. Giving someone a raclette maker means you want to be entertained. Sure, it's a bit of a selfish gift considering the subtle undertones, but hey, when it comes to gooey melted cheese and hot grilled sausages, who doesn't want to be invited?

Sous vide oven
Cooking food in a water bath is still a relatively novel way to produce a meal. Recently introduced for the home market, a sous vide cooker offers people the ability to create unique meals. Used in tandem with a vacuum sealer, food is seasoned, sealed in the bag, and then immersed into the heated water. Chicken, pork, beef, or really anything else you can think of comes out consistently cooked all the way through.

Induction burner
The intended giftee has it all when it comes to the kitchen, right? But as every cook knows, sometimes four burners are not enough. For expanding the cooktop beyond the cooktop, consider an induction burner. Small, lightweight, and portable, these kitchen expanders can come in handy in any room in the house. For added convenience and versatility, this model comes with an interface disc, which allows any cookware to be used.

The Ronco Food Dehydrator with Jerky Kit.
The Ronco Food Dehydrator with Jerky Kit. Cooking.com

Deep fryer
Sure, you could achieve the same results of hot golden brown food with a cast-iron pot and a thermometer, but a dedicated deep fryer opens up a new world of possibilities. First of all, deep fryers are made for leaving out. Though it may not be the healthiest of options to have an electric deep fryer filled with oil always at the ready, it does have the distinct advantage of not hogging a burner on the stovetop. Plus, the fact that it works independently of the stovetop means it's portable. One could drag the thing out to the living room and set it up in front of the TV for all those college football bowl games, but that's probably not a good idea. Maybe outside for the tailgate, instead.

Dehydrator
Cooks like to experiment; it is a necessary part of the process of learning how to cook. Some mistakes turn out inedible, but others can be those types of happy accidents that turn into everlasting favorites. It is in that spirit that a dehydrator might make for an excellent gift idea. This one comes with a jerky gun that just begs for experimentation.

Bonus gift: Popcorn maker
Yes, a popcorn maker. The food fanatic on your list probably insists on making his own: hovering over the stovetop shaking kernels back and forth over a hot burner. Sometimes, even food fans just want to have it easy--even if they won't admit it. Though microwave popcorn is certainly convenient and available everywhere, it just doesn't stack up against a bowl of popcorn that has been uniquely seasoned. Relax and let the machine do the work. This gift set even includes some seasonings.

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About the author

    Brian is the author of the culinary based novel Stealing Food Road. A lifelong Californian, he has been consistently exposed to some of the best food in the world. With a deep appreciation for the kitchen, he is always on the lookout for that perfect appliance that combines style and grace with the ever-popular ability to save time.

     

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