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Best Kitchen Gifts for a Home Chef in 2022

From cast-iron cookware to premium cuts of beef, we've rustled up the absolute best kitchen gifts for chefs and foodies this holiday.

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This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

Great gifts for chefs, foodies and home cooks come in many forms. And the best gift for one type of food fanatic may not hit the same for another. Experienced home cooks often have all the cookware and kitchen gear they need, so an extra-special ingredient or enhancement for the dinner table might be a bigger win. Budding chefs may still be in the collecting phase, and so a sturdy Dutch oven or razor-sharp chef's knife will help them along.

The first step to finding a perfect food gift is considering the giftee. And, hey, if you suspect they're all cooked out, a delivery of high-quality prepared meals might be what the doctor ordered. 

In curating this list of our best food and kitchen gifts for 2022, we've considered all angles in hopes of helping you pin down the perfect gift for a home cook, chef or food lover on your list. 

Read more: Best Food and Drink Subscriptions for 2022

Supermarket Italy

The production of D.O.P. balsamic vinegar is about as tightly regulated as any other food. Crafted in small batches in Modena, Italy using special grapes, a meticulous aging process (12 years minimum in wooden barrels), this "liquid gold" is as sweet, complex and flavorful as it gets. 

All this careful production comes at a cost -- it's much cheaper if you go to the source -- but you can lay a small bottle on someone for under $65 and it should last a while. Just don't let them waste it on sauces or salad dressings. This special balsamic is meant to be used sparingly to finish pasta, risotto or served solo with bread and cheese. 

Frieling

A spice grinder is essential for whole peppercorns, coriander seeds and whole allspice, but you can also use it to macerate ginger, garlic, chilis and other essential ingredients. This small cast-iron number doesn't take up much space and they'll be glad to have it when some recipe calls for a good grind.

Lodge

Making paella at home is fun and much easier than you might think, but you need the right pan if you plan on serving a group. This excellent 15-inch carbon steel pan from Lodge is reserved for those with kitchen space to store it although it's not nearly as heavy as it appears (remember, it's carbon steel and not cast iron). It also looks darn good hanging from a cookware rack. 

Pair it with Rumi's excellent saffron-seasoned salt, saffron threads or paella spice blend and wait for your invitation to paella night to roll in.

Mosaic Foods

Sometimes the best gift you can give a busy home chef is a night or two off from cooking. If you're looking for a great gift to send from afar, Mosaic Foods' inventive plant-based meals are my pick. It's one of the best prepared meal services I've tasted and the brand allows for easy gifting. You can send six meals (four servings each) for under $100 or create your own custom box. 

Read my full review of Mosaic Foods

H&M

If you suspect the home chef you're shopping for has the kitchen gear covered, consider something to add some ambiance to the dinner table. This modern stoneware stick candle holder from H&M is just the thing, and can be had for just $25.

If this doesn't match the vibe, you can scroll through dozens of unique candlesticks on Etsy until you find a perfect fit.

Le Creuset

If a chef on your gift list is short a Dutch oven, Le Creuset's 3.5-quart round Dutch is a no-brainer. They'll praise you every time they bust out this elegant and durable pot for making a slow sauce, braise or soup. These luxury French pots can cost upwards of $500 so $150 for the 3.5-quart (a good size for cooking for two or three) is a proper steal.

Laguiole

While you might not use it at every meal and a good chef's knife works in a pinch, having a proper carving knife is a total chef's kiss when you need it. Laguiole's elegant carving knife and fork set is holiday party ready and comes housed in a wood tray for safe storage. 

If you're a Star Wars fan who happens to love cheese, this Death Star cheese board and toolset feels like an absolute must-have. The cheese board is made from eco-friendly rubberwood with over 81 inches of serving space. The swivel top opens up to storage for four stainless steel cheese tools: a cleaver for crumbly cheese; a planer for hard cheese; a fork-tipped knife, and a classic hard cheese knife and spreader.  

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