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    14 Practical Gifts Every Home Chef Secretly Wants This Year

    All the essentials every kitchen needs.

    Whether you have a friend who just moved into a new apartment and needs to stock their kitchen, or know someone who is getting into cooking, here are the essentials every beginner chef in your life (or you!) needs:

    1. An all-purpose cast iron skillet to cook meats, sauces, and veggies in.


    And it's not just about savory foods. They can even use a cast iron skillet to bake their favorite cakes, pies, and cobblers. Here's a list of all the delicious things they can whip up in a skillet.

    Get one from Amazon for $28.93.

    2. A good, sharp chef's knife that'll help them tackle every new recipe.


    Look, you can splurge on the knife set and hope that your friend uses two of the knives, OR, you can do the smart thing and invest in one solid chef's knife that does the job of six other knives. If you want to dress up this gift, you can even gift a magnetic knife block along with it, so your friend has somewhere to store the knife.

    Get a chef's knife from Amazon for $29.69. Get a magnetic knife block from Amazon for $29.99.

    3. And a paring knife to mince, trim, and slice smaller ingredients.


    A paring knife is the second most important knife in a kitchen, since it's something they will be turning to for every job that feels too delicate, small, or cumbersome for a large chef's knife. And, let's face it, it's also a really useful tool for opening packaged foods or cans when the lid has fallen in.

    Get one from Amazon for $9.95.

    4. A playful pepper and herb grinder that's both functional and decorative.


    Nothing adds depth and an extra kick to a dish like a fresh topping of cracked pepper. This manual grinder will do just that AND add a decorative touch to every dinner table.

    Get it from GiftGoGreen on Etsy for $35.

    5. A colander that won't topple over when they're draining the pasta water.


    Every rookie chef needs a solid colander, least of all because pasta is an all-time classic dish that you can bet they'll be making often. This one will feel sturdy in slippery sinks and countertops, and will easily nest within other bowls if need be.

    Get one from Amazon for $28.36.

    6. A 6-piece bakeware set so they can bake cakes, pies, and cupcakes to their heart's delight.


    Whether they're baking breakfast egg muffins, or trying their hand at a banana spilt ice cream pie, this bakeware set has them covered.

    Get it from BuzzFeed's Tasty collection exclusively on Walmart for $28.09.

    7. A meal prep bowl that will help them nail all their health goals.

    Macy's, Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed

    It comes with three inserts to help you grate and slice ingredients straight into your bowl, and a lid to cover the bowl with when you're ready to start mixing the ingredients together. Check out our full review of the Goodful meal prep bowl here.

    Get it from BuzzFeed's Goodful line, exclusively at Macy's for $20.99.

    8. A 10-piece set of food containers with snapping lids, to store meal-prepped meals, snacks, and leftovers.


    No kitchen is complete without one of these sets, which will ensure they always have receptacles to store their leftover dinners, sauces, and snacks in. Snapping lids will also ensure their food retains freshness and doesn't accidentally slip all over the fridge.

    Get it from Pyrex for $24.99.

    9. A wooden cutting board that will let them prep a whole meal without having to rinse the board halfway through.


    Chances are, the beginner chef in your life will be cooking for more than one person, meaning a moderately sized cutting board is necessary. Plastic cutting boards are lighter and maybe easier to wash, but there's honestly nothing more satisfying than chopping a knife on a wooden board. And practically speaking, a wooden board won't get beat up as easily as a plastic one, and will last way longer.

    Get one from Amazon for $32.

    10. An industry-approved sharp Y-peeler to skin fruits and veggies at lightning speed.


    Look, I know this peeler doesn't look all that fancy, but according to many-a restaurant vet, this is THE peeler used by professional chefs everywhere. Get one for the kitchen newbie in your life, and if it feels lacking in pizazz, just tell 'em this handy tool will put them on the path to Michelin-level tastiness.

    Get one from Amazon for $7.99.

    11. A cookbook that'll teach beginner chefs how to make classic recipes, in the best way possible.

    Chronicle Books, Clarkson Potter

    Julia Turshen's classic cookbook is approachable for chefs at all levels, and like a seasoned but kind teacher, will guide readers through all the basic recipes they'll be using throughout their lives. Check out our full review of the book here.

    And, obviously, we can't NOT recommend our very own (Tasty Ultimate) cookbook, which includes new recipes as well as all your favorite Tasty recipes as seen in video, accompanies them with the hacks and techniques to make foods tastier, and cooking funner.

    Get Small Victories from Amazon for $21.86. And get Tasty Ultimate from Amazon for $13.74.

    12. A mortar and pestle to make the best dang pesto in the world.


    Okay, fine, so this one isn't actually a kitchen necessity, but if your friend is an aspiring chef, then they'll appreciate a gift that rewards time and thought with a delicious result. On a superficial level, it's also a pretty cool thing to get as a gift and display in a kitchen.

    Get one from Amazon for $12.99.

    And check out Samin Nosrat (acclaimed author and host of Netflix's Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat)'s recipe for mortar and pestle pesto.

    13. An Instant Pot whose functions, including pressure cooking, slow-cooking, making rice, sautéing, and steaming, make it worth the space it'll take up.


    It'll do everything except buy the ingredients for them. Here are just some of the many Instant Pot meals they can make, with just a few things on hand.

    Get it from Amazon for $79.96.

    14. Quirky polar bear oven mitts that'll help them handle the biggest of kitchen projects.


    Kitchen essentials don't have to look basic. Take this pair of oven mitts, which are functional and a good reminder that cooking is, well, fun.

    Get a pair from Amazon for $20.