Giving the gift of cooking isn’t really something you can mess up. Whether gifting a gadget or paying for a class, you can encourage a budding culinary enthusiast or give a seasoned veteran a new toy to play with. Here are five ideas for holiday gifts based on what trended this year.
Carlynn Crosby, Times correspondent
Arguably one of the biggest trends of the year, multipurpose cookers picked up over the summer. Popularized by their multifunctionality — they work as slow cookers, pressure cookers, rice cookers and steamers — 6-quart Instant Pot pressure cookers are a bestseller on Amazon and retail for $87.99. They’re great for college students living in dorms or for people who don’t have a lot of time to cook. For recipe ideas, consider Melissa Clark’s Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker or Instant Pot ($22).
Alice Waters Master Class
Credited with pioneering the farm-to-table movement in the 1970s, Alice Waters is a James Beard Award-winning chef — the first woman to win the Outstanding Chef title — and the owner of the renowned restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif. In September, Waters released her memoir, Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook ($27) and in November she was featured in Firsts, a special project by Time that recognized women for their groundbreaking accomplishments. Waters will be leading a Master Class in the spring, a multilesson online course that focuses on home cooking with fresh ingredients. The class is $90. For more information, including how to pre-register or give the course as a gift, visit masterclass.com/classes/alice-waters-teaches-home-cooking.
Wine chiller sleeves
Know someone who drinks a lot of wine? These sleeves get stored in the freezer and then slipped around a bottle of wine to keep it chilled for hours. Le Creuset makes sleek sleeves for $24.95 a piece.
Cold brew coffee maker
Get the coffee lover in your life a cold brew coffee maker — they’re inexpensive, easy to use and make big batches of coffee that stay fresher longer. Most work through a simple infusion process: Place coffee grounds in a filter, place the filter in a pitcher of water and store in your refrigerator overnight. The result is coffee with a slightly higher caffeine content and lower acidity. Generally, they run from $15 to $40.
Sous vide immersion circulator
An immersion circulator is a great gift for anyone, be they an amateur cook or a classically trained chef. Sous vide, a cooking technique that involves vacuum-sealing proteins and cooking them low and slow in a water bath for several hours, used to be reserved for restaurants, but it has made its way into home kitchens. Most circulators, which clip to the side of a large pot, can be controlled by an app on your phone and come with helpful guides and online databases full of recipes and tips for different proteins. A popular choice is the Anova immersion circulator, which sells for $149. And, for someone who likes the science-y side of food, consider The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by Kenji Lopez-Alt ($49.95) or Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat ($35).
Contact Carlynn Crosby at [email protected]