TechRadar’s Christmas gift guides
The main reason to give someone a cooking or baking Christmas gift is because it pays dividends through the rest of the year; you can rightly expect weekly deliveries of brownies, cups of finely-brewed coffee and plenty of invites for home-cooked dinners.
To help you buy the perfect cooking or baking Christmas gift for a food or drink aficionado, we’ve made this list of great present ideas.
There aren’t any super-cheap items here, because if you want decent kitchen tech you’ll be paying a little extra, but what price would you put on gratitude and a constant supply of snacks or meals?
We’ve hand-picked some of the best kitchen devices to aid any home cook’s exploits, all you have to do is choose the one they’ll love the most.
Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer
Guarantees you baked goods
If you know someone who loves baking, but doesn’t have Herculean muscles (or enough time) to mix plenty of bowls of sugar and flour all the time, a stand mixer is the present to get. It does your mixing for you, so you can spend more time rummaging through your cupboards to try and find that waylaid spice jar, and less time mixing.
KitchenAid makes some of the most premium stand mixers out right now, so they make for great gifts as they’ll last for a long time and provide great results. They’re also pretty sleek-looking devices, so will fit in with your kitchen decor.
Instant Pot Duo
A slow cooker and pressure cooker in one
Not the most aesthetic gift
Instant pots give you loads of versatility and flexibility in the kitchen, as they’re a combination of slow and pressure cookers, letting you set up a meal to cook over the course of a day or just crack out a dish in no time.
This electric pressure cooker tops our list of the best Instant Pot, pressure and slow cookers, so you know you’re getting a high-quality gadget here. Make sure you’re only gifting it to someone who’s sure to invite you round for dinner, though.
Nespresso Vertuo Plus
Coffee from a pod
Most people don’t have room in their kitchen (or budget) for huge coffee machines, so here’s a smaller coffee dispenser instead, the Nespress Vertuo Plus. It uses Nespresso’s pods to deliver you coffee in an easy, quick and painless way, although it perhaps won’t be as fresh-tasting as ground coffee.
The real reason you’d want a Nespresso Vertuo Plus is how dainty it is, so it’ll easily fit into a kitchen. Forget that massive espresso machine that’ll take up half the surface area of your house, this can be slotted in wherever’s convenient.
Juices harder objects too
You’ll have to wash it a lot
Why not buy a healthy Christmas gift, in the form of a machine that turns whatever you put in it to juice? Juice is the best way to have your five a day, anyway.
This Philips Juicer doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of the other gadgets on this list, but it’ll do exactly what you want it to: make juice. You can put a range of objects in it, from oranges and apples to harder things like pomegranate seeds and nuts, and still get a smooth blend.
NutriBullet Pro 900W
A juice-making machine – literally
Great for liquids
Might not blend food so well
NutriBullets are popular juicing machines, that can blend whatever you throw in them (well, things you’d want juiced at least), without breaking a sweat. You can easily use them to make a quick healthy smoothie or paste with a range of different ingredients.
This is a blender, not a food processor, so you might not have success trying to make guacamole or falafel mix in here. But for people who want to easily create a healthy drink while they’re on the go, this is a great gift.
Cuisinart Waffle Maker
You have to make batter yourself
There are plenty of healthy Christmas gifts on this list, but we also need to bring up one for the good stuff – waffles. Gift this to someone, and you can help them get what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work.
This Cuisinart waffle maker has a griddle arranged so your waffles will be in a traditional square pattern, not thin and circular like some other waffle irons create. It’s quick and easy to use, so there’s no need to mess around with different settings and timings.
Google Home Hub
Nearly as many parts as the actual car
Google’s Home Hub is one of the relatively few smart speakers to have a screen, and that gives it loads of skills that might be useful to home baking and cooking (although it can’t actually bake itself, you’ll still have to do the work).
The screen lets you view recipes or tutorials, and you can also use the Home Hub to change music, answer the phone and see other bits of information, all without using your hands.
If you want to buy a great Christmas gift for cooking or baking, but don’t know what appliances your recipient has (or don’t want to buy a kitchen appliance), this’ll be great for them.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
A home assistant with some cooking skills
Useful Alexa skills
Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant has some pretty handy baking and cooking skills, so getting an Echo device is a great alternative to the Google Home Hub. It’s less of an intrusive addition to the kitchen, so you can easily put it on a little shelf and hide it out of view, unlike the Home Hub which needs to be front-and center.
This device doesn’t have a screen so you have to rely on the audio instructions and prompts, but if you’re busy kneading dough or frying veg, you don’t really want the distraction of a display to look at.