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Christmas Gifts for Cooks 2014

Happy Cyber Monday, everyone! Looking for something to get your favorite home cook? I have a few suggestions…and you can support DadCooksDinner at the same time.

I spent over 800 hours in 2014 working on DadCooksDinner – cooking, testing, writing, taking pictures, traveling – and I could use your support. I get a small commission on any items you buy on Amazon.com, if you click on one of my links first. If you do your Christmas shopping on Amazon, please consider clicking here first.

And, frankly, It doesn’t have to be DadCooksDinner. If there’s another blog you want to support, go to Amazon through their links. We all could use your help!

If you want to contribute directly, you can use my PayPal tip jar. Thanks!

Enough of the sales pitch. On to the kitchen gadgets!

Thermoworks ThermoPop

The Thermoworks ThermoPop is a cheap instant read thermometer from the people who make my beloved Thermapen. Now, the ThermoPop is not a replacement for the Thermapen; it’s slower (5–6 seconds instead of 2–3), and not as precise (measures to 0.1 degree instead of 0.01). But…it’s a reliable instant read thermometer for $29, unlike the $96 Thermapen. I can never have too many thermometers; I’m picking one up as a backup for my Thermapen.

Oxo beakers

Another kitchen tool I love is my Oxo mini beaker set. My only complaint was the size – the largest is 1/4 cup. Oxo now has a 7 piece beaker set that goes from 1 teaspoon all the way up to 1 cup.

Oxo Kitchen Scale

Yet another tool from Oxo that I use every day – the Oxo Kitchen Scale with pull-out display. (I measure out my french press coffee every morning – 60 grams of coffee and 800 grams of boiling water. Yes, I’m a geek.) It’s for more than just coffee, though; measuring flour by weight is the only way to measure properly for baking.

Chef’n fresh force juice squeezer

I’ve read good things about this squeezer, and the extra force the gear mechanism provides. I squeeze a lot of citrus, so I have this one on my wish list for Christmas.

Granite mortar and pestle

A lot of my kitchen gadgets are high tech – sous vide immersion circulators, precision thermometers, electric pressure cookers. Here’s the exact opposite – pounding food with a rock is about as old school as it gets. Yes, I own a fancy spice grinder, but I get better results with a granite mortar and pestle when I’m making spice rubs.

What do you think?

Other gadgets on your Christmas list? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

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Filed under: Ramblings


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Ranger Rick says

    I just ordered a Vac Master VP 215 Chamber Vacuum Sealer. My immediate and extended family always want to know what to get me for a gift, and are more than happy to chip in money-wise on something of quality that I’d really like. I never mind making up the difference. Sous vide, marinating meats, soups and wild game, and no worries about liquids like with my trusty vacuum sealer! I’m also going to experiment with retort pouches for canning meats in my pressure canner, vs. jars like I grew up doing! FedEx can’t get it here fast enough!

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