We’re chiming in today with some of our favorite gifts from the year. A few of these have been on our gift guides in the past, but that’s because year after year they remain our favorite gadgets or tools, always useful in the kitchen (indoor our outdoor kitchen). They are items that have made our cooking easier and more fun.
You also may know from previous gift guides, we’re not into listing dozens and dozens of options. None of that “100 stocking stuffers under $15,” or “150 gifts for him,” or “75 perfect gifts for her,” here. We’re into functionality and things that make our lives and jobs easier.
When it comes to our favorite gear for BBQ, cooking, and wine, we’re endless preachers of less is more.
Quality over quantity.
You don’t need much to succeed in smoking and grilling or enjoying a glass of wine (you just need a few solid products). I hope these give you some fun ideas for the BBQ, Grilling, Wine or just that general foodie on your list. Some (but not all) contain affiliate links. All are products we use and love.
As always, if you have questions or need advice, I could talk for days on end. So ask away!
GIFTS FOR BBQ AND FOOD LOVERS
We can’t stress enough the importance of a good digital thermometer, and ThermoWorks thermometers are among our favorite. We’ve used several different brands and these are the most consistent. We use the original Thermapen and the Thermapen MK4 for everyday cuts of meat, like steaks, chicken, pork tenderloin, etc. But if you want something a little more affordable the Thermopop does a great job and is priced under $30. And for extra long smokes, like pork butt, briskets, whole turkeys or chickens, or multiple items smoking at the same time, we’ve recently started using the Signals unit. It’s pretty darn awesome. All have their own purposes and all work great. Shop here.
We’ve talked about these leather gloves before and are worth mentioning them again because you really need a good pair of gloves to be managing those hot (non-food) items like hot wood in the fire, hot pans, transporting hot platters, etc. Find them here.
This is the second year this bad boy is on my list. You might be wondering what a bug trap is doing on a list of gift ideas for BBQ and food lovers, but if you’re like me and want to cook (AND EAT) every single meal outside in the summer but you don’t want to be bugged (see what I did there?).
This is a gift from the heavens! We’ve been using it for two summers now and it works magic to catch nasty little bugs. The only downfall is that now that I live in yellow jacket country I just wish they work to catch those annoying little buggers too. But I’ll take what I can get!
It claims to cover an acre of space and I believe it to be true in our experiences. Find it here.
We get asked a lot about these hand made leather aprons we wear at events and on our AM Northwest TV segments. These are the ones. They are made by Witloft, a company based in Holland. Sean is kind of in love with their aprons, and we get tons of compliments on ours. They’re not cheap, but they are a super cool gift for the foodie in your life. Find them here.
Books for Food Lovers
Sadly I have read no inspirational books in the BBQ world this year (though Hardcore Carnivore is on my personal Christmas list this year), but I have read a few great (non-BBQ) food books I’m happy to recommend.
Wicked Healthy: Okay okay, I know I’m gonna get a lot of crap recommending a vegan cookbook in a blog that’s heavy on the meat. BUT if you give it a chance you’ll find all sorts of inspiration for cooking (vegan or not). I’ve never seen two guys so creative when it comes to creating delicious and also gorgeous plant-based meals. The book is worth getting for just the photos and the stories alone. Get for any food lover, especially friends who love their veggies.
Build-A-Bowl: Yet another that’s not focused on BBQ, but that’s okay! This book is perfect for the busy mom or dad in your life that wants to provide nutritious, well rounded, food for their family, but quick! Sizemore gives a very interesting layout of different grains, and the nutrition they provide, then several creative ways to use them in simple recipes that are super adaptable for weeknight dinners using ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and fridge. We’ve already made a handful of these recipes with my own kids and they’ve loved them! Buy for a busy parent you know.
Unique Eats and Eateries of Portland, Oregon: I seriously cannot keep up with all the great restaurants that open up daily here in Portland. This book covers it all! From the historic, to the staples, to the hip new joints, to the dietary specific, to the food carts, Sawyer covers it all in this entertaining and enlightening book on one of the greatest foodie cities in the country! Get for anyone living in, or traveling to, Portland, and loves food! Period.
A Good Knife
For any cook you need a good chef’s knife, and a pairing knife comes in handy too! This is very similar to the Chef’s Knife we use. It’s pricey, but it will last forever. For something more affordable, and great for thin slicing, fish, or trimming fat, a good Boning Knife is important. We use one from Mac, similar to this one.
Last Minute Gifts
Gift Certificates to a great meat or specialty food purveyor, like Snake River Farms (for great steaks) or Jacobson Salt (local), or even The Meadow for a really cool starter salt lover’s kit.
GIFTS FOR WINE LOVERS
Ok so when I first learned about these bags I chuckled a bit, and thought that, while they looked fun, that I’d never really use one. Until I got one and took it to a dinner party with a group of 12 ladies. It was the hit of the party! These bags play a dual function of purse (or messenger bag, or backpack… they have a variety of styles), and wine holder.
You pour your bottle of wine into the provided insulated wine bladder, then place it into the bag and use the small opening in the front to pour the wine out. It’s not only fun but functional as well. I loved it and will definitely be using it again and again. I have to admit, the messenger bag style is more “my style”, but the gold purse (the one I have) is definitely a standout for the purse lover in your life.
I’ve been getting a lot of comments and questions on this watch I’ve been wearing from Analog Watch. The band is made from natural cork and vegan leather, with five color options. The one I have is soaked in red wine, giving it a gorgeous burgundy shade as well as an interchangeable tan color the shade of natural cork. My only issue with these (and this is just a personal one), is that there is no place to tuck the extra band that sticks out after tightening it. Now, I have very skinny wrists, so it stands out for me, but I’m guessing this is something that can be requested upon purchase, or something that can easily be remedied. Regardless, it’s a beautiful watch, and a great conversation starter for the wine lover in your life.
If you, or someone on your list, is in the market for a quality wine fridge, this is one I’ve been using for over a year, and have loved it. This one comes in two sizes (29 bottle or 46), is well-built, super quiet, and has 2 temperature zones (so you can keep your red wines and white wines at different temperatures). We’ve gone through several wine fridges over the last 20 years and this one is by far the most well built that we’ve had. Like I said, I’ve been using it over a year and find that it’s been it’s super solid. You can read my full review of it here.
Good stems are a must in my house. I’m no snob, but they truly help with the enjoyment of whatever it is I’m drinking. I try to keep my stems basic and have a style for sparkling wine/Champagne, one for white wines, and one for reds. And if you follow my Friday Instagram sparkling wine posts you’ll notice the Champagne stems I use are pretty unique. Specifically they are the Lehmann “Jamesse Prestige” Grand Champagne glasses. I’ve had a hard time finding them on Amazon (though this looks like there’s some potential). But here’s one place to find them. These are perfect for the bubbles lover in your life!
Some good friends of ours gave us a similar cocktail kit last year as a housewarming gift when they realized how completely old and warn out ours were. Who knew that a fresh kit would inspire a whole new world of cocktail making for us! Now we use it regularly (as opposed to hiding in a shelf collecting dust). This is a great beginner one, but Amazon has TONS of great kits that would be perfect for the cocktail lover on your list, or as a housewarming gift, or just for someone just getting into cocktail making.
That’s it. Our gift list for the year. If we find more good deals we’ll be sure to let you know, either via our Facebook page or weekly newsletter. So make sure you’re following along so you can be in the know of a good deal when we see it.
Some of these links are affiliate links. Please know we only recommend items we love and use often, and everything on this list is items we stand by. Happy Holidays!