15 Super-Thoughtful Gifts for Anyone Who Needs a Break from Cooking

published Oct 28, 2021
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As much as we love cooking here at Kitchn, we know that sometimes we all just need a little respite from everything that goes into it — including meal prep, shopping, and doing the dishes. If you have someone on your gift list that you suspect needs a little break from their time in the kitchen, then these gifts are for them.

We’ve got picks to feed their minds and help them feed themselves without lifting a finger. And, for those who do find themselves in a kitchen, we’ve even got a few gizmos that will get dinner to practically make itself. 

Small Appliances

1 / 4
was $79.99

With a 24-hour delay start timer, the person who has this appliance can truely set it and forget it. Which, actually works out perfectly for someone who doesn’t have the time, energy, or mental capacity to make dinner on the fly. With seven different features (slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more), this one really does do it all — except the dishes.

2 / 4

Busy cooks have been turning to slow cookers for decades to help them make easy, delicious, and often one-pot meals. This spacious one has enough room for a 6-pound chicken or a 4-pound roast and is completely programable so its user can set it in the morning and come home to a piping hot dinner. The included probe will even signal the device to switch to warm when its contents meet a predetermined temperature.

3 / 4
Williams Sonoma

The perfect hard-boiled egg — every single time. This countertop appliance cooks up to seven eggs in no time and delivers consistent results again and again, thanks to an auto shutoff that prevents overcooking. It can also be used to poach eggs or make an omelette. It makes for an egg-cellent gift!

4 / 4
was $89.99

Everyone we know seemed to add an air fryer to their kitchen arsenal in the past year or so. If you know any last holdouts, now is the time to show them why this appliance is so popular. This pick has an ample basket, large enough for a bag of fries, but not so large that the machine will overtake a kitchen counter. Like others, it can be used to fry, bake, grill, and roast with minimal amounts of oil (or effort!).

Food & Treats

1 / 3

Like delivery, but better! Freshly offers heat-and-heat meals that taste pretty darn close to homemade.With menu items like Steak Peppercorn, Pork Carnitas, and more, this will certainly be a welcome gift for anyone who is too busy or too tired to cook.

2 / 3

When someone is feeling snack-y, it can be hard to make good decisions. Help a loved one stock their pantry with nutritious treats that are also yummy. This care package is filled with goodies like Pistachio Power Clusters, Elderberry Fruit Chews, and Plantain Chips. Yum!

3 / 3
Door Dash

Dinner is literally on you with this one. Give someone in your life the option to order delivery without the worry of spending too much. With this gift card, they can order anything they desire from a variety of local restaurants.

Just for Fun

1 / 8
Uncommon Goods

Surprise a takeout-loving friend with this reusable, machine-washable bag. It looks just like the real deal, but is made from taffeta instead of plastic.

2 / 8
was $35.00

Just because someone is taking a little vacation from cooking, doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy learning about other people cooking, eating, and otherwise enjoying life. This read by the late Anthony Bourdain showcases some of his journeys and offers tips for hungry travelers on where to go, what to eat, where to stay, and of course, what makes each place so special and unique.

3 / 8
was $19.99

Do you know someone who can’t get enough Joe-Joe’s, cauliflower gnocchi, or Hand-Twisted Cinnamon Sugar Bread? If so, they might enjoy learning more about the visionary behind their favorite Trader Joe’s products in a book penned by the man himself. And, yes, his name is Joe.

4 / 8

An Insta-worthy cheese board, a large puzzle, a screen-free activity. How many trends can you cram into one gift? (Three. It’s three trends.) This puzzle looks good enough to eat, but with 1,0000 pieces, it may take the person you give it to quite some time to work up their appetite.

5 / 8

What’s for dinner? The person who has these dice in hand will never have to stress about that ever again. They just give the dice a roll to reveal which of the more than 186,000 combinations they should whip up tonight. Share them with an indecisive friend so they can shake up their routine.

6 / 8
Tanner Goods

When all else fails, cereal is an acceptable dinner. Seriously! It’s filling, super easy to prep (just pour and add milk!), and leaves someone who is way too burnt out to cook with minimal dishes. This beautiful bowl can also help elevate the experience a bit. Fancy bowl = fancy meal, right?

7 / 8
was $80.00

These clever dishes can change the way someone uses their microwave. Imagine being able to make banana bread, dips, and main dishes (like fish!) in just minutes. The special airtight lids help create a unique seal that ensures food is getting cooked, not just heated. They’re a game changer for beginner cooks and people who don’t have time (or the desire) to get the whole kitchen dirty.

8 / 8

A smattering of cheese and crackers (and whatever else can be gathered up!) can make a fine meal. The guides on the board make it easy to achieve Instagram-level charcuterie boards that look as great as they taste — something that’s important if someone is feeling burnt out.