For new and inexperienced home cooks, TikTok has emerged as an obvious destination for finding interesting — and occasionally viral — recipes. In addition to serving up dishes from all different types of creators and cuisines, the app also provides the opportunity for newbies to actually watch the process of how a dish is made in just a couple of minutes, and that alone has likely inspired many to start experimenting in the kitchen. And whether they’re trying to make the insanely popular pancake spaghetti or the tomato-feta pasta that launched a million imitators, these cooks are going to need some tools.
If someone in your life is newly obsessed with cooking everything they see on TikTok, these gift options are perfect. There’s a classic Dutch oven, a well-made chef’s knife, and a couple of great cookbooks that can help new home cooks expand their skills beyond the snippets on TikTok. And perhaps most importantly, they’re all attractive enough to look great on camera when the time comes for that person to make their own TikTok cooking content.
A great nonstick skillet
Even the most accomplished home cooks need a reliable nonstick skillet, but they’re especially important for newer cooks. Unlike stick-prone stainless steel, this set of Calphalon nonstick skillets can be used to make pretty much any dish foolproof thanks to its super-slick and durable nonstick coating. They can use the 8” skillet for frying eggs or making a grilled cheese sandwich, and break out the 10” for bigger cooking projects, like sauteeing veggies or searing fish.
A classic Dutch oven
Essential for soups, stews, and braises, a Dutch oven is the perfect kitchen multitasker. This classic Lodge Dutch oven, available in chic colors like lilac and storm blue, is both affordable and well-made, the kind of pot that’s built to last a lifetime. It’s also pretty enough to leave out on the stove all the time, which means that they’ll have easy access when it’s time to break out the ring light and film their own cooking content.
A seriously stylish oven mitt
When you think of an oven mitt, you probably think of some ugly quilted glove hanging from your grandma’s stove. But these punchy striped mitts from Brooklyn designer Ellen Van Dusen are decidedly modern, capable of withstanding temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and will actually look great hanging from the stove.
A super-sleek whisk
From making an aioli to whipping up a cake, a whisk is an absolutely necessary kitchen tool. Many whisks are cheaply made or cheesy looking, but Material’s the Air Whisk is kind of like the Ferrari of whisks. It’s designed to incorporate the maximum amount of air into whipped cream or cake batter, and looks impossibly sleek in any utensil canister.
The right chef’s knife
Any cook will tell you: The right knife will change your life. There are so many different purveyors of chef’s knives of all kinds, many of which are incredibly pricey, but you don’t have to spend a ton of cash to get a good knife. The 8” chef’s knife from German brand Wüsthof is a beloved classic for a reason: It’s well-priced and tough enough to withstand plenty of abuse. I’ve owned mine for about nine years and it’s in excellent condition, despite multiple drops, accidental trips through the dishwasher, and long periods of neglect.
A cute and multifunctional baking sheet
Whether or not you plan to do much baking, a cookie sheet is essential for any home kitchen. They’re perfect for making sheet pan dinners, roasting tons of veggies, and of course, baking up fresh batches of cookies. This Caraway baking sheet is nice and roomy, boasts a nonstick finish, and looks nice enough to put on the table (once it’s cooled, of course) so you can capture the perfect shot of your dinner spread.
A perfect pot for soup and pasta
Though a Dutch oven is great for making soup, sometimes you just need more space in the pot. This 2-gallon soup pot from Barebones Living has plenty of room for big batches of pasta or a party’s worth of chili, and still looks nice enough to leave out on the counter (or inspire envy in the comments of your gift recipient’s recipe videos).
A practical cutting board that doubles as a stunning serving tray
This sturdy cutting board from Fredericks and Mae is the definition of working double duty. It’s durable enough to withstand tons of chopping, yet attractive enough to use for an impromptu charcuterie board when guests pop by. The bright yellow handle makes it easier to fish out from the backs of cabinets, along with adding a nice pop of color that makes it look great on the dining table — or on the ’gram.
An all-purpose olive oil duo
You’ve likely seen Graza’s bold green bottles of single-batch, Spanish olive oils all over Instagram, and for good reason. In addition to offering better quality than most grocery store oils at a decent price — just $35 for the duo of “sizzle” for cooking, and “drizzle” for finishing — those squeezy bottles are impossibly easy to use, ideal for getting that just right squiggle of oil on a bowl of brothy beans.
The easy-to-use cheese grater that went viral on TikTok
There’s no denying that freshly grated cheese is better than the pre-shredded stuff in the bag, but it’s an annoying task if you’re using an old-school box grater. Enter this rotary grater that racked up millions of views on TikTok, and implements a hand-crank motion that allows the user to grate big blocks of cheese much more quickly, and without risking the skin on their knuckles.
A classic cookbook — and another for keeping up with the trends
When you first start cooking, there are so many recipes out there that are complicated or overwhelming or just don’t make any sense. That’s why it’s best to dive in with a bunch of tried-and-true recipes, and there’s no better cookbook for that than Samin Nosrat’s iconic Salt Fat Acid Heat. It’s a solid way to learn basic cooking techniques that you can use to create some seriously stunning dishes. Great British Bake Off finalist Ruby Tandoh’s Cook As You Are, out in the U.S. this month, is also a great book for getting started, with plenty of easy-to-make recipes and others that will let them flex their new skills.