If you know someone who loves meat and loves to cook, this gift guide is for you. Actually, it’s for them, but it’s for you in the sense that we’re about to make your holiday shopping a whole lot easier. From swanky tools to useful accessories, everything on this list will help your favorite meat lover enjoy their prime cuts even more than they already do. Play your cards right and you just might score an invite to their next steak night.
An Immersion Circulator (a.k.a Sous Vide)
Serious meat enthusiasts might already own an immersion circulator—for sous vide cooking—but if the one on your shopping list doesn’t, well, perfect! This one from Anova is ideal for turning out brisket, carnitas, sausages, and more.
...And a Vacuum Sealer to Go with It
If you've invested in a sous vide to make perfectly cooked meats (see above) then you might as well invest in a good vacuum sealer to ensure your meats are sealed airtight. Two winners rose to the top in our testing: the Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer Pro and the Nesco VS-12 Deluxe Vacuum Sealer. Both are reasonably-priced, easy to use, and ensure strong, reliable seals—no soggy, waterlogged meats in sight.
A Meat Grinder
A meat grinder is an especially great pick for someone who enjoys making homemade sausages or crafting their own burger patties. While our top pick requires you to own a stand mixer, we also recommend this stand-alone electric model.
An All-Business Meat Cleaver
Kenji’s favorite cleaver is this pleasantly affordable 7-inch model from Dexter-Russell. It has a carbon steel blade with a full tang and riveted handle, so you can feel confident giving this knife to even the most seasoned of home cooks.
A Head-Turning Carving Board
A good carving board serves not only as the ideal surface to turn a whole roast chicken into manageable pieces, it doubles as a platform for presentation. We liked offerings from BoardSmith (which you can customize to include feet and/or a carved rim for collecting juices) and Virginia Boys; both are sturdy (and stunning) options that anyone who is carving up meats would love to have.
A Sharp Carving Knife
The special meat lover in your life deserves a top-quality carving knife, and Wüsthof is the real deal when it comes to Western-style blades. This one is our favorite thanks to its super-sharp edge, balanced weight, and accommodating flexibility.
An Electric Smoker
An electric smoker eliminates the mess and need for outdoor space required of old-fashioned meat smoking. Your lucky gift recipient can stash this in a garage, on a balcony, in a basement—wherever. Smoker purists raising an eyebrow right now, please move along.
A Cast Iron Skillet
Whether searing a steak on the stovetop or slow-roasting a nice pork shoulder, every meat lover should have a reliable cast iron skillet. This one from Lodge is a generous 12 inches and includes a silicone handle holder to make transfer from Point A to Point B a little more comfortable.
A Charcoal Grill
This Weber is one of our top picks for a charcoal grill, combining family-sized grilling capacity with a reasonable price tag. Many grilling enthusiasts swear by charcoal and refuse to even look at a gas grill and while we think there are pros and cons to each, you can’t argue with the Weber’s price or versatility.
A Gas Grill
Like a lot of things in life, the price for a gas grill can expand infinitely to fit your budget. Since we’re talking gift-giving here, we’ll err on the side of budget-friendly and suggest Char-Griller’s Grillin’ Pro 40, which we thought quite highly of in a comparison of the best gas grills.
A Very Nice Pepper Mill
Who doesn’t appreciate a steak seasoned liberally with salt and freshly-ground pepper? (Or over anything, really.) We’re fans of this pepper mill from Fletchers’ Mill, which delivers consistent results and is quite the looker.
A Culinary Torch
From finishing crème brûlée to simulating wok hei to searing sous vide steak (the latter being particularly pertinent to this gift guide), having a great kitchen torch lends versatility to any home cook’s arsenal of tools.
A Cooler That Actually Works
What’s a cooler got to do with loving meat? Everything, if the person who loves meat also loves cold beverages when they have people over to flex their skills at the grill. The YETI aced all of our tests with excellent cold retention and durability.
A Hydroponic Herb Garden
Fresh herbs lend meaty dishes like steak and chimichurri sandwiches and lamb with lemon and rosemary a blast of zippy freshness. Give your meat-munching friend or family member the gift of hydroponic indoor gardening this year and take their dinner prep game to the next level.
An Outdoor Pizza Oven
OK, so this is a super-splurge gift—we’d be strategic and choose this for someone with whom we live so we can enjoy full benefits—but it’s a gift that will truly keep on giving. Imagine the possibilities (pizzabilities?): meatball pizza, pizza with spiced lamb, classic pepperoni…
A Set of Steak Knives
Knives and meat go hand-in-hand, so of course we were going to include a set of steak knives as a gift suggestion for the meat lover on your list. Our testers loved this set from Messermeister, which offers outstanding performance at a great value.
A Proper Saucepan
Sauce and meat also go hand-in-hand, so what more thoughtful a gift for a meat person than a proper saucier? This one from Made In has gently sloping sides for easy stirring, and its stainless steel exterior means it’s non-reactive. Welcome to the party, tomatoes.
A Chef’s Press
Perfect for smashing burgers and so much more, chef’s presses are the best. Anyone who prepares meat on the regular should have one, so do your buddy a solid and wrap up a chef’s press this holiday season.
A Bucket of Flaky Salt
There’s nothing like a great finishing salt, and there’s nothing like having so much of it on hand that you don’t really have to think about rationing its use.
An Intimate Book
This book will probably end up being flipped through more frequently than it is cooked from, but curious meat eaters will appreciate the unique recipes involving all the bits and bobs of various creatures. Nose to tail, beak to butt, book to shelf.
A Scientific Book
A perfect choice for food nerds who like to understand what’s actually happening when raw meat hits a hot surface. You’ll learn the difference between wet and dry brines, how to cook a fish without tearing it apart, and more.
An All-Things-Meat Book
A compendium of all things meat—from how to choose which cuts and store them properly, to digging into what “organic” and “sustainable” really mean in the context of meat in this era of industrialized farming. Oh, there are lots of recipes, too.
An Accurate Thermometer (or Two)
The Thermapen ONE took the number one spot during our test to find the best instant-read thermometers, earning top honors thanks to its accuracy and fast, 2-to-3-second readings. But if dropping a hundred dollars on a digital thermometer feels like too much, you already know we also love the ThermoWorks ThermoPop. Another option for people who seem like they are constantly roasting meats is a probe thermometer—and, yet again, ThermoWorks has you covered with their ChefAlarm offering.
A Fresh Set of Tongs
It’s a scientific fact that one cannot use tongs without first snapping them together at least twice. We ranked these ones from OXO as the best kitchen tongs in our test—the stainless steel ends mean they’re suitable for use over the grill or stovetop.
A Sauce Spoon
Saucepoons have bigger bowls, which makes them ideal for, say, butter-basting a thick-cut steak.
A Dynamic Duo
A great sheet pan and a well-fitting, oven-safe cooling rack are helpful for dry-brining, resting meat, draining cooked bacon, keeping fried chicken crispy, and, truly, so much more.
The One Roasting Pan We Recommend
While we have always said roasting pans are a waste of money and space (and argued a sturdy sheet pan and cooling rack are serviceable stand-ins), senior culinary editor Daniel Gritzer recently found a roasting pan he actually likes. The Misen roasting pan sports a high enough (but not too high, so as to steam whatever you're roasting) rim, sturdy construction, and comfortable handles, making it a great addition to any meat-eaters' equipment arsenal.
A Hot Set of Mitts
These silicone oven mitts are our favorite because they’re super flexible—which means they’ll work with lots of different hand sizes—and they provide great grip. Reach into the oven for a roast or grab that wayward chicken wing at the back of the grill with confidence!
A Functional Apron
Made from waxed canvas and with adjustable leather straps, this apron will keep your clothes protected and easily wipes clean—splatters be gone. It makes for an especially great grilling apron.
A Goes-On-Everything Hot Sauce
Both the classic and hot versions of Bobbie’s Boat Sauce are so nuanced, so delicious, so perfect on everything from eggs to chicken to steaks to the random thing you pull out of the fridge as a snack even though you’re about to make dinner—that buying the gift pack is almost silly. Go directly to the 4-pack and delay the inevitable disappointment your gift recipient will experience when they shake out the last drops before repurchasing for themselves.
What do get someone who loves to cook meat?
The whole above gift guide if full of great ideas devoted to this very topic! If your gift recipient doesn't have a great instant-read thermometer, though, that's an excellent present that's sure to please.