Gift Ideas for Those Who Hate to Cook

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I find it rather odd, but some people hate to cook, especially people my age (i.e. in their early 30s).

I was brought up in a family who loved to cook and started preparing food when I was really young.

Young chef holding a nonstick frying pan topped with a Santa hat, isolated on a white background.

To this day, I spend hours preparing large meals throughout the whole year, not just at the holidays. I believe getting people more involved in cooking will really help them.

You can only eat so much fast food before this starts to impact your health, not to mention all the nutrients you are missing out on.

To help those who aren’t good at cooking or simply hate to prepare their own food, here are a few gift ideas that will make it much easier for them.

Slow Cooker

There are so many great things I can say about this gift. First of all, these make a wonderful gift because they make the whole meal preparation thing easier by allowing the person to place all the ingredients into the vessel before leaving for work, and then come home to a wonderful homemade dinner.

Second, slow cookers make cleanup easier by only dirtying one pot per meal. These appliances also make things easier by cutting down significantly on the required prep time.

The giftee can buy precut vegetables, stew meat, and a few seasonings, throw it all in here, and they have a meal. These devices are also very forgiving if you forget to thaw something first.

Just pop the frozen meat into the machine and set it on low for an hour or two longer than planned. Crock-Pots and slow cookers also help introduce people to preparing their own food.

With one of these devices the new chef will easily be able to start experimenting with new seasonings, sauces, and so on, and might even start to love cooking.

See our complete buying guide now!

George Foreman Grill

What if the only thing that the home chef had to do was place a piece of seasoned meat on an indoor grill and wait a few minutes for supper? What if they could even place some peppers and onions next to that meat, and place a bun on a warmer built right into the machine?

All of this is possible with a George Foreman Grill. Another great feature is being able to take a steak, burger, chicken breast, or other protein straight from the freezer to the grill and still cook it in less than 10 minutes.

The George Foreman Grill is perfect for breakfast too. You can cook bacon on the grill while warming pastries or muffins on the top.

It’s also good for preparing lunch. You can make a grilled cheese sandwich on it, or panini.

George Foreman 5-Serving Indoor Grill and Panini Press

And of course, it’s great for supper. You can make so many simple and delicious dishes, ranging from salmon to steak to a grilled wrap or burrito.

All this in one machine!

Best of all, the George Foreman Grill is nonstick and easy to clean up. This is the ultimate easy kitchen gift.

Find it now and check current prices on Amazon.

Plug-In Griddle

Lots of different food items can be cooked on one kitchen appliance if you go the griddle route. With this gift, the cook will be able to make pancakes, eggs, and sausage all at one time.

Cuisinart 5-in-1 Griddler

At lunch, they’ll be able to make hamburgers with pan-fried potatoes. At supper, they will be able to make chicken breasts with sauteed mushrooms, peppers, and onions.

Imagine the convenience. All this with the ease of using just one appliance rather than a variety of pans, all at the same time.

If this gift doesn’t make cooking easier, it might be time to give up on the chef (please don’’t, there still hope).

See our complete buying guide now!

Pressure Cooker

Does the non-cook in your life claim to hate food preparation because it takes too long? Well, not anymore.

A pressure cooker will enable them to serve a meal in a fraction of the time that it normally takes. And these devices are nothing like they used to be.

They once had a bad reputation for… potentially exploding.

Now, all electric models have multiple safety features that prevent this from occurring, such as redundant pressure valves and seals that will intentionally burst before the boiler reaches a critical temperature.

These products will often come with a recipe booklet that will explain how long it takes to prepare certain items like dried beans and rice. The recipient of this fine gift will be really surprised that they can make a roast in less than thirty minutes, too!

Plus, they can be used for home canning as well, so the health-conscious chef or gardener can prepare shelves full of low-sodium, low-sugar, delicious canned goods to enjoy throughout the year.

Read more about these fine devices and choose your favorite model here.

Time to Hop on the Cooking Train

Choo-choo! Train’s pulling out of the station, and it’s about time that the cooking averse family and friends in your life hopped on board.

I hope these gift ideas will be items that help the reluctant cook in your life to have an easier time with food preparation.

These products are meant to encourage them to make wholesome and nutritious meals at home, saving time while they’re able to stay away from fast food. With these gifts, cleanup is also a cinch, with fewer pots, pans, and individual utensils to worry about.

What’s your favorite time-saving device that helps you to make healthy and satisfying meals at home? Let us know in the comments below if there’s something we missed.

And for even more convenient items to add to your kitchen countertops and cabinets, read these reviews of the best kitchen appliances next:

© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on October 19, 2013. Last updated July 22, 2020. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

32 thoughts on “Gift Ideas for Those Who Hate to Cook”

  1. These are excellent gift ideas. I gave a slow cooker to my niece for a wedding gift. I definitely can not imagine giving up George Forman grill as a gift. lol

  2. I don’t hate to cook, sometimes am just too lazy…being single, i tend to carry on eating what i ate last night to the following day { i try to make it exciting}…or be like, i can pass this day without cooking, just drink many cups of hot chocolate…i confess, am obsessed with hot chocolate, i know its not healthy…i can’t be any more glad than i am right now for all these amazing ideas… am definitely buying myself one or two of these gifts and implement what is advised 🙂

    • That is exactly my situation. I like cooking, but being single and only cooking for myself can become very boring after a while. Now that my daughter is off to college, it’s even more of a chore……sigh.

  3. Some great ideas. I have a George Foreman Grill and still use it once in a while if I am trying to multi task a few meals at once. Also, there are some great recipes for the slow cooker – hopefully you can write some of yours up soon.

    • A George Foreman Grill was introduced to my college dorm (it was well hidden) and it was by far the greatest addition to our room. It was really easy to clean and maintain and it made the munching out at night the easiest thing in the world. And maybe it’ll work as an introduction to cooking for the anticooking minded.

    • The Foreman grill is so simple to use, even my kids cooked with it. So, yeah, that one is great for a non cook. These are some nice ideas.

      I also once gave a non-cooking friend a cookbook filled with recipes made from canned goods and one for cooking in the microwave. She used her stove as kitchen decor.

  4. A plug in griddle would be perfect for me as well! I haven’t see many, but I will look out now that I know they exist. A good choice for those with a small kitchen or don’t like cleaning too much. I have friends who don’t have cookers, only microwaves so this would be a good choice for them.

  5. A close friend popped in my mind while reading this and its going to be her birthday next month. Well, she’s not lazy in cooking but probably, she’s busy at times to cook for her own. She’s so much in love with pancakes that’s why I am now on the look for an affordable griddle and I think this will be useful to her since she lives alone in the condo. Thanks for the tips, I enjoyed the article!

  6. I think another great gift for those who aren’t into cooking is a tagine. It looks a little exotic to them at first but with its self basting it is really hard to go wrong. You can throw a number of different combinations of meats, veggies, and seasonings in to get great results. There are also tons of recipes online. Similar to a crockpot you just put it all in and let it sit for a few hours. It’s great!

  7. It’s not that I hate to cook, but I’m just not good at it. So these ideas were great for me not as gifts to give to other people but to me, and if it helps with my cooking my husband will probably be happy to.

    • A slow cooker is perfect for you then!
      It can’t get easier then take a bunch of ingredients put them in a take them out hours later!
      Make your hubby a big pot of chili and he will be a happy man guaranteed.

  8. I love our George Forman Grill and Slow Cooker. The grill has always been great for us to use to quickly fry up our meat, I like the dip tray for collecting the grease and it just being healthier makes me love it more. We have made many batches of chili in the slow cooker and they always turn out excellent tasting. I love that you can prepare and just walk away and stir and taste occasionally. I got my mom a slow cooker for Christmas last year and she really likes it.

  9. The slow cooker has saved my lazy bum from starving so many times! 😉 They definitely make the meal preparation a whole lot easier because all you have to do is throw stuff in there, turn it on, then find out that their scraps have been turned into an incredible dinner later – definitely a great gift for people who hate to cook! (And those who have to clean… there’s only really one thing necessary to clean, instead of 20 tiny bowls or pots). Hopefully they’ll open their eyes to the magic of turning raw ingredients into wonderful meals and start to love cooking as well!

    I also recommend the raclette machine to those who don’t enjoy cooking and therefore have nothing to serve when important guests – or just any guests in general – come over. The preparation is pretty effortless: you just have to cut up various cheeses, meats, vegetables, and breads or potatoes, and then the raclette machine does the rest for you… and it looks like you put a ton of time into it too, because everything is so put together and elegant! 😉

  10. Being a college student and living alone sure isn’t easy. I think last year I ordered and ate more food outside than I actually cooked. I was in a boarding school most of my life as well so even though the rest of my family loves cooking, I found cooking to be a lot of hard work. But I’m slowly getting used to it and slowly learning to love it. But I’m still quite lazy at times so I’m glad I stumbled onto this. The George Forman Grill definitely sounds like something I would invest in. Sounds easy and quick. I already own a pressure cooker and it’s super easy for me to make rice or cook potatoes. I absolutely love it!

  11. My grandmother is someone who hates cooking and always has trouble coming up with a good meal. This year for Christmas I bought her an expensive slow cooker and I put together a binder full of crock pot recipes for her to try out for all sorts of occasions and meat. She was so happy and can’t wait to try it out! I hope it eases things up for her 🙂 she is a great lady but just does not enjoy being in the kitchen!

  12. Great ideas of sound gifts! At least, I would love to receive this. But I’m also the gal who asked for a meat thermometer two Christmases in a row! Somehow, people thought I was kidding the first time.

    That said, I would want to note that we did give an indoor grill to my mother-in-law this year. We thought it was a great idea (she once complained about wanting to make Hawaiian Toasts, but not wanting to turn on the complete oven). Her reaction was less than enthusiastic, though. She was all like: “Oh. A kitchen appliance.” And then we tried to convince her about how great it was to make so many things, and she was like “Yeah, one more thing to clean.”

    I swear! Urgh! So be careful, some women will not enjoy receiving stuff for their kitchen. Maybe something about feminism of her time, but even though she gave us kitchen stuff, she considers we should not give women like her stuff for her kitchen.

  13. Last Christmas, I gave my aunt a crockpot. She did not even know how to turn it on. Now, whenever I visit her house, I smell the aroma of a Chicken Pot Pie cooking in her crockpot. It might not be the one I gifted her, but Im glad she enjoyed the idea of it!

  14. I’ve always given people things that encourage them to get out of their comfort zone. Everyone with a house has a stove. They just do. I like to get them cool things to use with the stove & not something that takes them away from exploring the thing that could help them find a love of cooking.

  15. These are great suggestions. I cook, but still don’t have a pressure cooker, but someday i will. A suggestion to go along with the crock pot is one or more books from the series Fix It And Forget It. I’ve heard very good things about the books from non-cooks, and have even tasted a few of the dishes, and they were delicious. Another suggestion is a wok, because that can come in very handy for fixing quick, nutritious meals.

    • Indeed. These are some great gift ideas, and I always did love the convenience of the crock pot. The recipe book to go along with it is a nice touch. I’ve seen some really good ones, but I don’t think I’m familiar with the one you mentioned. I’m intrigued now though because it sounds like it’s loaded with nice, easy, options. Always a plus when you’re in pinch, but yeah, really nice for those who aren’t exactly comfortable in the kitchen. Great idea, Diane.

  16. I have a friend who isn’t the best cook, but he loves his George Foreman Grill. It was a frequent topic of conversation between us, in fact. He can definitely vouch for that one! I have no experience using one, but I do see the appeal. So I think these are great suggestions; I’d love a crock pot myself.

  17. I would never have never thought of giving these as gifts. I have a slow cooker and mine was a gift. I love using it, especially on Sundays. I put the food in early and have it all done by lunchtime. It is one of the best devices I have ever had. The food is always so juicy and tasty too! I do need some recipes intended for this device. I will do a little research. Thanks for the idea.

  18. Maybe give them something not-cooking-related? 🙂

    Haha, just kidding! A great article! I love to cook, but my aunt would definitely benefit from one of those! Added to the very-early-Christmas-shopping-list.

  19. My friend has always wanted to cook but being the lazy person that she is, she just procrastinates and eats outside. The gifts listed in the article would definitely help her in her culinary endeavors and perhaps, now she can’t tell me that cooking is too difficult.

  20. Some neat ideas here. I have a crock pot that I use occasionally, to cook beans or a meal here and there, but I tend not to use it much. Most of the recipes I come across are full of canned and prepackaged foods that are heavy on the meat and not exciting nor healthy looking. I suppose I just have to do more digging, or convert non slow cooker recipes to be made in a crock pot. I have never used a pressure cooker but really like the idea of cooking a meal so quickly. As for the grill and the plug in griddle, I don’t see much of a use for them. A good pan will do all that work with less kitchen clutter. Cooking lessons might be a good option too. There are many different types you can choose from and they could be a fun activity to do together.

  21. The George Foreman grill looks like a good idea, especially since my father is a meat lover, but at the same time can’t cook very well so he spends a lot of time trying out new grills and toys for making meat, because he also does not want to spend a lot of time cooking traditionally. It seems like a great holiday gift for him.

  22. I absolutely love these great gift ideas. My best friend hates everything and anything related to cooking. She would rather have anything that comes out of a can, bag, or box and that can be preferably microwaved. I didn’t really know what to give her for Christmas, but I think that your slow cooker suggestion sealed the deal. Hopefully this can help her eat a little healthier, while spending little time in the kitchen. Now between you and me, I’m getting the slow cooker for myself. LOL! Thanks for the these great gift ideas.

  23. Forget gifting these, I want them all for myself…
    I like it when I can make my own meal, it’s just that I don’t really know HOW to cook so my food is always rather bland. I’m also a pretty picky eater so it’s a constant struggle. I get home from work and I am ravenous – too ravenous to take the time to make myself a good meal. So I usually either order something or microwave something up really quickly unfortunately…

  24. I love cooking, but I could not imagine life without a slow cooker. How would I cook corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, or pulled pork any time of the year? Slow cookers are a Godsend.

  25. My boyfriend simply can’t be bothered to cook for himself for the exact reasons you mentioned. He just hates how long it takes, and then having to clean up a million dishes! It’s strange, because the man loves a good home made dinner. So, my goal (and his, too, if he can stick to it) is to try and cook more using recipes that are easy and delicious! Since he doesn’t have many kitchen appliances, I’m going to track down a few of these items for the kitchen! I just know it will get him into cooking more at home!

  26. Hmm… I wonder if any of these things would help the person I have in mind. I would probably just end up using them for him as it is. I don’t think I have ever seen the person I’m thinking of go further than open up a can of spaghetti-o’s when it comes to cooking.

  27. Let’s be honest, even when I’m feeling curious about cooking, the whole process makes me feel really stressed and I end up with my face all read and feeling all itchy, lol
    But I actually really liked the Plug-in griddle one, it seemed to be a practical idea to cook and it’s also something that you can use to cook almost everything.
    Afortunately I still live with my mom and she cooks for me, but I will consider this post when I live on my own.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂


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