If you know a real meathead—by which we mean a diehard carnivore—then we suggest a Christmas gift they can really sink their teeth into. These are some of the best Christmas gifts for meat lovers, from fully edible items to kitchen tools that will help them achieve meat mastery, and a few things just for fun.
If you’ve somehow stumbled into the wrong place, see our vegan-friendly food gifts. If you’re looking to get to the meat of the matter, just keep scrolling.
Related Reading: Pernil Could Push Prime Rib Right Off Your Holiday Table
Beef jerky has transcended its origins as a long-haul snack (for cowboys and big rig truckers alike), and is now available in a mind-bending array of flavors and varieties of flesh. If you know someone who loves liquor as much as meat, celebrate their marriage with this booze-infused jerky sampler. It ships in a simple cardboard box, stuffed with whiskey jerky, Oregon Cabernet jerky, Caribbean rum jerky, and dark ale jerky.
If alcohol is a no-go, there are lots of other options to explore, including the Bacon Crate (with candied jalapeno bacon, maple bacon jerky, bacon seasoning, bacon peanut brittle, and hot pepper bacon jam), and the Exotic Meats Crate (with jerky made from elk, wild boar, pheasant, and ostrich, to name a few). The machismo of Man Crates is a little much (by design)—most come in metal ammo boxes or heat-sealed wooden crates with a laser-etched crowbar to pry it open—but you can’t deny the appeal of what’s inside.
Is your meat lover more of a classic romantic? A bouquet of artisanal salami is sure to set their heart aflutter. Portland, Ore.-based Olympia Provisions produces all sorts of delicious cured meats and charcuterie, from chorizo to saucisson sec. Choose a three- or six-sausage arrangement in this gift, which comes wrapped in butcher paper and tied with a red ribbon, nestled inside a festive red box. It should last a little longer than actual flowers, and will definitely taste better.Buy Now
What does a meat lover want most of all? Truly delicious meat to eat, of course, and plenty of it. So treat them to a gift box or gift subscription from a meat delivery company like Porter Road. Based in Nashville, Tenn., they ship pasture-raised pork, beef, lamb, and chicken that’s free of added hormones and antibiotics. As they say, “If it’s not raised right it can’t be delicious.”
You can send specific cuts like rib roast, filet mignon, or pork tenderloin, or choose a curated box like the $50 Gift Box (containing a sampling of some of their most popular cuts), or the holiday-appropriate Rib Roast Box for $160 (with a pasture-raised, dry-aged roast; bacon; and sausage for stuffing). Recurring gift subscriptions are also available.
Check out more of the best meat delivery options on CNET.
Because why settle for two dinky little forks when you need to shred some meat? If your giftee is big on BBQ (or just likes to cook big hunks of pork or beef in the Crock-Pot on the regular), these meat claws will not only prove useful for quickly shredding a huge pile of protein, but will let them pretend they’re a grizzly bear (or Wolverine) for a few moments. Win-win! In addition to helping them prep pulled pork, beef, or chicken in a flash, these can be used to lift large roasts from pan to platter—think holiday turkey and ham. They come in a range of colors too.Buy Now
There is at least an entire library’s worth of great meat cookbooks and guidebooks to choose from (including tomes from BBQ savant Aaron Franklin and a grilling expert actually named Meathead), but many of them hone in on one specific cooking style or type of meat—which is great for those who want to perfect the craft of smoking brisket or cooking steak, of course.
But if you want something that covers a broader spectrum of meaty topics, this cookbook by Jess Pryles has pointers on almost everything animal. Though she does specialize in beef and smoked meats, she covers lots more in “Hardcore Carnivore,” including chicken, game, pork, and lamb, and techniques and recipes for indoor and outdoor cooking, all year long.
Meaty love can be expressed in many ways. Why not by hanging this delicate glass salami ornament in a place of honor on one’s tree? It’s hand-crafted in Poland for an heirloom-quality salame that will never go bad. There are a few other equally delightful options to choose from, including a bacon ornament and a roast chicken ornament, depending on the object of your carnivore’s deepest affection.Buy Now
Giving an experience as a gift is a wonderful option, and a cooking class is always a top choice for food lovers. But busy schedules can also make that fun thing a hassle when you have to rearrange your life around it. MasterClass online courses let your recipient take things at their own pace, from the comfort of their own home, whenever they choose.
This 23-part video class from Thomas Keller teaches the fundamentals of selecting and preparing beef, duck, chicken, pork, and veal like a world-class chef (i.e., Keller himself), and also covers stocks and sauces that are essential to building restaurant-worthy dishes both from and around those meats. If your meat fiend is more of an aspiring pitmaster, though, there’s also an Aaron Franklin MasterClass that covers everything they need to know about Texas-style BBQ.
Any burger aficionado worth their chuck will want to grind their own meat for superior patties, but if they haven’t gotten the necessary equipment yet, treat them to it this holiday season. They’ll be able to make the best burger blend ever, and all sorts of homemade sausage too. They can even experiment with homemade dog food if they want their pup to feast on the finest. And if they have a KitchenAid stand mixer, you can consider opting for the grinder attachment to save them some counter or storage space.Buy Now
The perfectly cooked steak (or pork chop, or chicken breast, or even carrot since one cannot—or should not—live on meat alone) is a matter of opinion, but a sous vide setup allows you to achieve perfect, precise results every time, and it’s become affordable enough for everyone to use in their own kitchens. Naturally, this sous vide circulator can be controlled via phone app, but has manual controls for old-school home chefs too. If you’re feeling extra generous, throw in a vacuum sealer, which they’ll need for this cooking method (technically, you can hack it with Ziploc bags, but an actual sealer will give the best results).Buy Now
Quality meat tastes great with nothing but a deft application of salt to bring out its best, but even top-notch brisket, ribs, chicken, and steak sometimes want more seasoning. This set of gourmet rubs is a great gift for flavor-seekers, and includes 12 delicious blends to really make meat—or anything else, including popcorn—shine.
You can buy smaller sets if you’d like to spend less, but in this ultimate collection, you’ll get: Black & Bleu (a Cajun-blue cheese seasoning); Black Magic (a classic garlic, herb, and spice blackening blend); Chile Margarita (with citrus, sugar, and chilies); Cowboy Crust (with espresso, cumin, chilies, and brown sugar); Greek Freak (onion, herbs, orange peel, and sun-dried tomato); Smoky Honey Habanero (which forms an addictive caramelized crust); Jamaican Jerk (with allspice and smoky paprika); Pink Peppercorn Lemon Thyme (a little floral); Oh Canada (a Montreal steak seasoning blend); Raspberry Chipotle (with real powdered raspberries); Tandoori Glory (an Indian curry); and Korean BBQ (with soy, sesame, and orange). Whew.
Sure, socks are expected at Christmas, but not these socks (which some might think of as a true gag gift, but others are sure to appreciate). They’re oddly compelling and not for everyone, but may be just the thing for the fashion-adventurous meat adorer on your list, or anyone who truly loves carne from their head all the way down to their toes.Buy Now
Bringing it full circle, here’s another meat-booze mashup to close things out. This candle is hand-poured in Knoxville, Tenn. and scented like the breakfast (well, brunch) of champions, with notes of maple, bacon, and bourbon. Stuff this in someone’s stocking, and add a personalized message on the lid at no extra charge. “Meaty Christmas!” has a nice ring to it, but you could also go with a warning not to light this when they’re already hungry. Unless, of course, you’ve gifted them some actual artisanal bacon too.Buy Now
See our favorite gourmet food and drink gifts for 2019.
Header image courtesy of Sur La Table