The 8 Best Splurges We Made for Our Kitchens in 2021

published Dec 5, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

You can’t beat a good bargain. That said, there are some splurges that are absolutely worthwhile — especially if they make life in the kitchen even a little bit better. For example, we are totally willing to pay up for a blender if it’s super speedy. And we support a brand-new dishwasher if you have to wash stuff by hand after a stint in an old, failing one. You get the point.

With the end of the year quickly approaching (seriously, does anyone know how to pause time?), we thought we’d take a second to look back at the very best kitchen-related splurges we made in 2021. These are the pricy purchases Kitchn editors stand by. Give them a read — they just might inspire you to treat yourself, too.

1. simplehuman Trash Cans

“We bought two simplehuman garbage cans this year. One larger one and one with two compartments, so we can sort out the recycling. I get the impulse to want to save money on cheaper cans, but these really are amazing. They’re easy to open but also contain odors. They’re also way prettier than the average trash can.” Mara Weinraub, Groceries Editor

2. East Fork Pottery

“I didn’t splurge much this year, but I did add to our East Fork collection. I needed a few more items and I just couldn’t resist their recent glaze drops (Peachy Keen, Harvest Moon, Rococo).” Lauren Kodiak, Copy Chief

3. A Vitamix

“After holding out for years, I finally treated myself to a Vitamix. I finally understand what recipes mean when they call for a high-powered blender. These machines are no joke and make quick work of blending up soups, smoothies, sauces, and more.” Nicole Rufus, Assistant Food Editor

4. King Arthur Pre-Cut Parchment Paper

“Okay, this doesn’t sound like much, but hear me out. Pre-cut parchment paper is worth the extra money. The rolled stuff never rips cleanly and doesn’t lay flat on your baking sheet. Yes, I know that I can get a roll for five or six bucks. We’re talking about how we treated ourselves, though, right?” Grace Elkus, Deputy Food Director

5. Smithey Cast Iron Skillet

“After some extensive cast iron skillet testing, I fell in love with this model from Smithey. It’s gorgeous, hand-forged, and has a silky-smooth surface that browns beautifully. The more you use, it the better it gets. I can make scrambled eggs in here and not one bit sticks to it! If you’re looking to invest in a cast iron skillet, I can’t recommend it enough.” Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, Tools Editor

6. Bosch Dishwasher

“Our previous dishwasher was more than 10 years old and showed all the telltale signs that it was time for a new one, yet we put it off for months and months. We finally got a new one and that first cycle (resulting in clean, dry, warm dishes) felt like a turning point for me! ” Kelli Foster, Food Editor

7. Cuisinart Griddler Deluxe

“While you can easily make simple grilled sandwiches on the stovetop (which I’ve done for years!), I decided to finally buy a panini press to make those gooey, gorgeous sandwiches I always order in restaurants. This one is so versatile and is a dream to clean, thanks to its removable plates!” Michelle Lau, Lifestyle Editor

8. OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

“I used to bother my best friend, who owns a coffee shop, to grind my beans for me, but that got very annoying for everyone. (Mostly for him, I imagine!) I got this grinder based on the recommendation of our resident coffee expert and couldn’t be happier with it. It’s very easy to use, wildly thorough, and not too noisy. I can now grind my beans each morning and the resulting brews always taste super fresh and robust.”  Lisa Freedman, Executive Lifestyle Director

What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments!