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Great cooks need great tools, and we have your ultimate list of the right tools for right now. Meet our 2022 edition of Kitchn Essentials — tested and trusted tools that make cooking fun.

See last year's winners here

We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.


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Charcoal Grill

When you picture a charcoal grill in your mind's eye, this is likely what you imagine. And for good reason: This charcoal grill is sturdy, relatively hassle-free, and easy to clean. It produces a ridiculously nice sear on meat, holds up to 12 burgers, and features an ash catcher at the bottom. Fun fact: The design remains relatively unchanged since it first hit the market 70 years ago.

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Gas Grill

Look! Another Weber grill! This gas version has a relatively small footprint, but still has a large grilling surface (it also fits up to a dozen burgers). Assembly is fairly uncomplicated, it features a fold-down side table, and it's easy to slide the propane tank in and out of place. (There's even a built-in propane gauge!) Of course, the three burners offer impressive grilling performance and the price is pretty hard to beat, all things considered.

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Super Serious Smokers will have a lot of opinions when it comes to naming the best smoker. And while this $800 price tag isn't exactly entry-level friendly, we do believe this is the best smoker for most people. Especially those who wouldn't consider themselves part of the SSS club. (Proof: It's the best-selling pellet grill on the market.) It's a smoker, yes, but it can also be used to grill, bake, roast, and braise.

4 /
Pizza Oven

If it seems like everyone you know got an Ooni during the pandemic, that's because they did. The company’s sales increased by 150 percent during the summer of 2020 and the ovens were constantly selling out. They're back in stock and this remains the brand's most popular model. We've been using it for more than a year and we remain thoroughly impressed. We just have two suggestions for you: Get the table to go with it and try it out with veggies, too.

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Grill Grate Brush

You can rest easy with this grill brush: The bristles are tightly twisted into the heavy wire frame, which means they're unlikely to fall off and end up in your food. "I've had this brush for few years now and I've never had a single bristle fall out," says our former Executive Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman. It's angled just right for optimal leverage and the head includes a built-in scraper for the extra burnt-on bits.

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Chimney Starter

"Don't even try to start charcoal grilling without a chimney starter," says Contributor Patty Catalano. "I don't know why they don't sell a starter kit for charcoal grills with this included!" This gadget is wildly easy to use and gets charcoal hot and ready to go faster than other method or tools.

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Grill Basket

We love this grill basket — made of thick-gauge stainless steel — because it has large perforations that allow for direct on-the-grill contact but still don't let pieces fall through the grates. That means more flavor and more of those coveted sear marks. It's also easy to move around the grill and dishwasher-safe.

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Probe Thermometer

You may recognize this gadget as a winner from our Tools section below. That's right — it's made this list twice! There are lots of special thermometers made to target grillers, but we find them all just a little too extra. This one is perfect inside the kitchen and at the grill, giving read-outs in just one second.

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Grill Gloves

A good pair of grilling gloves need to protect your hand from hot flames, yes. But they also need to allow for dexterity. This pair checks both of those boxes, so that you can grab skinny skewers, grill pans, hot potatoes, basting brushes, and more with precision. They're machine-washable, too.

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This may technically be a fish spatula, but our editors use it more like an all-purpose spatula while they're grilling. It's perfect for flipping burgers, digging under chicken breasts, and more. It's also super sturdy, which means it can easily transfer all your food from the grill to a platter.

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Tongs become an extension of your hand while you're standing at the grill. While the 12-inch ones listed below are absolutely great for grilling, these are 20 inches, allowing you to distance yourself from the flame just a little bit more. Note: In our experience, those heavy-duty tongs made specifically for grilling are just way too big and awkward to use. Stay away from those.

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Not only do we believe skewers should be reusable (why waste the wood?), but we also believe they must be flat instead of round. This way, your food doesn't roll around when you go to flip the skewers! These hold plenty of food and have sturdy handles that also nest for storage.

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Basting Brush and Pot

For extra saucy meats and veggies, you need this basting pot and brush set. The pot has a comfortable handle and a lid to keep out the bugs. And the brush has an angled head, featuring patented silicone bristles that sop up sauce.

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Paper Towels

Paper towels got multiple nominations from editors: "I ball up paper towels, dip them in oil, and then hold them with tongs to oil the grates," says Senior Food Editor, Megan O. Steintrager. "This is also a good way to make sure there aren't any bits on there before you start grilling." Other editors seconded all of this and mentioned that they're good for cleaning up spills, wiping hands, and more. Of course, Bounty is unmatched when it comes to absorbancy and we love being able to pick the size of the sheet.

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Grilling at night is hard — no matter how many string lights you have strung up! Allow us to suggest this slightly nerdy but oh-so practical LED headlamp. It charges through a micro-USB (no having to worry about batteries!), has an adjustable tilting design, and also works as a flashlight. For grilling-at-night purposes, just slip it on and adjust it to fit your noggin.


1 /
Stainless Steel Skillet

Readers ask us all the time if All-Clad is worth the money, and we tell them that it is — especially when it comes to this fry pan. It has three bonded layers (that's what the d3 means), so it heats super evenly and gives meat that coveted sear. It's also comfortable to hold and doesn't discolor easily. And it'll last for ages.

2 /
Nonstick Skillet

A good nonstick skillet is hard to beat. This is the one that's at the top of our list. Fried eggs, omelets, and crêpes slide off its surface. Plus, it's one of the lightest we've ever tested, with a smooth, rounded handle that’s super comfortable to hold and stays cool throughout cooking.

3 /
Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge is a household name for a reason: The brand's budget-friendly cast iron pans are high quality and extremely versatile. "I use mine for anything I want to get nicely browned and crispy: cornbread, roasted Brussels sprouts and other vegetables, and any type of meat," says Senior Food Editor, Megan O. Steintrager. There are definitely more expensive cast iron pans out there, but there's no need to splurge.

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Dutch Oven

This Dutch oven is "an investment you'll use for a lifestime," says Contributor Patty Catalano. She leans on hers the most during the fall and winter when it's "filled every night with stews, braises, and sauces." We especially love its black enamel interior (which shows less wear and tear), tight-fitting lid, and self-basting spikes that keep moisture in the pot. (It tied for first in our Best List testing.)

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Don't let the name fool you! This is not just for braises. In fact, we reach for this braiser almost daily. "It's great for one-pot pastas, skillet chicken, sautéed veggies, stovetop granola — this pot does it all," says Senior Contributing Food Editor Kelli Foster. Of course, it is also great for braises.

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A saucepan is great for sauces, sure, but it also comes in handy for reheating leftovers, whisking up a roux, or making an after-dinner crème brûlée. If we had to pick just one saucepan, we'd pick this one from lesser-known Brazilian brand Tramontina. It distributes heat evenly and holds its own against repeated use and washing. It won the top spot in our Best List testing.

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Sauté Pan

Part sauté pan, part skillet, this versatile pan is a must-have. It features deep, curved walls and holds up to three quarts. "You can use it like a mini Dutch oven and totally just bring this right to the table for serving," says Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand.

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If you've been wondering if your stockpot is big enough, the answer is probably no. You can pretty much do anything in a big stockpot, but you’ll find a too-small one incredibly limiting. This one holds up to 12 quarts and has a solid base layer that manages heat well, comfortable handles, and a snug-fitting lid.

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We have a short list of attributes all good woks should have. First, it should be made of carbon steel, which is durable, inexpensive, and becomes virtually nonstick over time. It should have a flat bottom and a 14-inch diameter. And it should have wood handles on both sides. That brings us to this stellar wok. Faith has half-joked that this wok is the one thing she'd grab from her house in a fire (once her family was safely outside, of course!). That's how much she loves it.

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Casserole Dish

This best-in-class casserole dish cooks casseroles to perfection and has grippy handles and an oven-safe lid that can keep food piping hot for three hours. It cleans easily, too, and has a glazed bottom that doesn’t easily scuff on oven racks. Plus, the whole thing is gorgeous and ideal for serving right at the table.

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Roasting Pan

If you are going to invest in a roasting pan, this one is well worth the splurge: It cooks beautifully in the oven and on the stovetop and has wide, tall handles that are easy to grip. It comes with a V-shaped rack that cradles poultry easily and has sizable handles that are a cinch to grab. It's dishwasher-safe and easy enough to clean by hand, too.

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Pan Lids

Please allow us to rave about these universal lids, which come in three sizes, and fit on any pot, pan, dish, or bowl. Drop one on your vessel and it'll magically form an airtight seal. Made from BPA-free, high-quality silicone, they're also dishwasher-, microwave-, and freezer-safe. Rave. Rave. Rave.

Small Appliances

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The Instant Pot has come a long way since it first captured our hearts and minds (and bellies) all those years ago. This new version pairs sleek good looks (really) with ease of use (even for technophobes) and versatility (yes, it really will cook everything). It's also WiFi capable, meaning you can control it from your smartphone.

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Slow Cooker

There's a lot of competition when it comes to slow cookers, but this one gets our vote for a few reasons: For starters, it has an intuitive digital interface, three cook settings, and an automatic keep-warm mode. Just as importantly, it cooks everything (beans! Chicken thighs! Soups!) perfectly, has an easy-to-handle ceramic pot, and it’s a cinch to clean, too.

3 /
Air Fryer

Whether you want bar food, crispy veggies, or a simple dinner shortcut, the air fryer is there for you. In fact, it's become one of the most essential small appliances out there. And if you're going to get one, this mother of all air fryers is our top pick. It holds up to three quarts of food, has clear controls, and beat out other machines in our speed tests.

4 /
Toaster Oven

If you just want evenly golden toast and that's all, check out our next pick. But if you're looking for something that can deliver consistently crisped bread and also bake cookies, roast an entire chicken, and more, this toaster oven is totally worth the splurge. Just know that you'll probably end up using this more than your actual oven.

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Here we are for those who are Team Toaster. Two key features put this toaster over the top as the winner of our Best List testing: the “bit more” button, which adds a little more time to your toasting cycle, and the “lift and look” feature that allows you to pop the toast up mid-toast to check its progress.

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Stand Mixer

This kitchen workhorse earns high marks from pretty much everyone on our team, including Associate Food Editor Cory Fernandez. "As someone who's usually content with the old-fashioned hand mixer, even I'll admit that a quality gadget like this one takes care of most of the heavy lifting when it comes to baking and mixing." Of course, it also won the top spot in our Best List testing.

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Hand Mixer

For those times when you don't need heavy lifting, there's this budget-friendly hand mixer. It's ideal for smaller tasks — like whipping egg whites, making whipped cream, and mixing brownie batter — or really any time it's easier to bring the mixer to the bowl rather than vice versa. If you're wondering, we really do think you should have both on hand.

8 /
Food Processor

When it comes to food processors, our best advice is to pony up for this 14-cup model, which can handle everything you throw at it, including mirepoix, pizza dough, mayo, and more. It's super simple to operate, is precise and powerful, and will last for years and years.

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Vitamix sets the bar for blenders, so the question is really: Which Vitamix should you get? Our top pick is this Professional Series blender, which easily whizzes up soups, smoothies, and salsas (and pretty much everything else). It has one of the most powerful motors on the market and comes with a seven-year warranty. Pro chefs often keep this in their restaurant kitchens, if that tells you anything.

10 /
Immersion Blender

Silky-smooth soup, perfect mayo, and green smoothies in seconds — this immersion blender gets the job done with power to spare. Attachments easily twist on and off, the whole thing is comfortable to hold, and the cord is long enough that it doesn't ever get in the way. Bottom line? For ease and comfort, coupled with unbeatable power, this is our top pick.


1 /
Chef's Knife

Effortless slicing and dicing paired with sleek good looks put this chef's knife a cut above the rest. Megan can't say enough good things about it: "Of all of my knives, this is the one I reach for the most. It's balanced; feels substantial without being too heavy; and cuts vegetables, fruit, meat, and more beautifully."

2 /
Bread Knife

This knife passes all of our tests, cutting through even the crustiest of loaves with little pressure and easily slicing tomatoes and other soft-skinned fruits, too. If you prefer an offset bread knife, this one from Mercer Culinary is our top pick. Both have a grippy, comfortable handle and affordable price tag.

3 /
Paring Knife

A paring knife that offers comfort, sharpness, and dexterity and costs less than $10 seems almost too good to be true. That's why, in a field full of sharp finds, we think this is the very best paring knife you can buy. It's not fancy, but it feels like it was made for your hand and works incredibly well.

4 /
Wooden Cutting Board

The problem with most wooden cutting boards is that they can be difficult to clean. If only you could put them in the dishwasher. Well, that's just part of what makes this composite board so great. Not only is it dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning, but it also has a groove for juices and rubber feet for stability. In other words, it checks all the boxes.

5 /
Plastic Cutting Board

Many Kitchn editors have multiples of these colorful cutting boards, which are dishwasher-safe, made from recycled materials, and attractive enough to leave out on your counter. "They bring me so much joy whenever I go to cut something, which is all the time basically," says Copy Chief, Lauren Kodiak. They even won a top spot in our Best List testing.

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Small Plastic Cutting Board

This small, plastic cutting board with non-slip edges is perfect for tiny tasks. Patty uses it for mincing garlic, slicing citrus for drinks, and seasoning a single chicken breast. Pro tip: Keep one on your bar cart.

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These affordable shears can tackle tough and delicate jobs alike, including spatchcocking chicken, breaking up canned, whole tomatoes, and cutting open tough plastic clamshell containers. They also come apart easily for cleaning and are dishwasher-safe.

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If we've said it once, we've said it a million times: This shockingly inexpensive and highly effective peeler is the only one you need. Contributor Grace Elkus is a Kuhn Rikon stan for life: "It's better than any more expensive peeler I've ever used, and it comes in a bunch of fun colors, too!" (The one above is a deep purple, it's just hard to tell here!)

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Box Grater

Grating butter, shredding cheese, slicing zucchini, and zesting limes — this box grater can easily handle whatever you throw at it. And it has a non-slip base and a grippy handle, too, which makes it super comfortable to use. Yes, even if you have a million pounds of cheese to work through.

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There's a reason Microplane has become synonymous with zesters (like Kleenex and tissues!): It has the smartest design and sharp teeth that work though lemon peels and wedges of cheese. "While you're getting one for yourself, grab an extra one for gifting. "It's an excellent gift for somebody who's just getting into cooking and someone who wants to up their game, too." says Megan. The handle also comes in lots of fun colors and patterns.

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Senior Recipe Editor, Amelia Rampe says this Japanese Benriner mandoline is the only one she'll ever own — and the rest of us totally agree. We prefer it to bulkier, more expensive French mandolines for its ability to slice, julienne, and shred even the hardest vegetables, while easily fitting in any kitchen drawer for storage. Note: Be sure to use the included guard or invest in a protective glove. This blade is sharp!

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Knife Sharpener

If you have good knives and use them often, it's worth investing in this electric knife sharpener, which reliably adds a sharp edge to any knife (including your serrated knife). It's completely foolproof, with three slots for gradually building up an edge and guides that hold your knife at the correct angle. You seriously can't mess this up.


1 /
Best Instant-Read Thermometer

ThermoWorks is a favorite among pro chefs and our editors. The brand recently gave its classic thermometer an upgrade and we've somehow become even more obsessed. Amelia calls it "the most accurate thermometer there is," and also recommends their compact ChefAlarm for making candy and caramels and temping her oven. Back to the Thermapen ONE, though, it gives a read-out in just one second and won our Best List testing — by a landslide.

2 /
Pepper Mill

There are a few key things we look for in a pepper mill. On the list: a wide opening for loading the peppercorns, a durable ceramic grinding mechanism, an easy-to-turn crank, and a catcher for measuring and storing. This incredibly efficient version has yet to let us down. Plus, it's Ina Garten's favorite — and you know Ina knows what's best.

3 /
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

These stainless steel mixing bowls are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean, but there's one extra component that takes them to the next level: They come with tight-fitting lids! We love that we can mix up a big grain salad, for example, and then just put a lid on it and pop it in the refrigerator for whenever we get peckish.

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We will wax poetic about this spatula to anyone who will listen. "Its perfectly bendy-yet-sturdy head will scrape up every last bit of batter," notes Executive Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman. Plus, she adds, it's all one piece, and that makes it oh-so easy to clean. No gunk hiding between the head and the handle!

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Made from BPA-free silicone, this sturdy-but-flexible spatula has a smooth, rounded handle that's an absolute pleasure to hold, and a head with rounded edges that ensures no corner of your pan goes untouched. It’s also dishwasher-safe, heat-resistant to high temperatures, and safe to use with any type of pan. In fact, the only downside may be that it tends to sell out often. Buy one now while you can!

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Fish Spatula

According to Senior Studio Food Editor, Jesse Szewczyk, "If you're serious about leveling up your seafood game, this spatula is a must; it's thin, flexible, and perfect for getting underneath delicate fillets." We definitely agree! Jesse is also our resident cookie expert, and he adds that this spatula is great for removing cookies from baking sheets (and flipping grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes!).

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What's better than a dishwasher-safe ladle that helps you get every last drop of soup out of the pot? This silicone ladle, which comes in cool colors and has measurement markings on the inside. In all seriousness, if you didn't think it could be fun to use a ladle, you have to try this one. It's super satisfying to see just how much it can get out of your pot. It doesn't leave a drop behind!

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Wooden Spoon

The problem with most wooden spoons is that they tend to crack or split. This spoon, however, is made from a composite material that's both durable and dishwasher-safe. (It's made of the same material as the wood cutting board from above.) You'll never have to oil it or replace it!

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Slotted Spoon

"I love how large and sturdy this slotted spoon is," says Megan. "It's perfect for straining sauces and transferring hard-boiled eggs and veggies to an ice bath." She adds that she's had hers for as long as she can remember and it still looks brand new.

10 /
Silicone-Tipped Tongs

"I can't say it loud enough: A good pair of tongs is one of the most essential kitchen tools," says Kelli. We agree — with a caveat. You're going to need two pairs: a silicone version, and a plain ol' stainless steel version. This silicone version is great for using with nonstick pans and also for mixing up salads without bruising your greens.

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Stainless Steel Tongs

For the second pair of tongs, sometimes basic is best! "These simple, scalloped tongs make it so easy to firmly grip whatever you've got cooking," says Patty. They are our go-to for searing steaks and plating pasta. And because they're a bit longer than the silicone ones above, they're essential for grilling outside.

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This little whisk is surprisingly handy for everyday tasks, like whipping up a quick vinaigrette or eggs for two, but it's also capable of handling bigger jobs. Faith wrote an entire book on pudding and swears by this one. "You can always use a smaller whisk for a bigger task, but you can’t ever use a giant whisk in a tiny bowl,” she says.

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Sauce Whisk

If you've never used a sauce whisk before, this flat whisk will change your life — or, at least, your sauces. It lets you get into the corners of any pot and break up all those bits on the bottom. “You can’t (successfully) make a sauce or gravy without it," says Faith.

14 /
Citrus Squeezer

"Every other juicer and reamer pales in comparison to this sunny selection," says Patty. "Squeeze every drop from lemons and limes with this juicer using minimal muscle power!" Really, what else is there to say?

15 /
Bench Scraper

"Between dividing doughs, pushing chopped veggies into the skillet, and cleaning up countertops when dinner's done, this bench scraper does it all!" says Executive Food Director, Nina Elder. She gives it bonus points for the built-in ruler, which comes in handy when trying to make perfectly uniform biscuits, for example.

16 /
Steamer Basket

Steaming veggies is one of the easiest ways to get more vegetables on your plate. And while your basic no-name steamer basket will get the job done, a passionate set of Kitchn editors advocated for this upgraded version. It has an extendable handle to get it in and out of pots and fits in nearly any pot — including your Instant Pot.

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"Spiders are not just for restaurant chefs; they're also super-smart tools for home cooks!" says Kelli. You can use one to transfer pasta directly from the water to the skillet with sauce, to rinse a handful of berries when getting out a colander feels like a little too much, to hard-boil eggs, and to fry just about anything. This is the one that gets our vote.

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Ice Cream Scoop

There are some great ice cream scoops out there (looking at you, Zeroll), but we ultimately picked this spring-loaded option because it can be used for so many other things — like cookie dough, meatballs, muffin batter, watermelon, and more. We’ve found that the medium size is the most versatile.

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Liquid Measuring Cups

This classic set of three liquid measuring cups comes with three sizes and covers all your bases. The cups are also microwave-safe and have easy-to-read markings (that stay on, even after years of use). The handles are comfortable to grip, and the curved spouts allow for precise pouring.

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Dry Measuring Cups

"Measuring cups are a recipe developer's lifeline, and these always have my back," says Senior Contributing Food Editor Sheela Prakash. "They're sturdy, accurate, easy to use, and they're magnetic so they actually stay organized in my drawer." She loves them so much, in fact, she has three sets.

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Measuring Spoons

There are many measuring spoons out there, but these shockingly sturdy ones have measurements that are permanently stamped into their handles, so they'll never rub off. They also have a removable loop that keeps them together and, with the exception of the tablespoon measurement, will fit into standard-size spice jars.

22 /
Kitchen Scale

"The easiest, most impactful way to step up your baking game is to invest in a scale," says Jesse. "This is because a cup of flour is wildly inconsistent, which means you could end up with significantly more or less flour than intended." We suggest this one, which costs just $25, takes up hardly any space, and will guarantee your flour is always spot on. It's actually good for more than just baking, too. Wanna know more? Give this a read.

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Can Opener

When it comes to can openers, we're in favor of something with a bit of heft in your hand and a knob that's easy to turn. This one fits both of those requirements and it's got a built-in magnet, which grabs the lid, and a special release lever, so you never have to get your hands dirty.

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Salad Spinner

Bigger is better ... if you're talking about salad spinners. And this one is big enough to handle giant batches of lettuce and other greens, as well as heartier produce like Brussels sprouts and broccoli. It's also delicate enough to handle tiny herbs — without any signs of bruising. Plus, the clear bowl is respectable enough to use as a serving bowl.

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It may seem like hyperbole to say that this smartly designed colander will change your life, but Amelia swears it will, and here's why: "It has adjustable arms so you can hang the basket over the sink. That means you can have two hands on that heavy pot." It also means your colander won't end up sitting in dirty sink water!

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Fine Mesh Strainer

You'll want a fine-mesh strainer for things like sifting flour or powdered sugar, straining sauces and gravies, and — this one is important — rinsing your rice. (Please, rinse your rice!) For all of these tasks, we like this dishwasher-safe strainer, which has a little hook that ensures it sturdily rests on any bowl.

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Hot Pad

Faith and Lisa both rave about this gorgeous oven mitt, which is thin and flexible enough to gently mold to any pan, but strong enough to grab a screaming-hot cast iron skillet from under the broiler. Use one to grab stuff — and as a trivet when putting hot stuff on the table for family-style meals.

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Oven Mitt

"Pretty pot holders" feels like an oxymoron — and yet, allow us to present this snappy set, which comes in cheery colors like Eucalyptus and Blueberry. The protective-yet-flexible silicone mitt portion lets you easily grab onto baking sheets, oven dishes, pie plates, and Dutch oven handles. And the mitts are long enough to cover a large portion of your forearms, protecting you from burns.


1 /
Baking Sheets

We don't love this sheet pan just for its cheeky name and gorgeous colors — it's also a delight to use. Made from aluminized steel, it cooks evenly, won't warp, and is basically stick-proof, which makes cleanup a breeze. Plus, the larger-than-average cooking surface means you can fit more cookies per batch. We've listed it under bakeware, but we also love using it to roast veggies and for sheet pan dinners.

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Quarter Baking Sheets

Half sheet pans get all the attention, but Sheela thinks quarter sheet pans — these in particular — deserve even more praise. (You get two in a pack!) "These lightweight pans are super handy. I use them to roast the perfect amount of vegetables for my family of two, toast nuts, bake fish, and more. I even use them to bake cakes."

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Cooling Rack

This cooling rack is sturdily constructed and has little feet on the bottom, so it can let air circulate while sitting on your counter. Groceries Editor, Mara Weinraub, loves that you get two in a set for a very reasonable price and highly recommends using them to bake your bacon.

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Pie Pan

If you make pies (or if you aspire to make pies), this ruffled dish is what you should be baking them in. "The crust always cooks evenly (even when my wonky oven is acting up) and, like potato chips, pies are better with ruffles," says Mara.

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Springform Pan

A good springform pan is good for more than just cheesecake. Not only can it stand in for a round cake pan, but it's also great for ice cream cakes, tarts and quiches, and even deep-dish pizza. This springform pan in particular is our go-to, thanks to its overall quality, sturdy side buckle, and nonstick coated aluminum.

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9x9 Square Pan

We're going to make a bold statement and call this the ultimate brownie pan. It gets edges perfectly crisp and chewy. That micro-texture on the bottom? It promotes airflow and easily releases your goodies when it's time to slice. Try it with any brownie recipe. You'll see.

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Loaf Pan

Whether you were Team Sourdough or Team Banana Bread during the peak of the pandemic, you definitely need this heavy-duty loaf pan. It turns out breads that are tall and evenly baked. And thanks to the corrugated design, your treats will pop out fairly easily.

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13x9 Pan

Every kitchen should have this rectangular cake pan — and not just for sheet cakes. This metal baking pan also doubles as a casserole dish, turning out mac and cheese, lasagna, and meat casseroles with ease. It heats up quickly and is really good when you want to brown the edges of whatever you're cooking.

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9-Inch Round Pan

If you aspire to make perfect, uniformly flat cakes you won't have to trim or shave, you'll want (at least) two of these sturdy round cake pans. They're durable, they bake evenly, and they have a corrugated bottom that's truly nonstick.

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Bundt Pan

Nordic Ware is known for its intricate Bundt pan designs and shapes. We picked this more classic pan because it has handles and they make all the difference when you’re trying to get the pan in and out of the oven. Just note that it’s probably going to be thinner and lighter than other Bundt pans — but that only makes your life easier!

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Cupcake Tin

You know that sad feeling you get when you want to enjoy your freshly baked muffins, but then realize you have to spend time scrubbing out every single cavity in the pan? "That won’t happen with this pan, which easily releases all of your precious baked goods," says Production Editor, Tracey Gertler. "And anything that does remain wipes out quickly, without much effort."

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Baking Mat

We love Silpat mats because they help cookies brown evenly and slide right off the tray (no parchment paper or greasing required!). While there are plenty of other silicone and similar mats out there these days, Silpat is the original and nothing compares to it. "This is the best thing ever!" says Michelle Lau, Kitchen Editor. "It makes cleanup a total breeze!"

13 /
Rolling Pin

Is it any surprise that the French version of a rolling pin is superior to the traditional version? We think non. Because it doesn't have handles or ball bearings, the design is much sturdier and gives you more control. This one is made of American hardwood that's extra durable and smooth.

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Pastry Brush

This all-silicone basting brush is great for basting roasts and turkeys while they stay right in the oven. The long handle gives you plenty of reach and it is heat-resistant to 600°F, so it won't burn or melt. Plus, the whole thing can go right in the dishwasher — no wooden handle to worry about.

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Offset Spatula

If you think an offset spatula is just for frosting cakes, think again. Use this to push batter into the corners of pans and transfer a handful of cookies at once to a cooling rack. Beyond baking, you can use it to test the doneness of potatoes, lift crispy bacon out of a hot pan, and even to flip pancakes or fritters!

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Parchment Paper

Pre-cut parchment paper sheets are a total game-changer. "I will never go back to parchment paper rolls again," Jesse says. "Buying parchment sheets that are pre-cut, so they perfectly fit in a baking pan, is a little way to treat yourself and make baking more fun."

Coffee & Drinks

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Drip Coffee Maker

This coffee maker from Technivorm Moccamaster is famous in the coffee world. Tons of java nerds — er, pros — swear by it, and it won the top spot in our Best List testing. It consistently makes amazing Joe, brews quickly, and has a thermal carafe that keeps coffee hot for hours. We also love its sleek design and its not-too-fussy interface. Just flip on a button and you're good to go.

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Coffee Grinder

No matter how you make coffee, a coffee grinder is your most important tool — and this versatile, easy-to-use, and exceptionally quiet grinder took the top spot in our Best List testing. It's especially great for those of us who can't settle on one way to make coffee and insist on pour-over one day and espresso the next.

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Gooseneck Kettle

If you're the kind of coffee person who is very serious about pour-over, this barista-approved kettle is the only one you should be using. Its easy-to-read thermometer shows when the water reaches ideal temps, its counterbalanced handle is comfortable to grip, and its precise pour spout means you get a perfect cup every single time.

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Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Speaking of pour-over! It's really hard to beat a Chemex. It comes in a few different sizes, is incredibly durable, and is a total looker. And while it's not insulated, it can be kept warm on the stovetop.

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French Press

If you took a classic French press and upgraded it, you'd have this 8-cup beauty. It has a stainless steel sleeve that helps keep your coffee hot, a comfy plastic handle, and a snug lid for easy pouring. And it has a GroundsLifter — a revolutionary feature that lets you easily pull up spent coffee grounds and toss them in one fell swoop.

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Cold Brew Coffee Maker

This little brewer has it all: a tiny countertop footprint, straightforward instructions, and a sturdy (mostly plastic) design. It produces a small batch of concentrate via a rainwater head design that disperses water evenly over the grounds in a 12- to 14-hour period. It fits easily in the fridge and comes with a cork lid for storage.

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Travel Mug

There are a gazillion travel mugs on the market, but if quality and craftsmanship are what you're after, then there's only one: the Zojirushi. This reasonably priced, expertly crafted container is absolutely spill-proof, keeps drinks *piping* hot for hours on end, is easy to clean, and comes with a five-year warranty. It's also not half bad to look at.

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Water Bottle

The problem with most water bottles is that they take up so much space when you're not using them. Space that could be used for other things, like snacks. (Just saying.) Enter: this sleek and stylish water bottle, which collapses when it's empty. Now you see it, now you only kinda see it.

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Water Filter Pitcher

When Soma's stylish water pitchers popped onto the market a few years back, it was love at first sight. And we still can't find a better looking option. It holds around 80 ounces and uses plant-based filters that will get you through about 40 gallons of water. "I actually hate the taste of the tap water where I live, but this pitcher has me chugging plenty of ounces a day," says Lisa.

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Soda Maker

If you love seltzer, but don't love all the resulting cans and bottles, you're going to want to invest in this bubbly-maker. Just pull the lever and you can customize the level of carbonation to your exact preferences. Besides that, it also looks like a dream and comes in a variety of colors to match pretty much any decor.

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Electric Kettle

Easy to use and easy on the eyes, this kettle — with single-touch functions and preset settings — is awesome for tea drinkers, whether you like black tea, green tea, herbal tea, or a little of all of the above. It's also great when you want to boil water for other things (like oatmeal) in a hurry. And it's a helper to new parents: It has a bottle feature, which allows you to place a baby bottle inside and warm.

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There are many (many) more complicated corkscrews out there, but ask any bartender or waiter to recommend a corkscrew and they'll almost always suggest this one. With a built-in foil cutter and a two-step lever, it's foolproof — promise.

Food Storage

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Glass Containers

We loved the Rubbermaid Brilliance containers as soon as they came out, but we love them even more now that they're available in glass. These containers are leak-proof; dishwasher-, microwave-, and oven-safe; and BPA-free. The lids are still plastic — and that cuts down on total weight, so you don't feel like you're lugging a 10-pound dumbbell to work.

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Plastic Containers

Known as deli containers, these sorts of vessels are a staple in basically every professional kitchen out there. Chefs and home cooks alike love these ridiculously affordable, incredibly durable containers, which can go in the fridge, freezer, and dishwasher. This set, with more than 1,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, comes with 44 containers (and universal lids), so you’ll be fully stocked.

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Dry Goods Containers

If you are going to decant your baking ingredients, this thoughtful set of containers is the one to get. "Each container has just the function you need for the ingredients inside — like a terra-cotta disk to keep your brown sugar soft, a level to use when measuring out flour, or a dusting screen to shake out powdered sugar," says Tracey.

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Nesting Bowls