I’m Kitchn’s Professional Gear Tester — These Are the 12 Best Things I Bought Since Joining the Team

published Sep 20, 2021
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Since joining the Kitchn team in December 2020, I’ve bought a lot of stuff. It’s impossible not to when it’s your job to stay on top of cool new product launches and you’re surrounded by people who give amazing product recommendations! I’ve spent a lot of my salary and, guess what? I don’t regret a cent.

But there are some things I’ve picked up that absolutely stand out from the rest. They’re the I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-have-this-before things. So, here goes: These are 12 of the best kitchen products I’ve bought in the past 10 months since joining the team.

1. PepperMate Pepper Mill

When I learned that this is Ina Garten’s favorite pepper mill, I had to get it. It’s super easy to load and crank, and I love that it has a little tray that catches all of the ground pepper, which makes it perfect for grinding a whole bunch at once.

2. Great Jones Little Sheet

I hear about a lot of new product launches and often get so excited, I end up buying said new thing. That’s exactly what happened when Great Jones released Little Sheet back in February. These nonstick quarter sheet pans are in constant rotation in my kitchen. I use them for dinners for two, toasting walnuts for a salad, baking a couple of cookies, and more. I highly recommend them!

3. Material reBoard

This cutting board is a huge favorite among Kitchn editors and a favorite of mine now, too! It’s super lightweight and has held up well during the months I’ve had it, with no giant knife marks and no discolorations. It comes in, seven fun colors. I like to pair mine with a non-slip cutting board mat.

4. GIR Silicone Spatulas

These spatulas are a longtime Kitchn favorite. I think I ordered them within my first week or two of starting my job! They come in different sizes and colors and are durable and strong-yet-flexible. The best part is that they’re all one piece of silicone, so there’s no place for gunk to hide.

5. House of Noa Nama Standing Mat

Oh, man. This kitchen mat is really everything. It’s like standing on a bunch of gummy bears while you cook! I have two (one at my stove and the other at my prep station). Fun fact: Our Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, actually inspired the company to create this mat after writing this post.

6. Staub Dutch Oven

A lot of Kitchn editors are huge Staub Dutch oven fans (it’s been featured in Kitchn Essentials for two years in a row!). And while I love my Le Creuset Dutch oven, I wanted one with a darker interior that wouldn’t discolor. Staub more than delivers.

7. Smithey Ironware Co. No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet

This skillet was actually a winner in my extensive testing of cast iron skillets. It’s an investment, for sure, but it’s incredibly beautiful and has a silky-smooth interior that’s entirely nonstick. Food releases right off without hesitation. I absolutely love it.

8. Mepal Microwaveable Nested Storage Bowls

After reading about these in Kitchn Essentials, I knew I had to have them. They felt like a splurge for food storage, but they have tight-fitting lids, are microwave-safe, and come in such fun colors! I have the Nordic Berry ones.

9. Copco Non-Skid 12-Inch Lazy Susan

Another Kitchn Essentials influence! This lazy Susan is the perfect way to organize spices in a pantry or sauces in a fridge. I even have one for my all of my haircare underneath my bathroom sink. And it comes in lots of fun colors!

10. Misen Kitchen Shears

These kitchen shears are a recent launch from the direct-to-consumer company Misen. And I love them. They’re priced well, have comfortable handles, are super sharp, and come apart for easy cleaning.

11. East Fork The Mug

I have a thing for mugs, so when I found out how many fellow Kitchn editors are pottery people, I was very happy. One of the brands that gets name-dropped a lot is East Fork and I didn’t have any of their stuff. I rectified that as soon as possible and ordered The Mug. It’s beautiful and ridiculously comfortable to hold and drink from.

12. Bonne Maman 2021 Limited Edition Advent Calendar

While this isn’t a tool, it is something I’m silly excited about opening up come December. We covered this in early August and as soon as I read about it, I bought it. I mean, how could I pass up mini jars of jam like Cherry with Hibiscus Flower and Sweet Orange and Passion Fruit!

Do you have any of these products? Tell us about it in the comments!