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Reviewing AmazonBasics Kitchen Equipment

By America's Test Kitchen Published

Amazon launched a line of pots, pans, gadgets, and small appliances. How do they compare to the winners of our reviews?

What Is AmazonBasics? 

Amazon recently launched its own line of Amazon-branded goods, AmazonBasics, selling everything from phone chargers and batteries to down comforters and Dutch ovens. We were particularly intrigued by the kitchenware. At last count, they offered almost 200 cooking-focused products in a broad range of categories, from knife sets to simple white dinner plate sets. 

How We Evaluated AmazonBasics

We noticed many of the products bore a striking resemblance to brands we were familiar with, so we wondered if Amazon had partnered with leading companies to produce Amazon-branded versions of top-selling items, much like how supermarkets work with brand-name companies to create their in-house product lines. 

We contacted four of the major brands that produce the items the AmazonBasics equipment so closely resembled and were surprised to learn that they had no affiliation whatsoever with the products. Instead, they reported various levels of frustration with how similar they looked. It seems Amazon is working directly with third-party manufacturers to knock off top-performing products, cutting out the middleman. 

The AmazonBasics items are priced very smartly, often below competitors just enough to make one consider straying from a well-known brand. We wondered how they would perform. To find out, we started with four products—a cast-iron skillet, a set of silicone baking mats, a Dutch oven, and an electric kettle. We took these four products and tested them against our corresponding winners in each category, reporting our results below.

We plan to continue testing AmazonBasics products on a rolling basis and will update this page with new items as we go. Please let us know in the comments section below of any products you’re specifically interested in and we will add them to our list of items to test.

AmazonBasics Cast-Iron Skillet vs. Lodge Cast-Iron Skillet

We tested the AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet - 12-Inch against our winning traditional cast-iron skillet from Lodge, scrambling eggs at the beginning and end of testing, baking cornbread, searing steak and making pan sauce, and cleaning the pans after each test. Durability tests included thermal shock and scraping and striking the pans with utensils. We evaluated both models on their performance, ease of use, and durability.

  • RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

    AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet - 12-Inch

    This pan outweighs our winning skillet from Lodge by almost a pound, so it took more effort to handle and lift, and it has a noticeably rougher surface that will take longer to build up seasoning than the smoother surface of the Lodge pan. With the same 10-inch cooking surface diameter as our winner, this pan had plenty of room to sear steak beautifully, and we made an acidic pan sauce from the fond with no metallic off-flavors. The pan’s preseasoning worked well to release scrambled eggs in the first test, but at the conclusion of testing the seasoning had worn down, and a second test of scrambled eggs stuck firmly and took a lot of scrubbing to remove. The rough, pebbly pan surface utterly glued itself to our cornbread’s bottom crust, ripping it apart when we inverted the pan, a much worse performance than we saw in previous cast-iron skillets we’ve tested. However, over time, with lots of cooking, seasoning should build up on this pan for better release. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 2104 Price: $26.99 Weight: 8 lb, 8 oz Handle Length: 6.75 in Helper Handle: Yes Cooking Surface Diameter: 10 in Bottom Thickness 3.8 mm

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

    This pan arrived with a slick preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: L10SK3 Price: $33.31 Weight: 7 lb, 10 1/8 oz Handle Length: 4.75 in Helper Handle: Yes Cooking Surface Diameter: 10 in Bottom Thickness: 4.3 mm

Bottom Line:

It’s an acceptable pan, but it will require more effort from the home cook than our winning skillet.

AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat vs. Silpat

We tested the AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 2, against our favorite silicone baking mat, the DeMarle Silpat U.S. Half-Size Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, using both with our winning baking sheet to roast salmon and bake cookies and washing them in the dishwasher 10 times. We evaluated both models on their ease of use, performance, and durability.

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 2

    The mats in this inexpensive set are nearly identical to our winner, fitting perfectly in our favorite baking sheet and staying put nicely, thanks to a relatively heavy weight. It helped foods cook and brown well; because it's dishwasher-safe, it retained fewer odors and became less greasy over time than non-dishwasher-safe models we tested. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: AOKE-1701 Price: $13.99 for 2 ($7.00 per sheet) Weight: 103 g Dimensions: 16.5 x 11.6 in Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    DeMarle Silpat U.S. Half-Size Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat

    This mat—the gold standard in many restaurant kitchens—produced beautifully browned food and made it truly easy to remove baked goods and roasted foods. But it proved its value with a couple of simple details: It fit perfectly in our favorite baking sheet; stayed put thanks to its heavier weight; and was dishwasher-safe, reducing the buildup of residual oils and odors. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: AE420295-07 Price: $25.00 Weight: 109.6 g Dimensions: 16.5 × 11.6 in Dishwasher-Safe: Yes

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet, Set of 2 is a good—and much less expensive—alternative to our favorite baking mat.

AmazonBasics Dutch Oven vs. Le Creuset and Cuisinart

We tested the AmazonBasics 7.3-quart Dutch oven against our winning Dutch oven from Le Creuset and our Best Buy Dutch oven from Cuisinart, searing beef in batches, using it on and off the stove, and performing a series of durability tests to see how it compared on ease of use, capacity, and quality.

  • RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Dutch Oven, 7.3-Quart, White

    This pot has a light interior that made it easy to monitor browning and a roomy interior that was well suited to deep frying and big-batch cooking. Its looped handles are a touch narrow and were harder to grip with pot holders than our top-rated models. It’s on the heavier side, in line with the weight of our inexpensive winner from Cuisinart, but it has a smaller cooking surface than the Cuisinart because its walls slope as they meet the base, eating up flat, usable space; this meant we had to sear beef in three rounds instead of the two when we were making stew, costing us 5 minutes of extra time—not a deal breaker, but we preferred pots with broad, flat cooking surfaces and straight sides. Two notable concerns: This pot is ovensafe only to 400 degrees, so you can’t bake breads such as our Almost No-Knead Bread in it, which bakes at 425 degrees, and one of our copies’ lids chipped in our durability tests. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: SX-75QTW Price: $59.99 Weight: 16.4 lb Materials: Enameled cast iron, stainless-steel knob Interior Color: Light Interior Height: 5 in Cooking Surface Diameter: 8 in 

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Le Creuset 7¼ Quart Round Dutch Oven

    This perfect, pricey pot was substantial enough to hold and distribute heat evenly without being unbearably heavy. The light-colored interior combined with low, straight sides gave us good visibility and made it easy to monitor browning and thermometer position. The broad cooking surface saved us time since we could cook more food at once. The lid was smooth and easy to clean. This pot is expensive, but it was exceptionally resistant to damage. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: LS2501-28 Price: $385.00 Weight: 13.7 lb Materials: Enameled cast iron, phenolic knob Interior Color: Light Interior Height: 4.5 in Cooking Surface Diameter: 9 in 

     

  • RECOMMENDED—BEST BUY

    Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole

    With an exceptionally broad cooking surface and low, straight sides, this 7-quart pot had the same advantageous shape as the Le Creuset. It was heavier but not prohibitively so. The looped handles were comfortable to hold, though slightly smaller than ideal. The rim and lid chipped cosmetically when we repeatedly slammed the lid onto the pot, so it's slightly less durable than our winner. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: CI670-30CR Price: $70.51 Weight: 16.7 lb Material: Enameled cast iron Interior Color: Light Interior Height: 4.38 in Cooking Surface Diameter: 10.0 in 

     

Bottom Line:

This large, handsome pot performed well overall but doesn’t handle quite as easily or sear quite as efficiently as our winning pots. It also can’t go into an oven hotter than 400 degrees, so you can’t bake bread in it, and we have some concerns about the enamel chipping.

AmazonBasics Electric Kettle vs. OXO and Capresso Electric Kettles

We compared the AmazonBasics electric kettle to our winner from OXO and our Best Buy from Capresso from our previous evaluation of electric kettles. We timed how long it took to boil 1 quart of room-temperature water and considered how easy it was to fill, pour from, and operate. To gauge the kettle’s long-term durability, we ran it 365 times to simulate a year of daily use.

  • RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Electric Glass and Steel Kettle - 1.7 Liter

    This glass kettle looks a lot like our favorite from OXO: It can hold 60 ounces of water, the power button is at the base of its handle, the button to open the lid is at the top of its handle, and the spout has a removable filter. (The ring of blue lights at the base of the pitcher resembles a model we tested from Hamilton Beach.) It boiled water quickly. Unfortunately, the spout was large and water poured from it in a wide stream, even when it was almost empty and we were very careful. That made it hard to use for pour-over coffee and other precise tasks. The lid bounced back and forth when we opened it, sending droplets of hot water flying. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: F-625C Price: $26.99 Capacity: 17 to 60 oz Kettle Material: Glass Weight of Pitcher When Full: 5 lb, 13 4/7 oz Average Time to Boil 1 Quart of Water: 4 min, 51 sec

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    OXO Brew Cordless Glass Electric Kettle 

    This large, sleek glass kettle is a pleasure to use. The power switch lights up in an icy blue when it’s activated, the handle is wide and comfortable, and the kettle sits securely on its base. We also liked its slow-open lid, which prevents accidental burns from steam and splashing water. It has a removable filter in its spout which, while not strictly necessary, is a handy feature in areas where the water has sediment. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 8710300 Price: $79.95 Capacity: 17 to 60 oz Kettle Material: Glass Weight of Pitcher When Full: 6 lb, 3 ⅜ oz Average Time to Boil 1 Quart of Water: 4 min, 59 sec

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—BEST BUY

    Capresso Silver H2O Electric Kettle

    This kettle is easy to fill; boils water quickly; and sits securely in its deep, stable base. The power button is conveniently located on its handle. Our only quibble: Sometimes the light-up indicator was a bit dull in bright daylight. The kettle is much shorter and has a smaller capacity than our winner, which makes it a good option for people who prefer a smaller kettle. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 259 Price: $55.69 Capacity: 16 to 48 oz Kettle Material: Glass Weight of Pitcher When Full: 4 lb, 12 ⅛ oz Average Time to Boil 1 Quart of Water: 4 min, 49 sec

     

Bottom Line:

It’s an attractive kettle and it works quickly, but it isn’t quite as user-friendly as our two favorite models.

AmazonBasics Immersion Hand Blender vs. Braun Multiquick 5 Hand Blender

We tested the AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments, Black, against our favorite immersion blender, the Braun Multiquick 5 Hand Blender, using both to make smoothies, blend potato soup, emulsify mayonnaise, and whip cream. We evaluated both models on their comfort, handling, durability, and blending and noted how much they splattered food.

  • RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

    AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Immersion Hand Blender with Attachments, Black

    This immersion blender did a good job of pureeing soup and emulsifying mayonnaise, and we liked that it came with a whisk and a blending cup. While it ultimately made fairly good smoothies marred only by some flecks of kale, its motor initially seemed to struggle when processing the frozen fruit: The whole unit warmed up and emitted a worrisome oily odor. It’s a bit heavier and taller than our favorite immersion blender, and it sports rubbery grips on its backside only, so it’s a little harder to hold. Because the attachments don’t latch on quite as securely or definitively, it can be difficult to know when they’re ready to use. Finally, you control the speed with either two buttons or a dial with no distinct settings; we prefer a simpler mode of operation. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: MJ-BH3002W2 Price: $34.99 RPM: 13,900 to 26,400 Watts: 300 Height: 16 in Speeds: Multiple (2 buttons and 1 continuous dial with no clear settings beyond minimum and maximum) Weight: 1 lb, 10 oz Accessories: Whisk, blending cup, chopping bowl Detachable Wand: Yes

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Braun Multiquick 5 Hand Blender

    This blender’s two speeds were well calibrated and were all we needed to bounce from task to task with ease. Light and slim, with a grippy body, it was the easiest to maneuver. It had a whisk that made perfect whipped cream and a blending cup that contained splatter. We downgraded it a wee bit for leaving small bits of kale in its (still perfectly drinkable) smoothie. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: MQ505 Price: $59.99 RPM: 11,393 to 13,085 Watts: 350 Height: 15 in Speeds: 2 Weight: 1.5 lb Accessories: Whisk, blending cup Detachable Wand: Yes

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics immersion blender is inexpensive and performs decently, but it’s not as easy to use or as comfortable to handle as our winner, and we have concerns about its long-term durability.

AmazonBasics Coffeemaker vs. Bonavita

We tested the AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker with Glass Carafe against our favorite inexpensive coffee maker by Bonavita. We tracked its brewing time and temperature and measured the coffee’s total dissolved solids and extraction percentage—all attributes we know to be the keys to good-quality coffee produced by automatic drip machines. In a blind tasting, our tasters sampled coffee made in the AmazonBasics coffee maker against coffee made in the Bonavita.

  • NOT RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker with Glass Carafe

    This petite coffee maker holds just 26 ounces of water—enough to make a bit more than three 8-ounce cups of coffee. Yet it took about 8 minutes to brew, which is longer than the Bonavita takes to brew almost double that amount of coffee. Tasters found the flavor of its coffee to be weak and underextracted, and our tests of total dissolved solids and extraction percentage confirmed that this was the case. Its paltry flavor is likely because the water spent only 3 percent of the brewing time in the ideal temperature range for optimal coffee extraction (between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit).

    Model: MA-D03A Price: $19.99 Carafe Type: Glass Extraction Level: 16.8% Time to Brew Full Pot: 8 min Brewed Coffee Capacity: 26 oz Brewing Time in Ideal Temperature Range: 3%

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Bonavita 8 Cup One-Touch Coffee Maker

    Comments: In every test, this coffee maker came out on top: It brewed hotter and faster than most other models, resulting in a smooth brew that tasters rated the most flavorful. Its thermal carafe kept brewed coffee hot for more than an hour, and pouring was tidy, with a responsive lever that stopped and started the stream of coffee promptly. All its parts were accessible and easy to clean, and the machine turned on with the push of a button and automatically turned off when it finished brewing. It holds enough water to make about six 8-ounce cups of coffee. It wasn’t programmable and was the most expensive model we tested; however, this was the only brewer in our testing certified by the Specialty Coffee Association home brewer program as meeting all the standards for good coffee. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: BV1900TS Price: $93.99 Carafe Type: Thermal Extraction Level: 21.6% Time to Brew Full Pot: 6 min, 30 sec Brewed Coffee Capacity: 46 oz Brewing Time in Ideal Temperature Range: 71%

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics 5-Cup Coffeemaker with Glass Carafe failed on all the metrics that make good coffee—most important, the coffee it produced failed our blind taste test. We’d skip this one.

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale vs. OXO and Ozeri Digital Scales

We tested the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale against our winning and Best Buy kitchen scales from OXO and Ozeri. We tested the scale’s accuracy using a set of lab-grade weights, and we evaluated how easy it was to toggle between different units of measurement and read its display screen. We also considered how easy the scale was to clean.

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display

    Comments: This scale is accurate and easy to use. Its two buttons—one to change the unit of measurement and one to turn the scale on and tare it—are responsive and clearly labeled. Its screen is a little small, but the numbers are legible (though it doesn’t pull out for easy viewing like our winner’s screen does). The platform is a little smaller than our favorite’s, and it’s not removable, which makes cleaning it a bit more challenging. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: EK3211 Price: $10.99 Maximum Weight: 11 lb Units Displayed: Pounds/ounces, fluid ounces, milligrams, grams

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—WINNER

    OXO Good Grips 11 lb Food Scale with Pull Out Display

    Comments: This scale is accurate, sturdy, and easy to use. The buttons are clearly labeled and responsive, and it has a big, brightly lit screen that can be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Users can choose to view measurements in ounces only (e.g., 24 oz), pounds and ounces (e.g., 1 lb 8 oz), grams only (e.g., 2500 g), or kilograms and grams (e.g., 2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 11214800V1 Price: $49.99 Maximum Weight: 11 lb Units Displayed: Pounds/ounces, ounces, kilograms/grams, grams

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—BEST BUY

    Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale

    Though its relatively lightweight frame feels flimsier than the OXO scale and it lacks a removable platform, this simple scale is impressive for its price. It’s accurate and easy to use, with a digital screen that’s bright and visible even when weighing large items. We like that it can report weights in ounces as well as in pounds and ounces. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: ZK14 Price: $11.79 ASIN: B004164SRA Maximum Weight: 11 lb Units Displayed: Pounds/ounces, ounces, grams

Bottom Line:

The digital screen and metal platform of the AmazonBasics scale are smaller than our winner’s, and the screen doesn’t pull out for ease of viewing under large bowls like our winner’s, but this scale is accurate and gets the job done.

AmazonBasics 3-Blade Spiralizer vs. Paderno Tri-Blade Slicer

We tested the AmazonBasics 3-Blade Vegetable Spiralizer against our winning spiralizer from Paderno. We used both to cut zucchini and butternut squash into noodle-like ribbons, using all three blades, and cleaned all the parts by hand after each use. We evaluated both models on their ease of use, performance, and cleanup.

  • RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

    AmazonBasics 3-Blade Vegetable Spiralizer 

    This model looks identical to our winning spiralizer, except for a slightly more rounded handle. It made long strands of “noodles” out of zucchini, but its blades weren’t quite as sharp as the Paderno’s, so it took more effort and about 50 percent more time. Once cut, the noodles were indistinguishable from those produced by our winner. However, this model’s dull blades couldn’t make even a dent in butternut squash, and it felt more unsteady on the counter, despite having suction-cup feet. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 27022 Price: $14.96 Weight: 1.5 lb Dimensions: 10.6 x 5.6 x 8.6 in Number of Blades: 3 (ribbon slicer, ¼-inch noodle, ⅛-inch noodle)

     

  • RECOMMENDED

    Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer

    Simple, intuitive, inexpensive, and stable, this model easily spiralized vegetables with relatively little waste. Better yet, the Paderno Tri-Blade turned almost all the produce into even, consistent noodles and ribbons. It was one of the only machines we tested that was capable of spiralizing butternut squash into long, regular strands—although the stress of this endeavor caused the handle to crack on its last round of testing. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: A4982799 Price: $33.24 Weight: 1.5 lb Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.25 x 8.75 in Number of Blades: 3 (ribbon slicer, ¼-inch noodle, ⅛-inch noodle)

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics spiralizer is fine if you’re just making zucchini noodles, but it takes more time and effort than our winner and can’t handle firmer vegetables such as butternut squash.

AmazonBasics 3-Piece Non-Stick Fry Pan Set vs. OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro Open Frypans

We tested the AmazonBasics 3-Piece Non-Stick Fry Pan Set, which includes 8-, 10-, and 12-inch models, against our respective winners in each size, all made by OXO. We performed a series of quality and durability tests with the largest pan, assuming it would be representative of the set as a whole. First, we cooked eggs back-to-back without any fat, stopping when they began to stick. To mimic long-term use and examine its construction, we cut in the pan with a knife, heated it and plunged it in ice water to induce thermal shock, and whacked it against a cinder block. To evaluate ease of use and design, we cooked frittata and stir-fry in the 12-inch pan, scrambled eggs in the 10-inch pan, and prepared an omelet in the 8-inch pan.

  • NOT RECOMMENDED 

    AmazonBasics 3-Piece Non-Stick Fry Pan Set, 8 Inch, 10 Inch, and 12 Inch

    This set wasn’t truly nonstick. In our dry-egg test, the 12-inch pan cleanly released only four eggs—far fewer than our goal of 50. It fared slightly better when we used butter as we cooked a frittata and vegetable oil as we stir-fried flank steak and broccoli, but it neither retained heat well nor evenly distributed heat across the cooking surface, and we found the same problems when we tried the set’s smaller pans. Their sharply sloped sides kept contents contained when we stir-fried but made it cumbersome to get a spatula down between the food and the cooking surface, and sliding frittatas and omelets over the high sides was a challenge. The 12-inch model did not hold up well during our durability tests, emerging with deep scratches and dents. 

    Model: LFFP16013 Price: $21.99 12-in Fry Pan: Weight: 1.8 lb Ovensafe To: TK Cooking Surface: 9¾ in Induction Compatible: No (10-in Fry Pan: Weight: 1.46 lb Cooking Surface: 8½ in; 8-in. Fry Pan: Weight: 0.93 lb Cooking Surface: 6 in)

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 12”, 10”, and 8” Open Frypans

    The cooking surfaces of these pans were slick, both when new and after extensive use, and food never stuck. The pans are fairly lightweight, so they were easy to lift and maneuver, but they were also sturdy and resisted denting. Our testers liked their comfortable, brushed-metal handles. The pans scratched lightly in our abuse tests, but we deemed them acceptable.

    12-in Open Frypan: Model: CW000960-003 Price: $42.49 ASIN: B00PCI71OS Weight: 2.40 lb Ovensafe To: 430°F Cooking Surface: 9¾ in Induction Compatible: No 

    10-in Open Frypan: Model: CW000959-003 Price: $39.95 ASIN: B00PCI71TS Weight: 1.95 lb Ovensafe To: 430°F Cooking Surface: 8 in Induction Compatible: No

    8-in Open Frypan: Model: CW000958-003 Price: $29.95 ASIN: B00PCI71NE Weight: 1.33 lb Ovensafe To: 430°F Cooking Surface: 6 in Induction Compatible: No

Bottom Line:

This set of three skillets didn’t hold up to testing, and it offers little advantage to the home cook. Don’t add it to your Amazon cart.

AmazonBasics Stand Mixer vs. KitchenAid Classic Plus

We tested the AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Stand Mixer with Attachments against our favorite inexpensive stand mixer, the KitchenAid KSM75WH Classic Plus Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer, using three tests to challenge the three attachments of whisk, paddle, and dough hook. We used the whisk to whip a pair of egg whites into stiff peaks; the paddle to reverse-cream butter into flour while mixing batter for white layer cake; and the dough hook to knead stiff, heavy dough for Bagel Bread. We evaluated both models on their design, creaming, whipping, kneading, and ease of use.

  • NOT RECOMMENDED 

    AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Stand Mixer with Attachments, Red

    There are pluses and minuses to this model’s design. Its body casing is plastic, making it several pounds lighter than our metal-bodied winner from KitchenAid. While it’s easier to carry, it lacks anchoring weight, so it uses suction-cup feet to prevent “walking” while mixing, which have to be wrenched up whenever you move it. Its tilting head has a simple toggle-style lock conveniently located next to the speed dial. Its bowl lacks handles, which we’d prefer to help get a firm grip when placing it on or taking it off the machine or scraping out the contents.

         To test this model, we whipped a pair of egg whites to stiff peaks, though it took a few minutes longer than usual, since at first the liquid sat slightly beyond the full reach of the whisk. This was a sign that ingredients may not be fully incorporated even when mixing larger amounts. Next we made cake batter, creaming butter into the flour, and again the mixer was inefficient: The rotating action of its paddle never fully reached the sides of the bowl. Between stopping and scraping down the sides multiple times and extending mixing times to incorporate dry ingredients, it took far longer than the recipe instructed and led to undesirable gluten development in what should have been a tender cake. The batter still had large lumps when we gave up and stopped mixing; the cake didn’t rise well in the oven, and it baked up heavy and slightly chewy instead of light and fluffy. Finally, we tested the mixer’s kneading power with stiff Bagel Bread dough, and we were disappointed again: Wet ingredients stayed in the middle of the bowl, leaving the sides lined with ¾-inch-deep accumulations of dry flour. After we repeatedly stopped, scraped, and folded the contents by hand, the machine began kneading as the recipe instructed, but when we checked the dough ball, we found unmixed dry flour in the bottom of the bowl. During the 10-minute kneading time, the mixer clearly struggled, rocking and whining and periodically slowing as it worked. We had to stop it three times to remove the dough ball from the hook, but it eventually got the kneading done. However, the lack of power raised doubts about this machine’s long-term durability, and its inefficiency made using it more difficult than necessary. Given that it struggled with essential tasks, we can’t recommend it. 

    Model: MJ-KM8001W-Red Price: $82.15 Size: 4.5 L (4.8 qt) Weight: 10.14 lb Actual Capacity: 3.25 qt Distance from Bowl to Hook: 10.6 mm Distance from Bowl to Whisk: 8.3 mm Distance from Bowl to Paddle: 6.4 mm

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    KitchenAid KSM75WH Classic Plus Series 4.5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

    This model aced every test, whipping, creaming, and kneading quickly and thoroughly to give us fluffy whipped cream and meringue; light, tender cakes; and chewy, rustic breads. We did have a few design quibbles: We'd prefer a handled bowl (KitchenAid sells stainless-steel or glass bowls with handles separately). The tilt-head latch works fine, but it's slightly less convenient than buttons on other models, and we disliked that you could operate it with the head unlocked. A major plus: It fits all KitchenAid attachments, from meat grinder to ice cream maker (sold separately), so it can stand in for several other appliances. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: KSM75WH Price: $199.99 Size: 4.5 qt Weight: 21.8 lb Actual Capacity: 3 qt Distance from Bowl to Hook: 10 mm Distance from Bowl to Whisk: 6 mm Distance from Bowl to Paddle: 5 mm 

     

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics stand mixer does not work well enough to recommend, even at a bargain price.

AmazonBasics Blender vs. KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender

We tested the AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Countertop Blender against our favorite inexpensive blender, the KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender. We used the blender to process kale, frozen pineapple, and orange juice for smoothies; crush ice; and blend chipotles in adobo and garlic to test for staining and lingering odors. We evaluated both models on their design, blending, cleaning, and ease of use.

  • RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

    AmazonBasics Multi-Speed Countertop Blender

    This model made smoothies that were reasonably well blended, if not a bit overly frothy. However, it was a little underpowered, so it struggled to crush more than 1 cup of ice at a time and—even then—tended to heat up and melt some of the ice before we were done blending. Its lid was also not very secure; once, while blending soap and water to clean the carafe, the lid burst off, sending soap and water all over the kitchen. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: MJ-BL1201W Price: $69.99

     

  • RECOMMENDED

    KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender

    This blender had a narrow jar that combined food well, but it was relatively low powered, so its smoothies had some flecks of kale scattered throughout. While this blender had a smaller footprint than many blenders of the same capacity and was easy to move and store, its jar was sometimes difficult to twist off, and its partially downturned blade was a bit hard to clean. While we do recommend this inexpensive blender for casual smoothies, we recommend you spring for a midpriced or high-end model if you want a great blender. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: KSB1575ER Price: $159.99

     

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics blender is fine for your daily smoothie (so long as you hold the lid tightly while blending), but if you’re looking to do much else with your blender, opt for our favorite inexpensive model.

AmazonBasics Food Storage Containers vs. OXO Good Grips and Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers

We tested the largest container from the AmazonBasics Glass Locking Lids Food Storage Containers, 20-Piece Set against our favorite glass food storage container by OXO and the largest container from the AmazonBasics Tritan 22 Piece (11 Containers and 11 Lids) Locking Food Storage Container - Clear against our winning plastic food storage container by Rubbermaid. We evaluated the capacity of each model and tested whether they were leakproof by filling them with water and shaking them at both the beginning and conclusion of testing. We tested storage, heating ability, staining, and odor retention by filling each container with chili, refrigerating it overnight, and then microwaving it until it was hot. We tested durability by washing each container 10 times and opening and closing it 100 times.

  • RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Glass Locking Lids Food Storage Containers, 20-Piece Set

    With a capacity of about 8 cups, the largest glass storage container in this 20-piece set did a good job of storing food and heating it evenly, thanks to its relatively broad and shallow shape. Its plastic lid didn’t stain, and while that lid retained faint odors after we used the vessel to store chili, those odors disappeared after a run through the dishwasher. Better still, it was completely leakproof, even after we opened and closed the container 100 times. If anything, the lid fits a little too tightly on the container, making it difficult to open and close without expending serious effort—one tester actually broke a nail trying to pry up the lid. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: HS0300 Price: $32.99 for 11 containers with lids Capacity of Largest Container: 8 cups Ovensafe: Yes, to 752°F Materials: Borosilicate glass, plastic lid with silicone gasket

     

  • RECOMMENDED

    OXO Good Grips 8 Cup Smart Seal Rectangle Container

    With a plastic lid that latched easily and securely and an airtight, leakproof seal that didn't drip or let moisture in, this container is our top choice for glass storage. Its ⅜-inch-wide soft, square silicone gasket was easy to remove for cleaning and to replace, and the faintly fishy odors it retained disappeared after rewashing. The plastic lid showed a slight orange tint after the chili test, but this faded as the container went through more dishwashing cycles. It also resisted warping and emerged intact at the end of testing. This 8-cup container, which looked like a glass loaf pan, held plenty of food, though we'd prefer a slightly flatter, wider shape to help foods heat and chill a bit more uniformly. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 11174000 Price: $14.99 Capacity: 8 cups Ovensafe: Yes, to 450ºF, preheated Materials: Borosilicate glass body, polypropylene lid, silicone gasket

     

  • RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Tritan 22 Piece (11 Containers and 11 Lids) Locking Food Storage Container - Clear

    The pieces in this 11-container set looked and performed almost identically to our favorite plastic storage containers by Rubbermaid. The largest piece had a nearly 11-cup capacity, and because it was relatively broad and shallow, it allowed chili to heat especially evenly. It resisted staining and was leakproof from the beginning to the end of testing. That said, with four separate latches on the lid, it was a little more finicky to open and close. And while the lid’s silicone gasket helped ensure a tight seal, it was set into the lid so deeply that it was hard to clean properly, and odors occasionally lingered, though they disappeared after a cycle in the dishwasher.
    [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 48537 Price: $34.99 for 11 containers with lids Capacity of Largest Container: 10.5 cups Material: Tritan 

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Container, Large, 9.6 Cup

    Our favorite container passed every test and looked good doing it. Its clear, lightweight Tritan plastic material stayed as clear and stain-free as glass, and its audibly snug seal didn't leak, even when we turned the container upside down and shook it hard. It held a generous amount of chili, and its low profile helped foods chill or heat up more evenly than did deeper containers. Microwaving chili was easy and neat, with lid vents that let you leave the container fully sealed while keeping splatters contained, and extended rims that stayed cool for easy handling. Its flat top made for secure, compact stacking in the fridge or freezer. One quibble: While we like that the gasket is attached so that we don't have to fuss with removing it, you do need to clean carefully under its open side, as some testers detected very slight fishy odors. It's also sold in sets of varying sizes. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 2024351 Price: $12.99 Capacity: 9.6 cups Material: Tritan 

     

Bottom Line:

If you don’t mind buying an entire set of containers instead of individual containers, both the glass and Tritan AmazonBasics storage container sets are reasonable and inexpensive alternatives to our winning glass and plastic storage containers, as they perform similarly. We still prefer our winners, though; models in both AmazonBasics sets were harder to open and close, and the Tritan models were a touch more finicky to clean as well.

AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole Skillet, 3.3-Quart vs. Le Creuset and Tramontina Braisers

We tested the AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole Skillet, 3.3-Quart against our winning and Best Buy braisers from Le Creuset and Tramontina. We tested the pan’s browning capabilities, performance in short and long braises, and how easy the pan was to lift and maneuver and used abuse tests to indicate its durability, including whacking the pan with a metal spoon 50 times and slamming its lid down 25 times. We also considered how easy the pan was to clean.

  • RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS

    AmazonBasics Enameled Cast Iron Covered Casserole Skillet, 3.3-Quart

    This pan browned well but unevenly and had small, square handles that were tough to grip. We consistently found that one side of the pan was hotter than the other, even when we changed burners. This was likely due to the pan’s thinness, which meant that it didn’t retain heat as evenly. The pan also had a smaller cooking surface than our top-rated braisers, so we weren’t able to fit the full quantity of chicken thighs in a recipe that serves four people. We appreciated the pan’s light-colored interior that made it easy to monitor browning; its lid’s large, easy-to-grip knob; and that it was easy to clean. The pan did not become damaged when we whacked it repeatedly with a wooden spoon, but we noticed some of the interior enamel did chip after we’d slammed its lid down 25 times. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: SX-33QTB Price: $48.49 Weight: 12.15 lb Thickness: .22 in Materials: Enameled cast iron, stainless steel Wall Height: 2.5 in Interior Color: Light Handle Dimensions: 1.25 x 2.75 in Cooking Surface Diameter: 9.25 in

     

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—WINNER

    Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 3.5-Quart Round Braiser

    Our top-ranked braiser had several features that contributed to a solid performance in test after test: a light interior that made it easy to monitor browning; a moderately thick bottom that helped ensure good heat retention and even browning; a generous cooking surface that fit every recipe without crowding; and large, comfortable looped handles and a stainless-steel lid knob that gave us a secure grip. This was especially important when the pan was heavy and full of hot food. While pricey, this versatile braiser made great food, was easy to use, and looked good enough to double as a serving dish. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: LS2532-305HSS Price: $299.95 Weight: 12 lb, ½ oz Thickness: .47 in Materials: Enameled cast iron, stainless steel Wall Height: 2.25 in Interior Color: Light Handle Dimensions: 1.8 x 4.25 in Cooking Surface Diameter: 10 in

     

  • RECOMMENDED—BEST BUY 

    Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Covered Braiser

    This pan performed just as well as our favorite braiser but had smaller handles that were tough to grasp. Because of its thicker cooking surface, it took a bit longer to heat up and to brown chicken thighs, but it also had the largest cooking surface area. It was easy to clean and withstood being whacked with a spoon and having its lid slammed down repeatedly. This pan delivered excellent results at a bargain price. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: 80131/050DS Price: $82.99 Weight: 13 lb, ⅛ oz Thickness: .56 in Materials: Enameled cast iron, stainless steel Wall Height: 2.3 in Interior Color: Light Handle Dimensions: 1.55 x 3.5 in Cooking Surface Diameter: 10.4 in

     

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics braiser browned unevenly and not as well as our winner or Best Buy. It also had smaller, tougher-to-grip handles and chipped when we slammed its lid down repeatedly.

AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls vs. Vollrath Economy Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

We tested the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls, Set of 3, with Lids against our winning stainless-steel mixing bowls from Vollrath. We evaluated the bowls’ stability on the counter while whisking; how comfortable it was to transfer ingredients between bowls; and how easy it was to whip, mix, stir, whisk, and fold in them. We also tested whether the small bowl fit comfortably in a small saucepan as a double boiler for melting chocolate over gently simmering water. Lastly, we tested the durability of the bowls by dropping them from a moderate height onto the counter and washing them 10 times.

  • RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls, Set of 3, with Lids

    These bowls are deep with tall sides, which meant that all our ingredients stayed in the bowls during our cooking tests. The drawback to those tall sides (especially those of the 3-quart and 5-quart bowls) is that we had to raise our arm into an awkward position above the rim to mix effectively. They're almost twice as heavy as our winning stainless-steel bowls but still much lighter than our winning glass bowls. Most importantly, the bowls remained fairly stable on the counter while we whisked. Their interiors had a few scratches and dings at the end of testing, but they were minor. Bonus: They come with tight-fitting lids, which remained sealed during testing. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: LFMB17001 Price: $22.45 Sold As: Three-bowl set Weights: 7½ oz (1½ qt), 11 oz (3 qt), 16¾ oz (5 qt) Material: Stainless steel Sizes Tested: 1½ qt, 3 qt, 5 qt

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Vollrath Economy Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

    The broad, shallow shape of these inexpensive bowls put food within easy reach and allowed for wide turns of a spatula. These were also the lightest bowls in our original lineup—the combined weight of all three that we tested was less than 1½ pounds—allowing us to comfortably lift, scrape, and pour. Although we had to buy these bowls individually to make a set, we’re happy to do so for such durable, sturdy, and comfortable bowls. [Buy on Amazon]

    Models: 1½ qt (model 47932), 3 qt (model 47933), 5 qt (model 47935) Prices: 1½ qt ($2.90), 3 qt ($4.50), 5 qt ($6.90) Sold As: Open stock Weights: 4⅝ oz (1½ qt), 6⅛ oz (3 qt), 8⅞ oz (5 qt) Material: Stainless steel Sizes Tested: 1½ qt, 3 qt, 5 qt

Bottom Line:

These AmazonBasics bowls were fairly stable on the counter during whisking and sat snugly in a small saucepan when melting chocolate. However, their tall sides—the large bowl stands nearly 2 inches taller than our winning large bowl—forced us to lift our arms to access the food more effectively. They’re not as light as our winners but are still lighter than our winning glass mixing bowls. We can recommend them.

AmazonBasics Air Fryer vs. the Philips Premium Airfryer

We tested the AmazonBasics 3.2 Quart Compact Multi-Functional Digital Air Fryer against our winning digital air fryer from Philips, using fresh copies of each machine to cook frozen french fries, homemade french fries, and chicken Parmesan. We rated each machine on its cooking, ease of use, size, and safety.

  • AmazonBasics 3.2 Quart Compact Multi Functional Digital Air Fryer

    RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics 3.2 Quart Compact Multi-Functional Digital Air Fryer

    The AmazonBasics air fryer is a decent option. It cooked food well and had a great touch-screen control panel that was easy to operate. It had a roomy drawer-style basket with a nonstick coating for easy cleanup. It was slightly larger than our winning model from Philips but still reasonably compact. Our only problem was that it smelled strongly of burning plastic the first time we used it; the smell dissipated over time and was very faint by the fifth use. While this made us concerned about fumes and durability, the machine performed admirably and showed no signs of breakage. At a third of the price of our winner, this machine is a great value. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: n/a Price: $81.71 Style: Drawer Height: 12.25 in Controls: Analog Maximum Width: 9.75 in Dishwasher-Safe: Yes Maximum Temperature: 400°F

  • Phillips Premium Airfryer with Fat Removal Technology

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    Philips Premium Airfryer with Fat Removal Technology

    This air fryer has a slim, compact footprint and shorter stature and thus took up less room on our counters than other air fryers we've tested. Its cooking basket was roomy enough for 1 pound of food and had a completely nonstick coating. We also liked that the bottom of the basket could be removed for even deeper cleaning, if needed. Its digital controls and dial-operated menu made setting the time and temperature easy and intuitive. It stopped cooking as soon as the set time was up, and its drawer-like design allowed us to remove food without exposing our hands to the heating element. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: HD9741/99 Price: $279.95 Style: Drawer Height: 11 in Controls: Digital Maximum Width: 9.3 in Dishwasher-Safe: Yes Maximum Temperature: 400°F

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics air fryer cooked food well, is relatively compact, and has an intuitive control panel. It smelled like burning plastic the first time we used it, but the scent dissipated over a number of uses. At a third of the price of our winning model, it’s a great value.

AmazonBasics Blade Coffee Grinder vs. Krups Coffee and Spice Grinder

We tested the AmazonBasics Blade Coffee Grinder against our winning blade grinder from Krups. We used it to grind enough coffee to make 1, 4, and 10 cups’ worth of coffee and tested its ability to grind to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies for different brew methods. We also looked at ease of use, capacity, and cleanup.

  • AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Coffee Bean Grinder

    RECOMMENDED

    AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Electric Coffee Bean Grinder

    This model was adept at grinding fine, medium, and coarse coffee and left no beans intact or only partially ground. However, its grind chamber was small and difficult to fill and empty neatly, especially when grinding larger amounts of beans; we spilled a dozen or so beans trying to load enough coffee for a full pot of coffee into the grinder. While it can accommodate 70 grams of coffee (enough for a full pot of 10 cups) if you really pack the beans in, this grinder functions best at a maximum of around 65 grams of coffee. We also liked that its button was easy to push down and is placed on the side of the grinder, making it easier to monitor the grinding through the lid for the most accurate grind. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: CG9402-UL Price: $17.41 Capacity: 65 g Blade Height: 6.1 mm

  • Krups Coffee and Spice Grinder

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED—WINNER

    Krups Coffee and Spice Grinder

    This grinder received top marks for its clean, relatively even grinding and simple, easy-to-use design. We particularly appreciated its wide, clear lid, which afforded us the best view of the grinding process, and we liked that its grind button was situated off to the side so that we didn't obscure the lid with our hands during grinding. Its grinding chamber was a roomy oval that provided a wide base, so we could cleanly load and empty the coffee. It held enough coffee beans to grind 70 grams of coffee, enough for a full 10-cup pot from our top-ranked coffee maker, and its low-lying blade ensured that no whole beans were left after grinding. It's also our favorite electric spice grinder. [Buy on Amazon]

    Model: F2034251 Price: $17.99 Capacity: 75 g Blade Height: 6.4 mm

Bottom Line:

The AmazonBasics model is an OK coffee grinder, but for less than a dollar more, our winning blade grinder by Krups provides neater and more precise grinding.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.