Skip to main content

Get instant access to everything. 2-Week Free Trial

Make 2021 the year of “Why not?” in the kitchen with Digital All Access. Get all our recipes, videos, and up-to-date ratings and cook anything with confidence.

Get Free Access ▸

The Cook’s Illustrated Test Cooks’ Favorite Equipment in Their Home Kitchens

By Danielle Lapierre Published

The pieces of equipment our test cooks turn to time and time again.

Every home cook has a favorite piece of equipment in their kitchen. Whether it’s a special knife, a go-to pan, or that trusty food processor, certain items just make us feel more comfortable while we cook. 

Between cooking for themselves and developing recipes, our test cooks and editors are cooking at home more than ever. In this video, a few of them share their favorite kitchen tools, from helpful gadgets to tried-and-true staples that every kitchen needs.  

     

Featured Equipment

  • Rosle Wire Skimmer

    Dan Souza's Favorite Tool: Spider Skimmer 
    Dan loves his wire spider skimmer because of its big basket and its ability to scoop whatever he is cooking out of boiling water or hot oil. Our winning spider skimmer is the Rösle Wire Skimmer which boasts a long handle and well-balanced design. [BUY NOW]

  • Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet

    Another Dan Favorite: Eighth-Sheet Pan
    Dan loves this small pan because it’s perfect for resting his utensils on as he cooks, keeping his kitchen counter nice and clean. For a slightly bigger version, our winning quarter sheet pan, the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet’s small size is also perfect for baking small batches of cookies or making meals for parties of one or two. [BUY NOW]

  • Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4

    Becky Hays' Favorite Tool: Instant-Read Thermometer
    If you cook often, having a food thermometer is a must in any home kitchen. Becky loves our winning instant-read thermometer, the Thermoworks Thermapen Mk4, because it helps take the guesswork out of cooking and is perfect for frying, baking, and grilling. [BUY NOW]

  • Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8 Inch Chef’s Knife

    Lan Lam’s Favorite Tool: Chef’s Knife
    Every cook knows that when you have a knife that feels comfortable in your hand, your confidence increases tenfold in the kitchen. Our winning chef’s knife, the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8” Chef’s Knife, will gives you that feeling thanks to its solid blade and its comfortable textured grip. [BUY NOW]

  • Pyrex 1 Cup, 2 Cup, and 4 Cup Measuring Cups

    Steve Dunn’s Favorite Tool: Liquid Measuring Cup
    Having accurate measuring devices in your kitchen is a must if you want to avoid disaster. This is why Steve turns to his favorite liquid measuring cups when cooking. Our favorite liquid measuring cups, the Pyrex 1 Cup, 2 Cup, and 4 Cup Measuring Cups, are staples in kitchens everywhere for good reason. Their accurate and easy-to-read markings make them easy to use, and they’ll last for years. [BUY NOW]

  • Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan, 11 7/8 Inch

    Andrea Geary’s Favorite Tool: Carbon-Steel Skillet
    There’s a reason these trusty skillets are a chef’s secret weapon. These pans are extremely versatile. They’re perfect for searing steaks, sautéing onions, and cooking eggs. Andrea has used hers so much, it is perfectly seasoned, and is now practically nonstick. Our winner, the Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Round Frying Pan, 11 7/8" has it all: solid construction, a comfortable handle, sides that are the perfect height, and a smooth interior. [BUY NOW]

  • Dexter-Russell 6 Inch Dough Cutter/Scraper—Sani-Safe Series

    Annie Petito’s Favorite Tool: Bench Scraper
    A simple little tool, you wouldn’t always think about this as a favorite. But its convenience and versatility makes it Annie’s go-to. It’s perfect for cutting dough, scraping off batters, and scooping vegetables off of your cutting board. Our winner, the Dexter-Russell 6" Dough Cutter/Scraper—Sani-Safe Series, has a handle that’s easy to hold on to, and boasts a deeply beveled edge that was perfect for cutting and scraping. [BUY NOW]

  • Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12 Inch

    Paul Adams’s Favorite Tool: Cast-Iron Skillet
    Paul loves his cast-iron skillet due to its versatility—in particular, its remarkable ability to make pizza. Cast iron is also very durable, and almost indestructible. Like a fine wine, these pans get better with age. Our winner, the Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12" is a wonderful piece of equipment to have thanks to its affordable price, large size, sturdiness, and the fact that it comes pre-seasoned. [BUY NOW]

Leave a comment and join the conversation!

0 Comments
Read & post comments with a free account
Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors.
First Name is Required
Last Name is Required
Email Address is Required
How we use your email?
Password is Required
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.