Our Editors Pick Their Top Tools

Our test cooks and editors tell us what kitchen equipment they can’t live without.

O

ver the years, we’ve tested thousands of products and have equipped our kitchens with the winners. From the smallest gadgets to our largest appliances, these products have made us better, more efficient cooks. We’re also commemorating our 25th anniversary with a new cookbook, Cook’s Illustrated Revolutionary Recipes. It contains 180 of our most groundbreaking recipes—now with gorgeous full-color photography—along with practical tips, tricks, and original essays.

– Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, ATK Reviews

“This is my entertaining pot for stews and braises, my soup pot, my pasta cooker, and my deep fryer. It's even my bread baker. Yes, this pot costs a pretty penny, but it will last a lifetime. I fully expect my children to inherit this kitchen workhorse. And don't worry girls, we own two. That's how much your mother and I love this pot.” - Jack Bishop, Chief Creative Officer

  More on this test

“I would say, although very simple, the tool I use most is a pair of tongs. They become an extension of my arm and do everything from help me lift hot foods in and out of a hot pan to holding something sturdy on a cutting board as I slice it.” -Ashley Moore, Food Stylist, America's Test Kitchen

  More on this test

“I love that they're the kind of tool that would make as big a difference in a college kid's kitchen as it would in a professional's. I love that they never topple over, no matter how much you load them up with steaming pasta, and that they sit high enough that there's no "backwash" from water from a clogged drain.” -Amanda Agee, Executive Director, Cook’s Illustrated

  More on this test

“I adore our winning tortilla warmer. It will keep tortillas hot and soft for hours. I especially love it because you can toast up all your tortillas first and then finish preparing the rest of your meal while they sit, and they'll still be nice and warm and ready whenever you are.” -Hannah Crowley, Executive Editor, ATK Reviews

  More on this test

“Paella pans: not just for paella! Our winner is the one piece of cookware I'd take with me to a desert island. You can use it on the stovetop, in the oven, or on the grill. Its large size and superior heat retention make it great for for recipes where you want a lot of surface area for browning-- fried rice or pan-roasted asparagus, for example. You can treat it as sort of a flat-top griddle, to make pancakes or burgers or quesadillas. You can roast meats or vegetables in it, with room to spare. I've even used mine to fry chicken. And it's gorgeous to boot. (Just season it well and treat it nicely afterwards!)” -Miye Bromberg, Senior Editor, ATK Reviews

  More on this test

"I used to think a mini offset spatula was only intended to frost cakes. But then one night I found how perfect it was for flipping seared scallops and my kitchen life changed forever. Now I call on this delightful tool to turn omelets, loosen cakes from pans, AND frost them. Just taking it out of the drawer makes me happy." -Anne Bartholomew, Senior Product Manager

  More on this test

"A good cast iron pan can't be beat. It's perfect for frying eggs, roasting chicken, searing steak, charring Brussels spouts or greens, and so many other things. If you take care of it, a cast iron pan will last forever. And even if you accidentally let it get rusty or lose its seasoning, don't despair. You can bring it make it good as new again with a little TLC." -Liz Bomze, Managing Editor, Cook's Illustrated

  More on this test