Holidays at Home with Elle

As Elle proves, cooking and hosting at the holidays is often much easier than you think.

Elle Simone Scott is a culinary rock star. A typical day at America’s Test Kitchen might find her filming a video for our Online Cooking School, recording audio for a podcast, or food styling at a photoshoot. She’s also the founder of SheChef, a non-profit organization that connects women of color in the food industry with mentors and support. With so much on her plate (pun intended), how does she pull off a successful holiday spread?First, Elle swears by test kitchen–approved equipment. Our favorite small slow cooker is a “holiday saving grace” that frees up her stovetop for other fixin’s. Elle also relies on our top-rated electric kettle to continue her holiday tradition of serving tea to the family and friends coming by. You can find more equipment recommendations and all of Elle’s segments from the America’s Test Kitchen television show by purchasing an All-Access Membership.

"I could go on and on about why I love the Joule sous vide machine. To start, its size makes it easy to store and it has a magnetic base that allows it to stand on its own in metal pots. The Joule makes my traditional holiday deviled egg prep so easy because I can make my eggs in advance in large batches and know that they will cook perfectly." -ESS  More on this test

"This magical kitchen tool is a real time saver. I remember watching my grandmother standing over her gravy and skimming the fat off with a spoon. It was painstakingly time consuming but her gravy was worth the wait. Gifting her this fat separator was, as she used to say, “the best way to save the day.” No more skimming, the Fat Separator does all the work for you." -ESS  More on this test

"I always have a rotation of family and friends coming by during the holidays and it’s my tradition to offer them a warm beverage such as cider or tea so keeping this electric kettle full and ready to brew is practical and tactical. Having hot water on standby for holiday cooking is essential as well. It also takes up zero stovetop space and has an automatic shutoff feature, whistle not included." -ESS  More on this test

"Two things that do not go together are cookbooks and messy hands. If you’re anything like me, you treasure your cookbooks and want to keep them in the best shape possible. This cookbook holder makes that possible. Having your recipe handy is the first step to creating a spectacular meal, but it’s even better when your cookbook holder is keeping it safe. It’s my best friend in the kitchen." -ESS  More on this test

"I’m an avid coffee drinker and my friends often bring me beans from their magnificent travels, so grinding my own beans has become a weekly routine. This grinder offers a variety of settings so you can determine your own grind texture and it’s also nifty for grinding fresh herbs, which is a must for me during holiday cooking." -ESS  More on this test

"One of my old favorite kitchen tools was a citrus juicer given to me by a fellow cook who was from Mexico, gifted to him by one of his chefs. It was metal, slightly heavy and very sturdy. I think I used it until the hinges loosened. It was such a generous gift and I didn’t want to get rid of it because I doubted I’d find one that was as effective. When I started using the FreshForce juicer I was pleasantly surprised by how sturdy it was and how well it juiced; it’s also a beautiful bright color!" -ESS  More on this test