Make Springtime Entertaining a Breeze

When you have friends and family over, you deserve to enjoy the party with your guests—not get stuck in the kitchen.

This week, we have all the tools and tricks you’ll need to make entertaining feel effortless. Be sure to check out our online cooking school class Feeding a Crowd. You’ll learn essential skills and techniques that will simplify entertaining and help you impress your guests without the stress. Plus, you’ll find some of our favorite recipes for entertaining. At your next party, you’ll be able to truly enjoy the time (and spectacular food) with the people you love.

Tasters agreed that this long, tubelike aerator, which resembles a cigarette holder, made the impact on wine. It brought out “fruity flavors” and a “pronounced floral” aroma. The device slides into the neck of the bottle, leaving only a pouring spout, for neat, hands-free aerating.  More on this test

"The sweet spot was 15 pounds: heavy enough to be stable but not so ponderous that it was difficult to lift." -Miye Bromberg, on heavy-duty cutting boards

Our old favorite wins again: Its smooth, medium-hard, reversible teak surface provided plenty of room to work, was a pleasure to cut on, and required the least maintenance. It was light enough to lift comfortably (especially since it had finger grips on the sides) but heavy enough to be stable for most tasks, though a few users noted that it wobbled occasionally. It picked up some knife scars but was otherwise highly durable, resisting cracking, warping, and staining, thanks to naturally oily resins that helped condition the board. And it's a stunner: Sleek, elegant, and richly colored, it was, as one tester noted, “less like a Toyota and more like a Corvette.”  More on this test

These precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. They're also sized just right to slide easily into a standard rimmed baking sheet, although we did have to use two overlapping sheets when rolling jelly roll cakes into coils. Their superior convenience made them the runaway favorite. Don't let the purchase price distract you: The per-sheet cost falls squarely in the middle of our lineup.  More on this test

The shorter version of our favorite 12-inch tongs, this model easily picked up foods of all shapes and sizes—from dainty blueberries to a hefty jar of salsa—and was extremely comfortable to operate. The uncoated, scalloped stainless-steel tips allowed us a precise grip, making it especially easy to lift and arrange thinly sliced fruit, and the tongs' locking mechanism was smooth and intuitive.  More on this test

This wheel did it all—it was comfortable to hold and allowed for a powerful grip. Its streamlined design didn’t trap food, and it still looked brand new after 10 rounds in the dishwasher. Its blade was sharp and visible for precise, straight cuts. The blade was tall, too, at 4 inches, so it rolled right over stacked toppings and towering crusts with ease.  More on this test