Welcome to the Kitchen, Kids!

Do you know a budding young chef? Here's the equipment that will help them perfect their craft.


e’re welcoming the next generation of cooks into the kitchen! Our team has been hard at work developing recipes and educational activities to help kids become more curious, engaged, and confident cooks and eaters. A big part of that is finding equipment that’s safe and comfortable for kids to use. With the help of young testers, we found some kid-size kitchen essentials. Our winning children’s oven mitts, the Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Oven Mitts, are sized just right for small hands and offer great protection from heat. Our winning chef’s knife for older kids, the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 6" Chef's Knife, makes clean cuts and has a comfortable, easy-to-grip handle. Our winning peeler for younger kids, the Le Petit Chef Peeler by Opinel, has a finger ring that helps kids control the peeler and keeps their fingers away from the blade. Don’t forget about The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs. Whether kids want to learn basic knife safety and skills, cook breakfast for the whole family, or bake an amazing dessert, this book has it all.

100+ Recipes That You'll Love to Cook and Eat!

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs

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While these short, colorful mitts didn't provide the same forearm coverage as our favorite pair, all our kid testers found them comfortable and maneuverable. Though the company does not recommend that kids use the oven or stove while wearing the mitts, this pair stayed cool for more than 30 seconds when we put them to work with a 350-degree baking sheet. They were also perfectly safe for moderately hot tasks such as putting cookie sheets into the oven or holding on to a warm pan while transferring food to a platter or cooling rack.  More on this test

The smaller sibling of our favorite 8-inch chef's knife, this model was especially popular with our 12- and 13-year-old testers. It's an excellent knife that's sized just right for them. Its blade is sharp, so it never surprised our testers by bouncing off food. Kids reported that it made “good, clean cuts” through fibrous celery and that they “liked the blade a lot.” It had a comfortable, grippy handle that made the children feel safe and in control.  More on this test

Our old winner impressed our 8- and 9-year-old testers. Its wooden handle has a small, round finger hole that encourages kids to hold it safely and securely. The children said that it helped them get a “good grip” on the knife. It comes with a plastic finger guard, which shields the fingers on the hand securing the food. (We did not have children test the guard.) The knife's rounded tip protects kids from accidental nicks, and our testers liked that the blade “felt sharp” enough to cut through all foods with ease.  More on this test

This little OXO skillet bested the rest for three simple reasons: superior nonstick ability, a comfortable handle, and a nicely shaped body. It cruised through 50 eggs at the beginning and end of testing, indicating a slick, durable nonstick coating. Testers found its rounded, brushed-steel handle “grippy” and liked that it gave “options for where to hold.” Construction-wise, it was “lightweight but sturdy” and perfectly balanced, making it especially pleasing to cook with.  More on this test

This fairly thin, lightweight plastic model—a smaller version of our Best Buy full-size cutting board—was easy to hold and lift but was also stable on the counter thanks to its grippy rubber sides. It’s dishwasher-safe, and while it got a bit scratched by the end of testing, it was otherwise intact, resisting warping, cracking, or staining and retaining no odors. Testers liked cutting on its textured plastic surface and appreciated that one of its sides had a small trench for collecting juices from roasts or wet foods.   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

With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, this whisk was like an extension of a hand. It whipped cream and egg whites quickly, thanks to 10 wires that were thin enough to move through the liquid quickly but thick enough to push through heavy mixtures and blend pan sauces to smoothness.  More on this test

Seamless silicone surrounds a sturdy polymer core, making this spatula easy to clean and comfortable in hand. The flexible head handily maneuvers in tight corners and edges but is strong enough to scoop heavy food. It’s also available in a mini version, perfect for petite jars.   More on this test

Our new favorite 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 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, in varying sizes.  More on this test

This easy-to-store, flat grater made shredding a breeze, thanks to big, sharp holes; a large surface for better efficiency; and a solid, rigid frame that enabled continuous grating (rather than short bursts). It fit over medium and large bowls, or test­ers could hold the grater at any suitable angle; grippy rubber feet stuck securely to the work surface. Since most recipes call for coarse shreds—and we have a rasp-style grater for fine grating—we don’t mind that it grates only in one size.  More on this test

Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. Its wide, shallow bowls were easy to hold, fill, empty, and clean. They can be used in the microwave and the oven. While the bowls in this set were the only ones to break when dropped, the heaviness of the glass with which they’re made makes it unlikely that they’ll easily fly off the counter.  More on this test