38 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Dry Vermouth
Dry Vermouth
Could we find a bottle that would do double duty for cooking and cocktails?
Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
High-end extra-virgin olive oils offer a world of flavor beyond grocery-store op…
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Cinnamon
Cinnamon
Labels touting origin imply there’s more to this standby spice than there once …
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Beef Broth
Beef Broth
Commercial beef broths contain almost no beef. So what exactly are these product…
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Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Often dull or even rancid-tasting, supermarket olive oils never seem to live up …
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Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
In recent years, Italy has created a new set of guidelines for mass-produced bal…
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Dijon Mustard
Dijon Mustard
What traits guarantee a Dijon mustard that packs a wallop of clean heat and bala…
Vegetarian Broth
Vegetarian Broth
More vegetables, better broth? We tasted a slew of products and discovered that,…
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Whole-Wheat Flour
Whole-Wheat Flour
If you thought all whole-wheat flours are created equal, you were wrong.
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Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
It’s easy to find a great snacking chocolate. But cooking is different: Choosing…
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Chicken Broth
Chicken Broth
Just about every broth in the supermarket amounts to a science project of flavor…
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Supermarket Cocoa Powder
Supermarket Cocoa Powder
These days cocoa powder fetches anywhere from $7 to nearly $24 per pound. But is…
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Sherry
Sherry
In the test kitchen, we use sherry in a variety of recipes. Does it matter what …
Unsalted Butter
Unsalted Butter
When it comes to butter, whether or not a brand is a fancy, high-fat European st…
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Vanilla Beans
Vanilla Beans
For custard-based recipes in which vanilla is the star, we’ve found that vanill…
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Graham Crackers
Graham Crackers
We tasted three top-selling national brands to see which came out on top.
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Ground Ginger
Ground Ginger
Since ginger is often used in combination with other spices, would it matter whi…
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Red Wine Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Does aging make a difference in vinegar, or does it all boil down to the grapes …
Unsweetened Chocolate
Unsweetened Chocolate
With no added sugar or dairy, 100 percent pure chocolate can be a clear route to…
Salt
Salt
Food magazines and celebrity chefs are touting the flavor of gourmet salts that …
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All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oil should stay behind the scenes, whether you’re baking, sautéing, or…
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Vanilla Extract
Vanilla Extract
In the battle of pure versus imitation extracts, could we declare a winner?
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Black Peppercorns
Black Peppercorns
You only use a grind or two on your food, so does it really matter what brand of…
Refrigerator Biscuits
Refrigerator Biscuits
Pillsbury has cornered the market on refrigerator biscuits, but how do you choos…
Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crusts
Ready-Made Graham Cracker Crusts
When a homemade crumb crust isn’t an option, is a store-bought crust an acceptab…
Milk Chocolate Chips
Milk Chocolate Chips
Most of us associate milk chocolate with supermarket candy bars and foil-wrapped…
Spiral-Sliced Ham
Spiral-Sliced Ham
Spiral-sliced ham is an easy and elegant holiday centerpiece. But not all hams …
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mellow, punchy, sweet, subtle: Could we find a cider vinegar that has it all?
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Supermarket Whipped Toppings
Supermarket Whipped Toppings
Are supermarket whipped toppings any good?
Baking Powder
Baking Powder
We always assumed all baking powders were created equal. Boy, were we wrong.
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Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Shredding cheese is time-consuming. Is there an acceptable shortcut even skeptic…
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Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup
Maple syrup continues to be produced on small farms in the same low-tech way tha…
Supermarket Honey
Supermarket Honey
To find the best supermarket honey, we selected five top-selling honeys—three tr…
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Frozen Dinner Rolls
Frozen Dinner Rolls
When there isn't time to make fresh dinner rolls, the frozen variety can be a te…
Salted Butter
Salted Butter
There are plenty of butters out there. Could we find one worth its salt?
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