40 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Unsalted Butter
Unsalted Butter
For everyday cooking and baking, which unsalted butter is best? We tested seven …
Published: November 2018
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Cocoa Powder
Cocoa Powder
The big debate in cocoa powder has always been Dutch-processed versus natural. I…
Published: May 2018
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Dry Vermouth
Dry Vermouth
Could we find a bottle that would do double duty for cooking and cocktails?
Published: November 2017
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…
Published: March 2017
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Cinnamon
Cinnamon
Labels touting origin imply there’s more to this standby spice than there once …
Published: November 2016
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Beef Broth
Beef Broth
Commercial beef broths contain almost no beef. So what exactly are these product…
Published: January 2016
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Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup
Maple syrup continues to be produced on small farms in the same low-tech way tha…
Published: September 2015
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
In recent years, Italy has created a new set of guidelines for mass-produced bal…
Published: July 2015
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Dijon Mustard
Dijon Mustard
What traits guarantee a Dijon mustard that packs a wallop of clean heat and bala…
Published: March 2015
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Mexican Lagers
Mexican Lagers
We sampled the four best-selling imported Mexican lagers plain and cooked in dru…
Published: January 2015
Vegetarian Broth
Vegetarian Broth
More vegetables, better broth? We tasted a slew of products and discovered that,…
Published: January 2015
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Five-Spice Powder
Five-Spice Powder
We tested six brands of five-spice powder to determine which really delivered an…
Published: May 2014
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Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
It’s easy to find a great snacking chocolate. But cooking is different: Choosing…
Published: November 2013
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Chicken Broth
Chicken Broth
Just about every broth in the supermarket amounts to a science project of flavor…
Published: July 2013
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Supermarket Whipped Toppings
Supermarket Whipped Toppings
Are supermarket whipped toppings any good?
Published: April 2016
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Vanilla Beans
Vanilla Beans
For custard-based recipes in which vanilla is the star, we’ve found that vanill…
Published: July 2011
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Whole-Wheat Flour
Whole-Wheat Flour
If you thought all whole-wheat flours are created equal, you were wrong.
Published: March 2011
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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 …
Published: January 2011
All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oil should stay behind the scenes, whether you’re baking, sautéing, or…
Published: March 2010
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Spiral-Sliced Ham
Spiral-Sliced Ham
Spiral-sliced ham is an easy and elegant holiday centerpiece. But not all hams …
Published: December 2016
Bread Crumbs
Bread Crumbs
Two styles of bread crumbs and seven determined contenders. The battle for big c…
Published: December 2013
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Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mellow, punchy, sweet, subtle: Could we find a cider vinegar that has it all?
Published: October 2016
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Cranberry Sauce
Cranberry Sauce
This traditional Thanksgiving condiment is often an afterthought. What factors c…
Published: May 2020
Sherry
Sherry
In the test kitchen, we use sherry in a variety of recipes. Does it matter what …
Published: October 2012
Graham Crackers
Graham Crackers
We tasted three top-selling national brands to see which came out on top.
Published: June 2011
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Ice Cream Bars
Ice Cream Bars
Is it the vanilla ice cream or the milk chocolate coating that matters most?
Published: June 2011
Golden Raisins
Golden Raisins
When a recipe calls for golden raisins, your choices are surprisingly limited. B…
Published: April 2011
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Ground Ginger
Ground Ginger
Since ginger is often used in combination with other spices, would it matter whi…
Published: February 2011
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Yellow Cake Mixes
Yellow Cake Mixes
Can any come close to homemade?
Published: December 2006
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Packaged Stuffing (Stovetop Stuffing Mixes)
Packaged Stuffing (Stovetop Stuffing Mixes)
In just 10 minutes, you can have a side dish for a holiday roast or weeknight di…
Published: October 2018
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Mail-Order King Cakes
Mail-Order King Cakes
Even if you're not in New Orleans, you can still get an authentic taste of Mardi…
Published: February 2018
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…
Published: October 2017
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Milk Chocolate Chips
Milk Chocolate Chips
Most of us associate milk chocolate with supermarket candy bars and foil-wrapped…
Published: October 2017
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All-Beef Hot Dogs
All-Beef Hot Dogs
We ate hundreds of hot dogs to unlock the mystery of this classic summertime sau…
Published: June 2016
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Baking Powder
Baking Powder
We always assumed all baking powders were created equal. Boy, were we wrong.
Published: December 2015
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