Pantry Items

113 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Unsweetened Chocolate
Published: January 2019
Unsweetened Chocolate
Plain-Jane unsweetened chocolate may not inspire the same passion as our favorit…
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Vanilla
Published: January 2019
Vanilla
Cyclones, theft, petrochemicals, market swings—vanilla is anything but boring. W…
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Crunchy Peanut Butter
Published: November 2018
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Ever wonder how many peanut pieces are actually in a jar of crunchy peanut butte…
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Dry Vermouth
Published: November 2017
Dry Vermouth
Could we find a bottle that would do double duty for cooking and cocktails?
Tahini
Published: September 2017
Tahini
Finding the best tahini can be a real grind.
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White Wine Vinegar
Published: July 2017
White Wine Vinegar
Versatility can seem boring, but it’s an asset for this pantry staple.
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Single-Varietal White Wine Vinegars
Published: June 2017
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Single-Varietal White Wine Vinegars
Some markets now carry wine vinegars made from a specific variety of wine, such …
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Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Published: March 2017
Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
High-end extra-virgin olive oils offer a world of flavor beyond grocery-store op…
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Vegan Mayonnaise
Published: January 2017
Vegan Mayonnaise
Vegan mayo can’t be very good, can it? Read on for a shocking surprise.
Almond Butter
Published: July 2016
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Almond Butter
The best almond butter contains more than just ground almonds.
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Sherry Vinegar
Published: May 2016
Sherry Vinegar
The woodsy yet vibrant taste of sherry vinegar makes it such a standout that it …
Beef Broth
Published: January 2016
Beef Broth
Commercial beef broths contain almost no beef. So what exactly are these product…
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Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Published: November 2015
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Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
We tasted five white, and nine multigrain gluten-free sandwich breads to see if …
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Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Published: November 2015
Supermarket Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Often dull or even rancid-tasting, supermarket olive oils never seem to live up …
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Maple Syrup
Published: September 2015
Maple Syrup
Maple syrup continues to be produced on small farms in the same low-tech way tha…
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
Published: July 2015
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
In recent years, Italy has created a new set of guidelines for mass-produced bal…
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Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
Published: January 2015
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Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
Finding a low-sodium vegetable broth worth using is more difficult than it sound…
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Vegetarian Broth
Published: January 2015
Vegetarian Broth
More vegetables, better broth? We tasted a slew of products and discovered that,…
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Apricot Preserves
Published: November 2014
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Apricot Preserves
We tasted five top-selling products plain and in our Cook's Illustrated French A…
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Chicken Broth
Published: July 2013
Chicken Broth
Just about every broth in the supermarket amounts to a science project of flavor…
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High-End Barbecue Sauces
Published: July 2013
High-End Barbecue Sauces
We put four small-batch, mail-order barbecue sauces to the test against our supe…
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Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives
Published: May 2013
Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives
Pimento-stuffed green olives aren’t just for martinis.
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Hottest Hot Sauces
Published: May 2012
Hottest Hot Sauces
What good is hot sauce so scorching you can't even taste it?
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Canned Whole Tomatoes
Published: March 2012
Canned Whole Tomatoes
When it comes to the best canned tomatoes, is Italian pedigree the determining f…
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Oyster Crackers
Published: January 2012
Oyster Crackers
Many people enjoy oyster crackers simply for snacking, but they were originally …
Red Wine Vinegar
Published: January 2011
Red Wine Vinegar
Does aging make a difference in vinegar, or does it all boil down to the grapes …
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Published: July 2010
Canned Diced Tomatoes
When most brands garner comments like “sour, old, sad,” we just had to ask: Wha…
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Corn Tostadas
Published: March 2010
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Corn Tostadas
Could a store-bought tostada hold a candle to homemade?
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All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
Published: March 2010
All-Purpose Vegetable Oils
Vegetable oil should stay behind the scenes, whether you’re baking, sautéing, or…
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California Extra-Virgin Olive Oils
Published: September 2009
California Extra-Virgin Olive Oils
California growers have spent the last two decades developing extra-virgin olive…
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Quick Oats
Published: July 2009
Quick Oats
For emergencies only?
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Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine)
Published: May 2009
Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine)
This Japanese rice wine has a subtle salty-sweet flavor prized in Asian marinade…
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Tomato Puree
Published: March 2009
Tomato Puree
Does the brand really matter?
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Applesauce
Published: March 2009
Applesauce
Our runaway favorite contains a surprising ingredient.
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Supermarket Capers
Published: January 2009
Supermarket Capers
We tasted six nationally available supermarket brands of brined non-pareil caper…
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Sweet Paprika
Published: November 2008
Sweet Paprika
The best versions of this renowned Hungarian spice pack a punch that goes beyond…