Prepared Foods

42 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Firm Tofu
Firm Tofu
Check the nutrition label for a clue about your tofu’s texture.
Published: January 2017
Prepared Pesto
Prepared Pesto
We scooped up seven traditional basil pestos (also called pesto Genovese), price…
Published: March 2016
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Fish Sauce
Fish Sauce
We gathered five products from grocery stores and Asian markets and sampled the…
Published: September 2015
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Apricot Preserves
Apricot Preserves
We tasted five top-selling products plain and in our Cook's Illustrated French A…
Published: November 2014
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Processed Artichoke Hearts
Processed Artichoke Hearts
With so many options on the market, selecting a brand of processed artichoke hea…
Published: July 2014
Supermarket Hummus
Supermarket Hummus
This creamy chickpea spread has gone from health food obscurity to the No. 1 ref…
Published: January 2013
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Supermarket Cheese Ravioli
Supermarket Cheese Ravioli
Store-bought cheese ravioli offer convenience, but would any pass muster?
Published: January 2012
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Applesauce
Applesauce
Our runaway favorite contains a surprising ingredient.
Published: March 2012
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Crushed Tomatoes
Crushed Tomatoes
Sometimes smooth like puree and sometimes chock-full of chunks, crushed tomatoe…
Published: January 2017
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Soy Sauce
Soy Sauce
Savory, fragrant, umami-rich soy sauce is a staple in American kitchens. But ch…
Published: September 2016
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Hamburger Buns
Hamburger Buns
Which burger bun is the best?
Published: October 2015
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Ready-Made Pie Crusts
Ready-Made Pie Crusts
We have high standards for pastry pie crust. Is there a supermarket option that …
Published: October 2017
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Frozen Sausage Breakfast Links
Frozen Sausage Breakfast Links
What makes great breakfast sausage? We link it all together.
Published: October 2014
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Supermarket Tortellini
Supermarket Tortellini
Is store-bought tortellini any good?
Published: April 2012
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Boxed Brownie Mixes
Boxed Brownie Mixes
Do any come close to homemade?
Published: December 2008
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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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Frozen Straight-Cut French Fries
Frozen Straight-Cut French Fries
Homemade fries are not usually an option for weeknight cooking—but was there a f…
Published: April 2013
Blue Cheese Dressing
Blue Cheese Dressing
Was it too much to ask for a blue cheese dressing that was thick, creamy, and ac…
Published: October 2013
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Ice Cream Cones
Ice Cream Cones
We tasted five supermarket sugar cones and waffle cones (after much debate, we d…
Published: September 2013
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Graham Crackers
Graham Crackers
We tasted three top-selling national brands to see which came out on top.
Published: October 2011
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Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Cheese
We tasted 25 boxed and frozen versions of mostly clumpy, gloppy, wimpy mac and c…
Published: February 2013
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Pancake Mixes
Pancake Mixes
What’s the secret to the best from-the-box pancakes? Here’s a hint: They don’t m…
Published: May 2013
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English Muffins
English Muffins
Are there real differences among the four major national brands of English muffi…
Published: February 2013
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Jarred Hot Salsas
Jarred Hot Salsas
Are hot salsas better than mild?
Published: September 2012
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Mail-Order Brownies
Mail-Order Brownies
Got a chocolate craving? Discover the top mail-order brownies.
Published: April 2011
Frozen Waffles
Frozen Waffles
One brand beat out seven other contestants.
Published: March 2012
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Bottled Teriyaki Sauce
Bottled Teriyaki Sauce
A good bottled sauce can be a timesaver, but could we find a balance between sal…
Published: March 2020
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Meat-Free Burgers
Meat-Free Burgers
New meatless burgers are revolutionizing the food world. Can they satisfy both v…
Published: January 2020
Strawberry Spreads
Strawberry Spreads
We tasted six preserves, jams, jellies, and spreads and found that only one prod…
Published: July 2019
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Ready-to-Bake Biscuits
Ready-to-Bake Biscuits
Are ready-to-bake biscuits any good?
Published: December 2018
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: August 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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Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Ice cream flavors abound, but chocolate remains a perennial favorite. We wanted …
Published: August 2017
Bottled Barbecue Sauce
Bottled Barbecue Sauce
Last year Americans spent more than $700 million on supermarket barbecue sauce. …
Published: June 2017
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100% Whole-Wheat Bread
100% Whole-Wheat Bread
The labels on whole-wheat bread can be perplexing. We set out to clear up the co…
Published: February 2017