If there's one thing I don't mind spending money on it's kitchen gear. Because I know (and, I'm guessing, so do you) that having the right tools and gadgets makes cooking, cleaning, and just general time spent in the kitchen so much better.
Unsurprisingly, I have my favorite kitchen buys of the year at the top of mind...always. Which is why I asked my fellow Serious Eats editors: what was their favorite kitchen-related purchase in 2022? Here's what they had to say.
Vitamix 5200 Professional-Grade Blender
After working at Serious Eats for a year and reading about how great the Vitamix 5200 is more times than I can count (seriously, we've recommended it since 2014 when Kenji first tested it), I finally bought it. And it's truly the most powerful blender I've owned: its tapered blending jar pulls ingredients down into its blades, producing a vortex that yields super-smooth sauces, smoothies, soups, etc. In this era of smart kitchen gear, I love how simple it is to use, too: its no-frills control panel features just two switches and a speed dial. — Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, commerce editor
(Price at time of publish: $428.)
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
While I haven't technically received this coffee grinder yet, I know my mom bought it for me for Christmas because I sent it to her and said "I want this for Christmas!" and she replied "Done." Jesse Raub, our commerce writer and in-house coffee expert (he worked in the speciality coffee industry for 16 years), really sold me on Baratza after explaining that the burrs of burr grinders—like anything blade-like—wear down over time and need to be replaced. Not all manufacturers allow you to do this, but Baratza does and I'm all for companies that truly value the longevity of their products. I can't wait to get my hands on the grinder and immediately put it to use. — Riddley
(Price at time of publish: $170.)
Tojiro F-737 Bread Slicer
I got this bread knife as a gift from Riddley when I started working here, and my partner and I were immediately impressed with how dang sharp it was (he was so impressed, he just kept slicing up bread for the pure pleasure of it). But then, I brought the knife to my backyard wedding to slice up some crusty loaves, and it disappeared (if I’m honest, it was a rowdy night, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a guest took it home as a wedding favor “by accident”). So I cut my losses and bought another one, which I will protect with my life. — Grace Kelly, associate commerce editor
(Price at time of publish: $25.)
OXO Bench Scraper
After editing this review on bench scrapers, I immediately purchased our winner from OXO. It's phenomenal! For years, I had a bench scraper with a rough wooden handle I dreaded using because it just didn't feel great. The OXO has a squishy, comfortable, rounded handle and measurements on its blade (helpful when, say, slicing gnocchi). It's also dishwasher-safe! Truly nothing to complain about and a great last-minute stocking stuffer, if you ask me. — Riddley
(Price at time of publish: $12.)Continue to 5 of 11 below.
Weber Original Kettle Premium 22-Inch Charcoal Grill
Summer in Wisconsin means one thing: grilling brats. As a new resident, I felt secret shame knowing I didn't have a grill suited for the task. The Weber 22-inch charcoal grill is classic, affordable, and holds up to repeated testing. Big enough to create two heat zones, easy to clean, and durable: it's clear why this grill has been a standby for decades. It can even double as a makeshift smoker if you arrange your charcoal correctly, which I used to my advantage when smoking 10 whole chickens this year while it was still warm enough. Just don't tell my neighbors I ended up smoking more chickens than grilling brats: I get enough scrutiny already for not wearing Packers gear on game day. — Jesse Raub, commerce writer
(Price at time of publish: $219.)
Breville BTA720XL A Bit More 2 Slice Toaster
Have you ever just wanted your bread to toast... just a bit more? Well, this toaster is the answer to that. The Breville "A Bit More" Toaster has been on my wishlist since I used it at a friend's house last year; I'm happy to say I finally caved and bought it this year and it's just as great as I remembered. The toaster has a little LED indicator to track your toast's progress, and you can manually lift your toast to check on it without cancelling or disrupting the toasting cycle. I have the 2-slice model, but if you have the space for it and a family to feed, then it's worth getting the 4-slice option. I've never loved my morning toast so much! — Genevieve Yam, culinary editor
(Price at time of publish: $87.)
Possibly my very best kitchen gear acquisition this year was a gift and not a purchase: a Peruvian olla de barro (earthenware pot) from Cajamarca, a city in the Andes famed for its clay cookware, which was given to me by a friend returning from a trip to visit family in Peru. I don't have a link to share for that, so my other best acquisition this year was a molcajete from Masienda (full disclosure: I didn't buy it, they sent it to me for review). I've had a long-running passion for mortars and pestles, but have refrained from recommending any specific brand of molcajete due to the difficulty of confirming the quality of the product. A molcajete should be made from volcanic rock, but my understanding is that it's not uncommon for lower-quality ones made either in part or entirely of cement to find their way to market; without the confidence that the various molcajetes on sale online are not counterfeit, I've held back from vouching for any. But this one from Masienda has clear enough sourcing—they partnered with a molcajete artisan in Puebla to manufacture theirs—to allay my worries, and it's a beauty to boot. — Daniel Gritzer, senior culinary director
(Price at time of publish: $95.)
Bormioli Rocco Bodega Mini 7.5-Ounce Glass Tumbler - Set of 12
These stacking glasses are like Helen of Troy. But instead of their allure and beauty launching a thousand ships, they launch a thousand compliments (okay, I’m exaggerating, but you get the idea). Seriously, though, whenever I take a stack out of my cupboard to serve friends water or wine, I am (or rather, the glasses are) showered with compliments, usually followed by “I want them!” So far, I’ve gifted a set to one friend who seemed particularly excited about these bougie petite tumblers. The next day, she sent me a photo of her “new favorite glasses” with some fresh-pressed clementine juice in one of them. Riddley also recently bought herself a set (which, at a recent family gathering, spawned compliments and purchases—as seems to be the trend). Beyond being a source of praise (and copy-catting), the glasses are small-space friendly since they stack together nicely, unlike most wine glasses. They’re also versatile and can be used to serve all matter of drinks, including water, wine, orange juice (they somehow make sipping it feel very special), and more. So if you’re fishing for compliments (or just want a really nice set of glasses that stack together nicely), consider launching your own ship, so to speak, and following suit. — Grace
(Price at time of publish: $40.)Continue to 9 of 11 below.
La Chicharra Ceramic La Jefa Bowl
I’m a natural born shopper and my wife Andrea is not, so whenever I drag her into a store and she perks up I know we’ve found a real gem. That’s exactly what happened when we went to La Chicharra Cerámica in Oaxaca, Mexico. They sell a dizzying array of plates, bowls, trays, mugs, and other things and the colors, designs, and quality are all incredible. We purchased multiple items, including for friends, family, and coworkers, and I can’t recommend them enough. While I strongly recommend visiting the shop in person in Oaxaca (where the selection is greater, and the items are less expensive), you can also find a range of their products at Masienda, which is itself a retailer we recommend. — Jacob Dean, updates editor
(Price at time of publish: $105.)
Acaia Portafilter Dosing Cup
It's niche, I know, but portafilter dosing cups are a lifesaver for home espresso. Most commercial espresso grinders require you to fill the hopper and use the weight of the coffee up top to push ground coffee through the burrs. It ends up creating a lot of wasted ground coffee that sits in the dosing chute. Some home espresso grinders, like the Baratza Sette 270, are designed to have zero retention, meaning you can weigh out each dose individually and not have any coffee stuck in the machine that you have to purge later. This dosing cup lets me weigh my coffee before grinding, catch the grounds neatly as they exit the burrs, and easily flip the coffee directly into my portafilter basket. My counters are clean, my doses are precise, and I can switch between coffees without needing to swap the hopper. — Jesse
(Price at time of publish: $40.)
Duralex Le Picardie Marine Tumbler, Set of 6
Living in a small New York apartment with no dishwasher, we're at such a premium for space (and it's so hard to wash up) that drinking wine out of actual stemmed wineglasses is basically impractical. Duralex Le Picardie glasses (which we just call "cafe glasses") are the perfect compromise. They're virtually indestructible, stack, and are so good looking and reminiscent of eating in a French cafe that if you hand someone one that's filled with wine you seem quaint, instead of cheap and lazy. We own most of the colors they sell but our most recent acquisition is some of the "Marine" colored ones, which are a beautiful, transparent, Mediterranean blue. They also come in multiple sizes, with our favorites being the smallest, which are just shy of seven ounces. — Jacob
(Price at time of publish: $25.)
What's a good last-minute, kitchen-related holiday gift?
Many of our favorite kitchen buys of 2022 are available on Amazon and come with 2-day shipping, making them a good last-minute gift. You can also check out some of our gift guides here and here.