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The Beginner Cook

Helpful basic kitchen supplies for the cook who's just starting out on their own.

Pepper Mill

The Fletchers' Mill Federal grinds consistently and quickly, excels at fine grinding, and comes in 11 finishes to match a wide range of kitchen decors.

Pepper Mill Review: The Best Pepper Mills Sold by Amazon

ThermoPop Thermometer

In the inexpensive-thermometer department, the ThermoPop comes in an impressive package. An easy-to-read display rotates at the touch of a button, so you don't have to twist your head to read it. It takes a few seconds longer to read temperatures than its big brother, the Thermapen, but it's every bit as accurate.

ThermoPop Thermometer Review: The Best Inexpensive Digital Thermometers Sold by Thermoworks

Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques

Jacques Pépin has more than 20 cookbooks to his name, but this one might be the most universally useful to home cooks. Clear photos and descriptions walk newbies thought holding a knife properly, then using it to slice and dice an onion and debone a chicken. But there are also an endless number of little tricks, like why your salad greens should be bone dry before dressing them, that will up your kitchen IQ.

Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques Sold by Amazon

Mid-Priced Santoku

Tojiro's santoku knife held its own throughout the testing. It feels a little chunkier in the hand than our top pick, and it cracked one slice of carrot before sailing through a dozen more slices without any problems. It's a well-made knife, offering an excellent money-to-quality ratio.

Mid-Priced Santoku Review: The Best Santoku Knives Sold by Amazon

Le Creuset Wooden Spoon

A good wooden spoon is a must for any kitchen. This one, from Le Creuset, is top notch. It's gorgeous to look at; it has a flat front, which makes it great for scraping up fond or stirring vegetables; and it's got a smooth, ergonomic grip that makes using it a joy.

Le Creuset Wooden Spoon Review: The Best Wooden Spoon Sold by Amazon

Carbon Steel Skillet

A good carbon steel pan has many of the qualities that make cast iron great—it's durable, it forms a completely nonstick surface if cared for properly, and it's inexpensive. But it's lighter and easier to maneuver, making it great for sautéing and searing everyday foods.

Carbon Steel Skillet Review: An Introduction to Carbon Steel Pans Sold by Amazon
Omsom Sauce Sampler Trio Sold by Omsom

14-Cup Food Processor

The Magimix impressed us with each slicing, chopping, grating, and pureeing test we tossed at it, especially with pizza dough, which it combined so well no additional kneading was required.

14-Cup Food Processor Review: The Best Food Processors Sold by Williams-Sonoma

Ceramic Utensil Crock

To store tools like spatulas and whisks, a good old crock will do the trick. We like this ceramic one, which looks extra pretty on the counter. Keep it right next to your stove so your most-used tools will be at an arm's length whenever you need them.

Ceramic Utensil Crock Sold by Amazon

Microplane Grater/Zester

Microplanes do fine grating work way better than those tiny, raspy holes on a box grater. Whether you're quickly grating fresh nutmeg or cinnamon, taking the zest off a lemon, or turning a clove of garlic into a fine purée, the Microplane is the tool to reach for.

Microplane Grater/Zester Review: The Food Lab's Top 10 Pieces of Kitchen Gear Sold by Amazon

All-Clad Immersion Blender

A high-speed hand blender is great for whipping up silky soups and purées, making emulsions like mayonnaise and Hollandaise, or smoothing out sauces, all right in the pot. No need to dirty up an extra blender jar!

All-Clad Immersion Blender Review: The Best Hand (Immersion) Blenders Sold by Amazon

Kid's Make-a-Cake Mixer Set

Vicky's four-year-old niece is obsessed with Stella. This wooden stand mixer set is a perfect gift for the young baker. It has eggs that you can actually crack!

Kid's Make-a-Cake Mixer Set Sold by Amazon
Detroit-Style Pizza Pan Sold by Amazon
Build Your Own Spice Bundle Sold by Burlap and Barrel

Tojiro Bread Knife

When we tested bread knives earlier this year, we were absolutely blown away by the cutting quality of Tojiro's bread knife. It surpassed every other serrated knife, cutting beautifully clean slices of even the most tender bread, and making quick, neat work of ripe tomatoes. It's a must-have for any kitchen.

Tojiro Bread Knife Review: The Best Serrated Bread Knife for Your Kitchen Sold by Amazon

Toaster Oven

The Breville Smart Oven performs consistently and is very intuitive to use. It scored high marks in each round of testing, producing one of the better pieces of toast, baking frozen pizza to yield melted cheese on top and crispy crust below, cooking a frozen chicken pot pie, and baking perfect cookies. The styling is handsome, and the bright LCD screen is easy to navigate with just a few dials and buttons.

Toaster Oven Review: The Best Toaster Ovens Under $250 Sold by Amazon

Reversible Griddle

This cast iron workhorse spans two burners, making it perfect for high-volume indoor grilling projects (did anyone order skewered shrimp?) on one side, and griddled classics like pancakes and smashed burgers on the other.

Reversible Griddle Sold by Amazon
Pinafore Linen Apron Sold by Etsy

Sauce Spoon

Basic stainless steel kitchen spoons are useful to have, but sometimes their long handles get in the way more than they help. That's where professional sauce spoons come into play. This one has a nice large bowl that can scoop up generous dollops of yogurt, a heap of cooked grain, or a serving of sauce, and a short enough handle to make wielding those ingredients easy instead of clumsy.

Sauce Spoon Sold by Amazon

All-Clad 3-Quart Saucier

How do you make perfect caramels, ice cream, gravies, and reductions? A nifty pot called a saucier. The durable stainless steel is cladded with aluminum for even heating, essential for temperamental ingredients like caramel and egg custards. A curved bottom makes whisking a snap (no more lumpy gravy!), and the wide top encourages evaporation for fast sauce reductions. You can buy cheaper versions than this All-Clad saucier, but this is one piece of equipment in which quality really makes a difference.

All-Clad 3-Quart Saucier Review: The 9 Pieces of Cookware Every Kitchen Needs Sold by Amazon

Sharpening Stone

This is a great introductory stone for sharpening Japanese knives. The combination of grits gives you everything you need: The coarser side quickly restores an edge, while the fine side smooths and polishes.

Sharpening Stone Review: How to Sharpen a Knife With a Whetstone Sold by Amazon

12-Inch Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs

The steep, 13-degree angle on their stainless steel scalloped ends enables the OXO Good Grips Tongs to securely grasp a large range of food shapes and sizes, from a whole chicken to thin spaghetti to tail-on shrimp. The build features a responsive and durable spring, large rubber grips, and pinch-free, stay-cool handles.

12-Inch Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs Review: The Best Kitchen Tongs Sold by Amazon

Classic Blender

The Cuisinart is an easy-to-use, powerful blender that aced many of our tests. This model's dashboard is intuitive, and it features a built-in timer that counts down for you or can be programed to stop after a certain amount of seconds.

Classic Blender Review: The Best Blenders Under $200 Sold by Amazon
Korintje Cinnamon Sold by Penzeys

Now & Again

This cookbook by Julia Turshen, author of Small Victories and Feed the Resistance, is full of simple, delicious meals for everyday eating, parties, and holidays. Better yet, each one includes a bunch of suggestions for how to remake it as leftovers. It's a trove of great, creative ideas, and a must for any bookworm.

Now & Again Sold by Amazon

Versatile 12-Inch Skillet

The slope-sided skillet, like this one from All-Clad, is a chef's best friend and one of the most versatile pans in the kitchen, whether you're sautéing vegetables, searing meat, or cooking one of our dozens of one-pan meals. The best have solid stainless steel construction, with an aluminum core for even heat distribution.

Versatile 12-Inch Skillet Sold by Amazon

Presto Tilt-N-Fold Griddle

Presto's Tilt-n-Fold model is very simple to set up and operate, and it has a compact design that makes it easy to store in kitchen cabinets when not in use. It has a large, smooth, nonstick cooking surface that heats mostly evenly, can be set at an angle to drain grease, and is easy to clean. We love the price, too.

Presto Tilt-N-Fold Griddle Review: The Best Electric Griddles Sold by Amazon

Kid's Wooden Play Kitchen

If you want to get your tiny tots into the kitchen but far from the heat and potential spills, set them up a this wooden play kitchen where they can imitate your moves at a safe distance.

Kid's Wooden Play Kitchen Sold by Amazon

Carbon Steel Wok

Woks are the best tool for stir-frying if you want to get that distinctly smoky wok hei flavor, but they're also versatile vessels that you can use for braising, deep-frying, or even indoor smoking.

Carbon Steel Wok Review: How to Buy and Season a Wok Sold by Amazon
Eating Out Loud Sold by Amazon

GelPro Floor Mat

If you love to cook and host parties, you'll know that a lot of prep time is spent on your feet. Why not make at least the cooking part a bit more comfortable with one of these gel mats? It'll provide some nice cushion under your feet, so when it's time to put on your party shoes, you'll be ready.

GelPro Floor Mat Sold by Amazon

Larousse Gastronomique

Larousse is the serious food encyclopedia for the serious cook. Its focus is mostly on French preparations, though more recent editions have attempted to remedy that with some more international entries. Arranged alphabetically, Larousse offers up historical context, recipes and cooking instruction, and definitions galore.

Larousse Gastronomique Sold by Amazon
New World Sourdough Sold by Amazon

Stainless Steel Dry Measuring Cups

The five-piece Norpro Grip Ez Stainless Steel Measuring Cups took the top spot in our tests for accuracy, and it wasn't even close. Not only that, the bowls are securely joined to the comfortable nonslip handles, and manufactured to tight tolerances, which helps with level sweeping. The unique oval cup shape comes to a narrow end, acting like a shovel to dig into compacted ingredients, like brown sugar.

Stainless Steel Dry Measuring Cups Review: The Best Dry Measuring Cups Sold by Amazon

Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet

Old cast iron has a perfectly smooth nonstick surface that's surprisingly easy to maintain. You can sear, bake, roast, braise, stew, and deep-fry in it, and there's nothing more thoughtful than a gift that you have to expend a bit of effort to find (check out eBay, yard sales, and flea markets). These modern Lodge pans will do in a pinch if vintage isn't in the cards.

Lodge 12-Inch Cast Iron Skillet Review: The Best Cast Iron Skillet Sold by Amazon

Wusthof Pro Paring Knife, 3-1/2-Inch

Paring knives don't need to cost a lot to do their job—questions of balance and build quality matter less in a knife that fits almost entirely in the palm of your hand. Of all the ones we tested, this inexpensive blade from Wüsthof came out on top, with a razor-sharp edge and comfortable grip. This is our new go-to paring knife, and we already have several of them at work and home.

Wusthof Pro Paring Knife, 3-1/2-Inch Review: The Best Paring Knives Sold by Amazon

Magnetic Knife Rack

Magnetic knife strips are not only space-saving but they also look pretty badass hanging on your wall. They'll keep your knives from rubbing up against other utensils, which can make them dull (and can be dangerous, too).

Magnetic Knife Rack Review: The Best Way to Store Your Knives Sold by Amazon

All-Clad One-Quart Saucier

The low, sloping walls of this small 1-quart saucepan make whisking easy, perfect for making and finishing delicate sauces, and reducing small volumes of liquids. It’s also small enough to double as a butter-melter.

All-Clad One-Quart Saucier Sold by Amazon

The BoardSmith Maple Carolina Slab Butcher Block

A fine piece of woodwork, this maple end-grain board from The BoardSmith is thick, solid, and gets all the details right. It's also been time-tested by the author for three-plus years of heavy home use, so we know that with proper care, this board can last. It comes in a variety of useful sizes, and by default has feet attached, but you can request for them to be left off (you can also add a juice groove and other customizations, if desired).

The BoardSmith Maple Carolina Slab Butcher Block Review: The Best Wooden Cutting Boards Sold by The BoardSmith

Chef's Knife for Younger Kids

This knife is a good choice for kids who are transitioning into using grown-up blades. It has a plastic loop to keep the index finger safely away from the edge, and a guard for the other hand, allowing the child to practice the claw with less risk if they make a mistake.

Chef's Knife for Younger Kids Sold by Amazon

Teddy Bear Aprons

Why would you spend all this time getting your kid into the kitchen if you can't photograph them in an absolutely adorable apron? Okay, fine, an apron is functional, too, keeping them clean and making them feel like real professionals. There are countless aprons across the internet, but we're partial to these teddy bear–themed ones.

Teddy Bear Aprons Sold by Amazon

Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, 3rd Edition

Peterson has long been the master of writing comprehensive works on major subjects. In Sauces, he breaks down sauce-making in all its intricacies, starting with stocks and leading you through the classics of French and Italian cuisines and beyond.

Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, 3rd Edition Sold by Amazon
Japanese Pantry X Serious Eats Gift Box Sold by The Japanese Pantry

Bamboo Steamer

Bamboo steamers are particularly useful when you're steaming largish things—say, a small whole fish, like a porgy or small sea bass. They're also super easy to clean.

Bamboo Steamer Sold by Amazon

Joy of Cooking

A staple of American kitchens for close to a century, Joy of Cooking continues to be a valued resource for all the basics, from pancakes and waffles to casseroles, stews, and roasts.

Joy of Cooking Sold by Amazon

Dinosaur Kids Apron

For the little paleontologists out there (who also love to cook), here are few adorable dinosaur aprons because dinosaur aprons are adorable.

Dinosaur Kids Apron Sold by Amazon

Presto 22-Inch Electric Griddle

This lightweight model comes with fully detachable handles that make cleaning and storing it a breeze; it will easily slot into the cabinet with all your baking sheets and cooling racks; and its nonstick surface has a textured crosshatch pattern that helps keep pancakes from sliding around and eluding your spatula when you're trying to flip them.

Presto 22-Inch Electric Griddle Review: The Best Electric Griddles Sold by Amazon

Mid-Priced Japanese Chef's Knife

Even lighter in weight than its more expensive sibling, the UX10, the Misono 440 offers an incredibly agile experience, with an especially sharp out-of-the-box blade. It handled all our testing tasks with ease. The price variance between this one and the UX10 mostly comes down to the steel used, a difference most home cooks won't likely notice, making this one a good intermediate choice.

Mid-Priced Japanese Chef's Knife Review: The Best Chef's Knives Sold by Amazon
OMED Chardonnay Vinegar Sold by Snuk

Cast Iron Combo Cooker

A combo cooker is the key to getting a gorgeous shattering crust on homemade bread. It acts as its own little steam chamber, like what you'd find in a professional bread oven, and it costs way less than a kitchen renovation.

Cast Iron Combo Cooker Sold by Amazon
Dough Whisk Sold by Breadtopia

Garlic Press

When we're cooking with garlic, we're pulling out the press nine times out of 10, because, even with the slightly fussy cleaning, it's still faster and easier than chopping fresh garlic on a board.

Garlic Press Review: 28 Unitaskers That Belong in Your Kitchen Sold by Amazon

Mid-Priced Western Chef's Knife

One of the more affordable options among the German-style knives tested, Mercer's Genesis chef's knife delivers good bang for the buck. The knife is quite a bit lighter than the Wüsthof Classic and has a grippy rubber-and-plastic handle that's comfortable to hold.

Mid-Priced Western Chef's Knife Review: The Best Chef's Knives Sold by Amazon
Maine Grains Whole Wheat Flour Sold by Maine Grains

Bear Aprons for Parents and Kids

Want to match your kids in the kitchen? Go for this apron set, which comes with sweet chef's hats and other fun cooking accessories.

Bear Aprons for Parents and Kids Sold by Amazon

Escali Kitchen Scale

A good digital scale is an essential tool for bakers or home charcuterie makers. This one comes with an easy-to-clean, removable stainless steel weighing surface; great accuracy and precision; and a backlit pull-out display to make measuring easy, even for large or unwieldy items.

Escali Kitchen Scale Review: The Best Kitchen Scales Sold by Amazon

OXO Pop Containers

Not all food storage containers are built the same. OXO's Pop Containers stack neatly in the cabinet, make it easy to see exactly what's inside, and have a neat push-button top that forms a perfectly airtight seal, keeping your dry pantry goods fresher for longer.

OXO Pop Containers Review: Kitchen Storage and Organization Essentials That Keep Us Sane Sold by Amazon

Best Round Measuring Spoons

The four-piece Amco Advanced Performance Measuring Spoons are accurate and easy to work with. The handles have little stands on them that help keep the bowls nearly level for accurate filling when the spoon is on the countertop, and the wide, shallow design makes it easy to clean out sticky ingredients, like honey, with a small spatula.

Best Round Measuring Spoons Review: The Best Measuring Spoons Sold by Amazon
Salt Box Sold by Amazon

Best Glass Liquid Measuring Cup Set

These were the most accurate set of glass measuring cups we tested and include 1-, 2-, and 4-cup measures. Only the smallest cup was off by more than a milliliter at full volume, which is very accurate for kitchen use. The cups have durable, easy-to-read markings; a classic shape that nests well; and spouts that are easy to pour from.

Best Glass Liquid Measuring Cup Set Review: The Best Liquid Measuring Cups Sold by Amazon
How to Cook Everything Sold by Amazon

All-Clad Two-Quart Saucepan

This small 2-quart saucepan is perfect for making and warming sauces, cooking small portions of grain, and heating liquids.

All-Clad Two-Quart Saucepan Sold by Amazon

Chef's Press

If you love beautifully seared steaks, golden-brown grilled cheese sandwiches, and crispy-skinned fish and poultry, this is a great thing to have in your kitchen. Chef's presses help you get even contact between ingredients and your skillet. They're vented, so you won't accidentally steam your food, and they're stackable, so you can get a couple for weighing down heftier items.

Chef's Press Review: The Chef's Press: A Kitchen Tool That's Worth the Weight Sold by Chef's Press

Essentials of Cooking

There are so many classics cookbooks out there but for a beginner James Peterson's Essentials of Cooking is comprehensive without being overwhelming. Color step-by-step photos walk you through basics like roasting a chicken, prepping vegetables, making sauces to next level techniques like butchering a fish.

Essentials of Cooking Sold by Amazon

AeroGarden Harvest

Cooking with fresh herbs makes every recipe better. Cooking with fresh herbs that you grew all by yourself makes life better. The AeroGarden takes the guesswork out of growing herbs inside, with an automated light to keep your parsley and thyme thriving and weekly reminders for water and nutrients. Just prepare yourself for epic amounts of basil.

AeroGarden Harvest Review: Who’s Laughing Now?: Why I Love the AeroGarden Sold by Amazon

Le Creuset Stoneware Casserole

When fall and winter roll around, we start thinking about rich, comforting casseroles, which means that these stoneware baking dishes get pulled out, filled, and popped into the oven at least once a week. They're great-looking on the table and provide gentle, even cooking all around for really nice, crisp edges on your lasagna.

Le Creuset Stoneware Casserole Sold by Amazon

OXO Handheld Mandoline

A great mandoline will rapidly make photo-worthy cuts of your favorite vegetables, whether thin slices of radishes for a salad or potatoes for a gratin. The OXO slicer has four thickness settings and a fold-down stand allows this slicer to either be set on a cutting board (with the legs down) or perched over a bowl (with the legs up).

OXO Handheld Mandoline Review: The Best Mandoline Slicers Sold by Amazon

Instant Pot Multi-Cooker

The Instant Pot Duo60 is a fantastic value and performed almost as well as the top pick among countertop pressure cookers we tested. It's easy to use, the company has a reputation for great customer service, and there's an avid and helpful community of users online to boot.

Instant Pot Multi-Cooker Review: The Best Pressure Cookers and Multi-Cookers Sold by Amazon

Frankies 457 Olive Oil

Fancy olive oil always makes a good gift, but there's a difference between fancy olive oil and good fancy olive oil. The house oil from Frankies 457 Spuntino in Brooklyn is delicious (i.e., great on fresh bread and in dishes), is DOC certified, and comes in a chic tin that prevents light from spoiling the product.

Frankies 457 Olive Oil Sold by Amazon

French Rolling Pin

If you ever plan to tackle homemade pie crust or rolled sugar cookies, you'll need a rolling pin. Tapered French rolling pins are more maneuverable and more durable than other styles, and they're easier to clean as well.

French Rolling Pin Review: How to Choose the Best Rolling Pin Sold by Amazon

Stainless Steel Honing Steel

Our top pick among stainless steel honing steels for your knives.

Stainless Steel Honing Steel Review: The Best Honing Steel for Your Knife Sold by Amazon

Kid's Kitchen Learning Tower

Kenji says that the best thing he has for his daughter is her helper stool, which is like a step stool with a little fence around the top so she can get at counter height on her own without the danger of falling.

Kid's Kitchen Learning Tower Sold by Amazon

Mercer Culinary Chef's Knife for Older Kids

More and more children are interested in cooking, and that means they'll eventually need to learn to wield a real, grown-up-style knife. The decision on when to put a safety-feature-free blade in their hand is best left to the parents, but when that day does come, this short chef's knife is a good size for young hands.

Mercer Culinary Chef's Knife for Older Kids Sold by Amazon

KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer

A stand mixer is obviously great for mixing batters and doughs, but we also love the range of KitchenAid attachments available for purchase—once you have the base, there's suddenly a whole world of homemade sausages, ice creams, pastas, and fresh juices at your fingertips.

KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer Review: Which Stand Mixer Should I Buy? Sold by Amazon

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

A New York Times best-seller! The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science, by J. Kenji López-Alt, is his column by the same name on this very website, blown up to 900-plus pages (and seven-plus pounds) of concentrated culinary science. Gorgeous color photos, detailed how-tos, and elaborate explainers cover ingredients, technique, gear, and the secrets of the universe underneath it all. May include puns.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science Sold by Amazon

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