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The Meat Lover

Delicious cuts and the tools you need to cook them right.

Seka Hills Extra Virgin California Olive Oil Sold by Amazon

Perceval Steak Knife Set

The 9.47 knife was designed by a former Michelin-starred chef, and, unsurprisingly, it's a dream to cut with. While its modern, minimalist look isn't for everyone, there's no arguing with its performance.

Perceval Steak Knife Set Sold by Amazon

The BoardSmith X Serious Eats Cutting Board

The BoardSmith is a family-run company that makes some of our favorite wooden cutting boards. When the founder approached us about creating a custom Serious Eats cutting board, we couldn't say no. This model has nice handle grooves for easy maneuvering, and even a ruler, should you want to perfect your knife cuts.

The BoardSmith X Serious Eats Cutting Board Review: We Designed the Ideal Cutting Board Just for You Sold by The BoardSmith

Best Carving Knife

For our money, this is the best carving knife on the market, ready to dispatch a roast turkey, leg of lamb, or bone-in ham with aplomb.

Best Carving Knife Review: The Best Carving and Slicing Knives 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

D'Artagnan Porcelet Collar

It can be hard to find skin-on, bone-in pork shoulders for roasting, but luckily D'Artagnan has got us all covered with their fantastic porcelet shoulder. We think everyone should ditch the tired holiday spiral ham this year, and slow-roast a milk-fed piglet shoulder instead. We promise it won't disappoint.

D'Artagnan Porcelet Collar Sold by D'Artagnan
Salt Box Sold by Amazon
D'Artagnan Beef Patties Sold by D'Artagnan
Burlap and Barrel Spice Set Sold by Burlap and Barrel

The Chili Cookbook

This isn't just a chili cookbook. Author Robb Walsh digs deep into the beloved dish's ancestry, tracing threads through Mexico City, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Hungary, Greece, and the Canary Islands. Walsh is one of food writing's best storytellers, so the book is a satisfying read best enjoyed with a big bowl of chile con carne.

The Chili Cookbook Sold by Amazon

The Complete Nose to Tail

The Complete Nose to Tail combines Fergus Henderson's seminal The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating with its sequel, Beyond Nose to Tail. Don't let the name mislead you: It does shine a light on offal, but its primary focus is Henderson's unfussy, straightforward cooking, the most famous example of which is his signature dish of roasted bone marrow and parsley salad. While that dish may have spawned a thousand imitators, both here and across the Atlantic, cooks the world over would do well to crib from some of the other recipes in the book. The recipe for duck legs with carrots alone makes it worth the price, and "trotter gear"—chicken stock fortified with wobbly bits of pigs' feet—is a pantry staple that everyone needs in their life.

The Complete Nose to Tail Sold by Amazon

Benton's Country Ham

Benton's country ham is an exemplar of American charcuterie. We recommend the deboned and trimmed smoked ham (just $3 more than the whole smoked ham), but the cured, unsmoked ham is also fantastic. With shipping, it's about $90, which is still a steal when you consider the quality and quantity, and the fact that the trimmings can be used to make many, many super-smoky pots of beans. Fry slices up with brown sugar and brewed coffee, and eat them with a stack of parathas—trust us.

Benton's Country Ham Sold by Benton's Country Ham

Charcuterie

Ruhlman and Polcyn do a great job of demystifying one of the more abstruse cooking arts, and, while charcuterie may seem daunting, it can be gratifyingly easy. Start simple, with the pancetta, confit, rillettes, and duck prosciutto, and you'll find yourself with a mold-inoculated curing chamber in no time.

Charcuterie Sold by Amazon

Leave-In Probe Thermometer for Grilling

If you’re seriously into barbecuing pork butts, briskets, and ribs, the FireBoard is the brainiest thermometer we tested, aimed at making your cooking more predictable. The app enables you to name, chart, and store your smoking sessions, and the base has a port to accept a fan accessory, which controls the temperature of a smoker or charcoal grill by adjusting airflow.

Leave-In Probe Thermometer for Grilling Review: The Best Leave-In Probe Thermometers Sold by FireBoard
Super Mala Collection Sold by Mala Market
Livart Orange BBQ Deluxe Electric Barbecue Grill 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
Silk Chili Sold by Burlap and Barrel

Food Grinder Attachment

The great thing about buying a meat grinder attachment is that you already know that the hardest-working part of your grinder—the motor—is going to be a workhorse that can power through even the toughest grinding projects. Stand mixer attachments are a great option if you make a lot of sausage. You can grind the meat directly into the processor bowl, then attach the bowl to the machine and immediately start mixing it with the paddle to develop protein. It's a real time-saver.

Food Grinder Attachment Review: How to Buy, Use, and Care for a Meat Grinder 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

The Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws

In addition to making you look like Wolverine, shredder claws make quick work of pork butts (hello, pulled pork!), smoked chicken, smoked chuck roasts, and other meats, allowing you to tear the meat into shreds in no time. Sure, you could try doing it with forks, but you'd better have a lot of time on your hands.

The Original Bear Paws Shredder Claws Sold by Amazon

Chinese-Style Cleaver

A Chinese-style cleaver is an all-purpose knife for the kitchen, just as good at carving up meat as it is at chopping vegetables. The large blade surface is quite useful for transferring chopped ingredients from your cutting board to a bowl or a pan, and is particularly efficient at smashing things, like garlic cloves and cucumbers. While they take some getting used to if all you've ever used is a Western chef's knife, once you get the hang of a Chinese-style cleaver, it can do almost anything a Western chef's knife can do. This knife is made from carbon steel, which needs to be cared for with a little more attention than stainless, but it's easier to sharpen and will hold its edge like a champ. A perfect gift for your knife-curious loved ones.

Chinese-Style Cleaver Sold by Chef Knives To Go

Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat

This 400-page guide to meat may be focused on sustainability and local eating, but that doesn't make it any less comprehensive. Krasner goes deep on all the basics of meat, including beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and more, offering anatomy charts, buying tips, basics on animal husbandry, and, of course, plenty of recipes.

Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat Sold by Amazon

Welding Gloves for Grilling

After countless failed grilling mitts, we got ourselves a pair of welding gloves to use when grilling or smoking and never looked back. With great heat protection, dexterity, and construction, these are a necessity for every backyard cook.

Welding Gloves for Grilling Sold by Amazon

Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener

We've long enjoined home cooks to learn to sharpen their knives on a whetstone. But we've finally come to admit that it's just not realistic for most people. The learning curve required, plus the need to do it frequently to maintain the muscle memory, makes it unlikely most home cooks will ever get good at it. Sadly, most home knife sharpeners suck, making it difficult to offer any alternative aside from finding a good knife-sharpening service. But after using this sharpener, we've been converted. It's not the absolute simplest to use, but once you learn its features, it will give you by far the best sharpening job most people will probably ever get at home, and it rivals (and, truthfully, even bests) the quality many sharpening services deliver.

Work Sharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener Sold by Amazon

Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker

The Akorn is a double-walled, insulated steel egg that is much lighter and in some ways more durable than the popular Big Green Egg. It performs fairly close to traditional kamados at a fraction of the cost, so you can spend your saved bucks on getting some great meat.

Char-Griller Akorn Kamado Kooker Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker Sold by Amazon

Chimney Starter

Lighter fluid is fun to play with, but it can impart an off flavor to your food. A chimney starter is faster, cleaner, more efficient, and better for the environment. It's a tall metal cylinder with holes punched in it and a grate at the bottom for holding the charcoal. It works with the power of convection: When a lit newspaper is placed at the bottom, igniting the lowest coals, the hot air rises up, pulling fresh oxygen in through the vent holes and through the bottom. This constant supply of fresh oxygen, coupled with the fact that the metal efficiently reflects heat back toward the coals, means you require nothing more than a single piece of newspaper and a match to turn a full six quarts of coals into a roaring inferno within 20 minutes.

Chimney Starter Review: The Food Lab's Essential Grilling Tools 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

OXO Good Grips Two-Piece Grilling Set

A quality spatula and tongs are essential for good grilling. Seek out ones with long handles, such as OXO's two-piece grilling set, to keep your fingers as far from the heat as possible. The nearly flat, scalloped edge on the OXO tongs is especially appealing—it's extra easy to slide the tongs under meat, vegetables, and other ingredients on the grill.

OXO Good Grips Two-Piece Grilling Set Sold by Amazon

Breville Smoking Gun

Equipped with an assortment of wood chips, the Smoking Gun allows you to easily smoke anything indoors with just the flip of a switch. It's instant fun right out of the box.

Breville Smoking Gun Sold by Amazon
Berkshire Pork Porterhouse Chops Sold by D'Artagnan

Culina Stainless Steel Grilling Basket

A good grill basket should be durable, with a tight enough weave to allow very small foods to be cooked without risk of getting lost. Finally, it's worth hunting down one that's sizable enough to cook large batches of food in one go. One of our favorites is the simple Culina stainless steel basket. The metal mesh keeps even the smallest food items up on the grill grate where they belong. You can even toast or smoke nuts in it.

Culina Stainless Steel Grilling Basket Sold by Amazon

High-End Western Chef's Knife

If you're dead set on a traditional German knife profile—characterized by a more curved blade that's bigger and heavier than the Japanese options—the Wüsthof Classic continues to be a stalwart. It weighs more than most of the other knives tested, giving it a solid and sturdy feel, but it still handles well and has a sharp edge.

High-End Western Chef's Knife Review: The Best Chef's Knives Sold by Amazon

All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking

What's important to new cooks? Making dishes that compound in flavor as they cook, require minimal effort, and little in the way of special equipment. That means braising, and All About Braising is one of the best treatments on the subject. Author Molly Stevens breaks down every stage of the braising process for cooks of all skill levels—taking out the mystery of what's going on under the lid. We think that's one of the best ways to learn: master a technique rather than cook from a catch-all encyclopedia. From pages of notes on braising vessels to detailed breakdowns of how it all comes together, she takes delicious-yet-intimidating-sounding recipes like sausages and plums with red wine and makes you shout, yeah, I can do this! Oh, and the vegetable recipes are some of the best.

All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking Sold by Amazon
Ooni Pro Outdoor Pizza Oven Sold by Ooni

High-End Santoku

This santoku from MAC's professional line is an absolute pleasure to use, no matter the task. It's lightweight, well balanced, sharp as can be, and comfortable to hold. It made perfect carrot cuts, broke down a chicken with ease, and filleted a whole fish as if it were a fish-shaped block of butter.

High-End Santoku Review: The Best Santoku Knives Sold by Amazon

Stainless Steel Boning Knife

This knife is perfect for those who want to experiment with specialty Japanese blades without shelling out too much cash, or for those with aspirations of understanding how to make yakitori at home. Unlike a true honesuki, or Japanese poultry knife, this blade has a double-beveled assymetrical blade, so it is a little more multipurpose—it can be used for boning out poultry and other meats, and it can even be used for slicing and chopping in a pinch—and it is easier to maintain for novice knife sharpeners than a single-beveled blade. But it really shines at boning out chickens, and if you're used to using a flexibe western boning knife, it is nothing short of miraculous to experience the ease with which this knife's tip can maneuver around a bird's bones; it sometimes feels as if the knife is willing the bones to rise up out of the meat.

Stainless Steel Boning Knife Sold by Chef Knives To Go

Casella's Heritage Prosciutto

The first time we tried Tuscan chef Cesare Casella's American-made prosciutto, we knew it was a significant achievement—a domestic prosciutto that can hold its own against the Italian stuff. Made from heritage-breed pigs raised on several different small and independent family farms, each prosciutto is slowly cured the way it's done in the Old Country. The results: sweet, nutty, and tender.

Casella's Heritage Prosciutto Sold by Casella

Cinco Jotas Jamón Ibérico

The best ham on earth doesn't come cheap, but this is the caviar of pork: jamón ibérico puro de bellota, from purebred Ibérico pigs raised on acorns for a ham that's nutty and sweet, with meltingly soft fat.

Cinco Jotas Jamón Ibérico Sold by Amazon

High-End Japanese Chef's Knife

A deft and nimble blade, Misono's UX10 is one of the lightest-weight knives we tested. It's razor-sharp right out of the box and handled every task we threw at it with ease, dicing an onion as if it were as soft as a blob of Jell-O and making paper-thin slices of smoked salmon as if the knife were a true slicer.

High-End Japanese Chef's Knife Review: The Best Chef's Knives 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
Detroit-Style Pizza Pan Sold by Amazon

Misono Travel Knife

After experiencing one too many Airbnb kitchens with terrible knives, Daniel invested in a travel knife: a small, sharp blade to take with him so that cooking can be a pleasure even when he's not at home. The wooden sheath makes it safe to keep in a bag, but remember not to fly with it in a carry-on.

Misono Travel Knife Sold by Amazon

Leave-In Probe Thermometer

While it’s one of the most precise thermometers we tested, the ChefAlarm is also easy to use. The probe, which comes with a pot clip, has about six inches of usable length to reach into the thickest roasts, and springs on both ends of the 47-inch-long cable that protect it from wear at common failure points.

Leave-In Probe Thermometer Review: The Best Leave-In Probe Thermometers Sold by Thermoworks

Laguiole en Aubrac Steak Knife Set

If you're into more of a classic luxe look, then you'd be hard-pressed to find a more iconic design than a Laguiole-style steak knife. Unfortunately, the term "Laguiole" is not protected or regulated by a trademark, which means that there are a lot of shoddily made knockoff "Laguiole" knives on the market. However, there are a small number of real-deal producers, like Laguiole en Aubrac, that make beautiful knives of exceptional quality with a timeless aesthetic.

Laguiole en Aubrac Steak Knife Set Sold by Amazon

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

In this book, Meathead Goldwyn, the founder of AmazingRibs.com, distills decades of research on the art and science of barbecue and grilling into a single volume that shows not just the best ways to take food to live fire, but why the techniques work. Far more than a recipe book alone (though there are tons of bulletproof recipes), this text will teach your favorite barbecue lover the hard-tested fundamentals of outdoor cooking, giving them the confidence to cook anything, even without a recipe. The myth-busting and equipment tips alone were enough to get us hooked.

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling Sold by Amazon

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill (Wifi Enabled)

Surprisingly, many of the portable pellet smokers out there still have an antiquated LMH controller, while Davy Crockett employs Green Mountain's advanced digital touch-pad controller, with an integrated meat thermometer that lets you check internal meat temp with the flick of a switch.

Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett Pellet Grill (Wifi Enabled) 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
Build Your Own Spice Bundle Sold by Burlap and Barrel
D'Artagnan Bacon Sold by D'Artagnan

Messermeister Knife Case

Most professional cooks own a knife bag so they can tote their knives around from one job to another. But knife bags can be really useful storage options, as well. They're compact, they can hold many knives, and they can be moved around as needed, which means you don't necessarily need to have a dedicated knife drawer as long as you can find somewhere safe to stash your knives.

Messermeister Knife Case Review: The Best Way to Store Your Knives Sold by Amazon

Messermeister Avanta Steak Knife Set

The Messermeister Avanta steak knives deliver premium performance at an unbeatable price. They are well-constructed, remarkably sharp, and very handsome.

Messermeister Avanta Steak Knife Set Sold by Amazon

The Apprentice

Insightful (and very well-written) memoir by the elder statesman of food and cooking in the United States. From his early memories of picking salad for his mother to his recollection of eating raw clams on a Connecticut pier, the book shows how food is not just a passion or a career; food, for Jacques Pépin, is life.

The Apprentice Sold by Amazon

Manual Meat Grinder

Manual grinders are the cheapest way to get good-quality freshly ground meat at home, and are a great choice if you don't own a stand mixer. Our favorite is this suction-mounted grinder from Gideon. The suction cup provides as firm a base as bolt-mounted models we've owned, and it does such an excellent job grinding meat that we often reach for it instead of our stand mixer attachment.

Manual Meat Grinder Sold by Amazon

Meat Cleaver

This meat cleaver has a well-balanced weight, sharp edge, and solid construction—a boon since a lot of more-affordable cleavers like this one feel very cheap and after repeat use get wobbly around the handle.

Meat Cleaver Sold by Amazon

Brooklyn Biltong Dried Beef

Biltong is a dried meat, similar to jerky, that hails from South Africa. As we understand it, the process is distinct from making jerky in that the meat is given a vinegar bath before drying, which gives the final product a slight tang. We got samples of Brooklyn Biltong's stuff a while back, and while we can't actually recommend the "Original" flavor, which is a little bland, the "Jo'burg Steakhouse" variety is addictive. The "Zulu Peri Peri" flavor ain't bad, either.

Brooklyn Biltong Dried Beef Sold by Amazon

GrillGrates for the 22.5" Weber Kettle Grill

If you've ever used a gas grill and grown frustrated with unfixable hot and cool spots and overall weak performance, this tool is for you. Made from hard anodized aluminum, the GrillGrate system sits directly on your existing grate, amplifying and evening out the heat, which allows for more even cooking, flare-up resistance, and exceptional sear marks.

GrillGrates for the 22.5" Weber Kettle Grill Review: The GrillGrate: An Upgrade Almost Every Gas Grill Needs Sold by Amazon

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