Serious Eats / Nick Simpson

When I started working at Serious Eats more than two years ago (time flies, etc, etc), I thought I had a well-stocked kitchen. But, then I started reading our reviews. And testing more gear for the site. And realizing just how thorough, thoughtful, and meticulously curated the products we recommend (and have recommended) are.

So, I spent: Outfitting my kitchen with our longstanding favorites and new top picks, replacing so-so products with standout ones. Here are 17 kitchen items I’ve bought since joining the team.

Our longtime favorite bread knife is truly unmatched: sharp enough to evenly slice whatever loaves you throw at it and flexible enough to peel butternut squash (truly!). We don’t recommend spending a lot on a bread knife since it’s a pain to sharpen. Instead, just buy a cheap one (like, ahem, the Tojiro) and replace it every handful of years.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

We’ve featured this in its own review and as an air fryer toaster oven winner. And when my toaster oven was on its way out, the Joule Oven was the one I had to have. Its accurate temperatures, fast pre-heating, and sleek digital interface make it a standout. I also love its app integration: My phone alerts me when it’s preheated and even when it’s time to rotate the food.

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

After working on our wok issue and wok review, I immediately purchased our favorite wok from Yosukata. We explained it best in our review: “The Yosukata Black Carbon Steel Wok is a pre-seasoned, stamped wok with a smooth, beautiful blue-black surface. It’s a fast, heat-responsive pan that performed well in nearly every test.”

Serious Eats / Russell Kilgore

Truly the best bench scraper around, the OXO has a non-slip handle and wide blade that effortlessly scrapes, scoops, and transfers. Its sharp edge is also great for portioning dough (gnocchi, biscuit, etc). I use mine every day, particularly during dinner prep.

Serious Eats / Eric King

Serious Eats has recommended this blender since 2014 and it’s truly the best one around. It effortlessly pulls ingredients down into its blades, creating a vortex that churns out super-smooth sauces, soup, smoothies, purees, and more. It’s also easy to use, with just a couple of switches and a dial.

Serious Eats / Tamara Staples

I immediately purchased our favorite drinking glasses after our review came out, donating the mismatched mason jars I’d relied on for years. My favorite part about them? I can nest multiple glasses together for easy storage.

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

I consider our coffee gear reviews some of the best in the business, so when we say an espresso machine is easy to use, we mean it. I’m a coffee fan, not an expert, which is why the Impress Express is perfect for me. Its tamping arm and built-in grinder eliminate two of the trickiest parts of making espresso.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

This coffee grinder was actually a present from my parents last year, but I requested it and thus feel entitled to include it here. Baratza’s grinders are unmatched in their longevity, quality, and consistency. I use mine every morning to grind coffee for my auto drip machine.

Vicky Wasik

This cutting board is next-level—and truly worth every cent (and a lot of cents it is…). It’s thick, has non-slip feet, and is gentle on knives. There’s a reason it’s been our favorite wooden cutting board for many years.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

I felt a twinge of regret when I ordered a $50 potato masher within minutes of publishing our corresponding review. But any maligned feelings went away as soon as the masher was in my possession. Simply put: It pounds spuds with prowess and its all stainless steel construction is built for the long haul.

Serious Eats / Taylor Murray

I absolutely adore our favorite chef’s knife. It’s solid, sturdy, and sharp. I have it in the delightful Purple Yam (lilac) color.

Serious Eats / Vicky Wasik

Our favorite boning knife was under $30 when I purchased it, which made it an easy buy. I’m a general fan of Victorinox’s Fibrox line, which features a textured, grippy handle.

Serious Eats / Ashlee Redger

There’s something truly unpleasant about having to knock an espresso machine’s portafilter into a trash can. A knock box is the obvious solution and this pretty one from Crema Coffee actually looks swell sitting on the countertop.

Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

It’s a delight to watch this can opener spin around and open a can on its own. This is a new purchase (our electric can opener review is very recent!), but I already influenced my mom to buy one after she used mine over Thanksgiving.

Serious Eats / Eric King

Banged-up, dented strainers be gone! This fine-mesh strainer is unparalleled: Capable of straining super-smooth sauces and purees and with a large bowl hook. Its handle is rounded, too, and very comfortable to grasp.

Serious Eats / Eric King

This pie pan is CHEAP and also AMAZING (capitals—emphasis!). I now own two.

Serious Eats / Grace Kelly

These stackable glasses are perfect for small pours of wine, batch cocktails, and plain ol’ water. You can also serve desserts in them (think: panna cotta or chocolate mousse). Whenever I have guests over for dinner, I set a stack of them on the table and let guests pour themselves beverages with abandon.

The bodega glasses were easy to stack and store.Serious Eats / Grace Kelly


What are kitchen gadgets called?

Kitchen gadgets can be called kitchen tools or utensils. 

Who makes the best kitchen utensils? 

It’s safe to say that no one brand makes the best of everything (hence: why we review products!). You can find our guide to common kitchen utensils here.

Why We’re the Experts

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the senior commerce editor at Serious Eats. She’s worked for the site for more than two years and was previously employed at America’s Test Kitchen, Food52, and EatingWell.

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