The 29 Cooking Tools Our Editors Loved This Year


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Dec 21, 2023

The 29 Cooking Tools Our Editors Loved This Year

By Megan Wahn All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Our editors

By Megan Wahn

All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Our editors love cooking, but you probably guessed that. We also love trying an ever-evolving list of new cooking tools, gadgets, and ingredients just as much as we love trying a new recipe. This year, just as in years past, we found some new stars and discovered even more reasons to love our tried-and-true favorite gadgets. Here’s a list of the Epicurious staff’s favorite cooking stuff of 2022.

If you want rich, potent chicken flavor, but you don't have time to make stock, contributor Genevieve Yam recommends Lee Kum Kee chicken powder—and she got commerce writer Wilder Davies fully obsessed with it in August. The powder, when mixed with water, results in a broth that tastes purely, deeply of chicken, without some of the vegetal flavors that often dominate bouillon cubes.

Got a small or slow draining sink? Wilder recommends opting for a colander that suspends over the top of your sink via adjustable handles. You can strain pasta without worrying about food touching the bottom of the sink, or being contaminated by those dishes that piled up while you were cooking. Plus, it can work double duty as a drying rack.

Everyone needs a good serving bowl. Epicurious staff writer Emily Farris did a deep dive to find the best one, and she thinks that the Year & Day low serving bowl offers just the right size, depth, and simple elegance. Trust us: Your pasta will look stunning in it.

This past summer we went hard on grilling, attempting to find the best gear for many, many types of outdoor cooks. While testing portable grills, reviews editor Noah Kaufman became enamored with this briefcase-shaped grill from Nomad: It's ideal for tailgating (Super Bowl LVII, here we come).

Noah found having smaller sheet pans on hand—a quarter size instead of the more common half sheet pan)—was crucial this year. This set of two from our favorite brand has allowed him to cook multiple dinners at once, appeasing the palates of his picky-eating kids and the adults in his home with minimal effort.

Looking for a new all-purpose seasoning? Senior commerce writer Emily Farris recommends Jack Stack Barbecue Meat & Poultry Rub. “It’s salty but not too salty, spicy but not too spicy, and sweet but not too sweet, with garlic and hickory smoke too,” Emily explains. “It hits all of the Kansas City barbecue notes but it doesn’t necessarily make food taste like barbecue. It just makes food taste better.”

This durable citrus juicer comes with a measuring cup, so you know exactly how much zingy lemon juice you're adding to a dish.

If you don’t have one already, you really need a meat thermometer. It’s the only way to ensure that your protein is cooked exactly how you want it, especially when you're grilling and smoking. This smart wireless meat thermometer connects to your phone; it's one of the most convenient, accurate, and easy-to-use models we’ve ever tried.

If there was one cleaning product that changed the game for us this year, it was the mop vac. This cleaning gadget does what it says: it mops and vacuums your floors. It's a very powerful tool for messy cooks who are prone to coffee spills, splattering sauces, and rogue olive oil application.

This shaved ice maker attaches to your KitchenAid, meaning slushies, frozen cocktails, and layered summer desserts are possible in your home kitchen.

A chamber sealer seals food by creating a vacuum within the machine’s walls, rather than by simply removing air and sealing the edge (as an edge-sealer does). They've typically been reserved for chefs and industry pros, but Noah loved the Anova Precision Chamber Vacuum Sealer for its comparatively compact size and affordable price.

Photo by Travis Rainey

Wrestling with piping bags can be annoying even for the most seasoned bakers. These silicone bulbs are easy to maneuver and ideal for frosting holiday cookies—and they're dishwasher safe.

This stockpot's unique structure and build are meant to prevent boil-overs—it's perfect for the distracted parent who's doing six other things while they're making mac and cheese.

Photo by Travis Rainey, Styling by Joseph De Leo

This flexible, curved cousin of the bench scraper allows you to scrape every last bit of batter from your bowl. The best ones are large and have an asymmetrical D-shape, so they're easy to manuever around any type of bowl. Read more about why Wilder loves them.

Bigger is, in fact, better when it comes to grilling spatulas. This tool makes flipping big burgers a cinch, and means you're less likely to lose stray asparagus stalks to the flames.

If you want to cook like a pro, then you need to make sure your workstation is set up like one. Genevieve uses these small sauce cups to hold her spices, herbs, and chopped vegetables, so the cooking and the clean-up afterwards move more quickly.

Let the record show that in April 2022, Bee’s Wrap finally released reusable bags and we were eternally grateful.

Emily Farris purchased this Lego-inspired brick waffle maker and took the concept of playing with food to the next level for her kids. Build towers of fluffy waffles instead of gingerbread houses this holiday season. It's the perfect gift for the six-year-old who builds Lego sets designed for adults (and loves to brag about it).

The Joule Oven Air Fryer Pro has an autopilot feature that automatically adjusts how much heat is used during cooking—and where within the oven that heat is coming from. It's our favorite air frying toaster oven of the year.

A chimney starter came in handy when we took on hundreds of grilling sessions this year to test gear: It’s the fastest and easiest way to get a charcoal grill or offset smoker fired up.

While Emily Farris doesn’t consider herself a coffee snob, she does have certain standards when it comes to her morning cup. And this Nespresso machine more than meets them. This isn't the machine for coffee geeks, but it is the machine for people who want a convenient, delicious shot of espresso.

Is there anything sadder than baking a perfectly golden cake, only to break it in half when you're trying to place it on your cake stand? Cake lifters are essentially pizza peels for cake, and they make the transition from pan to plate beautifully seamless.

Pro tip from a pro bartender: The best way to make a citrus twist isn’t with your standard y-peeler, but with a cheese slicer.

Aebleskiver pans are good for more than just aebleskiver, which is why Wilder loved having one this year to make Japanese takoyaki and buckwheat-based Dutch poffertjes.

Emily Farris says that, if asked to choose between a food processor, Vitamix, or immersion blender for pulverizing and puréeing, she'd choose the immersion blender all day, every day. It's a hot take, but we respect it.

Associate commerce director Emily Johnson found these bowls that hang over your cabinet doors recommended on TikTok. She tried them and found that they were perfect for sweeping food scraps away as you cook, so you have a clear workspace and a contained mess.