Behind-the-scenes
Gadgets Galore at the 2018 ATK Equipment Giveaway
The annual "ATK Christmas" means new kitchen equipment for everyone.
04-19-2018
Mari Levine

Ever wonder what happens to all of the equipment we test? In this peek behind the scenes, you'll learn about one of America's Test Kitchen's unique work perks: the annual Equipment Giveaway. If you like what you see, take a look at our job postings to find your spot at America's Test Kitchen.


 

The hallways echo with squeals of delight. A long queue of employees forms outside of the Tasting and Testing team’s lab. A test cook walks to her desk balancing several pieces of kitchen equipment in her arms.

These scenes aren’t uncommon on any given day at America’s Test Kitchen. But today, it means something else: It’s Equipment Giveaway day.

Every year, the members of the Tasting and Testing team—those part journalists, part cooks, part scientists who cut skillets in half and disassemble slow cookers to determine the best in a line of products—sift through their storage areas and designate items that are no longer needed. Some pieces of equipment must be kept to film on our TV shows or use in photo shoots, but eventually, all of the old stuff is given away to make place for the new.

Some pieces of equipment are donated to local charities, and whatever’s left over ends up in the Equipment Giveaway, which is kind of like Supermarket Sweep—or “ATK Christmas,” as some like to call it—for America’s Test Kitchen employees.

Here’s how it works: In advance of the Giveaway, each member of the staff is emailed a randomly assigned 15-minute round. On the big day, each person is allowed to choose from sections that have been carefully categorized by the Tasting and Testing team. This year, we had our choice of one large item (think ice cream makers and stand mixers), two medium items (such as skillets and cold-brew coffee makers), or three small items (like tongs, spider skimmers, and vegetable peelers). Some employees do extensive research ahead of time, studying our equipment reviews and memorizing the winners or writing lists of our favorites to bring with them when it's their turn. In many cases, that preparation pays off—even the items we don't recommend make it into the Giveaway, so it's best to know which products to avoid!

This year, more than 500 items were up for grabs. Here are a couple shots of the action, plus some ATK employees' new additions to their kitchens.

ATK Equipment Giveaway
This year's Giveaway included muffin tins, skillets, baking pans, and lots more.
ATK Equipment Giveaway
Members of the Tasting and Testing team enjoy the calm before the storm.

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