We believe the happiest meals are made at home. And that doesn't always mean by an adult; these days, more and more young cooks are cooking for themselves and their families. That's why we started America's Test Kitchen Kids, where we produce recipes, hands-on activities, and books—all kid-tested and kid-approved, of course—with the goal of building a new generation of empowered cooks, engaged eaters, and curious experimenters.
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To get this next generation of cooks started on the right foot, we put together a list of tools geared towards them. Many of these items are appropriate for cooks of all ages, but some, such as the chef's knife and oven mitts, are made especially for kid cooks. We’ve divided the items into six categories: knives, kitchen basics, cookware, small appliances, prep tools, and cooking tools.
The Young Chefs’ ClubGet monthly themed boxes filled with kid-tested, kid-approved recipes, engaging hands-on activities, STEAM-focused experiments, and more! All these items plus our digital library come together to inspire fun, experimentation, learning, and community in the kitchen for kids.
Best Knife for Young Chefs
You will use the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8 Chef's Knife for 9 out of 10 kitchen tasks, from mincing herbs and chopping vegetables to slicing meat. Our winning kids’ chef’s knife is especially popular with our 12- and 13-year-old testers. It's an excellent knife that's sized just right for them. Plus, its comfortable, grippy handle made children feel safe and in control.
Best Chef's Knife for Younger Chefs
The Opinel Chef's Knife is the Best for 8- and 9-year-old testers, this knife's wooden handle has a small, round finger hole that encourages kids to hold it safely and securely. The young testers said that it helped them get a “good grip” on the knife.
The Best Paring Knife
This small knife is for precision work, such as cutting out the core from a ripe tomato or the hull (the leafy green part) from a strawberry. Our favorite paring knife is superadept, and most testers praised it for its ability to disappear in your palm and become an extension of your hand. [Buy Winner | See Full Review]
Oven mitts for kids
All our kid testers found these oven mitts comfortable and maneuverable. They stayed cool for more than 30 seconds when we put them to work with a 350-degree baking sheet and they were perfectly safe for moderately hot tasks like putting cookie sheets into the oven. [Buy Winner | See Full Review]
The Complete Cookbook For Young ChefsWant to bake the most-awesome-ever cupcakes? Or surprise your family with breakfast tacos on Sunday morning? Looking for a quick snack after school? Or maybe something special for a sleepover? It’s all here. Learn to cook like a pro—it’s easier than you think.
Prepping ingredients means more than cutting and chopping. It also means measuring, grating, drying, peeling, and more. Use these tools to get your ingredients ready for action.
Nonstick skillet (12-inch)
Our favorite 12-inch nonstick skillet cooked and released food perfectly, thanks to its darker finish and excellent nonstick coating. Its gently flared sides and lightweight design made it easy to load, unload, and move. We also recommend stocking a 10-inch nonstick skillet.
Traditional metal skillet (12-inch)
With ample cooking surface for sautéing eight chicken pieces without crowding, a steady, even heat for excellent browning; low, flaring sides for good evaporation; and good balance, our favorite traditional pan offers everything we want in a 12-inch skillet.
Large saucepan (3 to 4 quarts)
Our longtime winner excelled, with uniform, steady heating and good visibility inside the saucepan to monitor browning. Its cup-shaped stay-cool handle was easy to grip, and a helper handle provided another grabbing point when the pan was full.
Dutch oven (6 to 7 quarts)
Our favorite pot was substantial enough to hold and distribute heat evenly without being unbearably heavy. The light-colored interior combined with low, straight sides gave us good visibility and made it easy to monitor browning and thermometer position.