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.
The Best Cooking Supplies for Kids
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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]
You can’t cut, slice, and mince without a cutting board. Our favorite bargain board sports rubber strips on both sides that keep its lightweight frame safely anchored to the counter.
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]
Prep bowls (large, medium, small)
Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. They can even be used in the microwave and the oven.
Goldilocks would like our favorite dish towel: It’s not too thick or too thin, too big or too small. Its fabric tightened, toughened, and grew more absorbent the more we used and washed it. [Buy Winner | See Full Review]
This ultraclingy wrap was the thickest out of all the products we tested, making it strong, resilient, and nearly impossible to rip or puncture.
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.
This easy-to-store, flat grater made shredding a breeze, thanks to big holes; a large surface for better efficiency; and a solid, rigid frame that enabled continuous grating (rather than short bursts).
Liquid measuring cup
The unbeatable traditional version of the Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cup has been a longtime favorite of cooks everywhere—and for good reason.
Dry measuring cups
Accurate and extremely durable, the best set in our lineup snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
Our redesigned favorite is better than ever. Its patented pump mechanism was the easiest to use among the models we tested, and its performance remained superb, holding plenty of greens.
With this easy to read, use, and clean ruler, you won't have to guess how thick 1/8 of an inch is. The inches are divided into 32nds on one side and 16ths on the other.
Our favorite Y-shaped peeler is featherweight (3/8 of an ounce), but surprisingly sturdy, and easily tackled every task.
This Microplane grabbed the top spot thanks to its great performance and its soft, grippy rubber handle.
Our favorite citrus juicer's large, rounded handles were easy to squeeze for testers of all sizes, which helped this press quickly extract far more juice than any other model.
The comfortable handles on our favorite, sleek press opened wide, allowing us to easily load cloves. It produced a uniform mince, handled unpeeled cloves well, and quickly rinsed clean.
Sleek, smart, and comfortable, our favorite can opener’s visible gears were easy to attach. The straight, textured handle fit comfortably and securely in hand.
Comfortable and accurate with long handles, our winning set nests nicely. The rim of each spoon is flush with the handle so it is easy to sweep accurately.
Our longtime winner is still the best instant-read thermometer on the market. It's dead accurate, fast, and so streamlined and simple that it's a breeze to use.
This bamboo spoon's rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.
With all-over tiny perforations that don’t allow small foods to escape, our longtime favorite colander has a draining performance that remains unmatched.
This pastry brush did a good job on all the tasks. Testers loved the grippy, rubbery material of the handle.
With an ergonomic Santoprene rubber handle and a balanced, lightweight feel, our winning whisk was like an extension of a hand. It whipped cream and egg whites quickly and easily blended pan sauces to smoothness.
Comfortable from any angle, our favorite spatula boasts a thin front edge and moderately flexible head with a slight upward tilt that kept food secure.
The flexible head of our favorite rubber spatula handily maneuvers in tight corners and edges but is strong enough to scoop heavy food.
Our favorite model easily picked up foods of all shapes and sizes—from dainty blueberries to a hefty jar of salsa—and was extremely comfortable to operate.
With a roomy, medium-depth basket of very fine, tight, stiff mesh, our winning strainer removed lots of bran from whole-wheat flour and produced silky purees.
The plethora of small holes on our winner's mashing plate made an ultracreamy, smooth mash, and its handle felt comfortable in hands of all sizes.
Everything we did with our favorite ladle felt easy and controlled, from scooping chunky stew out of a small saucepan to reaching into a tall stockpot to collect broth.
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.
Rimmed baking sheet
Everything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant sheet cooked appropriately and evenly. Best of all, our new favorite is a few bucks cheaper than our old winner.
Testers gave top marks to a rack that has six feet on three support bars for extra stability. Cookies cooled evenly on this rack, and pork emerged from the oven with crisp, browned surfaces.
The least-expensive model in our testing lineup, the winning blender had a narrow jar that combined food well.
With a powerful, quiet motor; responsive pulsing action; sharp blades; and a simple, pared-down-to-basics design, our old favorite aced every test, surprising us time and again by outshining pricier, more feature-filled competitors.
The winning mixer felt like the sports car of the products we tested: light, maneuverable, and efficient. Its five speeds were powerful and well calibrated, nicely covering the range called for in recipes.
The most reliable and efficient toaster in the lineup has quartz elements for even heating and one long slot that can fit two pieces of sandwich bread. We loved its clear windows, which let us keep track of browning, and its “stop” button.