Registering for your wedding can be both fun and stressful: there’s a seemingly infinite amount of things you can put on your registry and decision fatigue sets in quick. But what happens when you’re engaged and you also review kitchen equipment for a living? Is it any easier, or is the pressure even higher?
It just so happens that two of us on America's Test Kitchen's Tastings and Testings team are both engaged and in the process of creating our own registries. Here we share a peek at our wedding registries and offer insight into building a practical list of things you want and need. (We also included a couple non-kitchen-equipment-related ideas because we're so excited about them).
Lauren Savoie, Senior Tastings and Testings Editor
Since I'm among the last of my family and friends to get married, I’ve perused my share of registries over the years.
Selecting an item off someone’s registry can be a small agony when your job is to review kitchen equipment. You want to buy the couple something that you know will perform well and hold up over time, while also respecting their wish list. Usually I just end up forgoing kitchen stuff altogether and selecting something on more neutral territory—bath towels, or maybe a throw pillow.
Fortunately, my mental rolodex of winning and best buy equipment came in handy when it was time to build my own registry with my fiance, Rob. Here are a few of my favorites from our registry.
After five years of reviewing kitchen equipment (and five years of equipment giveaways), I have most of the larger kitchen items I truly need. A good chunk of my registry consists of duplicates of my favorite small wares like this fish spatula (truly life changing), this lemon juicer, and these 12-Inch OXO tongs in both stainless steel and with silicone tips.
Mini Stand Mixer
We’re probably hugely breaking protocol telling you about this before our full review is published (shhh, don’t tell our editors), but Riddley and I are both so excited about adding this mini stand mixer to our registries. My fiance and I live in a small apartment with limited cabinet and counter space. This little guy can do just about anything you’d need a stand mixer to do, but weighs 10 pounds less and takes up 30 percent of the space.
Riddley loves it so much that she also added it to her registry, even though she already owns the cadillac KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Qt Bowl Lift Stand Mixer. Her reasoning: “It’s perfect for more daily stand mixer tasks (yep, I bake a lot), like making a batch of cookies.” Plus, it comes in all sorts of fun colors; I registered for “hot sauce” and Riddley registered for “guava glaze.” Look for our full review later this year. (Spoiler: in case you couldn’t tell, we love it.)
All Red Everything
In addition to the “hot sauce” colored mini stand mixer, we seem to have registered for everything in shades of red: a microplane zester, a salt box, and this suitcase. We weren’t going to add any servingware to our registry, but I coveted the beautiful collection of dansk buffet servers in Cook's Country test cook Alli Berkey’s kitchen so badly that I added some to our registry in, you guessed it, red. I’m also only slightly ashamed to admit that I registered for another Dutch oven even though we already have two that we love. But, hey, have you seen the new Le Creuset colors? That “fig” colored Dutch oven is just calling my name.
We love making fresh pasta at home. Or, I should say, my fiance loves it when I make fresh pasta at home. We already have a great hand-crank pasta machine, so I’ve registered for some tools to level-up my pasta making. I’m most excited for this chittara, a guitar-shaped tool native to Abruzzo, where my family comes from. It’s used to make a special square-shaped spaghetti: you roll a sheet of pasta across the strings and then “strum” to release them into the box below. We also registered for a gnocchi roller and a set of pretty pasta bowls.
If you buy your knives piecemeal (which you should—read more about why we don’t recommend knife sets) you’re going to need a way to store them. I’ve owned a number of knife blocks over the years and they always end up scuffed or the knives just don’t fit right in the oddly-sized slots. I registered for our favorite universal knife block, the Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block because it’s roomy, magnetic, solidly built, and easy to clean.
Like any good millennial, I have an apartment full of house plants. I’ve cherished every plant I’ve received throughout the years and I think they make great gifts that change and grow with you over time. We have five plants on our registry: a rubber tree, a Dracaena, a silver bay Aglaonema, a fern, and an aloe plant. I specifically chose plants that don’t need much attention and thrive in low light. If I were more adventurous or had a better green thumb, I’d probably add a fiddle-leaf fig, split leaf Philodendron, or calathea.
Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer
This juicer's large, rounded handles are easy to squeeze and its star-like arrangement of large draining slots direct the juice in a steady stream with no splattering or overflowing.
Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm, Assistant Tastings and Testings Editor
My fiance and I are among the first of our friends to get married, so registering for a wedding felt exciting and new.
Thankfully, I have consistently received cooking equipment as holiday and birthday gifts, so our kitchen is pretty well-stocked. Being that I’m 25 and my fiance, Alex, is 24, our chief kitchen-focus for our registry is upgrading some of our cheaper pieces of kitchen equipment or things we received secondhand, bought off Craigslist (college budgets, people!), or in the clearance section at Target. Our second focus is to make sure we get some good investment pieces that’ll last forever, like a great Dutch oven and really high-quality knives.
Here are a few of our favorites from our registry—from a rather gorgeous ladle to the vacuum cleaners (yes, plural) we hope to get.
I’m using my wedding registry as an opportunity to upgrade all of my so-so kitchen tools and appliances to America’s Test Kitchen recommended products. This includes this gorgeous teak cutting board, sleek-looking ladle, colander, fine-mesh strainer, dish rack, and Cuisinart Custom 14 Cup Food Processor. (We already have a food processor, but we registered for the copper version because, to be honest, it’s very pretty).
Carbon Steel Everything
Testing 10-inch carbon-steel skillets made me realize I was lacking carbon steel in my life (and kitchen!). We registered for these 12-inch and 10-inch carbon steel skillets, this paella pan, and this Bob Kramer 8" Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels that is almost too stunning to use.
Pet Supplies and Vacuums (Yes, Plural)
We have two dogs, whom, if you ask my fiance, are the real loves of my life. (They're represented on my registry with these rather expensive car harnesses, these GPS pet trackers and this dog camera for when they’re stuck at home.) In this category, I’m also going to mention my dream vacuums. You see, one of our dogs is a German Shepherd whom I (fondly?) call the German Shedder, so our registry includes a robot vacuum, cordless vacuum, and a flex vac for the car. It might sound like a lot, but considering how much dog hair manages to get on our furniture, this is not overkill.
RSVP International Endurance Precision Pierced 5 Qt. Colander
With all-over tiny perforations that don’t allow small foods to escape, this well-designed colander has a draining performance that remains unmatched.
Bob Kramer 8" Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels
This gorgeous knife has a precise tip and ultrathin blade that minces herbs and slices meat like butter. It also maintains its eadge and has an ultracomfortable handle.
Looking for more help choosing the very best equipment to stock in your kitchen? Check out all of our reviews and these articles: