equipment
ATK Reviews: Who We Are and What We Do
Our reviews are the most thorough, rigorous, and objective you'll find. Here's why.
12-01-2019
The ATK Reviews Team

We take our reviews seriously—and we’re different from other review sites. We write only about products we’ve tested ourselves, which means no product summaries from other websites. We don’t accept advertising. We purchase all our own products at retail prices and never accept any free or “loaner” products from manufacturers. Once we name a winner, we stock it in our test kitchen, where our team and 60 colleagues use it regularly to monitor its performance and durability. We’re exhaustive but practical, scientific but approachable. And we always put function first. We’ve been doing this for more than 25 years—and we are never done learning. 

Electric kettles
Pasta

Our Promise to You

We want to empower you to succeed in the kitchen. We believe the right equipment and ingredients can make your life better. They have for us. Our goal is to give you all the information you need to make the right purchase so that it’s easier, more satisfying, and more fun to cook at home. Whether you’re making a single over-easy egg or a three-layer wedding cake, we’ve got your back.

Who We Are

The “we” here is the tastings and testings team: eight full-time editors embedded in the America’s Test Kitchen family. We’re journalists. We’re home cooks. We’re passionate about finding the best products. We spend our days debating the finer points of spatula handling and sponge design and holding blind tasting panels to evaluate a wide range of foods such as olive oil, cornmeal, dark chocolate, and hot sauce.

How We Test

We invest heavily in our tests—with both money and time—from spending $10,000 on blenders to find the best option in every price bracket to spending more than $2,500 to test meat cleavers. On average, it takes 160 hours of work to produce each story we publish. This can translate into 66 hours at the stove to cook 700 eggs to find the best nonstick skillet, 50 hours to make 365 slices of toast to find the best toaster, and 75 hours to make 500 smoothies to ensure that our winning blender doesn’t burn out. 

Testing countertop convection ovens
Testing cookware

We survey the market to compose our testing lineups, conducting hours of online research. We look for products that are widely available so that our readers will be able to find them. We consider prestige brands and upstart newcomers, but we never test products in the prototype stage, as what eventually makes it to market might be quite different from the initial model. We always purchase at least two of each product we test. If the first one doesn’t work, we go back and test the second to make sure that our results are solid. We call on experts—scientists, professors, industry specialists, and our own science research editor—to help us understand our test results. When nutrition labels aren’t enough, we send samples to independent labs for analysis to better understand the products.

We Find Products That Last

We test each product for durability, repeatedly running them through the dishwasher, dropping them on the floor, whacking them against a concrete ledge, or heating them up and plunging them into a bucket of ice water to simulate thermal shock. We don’t like torturing equipment; we just want to make sure that if we’re going to recommend something, it will last—so you don’t waste your money.

We Find the Right Product for Each Person

We also have testers of different sizes, skill levels, and dominant hands try out products and give feedback. We have the resources to make extensive testing like this happen, so we find the best products for you, whoever you are. 

How We Conduct Our Taste Tests

We worked with Rutgers University and the University of California, Davis, as well as a statistician to devise our tasting protocols. We use Symphony iRi, a Chicago-based market research firm, to determine top sellers within categories. Depending on the story angle, we also consider artisanal products or emerging brands, as long as we’re certain that the products are accessible enough for readers to locate. We always conduct blind, randomized tastings, removing all packaging and identifying marks from the food. We taste each product in the plainest form possible and then in different recipes chosen to represent the standard ways we use the product. Our tasters are ATK staffers: a mix of professional cooks and regular people. 

Crushed tomatoes
Tasting Greek yogurt

How Our Online Links Work

We want our readers to be able to find the exact products we’re discussing, so we link to them online. We may earn a small percentage on products purchased through our links. Our editorial team is completely separate from our sales team, and we do not factor revenue into our editorial decisions. These links ensure that you get the exact model we tested and prevent us from having to rely on outside advertising or free samples for testing. On the rare occasion that a problem arises with one of our recommended products, we immediately remove the link and update our readers accordingly.

Where to Find Us

We love to hear from readers and want feedback on our recommendations. We monitor and reply to the comments at the bottom of our stories, so please come and chat with us. For any general questions, feedback, or comments, please email atkreviews@americastestkitchen.com.

You can find our entire archive of equipment reviews and taste tests on our websites. We also publish lots of review videos, including our Gear Heads series, on the America's Test Kitchen YouTube channel.

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