A microwaveable bowl with lid, this popcorn popper couldn't be simpler. Just add plain popcorn kernels, put the lid on, and microwave. You could serve right from the bowl, but it does get hot. No oil or fat needed. Hand-washing is recommended, but the two pieces are very simple and wash up in an instant.
Essentials for a Night In
What's a night at home without delicious snacks?
This solid sheet pan is roomy, and raised edges on two sides make it easy to maneuver (though it’s a bit heavy). Cookies baked evenly, both across the sheet and from top to bottom, and its thick aluminum resists warping. Even without parchment, this sheet released cookies easily.
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.
These precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. They're also sized just right to slide easily into a standard rimmed baking sheet, although we did have to use two overlapping sheets when rolling jelly roll cakes into coils. Their superior convenience made them the runaway favorite. Don't let the purchase price distract you: The per-sheet cost falls squarely in the middle of our lineup.
Made of teak, this bar board is naturally slightly oily, so it required less maintenance than the other wood or bamboo boards we tested, and it stained somewhat less extensively. It was big enough to accommodate all the foods we cut on it though still highly portable. And it’s reversible, with a juice groove on one side that helped contain messes when we cut a lemon into wedges. It was the heaviest bar board we tested, so it stayed put on the counter pretty well, though rubbery grips would have provided some extra security. Finally, it’s quite handsome, making a beautiful small platter for serving cheese or charcuterie.
The broad, shallow shape of these inexpensive bowls put food within easy reach and allowed for wide turns of a spatula. These were also the lightest bowls in the lineup—the combined weight of all three that we tested was less than 1 1/2 pounds— allowing us to comfortably lift, scrape, and pour.
Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.
Featuring grippy rubberized handles and an inner spring with just the right amount of resistance, this portion scoop was very comfortable to hold and squeeze. It also dispensed dough with the neatest and most controlled motion.
Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
We still love our former Best Buy. Its desserts were “even-textured,” “velvety,” and “delightful.” We also liked its lightweight, compact design and the simplicity of its one-button operation. The paddle blades were fully submerged in the base and did not interfere with our thermometer probe.
This robot was outstanding at picking up nearly every last bit of the sample messes we scattered, partly due to its unique dual counter-rotating rubber brushes. We appreciated that it would periodically dock to recharge and empty its own bin (the dock holds replaceable vacuum cleaner bags) before returning to cleaning. It quickly mapped multiple rooms accurately, making it easy to set cleaning schedules and assign it to specific rooms on demand. Its app wasn’t always the most user-friendly, with some tasks taking multiple steps, but it was adequate. One caveat: While the manufacturer guarantees that this robot avoids pet “accidents,” it didn’t do so consistently: Sometimes it was remarkably clever in dodging the larger pieces of soft plastic dog poo we placed on the floor, but it plowed right over small ones. It did avoid electrical cords as promised. We liked that this robot can be set to start cleaning when it detects that you have left the house and stop when you return, using the location on your phone or by linking to other smart home features such as your door locks. You can also set it to be silent at specific times, such as while you have Zoom meetings or the baby naps.
This new blender from Breville improves upon its predecessor in a few key ways. It’s more powerful, so it can get smoothies and almond butter even smoother, and it has a dedicated “green smoothie” button that completely blends fibrous ingredients into a silky smooth drink. It’s reasonably quiet and reasonably compact, and combined its ingredients efficiently with minimal pauses to scrape down the sides. Like the previous model, it still automatically stops every 60 seconds, which can be a little annoying during longer blends, but this wasn’t that big of an issue. Its timer makes tracking recipe stages very easy.
This folded metal pan produced tall, picture-perfect pound cake and sandwich bread with crisp corners. Like all folded pans, it lacked handles and had crevices in the corners that trapped food. We had to clean it very carefully. The corrugated pattern on the metal didn't affect the appearance of the baked goods. It still scratched slightly.
This scoop’s gently curved oval bowl forms perfect round orbs that release easily. Even better, its wide, comfortable handle contains heat-conductive fluid that warms up instantly when your hand grips the exterior; when that heat travels to the bowl, the warm metal slightly melts the ice cream or sorbet so that it’s particularly easy to scoop.
By pressing a large button on the top of the machine, you can quickly and easily carbonate water along a spectrum from mildly fizzy to very bubbly. An internal mechanism latches on to the water bottle and releases it gently. The machine is sturdy and fairly compact, and the water bottles are a convenient size.
This large, sleek glass kettle was one of the quickest in our lineup. The power switch lights up in an icy blue when it’s activated, the handle is wide and comfortable, and the kettle sits securely on its base. We also liked its slow-open lid, which prevents accidental burns from steam and splashing water. It has a removable filter in its spout which, while not strictly necessary, is a handy feature in areas where the water has sediment.
Buy This If You Like: Salsa with crunchy pieces of vegetables and a good amount of heat
“Delicate, delightfully salty, great overall,” summed up one taster, and others agreed: “Has a good crunch to it that provides nice texture when eating with salsa.” “Great chip. I like the size and snap. It's salty, but that complements the flavor; it holds up well to salsa and tastes good alone as well.” In our scooping test using thick guacamole, this larger chip stayed intact and passed with flying colors.
These nuggets won over our tasters with “a pretty convincing texture” that was “very meat-like.” They were “soft without being mushy and [had] enough resistance without being rubbery.” The “nicely variegated interior” contrasted with the coating’s “light crunch.” Overall these nuggets were “delicious,” with a “savory, meaty, [and] rich” flavor.