This pair of scissors had everything we wanted: comfortable handles, sharp and sturdy blades, and a durable design that stood up to the thickest shells. The gently arched blades were very slightly serrated, which helped with crunching into shells, yet they were still slim enough to reach up narrow lobster legs without damaging tender meat.
Quick and easy, these parchment bags eliminate the fussiness of folding and crimping sheets of parchment paper and look better on the plate than a packet of foil does. Simply fill and fold—it’s as easy as stuffing a lunch sack.
Roomy and collapsible, this basket comfortably held fish, broccoli, and dumplings. Our only quibble? The long pop-up handle. To cover the pot—a spacious Dutch oven—we had to depress the basket’s handle into the “down” position; removing the basket meant reaching into the hot steam to pop the handle back up.
This bamboo steamer cooked dumplings, bao, salmon, and greens quickly and efficiently. The thick bamboo slats in the base of each tier were durable and didn’t chip or shred. And because those tiers were reinforced with steel bands, they kept their shapes better than those of the other models, remaining perfectly circular and easy to align after 10 washes.
Comfortable from any angle, this spatula boasts a thin front edge and moderately flexible head with a slight upward tilt that kept food secure. It melted slightly at 380 degrees, despite the manufacturers' claims that it was heat resistant to 430 degrees.
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.
Missed a perfect score only because one picky tester thought the pincers bruised cooked asparagus—a minor complaint. Class valedictorian in every other respect.
The newest instant-read thermometer by ThermoWorks is the best we’ve tested yet. It has all the features we loved in our previous favorite: a large, grippy handle; a rotating screen with large, highly legible numbers; and a backlight that goes on when viewing conditions are dim. It’s waterproof to a water depth of 39 inches for 30 minutes, it goes to sleep when not in use, and the display wakes up automatically when you pick up the entire unit. The ONE improves on its predecessor, though: As its name indicates, it takes just 1 second to measure a temperature. The backlight is brighter, and you can now use the thermometer when cooking on induction burners—the engineers at ThermoWorks have taken measures to eliminate the electromagnetic interference that sometimes occurs when you use digital thermometers with induction cooktops.
This thermometer was fast, accurate, and easy to hold. It had a few cushy extra features, including a rotating display and a backlight, which came in handy for grilling. The ThermoPop is an excellent inexpensive alternative to the Thermapen.
Heavy and thick, with easy-grip vertical handles, this sturdy, handsome carbon-steel pan made it easy to produce evenly cooked paella and perfectly browned socarrat. The pan required initial seasoning and maintenance, but the resulting patina was practically nonstick, ensuring that the socarrat released effortlessly and that cleanup was simple—with few crusty bits stuck to the pan, a brief scrub was usually all that was necessary before reheating and oiling.
This oyster knife (we chose the model with a stainless steel blade) is well crafted, with a simple, comfortable wooden handle that never budged in our hands. A slightly upturned tip was helpful when inserting the point into the hinge and was able to slice oyster muscle without damaging the meat. It’s the lightest knife that we tested; one shucker noted that it “seemed to disappear and become part of your hand.”
Restaurant professionals that we interviewed favor this sturdy knife, and we can see why. Its pointy, upturned tip easily maneuvers to pop hinges and slice muscles. The textured, nonslip polypropylene handle is longer than most of the others that we tested, with a rounded bulb at the end that fit comfortably in hands of all sizes. It performed just as well as our winner but is a bit heavier.
Our new favorite won us over with its ultrasharp, moderately flexible blade, which made every task seem nearly effortless. It kept its edge throughout testing, even after deboning an additional 10 chicken breasts. Its slightly shorter length proved especially advantageous with finer jobs, giving us more control as we boned chicken breasts. And although we wish the plastic handle were made of a grippier material, its slim profile made it easy to grasp in different ways.
With a razor-sharp, moderately long blade, this knife made every task seem effortless. Its tip was the narrowest in our lineup, so it made near-surgical incisions, turning tightly around strawberry stems and pineapple eyes so that more of the fruit surrounding them was left intact. And its blade was also narrow at the heel, making it particularly adept at peeling even the most knobbly pieces of ginger. Lightweight with a relatively grippy wood veneer handle, it was also comfortable to hold for long periods.
The blade on this paring knife is identical to that of our original winner; it’s just as sharp, thin, and nimble as ever, and it’s capable of making ultraprecise slices and incisions. Its plastic handle is easy to grip and accommodates large and small hands easily. In addition, the handle doesn’t add too much weight to the knife overall, allowing for agile, effortless use.
The cooking surface was slick, both when new and after extensive use, and food never stuck. It’s one of the lightest models we tested, so it was easy to lift and maneuver, but it was also sturdy and resisted denting. All of our testers liked its wide, comfortable handle. Like every other model, its surface became scratched when we used a knife as if to cut a frittata, but it otherwise held up well.