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About Us

In the Kitchen

The Test Kitchen Is the Epicenter of Everything We Do

It's where the magic—and the recipe development and product reviewing—happens.

Located in Boston's Seaport District in the historic Innovation and Design Building, ATK features 15,000 square feet of kitchen space, including multiple photography and video studios. It is the workday destination for more than 60 test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. Our mission is to test recipes over and over again until we understand how and why they work and until we arrive at the best version.

Recipe Development

We start the process of testing a recipe with a complete lack of preconceptions, which means that we accept no claim, no technique, and no recipe at face value. We simply assemble as many variations as possible, test a half-dozen of the most promising, and taste the results blind. We then construct our own recipe and continue to test it, varying ingredients, techniques, and cooking times until we reach a consensus.

But that’s not enough. Recipes are then sent to the Friends of ATK, a cadre of 60,000 at-home recipe testers, for their feedback. Are the instructions clear? How did it look? How did it taste? Only recipes that score 80% or higher on our “I’ll definitely make this again” rating make it through to you. We also have kid-friendly recipe and activity testing. Parents and guardians can learn more about that here. The result of all of this work, we hope, is the best version of a particular recipe.

Test cooks in the ATK kitchen
Test cooks in the ATK kitchen

All of this would not be possible without a belief that good cooking, much like good music, is based on a foundation of objective technique. Some people like spicy foods and others don't, but there is a right way to saute, there is a best way to cook a pot roast, and there are measurable scientific principles involved in producing perfectly beaten, stable egg whites. Our ultimate goal is to investigate the fundamental principles of cooking to give you the techniques, tools, and ingredients you need to become a better cook. It's as simple as that.

ATK Reviews

The mission of the ATK Reviews team is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. Our team of dedicated testers 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.

Yearly Stats

  • 500 pieces of equipment, cookware, kitchen cleaning products, and new gadgets tested
  • 175 ingredients and convenience products, such as chicken broth, all kinds of canned tomatoes, gluten-free pasta, and frozen pizza tested

Learn more about our ATK Reviews team and their product testing here, and watch the video below for a look inside their testing.


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