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CI’s best kitchen tools

citools.JPGCooks Illustrated is known for their willingness to exhaustively test different recipes,  ingredient combinations and kitchen gadgets in their pursuit of the very best. When it comes to their recipes, I have been known to disagree with them from time to time when their perceptions of what a recipe should be differ from my own, but they tend to be very close to the mark on the gadget and kitchen tool front. And I’d rather take their advice than testing out ten types of salad spinners in my own kitchen. In the last issue, they rounded up their top 18 kitchen tools in a list that was complete with tips on why you need each one and why they liked the particular brand of tool. Unfortunately, they didn’t include a list of the tools that they didn’t like, so we don’t know which ones they recommend avoiding, but here are the top 18:

  1. OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
  2. Endurance Colander/Strainer (medium)
  3. OXO Goods Grips 12-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads
  4. Rubbermaid Professional 13-1/2 Inch Heat Resistant Spatula/Scraper
  5. Zyliss Jumbo Garlic Press
  6. Best Commercial Standard French Whisk, 12 Inch
  7. OXO Good Grips i-Series Swivel Peeler
  8. Messermeister Pro-Touch Serrated Peeler
  9. Amco Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set
  10. Rubbermaid Liquid Measuring Cups (I prefer the OXO liquid measuring cups)
  11. Cuispro Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
  12. Cuisipro Accutec Box Grater
  13. Microplane Grater/Zester
  14. Take-Apart Utility Shear
  15. Thermoworks Super-Fast Thermapen
  16. Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill
  17. OXO SteeL Strainer
  18. Taylor Oven Guide Thermometer

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  • Jason
    April 26, 2007

    I tend to agree with you; I’ve found their recipes are always solid, though not always stellar since they have such a specific definition (which doesn’t always agree with my definition).

    But I will say I have a Taylor oven guide thermometer and it’s great. I have an old gas oven, and this thermometer is the only way I’ve been able to get a good temperature reading. However, I also have a set of the Amco stainless steel measuring cups. I find the handles a bit flimsy; sometimes when trying to scoop flour out of the bag, the handles bend.

  • mary
    April 26, 2007

    I love looking at their tool ratings. (I agree that their recipes, while thoroughly tested, are sometimes not what I’m looking for.) I can vouch that the OXO peeler, the OXO salad spinner, and the microplane are some of my favorite kitchen tools. I don’t have experience with the rest of the items on their list, but I keep thinking about shelling out for a thermapen since the instant read thermometers I’ve used always seem to let me down when I’m in the middle of something that requires precision like trying to temper chocolate.

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