10 America’s Test Kitchen-Approved Tools & Small Appliances To Elevate Your Cooking Game

Feb 21, 2024

america's test kitchen, sur la table, best kitchen tools, best small appliances

When it comes to separating fact from fiction, no one does it quite like the folks at America’s Test Kitchen.

Since 1993, they’ve been putting recipes, equipment and ingredients to the test, with the goal of helping cooks across the country become more comfortable—and confident—in the kitchen.

And as the leaders in the cooking, baking and entertaining space, it only makes sense that some of our most beloved, sought-after and best-selling cookware, tools and small appliances would get the ATK stamp of approval.

Below, we’re highlighting 10 of our must-have kitchen tools and small appliances that will take your cooking from meh to magnificent.


Hungry for more? Put the tools to the test in one of our America’s Test Kitchen-sponsored cooking classes! From homemade pasta to a blueberry jam cake and pesto calabrese, you’ll get hands-on tips & tricks from our experienced Resident Chefs and snag a few new delicious recipes to add to your arsenal.

Explore America’s Test Kitchen Cooking Classes

america's test kitchen, sur la table, breville smart oven

Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

If you haven’t yet hopped on the countertop oven train, this is your sign.

Gone are the days of single-function small appliances—this 13-in-1 machine can do everything from air fry and toast to dehydrate and proof bread. It’s even equipped with a pizza setting to give you that wood-fired flavor, right at home.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“Our top pick had intuitive controls and consistently made the best food in the bunch. We liked its clearly labeled knobs and digital interface that displayed the time, temperature, and cooking setting. It made excellent toast (it has adjustable settings that you can customize depending on your slice of bread); produced tender, browned broiled asparagus; yielded roasted chicken that was golden all over; and made air-fryer french fries and chicken Parmesan on par with recipes made in our favorite traditional air fryer.”

Get the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, le creuset, cookware

Le Creuset Signature Braiser, 3.5 qt.

If there’s anything the folks at Le Creuset do well (like, really well), it’s enameled cast iron.

From roasts and casseroles to breads, desserts and appetizers, there’s virtually nothing this enameled cast iron braiser can’t do. With stellar heat conduction and retention and generous surface area to conquer even the most daunting of dishes, you’ll reach for this braiser time and time again.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“Our top-ranked braiser had several features that contributed to a solid performance in test after test: a light interior that made it easy to monitor browning; a moderately thick bottom that helped ensure good heat retention and even browning; a generous cooking surface that fit every recipe from whole chicken to meatballs to pork ragu without crowding; and large, comfortable looped handles and a stainless steel lid knob that gave us a secure grip—especially important when the pan was heavy and full of hot food.”

Get the Le Creuset Signature Braiser!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, cuisinart food processor

Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor

When it comes to food processors, it doesn’t get much better than the original.

When Cuisinart first introduced the food processor to America in the early 1970s, it changed home cooking—and for good reason. Tedious and time-consuming tasks like making pie dough or pesto could now be accomplished with the push of a button, from shredding cheese and kneading dough to chopping veggies or making dips.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“Our previous favorite still excelled with power, precision, and a compact, streamlined design that takes up less space than most food processors, despite having one of the largest capacities—all at a moderate price. Its smooth, simple bowl and blade design are easy to handle, monitor during use, and clean. Its unusual feed tube placement allows for increased bowl visibility. It comes with just three blades for chopping, shredding, and slicing that can all be stored inside the bowl, with no accessories box to deal with.”

Get the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, cheese grater, olive garden cheese grater

Zyliss Restaurant Cheese Grater

Anyone who’s ever dined at Olive Garden has dreamt of this cheese grater.

We’re not even kidding. Type “Olive Garden cheese grater” into Google and it’ll pull up a bevy of articles and TikTok videos, all proclaiming their love for this cheese grater and that you can, in fact, buy it yourself.

And there’s good reason for the hype—it grates cheese faster than other tested models (America’s Test Kitchen grated 1 ounce of Parmesan cheese in just 23 seconds!) and is designed to accommodate both left- and right-handed users.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“Our favorite model consistently grated Parmesan more quickly than all the other models. While it was small enough to pass around the table easily, it had a relatively large hopper that accommodated big chunks of cheese. Rubberized grips on the handle and crank made it especially easy to hold. And its crank could be installed on either the left or the right side of its rotating drum, so both lefties and righties can use it.”

Get the Zyliss Restaurant Cheese Grater!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, electric knife sharpener

Chef’sChoice Trizor XV Knife Sharpener

Ask any chef or seasoned cook and they’ll tell you: a dull knife is a dangerous knife.

But thanks to this electric knife sharpener from Chef’sChoice, you can leave danger—and dullness—behind. Designed with a 3-stage sharpening process, this easy-to-use sharpener is ideal for keeping blades at peak performance between professional sharpenings, helping to prevent injury and extend the life of your knives.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“Our top-rated sharpener had the winning combination of producing truly exceptional and consistent results quickly, neatly, and efficiently. The manual clearly outlined a few specific steps that must be followed each time, and it took about 2 minutes from start to finish to get a polished, razor-sharp edge. Narrow, spring-loaded slots made it easy and unambiguous to maintain a consistent angle as we moved the knife through the three slots. It rapidly removed a notch we cut in the blade and easily sharpened both our everyday chef’s knife and pricey carbon-steel chef’s knife.” 

Get the Chef’sChoice Trizor XV Knife Sharpener!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, onion goggles

R.S.V.P. International Onion Goggles

Onion tears. Fighting them off often proves futile, and it seems that no one is immune. Until now.

Designed with a comfortable but sturdy foam seal, these goggles are made for one thing and one thing only—and gosh darn it, they do it well.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“While they certainly look a bit goofy, the goggles do help maintain focus on the onions—yellow, Vidalia, red, or otherwise—rather than the tissue box. We found that they block irritating fumes better than sunglasses, and the foam padding around the antifog lenses is a more comfortable alternative to swim goggles. Available in white or black with lime green trim.”

Get the R.S.V.P. International Onion Goggles!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, ooni pizza oven

Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Pizza Oven

Trust us, this Ooni pizza oven will make you never want to eat frozen or take-out pizza again.

Rivaling a traditional stone pizza oven, the Ooni Koda 16 heats to a whopping 950°F—cooking your pizza to the ideal chewiness and crispness in just 60 seconds. But this ain’t some one-trick pony. With a capacity large enough to cook a 16″ pizza, this oven will also tackle everything from steaks and veggies to flatbreads and desserts.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“Our favorite outdoor pizza oven offers the convenience of propane and the ability to cook pizzas up to 16 inches in diameter. It has a powerful L-shaped burner located along the left and rear of the oven, which heats both the stone and the air in the oven effectively. We consistently produced pizzas that were perfectly cooked on top and had beautiful char and spotting on their undersides. Because the back left corner gets hotter than the rest of the oven, it’s important to rotate the pizzas so that they cook evenly. The oven is impressively sleek, and its legs fold so that it’s fairly compact in storage or transit, but it’s bulkier and about twice as heavy as the Ooni Koda 12.”

Get the Ooni Koda 16 Gas-Powered Pizza Oven!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, greenpan, ceramic cookware

GreenPan Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick Skillet

When it comes to cookware, we’re big believers in mixing and matching. Y’know, a couple of stainless steel pieces for those hot, heavy-duty tasks and one or two choice nonstick skillets for more delicate dishes, like eggs or fish.

And few other options compete with GreenPan’s Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick Skillet.

Designed with a PFAS-, PFOA-, lead- and cadmium-free ceramic coating, this skillet is both metal utensil and dishwasher safe and can be used with all cooking surfaces, including induction.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

“One of only three pans to pass our test of nonstick coating durability, this pan arrived slick and remained so throughout cooking and abuse tests. We loved cooking in it. Because the skillet conducted heat so effectively, we had to follow visual cues as we cooked to ensure that food cooked properly and didn’t burn. Food will likely cook faster than it would in a regular nonstick pan. This pan is oven safe to 600 degrees—a considerably higher temperature than the oven safe temperatures of regular nonstick skillets that include PTFE in their coatings.” 

Get the GreenPan Valencia Pro Ceramic Nonstick Skillet!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, all clad skillet, stainless steel skillet, best stainless steel skillet

All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet with Lid

When it comes to stainless steel cookware, no one rules the game quite like All-Clad. And this kitchen staple skillet is no exception.

Whether you’re in the market for an everyday 8″ skillet or searching for a larger 12″ pan for those “big enough they could feed an army” recipes, All-Clad has you covered. Their patented triple-ply, 18/10 stainless steel construction is both durable and nonreactive, and is compatible with all cooktops, including induction!

Plus, it boasts an aluminum core that helps to eliminate hot spots, making for even heating and cooking every time.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

Our longtime favorite skillet still beats all newcomers, with a clean design that includes no unnecessary frills. We appreciate the wide cooking surface and low, flaring sides that encourage excellent browning and evaporation; a steel handle that stays cool on the stovetop and won’t rotate in your hand; and an overall weight and balance that hit the sweet spot between sturdiness and maneuverable lightness. It resisted warping and withstood thermal shock and outright abuse with nary a scratch or dent. Its three layers of cladding, with aluminum sandwiched by steel, make for deep, uniform browning.

Get the All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Skillet with Lid!

america's test kitchen, sur la table, silpat, silicone baking mat

Silpat Half Sheet Baking Mat

The silicone baking mat is an absolute game changer in the kitchen.

Heralded by America’s Test Kitchen as “the gold standard in many restaurant kitchens,” this silicone baking mat by Silpat will have you saying “buh-bye” to single-use foil and parchment paper. Sized to fit any standard half sheet pan, it can also withstand temperatures ranging from -40°F to 480°F, making it ideal for a wide range of tasks and recipes.

America’s Test Kitchen Review:

This mat—the gold standard in many restaurant kitchens—produced beautifully browned food and made it truly easy to remove baked goods and roasted foods. But it proved its value with a couple of simple details: It fit perfectly in our favorite baking sheet, stayed put thanks to its heavier weight, and was dishwasher safe, reducing the buildup of residual oils and odors.

Get the Silpat Half Sheet Baking Mat!


Hungry for more? Put the tools to the test in one of our America’s Test Kitchen-sponsored cooking classes! From homemade pasta to a blueberry jam cake and pesto calabrese, you’ll get hands-on tips & tricks from our experienced Resident Chefs and snag a few new delicious recipes to add to your arsenal.

Explore America’s Test Kitchen Cooking Classes

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