These beauties are editor-approved.

By Tracey Minkin
June 23, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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It’s a time for watching our budgets, without a doubt, but this can also be a time for investing in our kitchens. We’ve never spent more hours in them, right? Our editors picked one splurge buy that’s changed their cooking lives and let us know why. See if their picks don’t inspire you to do a little upgrade shopping yourself.

Breville The Temp Select electric kettle

Courtesy Wayfair

Buy it: Breville the Temp Select electric kettle ($99.95), wayfair.com

I use a Chemex pour-over coffee maker and drink tea throughout the day, so I use my Breville kettle literally every day, all day. I could sit here and talk about having a good chef’s knife or a mixer, but most home cooks already know these things are worth spending on—but this, this is a product I never expected to fall head over heels in love with. The kettle has multiple programmed settings so all you have to do is push a button and it heats your water to the perfect temperature for green tea, black tea, white tea, coffee, whatever you’re brewing in seconds. I know it seems unnecessary—trust me, before I had one, I thought it was a really silly luxury item—but damn does it beat the pants off of boiling water on the stovetop. Like I said, I’ve had mine for half a decade and it’s easy to clean and never skips a beat. If I had to do it again, the only thing I’d do differently is I might order the glass Breville IQ Pure—because transparency is sexy. Darcy Lenz, Senior Editor

NutriBullet PRO

Courtesy Nutribullet

Buy it: NutriBullet PRO ($89.99), nutribullet.com

My biggest kitchen splurge (which wasn’t even too expensive) is my NutriBullet. I use the thing at least once a day, and it couldn’t be easier to use. Even if I’d paid $500 for it, I’d still say I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of the appliance. Annie Campbell, Assistant Social Media Editor

Made In Knife Set

Courtesy Made In

Buy it: Made In The Knife Set of 4 ($275), madeincookware.com

A sharp kitchen knife is one of the most important tools a home cook can have, and these blades forged in France by Texas-based Made In are a cut above (not sorry at all for the puns). I love how comfortable they are to hold—light enough so my hands don't get tired while substantial enough to hack through the toughest root vegetables. My favorite of the set is definitely the serrated utility knife, which I use to cut everything from delicate fruits (like tomatoes and pears) to gooey cheeses. While they aren't cheap, they don't cost an arm and a leg, like many other knife sets. Katie Macdonald, Ecommerce Food Writer

Cuisinart Burr Mill Coffee Grinder

Courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond

Buy it: Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill ($59.99), bedbathandbeyond.com

Honestly, I don't own many kitchen items that I'd consider a real "splurge" (I'm a sucker for a good deal). But our $60 coffee grinder is my lifeline. Even pre-quarantine, house guests have commented on the difference between our freshly ground coffee and the pre-ground stuff. Chandler Stroman Ayres, Social Media Editor

K-Café Single Serve Coffee, Latte & Cappuccino Maker

Courtesy Bed Bath & Beyond

Buy it: Keurig K-Café Special Edition Single Serve Coffee, Latte & Cappuccino Maker (currently $189.99, usually $219.99), bedbathandbeyond.com

I cannot stress to you how obsessed I am with this thing. It was amazing before quarantine, don’t get me wrong, but now … I don’t know where I’d be without it. I make multiple cappuccinos a day and each one takes about 30 seconds of hands-on time, maybe 2 minutes overall (and that’s being conservative). Corey Williams, SEO Writer

KitchenAid Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

Courtesy KitchenAid

Albeit expensive, this is one appliance I am always grateful to have. It doesn’t get used every day but it makes baking so much easier. This appliance is totally worth the investment, because it’s the thing you will probably only need to purchase once. Nicole McLaughlin, Culinary Producer

Buy it: Artisan Series 5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer ($379.99), kitchenaid.com

Cuisinart Food Processor

Courtesy Crate and Barrel

Buy it: Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor ($229.95), crateandbarrel.com

With all the pantry staples we've been stocking up on, from cans of beans to bags of nuts, plus having a bit more time at home and easy access to the kitchen, I've been whipping up lots of homemade hummuses, nut butters, and no-bake cookie batter for easy snacking and snack-style lunches and dinners. The Cuisinart Food Processor never fails to pulse up perfectly blended dips and spreads in seconds. Ours is my husband's grandmother's and it still works as well as if it were fresh out of the box. Susan Hall Mahon, Executive Editor

Equal Parts Big Pot

Courtesy Equal Parts

Buy it: Big Pot ($89), equalparts.com

I’ve been cooking pasta and soups in a handed down saucepan for years, so at the beginning of the year I decided to buy myself a real stockpot. One that wouldn’t overflow or require adjusting the recipe when I made brothy dishes in the winter. After some obsessive research, I decided on the Big Pot from Equal Parts, because it was nonstick without appearing too heavy, nontoxic, and quite frankly, looked like something a capable adult and home cook would have in their kitchen. It was pricey, but in the four months I’ve owned it, this pot has definitely gotten some mileage. It’s engineered to heat up faster, making even the weakest burner on our stove manageable, and it’s so easy to clean it’s almost fun. In fact, my boyfriend and I use it for plenty of non-soup purposes, like stewing up succotash. This pot never stays in the cabinet for long. Sarra Sedghi, Assistant Editor

Sonos One Voice-Controlled Wireless Smart Speaker

Courtesy Target

Buy it: Sonos One Voice-Controlled Wireless Smart Speaker Gen 2 ($199), amazon.com

We've been fans of the Sonos sound system for a few years and adding this speaker to the kitchen made such a huge impact on my cooking life. Not only can I put on CDs or records in the living room and have them beam over to the kitchen, I can (and often) play my favorite podcasts first thing in the morning as I'm making breakfast. It's pretty great too when something like SNL is on and I want to be able to hear it when I get up to make a batch of cookies. Kyle McKinnon, Video Assets Manager