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Whether you’re determined to finally write down a family member’s favorite dish, or you’re looking to develop a recipe from scratch after a stroke of inspiration, you’ll need a few tools of the trade to set yourself up for recipe success. recipe testing. For Mary-Frances Heck, Senior Food Writer, that success lies in precision. “Think of all the ways you can measure something,” Heck says. “Time, Weight, Volume, Temperature, and Dimension” you’ll need durable, precise tools in your arsenal for each of these to create easy-to-follow, repeatable recipes. These are six tools Senior Food Writer Mary-Frances Heck deems essential for your first attempt at recipe testing, and are must-haves at any recipe testing station.
A reliable kitchen timer (it’s not your phone)
“I don’t recommend you use your cell phone timer,” Heck says. You are more likely to make mistakes or get distracted. We’re all likely to glance at our phone to check the time and then find ourselves in a notification loop, but when food is on the stove or in the oven, you’ll want to pay close attention. Instead, she recommends an easy-to-read kitchen timer such as OXO’s Good Grips Mini Digital Magnetic Timer. The magnet and clip on the back let you place it on your fridge or clip it to your oven so it’s always visible. ($13, amazon.com)
An easy to read Pyrex measuring cup
Pyrex is Heck’s benchmark for large liquid measuring cups. They’re sturdy, versatile, and can withstand a wide range of temperatures that your plastic measuring cups can’t, even down to hot soup or melted chocolate. With ounce and cup graduations and a capacity of up to four cups, this measuring cup is likely to become one of your favorite kitchen tools. ($12, surlatable.com)
A reliable and versatile thermometer
A good kitchen thermometer will “take the guesswork out of your kitchen entirely,” Heck says. Whether you’re serious about barbecuing or monitoring the cooling of custard, a probe thermometer with a remote alarm makes the whole process more efficient and accurate. The key: Look for the NSF (National Science Foundation) logo which certifies that it meets their strict standards for accuracy and precision. Heck recommends ThermoWorks’ Smoke Remote BBQ Alarm Thermometer for the dedicated grill, but Winco’s Digital Probe Thermometer is great for tucking away in your apron for quick temperature checks. ($15, amazon.com)
An accurate and easy to clean kitchen scale
Standard equipment at every recipe tester station: a quality kitchen scale. Heck recommends the OXO 11lb Kitchen Scale for its ease of use and durability. It lets you easily switch between ounces, pounds, and kilograms, and a removable display is a big plus when trying to measure something large (eg, a whole turkey). Cleanup is quick – just wipe the scale with a damp cloth and the removable stainless steel platform can be washed down with the dishes. ($50, williams-sonoma.com)
Durable and accurate measuring cups and spoons
If you’re still relying on a set of years-old mismatched measuring cups (perhaps warped by the dishwasher or with unreadable measurements), it might be time to retire them. These OXO stainless steel measuring cups and spoons are what Heck swears by. With extremely precise measurements and small magnets in the handles that mean they fit together perfectly without cluttering up your drawer or cupboard, these measuring cups are nearly impossible to break and will likely last a lifetime. ($20, williams-sonoma.com)
A ruler you can wash with your dishes
Whether you’re wondering about the dimensions of a cake pan, cutting meat into evenly sized cubes, or need to measure the thickness of rolled out cookie dough, your ruler will become your best friend in the kitchen. food. Heck loves Criterion, which is great for pasta dough or large projects like croissants, where precision is key. A stainless steel tape measure can easily be stored on a knife magnet and washed with the rest of your dishes, making cleanup a breeze. ($15, amazon.com)