How We Choose Our Favorite Products

Our Test Kitchen doesn't just test recipes—we put gear and gadgets through the paces, too. Find out how we uncover the best.

At Taste of Home, we are passionate about food. We test every recipe we share because we want you to have excellent results when you make them at home. With that same dedication to quality, we test ingredients, kitchen gear and gadgets to make recommendations on what you might want to buy for your home.

What We Test

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Wondering about the best butter? How about our favorite air fryer? We’ve got you covered. We test ingredients, prepackaged foods, frozen foods, beverages and all sorts of products, from spatulas to pressure cookers, that make life easier or more fun in the kitchen.

To select the products we test, we research the most popular brands that are available nationally either in stores or online on mainstream sites like Amazon and Walmart. We study what people are searching for online to ensure we don’t miss a smaller, but still impactful, brand. We are price-sensitive because we want to recommend the best product without breaking the bank, but we don’t necessarily rule a product out if it has a higher price point. When a product comes in at a higher price, we assess value: Is that higher price warranted?

How We Test

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Food products and ingredients are tested by our Taste of Home Test Panel, which includes editors, food editors, registered dietitians and other members of the Taste of Home staff. We conduct blind, side-by-side taste tests to ensure that there is no brand bias. We aren’t influenced by sponsorship or advertising in making our selections or picking our winners.

We look for food products that home cooks commonly use, products often found in the ingredients list in our Taste of Home recipes.

Kitchen gear and gadgets are tested in our busy Test Kitchen. We use the products the same way you would in your home, the way they are intended to be used. If we’re comparing gear, like pressure cookers, we will select several appropriate recipes to test across each product and assess various functions for side-by-side comparisons

With kitchen gear, we also look at how easy a piece is to assemble and disassemble for cleaning and, of course, how visually appealing it is since it likely will live on your kitchen counter. We look for gear and gadgets that provide consistent, reliable results so you can trust what you buy. Occasionally with small kitchen appliances, the prices will have a large range with some very high-end options and others more affordable. In those cases, we may recommend a top-of-the-line product for when you want to spend the extra money and also our best budget option.

Who We Are

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Food and beverages are tasted by a team from the Taste of Home editorial staff and are run by Deputy Editor James Schend. Together, we’re always looking for great packaged foods that will delight your family and friends, plus the ingredients that will help your recipes taste amazing.

Product testing, including gear and gadgets, is run by the Taste of Home Test Kitchen, overseen by Executive Culinary Director Sarah Farmer. These culinary professionals put every product through the paces to find the best. When they’re not hard at work vetting products and recipes in our Test Kitchen, the test cooks star in our cooking videos, providing step-by-step instruction and cooking tips and tricks.

Check out Our Staffers' Favorite Recipes
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