worth it?

Should You Spend $20 on a Roasting Rack?

You’ve got one chance to roast your Thanksgiving turkey to golden, crispy perfection, so you better believe we insist on splurging on a hefty roasting rack.

 

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Should You Spend $40 On an Immersion Blender?

The answer is yes! Find out why you should definitely splurge on this life-saving kitchen tool.

 

 

It’s small, but mighty.

Think of it as a blender or food processor on a stick: just as powerful but way more nimble and easier to store. Use it to turn cooked veggies into bisques, to blend herbs and nuts into pestos or to smooth out gravy right in the pan. Unlike those stationary blades on traditional blenders and food processors, an immersion blender can reach into the depths and edges of your pots, pans and even tall glasses, leaving no chunks behind and allowing you full control over texture. Just point and pulverize.

 

It reduces mess.

Forget transferring batches of hot soup from pot to blender and back to pot (yikes!). Immersion blenders do it all right in your cooking vessel, no matter how much you’re making, saving you a step–and the time it takes to do the dishes!

 

 

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Designer Dish Soap: Is It Worth It?

At first we thought, no way, but the proof is in the sudsing! We put our editors to the test with a blind scrub-off of soaps, from popular supermarket brands to the fancy stuff, to see if their hands and noses could tell the difference. And it turns out, they can! Our priciest pick, Caldrea, at $9 per 16 ounces, won with triple the votes of any other soap. But you don’t always need to spend that much–most upscale brands deliver soothing, complex scents (Basil Blue Sage? Yes, please!), a richer, silkier lather and softer skin. In our book, anything that could make you look forward to washing the dishes is worth a few extra bucks!

 

 

 

Left: Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Lavender Dish Soap ($4 for 16 oz.; mrsmeyers.com)

Middle: Method Sea Minerals Dish Soap ($4 for 18 oz.; methodhome.com)

Right: Caldrea Mandarin Vetiver Dish Soap ($9 for 16 oz.; caldrea.com)

 

 

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Egg Separator: Is It Worth It?

We think not! Here’s the thing: Separating an egg doesn’t require any kind of gadget at all. Try one of our test kitchen’s two recommended methods instead, and you’ll be glad not to have another tool hogging precious drawer space.

 

 

For cooks with good hand-eye coordination:

Crack an egg in half, then slide the yolk back and forth between the halved shells, letting the whites drip into a bowl. A tip: Make sure to crack your egg with a firm tap on the rim of the bowl to avoid jagged edges that can piece the yolk.

 

For those who want an easier, if messier, way:

Crack the egg into your hand and let the white drain through your fingers into a bowl. You’ll need a good hand-washing afterward, but what you won’t have to wash is another tool!

 

BTW: If you’re still gung ho about buying an egg separator, feel free to spend $5, not $15: Plastic models work as well as pricier stainless steal ones.

 

 

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French Press: Is It Worth It?

Whether you’re out for brunch or enjoying a lazy Sunday at home with friends, the French press has made its way to coffee tables and counters across America. But, is it really worth $20? Read on to see why we say: YES!

You can be your own barista

A French press uses water that’s at the boiling point (a temperature many electric machines can’t reach), which extracts more flavor from the coffee. Plus, you can customize how light or dark your joe turns out simply by adjusting the time the grounds steep.

 

You can take it anywhere

Without pesky plugs and not-so-eco-friendly filters in your way, this baby can easily travel with you on a camping trip or to a hotel — or it can sit on your desk so you don’t waste a single second between refills!

 

It’s not just for coffee!

Use a French press to brew loose leaf tea, make vinaigrettes (let herbs steep in the vinaigrette for a few hours, then plunge to strain) — or even press the lumps out of gravy!

 

Written by Lambeth Hochwald; Photography by David Lewis Taylor

 

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