BA editor Christina Chaey’s tri-ply Calphalon saucepan makes solo cooking a breeze, but if you’re setting up your own kitchen for the first time (or know someone who is and could use a thoughtful gift), consider springing for this entire set. You’ll get the saucepan plus a stockpot, a sauté pan, and both a 10-inch and an 8-inch frying pan—everything you need in one fell swoop.
A Vitamix under $200 is a mythical beast, but today it can be yours. This pre-owned, refurbished Vitamix Explorian comes at a gentler price than the 5200s used in the BA Test Kitchen (although the 5200’s seven-year warranty is not included). The container on this model holds 64 ounces just like the 5200, but it’s shorter and squatter for easier storage.
A cooling rack is one of those pieces of kitchen equipment that you don’t think you need, but then you pick one up at a stoop sale and realize that you’ve been kidding yourself all along. You do need a cooling rack. This one comes with a sturdy half-sheet pan—and you could always use one more half sheet pan.
Bundt cakes are what you bake when you don’t have time for the frivolity of buttercream and sprinkles: “Here, this is technically still cake. Enjoy.” But a dramatic cake pan like this Nordic Ware Lotus Bundt pan can elevate even the humblest of bakes into something festive and showy—no frosting required.