I’m a Food Editor, and These Are the 5 Best Kitchen Tools I Tried in January

Including a cocktail smoker and a juicer.

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Five Obsessions of the Month


January 2023 was a month filled with cooking, winter citrus, and healthy resolutions (broken). As a shopping editor, I’m always on the hunt for great products for my kitchen, and for yours. Through testing, tasting, and taste-testing, my goal is to make cooking your favorite meals easier. If you’ve ever wondered what some of the products my colleagues and I are obsessed with, look no further. Below are five favorites from this month, including a citrus juicer and a cocktail smoker that will impress just about anyone.

Chef’n Juicer

Chef'n FreshForce Citrus Juicer


To buy: $25 at amazon.com

I used to use a citrus reamer to juice things, and my hand would start cramping after half of a lime (and I’d have juice in both of my eyeballs). I finally upgraded to this juicer, and it’s been an absolute game changer. It allows you to get complete leverage over any citrus you put inside to extract as much juice as possible in just seconds. While it’s meant for lemons, I’ve used it on limes, oranges, and grapefruits, too. And I haven’t gotten juice squirted in my eyes yet. 

Food52 Drying Rack

Five Two Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack


To buy: $36 (originally $45) at food52.com

I never thought I’d love a drying rack, but here we are. Most drying racks I’ve tried are bulky, and while they can hold plenty, they are kitchen eyesores. This over-the-sink one from Food52 is the opposite. Not only does it have a really sleek profile, it’s also beautiful to look at. It can still hold plenty of dishes thanks to a silicone-coated stainless steel design, and can hold silverware in a nice compartment on its side. But the best feature has to be the fact that it rolls up to just 20.5 inches wide and 3 inches long. Now I can have access to both sides of my sink whenever I need it. 

Vitamix Immersion Blender

Vitamix Immersion Blender


To buy: $125 (originally $150) at amazon.com

I always thought blenders had to be bulky: How else are they supposed to obliterate ice and whatever else you pop in them in a matter of seconds? I was wrong. Vitamix’s immersion blender is plenty powerful, and is about the size of a big flashlight. Now, I’m much more willing to make recipes that require blending since I can just whip it out, pulse or puree, and pop it back in the cupboard. It’s like a magic wand, that’s really good at blending things. 

Breville Cocktail Smoker

Breville BSM600SIL Smoking Gun Food Smoker


To buy: $100 at williams-sonoma.com

The brand says you can also use this to smoke food items like ribs, but I only use this for creating smoky Sidecars and Manhattans. Whenever I want a Manhattan, I fill up my Nick & Nora glass with cherrywood smoke with ease thanks to this gadget. It’s totally a toy, but it is small enough that every kitchen should have one. And it’s a great party trick or conversation-starter, but maybe unplug your smoke alarm before you turn it on. 

Vermicular Cast Iron Pan

Vermicular Frying Pan


To buy: $166 at amazon.com

From grilling out on a campfire to making bacon and eggs on the stovetop, I love cast iron pans for so many things. They are kitchen workhorses, and I’m not sure what I’d do without mine. But if I had one complaint about my cast iron pan, it’d be this: It’s too heavy. The Vermicular cast iron pan is the opposite. It’s extremely lightweight — 2.4 pounds — and makes it easy to get the same heat-retention I love, while being easy to maneuver. It also comes with a glass lid, which I’m obsessed with, and a beautiful wooden handle.  

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