Pantry Items

113 Kitchen-Tested Ingredients

Soba Noodles
Published: July 2019
Soba Noodles
These delicate buckwheat strands are one of Japan's most popular foods. We taste…
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Published: November 2018
Crunchy Peanut Butter
Ever wonder how many peanut pieces are actually in a jar of crunchy peanut butte…
Buy the Winner
Tahini
Published: September 2017
Tahini
Finding the best tahini can be a real grind.
Buy the Winner
Single-Varietal White Wine Vinegars
Published: June 2017
Single-Varietal White Wine Vinegars
Some markets now carry wine vinegars made from a specific variety of wine, such …
Buy the Winner
Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Published: March 2017
Premium Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
High-end extra-virgin olive oils offer a world of flavor beyond grocery-store op…
Buy the Winner
Vegan Mayonnaise
Published: January 2017
Vegan Mayonnaise
Vegan mayo can’t be very good, can it? Read on for a shocking surprise.
Almond Butter
Published: July 2016
Almond Butter
The best almond butter contains more than just ground almonds.
Buy the Winner
Sherry Vinegar
Published: May 2016
Sherry Vinegar
The woodsy yet vibrant taste of sherry vinegar makes it such a standout that it …
Beef Broth
Published: January 2016
Beef Broth
Commercial beef broths contain almost no beef. So what exactly are these product…
Buy the Winner
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
Published: July 2015
Supermarket Balsamic Vinegar
In recent years, Italy has created a new set of guidelines for mass-produced bal…
Buy the Winner
Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
Published: January 2015
Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
Finding a low-sodium vegetable broth worth using is more difficult than it sound…
Buy the Winner
Vegetarian Broth
Published: January 2015
Vegetarian Broth
More vegetables, better broth? We tasted a slew of products and discovered that,…
Buy the Winner
Apricot Preserves
Published: November 2014
Apricot Preserves
We tasted five top-selling products plain and in our Cook's Illustrated French A…
Buy the Winner
High-End Barbecue Sauces
Published: July 2013
High-End Barbecue Sauces
We put four small-batch, mail-order barbecue sauces to the test against our supe…
Buy the Winner
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
Published: November 2015
Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread
We tasted five white, and nine multigrain gluten-free sandwich breads to see if …
Buy the Winner
Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives
Published: May 2013
Pimento-Stuffed Green Olives
Pimento-stuffed green olives aren’t just for martinis.
Buy the Winner
Flour Tortillas
Published: June 2018
Flour Tortillas
Don't let a dry, dense flour tortilla ruin dinner.
Buy the Winner
Hottest Hot Sauces
Published: May 2012
Hottest Hot Sauces
What good is hot sauce so scorching you can't even taste it?
Buy the Winner
Oyster Crackers
Published: January 2012
Oyster Crackers
Many people enjoy oyster crackers simply for snacking, but they were originally …
Corn Tostadas
Published: March 2010
Corn Tostadas
Could a store-bought tostada hold a candle to homemade?
Buy the Winner
California Extra-Virgin Olive Oils
Published: September 2009
California Extra-Virgin Olive Oils
California growers have spent the last two decades developing extra-virgin olive…
Buy the Winner
Quick Oats
Published: July 2009
Quick Oats
For emergencies only?
Buy the Winner
Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine)
Published: May 2009
Mirin (Japanese Rice Wine)
This Japanese rice wine has a subtle salty-sweet flavor prized in Asian marinade…
Buy the Winner
Applesauce
Published: March 2009
Applesauce
Our runaway favorite contains a surprising ingredient.
Buy the Winner
Vanilla
Published: January 2019
Vanilla
Cyclones, theft, petrochemicals, market swings—vanilla is anything but boring. W…
Buy the Winner
Maple Syrup
Published: September 2015
Maple Syrup
Maple syrup continues to be produced on small farms in the same low-tech way tha…
Clam Juice
Published: November 2008
Clam Juice
When there's no time to shuck fresh littlenecks for a homemade seafood base, we …
Buy the Winner
Sweet Paprika
Published: November 2008
Sweet Paprika
The best versions of this renowned Hungarian spice pack a punch that goes beyond…
Tartar Sauce
Published: September 2008
Tartar Sauce
The best tartar sauce should be creamy and balanced—and definitely not gloppy.
Rice Bran Oil
Published: September 2008
Rice Bran Oil
This specialty oil is recommended to high-heat cooking techniques. Is it worth t…
Buy the Winner
Coarse-Grain Mustard
Published: July 2008
Coarse-Grain Mustard
Coarse-grain mustard is considered by many a must for grilled sausage or a ham s…
Buy the Winner
Arborio Rice
Published: May 2008
Arborio Rice
Arborio rice makes the best risotto, but does the best Arborio have to come from…
Buy the Winner
Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise
Published: May 2008
Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise
Can Hellmann's cholesterol free version stand up to the original?
Buy the Winner
Penne
Published: July 2007
Penne
Are the specialty brands and Italian imports worth the extra price?
Buy the Winner
Lemon-and-Herb Marinades
Published: July 2007
Lemon-and-Herb Marinades
We tasted four bottled varieties to see if we could find an acceptable substitut…
Bread-and-Butter Pickles
Published: July 2007
Bread-and-Butter Pickles
Not just any crispy cuke will do.
Buy the Winner