Cookware
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30 Kitchen Essentials That Are Built to Last

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Cookware
nd3000/istockphoto

Cook's Delight

Saving money by spending less on essential kitchen supplies has its appeal, but spending more upfront may yield savings over the long term. Products that are built to last can save consumers from shelling out continuously for replacements, not to mention the inconvenience of dealing with kitchen equipment that breaks down in short order. Here are 30 small appliances and tools that may seem costly but stand the test of time. Many come with lifetime guarantees.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: Things to Stop Wasting Money on Now

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Amazon

Vitamix Blender

Price: $409 from Amazon
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If the sole purpose of a blender is to make smoothies or margaritas, spending more than $40 doesn't make sense. But the Vitamix 5200  is powerful enough to juice any fruit or vegetable, pulverize bread into crumbs, grind nuts or seeds into butter, and turn cold soup into hot. It boasts "aircraft-grade" stainless steel blades, a metal drive system, and a seven-year warranty that covers parts, performance, and shipping both ways. The brand scored highest in a Consumer Reports survey of blender reliability.


Related: 11 Cheap and Healthy Breakfast Combinations

Baratza Coffee Grinder
Crate & Barrel

Baratza Coffee Grinder

Price: $139 from Crate & Barrel
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Experts agree that burr grinders pulverize coffee beans for the most flavorful brew. The automatic Baratza Virtuoso carries just a one-year warranty, but it's a sturdy machine with a cast-zinc body and a high-carbon-steel burr, which consumers can expect to last through about 500 pounds of coffee, according to the company. With 9.26 pounds per capita consumed each year in the United States, that's nearly 54 years' worth of grinding.


Related: 29 Surprising Facts About Coffee

Wüsthof Classic Chef's Knife
Sur La Table

Wüsthof Classic Chef’s Knife

Price: $150 from Sur La Table
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Experts say home cooks need only three or four knives, the most important being an 8- or 10-inch chef's knife that is hefty and feels like an extension of the hand. The Wüsthof Classic 8-inch chef's knife garners strong endorsements from users and comes with a limited lifetime guarantee, which the company honors as long as the knife has been properly maintained.


Related: Best Kitchen Knife Set Under $100

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Bed Bath & Beyond

OXO Steamer

Price: $21 from Bed Bath & Beyond
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The standard collapsible steamer has feet and panels that tend to come loose or bend in short order. The OXO Good Grips stainless steel steamer has a telescoping handle and an endorsement from Cook's Illustrated. It's sturdier than supermarket finds and guaranteed against defects.


Related: 30 Recipes for Restaurant-Quality Meals at Home


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Amazon

All-Clad Steamer

Price: $60 from Amazon
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For a steamer with fewer moving parts, albeit one that hogs cabinet space, turn to the 3-quart All-Clad all-purpose steamer. This stainless steel accessory looks like a pot from the side and comes with a lid and lifetime guarantee, plus an average of 4 stars from reviewers.


Related: 48 Products That Will Last a Lifetime

DUALIT APPLE-RED NEWGEN 2-SLICE TOASTER
Sur La Table

Dualit Toaster

Price: $260 from Sur La Table
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It's possible to spend even more on a Dualit toaster, but the Dualit 2-Slot NewGen model is enough for most. If the price is shocking, consider that this is a professional-grade countertop appliance assembled by hand from parts that are made to be repaired or replaced — almost unheard-of in small appliances these days. The heating element has a protective layer designed to make it "virtually unbreakable."


Related: 30 Cheap, Easy Breakfast Ideas

CUISIPRO 4-SIDED BOX GRATER WITH GINGER GRATER BASE
Sur La Table

Cuisipro Box Grater

Price: $35 from Sur La Table
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A box grater is a standard kitchen tool whose grating edges should stay sharp for years. The Cuisipro four-sided box grater with grooved blades boasts a 25-year warranty and a recommendation from Cook's Illustrated.


Related: 21 Things You Didn't Know About Mac and Cheese

Microplane Graters
Amazon

Microplane Graters

Price: $17 from Amazon
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Microplane's rasp and paddle graters are favored by professional chefs and have fine teeth ideal for citrus or Parmesan. The brand's patented technology was originally used in woodworking tools, a testament to its durability. 

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Amazon

Breville Food Processor

Price: $400 from Amazon
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The 16-cup Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL food processor is top-rated in testing by the Good Housekeeping Institute and other consumer product experts. The powerful 1,200-watt motor is surprisingly quiet and comes with a 25-year warranty, far longer than any other on the market.


Related: Best Stand Mixers, Food Processors, and Bread-Making Supplies

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Amazon

Bonavita Coffee Maker

Price: $150 from Bed Bath & Beyond
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A delicious cup of coffee depends, in large part, on a good coffee maker. This Bonavita eight-cup brewer comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty, but simplicity is its strength. Without bells and whistles such as a preprogramming feature, there's very little to break, and a steel lining adds durability.   


Related: How to Satisfy Your $5 Starbucks Habit at Home

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Amazon

Rösle Tongs

Price: $31 from Amazon
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Locking tongs can be a hassle to open and close when one hand is holding a pan or platter of food. A pair of 12-inch tongs from German kitchen-products maker Rösle, in plain stainless steel or with silicone tips, can be manipulated with one hand. Strong enough to pick up a rack of ribs, they come with a lifetime warranty and nods of approval from user reviewers.


Related: Chef Tips, Hacks, and Products to Up Your Cooking Game

J.K. Adams Cutting Boards
Amazon

J.K. Adams Cutting Boards

Price: $75 from Amazon
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It's possible to find a big cutting board at Ikea for $10, but chances are it will warp quickly. Cooking professionals prefer wood cutting boards because they protect knife blades and are biodegradable. J.K. Adams maple cutting and carving boards come with a lifetime guarantee and hearty shout-outs from satisfied consumers.


Related: 25 Common Cooking Mistakes

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Amazon

Pratico Cutting Boards

Price: $14 from Amazon
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Many people object to using wood boards for some foods, such as chicken. Plastic can be put in the dishwasher but eventually becomes knife-scarred. Bamboo is a renewable resource that is very hard and naturally antibacterial. Pratico's bamboo cutting boards come with a lifetime guarantee.

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Amazon

OXO Salad Spinner

Price: $51 from Amazon
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Greens should be dry before going into the salad bowl. Enter the salad spinner, a must-have kitchen tool for salad lovers. Although considerably more expensive than most, the OXO Steel salad spinner has a stainless steel bowl, so it won't crack. It also has a non-slip base and dishwasher-safe parts. OXO will replace any defective product.


Related: Easy Salads That Make the Most of Summer Produce

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Amazon

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Price: $150 and up from Amazon
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Highly regarded for decades, Le Creuset Dutch ovens are made from enamel-coated cast iron. They weigh a ton and cost a lot but last practically forever and are covered by a limited lifetime warranty. The Dutch ovens heat steadily and evenly, go in the oven or on the stovetop, and have a tight-fitting lid to lock in juices. Scores of reviewers accord them a solid 5 stars.


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Peugeot Salt and Pepper Mills
Amazon

Peugeot Salt and Pepper Mills

Price: $35 and up from Amazon
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A good spice mill should be easy to fill, provide different settings that are easy to change, and produce consistent grinds. Peugeot salt and pepper mills have been the gold standard for decades. The grinding mechanisms carry a lifetime warranty.


Related: 24 Condiments From Around the World to Add Zing to Any Meal

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Walmart

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Price: $35 from Walmart
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Cast iron is the ideal medium for cooking anything that requires a crust, such as steak, biscuits, and fried chicken. From oven to stovetop, Lodge cast iron cookware is virtually indestructible and guaranteed for life. It comes preseasoned and remains nonstick if properly maintained. 


Related: 20 Chef Secrets for Crisp, Juicy Fried Chicken

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Bed Bath & Beyond

USA Pan Bakeware

Price: $16 and up from Bed Bath & Beyond
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USA Pan has been making commercial-quality baking equipment for more than 50 years. It's made from partially recycled aluminum, corrugated for strength, topped with an ecologically friendly silicone coating, and backed by a lifetime warranty. The bakeware commands an average of 4.8 stars in user reviews.


Related: Common Substitutes for Cooking and Baking

Rösle Can Opener
Amazon

Rösle Can Opener

Price: $39 from Amazon
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Can openers can be picked up for cheap at grocery stores and drugstores, but poorly made ones rust and dull easily. Unlike most traditional models, Rösle can openers open cans from the side, leaving a safe, smooth edge. They come with a lifetime guarantee.


Related: 30 Cheap and Easy Recipes Using Canned Goods

OXO Good Grips® Garlic Press in Black
Bed Bath & Beyond

OXO Garlic Press

Price: $18 from Bed Bath & Beyond
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Anyone who cooks with garlic should be familiar with the wonders of a press. Generic versions tend not to last long, but OXO's version is dishwasher-safe and a self-cleaning design. It's a solid choice if you need a press now and can't wait for the top-choice Calphalon garlic press to return to stores. That one not only crushes but also peels the garlic, and it has a lifetime warranty.

 

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Amazon

Progressive International Mandoline

Price: $43 from Amazon
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A mandoline turns out consistently uniform slices of fruits and vegetables. Chef's versions are quite expensive and somewhat risky for amateurs. For home use, the Progressive International PL8 Professional Mandoline is sturdy, features a safety hand guard, and comes with a variety of slicing blades and thicknesses, as well as a lifetime warranty.  Nearly three-quarters of 970 reviewers assign it a solid 5 stars.


Related: Fruits and Veggies That Spoil Fast or Last Long

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Amazon

Live Fresh Strainers

Price: $23 from Walmart
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Strainers are invaluable for sifting, draining, and separating liquid from solid. A good strainer has strong mesh that won't warp or bend, and a rim or hook for support when set atop a bowl. A set of fine mesh strainers from Live Fresh has rubberized grip handles, sealed rims, and a lifetime guarantee. Hundreds of reviews are almost entirely positive, and many laud the brand's durability and customer service. 

Oxo Mixing Bowls
Amazon
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Amazon

Vollrath Mixing Bowls

Price: $6 and up from Amazon
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Heavy-duty stainless steel bowls last forever and serve as the top of a bain-marie or double boiler. Vollrath stainless steel mixing bowls sit securely on flat bottoms, are dishwasher-safe, and carry a lifetime warranty.

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Amazon

Cuisipro Whisks

Price: $12 and up from Amazon
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A whisk incorporates air into foods such as cream and egg whites, emulsifies vinaigrettes, and ensures smooth gravies and sauces. The best wire whisks are light and have a lot of closely spaced wires that are well attached. Cuisipro whisks come in many sizes and styles with stainless or silicone wires. All carry a 25-year warranty and most are highly rated by users.


Related: Tasty Sauces You Can Make to Liven Up Basic Meals

All-Clad Stainless Steel Colander
Sur La Table

All-Clad Colanders

Price: $80 from Sur La Table
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A colander is a must-have for draining pasta, rinsing fruit, and so on. All-Clad colanders are made from 18/10 stainless steel, can go in the dishwasher, and come with a lifetime warranty.


Related: Cheap Pasta Salad Recipes for Summer

Cuisipro Measuring Spoons
MilkStreet

Cuisipro Measuring Spoons

Price: $15 from Amazon
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These sturdy, stainless steel measuring spoons are built to last, and you'll like their design. Not only are the handles comfortable to grip, they have a curve at the end so they balance on your counters and don't spill.


Related: 24 Kitchen Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed


ThermoPro TP25 500ft Wireless Bluetooth Meat Thermometer with 4 Temperature Probes
Amazon

ThermoPro Meat Thermometer

Price: $51 from Amazon
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For anyone weary of standing over the grill waiting for their steak or chicken to finish grilling, this meat thermometer takes the drudgery out of barbecue. The meat thermometer alerts you on your phone or tablet when your food is good to go. 


Related: 25 Grilling Accessories You Didn't Know You Needed

Oxo Square Turner
Amazon

OXO Square Turner

Price: $8 from Amazon
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Eighty-three percent of users give this oversized spatula five stars for its ability to flip everything from grilled cheese to eggs. It's also heat resistant up to 400 degrees and doesn't scratch non-stick surfaces. 


Related: 13 Different Ways to Cook Eggs

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Macy's

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

Price: $500 from Macy's
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Cookware undergoes its share of daily abuse, making it worthwhile to invest in a set of pots and pans that will endure. A seven-piece All-Clad Stainless Steel cookware set is heavy duty, oven-safe, and usable on any cooktop. It's backed by a limited lifetime guarantee.


Related: 35 Delicious Recipes That Don't Require an Oven