All posts in “Home”

6 Perfectly Decent Desk and Office Chairs Under $250

Coronavirus has forced millions of office workers into dedicated work-from-homers overnight. Most of those people’s living spaces are not suited to working eight hours comfortably, which is fueling them to buy nice office chairs en masse. But money is tight and a properly aligned spine can be had for less than $500 (if you’re willing to sacrifice longevity). Starting at $75, here are six chairs that will do the trick.

AmazonBasics Mid-Back Mesh Chair

This chair’s price changes with the wind, but it usually hovers between $55 and $75. It’s an Amazon branded chair that offers up the bare bones of what a good desk chair should have. The back is mesh, not faux leather or foam, which promotes temperature regulation (you sweat less). The back offers some semblance of lumbar support and its shape — a curve that presses on the center of your back and keeps you supported — is in line with premium, ergonomics-focused chairs that cost much more money. Will this chair serve you for years and years? No, it’s made with the cheapest materials possible and will fall to pieces. But it will keep itself together until we all have commutes again.

Alera Elusion Mesh High-Back Chair

Our Best Office Chair Under $200 sports everything the AmazonBasics chair does (mesh, ergo-focused shape, etc.) and throws in adjustable height armrests and a waterfall edge seat cushion, which passively relieves pressure on your legs. What is has against it: it’s supremely boring to look at and doesn’t support comfortable reclining for very long. Treat the latter as a positive disguised as a negative — you shouldn’t be reclining all that much anyway.

Flash Furniture High Back Office Chair

A mesh back, ergonomics focus, waterfall seat and an adjustable headrest for $115 is hard to beat. The heaviest knock against it, other than chintzy materials, is the lack of adjustable height armrests. The bright side is the armrests are locked higher — read: where they should be — than most cheap desk chairs.

Branch Task Chair

While office furniture isn’t quite as sexy as flashy cookware or branded luggage, its no less worthy of the direct-to-consumer treatment. Branch is a new-ish company pushing out affordable home office gear, including this $199 (on sale) task chair. Its ticks the baseline ergonomic boxes — adjustable height armrests, tilt, tilt tension, lumbar support and your basic up-down functions. Plus, the base is anodized aluminum, which is significantly sturdier than the cheap plastics deployed by AmazonBasics and other ultra-cheap options. For $80 more, you could also get Branch’s upgraded version that looks better and offers more ergonomic flexibility.

Ikea Markus Chair

Ikea has a number of desk chairs that are built almost entirely for aesthetics rather than performance. Let other people buy them. The Markus chair is the Swedish company’s most body-minded offering in the category. Its extraordinarily high mesh back is ideal for taller folks and those of us who run hot, and despite Ikea’s reputation for cheap builds, it’s significantly sturdier than the other chairs on this list. Plus, because it’s an Ikea product and not made by a company you’ve never heard of in your life, you’re more likely to get customer service if something’s not quite right.

Sihoo Ergonomics Office Chair

This chair floats between $225 and $300 with regularity (it’s $250 at time of publishing). What you get: high mesh back, adjustable headrest, proper lower back support, variable armrests and easily the best spring-lock tilt mechanism of the bunch. In other words, you get everything you need in a pinch.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

Dyson’s New Air Purifier Casually Fixed the Biggest Problem with Humidifiers

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Dyson Humidify + Cool


Whether it’s vacuums, air purifiers or hair straighteners, Dyson’s product evolution holds to a neverending cycle of one-upping itself. Its new fan, the Pure Humidify+Cool, continues that trend.

The machine is an air purifier, humidifier and oscillating fan all at once. It’s the first in the brand’s air treatment product range to address humidity levels, and it already has a leg up on the vast majority of humidifiers available because it knows when it needs to be cleaned, and it (mostly) cleans itself. A notification will appear on the machine’s display when it requires cleaning. From there, you pop the evaporator out of the machine and drop in into the water tank with a packet of (included with purchase) citric acid. The machine does the rest.

Dyson says the machine monitors the air around it and can adjust humidity levels based on the temperature to create maximum comfort. Like all Dyson’s new fans and purifiers, it can be controlled via remote control or through the Dyson Link app.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

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The 15 Best Reading Chairs of 2020

The reading chair is a funny classification because it’s not really official by any furniture standard. When we talk about reading chairs, we mean seats that promote relaxation, security and protection from the demands of the world outside your book (including the harsh demands of gravity).

You could say the reading chair is the evolutionary high point of sitting down. A good reading chair is one you can stay in for hours and hours, poring through detective novels, newspapers or websites like this one. You could even watch TV in a reading chair — we’re really not sticklers about the term. It’s possible you have one already — one that you’ve been carrying with you move after move after move. But if you don’t, here are some more than worthy options.

Ikea Poäng Armchair

The Poäng is four decades old, and it’s one of the few early Ikea designs to enjoy popularity throughout every stage of the Swedish dorm outfitter’s long history. How has it lasted so long? While it’s not the standard of design excellence, it’s cheap, lightweight, good-looking and easy to care for — a much sought-after and unfortunately rare set of attributes.

Target Garrison Pillow Top Recliner

Part of Target’s Project 62 collection, the Garrison recliner is a hyper-affordable, surprisingly comfortable chair to cozy up to. As with most Target furniture, check if you can ship it to your local store for pickup before shipping directly to your own home — you’ll save both time and the potential for clumsy delivery people.

Rivet North End Accent Chair

Rivet is one of Amazon’s in-house furniture brands and it’s vaguely mid-century modern. Amazon says that the pieces are “sure to turn heads,” which isn’t really true. The North End accent chair does the opposite — it’s the ideal corner reading chair for those who would rather keep it low-key, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that.

West Elm Book Nook Armchair

When you think about a reading chair, you may conjure up a tall, wide chair that takes up an entire corner of a room. They don’t have to be that. West Elm’s Book Nook chair is built for those of us without the square-footage to accommodate other options on this list. A simple wheat-colored upholster job covers a compact, pleasantly priced wood-framed chair. Plus, the armrests dip just enough to keep your elbows rested and a book squarely in front of your face.

Article Matrix Chair

Article typically keeps things fairly simple from a design standpoint — affordable mid-century modern with contemporary twists. The Matrix chair isn’t this. Its curvy lines and velvet upholstery are more disco than Sinatra, and it’s better for it. As with all velvet, do you best to keep it out of the sun and fluff regularly.

West Elm Carlo Chair

West Elm’s Carlo chair references the mid-century modern furniture zeitgeist, but isn’t the exact same chair that’s been reproduced by every manufacturer under the sun. Looking at the chair from the front, it’s much deeper and more narrow than it appears, imbuing it with a kind of sneaky coziness. West Elm also offers different fabric, color and leg options.

Hay About A Chair 123

Need a cozy chair to put in a corner but don’t much space? This is it. Hay are the masters of original, reasonably priced Scandinavian design. This chair, whose shape alludes to the Eameses famous shell chairs, is a prime example. Plus, it goes on sale pretty frequently.

Industry West Penny Lounge Chair

A chair you can sink into. Industry West is a newer furniture maker putting out riffs on many design eras. This one is mid-century modern, and is made from a walnut frame and a pair of cushions.

Burrow Nomad Leather Club Chair

Burrow’s club chair shares a lot of DNA with its sofa, which is one of our favorite ones you can buy on the internet. It’s easy to assemble, offers up an absurd level of customization, is priced well and, on occasion, goes on sale. Its style is plain, and that’s the point — the brand doesn’t make statement pieces, they make pieces that blend into what you already have.

CB2 Avec Chair

CB2’s Avec chair’s high armrests aren’t so much armrests as they are extensions of the back cushion — essentially making the chair a reading nook unto itself. If you don’t get the velvet emerald fabric you’re a coward.

Hem Hai Chair

Hem is the ideal marriage of high-end design and the online marketplace. Its furniture is beautiful, made with premium materials and designed by some of the brightest creative minds in Europe (it’s based in Stockholm); but it’s also much quicker about shipments, ease of assembly (and disassembly) and customer service than many brick-and-mortar design outlets. The Hai chair epitomizes this. A blend of mid-century shape and contemporary lines, it arrives in small pieces and can be assembled without tools. It also comes in six colors with the option to add an ottoman.

Blu Dot New Standard Lounge Chair

In a memo sent to eventual co-founding partners Maurice Blanks and Charlie Lazor, John Christakos described an early vision of Blu Dot as follows: “I am still leaning towards smart design for middle-class America. The Shaker thing with the nineties twist, babe.” A couple decades later and the trio’s company has done just that — luxe design that doesn’t get stuck in the rhythms and pomp of luxe design. Available upholstered and in leather, the New Standard lounge sports wide arms, a loose cushion and wiry splayed legs. It’s essentially a throne for regular people.

Room & Board Bram Club Chair

The leather club chair is about as classic as it gets. Room & Board’s offering is more minimal than most — it can be dressed up or down and it looks good with furniture from almost any era. Room & Board also offers free design consultation, white glove delivery and makes the vast majority of its furniture in the US. Prepare for the sickest patina of your life.

Vitsoe 620 Chair

Designed by the great Dieter Rams, Vitsoe’s 620 chair programme has remained the same since 1962. Replacement parts, leathers and materials from the earliest models are as they were then. Rams’s chair combines nearly unbreakable sheet moulding and untreated, full-grain leather to make a chair with a foot in tradition and science fiction.

Eames Lounge Chair

“This is the ability to select among the unlimited possibilities and return considerable richness to the world.” That’s how Today Show co-host Lee Meriweather captured Charles and Ray Eames’s ability to make old things new at the release of the Eames Lounge Chair in 1956. If there were a Tolkien-esque “one chair to rule them all,” it would be the Eames’s transcendent lounger. The 20th century’s answer to the 19th century’s club chair was designed to neutralize pressure on the lower back and mimic the look of a baseball mitt (leather folds included). It is unquestionably the most recognizable piece of high design ever conceived on American soil. The chair is made today in much the same way it was in decades past, but nowadays you get to pick leather colors, upholstered cushions, wood veneer finishes and more.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Chef Can’t Get Enough of a $40 Japanese Cooking Accessory

This story is part of our Summer Preview, a collection of features, guides and reviews to help you navigate warmer months ahead.

Michael Hamilton sits impatiently — but politely — on the edge of a maroon velvet sofa on the second floor of Little Ways, his new restaurant in downtown Manhattan. Hamilton would rather be downstairs, eating his spicy-noodle lunch and preparing for service. This isn’t to say the restaurant is without charm. Like its popular sister restaurant, The Flower Shop, Little Ways is an ode to 1970s New York City. But Hamilton, an English chef who trained under Gordon Ramsay, Daniel Boulud and Raymond Blanc, is more at home in the kitchen.

An eclectic menu that includes schnitzels, tuna conserva, deviled eggs and venison tartare belies Hamilton’s no-bullshit approach to cooking. Like his mentors, he focuses on execution over flair, a trait that informs the gear he uses during service each night. From a $6,000 ice-cream machine that doubles as a meat grinder to his no-nonsense apron, here are the tools Hamilton wouldn’t cook without.

Benriner Mandolin

“Lots of kitchens have those big fucking donkey mandolines that take up half the kitchen, but we use these little Japanese mandolines that keep a better blade and are a lifesaver for cooks in a small kitchen. This is Benriner’s updated model, which keeps the blade at the exact same level no matter how much you push through it.”

Mortar & Pestle

“The old mortar and pestle. We like using it as it allows us to mix serrano chili and limequats for a crudo dish we’re running. We feel that it’s a better way of mixing ingredients together, capturing more oil out of the two ingredients that would otherwise be lost in a traditional blender.”

Ultra Bag Flexible Sieve

“It’s a handy tool for straining sauces, consommés and nut milks. It’s a far tighter mesh than a standard chinois, allowing for a clearer product. Super handy and easier to store than a bulky chinois, too.”

Chang Beer

“I’m a wino by trade and the restaurants have great lists, but after five or six hours in a bloody hot kitchen, we just want cold beer. Chang’s a good Thai beer that hits the spot. We keep it in the back of the fridge for the end of the night.”

Carharrt Apron

“I don’t wear this heavy fucking thing because I think it looks cool. I lose my keeps, pen, cake tester, everything all the time. This apron has so many damn pockets it is impossible to lose anything, because I’m always holding it on me. I sweat like mad every night in it.”

Pacojet 2 PLUS

“At Little Ways, we use it to ‘spin’ ice cream, sorbet and sherbet to order. No need for churning every day. Also, from a production standpoint, we can just put raw products in the beakers, freeze and spin to make a sorbet. It saves us a lot of time. You can purchase different blades, too, which can grind or spin up meat for use in sausage and stuffings.”

A version of this story originally appeared in a print issue of Gear Patrol Magazine. Subscribe today.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

My Mom’s $120 Kitchen Gadget Is Getting Me Through Latte Withdrawal

Step One: Admit you have a problem. Okay, here goes. I have a coffee drinking habit. It’s a tendency in which I’m joined by over 60 percent of Americans, according to the National Coffee Association. And in that group, I confirm a stereotype of another one, millennials, because my coffee drinking habit is based on a penchant for buying fancy espresso drinks — lattes, cappuccinos, flat whites and their ilk — rather than having a daily cup o’ joe from the office coffee pot.

Celebrity finance gurus say I’m part of a problem, a bad example. They say that if I want to grow a nest egg, buy a house and retire at a young age, I should not pay for espresso combined with steamed milk, and I certainly shouldn’t pay 50 cents extra for ice or, gasp, a dollar for alt-milk. Screw ’em. I hate the dismissive ageism laced into a fad phrase, but when I read or hear advice like this, I immediately think: okay boomer.

The thing is, I love those espresso drinks. I didn’t start drinking coffee until late in my college years when I spent a semester studying in Madrid. In Spain, a country that’s in my thoughts now more than normal given how hard it’s been hit by coronavirus, coffee, as with everything else there, takes on a more romantic/philosophical character. Walking to the metro each morning, I noted how Madrileños took to cafes, restaurants and bars to drink café solo and café con leche while standing shoulder to shoulder at the counter. Rarely do Spaniards take their coffee to go; they enjoy their morning coffee alone yet in communion. It saddens me to think of all those bars, now vacant and lonely.

I began drinking coffee in a similar fashion. Between classes, I’d visit my school’s cafe and order a café con leche with a croissant, sliced in half and toasted face down on a griddle. I’ll admit that I took up the custom in part to combat the vestiges of another adopted Spanish cultural habit — enjoying the night deep into its early hours — but I maintained it for its own sake. In Spain, I learned to like coffee through deference, rather than dependence.

I almost exclusively drink coffee on weekends now, with the occasional late-morning cappuccino midweek. There are something like seven coffee shops within a three-block radius of my apartment — not a single one a Starbucks — but I frequently make the trek by car or bike to my favorite farther-off spaces, like Sey in Bushwick and Devoción in Williamsburg. Now, many of these shops are either closed or operating with limited services.

What’s more, I made the decision to leave New York and weather this storm at my family home in Vermont. My mom’s caffeine regimen is different from mine. The coffee here is served daily; the French press often filled and pressed before I make it down the stairs to the kitchen. The beans are unremarkable, and the grinder she uses to break them comes in a time-worn tint that suggests decades of use. At least it matches the fifties-era Formica countertops.

But like me, my mom has a taste for quality food and drink — her pantry is a well of red wine and chocolate chip cookies — and she has a secret weapon. While her coffee brews, she pours milk into what looks like a small kettle, decked out in chrome. When she presses a button on its side, the gizmo begins a low, almost imperceptible hum. Something like 20 seconds later, it stops, and she removes its lid to reveal a cloud of foam.

These days, that little milk frothing machine has its work cut out for it. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, it’s fill, froth, repeat. Combined with coffee brewed in my Aeropress, it gets me as close as I’ll come to the lattes and cappuccinos that typically fuel my weekends. My mom and I argue over what type of milk produces the best foam — I’m for oat, she votes organic 2% — but we agree a layer of silky dairy is better than none at all.

Somewhere, those financial pundits might be mollified to know that, even as the world economy is reshaping itself in response to the spreading coronavirus, I’m no longer frittering away my money at cafes. But the joke’s on them, because I did this math too, and then I spent my would-be savings ordering freshly roasted beans from my favorite purveyors. They need the support right now, and I need the coffee.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tanner Bowden

Tanner Bowden is a staff writer at Gear Patrol covering all things outdoors and fitness. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School and a former wilderness educator. He lives in Brooklyn but will always identify as a Vermonter.

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Your Favorite Restaurants Need Your Help. Buy Their Merch To Help Keep Them Alive

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Rep your restaurant


Editor’s Note: Coronavirus has hammered the hospitality industry, forcing millions of layoffs and business closures. Consider ordering takeout, buying gift cards or pledging money to initiatives like the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund or Save Restaurants.

The spread of COVID-19 has caused restaurants to shutter and lay off millions of employees. Businesses are either shifting from dine-in to takeout services only, or completely shutting down their operations. While the future of the hospitality industry is unclear, you can still support your favorite restaurants right now by buying restaurant merch.

The new website Merch4Relief partners with restaurants across the country to create and sell merch, with 100 percent of the profits going back to the restaurant. The company is steadily adding new restaurants to its roster; at publish time, there are partner restaurants in Boston, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

Eater and its local city guides have produced lists of restaurants from around the world that sell merchandise, including Atlanta, Portland, London and Montreal. Give your favorite local joint a call and see if they have any merchandise for sale, and if not, consider buying a gift card. There’s never been a more crucial time to get your fits off in support of the people who keep us fed.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Chin

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Associate for Editorial Operations. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. Too bad the MTA doesn’t have a team like Ed-Ops.

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David Chang, One of the World’s Most Famous Chefs, Is Now a Microwave Evangelist

Editor’s Note: Coronavirus has hammered the hospitality industry, forcing millions of layoffs and business closures. Consider ordering takeout, buying gift cards or pledging money to initiatives like the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund or Save Restaurants.

Momofuku Restaurant Group founder, Ugly Delicious creator, Mind of a Chef host and one of the world’s most visible chefs, David Chang has spent his time in COVID-19-induced quarantine cooking approachable food for his wife and son and posting it on Instagram. The main takeaway: David Chang loves a microwave.

“The microwave is a machine from the future,” Chang wrote on his first post espousing the humble microwave’s power. Chang’s microwave tips started with his mother’s wisdom: package leftover rice in plastic wrap and reheat in the microwave for 3 minutes when you’re ready to eat again. “The microwave is a machine from the future here in present day. If you think a microwave is bad for you…throw away your smart phone,” Chang wrote. To a naysayer who questioned the microwave’s effectiveness and deemed its use lazy, Chang replied “you are correct. I am lazy and you are a fucking dumbass.”

Then came a kitchen sink pasta dish in which the chef microwaved sausage, olive oil, garlic, sliced onions and chili flake in a microwave. In the comments, Chang expanded on the method. “Glass bowl. Covered. Start with a the onions and garlic in oil first, it’s starts to get soft. Then add sausage til cooked through. Doesn’t matter if the sausage doesn’t brown. It’s getting wet anyway.”

Even more recently, Chang posted a riff on a nicoise salad made with anchovies, egg yolk, rice wine vinegar, radish, turnip, potato beans and, naturally, microwaved tuna (skin-on, 4 minutes and 30 seconds).

Since Chang has come out as a microwave supporter, commenters have accused him of promoting microwaves for pay, while others have embraced the chef’s fondness for the appliance. “You must be sponsored by microwave,” one commenter wrote. “I’ve been trying to make the microwave great again and you inspire me to keep that movement going,” another added.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

Working From Home Is Making People Crazy for Quality Office Chairs. You Should Get Crazy, Too

Though complete data isn’t available yet, it’s likely there are more people working from home right now than ever before. And with the millions-strong tide of new WFH warriors has come a learning curve — how to sit properly.

Google searches for “desk chair,” “office chair” and other permutations of the chair you sit in while working have gone through the roof since WFH mania has taken hold. Companies like Design Within Reach, Herman Miller, Steelcase and Humanscale are all running sales on desk chairs and other work from home essentials, most reporting large upticks in inquiries and sales in the seating category.

Dr. Brock Walker, former chiropractor, ergonomics specialist and President of Human Innovation Designs, diagnosed back, neck, shoulder and eye pain related to sitting improperly, bad posture or working in a poorly designed seat for decades. “People would come into my office and say, ‘Please look at my back, something’s wrong.’ And then we would do things to fix their chairs and their back pain would go away, and then their neck pain would go away and so on. I could tell almost instantly if someone’s issues were from sitting in the wrong kind of seat,” Walker said.

Designed by Niels Diffrient, Humanscale’s Diffrient World chair ($899+) is ideal for compact work environments and was among the first passively ergonomic chairs on the market.

Seated in his Embody chair in his Michigan office, Walker uses the classic La-Z-Boy recliner. “You lay in it, and you’re like, ‘Dude, where do I get one of these?’ Fifteen minutes later you’re going, ‘How the hell do I get out of this thing?’ You can see how after hours of sitting in something like this there may be problems,” he said.

Walker explains it this way: imagine if your head were replaced by a 10-pound bowling ball. How would your body hold that bowling ball up? If you lean backward, hunch over or slouch, you’re asking your muscles and soft tissue to hold up the bowling ball all day. You do that for a few days and you’ve got a recipe for a lot of pain.

“Guess what? Your head weighs somewhere between eight and twelve pounds, and once you start all that slouching, you’re going to have decreased blood flow, you’re going to have decreased respiration, you’re going to have muscle strain, you’re going to have different parts of the body get strained,” Walker said.

Weeks into the work from home revolution, makers of good-for-you desk chairs say new customers are coming in droves.

The supportive frame of Herman Miller’s Sayl chair ($555+) was inspired by the arches of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s one of the best value office chairs on the market.

Leena Jain, CMO at office ergonomics designer Humanscale, says investments in task chairs are up considerably. Jain’s company, which employs 60 certified ergonomists, will even provide feedback on your WFH setup through ergoIQ LIVE, a service that connects you with trained specialists that offer solutions to improve your workspace’s body friendliness. “People are quickly realizing just how vital some of these tools are to stay productive and comfortable each day,” Jain, whose home office is outfitted with her company’s Diffrient World chair, said.

David Kahl, founder and CEO of ergonomic-obsessed workspace brand Fully, says the company is handling four to five times as many inquiries than normal. “It’s been great to observe that our customers really seem to understand the value of a complete, healthy workspace,” said Kahl, whose home office is equipped with a Capisco chair.

“Modern office environments are designed to optimize employee productivity (proper desk height, ergonomic seating, lighting, etc.), and as many individuals have faced a shift in work protocol in the past weeks, they are finding that their homes aren’t properly equipped to handle a sustained work from home routine. We’ve all taken work home, but suddenly when work is home, home may feel unresolved for work,” a spokesperson for Design Within Reach said in an email. The site is seeing a broad increase in interest for task seating, with Herman Miller’s Aeron and Embody chairs seeing the biggest bumps.

Whilst luxury goods companies assist governments in the procurement of masks, whiskey makers reconfigure stills to meet demand for sanitizer and Dyson is deploying ventilators to thousands of hospitals, one couldn’t be blamed for failing to consider ergonomics. Since coronavirus made landfall in the U.S., tens of millions of lives have been upended and, relative to issues of life and death, improving one’s work from home setup may seem trivial. And yet, across the internet, there has never been more interest in sitting correctly. And there has never been a better time to do so.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

8 Way to Make Your Kitchen Knives Last Forever, According to a Knife Maker

David Olkovetsky is the founder of Artisan Revere, a new knifemaking company creating blades out of hardwearing stainless steels.


Taking care of your kitchen knife isn’t as hard as it seems. And while it might be tempting to let your knife sit with the other dishes in the sink (don’t do it), or toss it haphazardly into the dishwasher (really, don’t do it), regular maintenance will make a world of difference. Maybe you like cooking, or maybe you cook purely to survive. When your knife maintains its incredibly sharp edge — and glides effortlessly through rib eyes and rock-hard squash alike — you’ll start to truly enjoy rolling up your sleeves and conquering the kitchen.

They say that a bit of prevention is better than a cure. Here’s what you need to know to keep your knives in mint condition.

Use the knife on food, food and only food.

Perhaps it’s obvious — but it needs to be said.

Think about the number of times you’ve used your kitchen knife to pry open a can, open boxes, break down a small animal and hammer through frozen foods. Any of these can and will dull, twist or chip your blade because your kitchen knife is designed to cut through (non-frozen) foods only. Using it for any other purpose can seriously damage your cutting edge. Specialty boning knives are meant exclusively for breaking down poultry, bone-in meats and fish — so don’t use your chef knife, santoku, or nakiri for hacking through bones.

Photo by Henry Phillips

Wash and dry every single use.

When you’re done with meal prep, wash your knife with dish soap and warm water. When washing your knife, make sure to use a non-scratch sponge. Some sponges use aluminum oxide on the abrasive side, which can leave scratch marks on your blade and dull your edge. After washing, dry your knife immediately. We recommend knife magnets for storage (more on that later). I’ve seen knives of all types fall victim to rust spots, discoloration and worse just from being left out on the counter, or with all the other dirty dishes in the sink. It can be reversed, but it’s best to avoid an expensive lesson and take just a few seconds to wash and dry your knife.

Treat your knife with mineral oil.

An occasional drop or two of food-grade mineral oil throughout the handle and the blade can keep your blade from reacting to highly acidic foods like lemons and limes. It will also prevent acidic or salty solutions from stripping your blade of its free chromium layer, which is a fancy way of saying it will prevent patina and rust. Food-grade mineral oil isn’t just great for preventative knife care; it will also reverse patination on a stainless blade. Something like this mineral oil will do the trick — and also work wonders for your cutting board. If your knife is a high-carbon, “non-stainless” blade, you should apply a layer of food grade mineral oil after every single use, as this will prevent corrosion. If you’ve already got some corrosion, as evidenced by orange spots on your blade, we suggest attempting to remove it with mineral oil. If that doesn’t do the trick, purchase some Simichrome All Metal Polish.

About the Author

David Olkovetsky is the founder of Artisan Revere, a knife company that blends high-end design with hardwearing materials. artisanrevere.com

Use the right cutting board.

There are only a few cutting boards that you should use to keep your knife sharp and maintain a sanitary kitchen: wood, plastic or synthetic rubber. Stick with wooden cutting boards, made with walnut, cherry or maple wood for fruits and vegetables. The janka hardness of walnut and cherry woods is just right for your knives, while maple is a bit harder and less expensive, but will require more frequent sharpening.

Plastic boards are inexpensive, and absolutely fine for fruits and vegetables, but these boards are best used for meats and fish because they can be sanitized in the dishwasher.

Additionally, synthetic rubber boards, like this one from Hasegawa, are superb for advanced knife users who primarily employ slicing motions — they’re grippy and also do less damage to your knives. Rock choppers should avoid these as the boards are a bit too soft.

Please, stop scraping food off your cutting board with the knife.

If you’ve been using your knife’s edge to transfer foods and organize your cutting board, you’re not alone — many top chefs we’ve worked with do this too. Here’s the bad news, this is the easiest way to roll your knife’s edge, especially on those thinner knives.
Avoid this practice before it becomes tough to break the habit. I suggest picking up an inexpensive bench scraper. When all else fails, use the spine of your blade to transfer food.

Never, ever the dishwasher.

Let’s put it this way: your dishwasher is a hurricane of scorching hot water and highly abrasive detergent. It’s a perfect storm that can chip, dull and corrode your knives. Not to mention the high likelihood of pitting corrosion — a particularly nasty, localized form of corrosion. Even if your blade miraculously comes out of the dishwasher intact, the high temperatures and wet conditions will rapidly eat away at the epoxy that holds your handle together — translation: you’ll ruin your gorgeous knife, guaranteed.

Keep your knife away from the dishwasher at all costs, and clean it by hand only. PSA: the dishwasher voids most knife warranties.

Knife blocks suck. Get a knife bar.

The best place to store your knives is on a magnet. Wood or bamboo covered magnets are best, as they’re not as harsh on your knives as steel magnets: steel on steel is never ideal. Large wooden blocks are sub-optimal for several reasons: they’re difficult to clean, dull your knife edge and take up unnecessary space.
Importantly, when placing your knife on or removing your knife off a magnet, remember to maintain spine contact. Place the knife on the magnet via the spine of the blade, and then slowly rotate the knife face onto the magnet. Reverse this when removing the knife. Your goal is to avoid any contact between the cutting edge and the magnet — this will keep your edge sharper for longer and you won’t cut into the magnet.

Know when to hone (and sharpen) your knife.

All knives will eventually dull as the steel abrades over time. We use a third-generation high alloy particle metallurgy tool steel (which is 30-times more expensive than generic knife steel) that will stay sharp much longer — but even our knives will eventually need a tune-up.

We suggest weekly ceramic rod honing for home cooks and daily for professional cooks. Cook’s Standard makes a quality, fairly priced ceramic rod. Remember to wipe your blade down after you’ve honed it.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

8 Way to Make Your Kitchen Knives Last Forever, According to an Expert

David Olkovetsky is the founder of Artisan Revere, a new knifemaking company creating blades out of hardwearing stainless steels.


Taking care of your kitchen knife isn’t as hard as it seems. And while it might be tempting to let your knife sit with the other dishes in the sink (don’t do it), or toss it haphazardly into the dishwasher (really, don’t do it), regular maintenance will make a world of difference. Maybe you like cooking, or maybe you cook purely to survive. When your knife maintains its incredibly sharp edge — and glides effortlessly through rib eyes and rock-hard squash alike — you’ll start to truly enjoy rolling up your sleeves and conquering the kitchen.

They say that a bit of prevention is better than a cure. Here’s what you need to know to keep your knives in mint condition.

Use the knife on food, food and only food.

Perhaps it’s obvious — but it needs to be said.

Think about the number of times you’ve used your kitchen knife to pry open a can, open boxes, break down a small animal and hammer through frozen foods. Any of these can and will dull, twist or chip your blade because your kitchen knife is designed to cut through (non-frozen) foods only. Using it for any other purpose can seriously damage your cutting edge. Specialty boning knives are meant exclusively for breaking down poultry, bone-in meats and fish — so don’t use your chef knife, santoku, or nakiri for hacking through bones.

Photo by Henry Phillips

Wash and dry every single use.

When you’re done with meal prep, wash your knife with dish soap and warm water. When washing your knife, make sure to use a non-scratch sponge. Some sponges use aluminum oxide on the abrasive side, which can leave scratch marks on your blade and dull your edge. After washing, dry your knife immediately. We recommend knife magnets for storage (more on that later). I’ve seen knives of all types fall victim to rust spots, discoloration and worse just from being left out on the counter, or with all the other dirty dishes in the sink. It can be reversed, but it’s best to avoid an expensive lesson and take just a few seconds to wash and dry your knife.

Treat your knife with mineral oil.

An occasional drop or two of food-grade mineral oil throughout the handle and the blade can keep your blade from reacting to highly acidic foods like lemons and limes. It will also prevent acidic or salty solutions from stripping your blade of its free chromium layer, which is a fancy way of saying it will prevent patina and rust. Food-grade mineral oil isn’t just great for preventative knife care; it will also reverse patination on a stainless blade. Something like this mineral oil will do the trick — and also work wonders for your cutting board. If your knife is a high-carbon, “non-stainless” blade, you should apply a layer of food grade mineral oil after every single use, as this will prevent corrosion. If you’ve already got some corrosion, as evidenced by orange spots on your blade, we suggest attempting to remove it with mineral oil. If that doesn’t do the trick, purchase some Simichrome All Metal Polish.

About the Author

David Olkovetsky is the founder of Artisan Revere, a knife company that blends high-end design with hardwearing materials. artisanrevere.com

Use the right cutting board.

There are only a few cutting boards that you should use to keep your knife sharp and maintain a sanitary kitchen: wood, plastic or synthetic rubber. Stick with wooden cutting boards, made with walnut, cherry or maple wood for fruits and vegetables. The janka hardness of walnut and cherry woods is just right for your knives, while maple is a bit harder and less expensive, but will require more frequent sharpening.

Plastic boards are inexpensive, and absolutely fine for fruits and vegetables, but these boards are best used for meats and fish because they can be sanitized in the dishwasher.

Additionally, synthetic rubber boards, like this one from Hasegawa, are superb for advanced knife users who primarily employ slicing motions — they’re grippy and also do less damage to your knives. Rock choppers should avoid these as the boards are a bit too soft.

Please, stop scraping food off your cutting board with the knife.

If you’ve been using your knife’s edge to transfer foods and organize your cutting board, you’re not alone — many top chefs we’ve worked with do this too. Here’s the bad news, this is the easiest way to roll your knife’s edge, especially on those thinner knives.
Avoid this practice before it becomes tough to break the habit. I suggest picking up an inexpensive bench scraper. When all else fails, use the spine of your blade to transfer food.

Never, ever the dishwasher.

Let’s put it this way: your dishwasher is a hurricane of scorching hot water and highly abrasive detergent. It’s a perfect storm that can chip, dull and corrode your knives. Not to mention the high likelihood of pitting corrosion — a particularly nasty, localized form of corrosion. Even if your blade miraculously comes out of the dishwasher intact, the high temperatures and wet conditions will rapidly eat away at the epoxy that holds your handle together — translation: you’ll ruin your gorgeous knife, guaranteed.

Keep your knife away from the dishwasher at all costs, and clean it by hand only. PSA: the dishwasher voids most knife warranties.

Knife blocks suck. Get a knife bar.

The best place to store your knives is on a magnet. Wood or bamboo covered magnets are best, as they’re not as harsh on your knives as steel magnets: steel on steel is never ideal. Large wooden blocks are sub-optimal for several reasons: they’re difficult to clean, dull your knife edge and take up unnecessary space.
Importantly, when placing your knife on or removing your knife off a magnet, remember to maintain spine contact. Place the knife on the magnet via the spine of the blade, and then slowly rotate the knife face onto the magnet. Reverse this when removing the knife. Your goal is to avoid any contact between the cutting edge and the magnet — this will keep your edge sharper for longer and you won’t cut into the magnet.

Know when to hone (and sharpen) your knife.

All knives will eventually dull as the steel abrades over time. We use a third-generation high alloy particle metallurgy tool steel (which is 30-times more expensive than generic knife steel) that will stay sharp much longer — but even our knives will eventually need a tune-up.

We suggest weekly ceramic rod honing for home cooks and daily for professional cooks. Cook’s Standard makes a quality, fairly priced ceramic rod. Remember to wipe your blade down after you’ve honed it.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Cookware Claims to Teach You How to Cook. We Put It to the Test

In our connected age, it’s hard to live a healthy, balanced home life. In Homebody, we test one product that claims to help.

Improving from dabbling chef to something more — an actual home cook — is a tricky moment. You’re probably not whipping up big meals for groups of friends yet, but maybe you’re consistently pleasing yourself and a loved one. They brag about your cooking now and then. You’ve read a couple cookbooks (Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, maybe, or Barefoot Contessa). You can chop an onion in a minute flat, but you’re cutting with an old hand-me-down paring knife. You know how to make a pan sauce in your treasured cast iron. You cook a few things from scratch, but you also know how to spice up the store-bought basics. Your pot game is weak, but your pantry is stacked.

I find myself in this cooking moment. And while I’ve sought out new recipes and other cookbooks as informative and freeing as Samin Nosrat’s or Ina Garten’s, several companies have been thinking about selling me on elevating my cooking by upgrading my tools in the kitchen. One is Equal Parts, a cookware lifestyle brand that’s a member of the Pattern brand family, which also includes the organizational products sub-brand Open Spaces.

In Theory…

Pattern, Open Spaces and Equal Parts are all sunshine and friendliness — bright, cartoony websites, promises of health, happiness and sustainability. On its website, Equal Parts promised to be a brand that “capitalized on the rewarding aspects of cooking while lowering barriers. The whole approach is designed to make it easier to get started and stay in the flow with simple supplies and on-demand direction.”

What that translates to for the brand is a cookware stepping stone: pots and pans with features like ceramic non-stick coating, or a Chef’s knife made of German steel, within an affordable price range. Their Simple Kitchen set ($299), it was implied, would be my silver bullet for kitchen improvement. This seemed aimed right at my needs: a capsule of essentials for someone who already has the supporting cast of a few pots, cast iron and a spatula. The Simple Kitchen set includes a medium-sized, non-stick ceramic pot and pan; a full-tang German steel chef’s knife that they promised would stay sharper, longer; a cutting board; three prep bowls; a measuring set; and a colander in all black.

In Practice…

Overall, I enjoyed my new-and-improved kit. I did indeed use less oil in the non-stick pan, which Equal Parts touts as an easy health hack. I did not know I would feel cooler using an all-black colander — but, for some reason, I did. The cutting board, while nicely sized, had a few finishing issues, and developed a few dark spots from being washed relatively quickly; I went back to my old, oversized one. Ironically, I did minor damage to the baking sheet that was also sent to me when I tried to cut a pizza using my chef’s knife. Equal Parts warns to be careful with the non-stick coating. I did not. I started a new list of kitchen accoutrement I still needed, topped by a pizza cutter.

Maybe most importantly, the upgrade in kitchenware did boost my desire to cook and pushed my skills. The chef’s knife was my first, and while it’s no Korin, it let me really work on my knife skills for the first time. The prep bowls encouraged… well, prep. The measuring set encouraged… well, measuring.

And then there was the icing on the cake (well, maybe the garnish on the dish): If you buy something from Equal Parts, you get access to their Text a Chef feature. Shoot them a question from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday (2-6 on Sundays) and they’ll get back to you with an answer. I was skeptical. Can an algorithm be programmed to answer simple cooking questions? But shortly after I texted, my personal chef-on-demand, Joanie, responded with a few great tips about how to upgrade my homemade curry game (stick with the curry paste from the Thai grocery, but add in a few aromatics for extra flavor, she recommended, or maybe try a whole new type of curry with one of her favorite recipes). Joan was not an algorithm — or at least, she convinced me she was a chef and an educator who worked catering and answered newbie chef questions on the side.

In Conclusion…

So yes, I’d say I was a fit for Equal Parts’ newfangled consumerism version of getting better at cooking. The price was right for a decent cookware upgrade; I was not too beginner and not too advanced to benefit from their services. It felt like another alternative path to getting better at cooking, just like buying Nosrat’s book, which is more a textbook than a cookbook. The text-a-chef service’s usefulness might fade; I’m sure someday in the near future I would outgrow the mid-level pots, pans and chef’s knife. But isn’t that what a stepping stone is? The important question is, did it make me better at cooking? I can tell you — the proof is in the curry.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Charcoal Grill Might Change Grilling for Good

Welcome to Window Shopping, a weekly exercise in lusting over new home products we want in our apartments right the hell now.

Spark Charcooal Grill

It’s rare for a new product’s marketing language to line up with reality, especially products that tout themselves as groundbreaking or innovative. If it works like it’s meant to, the Spark Grill may live up to its own superlatives.

There are a number of things going on with Spark, but the wildest bit is the charcoal. Instead of loading it full of charcoal briquettes, you load it with what the company calls a “Briq,” a compressed natural wood and charcoal block with a series of holes in it. The Briq slots into a pull-out tray on the front of the grill and is the sole fuel source. The grill uses a ceramic electric lighter to ignite the Briq and you’re able to control its temperature with a knob (200 to 900 degrees), like an oven. If this system works like its website claims, it will immediately become the most precise charcoal grill you can buy. You can hop on the waitlist now; grills start at $799.

Ikea Botanisk Rug

Ikea releases collections like Future releases albums — constantly and without much warning. The Botanisk collection is made up of a number of planters, blankets, pots and baskets, but the thing I’m lusting after — and can be had for $30 — is a very simple runner I want to throw down in front of the sink. It’s a nice, neutral color that adds material contrast to spaces in need of some earthiness. One glaring issue: like many of Ikea’s limited collections, it can’t be bought online. Bookmark it for another time.

East Fork Malibu & Tequila Sunrise Pottery

East Fork made a name for itself by making an earthenware coffee mug an internet status symbol. Its new colors, Malibu and Tequila Sunrise, take me to a place I’d rather be. Sadly, because of coronavirus, East Fork’s fulfillment center and factory are both closed. Pre-order goes live on April 23 if you have the patience to buy and wait a while.

All Together Beer

All Together is an open-source beer brewed raise funds for a suffering hospitality industry. Breweries across the globe are brewing it, and Brooklyn, NY’s Other Half provided the base recipe (available here). Join the mailing list to find out when you can get your hands on the beer.

Ardent Nova FX Cannabis Decarboxylator

Words with lots of letters are confusing. Cannabis decarbs are for people who cook with cannabis and want to get more high for their dime. About 30 percent of available THC will find its way into your bloodstream when smoking a joint, up to 80 percent through a vape, yet edibles only hit 4 to 20 percent. The machine increases those percentages dramatically, and Ardent’s new Nova FX does so more effectively than anything else on the market.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

The 13 Best Meal Kit Delivery Services for Every Kind of Cook

If your Grubhub receipts are piling up, you might want to consider a slightly more hands-on food delivery experience: meal kits. Since Blue Apron pioneered meal kit delivery services, companies have cropped up all over the internet touting great meals that even the most amateur chefs can easily make. Each of these services promise something different — whether it be diet-specific meals or pre-prepped ingredients. We looked into some of the best meal kit delivery services and narrowed it down to the 13 best.

What to Consider When Choosing a Meal Kit Delivery Service

Your Lifestyle: These services typically deliver every week. If your weekly routines are varied, you’ll want to find a delivery service that makes it easy to pause and resume delivery (and doesn’t charge you for changes).

Your Tastebuds: All of these services are going to deliver solid ingredients and meals. Some of them may put a premium on expanding customer’s palates, while others might prioritize easy-to-make staples. Browse each option’s sample menus to get a sense of how varied the meals can be.

Your Fridge Space: These meal kit delivery services send out pre-portioned ingredients for each meal. That means you end up with a lot of packages and a limited amount of space in your fridge. The same can be said for services that offer pre-made food.

Your Budget:
These delivery services do make getting food on the table easier, but it’s important to note that most kits, from a cost per serving perspective, work out to about as much as ordering takeout would, but with the added benefit of cooking the food yourself, thus knowing what you’re eating. Let these services jumpstart your passion for cooking, but they’re not the be-all-end-all for meal prep.

Best Meal Kit Delivery Services

Blue Apron

Best For: Adventurous Eaters
Cost: $60/week for three meals for two people; $96/week for three meals for four people (free shipping)
Price Per Serving: $8 – $10
Blue Apron is a true OG in the meal kit delivery game. Its chef-designed dishes are simple to make and easy to follow along with. Plus, the whole cooking process can usually be done in under an hour. If you’re looking to try out new flavors in the kitchen, Blue Apron might be your best bet. Expect dishes like coconut curry wonton noodles and za’atar white beans and kale sauté. Where cost is concerned, its meals fall in the upper-middle price bracket.

The company also has a wine subscription with bottles that will complement its meals and a marketplace for users to buy essential kitchen tools like cast-iron skillets and cutting boards.

Dinnerly

Best For: Tight Budgets
Cost: $39/week for three meals for two people; $69/week for three meals for four people (prices include shipping)
Price Per Serving: $4 – $5
Dinnerly goes bare bones for its meal delivery kits to keep prices per serving low for customers. The company uses digital recipe cards, fewer ingredients, minimal packaging and word-of-mouth marketing so you’re just paying for meals. Its menu isn’t innovative — staples include lasagna rollups, carne asada tacos and shrimp scampi — but it gets the job done.

EveryPlate

Best For: Cash-Strapped Home Cooks
Cost: $39/week for three meals for two people; $69/week for three meals for four people (prices include shipping)
Price Per Serving: $5
EveryPlate makes it easy for those with tight budgets to make delicious and different meals at home. At $5 a serving, it offers one of the cheapest plans in the category. Despite the lower price, the menu options are vast and the food quality is solid — a bit like a more adventurous Dinnerly.

Freshly

Best For: People Who Don’t Like Cooking
Cost: $46/week for four meals for one person and goes up to $96/week for 12 meals for one person (shipping costs vary)
Price Per Serving: $8 – $12
Freshly meals arrive fully cooked, so all you have to do is microwave and eat. Freshly accommodates a wide range of dietary restrictions, and 100 percent of its menu is gluten-free and peanut-free. A sample menu may include anything from turkey meatloaf to chicken tikka masala. Plus, all of Freshly’s meals come in recyclable packaging. Yay for less guilt.

Gobble

Best For: People With No Time to Spare
Cost: $79/week for three meals for two people; $151/week for three meals for four people (prices include shipping)
Price Per Serving: $8 – $11 for lunch; $12 – $14 for dinner
Gobble is the meal kit delivery service for those who can’t find their way around the kitchen, but don’t want to get something pre-made. Because the company does most of the prep work for you, meals take around 15 minutes to complete. Ingredients, sourced from local farms and specialty purveyors, come chopped and peeled and ready to handle. Expect dishes like shakshuka with swiss chard and potatoes and Sicilian-style balsamic glazed ahi tuna. Check out Gobble’s Lean & Clean meals for under-600 calorie dishes made with lean meats and healthy fats.

Green Chef

Best For: Health-Conscious Eaters
Cost: $79/week for three meals for two people; $95 per week for two meals, served family style, for four people (prices include shipping)
Price Per Serving: $10 – $13 (varies by dietary options)
Green Chef is a USDA-certified organic company with meals like roasted sausages and sauerkraut, streak frites and buttermilk-brined chicken. When selecting a plan, you can choose from keto, paleo, vegan and vegetarian and carnivore menus. Most meals can be completed in under 30 minutes, so a fresh, healthy meal can end up on your table faster than getting delivery.

HelloFresh

Best For: Indecisive Shoppers and Travellers
Cost: $62/week for three meals for two people; $98/week for three meals for four people (prices include shipping)
Price Per Serving: $7 – $9
HelloFresh’s meal plans center around flexibility for its subscribers. The company makes it easy to cancel, change meals and delay delivery to accommodate your lifestyle. Each box comes with step-by-step recipe cards, which include nutritional facts. Even if you’re not a subscriber, use HelloFresh’s recipe page for meal inspiration.

Home Chef

Best For: Picky Eaters
Cost: Starts at $7 a meal
Price Per Serving: $7 (more for customizations)
Rather than paying for a set number of meals per week, Home Chef subscribers choose which dishes they want for the week and pay $7 per meal. Users have the option to customize their meals with upgrades, swapped ingredients or extra helpings of protein, for an added cost. Previous meals have included garlic-parmesan crusted filet mignon and hot honey salmon. It’s easily the most granular of any meal kit company.

Martha & Marley Spoon

Best For: Martha Stewart Stans
Cost: $63/week for three meals for two people; $99/week for three meals for four people (prices include shipping)
Price Per Serving: $7 – $10
Martha Stewart will never prepare you a meal in your own kitchen, but you can subscribe to Martha & Marley Spoon, which will likely be the next best thing. Every week, subscribers choose from 22 recipes to have sent to their door. Meals utilize seasonal ingredients and curated spice blends to create unique flavor combinations. The Martha & Marley Spoon menu runs the gamut in cuisine with dishes like pork katsu, gnocchi and enchiladas. Better yet, these meals are ready in under 30 minutes, all requiring six steps or fewer.

Purple Carrot

Best For: Vegans and Vegetarians
Cost: $72 per week for three meals for two people; $120 per week for three meals for four people (free shipping)
Price Per Serving: $10 – $12
Vegans and vegetarians can turn to Purple Carrot for a meal kit delivery service that caters to plant-based diets. The company has meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you can even add ready-to-eat snacks to your weekly box. Subscribers in the past have had kimchi tofu stew and black bean avocado melt kits sent to them. Even if you’re not on a plant-based diet, Purple Carrot is still a great option for those looking for a delicious meal.

Sun Basket

Best For: Clean Eaters
Cost: $72/week for three meals for two people; $144/week for three meals for four people (free shipping)
Price Per Serving: $11 – $13
Sun Basket’s meal kits center around quality ingredients — organic produce, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and wild-caught seafood — to produce meals that taste great and are good for you. The brand caters to various diets, and all of its meals are approved by dietitians. Examples of what you can expect in a Sun Basket delivery includes meals such as spicy Sichuan dan dan noodles and Mediterranean garlic shrimp.

A major criticism of meal kit delivery services is its heavy use of packaging, so Sun Basket went ahead and made its packaging recyclable and compostable. In its efforts to combat poverty, Sun Basket supports local food banks and the nonprofit organization Feeding America.

Veestro

Best For: Vegan Chef Mike
Cost: $117 for 10 meals; $216 for 20 meals; $297 for 30 meals (free shipping on auto-delivery orders; $10 shipping on one-time orders)
Price Per Serving: $10 – $12
Veestro’s meal kit service caters to vegans and those with plant-based diets. Not only that, but they arrive to your door fully cooked, ready to be heated up in the microwave, in the oven or on the stove. Users can order meals a la carte, where they have the opt for a variety of dietary preferences such as kosher, gluten-free or high-protein. Choose Veestro’s meal plan service, called Chef’s Choice, to get a set number of meals delivered to your door every week, two weeks or four weeks. A sample menu includes meals such as chick’n shawarma, carrot osso bucco and veggie lasagna.

Yumble

Best For: Parents
Cost: $48/week for six meals; $56/week for eight meals; $72/week for 12 meals (free shipping)
Price Per Serving: $6 – $8
Picky eaters won’t seem so picky with a Yumble meal in front of them. With dishes like baked taco pockets and chicken marinara, you might find yourself picking off your kid’s plate. Plus, Yumble works with nutritionists to create healthy meals that’ll keep your kids coming back for more. Meals take 90 seconds to heat the microwave, and Yumble packaging can be recycled.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Chin

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Associate for Editorial Operations. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. Too bad the MTA doesn’t have a team like Ed-Ops.

More by Tyler Chin | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

The 13 Best Kitchen Knives You Can Buy in 2019

This definitive guide to the best kitchen knives of 2019 explores everything you need to know to buy your next favorite tool. It covers options at every price point, and it also clarifies which knives are essential and which ones you can cook without.

There is no absolute best kitchen knife for every person. Different budgets, grip styles and aesthetic tastes, not to mention a dozen other micro-decisions, all determine which knife is best for the task at hand.

This guide aims to identify which kitchen knives are most useful, and hopefully, it helps you divorce from overpriced, unnecessarily bulky knife block sets. It also answers age-old questions haunting the kitchen: Do I really need a utility knife? When should I use paring knife? What in the hell does X50CrMoV15 mean? But first, our top recs for the most useful kitchen knives available in 2019.

The Short List

Best Cheap Chef’s Knife: Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife

The trick to buying a truly affordable chef’s knife is basically just finding a product with the least number of negatives.

In testing, we compared affordable options from Victorinox ($30), Wüsthof ($30), Hoffritz ($25) and Potluck, a direct-to-consumer brand that sell’s a chef’s knife as part of a set (it’s $60 for three knives). Frankly, all affordable chef’s knives handle onions, tomatoes and the breaking down of chickens pretty much the same — they are reasonably sharp out of the box but they will chip with consistent use.

Ultimately, Victorinox’s ultra-cheap 8-inch chef’s knife won out, though it too is liable to blade chipping and isn’t the most comfortable to use. But for the price of two movie tickets, there isn’t a knife that performs this well or is as widely available (you can find them in most home goods sections). Also, the handle isn’t as aggressively “ergonomic” as many others in this category, making it a bit easier to switch between knife grips.

Best Value Chef’s Knife: Tojiro DP Gyuto

Knife emporium ChefsKnivestoGo describes Tojiro’s DP series as “the gateway into the world of high end Japanese cutlery.” Simply put, you will be hard-pressed to find a blade that’s made better than this one for under $100.

The Tojiro DP Gyuto is a full-tang VG10 stainless steel knife. At just under 2mm wide, the blade is thin like a Japanese knife, but the knife is heavier than most Japanese knives, solving the common issue many new Japanese knife owners have with their blades (traditional Western knives are beefy in comparison). The steel type is fairly common for a mid-priced knife, but because the core of the knife is laminated with a softer steel, it’s much easier to sharpen than most. Altogether, there isn’t a knife — Japanese or otherwise — that offers as much performance for the money.

Other Great Chef’s Knives

Zwilling Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

A Western-style knife (sometimes called a German-style knife) is typically going to be heavier and have a thicker blade than a Japanese-style knife. Most Western-style knives sport more defined handle ergonomics as well (more details here). The category of Western-style chef’s knife is very, very large, but after testing two dozen of them, Zwilling’s 8-inch takes the cake. It is a stainless steel knife (the exact properties of the steel are proprietary) that’s stain- and corrosion-resistant. After months of testing, the blade didn’t chip or show signs of dulling in any way.

The largest differentiating factor between Zwilling’s 8-inch and Wüsthof’s highly-recommended forged 8-inch ($125) was the bolster. The Zwilling knife’s bolster fades into the blade less dramatically than the Wüsthof which, when using a pinch grip, was a lot more comfortable. That said, both got on sale fairly frequently and are solid buys.

Global G-2

Global’s kitchen knives are really weird. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

The design is both Japanese (the blade is very light and very thin) and anti-Japanese (its balance isn’t pushed toward the cutting end and the whole thing is one piece; most Japanese-style knives taper into a wooden handle). This means it has the nice slicing properties you’d expect from a great Japanese knife, but in a much more durable, familiar package. Its stainless steel makeup (exact properties are proprietary) resists staining or corrosion and remains wicked sharp during use.

In testing, we tried comparably-priced MAC knives ($93) and a few other more premium options, but only Tojiro’s Good Design Award-winning knife ($68) balanced the features of a typical Japanese knife with lower maintenance, reasonable prices, edge retention and smart design quite like Global’s G-2.

Made In Chef’s Knife

Direct-to-consumer brand Made In started with cookware, which remains its bread and butter, but the brand’s debut chef’s knife (released in 2018) is stellar. The blade is quite big and made with X50CrMoV15 steel (a mixture of carbon, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, manganese and silicon), which is a staple for high-end Western blades. It is best described as a high-carbon stainless steel, meaning it carries some traits from carbon and stainless steel knives.

On top of this, Made In’s knife rocks a more straight-lined, Japanese-style handle and is finished in nitrogen. A better explanation is available courtesy of Knife Steel Nerds, but this essentially makes the blade far less susceptible to chipping. Finally, it easily worked through any and all cutting tasks we put it through.

We were also impressed with Material Kitchen’s knife ($75). Its blade is a bit smaller and it’s thinner and lighter than Made In’s, but it was a bit more prone to staining.

Mac Professional Hollow Edge Knife

Mac makes a number of more affordable blades, but its Pro series is when the brand starts to become superlative. Made with a proprietary very high carbon stainless steel, the blade is thin, ultra-sharp, dimpled and, oddly enough, quite heavy. It also has dimples to support food release, a sturdy bolster and it’s stain- and rust-resistant (we still wouldn’t put it in the dishwasher). It’s one of very few Japanese knives that successfully implements these kinds of Western design cues. A 25-year warranty against material and construction defects proves how much Mac believes in this knife.

Korin Special Inox Yo-Deba

It’s hard to put into words how great this knife is. It is impeccably balanced, gorgeous to look at and scores a high 60 on the Rockwell scale. It slices, chops and glides through anything gracefully and is somehow also fairly corrosion-resistant. It’s made of a slightly altered AUS-10 steel, which is technically a high carbon stainless mix (it carries properties of stainless and carbon steels). Its biggest fault is a penchant for staining, but staining only occurs when not properly cleaned and dried after use.

As nice as it is, though, we don’t recommend everyone runs out and spends $209 on a single knife (for what it’s worth, MAC’s more premium 8-inch chef’s knife is excellent and $60 more affordable than the Korin option). This is a knife you give as a gift to someone who you know will maintain it — maybe yourself.

Best Kitchen Knife Brands

Victorinox

Victorinox Swiss Army makes a lot of stuff — an actual mountain of utility and pocket knives, fragrances, watches of all sorts, luggage and travel gear and, yes, plenty of kitchen knives. What makes its kitchen knives great is a combination of simple design choices (the handles are never too aggressive on the ergonomics end), solid materials and a level of mass availability that’s absent from other companies making good knives (you can find Victorinox in loads of brick-and-mortar stores and everywhere online). It’s become famous for its uber-affordable Fibrox line, and rightfully so, but its more premium collections of rosewood-handled blades and Grand Maitre line are worth a look as well.

Wüsthof

Wüsthof’s classic 8-inch chef’s knife is probably the most frequently recommended premium knife on the internet, and the rest of its kitchen knives are right up there with it. The German company is easily one of the most consistent makers of high-quality knives, and it does so at pretty much every price point. If you want a German-style knife, Wüsthof is a good place to start looking.

Global

Awarded the prestigious Good Design Award in 1990 and the even more rare Good Design Long Life Award years later, Global’s kitchen knives are atypical but pretty awesome. Made of Cromova 18 steel — a semi-mysterious mixture of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium that belongs to Global’s parent company, Yoshikin — its knives buck convention and are one solid piece of hardwearing, edge-holding stainless steel. The handle feels a bit like the outside of a golf ball and, though you might doubt its usefulness at first, it does feel nice in the hand. Of all Global’s attributes, its greatest is maneuverability — its knives are so, so light and super balanced.

Mac

Mac knives are recommended all over the place — see: Wirecutter, Epicurious and Buzzfeed — as an ideal entry point into knives that aren’t going to chip and widdle away. After testing a number of Mac Knives, we recommend steering clear of its sub-$100 options — there’s better value elsewhere. That said, the company uses good steel and more accessible bolster and handle designs than most at its price range.

Zwilling J.A. Henckels International

With solid materials, classic designs, widespread availability and a very long legacy, the knives from Zwilling Group’s biggest cutlery line, J.A. Henckels International, are some of the best you can buy. Period. Also, the company’s good frequently go on sale, meaning with a little patience, you can get a knife (like the recommendation for best Western-style chef’s knife) for way under the listed price.

Other Essential Kitchen Knives

Best Bread Knife: Hoffritz Commercial Bread Knife

The long serrated bread knife is essential, and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t tried to cut even slices of bread with a chef’s knife. But, unlike chef’s knives, bread knives don’t really gain much value when made with better materials — fact is, sharpening a bread knife is next to impossible. These two things combined make for an easy purchasing decision: buy cheap. This knife from Hoffritz, an old name in knifemaking that’s recently released a line of products aimed at the commercial kitchen, makes for an ideal bread butchering tool. Tojiro also makes a decent enough bread knife ($16) that looks a bit better and is slightly longer as well.

Best Paring Knife: Victorinox 3.25-Inch Spear Point Paring Knife

The simple truth is that, though a paring knife is probably the second most useful knife in the cook’s arsenal, it still lags way behind a do-it-all chef’s knife. So, like the bread knife, the paring knife should follow the cheaper-is-better idea.

Victorinox’s little paring knife pieces apart cherry tomatoes, shallots, garlic cloves (if you don’t like the big knife, small object dynamic), pulling some rind off a lemon and whatever else you need it for. If you want something nicer, Mac’s 4-inch forged blade paring knife ($38) feels a bit more solid in the hand and is made with steel that will likely last a fair bit longer. Both come with recommendations from the gear testing team at Serious Eats, too.

Best Serrated Utility Knife: Wüsthof Classic Serrated Utility Knife

There are a dozen names for this knife — tomato knife, citrus knife, sausage knife and so on — affirming its place in the “essentials” category. Knives like these, which are predominantly used for foods with firm exteriors and reasonably soft interiors, need to carve through foods without destroying what lies on the inside (a la tomatoes or oranges), so better steel and engineering is the better long-run choice. Wüsthof’s is a good size, a hefty weight (relative to its size) and does the trick perfectly. We also tried Zwilling’s ($70) similarly priced option but found the added weight and slightly lower cost of Wüsthof’s to better it in most ways.

Nonessential Kitchen Knives

Best Slicer (Carving Knife): Victorinox Fibrox 12-Inch Slicer

There are a lot of great slicers out there (also called carving knives), and unless you frequently cook whole birds, roasts or other large cuts of meat, you can get away with using your chef’s knife on the off-chance you do go that route one night. The slicer is a long, narrow blade that’s slightly flexible, meant for penetrating and divvying up those larger pieces of meat and separating them from bone and other tendons. Our pick, Victorinox’s 12-inch slicer is just that, and it provides a nice, no BS grip for putting some muscle to get through tougher meats.

Best Cheese Knife: Swissmar Cheese Plane

A cheese knife is really more for show than it is actual use. Unless you’re buying your cheese by the wheel, and bless you for that, you really don’t need one (just use a paring knife to break down blocks). But, if you must have one, you may as well get something your other knives would have a hard time accomplishing, like creating a slice of cheese with some degree of uniformity and elegance. Hence, Swissmar’s cheese plane, which pulls delightful bites of cheese off blocks and ensures every slice is roughly the same size.

Best Oyster Knife: OXO Good Grips Oyster Knife

Oyster knives are almost all the same in that most have a bent tip blade for prying the creature open and some stubby handle to apply force. You could buy pretty much any decent oyster knife under $10 and be happy, but we prefer OXO’s version with the company’s Good Grip handle.

Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email

This Japanese Chef Rendered 1,000 of His Meals in Notebooks for 32 Years

If a love for food and art can coexist in equal amounts, Japanese chef Itsuo Kobayashi has nailed them both in his copious hand-painted expressions of his meals for over three decades. Kobyashi painstakingly replicated…

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home, and Everything You Need to Make It

This definitive guide to cold brew coffee explores everything you need to make it at home, including gear recommendations and a step-by-step recipe provided by a leading expert.

Cold-brewed coffee is made of the same stuff as its hot counterpart — water and ground coffee beans — and in much the same way. Brewing coffee comes down to the shifting and dynamic between seven elements; coffee-to-water ratio, water quality, coffee beans, grind setting, agitation, time and temperature. Only the last two are changed significantly when making cold brew coffee.

But the final product is radically different, and not in a mustachioed, wishy-washy sort of way. It’s richer, thicker and more intense than any other brew method out there. Most recipes and how-tos would have you (rightly) dilute the final product in loo of drinking what amounts to a coffee concentrate, especially when it is at its best — the summer.

“It’s probably the easiest brew method to perfect,” says former Verve shop manager and present coffee educator at Partners Cofee, Edward O’Hickey. “When you’re making a cup of hot coffee, the temperature of the water acts as a catalyst for extraction — pulling and dissolving solids from the grinds and into the cup — so extraction occurs faster.”

Where your typical home brewer will take five to 10 minutes, cold brew takes, at a bare minimum, 12 hours.

With cold brew, the entire process is slowed way, way down. Where your typical home brewer will take five to 10 minutes, cold brew takes, at a bare minimum, 12 hours.

Due to its relatively recent induction into the greater coffee zeitgeist, O’Hickey says there’s still plenty of misconceptions about what cold brew is and isn’t. He says there’s no real evidence to support the notion that it carries more caffeine, and that there isn’t any more or less coffee matter in a cup of cold brew than there is a cup of regular old hot coffee. And, perhaps most useful to our interests, it’s not even slightly difficult to make.

“There’s not really any techniques to master or super fine points to hit,” O’Hickey says, “it’s a matter of time and measurement, mostly.”

And thank goodness for that. Neither willpower nor dawn wake-up times can defeat the misery of the sticky heat that’s coming for us (and for some, has already arrived). Yet the morning cup of coffee needn’t be sacrificed. The smell, the caffeine, the taste — it’s liquid comfort, and it’s necessary. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, however, here’s the gear you need to make it rightly.

What You Need to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Writing about cold brew coffee for a publication with a keen focus on products is a bit ironic. Cold brew is the least gear-intensive method of brewing coffee out there. All you need: grinder, scale, beans, a container and a means to separate grinds from brewed coffee. None of that is particularly pricey, and if you’ve already invested in a coffee kit, there’s a good chance you already have some components covered.

Burr Grinder

If you want good coffee, you should already own a coffee grinder. And we’re talking about a burr grinder, which grinds coffee more precisely than blade grinders, which is more apt for grinding spices. Baratza is the leading brand in coffee grinders, which is why it’s our pick for best coffee grinder, thanks to its reliability, longevity and modularity. Oh, and the unrivaled customer service is like having a barista on speed dial.

Brew System

You could probably make cold brew in your bathtub. But we’d recommend an actual cold brew system like the OXO Brew Cold Brew Coffee Maker. The system evenly distributes water over coffee grounds, creates a clean batch of concentrate and is easy to clean.

Scale

A scale will ensure you’re measuring out the perfect amount of water and coffee. The process of making cold brew, and coffee in general, is one of the most scientific things you can do in the kitchen. Don’t ruin a batch of cold brew because you decided to eyeball the ratios. This Hario scale is also great for making pour-over coffee thanks to its built-in timer.

Coffee Beans

Cold brew is lauded for its low acidity, making it a great option for those with stomach sensitivity. Reach for coffees that are already low in acidity, with heavier notes like cocoa, molasses and dates. Luckily Trade makes it easy to narrow down its over 400 coffees to the handful that’ll suit your exact needs.

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee

Partners’ official cold brew recipe makes about 25 ounces of cold brew concentrate. Diluted with water, it translates to roughly six cups of cold brew coffee. It can be scaled up or down according to need.

Step 1: Grind 115 grams (roughly four ounces) of freshly roasted beans.

The grind should be on the coarse side, about the size of breadcrumbs. “There’s not really a need to grind super fine with cold brewed coffee,” O’Hickey says, “the longer brew time means you’re getting everything out of the beans, and a larger grind makes later steps easier.”

Step 2: Put ground coffee in a brewer and pour eight cups of water over grinds.

O’Hickey says the vessel doesn’t really matter (“You could seriously make cold brew in a bucket if you want”), but to make sure the container is large enough to hold the brew without much trouble. This recipe was meant to be made in a large French press, but doesn’t have to be.

Step 3: Allow mixture to steep for 18 hours.

The brew can steep in the fridge or on the counter — wherever it’s not going to be knocked over. What happens in steeping is a protracted version of hot coffee’s brewing process, just without temperature as a catalyst for extracting coffee material from the grinds.

Step 4: Drain mix through a fine-mesh strainer or coffee filter.

This is where the coarser grind helps you out. Because the brew time is so long there’s no loss in the extracting of coffee matter from the grinds, thus a coarser grind is simply easier to strain without too much sediment finding its way to the final product. If you’re making this recipe in a french press, push the plunger down and perform the same extra filtering step (“Unless you want a gritty, silty cold brew,” O’Hickey says).

Step 5: Dilute with water or milk.

If you’ve ever tried cold brew and found it alarming dense or too strong, it was likely not diluted before serving. “Cold brewing is usually more viscous and a bit heavier than hot coffee — cafés typically cold brew with this in mind and dilute the concentrated cold brew with water to make it more drinkable,” O’Hickey says. “When I make it at home I typically go with 1-part water, 1-part concentrate but there isn’t a best way.” Serve with ice.

Step 6: Drink.

According to O’Hickey, the primary differences between a cup of cold brew and a cup of iced or hot coffee is a distinctly less acidic taste. “Coffee brews in a stratified manner,” O’Hickey says. “The first components that come out are acids, then the sweeter components, then the bitter material. You need all three to balance one another out to make a properly extracted coffee. With the longer extraction time cold brewing brings, you’re more likely to get this balance right, there’s a much larger margin for error.” Cold brewing simply enables you to brew coffee sans the difficulty of brewing through a pour over or other hot brewing mechanisms.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

This Strange Charcoal Grill Is the First of Its Kind

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A Briq of Charcoal


If Murphy’s law were to apply to one thing only, it’d be charcoal grilling. Whether it be lighting the coals or getting the grill to the right temperature (and keeping it there), it’s often a difficult beast to tackle for novice grilles. The minds behind Spark, a new grill that offers charcoal grilling with the precision of an oven, wants to change that.

The Spark Grill makes use of patented blocks of wood and charcoal the brand calls “Briqs.” Spark Briqs are essentially large, compressed discs of charcoal. They load into a slot on the front of the grill, which ignites them electrically. The grill’s temperature is managed by an internal system and controlled by a nob that allows for temperatures from 200 to 905 degrees. This system is new to the charcoal grill space, a category dominated by grilling purists. If it’s as effective as it claims, it may be a stepping stone for grillers who would’ve gone with gas. Because of the novelty of the product, buyers will be locked into consistent Briq purchases through Spark, harkening to wood pellet grill companies insisting on their owners using grill-specific pellets. Users can also download an app that will keep track of the grill’s temperature and give alerts for when food is cooked.

The Spark Grill will go for $799, and you can sign up for the waitlist now.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Tyler Chin

Tyler Chin is Gear Patrol’s Editorial Associate for Editorial Operations. He’s from Queens, where tempers are short and commutes are long. Too bad the MTA doesn’t have a team like Ed-Ops.

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The 25 Best Things to Cook When You Get a Dutch Oven

There is perhaps no single product in kitchendom more underrated and undercut than the Dutch oven. Now treated as décor as much as it is cookware, they sit atop ranges, about as used a lighthouse in 2020 — that is if a person even owns one. If not, it’s because someone thought they didn’t need one, or their Instant Pot could do the job, or some other patently incorrect excuse.

Frying, browning, braising, and stewing — name another piece of cookware that doesn’t just do those things, but excels at them. The best have high price tags (you don’t have to start with the best), but that doesn’t mean they’re for the landed gentry — the Dutch oven is the master of the one-pot, very-few-ingredients, minimal-cleanup meal. An investment in a Dutch oven, if made wisely, is one that will pay for itself for the duration of your days on earth. Here are 25 recipes that show off its versatility (and yes, they do look good on top of your stove).

Bolognese

The gold standard home bolognese recipe ripped from the pages of Marcella Hazan’s cookbooks. There are no shortcuts here, but it’ll be worth it.

Dried Beans

Dried beans > canned beans. They taste better, aren’t covered in preservatives and salt and they aren’t hopelessly mushy. Soak them overnight, bring them to a boil before lunch and let them simmer until just before dinner. Put the lid on so water doesn’t boil out too quickly.

Coconut Chicken Curry

Stew the curry sauce for a few hours longer than the recipe calls if you feel like it (before you add the coconut, though). It’ll develop new and bigger flavors. Plus, a Dutch oven makes it a one pot meal.

Risotto

When making this risotto in a Dutch oven, be sure to use a wooden or silicone spoon/stirrer. Metal utensils will scratch the enameling, which can result in ruining of a very expensive kitchen tool.

Pozole

There are many ways to make pozole, a Mexican stew based around hominy, peppers and meat. This one utilizes guajilo peppers (which makes it pozole rojo), but you could very well make it with green chiles and tomatillos for a totally different vibe. Cook the blended sofrito for as long as you like (lid on) — it’ll only get richer and deeper in flavor.

Chicken Thighs with Tomato, Orzo, Olives, and Feta

This is the quintessential, easy-as-hell weeknight meal, all cooked in a Dutch oven and most of which you already have in your food stocks. If you thought Beef Bourguignon was all a Dutch oven was good for, you were wrong.

Chicken and Dumplings

Born of need and scarcity, chicken and dumplings is the humblest in the pantheon of Southern food (yes, moreso than even fried chicken). It was made in times when meat wasn’t so easy to come by, but, if done right, would never disappoint. It is a dish that is purely about the enriching of basic, cheap food, and for that there is no better vessel than the Dutch oven.

French-Style Pork Stew

Courtesy of the recipe and kitchen gear testers at America’s Test Kitchen, a classic (but not-well-enough-known) French dish that isn’t overly-indulgent or pompous. It’s a pork stew that is sort of a French take on throw-everything-in-a-pot-and-let-it-rip recipes.

Caldo Verde

Traditionally served as a first course in its native Portugal, caldo verde is a silky soup of potatoes, sausage and a smattering of spices and greens. The Dutch oven’s ability to release a low, but steady stream of moisture thickens the mixture into a velvety, rich, comfort food. It is a humble dish that’s easy to make, but still delicious and obscure enough to impress friends and family.

Linguine and Clams

Steam. Steam is the engine by which clams are best prepared. Steam is also something the Dutch oven is uniquely qualified to create and cook with. This is a classic recipe that, apart from the clams and maybe anchovies, you probably have everything to make already.

Hoppin’ John

A Southeastern side courtesy of the biggest magazine in the Southeast, Hoppin’ John is essentially a practice in lifting fatty meat, peas and rice into something much, much more. Remember to fluff the rice.

Chicken Fricassee

Another example of French cuisine being far more than stuffy, heavy chef food. Fricassee is basically an in-between of sautéeing and stewing chicken and vegetables. In other words, it won’t take as long as a stew, but it will carry more and richer flavors than a straight sautée.

Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs

It’s doubtful there’s a more classic Dutch oven recipe than braised short ribs. It flexes the best aspects of the Dutch oven — searing, reducing liquids over time and superior heat retention — and the final dish is about as impressive as home cooking gets. Just don’t skimp on the wine.

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

A very Midwestern soup that’s the equivalent of throwing a bunch of things that are good in a pot and turning up the heat. Aside from the namesake beer and cheese, there are not a whole lot of mandatory ingredients in a beer-cheese soup — this one includes broccoli so you don’t feel as bad for indulging.

Bread

Yes, bread. Once again, a food that requires a mixture of moisture, heat and dryness to allow it to rise, cook through and develop a gorgeous crust is a food that is suited perfectly for the Dutch oven. Pro tip: throw wax paper down for easier removal.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Sausage Pasta

Use this as a foundation for a thousand pastas to come. Simply brown a protein with garlic and a decent veggie, throw dry pasta and your preferred liquid in, bring to a simmer until the pasta is cooked through. This is the beginning of mastering the one pot meal.

Chicken Coq au Vin

This is a dish with a fancy name. It also tastes and looks fancy, but it isn’t all that troubling to make. More or less, you’re adding more and more ingredients to your Dutch oven and taking it in and out of the oven. Pay close attention to how quickly the wine is reducing; if you let it get too low your food will begin to burn.

Whole Roasted Chicken

Not to belabor the point, but you can cook anything in a Dutch oven and it will come out juicier than you could’ve prepared it otherwise. A whole bird and a smattering of veggies with a bit of salt is all that’s needed for a supremely moist protein with minimal effort or babysitting. Make a gravy out of the jus and throw the chicken on a roasting rack and into a broiling oven to crisp the skin if you want to go the extra mile.

Pulled Pork

This is how you make pulled pork when it’s raining. Serious Eats notes, rightly, that the Dutch oven is perfect for developing the crucial mix of wetness and bark that slow cookers and instant pots fail completely at. The key is, again, the release of some moisture, but not all.

Cobbler

Don’t let anyone fool you – crumbles and cobblers are the lazy man’s pies and custards, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with that. Quite literally just cook a filling of fruit, sugar and whatever tertiary ingredients you fancy, throw some biscuits or dumplings over the top and bake with the lid on for a bit. If you don’t put ice cream on top afterward it hardly even counts.

Roasted Goat with Potatoes and Onion

It’s Greek and, yet again, it’s simply a matter of throwing things in the Dutch oven and letting them cook for a couple hours. The combination of low and consistent heat breaks down the collagen in the goat and converts it into gelatin, which makes for meat that doesn’t require a knife to cut through.

Fried Chicken

In the words of Garden & Gun editors, “…this is fried chicken in its most fundamental form.” If you thought the Dutch oven was only good for low-and-slow cooking, you were wrong (bonus points if you fry in bacon fat).

Chicken and Brunswick Stew

To those forlorn souls who’ve yet to find themselves in front of a cup of Brunswick stew, I’m sorry. This version adds in chicken to make what’s traditionally a side the main attraction. The result is a more fulfilling Brunswick stew that retains all of its weirdness.

Beef Stew

One of the signs that cold weather has arrived, the beef stew is best prepared in a Dutch oven. Find the cheapest meat and cut the veggies as large as possible so they don’t break into too small of pieces. Also, do not skip the flour, even though you’ll want to.

Chili

This recipe for chili is camp-centric, but it doesn’t have to be. All the reasons you cook with a Dutch oven play a part in making a richer chili experience. As noted in the recipe, you can sub out the meat listed for any fatty meat full of connective tissue — it will all be broken down by serving time.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Will Price

Will Price is Gear Patrol’s home and drinks editor. He’s from Atlanta and lives in Brooklyn. He’s interested in bourbon, houseplants, cheap Japanese pens, and cast-iron skillets — maybe a little too much.

More by Will Price | Follow on Contact via Email