Among the Gear Patrol staff, you’ll find experts across a wide range of stuffhiking boots, regular boots, knives, cheap 4k TVs, cold brew coffee, adventure motorcycles, gym sneakers and so on.

What you won’t find, however, are a great many people who know their way around the béarnaise technique. We’re not chefs — though most of us do cook regularly. But you don’t need to understand an inexplicably difficult French sauce to have opinions in the kitchen. From cast-iron skillets to Japanese knives, this is the cooking gear we couldn’t live without.

Gela SC-0282-GW Herb Scissors

“My first reaction to these Gela Herb scissors was, ‘Why would anyone need a separate pair of shears just for their herbs?’ I already own a set of knives — self-sharpening, I might add — and always used them to chop up parsley, basil and whatever else a recipe called for with fine results. Then I started using this five-bladed beauty and realized what a time-saving genius it is. First of all, the scissors can go in the dishwasher, meaning I don’t have to take any time to handwash them. They also come with a cleaning comb, so I can be sure to flick out any remaining bits of chives or cilantro. It makes quick work of any herb-heavy recipes that I want to test out, but also help me eat more tomatoes and mozzarella — with just the right amount of basil on top.” Meg Lappe, Outdoors & Fitness Writer

Vacu Vin Wine Saver

“I drink wine while I cook — it sits atop of all grocery lists as an essential ingredient and helps me enjoy cooking as an activity rather than just a means to an end. Wine also makes me patient (my idle hands have something to do while I let a steak rest) and forgiving. As Hemingway put it, ‘It makes you forget all the bad,’ just like that steak you most-definitely burned. This godsent little tool will keep a pricey bottle from turning into vinegar for at least 72 hours.” — Mike Bailey, Account Executive

Williams Sonoma Classic Apron

“The Williams Sonoma Classic Apron is one of those items that instantly makes you feel like you’re better at cooking. I wear it even when I’m just cranking out some grilled cheese sammies for the kids. It’s also a go-to on camping trips. No need to get splattered with bacon grease when cooking for a crew of campers.” — Kyle Snarr, Head of Marketing

Joseph Joseph Spiro 3-in-1 Hand-Held Spiralizer

“I love pasta, but sometimes, making the same old spaghetti gets boring. So my wife picked up this spiralizer to make vegetable noodles and it’s quite the revelation. The Spiro is easy to use and works with a wide array of vegetables, though zucchini is my go-to. Just toss the spiralized vegetables into a skillet for searing and you’ve got a healthy, gluten-free pasta alternative for the price of a vegetable.” — Ryan Brower, Gear Patrol Studios

Kalita Wave 185

“I love a lot of things that embody Japanese design. Classic Seiko watches. The stick-shift Maxima I drove in college. The uncountable Minolta, Canon and Nikon film cameras I’ve owned. So it’s really no surprise that even among dozens of options for pour-over coffee brewers, I gravitated toward Kalita’s super-simple Wave 185. The thing is elegant, durable and extremely easy to keep clean. Let me put it this way: If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would probably change a lot about how I live, but I wouldn’t change a thing about how I make my morning coffee.” — Andy Frakes, Editorial Assistant

Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender

“If living up to the standards set by our forebears is a mark of success, then I still have some work to do in the kitchen. Both of my parents love cooking. Dishes like elk tenderloin (harvested by my father) and entire meals sourced from my mom’s garden were standard features on the weekly dinner menu. This simple and affordable tool has helped kick my own recipes up a notch. I use it daily to make new sauces, dressings and marinades that inject new gusto into otherwise average meals. It’s also great for making quick meals like smoothies and soups. My current obsession is this gazpacho by the New York Times’ Julia Moskin.” Tanner Bowden, Outdoors & Fitness Writer

Epicurean Kitchen Series Cutting Board

“You’d never know it, but in middle school, I skateboarded with the best of them. So, it was natural for me to gravitate toward Epicurean’s Kitchen Series Cutting Boards, which also hail from skate culture. The brand started out making eco-friendly ramp material from wood fiber for municipal skate parks before it figured out that the excess material was perfect for durable cutting boards. Voila, Epicurean was born. While I dream of solid wood, hand-hewn cutting boards, busy mom life dictates the necessities and these cutting boards check all the boxes: they’re dishwasher-friendly, maintenance-free and, while not entirely the stuff of Instagram dreams, they still excel at dressing up charcuterie.” — Ali Carr Troxell, Managing Editor, Editorial Operations

ThermoWorks ThermoPop

“Every time I pull a roast chicken from the oven, before I take a bite or serve a portion to friends or family, I take its internal temperature. That’s to make sure I don’t get myself or anyone else sick. For the longest time, I’d been using an inexpensive (and imprecise) analog version that often left me guessing. But ever since I upgraded to a ThermoPop, I’ve been getting highly accurate temperature readings within seconds. As an added bonus, its sharp stainless steel tip doubles as a pretty great cake tester.” — Justin Fenner, Senior Associate Editor, Style

TeChef Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill Pan

“Eating out with friends is a very expensive hobby, especially when it’s for Korean Barbecue. I thoroughly enjoy the experience of grilling meat and breaking bread with friends, so after spending loads of cash on nights out, I decided to bring the experience back to my own home. Then comes TeChef, the stove top Korean BBQ Grill Pan. With this grill pan, I wanted to share food and laughter all while feeling cozy at home.” — Jarry Truong, Associate Videographer

Stargazer Cast-Iron Skillet

“I have found no greater rush than the first turn of a ribeye in a cast-iron skillet. Beer in left hand, tongs in right, the char revealed beneath the slab of meat is a measure of your patience, preparation and experience. I’ve had the pleasure of cooking on dozens of different skillets — $300 to $15 — and I’ve settled on Stargazer’s 10.5-inch masterclass as my choice tool. It’s gorgeous, its base is perfectly weighty, its halfpipe handle is perfect for getting a gloved grip, its outward curving lip makes for easy sauce pouring and the machine-smoothed cooking surface is a dream to cook on. Plus, like true cast iron purists, Stargazer permits ordering a seasoned or raw skillet. With due respect given to Lodge, Field, Smithey and the rest, Stargazer provides what I think is the perfect balance of price, performance and useful design.” Will Price, Home & Design Writer