The 4 best KitchenAid stand mixers we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • KitchenAid is a brand synonymous with stand mixers and has been making them for more than 100 years.
  • Its stand mixers are great for tasks that take a lot of effort to do by hand, like whipping and creaming.
  • The Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt Head Stand Mixer is the best stand mixer because it balances power and size.

A stand mixer is the crowning jewel of a kitchen, and KitchenAid’s stand mixers have been the standard for over a century. They make efficient work of tasks that typically take a lot of time or effort to do by hand, like whipping egg whites to soft or stiff peaks, turning cream into whipped cream, churning out big batches of cookies, and kneading tough, heavy bread doughs.

I’ve used a KitchenAid stand mixer daily – sometimes all day – while working in professional kitchens for more than a decade. I have years of experience with each stand mixer in this guide: I’ve broken them, repaired them, purchased them for my own personal use, and am intimately aware of each model’s advantages and limitations.

But I didn’t just rely on my previous experiences. I researched eight models and put four top-selling KitchenAid stand mixers through a standard set of tests for this guide. I used a King Arthur recipe for bagels, a stiff dough with a 10-minute mixing time; I prepared Compost Cookies (kitchen-sink cookies with five cups of mix-ins including chocolate chips, potato chips, and pretzels) from New York City’s Milk Bar; and put each mixer through additional tests to evaluate its capacity, mixing capability, and ease of use. You can read more about how I tested KitchenAid stand mixers in our methodology here, along with how to shop for a KitchenAid and what to make with it.

Here are the best KitchenAid stand mixers in 2021

The best overall

best stand mixer overall 2021 kitchenaid

This popular model balances power, capacity, and size for a mixer that is perfectly designed for most home bakers; plus it comes in more than 45 fun colors.

Pros: Easily accomplishes common cooking tasks, lots of customization options, work bowl has a handle

Cons: Too underpowered if you regularly make a lot of stiff or wet doughs

The Artisan Series 5 Quart model strikes a great balance of power, size, and design. During testing, it quickly became my favorite mixer to use. Tilt-head stand mixers have a smaller base than bowl-lift stand mixers so the bowls tend to be narrower and can feel cramped. You often have to stop the mixer and tilt the head back whenever you want to scrape down the mixing bowl. This wasn’t the case with the Artisan mixer; the large bowl of the felt open enough that I could scrape the sides without adjusting the head. The bowl also has a sturdy handle for easy lifting, and provided plenty of room for pouring in ingredients — particularly helpful when adding more than five cups of mix-ins for Compost Cookies. 

While it shook a bit when I made bagel dough, it was never overly noisy and I didn’t feel like I had to babysit it for fear of it walking off the counter. That said, I don’t think I would make multiple batches of bagels in a row to avoid overheating the mixer’s lower-powered motor. 

This model also offers customization, allowing you to choose from almost 50 color options, engrave your stand mixer or switch out the standard bowl for a patterned ceramic or glass mixing bowl.

Since initial testing, we’ve continued to use this model at least once a week. It’s worked its way through pierogi dough and filling, multiple babkas, and many batches of holiday cookies, and still functions as well (and looks as good) as it did when I first received it. We’ll continue to use this model regularly and report on its long-term durability.

Best budget

Best KitchenAid stand mixer Classic Plus

The least expensive model made by KitchenAid, the Classic Plus has all the quality components of more expensive mixers but it’s compact, efficient, and powerful enough to accomplish most tasks for casual bakers. 

Pros: Relatively inexpensive, spacious but still maneuverable, can handle most common tasks and occasional tough doughs 

Cons: Work bowl doesn’t have a handle, relatively low-powered motor, not ideal for heavy use

If you’re an occasional baker or just starting to dip your toes into cooking, the KitchenAid Classic Plus 4.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer is a great model to get started with. It’s made with the same metal parts as more expensive KitchenAid stand mixers, has a strong motor, and a relatively roomy work bowl. While on the smaller side, it still easily accommodates single batches of common recipes. 

An earlier version of the KitchenAid Classic Plus was, in fact, my first mixer. I used it heavily for about five years until it gave out on me while kneading dough for hand-pulled noodles (a notoriously tricky dough, and one known to tax stand mixers). This issue first highlighted to me how most stand mixers break and the importance of choosing a model built for your typical usage. 

I tested a new version of this mixer for this guide, and while it happily worked through cookies, egg whites, and even hefty bagel dough without issue, it’s possible that with too much heavy use, like making many batches of bagel or pizza dough back-to-back, the mixer can overheat or — in the case of my old mixer — wear down its gears. While the issue is repairable, it requires seeing a KitchenAid repair specialist, which can be expensive, so you’re better off purchasing a stand mixer with a wattage that meets your needs from the get-go. 

Best for bread

Best KitchenAid stand mixer Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer

The KitchenAid Pro Line Series 7-Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer is the largest, most powerful KitchenAid mixer you can buy without venturing into commercial models, which makes it perfect for avid bakers. 

Pros: Largest capacity of any residential model, bowl-lift design provides stability when mixing, wide mixing bowl for adding ingredients, powerful motor that can handle all kinds of doughs, work bowl has a handle

Cons: Heavy, takes up a lot of space, only comes in a few colors

Stiff or heavy doughs like bagel dough, pizza dough, and some noodle doughs require a large amount of power to knead properly, which can be taxing on many stand mixers. The 7-Quart Pro-Line model has a 970 watt motor for powerful and thorough kneading without overheating the mixer. The wider bowl-lift design also provides more stability during mixing, so the mixer doesn’t “walk” or shake as much during use. 

This is the model I primarily used during a decade of work in professional kitchens. The machine is reliable, nimble, easy to use, and remarkably quiet for such a large mixer. It can handle everything from whipping two egg whites to mixing triple batches of cake batter. KitchenAid claims the 7-quart size can make up to 14 dozen cookies in a single batch, and while I haven’t ventured to test the limits of that claim (I love cookies, but I don’t need 14 dozen), it made double batches of compost cookies and bagels with plenty of room to spare. 

The wide bowl is easy to remove from the mixer, has a large comfortable handle, and provides lots of space for adding ingredients during mixing. Avid bakers and especially those who make bread will appreciate its reliability — these mixers saw heavy daily use when I worked with them in professional kitchens and rarely needed repairs. If you take care of this mixer, it’s likely to last you decades. 

That said, it’s a hefty machine and not the sort of mixer you want to lug around, so it’s best for those with ample counter space to devote to its large footprint.

Read our full review

Best for small spaces

Best KitchenAid stand mixer Artisan Mini

The smallest of KitchenAid stand mixers, this model is the perfect size and strength for occasional bakers, new cooks, and those with petite kitchens.

Pros: Perfectly sized for small kitchens, easy to maneuver, makes single batches of most recipes well, ideal for occasional bakers, a good size for kids, work bowl has a handle

Cons: Too small for double batches, shakes a lot when running at high speed

When I moved into a 600 square foot apartment, every inch felt precious. Since counter space was limited, I needed a mixer light enough that I wouldn’t mind hauling it out from a cabinet every time I wanted to bake. The KitchenAid Artisan Mini 3.5 Quart Tilt-Head Stand Mixer hit all these marks for me. 

Measuring just over 11 inches wide, the Mini is about 25% smaller than our best overall pick. While this may not seem like a drastic difference, the Mini is much more maneuverable, and I love that it fits easily under my cabinets or on a shelf. Less surface area also means less to clean, and the Mini’s work bowl doesn’t hog space in my sink or dishwasher.

Despite being more petite, the Mini is perfectly capable of whipping up a single batch of cookies or biscuits. I’ve made muffins, pasta dough, bread dough, pizza dough, cake, frosting, and more cookies than I can count in the Mini with no issues or changes to the mixing times called for in the recipes.

When I put my Mini through strenuous tests for this guide, it showed some of its limitations. The work bowl was just able to fit all the mix-ins for compost cookies, but it started to overflow a bit when I turned on the mixer. Bagel dough also came together fine, but the mixer shook and “walked” around the counter during the long kneading time, enough so that I felt like I had to keep an eye on it for the whole 10 minutes it was mixing. 

That said, if space is your primary concern or you’re an occasional baker, the Mini is a great option for an unobtrusive machine that can do just about anything a full-size mixer can do.

What else we considered

What else we considered, KitchenAid Stand Mixers

We also researched other KitchenAid models for this guide that we ultimately didn’t end up testing. Here are the products that didn’t make the cut and why: 

  • KitchenAid Classic Series 4.5 Quart Tilt Head Stand Mixer ($279.99): Previously our best budget pick, the Classic is identical in both function and design to our new affordable pick, the Classic Plus. We confirmed this with KitchenAid, who said the only difference is that the Classic Plus is available in a silver color. There used to be a slight difference between the Classic and the Classic Plus with the former having 250 watts, a slightly less powerful motor than the Classic Plus’ 275 watts. However, both models are now being made with 275 watts and are priced the same. Both are great options, and since KitchenAids have been in short supply, buy whichever you can get your hands on. We’ve seen some retailers still selling the 250-watt version of the Classic, so be sure to check the specs before you buy. 
  • KitchenAid NSF Certified Commercial Series 8-Qt Bowl Lift Stand Mixer ($699.99): Unless you’re running a bakery, you don’t need a mixer this large or this powerful. That said, if you are operating a bakery or food business, this is the only KitchenAid mixer that is certified by NSF International for commercial use. It has a two-year warranty (double the time of their other mixers) and a strong, durable motor for heavy use. However, home bakers are unlikely to need these extra features, which are designed to withstand hours of heavy use each day. 

Our testing methodology

While I drew from my own experience as a food editor working in professional kitchens and using these mixers over many years, I also put each model through a standard set of tests to see how they’d compare to each other. Here’s how I evaluated KitchenAid stand mixers:

Size, capacity, and ease of use: I weighed and measured all the stand mixers, including comparing the stated versus functional capacity (the capacity when measured from the bottom of the work bowl to the top of the mixing attachment) of each work bowl. I carried the mixers around and noted how comfortable they were to move and handle.

Power: We consulted the company to learn the power of each motor in watts. Residential stand mixers range from 250 to 970 watts, and mixers with higher wattage motors can mix heavy, wet doughs more readily. 

Whipping: I whipped two egg whites to stiff peaks in each mixer, which tests the mixers’ control during gradual ramping up of speed. It also tested the larger mixers’ ability to function well even with a very small volume of ingredients. 

Creaming: I used each stand mixer to make Milk Bar compost cookies, which have more than 5 cups of mix-ins. Not only did this test the functional capacity of the mixers, but also their ability to operate on different speeds — high speed for creaming butter and sugar, and low speed for incorporating delicate mix-ins like chips and pretzels without breaking them. 

Kneading: Each mixer was used to make a batch of King Arthur bagels; a stiff dough with a long, 10 minute mixing time. I made a note if any of the mixers shook or walked, struggled, or made excessive noise during this tough task. 

Durability: The true test of a stand mixer is how it performs over time. While I included information from my own experience working with these models over nearly a decade, I’ll continue to use the stand mixers in this guide and report back on any durability issues.

What we’re testing next

Our picks encompass most of KitchenAid’s offerings, but there are two models we’re interested in testing that we weren’t able to include this time around: 

  • KitchenAid Professional 5 Plus Series 5 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer ($419.99): Previously our best KitchenAid for making bread, this model was out of stock at the time of this testing. I’m of the mindset that if you’re going to upgrade from our best overall pick (which is also 5 quarts), it should also offer an increase in capacity. However, this model may be a good fit for those who prepare a lot of heavy, wet doughs but either don’t make large batches or are prioritizing cost. 
  • KitchenAid Pro 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer ($499.99): This model offers a slight jump up in capacity from the 5-quart professional model and was also unavailable at the time of testing. It offers 15 colors; the most colors of any of KitchenAid’s bowl-lift models. We’d like to see if the slight increase in capacity justifies the big jump in price.

FAQs

What is the warranty on KitchenAid stand mixers?

Almost all of KitchenAid’s stand mixers come with a limited one year warranty, though you can purchase an extended service plan for another three years of coverage. 

What do I do if my KitchenAid stand mixer breaks?

When a KitchenAid stand mixer stops working, it can usually be repaired. The machines are designed so that inexpensive gears fail before the core part of the mixer; oftentimes a repair is as simple as replacing a gear. If your stand mixer is still within warranty, you should contact KitchenAid for a replacement. However, in my experience, don’t expect much from KitchenAid customer service if you’re out of warranty. While plenty of KitchenAid repair videos exist online, you’ll get the best results from a paid repair from the KitchenAid factory or by visiting a reputable appliance repair service. Keep in mind that you can void your remaining warranty if you attempt to repair your stand mixer on your own.

Will my KitchenAid stand mixer last a lifetime?

With proper care, it’s possible! Keep in mind that technology changes, so it’s never a guarantee that a small appliance like a KitchenAid stand mixer will be forever compatible with modern home wiring or safety specifications. (Your grandma’s toaster or microwave may still work, but it might not necessarily be safe.) While your stand mixer might not become a family heirloom, you should get many years of use out of it. 

How do I use my KitchenAid stand mixer?

I’d start with a solid recipe for something you like to eat often, like cookies or bread. Once you know what you want to make, a well-written recipe should guide you through when to add ingredients, what speed to use, and even when to scrape down the bowl. Recipes from cookbooks or food magazines are usually well-tested and thoroughly written. Some good cookbooks to start with include “Pastry Love,” “Black Girl Baking“, “Bravetart,” “Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book“, “The New Way to Cake,” and “The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook.” It’s also good to keep best practices in mind: avoid overloading the mixer or adding too many ingredients at once, and turn up the speed slowly to avoid kitchen messes. Only operate your stand mixer on a stable countertop or table, and don’t leave it unattended while it’s running. 

Can I use an electric hand mixer instead of a stand mixer?

Electric hand mixers are best used for light batters or frostings where you want to incorporate a lot of air, and it doesn’t take a lot of mixing to bring the ingredients together. While the electric mixer is spinning the whisks, you’re still responsible for moving the mixer around the bowl. This is much less efficient than a stand mixer where the whisk is rotating, but also moving in a circular motion around the work bowl. Electric hand mixers also aren’t very good for heavy doughs or recipes with a lot of varying textures since these tend to get caught in the smaller tines of the beaters. While an electric hand mixer is an efficient way to whip up a batch of brownies or frosting, stand mixers are much more versatile.

How to choose a KitchenAid stand mixer

How to choose, KitchenAid Stand Mixer

KitchenAid makes an overwhelming number of models. Here are some considerations to help you narrow down your selection.

Wattage: The higher the wattage of the motor, the more powerful the mixer will be. Mixers with higher wattage — like the 970 watt motor on the KitchenAid Pro — glide through tough doughs and don’t easily overheat. If you bake at least once a week or you regularly make a lot of heavy, wet doughs like pizza or bread dough, then you’ll benefit from a larger, more expensive model with a high wattage motor built for power and durability. However, if you’re the kind of person who breaks out the stand mixer once a year to make holiday cookies, you don’t need the Cadillac of KitchenAids. Occasional bakers will be perfectly well off with 250 or 275-watt models, like the Artisan Mini or the Classic Plus. Lower wattage models can also handle the occasional tough task like kneading bagel dough a few times a year. Be mindful that tough kitchen tasks can be hard on the gears of smaller machines, so give your machine time to cool down between uses if you’re making a hard dough in a lower wattage model. 

Capacity: The advertised capacity of a KitchenAid mixer is not its actual capacity. The advertised or stated capacity refers to how much the work bowl can hold when completely full. Not only would you have a big mess on your hands if you tried to use a mixer at full capacity, but it also wouldn’t operate effectively since the ingredients would actually cover the mixing attachment. Instead, the functional capacity is measured from the bottom of the bowl to the top of the mixing attachment and it’s usually about 1 to 1.5 quarts less than the stated capacity. One quart is about the size of a large deli container, so if you have a recipe that regularly makes enough dough to fill four or five of those, opt for a mixer with a larger stated capacity of 6 or 7 quarts. It’s also a good idea to buy a mixer with a larger capacity if you make a lot of bread since the mixer needs a fair amount of clearance to knead the dough effectively.  

Maneuverability and storage: The bigger the capacity and more powerful the mixer, the heavier and larger the mixer will be. The largest KitchenAid mixers in our guide can weigh almost 30 pounds. Unless you’re comfortable regularly lifting an appliance of that size, you’ll either need to consider a small mixer or have dedicated counter space. Larger mixers will take up about half the width of a standard size counter and may not fit readily under your cabinet overhang. If space is at a premium, consider a smaller, less expensive mixer.

Colors and customization: For some people, the most important factor in choosing a KitchenAid is the color. If a fun color is your priority, opt for a mixer from KitchenAid’s Artisan series. Our best mixer for small spaces and best overall pick are both Artisan mixers and are available in up to 47 different colors. Our best overall pick also offers further customization with interchangeable decorative work bowls in various patterns and materials. The Classic and Pro Line series offer a much more limited color choice — just red and a handful of neutrals.

Why buy a KitchenAid stand mixer

While there are a number of other stand mixer brands out there — including Breville, Sunbeam, Oster, and Bosch — none are as ubiquitous or revered as the KitchenAid stand mixer. Some people consider purchasing a KitchenAid stand mixer to be a life milestone, and according to The Knot, a KitchenAid stand mixer was the most-wished-for product on wedding registries in 2019. Julia Child’s KitchenAid mixer even lives in the Smithsonian Museum. But what makes KitchenAid stand mixers so special?

KitchenAid stand mixers have been around for more than a century. According to KitchenAid, the brand got its name in 1919 when an executive’s wife called the first home model stand mixer “the best kitchen aid I’ve ever had.” The name stuck and KitchenAid has been synonymous with stand mixers ever since. While there are a number of great stand mixers from other brands out there, KitchenAid still stands out in a number of ways.

Durability: I’ve tried almost every brand of stand mixer out there in my seven years reviewing kitchen products, and KitchenAid mixers are the only ones that use an almost all-metal construction. Other brands cut costs by using plastic in part of the design: either in the body of the mixer, on knobs and dials, in the mixing attachments, or even in the gears. Mixers made with a lot of plastic are usually lighter and less expensive, but much less durable. KitchenAid mixers can last for decades because of their strong metal parts. While this stronger construction comes at a premium — KitchenAid mixers are among the most expensive out there — their durability makes them a great investment. Even the most affordable KitchenAid mixer shares this same hearty construction and powerful motor and will last for decades with proper care. There is also a robust network of authorized KitchenAid repair technicians who can repair your stand mixer if something does break.

Stability: The all-metal design makes KitchenAid mixers much heavier than most other brands. While they can be a pain to lug around, the added heft produces an important benefit: more stability when mixing. Lighter machines can shake or “walk” off countertops. The heaviness of KitchenAid mixers helps them stay put. 

A mixer for everybody: Many brands that make stand mixers only produce one or two models. KitchenAid makes almost a dozen models with different capacities, power, and price points. This allows you to choose a model that meets your needs and excels at the tasks you perform most.

Attachments: KitchenAid is the only brand that has produced a robust lineup of attachments that extend the versatility of its stand mixers. These attachments can turn your KitchenAid into a food processor, meat grinder, ice cream maker, spiralizer, pasta machine, and more — eliminating the need to buy separate appliances that are often larger and more expensive. 

Colors: It’s undeniable that one of the major selling points of a KitchenAid mixer is the sheer number of colors available to choose from. KitchenAid offers its mixers in 47 different colors — no other brand even comes close to that much customization. While choosing an appliance based on color may seem silly to some consumers, the ability to pick out a color that matches your personality or decor is one of the reasons people feel such an affinity to KitchenAid mixers.

Glossary

KitchenAid Glossary

Tilt head: A common mixer design where the work bowl twists onto the base of the mixer. The head of the machine tilts forward for operation and lifts back so you can attach a paddle, whisk, or dough hook; add ingredients to the work bowl; or use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl. These machines have a lever that allows you to lock the head in place so it doesn’t accidentally lift during mixing or moving. This style is common in smaller capacity mixers and is contrasted to a bowl-lift design.

Bowl lift: A mixer design where the work bowl sits on a Y-shaped arm extending from the body of the mixer. A lever allows you to raise and lower the bowl. A raised position brings the bowl closer to the mixer head for operation, while a lowered position allows you to more easily add ingredients or add/remove the paddle, whisk, or dough hook. This design allows for more stability during mixing but comes at the cost of a larger footprint. 

Hub: A circular port at the front of the mixer head where you place KitchenAid branded attachments such as the meat grinder, pasta cutter, or spiralizer. When not in use, the hub is usually covered by a silver medallion with the KitchenAid logo. 

Paddle: A flat, open mixing attachment included with every KitchenAid stand mixer. The paddle is used for mixing ingredients together when you don’t want too much air incorporated, such as when creaming butter and sugar, mixing cookie dough, and combining some batters. Think of it as the stand mixer equivalent of a wooden spoon. 

Whisk: A balloon-shaped wire whisk mixing attachment included with every KitchenAid stand mixer. The whisk attachment is used when you do want to incorporate a lot of air into the ingredients you’re mixing, like when whipping cream, making meringue or frosting, or mixing cake batter. It’s used in similar ways to a hand whisk.

Dough hook: A corkscrew-shaped mixing attachment included with every KitchenAid stand mixer. The dough hook is used for kneading bread dough. Typically you’ll mix the dough with another attachment such as the paddle, and then use the dough hook to form the dough into a ball and knead it. The corkscrew shape pushes the dough against the sides of the work bowl in an action that approximates kneading by hand. 

Attachment: Can refer to the paddle, whisk, and dough hook that come with the mixer, but also used to describe the various accessories you can purchase to extend the versatility of your stand mixer such as the ice cream maker, food processor, or meat grinder.

What to make in your KitchenAid stand mixer

What to make with KitchenAid Stand Mixer

We’ve put together a number of how-tos for making the most out of your KitchenAid stand mixer. KitchenAid makes more than two dozen different attachments that expand the versatility of your machine and let you make everything from zoodles to sausage to ice cream and more. Most of the attachments operate from the “hub” of the mixer — the portion underneath the metal disk on the top front of the machine. Since all KitchenAid mixers have this hub, almost all the attachments are compatible with every KitchenAid model in our guide. If you’re interested in KitchenAid attachments, we reviewed them all here

Here are some of our favorite things to make with our KitchenAid mixers and attachments:

Fresh pasta: This is one of those tasks that shows the true versatility of a KitchenAid stand mixer. You use the stand mixer and work bowl to make the dough, and then the KitchenAid pasta sheeter or pasta extruder to form the pasta shapes. Read more about how to make pasta in your stand mixer

Bagels: Chewy bread like bagels are one of the hardest and most arduous tasks to do by hand, which means they’re the perfect recipes to outsource to your stand mixer. While writing this guide, I used this recipe by King Arthur and it churned out perfectly springy bagels that reminded me of home in New Jersey.

Sausage: KitchenAid makes several attachments that allow you to grind your own meat for homemade sausage. Read more about how to grind meat and make sausage with a KitchenAid stand mixer.

Pizza dough: This type of dough is really wet and sticky, but a stand mixer excels at pulling it all together. Here’s a recipe I really love for pizza dough made in a stand mixer. 

Ice cream: KitchenAid makes a special bowl that fits on all stand mixers except the Artisan Mini that makes homemade ice cream. Read more about how to make ice cream in your Kitchenaid stand mixer

Check out our other kitchen appliance guides

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Read the original article on Business Insider

I tried KFC’s new sauces and compared them with Chick-fil-A’s to see which comes out on top

KFC New sauces
KFC’s new lineup of sauces features a brand new “KFC sauce,” as well as revamped versions of its barbecue, ranch, and honey mustard sauces.

  • Kentucky Fried Chicken launched its new “KFC Sauce” along with revamped versions of its core condiment lineup in the fall.
  • The “KFC Sauce” features a sweet and smokey flavor, a strikingly similar mix of flavors to Chick-fil-A’s signature sauce.
  • I tried KFC’s new line of sauces and compared it with Chick-fil-A’s to see whose lineup was the best.
  • While KFC’s are still dunk-worthy, Chick-fil-A is still the reigning champion of sauces.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Chicken tenders are great, but the real superstars to any fast food cuisine are the dipping sauces.

In recognition of the importance of sauces, Kentucky Fried Chicken launched a new suite of condiments, including a never-before-seen, “KFC Sauce.”

The restaurant chain describes its new sauce as “tangy and sweet, with a bit of smokiness.”

For chicken-aficionados out there, you’ll notice KFC Sauce’s flavor profile is similar to Chick-fil-A Sauce, which the company describes as, “honey mustard and a smoky tang.”

KFC’s effort to create a competing sauce against Chick-fil-A is no small feat, but it is vital as the Georgia-based company continues to expand.

Chick-fil-A was the third-largest restaurant chain in the US in 2019, garnering a whopping $11.3 billion and earning more than Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Burger King.

And Chick-fil-A isn’t slowing down anytime soon as the company plans to continue expanding outside of the south.

That could spell trouble for KFC, who is already competing with the growing chain for dining dollars.

So who is saucy enough to reign supreme? I dipped in and compared KFC’s new line of sauces against Chick-fil-A’s lineup to see who is the best.

KFC sent me its line of new sauces in anticipation of its launch at all US restaurants on October 12.

KFC Sauce

I ordered a four-pack of the chain’s extra crispy tenders to dunk into the dipping sauces.

Chicken Tenders

I also ordered four-piece chicken strips from Chick-fil-A.

Chick fil A

To kick things off, I tried KFC’s new “Honey BBQ” sauce.

KFC

The sauce was sweet and lived up to the “honey” in its name. It tasted fine, but the flavor was pretty tame.

KFC

Next, I tried Chick-fil-A’s barbecue sauce.

Chick-fil-A

This was closer to a traditional barbecue sauce found at a grill out.

CHICK FIL A

The flavor was less sweet and relied more on savory-smokey tones. But it was still pretty muted and didn’t have any spice or pepperiness to it.

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Between KFC and Chick-fil-A, the barbecue sauces were tied. Picking one just depends on whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savory.

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For my second round of sauces, I went for KFC’s honey mustard.

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KFC’s honey mustard had a tiny hint of sharpness.

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But mostly, it was a watery-consistency and didn’t taste out of the ordinary.

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Chick-fil-A’s honey mustard was sweeter in comparison to KFC’s version of the sauce.

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It had a brownish-yellow tone and a vinegary-consistency.

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Still, it was nothing out of the ordinary. They were both just okay.

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Up next was KFC’s “classic” ranch.

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The sauce hit all the checkpoints I look for in a homemade ranch.

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The consistency was buttery and thick.

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There was a slight lactic-milk taste, but the herb mix was strong enough to contrast it with an oniony-kick.

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Overall, it met my Midwestern obsession for high-quality ranch.

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I cracked open Chick-fil-A’s “Garden Herb Ranch,” and while it was good, it didn’t live up to the KFC version.

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It still had a nice, herby-zing to it, but the sauce was thinner.

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If I brought KFC’s ranch to a Super Bowl party, people would be thanking me.

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Finally, I popped open KFC’s new house sauce.

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The KFC sauce tasted similar to a honey mustard with subtle hints of a smokey barbecue sauce.

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KFC Sauce isn’t thick, but it’s still packed with contrasting flavors that made each dip delightful.

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I enjoyed it more than the other KFC sauces and expect it to become a popular addition for tender dippers everywhere.

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Next up, I compared it to the iconic Chick-fil-A sauce.

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Both Chick-fil-A Sauce and KFC Sauce have a similar taste profile: Sweet, yet smokey. Tangy, but sharp. They were also similar in color.

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Chick-fil-A sauce was a tad bit sweeter, but the flavor was bolder than KFC’s offering.

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It also tasted like a sweet barbecue sauce mixed with sharp mustard.

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Its satisfyingly thick consistency and sweet, honey taste made Chick-fil-A Sauce absolutely addictive and superior to KFC Sauce.

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Overall, the honey mustard and barbecue sauces from both chains were on par with each other.

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KFC’s creamy ranch was definitely superior to Chick-fil-A’s offering.

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But if you put Chick-fil-A Sauce and KFC Sauce head-to-head, there is no doubt the beloved yellow sauce packet is still at the top of the pecking order.

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The sauce’s unique honey mustard and barbecue blend made me want to dunk my pizza into it, or maybe even drizzle it on a salad.

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But while KFC’s attempt to match its growing rival fell short, all of the new sauces, including KFC Sauce, are still dunk-worthy.

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I tried ButcherBox, the service that sends you a month’s supply of grass-fed meat – here’s what it was like

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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • I tried ButcherBox, a subscription that curates boxes of grass-fed, hormone-free, and humanely raised meat.
  • The meat arrives frozen and vacuum-packed so you can stock up for the whole month.
  • The meat was tender and juicy and tasted amazing.
  • See more: The best places to buy meat online

Butcherbox Lead

Classic Box (small)

Unabashed carnivores would agree that nothing quite compares to a juicy, hearty steak. If just the thought of one is making your mouth water right now, then do yourself a favor and check out ButcherBox, the online company that delivers delicious, grass-fed, humanely raised meat to you for a competitive price.

ButcherBox calls itself the “friendly neighborhood butcher.” But since not everyone has access to a local butcher who really cares about meat, ButcherBox brings the experience online so you can let the pros fill a box with your favorite proteins (or choose them yourself) and get them delivered to your door. In addition to beef, the company also sells cuts of chicken and pork.

Butcherbox Lifestyle

How ButcherBox is different

When I buy supermarket meat, I know nothing about its origins or how the animal was treated. ButcherBox, on the other hand, only sources meats with the following criteria.

Beef:

  • 100% grass-fed and grass-finished: the cattle live their entire life eating on a pasture
  • Antibiotic-free and no added hormones

Chicken:

  • Free-range, organic, and pasture-raised
  • Certified humane: the chickens have access to the outdoors and room to move around and interact with each other naturally

Pork:

  • Antibiotic-free and no added hormones
  • Heritage breed (Duroc, Berkshire, and Red Wattle): do not have flavor bred out of them, which is typically done to promote rapid weight gain

The difference in taste and texture – a direct result of how the animals are raised – is huge. When cattle eat grass and get exercise, their meat has less fat, more healthy omega-3s, and more vitamins. Humane and ethical practices translate into better meat – so both parties benefit.

Butcherbox Beef Brisket

How to use ButcherBox

1. Choose your plan.

There are five different subscription plans: all beef, beef and chicken, beef and pork, a mixed box of all three types, and a custom box.

All pre-curated boxes contain eight to 11 pounds of meat and cost $129, while the custom box contains nine to 14 pounds of meat and costs $149.

2. Select any add-ons.

Add-on options vary based on season and availability, and they can include fish like salmon, or other cuts of meat like bacon and breakfast sausage.

3. Receive your ButcherBox at your door every month or every other month.

The meat comes frozen and vacuum-packed in a cardboard box with an insulated liner and dry ice. My box arrived at my apartment at 3 p.m., and all the meat was still frozen once I came home and opened the package at 9 p.m. I like variety and rarely discriminate when it comes to food, so I opted for the mixed box and was excited to see the spread.

I received two 10 oz. strip steaks, two 6 oz. tenderloin steaks, four boneless pork chops, four skinless and boneless chicken breasts, two pounds of ground beef, and uncured smoked bacon. I was basically set for dinner for the next month.

4. Refrigerate the cuts you’re going to eat in the next few days and freeze the rest.

Since all the meat is vacuum-packed, it’ll stay fresh for a while. Now, just cook and enjoy. Your taste buds are going to thank you once you experience these delicious cuts.

ButcherBox keto bbq pulled porks

ButcherBox review

The beef, chicken, and pork I tried from ButcherBox were considerably juicier and more tender than the average cuts I get from the market, and they were all delicious. It’s like eating fresh, melt-in-your-mouth sushi for the first time after only eating $10 pre-packed rolls your whole life. You can immediately taste the difference and you seriously doubt you can ever go back.

In case you want to pause or adjust your subscription, you can easily do so from your account page. While I personally didn’t have problems with delivery or account settings, other customers have experienced issues, and ButcherBox’s BBB accreditation was previously removed due to unanswered customer reviews on its page. However, it appears the company has resolved these problems and now has an A+ rating.

The bottom line

ButcherBox does the tough work for you – curating, selecting, and delivering good meat – so you can focus on enjoying it. The value, quality, and convenience of the service are excellent, and my meals have never tasted better.

Classic Box (small)

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Omaha Steaks is one of our favorite online meat markets, and right now you can order complete Easter packages for an easy holiday dinner

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Omaha Steaks Lifestyle

  • Online food company Omaha Steaks has been in business since 1917 and ships out 4 million orders annually.
  • It sells meat and other foods for as little as $39.99 per bundle, and offers bulk packages to help you stock up.
  • Every cut of meat ships in its own vacuum-sealed package and comes with precise, easy-to-follow cooking instructions.
  • You can still order steaks, ham, and sides in time for Easter delivery.

Filet Mignon Dinner (small)

You’ve heard of Omaha Steaks. It’s the mail order meat company that sent your boss some filet mignon as a thank you from his boss. Or maybe your uncle has been talking about it ever since he got that one box of steaks back in 1998. Or it’s possible that you saw it advertised in some in-flight magazine.

If you’re like many folks out there, you probably think the company sells quality meats but at prices that put their foods outside of your comfort zone. If you only focus on Omaha Steaks’ packages, like the $299 Butcher’s Backyard Basics or the $159 Build Your Own Holiday Feast complete with pork loin roast, savory sides, and sweet desserts, then yeah, you’d be right. On the other hand, you can also order a box of food from Omaha Steaks for less than $40.

What you get from Omaha Steaks

Try a package of four 5-ounce top sirloin steaks (seasoning included). In other words, you get a fine meal for four people at $12.50 per person. And that, friends, is better pricing than you would find for dinner at most restaurants.

The fact is, until you get into the larger packages or the choicest cuts of meat (Filet mignon costs a lot of money, okay?), ordering food from Omaha Steaks isn’t all that much more expensive than getting it from the grocery store, and the selection and quality are better than what most supermarkets offer.

Omaha Steaks Ribeye

And ordering your steaks, pork chops, burgers, lobster tails, and all sorts of other meats and sides from this hundred-year-old company is a whole lot cheaper than dining at a steakhouse. With all the variety Omaha Steaks offers, from entrees and sides to desserts and even wine, it can easily become a one-stop online shop for most of your dinner-making needs.

What the food from Omaha Steaks is like

Insider Reviews contributor Steven John tried out a combo called The Best of Omaha Steaks ($60, temporarily sold out), which came with two four-ounce filet mignons, two four-ounce top sirloins, four pork chops, four jumbo franks, four apple tarts, and a seasoning packet for the meats.

He says, “One night, when my brother and his wife and kids were visiting, I cooked up all the steaks and chops, serving three adults (my wife is a vegetarian) and three kids (four were present, but being five months old, my daughter isn’t really eating steak yet). So six people ate, and I still had the hot dogs and tarts for another time. Assuming those would create the centerpiece of another meal for four, we’re talking about 10 servings of food for $60, or $6 a person. Not bad at all.”

Other members of the Insider Reviews team have tried a variety of meat, sides, and desserts from the company. We loved the taste, not to mention the excuse to indulge in dishes like bacon-wrapped sirloin, crispy steakhouse hash browns, and red velvet cake.

Some of the best deals on the site currently are the Stock-Up Packages and Free Shipping Combos, which will help you get all the protein and sides you need to feed your house for a while – all delivered straight to your door.

Convenience and prep

omaha steaks review

Beyond the value of ordering from Omaha Steaks, there’s plenty to be said for ease of prep.

Everything you get from Omaha Steaks comes carefully wrapped in vacuum-sealed plastic, making freezer storage simple and allowing you to choose the exact portions you want each time. On the back of each box, the company provides step-by-step preparation and cooking instructions, which helped Steven grill some of the best steaks he had cooked in months.

Standard shipping costs range from $17.99 to $21.99 depending on your cart total, and there are expedited shipping options available as well. Right now, you can expect your order to be delivered within eight to nine days with standard shipping.

The bottom line

If you don’t have access to a butcher shop, which will generally be the best place to get your meat locally, consider Omaha Steaks. And if you need a great gift idea for an uncle or your boss, a box of meat is always a fine option.

Shop all meat from Omaha Steaks here

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rastelli’s sells top-quality meat and seafood online – you can order now and have it delivered in time for Easter

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

rastellis meat and fish delivery 2

  • The famous family business Rastelli’s has gone online and you can now order beef, poultry, and seafood in bulk from $11.
  • All of Rastelli’s products are responsibly raised, antibiotic-free, and added-hormone-free, and seafood is wild-caught.
  • We ordered from Rastelli’s and loved the large selection of meat and seafood and the convenient service.
  • Order by March 27 for delivery in time for Easter.

Mixed Grill Box (small)

When you don’t want to or can’t go grocery shopping for the week, it’s tempting to drag your feet around the kitchen, opening, closing, and re-opening your fridge door in hopes that food will magically appear. But with an internet connection and a laptop, you have better options.

For general groceries, you can go to any number of online grocery delivery services such as FreshDirect and AmazonFresh. But if you’re craving something a little more gourmet, something heartier, there are even more specific delivery services.

The magic of meat delivery services like Porter Road and Snake River Farms is this: They provide curated shopping experiences, they sell high-quality and responsibly raised meat, and they’re really convenient because they’ll ship fresh products directly to your door.

A new option we’ve tried – well, new to us, though not necessarily to the world at large – is Rastelli’s.

Rastelli’s is a family business that started in 1976 as a local New Jersey butcher shop. It supplied the neighboring deli and the community with quality meat, eventually expanding into poultry and seafood and distributing its food products worldwide. If you live in New Jersey, you can shop in person at its gourmet markets, Rastelli Market Fresh. But if you don’t, you can still cook and enjoy meat, poultry, and seafood from this storied brand.

rastellis meat and fish delivery 3

How to order from Rastelli’s

On its website, Rastelli’s offers various proteins made up of 12 to 24 servings of steak, chicken, shrimp, salmon, and more. If you choose to subscribe, you’ll save a little money (5%), and there are various shipment-frequency options so your freezer won’t get overcrowded.

All of Rastelli’s animals are responsibly raised, antibiotic-free, and added hormone-free. The seafood is wild-caught.

Review of Rastelli’s

rastellis meat and fish delivery

Your order is packed in an insulated box with dry ice. From there, you can store them in your freezer and fridge until they’re ready to cook. We tried chicken, salmon, and steaks from Rastelli’s and were happy with the experience on all fronts, from convenience to taste.

The steaks were juicy, flavorful, and easy to cook, while the salmon came out perfectly flaky and moist. We thought the taste difference of the chicken breast, compared to similar versions we’ve tried from stores, was minimal, but we did appreciate that we could have antibiotic-free and organic options delivered right to us.

The bulk design means that as long as you have adequate fridge space, you’ll always have a protein waiting for you when you get home from work or school.

The bottom line

If you have a busy schedule, you know that easy access to the things you need or any subtle automation of a routine can help make life much less stressful. Ultimately, the Rastelli’s experience was as much about the quality of the food as it was about the pure and simple convenience of the service.

Mixed Grill Box (small)

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We love these sturdy, colorful aprons used by chefs – right now you can get one for 50% off during the brand’s mystery box sale

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

hedley and bennett apron review 7

  • Hedley & Bennett is an apron brand created by a former line cook.
  • Hedley & Bennett’s aprons are made from durable, breathable, beautiful materials, with thoughtful details.
  • Right now, you can save up to 50% on select aprons during the brand’s mystery box sale.

Mystery Box (medium)

When shopping for your kitchen, it’s easy to get caught up in what cookware and kitchen appliances to buy, or which cookbooks to stock your shelf with. But you can’t forget about the simple accessories that have a big impact on your cooking experience.

Take, for example, the humble and hardworking apron.

An apron bears the brunt of kitchen chaos, protecting your skin and clothing from oil splashes, errant flour, and more. An apron with pockets is even better – that way, you can store tools like pens and kitchen scissors for easy access as you prepare and cook your meal.

The apron brand created by a former cook

Not every apron is created equal, something that Ellen Bennett realized while working as a line cook in Providence, a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Los Angeles. The aprons there were cheap, unbreathable, and rigid, and they were holding back rather than helping the kitchen staff.

Armed with her field knowledge of what professional cooks really want in an apron and her interest in design, Bennett set off in 2012 to craft sturdy, comfortable aprons made with colorful, higher-quality materials.

She called her company Hedley & Bennett, and business took off within the restaurant industry. Within the year, she was outfitting places like Bäco Mercat and all of Rick Bayless’ restaurants.

hedley and bennett apron review 6

Since then, Hedley & Bennett has outfitted more than 6,000 restaurants worldwide, selling over one million aprons to industry professionals and tens of thousands more to home cooks. It has also expanded past aprons into other chefs’ apparel.

How Hedley & Bennett’s aprons are different

While the brand’s roots are in professional kitchens, Hedley & Bennett has also become a consumer favorite because its aprons combine utility, comfort, and style.

Materials and construction: The brand uses high-quality materials, including raw American denim, lightweight cotton twill, and British natural waxed canvas for the apron bodies, cotton and leather for the straps, and brass hardware throughout. Pockets and straps are reinforced for extra durability.

Should your apron have weak stitching or broken hardware, you can send it back to the brand for free repair (within one year of your purchase).

hedley and bennett apron review 4

Comfort: Since the aprons have adjustable straps made from soft materials, you’ll be able to focus on the cooking task at hand, rather than any shifting garments. The long waist straps let you create a snug, customized fit so the apron practically feels like a second skin.

Style: Hedley & Bennett’s aprons come in many sleek and appealing styles and colors, whether you want a neon apron or a vintage-style, pinstriped one. The brand also occasionally drops limited-edition collaborations, like this recent Santa Fe inspired pattern designed by Modern Family actor Jesse Taylor Ferguson. You can even create custom bulk orders for your company or restaurant.

Features to look for in an apron, according to a chef

Michael Poiarkoff, the culinary director and executive chef at The Maker Hotel, recommends that you pay attention to the material, number of pockets, and neck strap design as you shop for aprons.

On material: “When looking for an apron, I try to find something with a nice combination of form and function. I prefer an apron that is closer to blanket size, hitting below my knee and wrapping around me as to almost touch in the back. A heavier, tight-knit material is preferable so that water wicks away and the apron can be easily cleaned; anything light and loose has a limited number of wears in a professional kitchen.”

On pockets: “I like two pockets. One breast pocket large enough for five writing utensils (pencil, pen, dry-erase marker, permanent marker, highlighter), and one side pocket large enough for a paring knife and a snack. I try to make sure all of my aprons have the same pocket set-up as not to confuse my hands when things inevitably get hectic. Too many pockets leave room for fumbling around and increases the risk of getting caught on refrigerator handles, door hinges, and counter corners.”

hedley and bennett apron review 5

On neck straps: “Most culinary aprons have an adjustable strap that loops around the back of your neck. With this style of apron, the strap often jumps up over the collar of my chef’s coat and annoyingly rubs my skin all day. While the behind-the-neck strap isn’t a deal-breaker for me, a cross-back apron is preferable. With a cross-back apron, the straps go directly from shoulder to hip with nothing hitting the neck.”

Do Hedley & Bennett’s aprons fit the bill?

Mostly. They’re large and made from heavier materials, and they have at least two pockets. Many of the brand’s aprons have an adjustable neck strap, but Hedley & Bennett also has a whole section for cross-back aprons.

Ultimately, the best apron for you will still probably come down to personal preference. In general, however, you’ll want to make sure your apron is sturdy, comfy, and something you won’t mind wearing every cooking session.

In our experience, Hedley & Bennett’s aprons fit all these criteria. And more than something we wouldn’t mind wearing, they’re the aprons and chef’s gear we’re actively excited to put on every single time.

Find our individual reviews of three Hedley & Bennett products below.

A striped denim apron

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Hickory Classic Apron, available in one size

I love how sturdy yet comfortable this denim apron is, and it definitely gets extra style points. Its chest pocket is nice because it has two layers, so you can store pens and your phone or any other tool up there and nothing will get scratched up. Meanwhile, there are two more deep pockets by your hips to let you store anything else.

The straps are made from soft cotton, with the neck strap being adjustable. Even after adjusting the neck strap, I found the one-size-only apron a bit big (I’m 5’6″ and a women’s size medium, for reference), though I know many professional chefs prefer large aprons. It’s 33 inches long and 30 inches wide, which means you’ll get full coverage and protection for your clothing, but I personally wish it was just a little shorter so I could move my knees around easier.

In the end, I’m not making mad dashes around my kitchen like I’m playing a level of “Overcooked,” so I still really liked the apron overall. It’s much more durable than the average apron and can be used for many years, making it a great investment for yourself — or as a gift for an avid (and style-minded) cook. —Connie Chen, senior home and kitchen reporter 

A twill cross-back apron

hedley and bennett apron review 8

Bordeaux Crossback Apron, available in one size

As someone who went from microwaving takeout leftovers to cooking three meals a day during the pandemic, this apron has come in handy preventing oil splatters, sauce splashes, and more. 

The cross-back design is more comfortable to wear than the traditional bib apron with a neck loop. There’s no strain or weight around my neck, and when combined with the generous but not ridiculously-large cut, the apron is more like something I look forward to wearing as opposed to something I have to wear. 

The deep chest pocket holds my phone comfortably unlike others that are teeny-tiny — I never worry that my phone is going to slip out and fall into my pasta. The large bucket pocket is also roomy enough to hold a dishtowel, oven mitts, or other accessories I need when cooking so I’m not constantly searching for them around the kitchen. Aprons aren’t the prettiest things, but the deep red shade with cream straps is actually really nice. The dark color also comes in clutch to hide stains. —Jada Wong, senior home and kitchen editor 

A chambray work shirt

hedley and bennett apron review

Speckled Chambray Long Sleeve Work Shirt, available in sizes XS-4XL 

Editor’s note: the Hedley & Bennett Work Shirt is currently out of stock, but the brand makes a collection of similarly-designed apparel items for chefs. Right now, it’s featuring the Work Shirt in a short sleeve style. We’ve left our review of this shirt up, since long sleeve styles are likely to come back into stock in the cooler months.

Hedley & Bennett’s Work Shirt is about as well-thought-out a work shirt as any for any purpose, though, I suppose it could use a few more pockets. That being said, the details on this shirt are immense, while still keeping the aesthetic of a presentable button-up dress shirt with a pocket sleeve.

And it might look like a fairly ordinary shirt, but it’s built — handmade in Los Angeles, at that — with particularities in mind: a brass snap in the collar for your apron snap, and a hidden loop diagonally sewn into the breast pocket for your pens (or sunglasses, if you’re cooking outdoors). Speaking of the collar, it’s lined with darker fabric to hide perspiration, as are the cuffs. 

The fabric — 99% chambray and 1% mystery elastane or elastane-like synthetic polymer — is exceptionally pleasant to wear, if a little coarse (think of a rougher and rawer but studier linen). Regardless of what you’re looking to do in this shirt, it’s fit for anything. —Owen Burke, senior home and kitchen reporter 

Other chef-recommended aprons to try

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Christine Lau, executive chef at Kimika, recommends the Contra Chef apron from Tilit:

“That’s their waxed canvas apron. It has a leather clasp for the neck strap. And I like their Recycled Work Chef apron — the material is light, it has a pen pocket, and I appreciate the use of recycled material. I’m hoping Tilit will add a pen pocket to the Contra Chef. That would be the perfect apron.” 

Ken Addington, chef and owner of Strangeways, recommends the aprons from Bragard:

“I am old school on aprons and wear Bragard aprons, as they are simple and timeless. Bragard is solid and made sturdy, which is great for professional use as well as personal. It’s not overpriced, but it’s still elegant.” 

Read the original article on Business Insider

We ordered from Omaha Steaks, and it’s a definite step up in quality from what your supermarket sells

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Omaha Steaks Lifestyle

  • Online food company Omaha Steaks has been in business since 1917 and ships out 4 million orders annually.
  • It sells meat and other foods for as little as $39.99 per bundle, and offers bulk packages to help you stock up.
  • Every cut of meat ships in its own vacuum-sealed package and comes with precise, easy-to-follow cooking instructions.

Filet Mignon Dinner (small)

You’ve heard of Omaha Steaks. It’s the mail order meat company that sent your boss some filet mignon as a thank you from his boss. Or maybe your uncle has been talking about it ever since he got that one box of steaks back in 1998. Or it’s possible that you saw it advertised in some in-flight magazine.

If you’re like many folks out there, you probably think the company sells quality meats but at prices that put their foods outside of your comfort zone. If you only focus on Omaha Steaks’ packages, like the $299 Butcher’s Backyard Basics or the $159 Build Your Own Holiday Feast complete with pork loin roast, savory sides, and sweet desserts, then yeah, you’d be right. On the other hand, you can also order a box of food from Omaha Steaks for less than $40.

What you get from Omaha Steaks

Try a package of four 5-ounce top sirloin steaks (seasoning included). In other words, you get a fine meal for four people at $12.50 per person. And that, friends, is better pricing than you would find for dinner at most restaurants.

The fact is, until you get into the larger packages or the choicest cuts of meat (Filet mignon costs a lot of money, okay?), ordering food from Omaha Steaks isn’t all that much more expensive than getting it from the grocery store, and the selection and quality are better than what most supermarkets offer.

Omaha Steaks Ribeye

And ordering your steaks, pork chops, burgers, lobster tails, and all sorts of other meats and sides from this hundred-year-old company is a whole lot cheaper than dining at a steakhouse. With all the variety Omaha Steaks offers, from entrees and sides to desserts and even wine, it can easily become a one-stop online shop for most of your dinner-making needs.

What the food from Omaha Steaks is like

Insider Reviews contributor Steven John tried out a combo called The Best of Omaha Steaks ($60, temporarily sold out), which came with two four-ounce filet mignons, two four-ounce top sirloins, four pork chops, four jumbo franks, four apple tarts, and a seasoning packet for the meats.

He says, “One night, when my brother and his wife and kids were visiting, I cooked up all the steaks and chops, serving three adults (my wife is a vegetarian) and three kids (four were present, but being five months old, my daughter isn’t really eating steak yet). So six people ate, and I still had the hot dogs and tarts for another time. Assuming those would create the centerpiece of another meal for four, we’re talking about 10 servings of food for $60, or $6 a person. Not bad at all.”

Other members of the Insider Reviews team have tried a variety of meat, sides, and desserts from the company. We loved the taste, not to mention the excuse to indulge in dishes like bacon-wrapped sirloin, crispy steakhouse hash browns, and red velvet cake.

Some of the best deals on the site currently are the Stock-Up Packages and Free Shipping Combos, which will help you get all the protein and sides you need to feed your house for a while – all delivered straight to your door.

Convenience and prep

omaha steaks review

Beyond the value of ordering from Omaha Steaks, there’s plenty to be said for ease of prep.

Everything you get from Omaha Steaks comes carefully wrapped in vacuum-sealed plastic, making freezer storage simple and allowing you to choose the exact portions you want each time. On the back of each box, the company provides step-by-step preparation and cooking instructions, which helped Steven grill some of the best steaks he had cooked in months.

Standard shipping costs range from $17.99 to $21.99 depending on your cart total, and there are expedited shipping options available as well. Right now, you can expect your order to be delivered within eight to nine days with standard shipping.

The bottom line

If you don’t have access to a butcher shop, which will generally be the best place to get your meat locally, consider Omaha Steaks. And if you need a great gift idea for an uncle or your boss, a box of meat is always a fine option.

Shop all meat from Omaha Steaks here

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump’s DC hotel restaurant had a seven-step process for serving him a Diet Coke: report

Trump Soda
Donald Trump drinks a Diet Coke at the Al Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York in 2016.

  • When dining at the BLT steakhouse in Washington DC, Trump was served with precision.
  • Waiters had to follow a seven-step process for serving Diet Cokes, according to Washingtonian.
  • Trump reportedly ate the same meal every time he visited the restaurant.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When former President Donald Trump ventured outside of the White House to the BLT Prime restaurant inside the Trump International Hotel, his penchant for Diet Cokes came with him.

In a Washingtonian magazine report, employees revealed how the restaurant had an intricate, seven-step process for serving the soda to Trump.

Employees were instructed to follow a “Standard Operating Procedure” handbook, which Washingtonian obtained, whenever Trump was dining at BLT Prime.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the first step involved a waiter “discreetly” offering a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer for the former president, a self-described germaphobe.

The waiter then greeted Trump and asked if he preferred his Diet Coke with or without ice. 

The third step involved the waiter presenting a polished tray with chilled bottles and glasses to be used for either of Trump’s preferences.

The waiter would then open the bottle of Diet Coke within sight of Trump.

Next, the waiter would hold a bottle opener “by the lower third” and the Diet Coke in the same position while popping the bottle open.

Once poured, the drink was then placed to the right of Trump on the dining table.

The final step? The waiter had to repeat the process until the former president left the restaurant.

While dining, Trump reportedly ate the same meal with his Diet Coke, which included popovers, shrimp cocktail, and a well-done steak. Favored dessert options, which Trump didn’t always indulge in, included an apple pie or chocolate cake.

In the Oval Office, Trump reportedly consumed a dozen Diet Cokes a day, using a red button on the Resolute desk to request the sodas.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh: Which meal kit service is best in 2021?

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Blue Apron vs HelloFresh 4x3

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

If ever there was a cure to your Seamless obsession, it’s another kind of delivery – the meal kit delivery. Here to save you from the never-ending rotation of takeout, these meal kits are re-introducing you to your kitchen in all its wonder. As it turns out, your stove is just as important as your microwave.

Both Blue Apron and HelloFresh are veritable giants on the meal kit scene; in fact, they’re among our favorite meal kit delivery services. They’ve been around for years, and have built up a loyal base thanks to their tasty recipes, wide selections, and ability to cater to various dietary restrictions. Both feature solid produce and protein options and are fantastic for a date night activity.

But there are certainly some aspects in which Blue Apron and HelloFresh begin to differentiate themselves from one another, and that’s really how you’ll be making your decision. Here are our thoughts after testing both.

Ease of use  

Blue Apron vs HelloFresh Graphic 2

If we’re thinking in terms of pure convenience, HelloFresh is a bit easier to use than Blue Apron. While both are extremely convenient, HelloFresh is more focused on providing meals that are truly no fuss, and as a result, can be ready in just a matter of minutes.

Blue Apron, on the other hand, sometimes requires just a bit more prep work or expertise – as a tradeoff, however, you may find Blue Apron’s meals a bit more complex and interesting.

I’ve found many of HelloFresh’s recipes to be a bit more straightforward and easy to follow, which is ideal for the beginner chef. If you’re just looking to dip your toe into culinary waters and are beginning to make your way around four burners and an oven, then HelloFresh certainly seems a bit less intimidating.

While both Blue Apron and HelloFresh’s directions are very clear, it often seems as though HelloFresh’s recipes simply require fewer steps. Not only is that ideal for the beginner chef, but it’s also well-suited for folks who perhaps are in a bit more of a rush. And if your main draw to a meal kit is convenience through and through, then HelloFresh is the way to go.

Winner: HelloFresh


Recipe quality and creativity

What Blue Apron may lack in convenience, it makes up for in creativity. The meal kit service is looking to put a bit of a gourmet spin on home cooking, and consequently, if you’re looking to expand your horizons a bit, you’ll be able to do so with Blue Apron.

I appreciate the internationally-inspired meals like Mushroom Tempura Rice Bowl or Crispy za’atar Chicken Tenders, which have the capacity to introduce cooks not only to new flavors but perhaps new techniques as well. Indeed, it’s not all that often that you’ll find meal kits making use of ingredients like fregola sarda, but Blue Apron could make it a staple in your kitchen.

For slightly more experienced chefs, Blue Apron is an ideal way to begin to expand horizons and check out different flavor combinations in a relatively risk-free environment. I’ve also had a number of friends adapt Blue Apron recipes to their own needs, something that seems more unique to this particular meal kit service than any other that I’ve tried.

Winner: Blue Apron


Ability to cater to dietary preferences

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HelloFresh has recently become something of a meal kit behemoth, acquiring a number of smaller meal kit services including Green Chef. As a result, HelloFresh now offers a wide range of menus, including pescatarian, paleo, and vegetarian options.

While Blue Apron also offers some menus that are catered specifically toward these various dietary preferencers, they’re not quite as well-curated as those of HelloFresh. As a result, if you’re really looking to satisfy very specific dining or cooking habits, you may have a slightly easier time picking out your weekly menu through HelloFresh.

While Blue Apron also caters to different needs, it’s a bit more difficult to actually narrow down your search by way of specific filters, so HelloFresh is a clear winner in this category.

Winner: HelloFresh


Taste

Blue Apron

Perhaps the deciding factor when it comes to picking a meal kit, taste is inevitably a subjective metric. I will say that given the variety of meals that I’ve been able to experience through HelloFresh with its many different menu options, there is more room for exploration through this service.

However, it’s not always the case that all recipes are equally delicious. I’ve found that some HelloFresh meals are much more interesting than others and that there’s more variation in terms of the level of quality.

Blue Apron, on the other hand, seems a bit more reliable in terms of quality. Though there may be a slightly lesser range of options available, I know that all options will be equally delicious.

Winner: Blue Apron


Price

The best way to compare meal kit prices is by meal and serving. 

Blue Apron plans start at $9.99 per serving and $7.99 in shipping if you opt for three recipes that feed two people a week, totaling around $68. HelloFresh will cost you $8.99 per serving for three recipes that feed two people a week and will also tack on an additional $8.99 for shipping, totaling around $63. If we’re going by this math, there’s only around a $5 difference between the two plans. 

However, there are ongoing introductory deals that’ll drop the cost down a bit, though the deals might change over time. Currently, HelloFresh is giving new subscribers 12 free meals but we’ve not been able to find a current deal for Blue Apron. HelloFresh also has a webpage for its current discounts and prices are while Blue Apron doesn’t so you’d have to do some digging on Google. We suggest shopping around or even waiting a bit to see if a promo code becomes available.

Even though Hello Fresh has a lower base price when you compare three weekly recipes for two people, the various discounts make it too difficult to call one of these services as the true winner. 

Winner: Too close to call 


The bottom line: Too close to call

Blue Apron vs HelloFresh Graphic 1

The choice between HelloFresh and Blue Apron ultimately comes down to convenience and your desire for new flavor profiles. If your priority is a quick, convenient, and delicious dinner, then HelloFresh becomes the obvious winner.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to do a bit more exploration with your cooking and are eager to try out new techniques, then Blue Apron is the one for you. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by giving takeout a day off.

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Le Creuset cookware is pricey, but its cast iron and stoneware pieces can last for years, if not decades – here’s why they’re worth the investment

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  • Le Creuset is known for its beautiful, well-crafted, and versatile enamel Dutch ovens. It created its first one in 1925, and still makes all of its Dutch ovens in the same foundry in France. 
  • Its cookware is expensive, but not without reason. Le Creuset’s products last for years (if not generations), are made with distinct attention to detail, and come in many eye-catching colors. 
  • We tested seven of its products, including its signature enamel cast iron Dutch oven, oven-ready stoneware, and non-stick cookware. 
  • Below, you’ll find our reviews of a variety of Le Creuset products, along with a history of the company and how it became one of the most coveted cookware brands in the world.
  • Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Though startups like Made In are making headway against traditional kitchen brands, there are some decades-old names that home cooks may never let go of.

Topping registry and gift lists everywhere, these legacy brands have been wished for, raved about, and passed down from generation to generation. For good reason – their products help to make your grandmother’s famous chocolate chip cookies as well as your newfangled (her words, not yours) quinoa cacao bites.

French cookware company Le Creuset is one such name, representing the height of craftsmanship and style, and accordingly, price. Its enamel cast iron Dutch ovens are widely considered the best in the industry, which is why many people are willing to commit to the $200+ investment and few ever regret it.

You can’t miss them in a kitchen. They’re the smooth and glossy, weighty and substantial, brightly colored centerpiece of a shelf, stove, or countertop, and after cooking with them, you’re unlikely to ever forget them.

Basically, Le Creuset is the rare brand that’s really as good as everyone says it is. The experience is kind of like going to your first SoulCycle class – you enter a cynic, but you emerge (hopefully less sweaty) a zealous convert. 

A brief history of Le Creuset – then and now

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Le Creuset was created in 1925 by two Belgian industrialists, one who specialized in casting and the other in enameling. After meeting at the Brussels Fair, they created a foundry in Fresnoy-le-Grand, an area in northern France located along a major trade route. 

The cast iron cocotte, also known as a French oven or an enameled Dutch oven, was their first product. Its Flame color, a Le Creuset signature, is said to have been modeled after the vibrant orange hue of molten cast iron inside a crucible (“le creuset” in French). 

The cocotte was a groundbreaking product at the time because it made the kitchen staple of cast iron cookware both more functional and beautiful. It was something that home cooks could rely on every time to perform at high levels, but also an aesthetically pleasing piece that looked good on stovetops and dining tables alike. Based on Le Creuset’s enduring success, it looks like our tastes haven’t changed much. 

After World War II, as competitors flocked to steel and aluminum to make their cookware, Le Creuset doubled down on its enameled cast iron efforts, expanding into a range of other pieces and experimenting with exciting new colors. Today, you can shop its iconic Dutch oven alongside specialty cookware like woks and Moroccan tagines, bakeware like casserole dishes, and dinnerware

How to shop Le Creuset cookware and what to buy

Le Crueset

Enameled cast iron was and will remain Le Creuset’s specialty. Its slow heat distribution and strong heat retention make it great for medium and low-heat cooking, from slow-cooking meats to roasting vegetables to baking rich desserts. The smooth interior encourages beautiful, delicious caramelization, plus it prevents sticking and is easy to clean. This material is safe to use on all heat sources, including electric, gas, induction, outdoor grill, and oven. Whether you’re a first-time Le Creuset buyer or expanding a decades-old collection, this versatile, high-performing cookware is the main one to shop. All cast iron pieces are made in the original French foundry and each is hand-inspected by 15 people. They come with a limited lifetime warranty. 

Stoneware is best for baking tasks. It heats uniformly to create that coveted golden-brown crust while making sure that everything inside is cooked evenly, and it releases food easily. All stoneware pieces come with a limited 10-year warranty. 

Nonstick is a newer venture for Le Creuset and a nicer-quality upgrade from the nonstick stuff you’ve used before. Compared to cast iron, these aluminum-core products heat up quickly. All nonstick pieces come with a limited lifetime warranty. 

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Where to shop Le Creuset

Le Creuset’s full lineup of products is available on its website, where you can get free shipping on all orders, find recipes and events, and start a gift registry (through MyRegistry.com). It’s easiest to shop all of Le Creuset’s gorgeous colors and special limited-stock or limited-edition collections on the company’s website. 

However, you can also find sales and exclusive colors at specialty retailers like Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table (the “Artichoke” shade looks as delicious as the real thing), and Crate & Barrel, and department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s. It’s available at Amazon as well, but it might be more convenient to buy Le Creuset at those places if you shop there frequently. 

Review of Le Creuset cookware 

Three of us tested the cookware types I mentioned above – enameled cast iron, stoneware, and nonstick – and put the nearly 100-year-old company to the work. While this was my first experience cooking with Le Creuset, some of my colleagues have been using their pieces for years and can attest to the durability and wear of their cookware. 

Below, learn more about what it’s like to cook with Le Creuset, from the classic Dutch Oven to the lesser-known Grill Pan. 

Shop Le Creuset cookware here:

Amazon, Sur La Table, Crate & Barrel, NordstromMacy’s, Le Creuset, Williams-Sonoma

Round Dutch Oven

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Ellen’s beef stroganoff

Round Dutch Oven (5.5-Quart), around $360, available at: Le Creuset | Williams-Sonoma 

We used it to cook: beef stroganoff, broccoli and sausage orzo skillet, chicken pot hotdish, and so much more. 

Why we love it: The 5.5-quart version of the popular Le Creuset Dutch oven isn’t cheap at $350, but it’s the cornerstone of my kitchen; it offers a lot of versatility, a durable design, and crucially, even heat distribution. I use it to cook easy, one-pot meals on most weeknights — everything from beef stroganoff to spring peas and asparagus risotto to a broccoli and sausage orzo skillet. —Ellen Hoffman, Executive Editor

I use a 4.5-quart version of this Dutch Oven, the same one that had previously belonged to my former boss’ wife. She and I would swap recipes through her husband, delivering muffins and breakfast bars and favorite recipes to each other via his briefcase. At a holiday party at their home a few years ago, she gifted me one of her Le Creuset pots along with her matching frying pan. She gave it to me because she was growing partial to her Staub Dutch oven and didn’t need so many in the house, but it was still one of the kindest gifts I’ve ever received. I love cooking in it and especially using it to serve stews, sauces, and orzo during dinner parties. —Sally Kaplan, Senior Editor

Signature Lite Grill Pan

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Sally’s grilled zucchini

Signature Lite Grill Pan, $180, available at: Le Creuset

We used it to cook: grilled summer squash phyllo pie, Beyond Meat sausages

Why we love it: When I’m too lazy to fire up the grill on our rooftop (so, most of the time), I opt for this stovetop grill pan. It gives my veggies and meat substitutes the perfect grill marks, and it’s easy to move around on the burner if there’s a hot or cool spot (which happens with square-shaped pans). When I grill things like summer squash on it, and there’s something so satisfying about turning it over to see those little charred and caramelized bits. The surface is relatively non-stick, so food comes up cleanly as you’re flipping it, and the pan wipes down easily.  —Sally Kaplan 

Mini Cocottes

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Connie’s mini mac and cheese and veggies

Mini Cocottes, $100, available at: AmazonLe Creuset 

We used it to cook: single-serving/app-sized mac and cheese, veggies, baked eggs, apple pie

Why we love it: These are hands down the most adorable pieces of cookware I own. The mini versions of the brand’s classic cocotte are perfect for serving personal desserts, side dishes, and snacks like nuts or candy. They’re made from stoneware, so they’re best used in the oven on a baking tray and uncovered. The set I got came with a cookbook filled with recipes optimized for tiny portions, but if you’re comfortable with experimentation, I can see the potential to get really creative (and cute) with these mini cocottes. —Connie Chen, Senior Reporter

Square Dish

Le Creuset stoneware
Sally’s fudgy vegan brownies

Square Dish, $50, available at: Le Creuset |Bed Bath & Beyond

We used it to cook: fudgy vegan brownies, roasted apricots with coconut sugar, cornbread, and a million other things

Why we love it: I’ve had this square dish for about three years now, and it’s one of the most-used dishes in my kitchen. I bake quick-breads and brownies in it, use it to roast veggies at high temperatures, and even make pot pies with fluffy, crispy drop biscuit crust. The coating on the stoneware is so glossy and smooth that it’s always easy to clean — mine has been through hell and back, and still looks as new as it did the very first day I got it. —Sally Kaplan

Nonstick Saute Pan

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Sally’s vegetarian “meat” sauce

Nonstick Saute Pan, $145, available at: Crate & Barrel | Le Creuset

We used it to cook: vegetarian “meat” sauce, garlicky zucchini noodles

Why we love it: I have a lot of nonstick pans, but I threw two of them out after I cooked with this one for the first time. The nonstick coating is above and beyond what I’ve experienced before. It took about three seconds to wash the pot I cooked this sauce in because there was absolutely nothing sticking to it. Not only that, but it provided fast, even heat throughout, and the walls of the pan are just high enough that you can use it as a saucepan and saute pan interchangeably. It’s an excellent value for $145 — I use it all the time. —Sally Kaplan

Braiser

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Ellen’s “sophisticated hamburger helper”

Braiser, $200, available at: Le Creuset 

We used it to cook: lemon thyme chicken thighs, rigatoni and chicken with vodka sauce (family recipe), and lots of other bigger, saucy pasta dishes

Why we love it: This pan is the perfect size for the kinds of one-pot, saucy pasta dishes I make all the time. It’s super wide and deep enough that I don’t have to worry about adding too much liquid and having the contents spill over the sides. It’s also great for cooking meats and veggies since, like I said, there’s plenty of surface area so everything has room to get nice and crispy.—Ellen Hoffman

Rectangular Casserole

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Rectangular Casserole, $115, available at: Amazon | Le Creuset

We used it to cook: Enchiladas, lasagna, pasta casseroles

Why we love it: The depth of this 3.5-quart casserole dish is ideal for recipes that call for layering, and the stoneware construction ensures every layer, whether sweet or savory, heats evenly and comes out of the oven piping hot. Though you might think the enamel would be too delicate to touch with a knife, rest assured you can slice into your casserole worry-free. I do wish the handles were slotted so I’d feel safer carrying it out of the oven, so just be extra careful about not dropping your hard work on the ground. —Connie Chen

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