It’s that time of year again—the time when we get the urge to reflect on life, take a look back at how we spent our time and money, and ask ourselves questions like, “How did I survive so long without a mini food processor?” I learned a lot about all of us while curating this list of all the products we loved that you loved. These are the items that we wrote about in 2022 that you, readers, went nuts for (and by that I mean you bought 657 jars of the Costco nut butter we Highly Recommended). Below, a collection of all the tools, ingredients, and other kitchen things we—and you—couldn’t live without in 2022.
Yellow sriracha is better than red sriracha. At least that’s what BA art assistant Julia Duarte thinks, and apparently our readers agree. Three Mountains Yellow Sriracha is made with yellow Thai burapa chiles; its flavor is nuanced and tangy with just the right amount of heat. Put it on avocado toast, crispy salmon, or poke, and your meals will never be the same.
The best part of deep-frying is the heap of hot, crispy morsels—like harissa-honey popcorn chicken and potato samosas—that await your consumption. The worst part is figuring out how to dispose of the oil. With FryAway, though, BA contributor Sarah Jampel has found a solution. These plant-based flakes solidify used cooking oil into a blubbery brick that can be disposed of with other household trash.
Back in July, I waxed rhapsodic about my Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus (a.k.a. my tiny sous-chef), and you, readers, were into it. Not just because it’s so cute, but because it works wonders for simplifying weeknight dinner prep. It dices veggies and makes sauces in a flash, and unlike bulky full-size food processors, this one’s super compact and easy to clean.
This was the year many of you joined Team Espresso Machine. BA contributor Lauren Joseph loves the Breville Bambino Plus, because it’s so quick and easy to use. To her, it’s a great option for most people pulling shots at home, and the best espresso machine at its price point. Hundreds of you agreed.
Speaking of coffee, y’all drank a lot of it in 2022. To make sure you never ran out of beans, you signed up for a Trade coffee subscription. It’s one of our favorite coffee subscription services, and BA head of digital video June Kim gets it delivered to her door every few weeks. She appreciates that the beans are roasted to order and shipped directly from the roaster for max freshness. With hundreds of options and a commitment to ethical sourcing, this is quality coffee you can feel good about.
Espresso wasn’t the only drink you all started making yourselves; you made your own juice, too. Joseph purchased the Omega juicer after a financial audit revealed her $9-a-pop fresh juice habit wasn’t doing her bank account any favors. This cold-press juicer makes quick work of everything from soft fruit to wheatgrass—and it can even churn out nut butters, nut milks, and baby food.
Are we capable of curating a list of our favorite things without mentioning Fly By Jing? From the spicy-sweet Zhong sauce to the savory pork dumplings, there’s a lot to love—and our readers especially adore their Sichuan Chile Crisp. Senior cooking editor Emma Laperruque puts it best: “It has an endless umami flavor. And the smoky-tingly heat, attributable to both spicy chiles and numbing Sichuan peppers, is at just the right level to keep me going back for more.”
BA contributor Rachel Dolfi says that even the toughest fish and garlic odors are no match for this hand scrub, which was made by and for fishermen (so you know it’s good). It contains finely ground walnut shell and pumice stone to remove fish scales and stuck-on gunk, and a mixture of coconut oil and cocoa butter moisturizes your skin. Bonus: It works on cutting boards too.
This year, you sought consistency—in the form of cookies that are all the exact same size, shape, and diameter. And for that, you bought a cookie scoop. Having uniform cookies doesn’t just make for an attractive, professional-looking final presentation, it also ensures that the cookies bake evenly. So while you don’t technically need one, you’ll definitely want one.
Senior commerce editor MacKenzie Chung Fegan—and many BA readers—adores these XCJ Frozen Xiao Long Bao, which take only 12 minutes to prepare. Just pop them in the steamer, get your soup spoon, chopsticks, and black vinegar ready, and dinner is served.
Raise your hand if you didn’t regularly clean your water bottles until BA digital operations associate Nico Avalle reminded you they were filthy AF. Same. These days, we’re scrubbing our bottles with soap and water more often and using these fizzy cleaning tablets to combat mineral buildup and odors.
I never thought I’d buy cookies for their fiber content, but I did. Now they’re my favorite store-bought cookies ever. These hazelnut and dark chocolate cookies sit somewhere between a crumbly chocolate chip cookie and a buttery shortbread. Sure, they’re “healthy,” but it’s their rich, nutty flavor and their delicate, melt-in-your mouth texture that got us all hooked.
If you’ve ever watched one of BA’s test kitchen videos, you’ve probably seen our food editors wearing crossback aprons, also known as smock aprons or Japanese-style aprons. They’re lightweight, strapless, and fit over your clothes like a tunic. Our readers favored this affordable linen-cotton number, which has deep pockets (and takes on a cute, rustic wrinkle).
The best vessel for just about anything is not a plate, but a pasta bowl. It’s basically a plate-bowl mash-up that’s wide, low, and shallow—ideal for holding everything from sloshing sauces to meaty drippings to bitsy grains. BA staffers agree that it improves both the presentation and the eating experience, and we can conclude that once you go pasta bowl, you never go back.
Even if you’ve picked the best berries out of the bunch, keeping them fresh isn’t easy. To combat this, we turned to this produce keeper, which has an elevated, removable basket that lifts produce up from the container walls for max airflow and minimal berry rotting. Oh, and we also learned the answer to this question: Do a few moldy berries ruin the whole batch?
We’ve always loved nut butter, but 2022 was the year we got hip to the best nut butter: Kirkland Signature Mixed Nut Butter. The secret ingredient? SEEDS. It’s made with almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseed—all of which give it an ultra-creamy consistency with a subtle crunch.
Waking up in the morning is more magical when you’ve got a Le Creuset French press. This heirloom coffee maker isn’t just beautiful, it also makes a delicious, full-bodied cup of joe. BA contributor Anna Fitzpatrick puts it this way: “My Le Creuset French press symbolizes everything I love about adulthood.” We can see why.
Senior commerce editor MacKenzie Chung Fegan says this W&P Peak Silicone Ice Tray is the best ice cube tray she’s ever used. Unlike other silicone ice trays, which are floppy and wobbly, this one gets some structure from a stainless-steel frame. That means easy filling and no spillage while transporting it from faucet to freezer. Ah, the little things.
Every cook needs a silicone spatula, and this one from GIR made our list of BA’s Best Baking Tools in 2022. Here’s why we all love it: It’s heat resistant, it’s easy to clean, and most important, it’s both sturdy and flexible. We’re obsessed with the mini version too.