Unlike a $1 wine glass you can shrug off if someone drops, you don’t want to go cut-rate with your cooking utensils, our panelists say. You don’t want your knife to give way right as you’re whacking your way through something tough, and you don’t want to have to chuck dinner if the spatula or pan melts into it. “I’ve seen very low quality metal utensils for sale at dollar stores, which seem destined to break after a few uses,” says Julia Scott. “Spend more, and get a product that will last.”
“I’d rather buy high-quality brands at yard sales or on sale at kitchen stores,” says Lauren Weber, author of In Cheap We Trust: The Story of a Misunderstood American Virtue.