There are certain kitchen items that defy trends, diets, even decades. Icons of the cooking space, these products are beloved for a reason. They're not only the essentials that your grandmother had, your mother had, and that you also have — or hope to one day own — but they're also products that have become synonymous with the categories in which they belong. (Think: Crock-Pot slow cookers and Pyrex mhueasuring cups.)
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The lesson: Don't be fooled by the next new thing — no matter what fancy technology is developed, these tools remain the best in their class. From the Le Creuset round Dutch oven to Pyrex measuring cups, here are seven iconic kitchen items that have stood the test of time.
The brilliance of enameled cast iron is what makes this Dutch oven so timeless. Le Creuset was the first company to produce cookware in this material almost a century ago, and it has been an influential item ever since. It's strong, durable, and able to distribute even, consistent heat both in the oven and on the stove. From slow cooking to braising to roasting, this piece can do it all.
Raise your hand if you have a Pyrex measuring cup. We do, too. It's an indispensable kitchen tool that everyone seems to have. The signature red markings are instantly recognizable and have been a trusty aid for generations of cooks. Plus, the material is incredibly versatile and long-lasting — it can withstand heat from everything from ovens to microwaves.
Revered by chefs and home cooks alike, the cast iron skillet is known for its durability and ability to evenly distribute heat — and it's been solidifying its spot on this list for the past 120 years. In 1896, Joseph Lodge established a cast iron company called the Blacklock Foundry in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. There he manufactured many cast iron products, including cookware. When the original factory burned down in 1910, Lodge rebuilt and rebranded as Lodge Cast Iron, which is the title that remains today.
Founded by MIT graduate and French food lover Carl Sontheimer, Cuisinart arrived on the scene in the early 1970s with the intention of introducing an electric food processor to the American market. The company name is a portmanteau of "cuisine" and "art," which is fitting since it has allowed cooks to quickly, easily, and precisely slice, shred, chop, and mix for years. This was the first food processor on the scene in the U.S. and remains the gold standard of kitchen appliances.
Tupperware is one of those ubiquitous products that we take for granted, but before 1946, reusable plastic containers did not exist. Created by chemist Earl Tupper, the lightweight, non-breakable vessels were a midcentury phenomenon. Now, we use the brand's name to describe any receptacle of its kind, even if it's not technically made by Tupperware.
Starting in 1919, KitchenAid has provided bakers with the ultimate helper. The legendary stand mixer, which has barely changed in appearance since the 1930s, is a whiz for mixing ingredients, folding dough, churning ice cream, and more. It's still a countertop staple, since it's as beautiful as it is functional.
Though it doesn't technically live in the kitchen, Weber changed cooking forever. In 1952, George Stephen invented the kettle grill. As a grill master who frequently prepared steaks for his family (he had 12 children!) and friends, Stephen knew that a rounded cooking bowl with a lid would be the ultimate barbecue. It turns out he was right. This little charcoal burner has been a backyard essential for ages.
Invented in 1940 as a simple way to cook beans, the Crock-Pot is yet another brand that has become synonymous with all slow-cookers. It originally became beloved for its ability to provide homemakers a way to serve an affordable, tender, and delicious meal to their families while minimizing time in the kitchen — and not much has changed. While other slow-cookers have hit the scene, Crock-Pot remains the most well-known way to prepare meals with little to no time in the kitchen.