In honor of the home cooking brand’s 40th birthday, we’re naming its greatest hits (which also make great gifts!).
Back on October 15, 1980, a woman named Doris Christopher held her first cooking party. Forty years later, the multi-level marketing company she started—Pampered Chef—has grown into an innovative brand of kitchen accessories geared towards simplifying mealtime for home cooks, with more than 50,000 consultants around the world.
It used to be that you could only get items like Pampered Chef’s famous pizza stone or handy onion chopper through the traditional party format. You may have even gone to one back in the day—likely, it was a group of women from your neighborhood, passing around the latest kitchen gadgets, learning how to master a new technique (decorating a layer cake, anyone?) while snacking on artichoke dip or a club sandwich ring. If that sounds a little too suburban housewife for you, that’s OK. In recent years, Pampered Chef has gone beyond these domestic get-togethers to allow virtual party options (which grew to nearly 100 percent of parties during the pandemic) as well as online ordering (with a direct-to-consumer option, no consultant required).
One hallmark of Pampered Chef kitchen tools is that they are built to last, whether you’re a beginner home cook or a practiced chef. Los Angeles-based chef Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12, says she’s had her Pampered Chef Teak wooden spoon for ages and uses it for everything from making soups to curries, and even poking holes in tahdig (crispy Persian rice). “It’ll last a lifetime if it’s taken care of,” she says. (I can testify to this—one of my personal favorite items is a mini serving spatula that’s the perfect size for transferring cookies to a cooling rack or serving up a slice of cake or pie. It used to be my mom’s, and decades later, it’s still going strong.)
In honor of Pampered Chef’s 40th birthday, we’re taking a look back at some of its top kitchen gadgets over the years: some versatile, some with highly specific uses, but all worth the cabinet space.
Mix N’ Chop
This is the No. 1 selling item of all time, according to Pampered Chef officials. First introduced in 2007, this spatula-like device has pinwheel blades designed to chop or crumble just about anything you can think of while cooking, from ground beef for tacos to scrambled eggs.
Buy it: Mix N’ Chop, $15
Pampered Chef’s stoneware has been a staple of the brand since the beginning, ideal for making everything from pizza to cookies to roasted vegetables, thanks to its ability to evenly distribute heat. This fall, the brand introduced a new unglazed stone (with handles!) that’s safe for the microwave, freezer, oven and even the dishwasher.
Buy it: Pizza stone, $45
Deluxe Air Fryer
One of the priciest items in Pampered Chef’s lineup, this family-sized air fryer sold out almost immediately upon its launch—so the brand’s since ramped up production to keep up with demand. It’s 11.6-quart capacity is large enough to fit a whole 4-lb. chicken and also works as a rotisserie and dehydrator.
Buy it: Deluxe Air Fryer, $279
If your family is always fighting over the corner piece, this pan’s for you. Not only does it turn out 12 individually sized brownies with crisp edges, it also helps with portion control (no more slicing off a little bit of the edge) and can be used for all kinds of other items, too—think mini lasagna or taco appetizers, egg quiches or square muffins.
Buy it: Brownie pan, $25
Party Pan and Decorator Set
New this year, this clever set contains all the tools you need to make a cake shaped as any number or letter. Use the cake pan, specially cut inserts, a cutting tool and included instructions to learn exactly how to make your desired cake, no guessing required.
Buy it: Party pan and decorator set, $70
An all-time fan favorite, this dishwasher-safe food chopper with a stainless-steel blade is a lifesaver for chopping onions, carrots, celery, peppers, wafers, nuts, chocolate and more.
Buy it: Food chopper, $40
Insulated Serving Bowl Set
Pampered Chef teams went into family homes around the country after Thanksgiving last year to learn what stressed cooks out about the holiday. This insulated bowl set, sort of like the Yeti cup of bowls, came from that research. Keeping food warm for up to two hours, they solve the annoying problem of not being able to serve all dishes hot at once.
Buy it: Insulated serving bowl set, $95
Snack Bar Maker Set
There are so many recipes for homemade snack bars, all the more important as we’re working from home and trying to stay healthy. This handy silicone pan ensures perfect shaping and sizing of every bar, and also comes with a mini nylon serving spatula (that you’ll end up using daily!).
Buy it: Snack bar maker set, $28