Despite the unending litany of products you can find in the ecosystem of kitchen tools, there are only a handful you really need to channel your inner Mario Batali. And Material, a company that set out to make home cooking easier, launched on Friday with a set of fundamental implements designed to help you do just that.
The company’s first set includes seven essential tools: A wooden spoon, a pair of tongs, a metal spatula, a metal spoon, and two knives: an 8” chef’s knife and an almost 4” paring knife. Both are cut from an ice-tempered Japanese stainless steel, which helps them maintain a sharper edge longer, and the handle of each is designed with ergonomics and aesthetics in mind. Everything we tried out from the set felt solid—but not too heavy—in the hand, and the stain-resistant matte handles on each of the metal tools kept them from getting too sticky or slippery (something that comes in handy if, like this editor, you have a habit of laying your spoon into a pat of butter while you take a break from stirring risotto).
While the knives make quick work of mincing garlic, shallots, and the like, the tongs might be the star of the show with this set: they’re designed to open and close with a gentle squeeze (press near the base to open them, and closer to the top to close) and the sloped curve means they won’t drip an excess of liquid onto your countertop after you’ve retrieved something from a pot of boiling water.
The set comes with a sleek wooden box that makes an attractive option for countertop storage, and has enough room in it to fit a few more items: whether that’s an intentional design choice made to accommodate this line’s future additions, the company wouldn’t say. But given the attention to detail they’ve put into improving the form and function of everything in the line, we wouldn’t be surprised if better whisks, ladles, and silicone spatulas are forthcoming.