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How our experts test and review products at BBC Good Food

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Find out about the process behind our BBC Good Food product reviews and taste tests, and how we choose the products we feature.

Welcome to our user guide to BBC Good Food product reviews and taste tests. Here, we explain our selection process, test criteria and methods and introduce you to some of our on-test team. If you have a question that's not answered here, please drop us a line on goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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As the UK’s number one food media brand, BBC Good Food is trusted for its quality home-cooking recipes and buyer's guides.

Our reviews experts test and rate hundreds of products a year to bring readers fully impartial, up-to-date product advice and help you find the best products for every budget, from kitchen appliances to tools, gadgets and equipment.

Products are carefully shortlisted, tested, scrutinised and scored against strict review criteria in controlled conditions. Only the best products make it into our detailed, easy-to-digest buyer’s guides as trusted recommendations and star buys.

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Why you can trust us

Every review found on bbcgoodfood.com follows a strict editorial ethics policy, adhering to the BBC's Editorial guidelines. BBC Good Food will never promote a product within a review in order to obtain benefit of a financial or promotional nature.

Products are mentioned within reviews in order to offer bbcgoodfood.com users unbiased, tried and tested advice on the best products currently available on the market.

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How we select products to review

We test an extensively researched cross-section of products in every category to ensure budget, mid-range and luxury options are all represented. In order to be shortlisted, a product must be available nationwide through an online retailing platform. In order to fairly test a wide enough range of products, we ensure that a shortlist of no less than 10 products are called in.

How products are scored

Whether reviewing coffee grinders, vegetable peelers or fridge freezers, before we start the testing process, we formulate our judging criteria.

Our review team and cookery hub set a range of home economist-approved testing criteria that's laid out on a grid that we refer to as the testing matrix. Each review will have a different testing matrix depending on the nature of the review and the products being tested.

Food products are tested blind, whereas we replicate a kitchen environment for scoring gadgets and equipment. All tests are done in controlled conditions.

Our experts mark each product against core and contributing criteria. Only products that achieve a minimum average of 3.5 stars or above overall are considered as recommendations for inclusion in our best-lists.

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Kitchen appliances, equipment and utensils

Would we buy it ourselves? This is the question our experienced team keeps firmly in mind while each gadget is put through its paces. Our testing methods are designed to replicate the key kitchen tasks the gadget is designed for in an everyday kitchen, with some additional challenges to test its versatility.

We use BBC Good Food triple-tested recipes for the cooking element of each test while also marking the product out of five against the following core criteria, which decides the product's overall star rating:

Overall performance: this takes into account all the below, plus the most important criteria – cooking results.

Quality of materials: no one wants to fork out for an appliance and have to replace it a few months down the line. Robustly made products with parts that are built to last are scored the highest.

Value for money: does the price feel right for the quality of the product, its performance results and the brand behind it? If not, the value-for-money mark will suffer.

Ease of use and cleaning: we look for intuitive set-up, controls and easy dismantling for cleaning, whether that be by hand or in a dishwasher. Convenience is a consideration for many during product research, so products that are faff-free to use do well on this criteria.

Safety: an essential criteria. Whether simple or sophisticated, safety credentials make products more user-friendly and could be anything from blade covers for blenders, auto-shutoff features in food processors, cool outers on slow cookers or heatproof covers on pan handles. These are essential for busy kitchens or spaces where kids are present and particularly if there's a lot of power packed into the product motor.

Environmental credentials: we're on the hunt for products by brands that are invested in sustainability, from product production to the chain of distribution. For example, B-Corp certified companies that balance 'purpose with profit'. We also look for products which boast a good energy rating, a warranty or guarantee which means it can be repaired instead of replaced and parts made of recycled materials.

Versatility: can the product be used for more than one thing? For example, can the air fryer roast, grill and sauté too? Can the spice grinder also grind coffee? Versatile kitchen gadgets save kitchen cupboard and countertop space so we score for it accordingly.

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Food products

Our food and cookery teams score products blind during taste tests, without knowing the brand or price first. This is to ensure that feedback and scoring is impartial. The teams consider:

  • Flavour
  • Texture
  • Appeal – who would enjoy the product?
  • Smell
  • Appearance – does it look appetising?

Additional criteria specific to the category are pre-agreed and standardised. For example, a smooth mouth-feel and good snap would be looked for during a chocolate taste-test.

BBC Good Food product accreditation badges

BBC Good Food product accreditation badges

We only recommend products we truly rate and would buy ourselves. Our accreditation badges are available for products which achieve an average rating of 4-stars or above during testing, providing brands the invaluable opportunity to align with BBC Good Food’s authoritative brand name.

  • BBC Good Food Star-Buy
    5-stars
  • BBC Good Food Highly Recommended
    4.5-stars
  • BBC Good Food Recommended
    4-stars

For information on our accreditation opportunities and rate card, contact rebecca.mcarthy@immediate.co.uk

Meet our expert product reviewers

Our on-test team is a combination of BBC Good Food staff, home economists, product experts and specialist writers. Meet some of our team.

Anya Gilbert
Anya is BBC Good Food's senior digital reviews writer. She helps plan our equipment and appliance reviews, sets testing criteria and is rigorously thorough at putting products through their paces. Anya has reviewed everything from espresso machines and air fryers to food processors and oven gloves to bring readers impartial advice on what's actually worth their money. She also contributes to our gift guides.

Lydia Anderson
Lydia is BBC Good Food’s digital reviews writer. She hails from the Good Housekeeping Institute where she reviewed household products for a range of titles. At BBC Good Food she’s planted her feet firmly in the kitchen, where she tests and reviews the appliances and kitchenware you need to cook delicious meals and tasty treats.

Lucy Roxburgh
Lucy is E-commerce and Reviews Editor across bbcgoodfood.com and olivemagazine.com. Before joining the team, she trained at Leiths and worked as a private chef and digital editor at Tesco Real Food. She works with our team of freelancers on producing new content, as well as writing food reviews and gift guides.

Anna Lawson
Anna is our food and reviews writer. She has tried and tested hundreds of products for our review section and magazine shopping pages. She coordinates our Christmas, Easter and Summer Taste Awards and is responsible for gifting content for the brand.

Caroline Hire
Caroline is a former editor of bbcgoodfood.com, trained chef and product expert. Her extensive experience in all things culinary have taken her from working as a chef in a Highlands hotel, through to catering for Grand Prix drivers in far-flung destinations. Caroline has reviewed everything from cake tins to microwaves for BBC Good Food. She also writes recipes for us and specialises in family cookery.

Katy Gilhooly
A former BBC Good Food cookery hub member, Katy is a home economist, food stylist, recipe writer and tester. She completed training at Leiths before joining the team, after which she has worked in food publishing for brands including The Guardian's Feast. She is currently a freelance contributor and writes regularly for the BBC Good Food review section.

Judy Yorke
Judy is a highly experienced journalist who has written for a range of national newspapers and magazines. She formerly held staff positions at Good Housekeeping and Woman. She is an accomplished product tester, editor and a teacher of journalism. Judy tests practical, everyday products in a home environment for her family and takes weeks to thoroughly put samples through their paces.

Elaine Lemm
Elaine is a former chef trained at the Ritz Escoffier School in Paris and was the owner of renowned cookery school Cuisine Eclairée for 10 years with bases in the UK, Italy, France, and Sweden. She now shares her passion for food and cooking as a freelance writer and is the author of three food books. Elaine tests a variety of kitchen equipment for BBC Good Food, including rolling pins, steamers, bread makers and milk frothers.

Lesley Jones
Lesley Jones is a freelance journalist with 30 years of experience, and began as an editor on pop and teenage titles before moving to women's magazines. She now writes features and columns from her home in East London, and tests consumer electronics, homeware and kitchen essentials for The Independent, i Paper and the Evening Standard. She's on Twitter at @lesleyjones.

Brendan Hodrien
Brendan Hodrien is a lifestyle writer who specialises in drinks reviews. He has rounded up the best of the best for The Independent, i Paper and the Evening Standard and writes a variety of spirits reviews and taste tests for BBC Good Food.

Myles Williamson
Cookery writer and food stylist, Myles worked as a chef for many years before finding his way into food publishing. He previously worked at BBC Good Food, and spent over three years as deputy food editor at Waitrose Food magazine.

Esther Clark
BBC Good Food's deputy food editor Esther is a recipe writer and cookbook author who trained at Leiths. She has also worked in Italy as a chef. Esther oversees equipment reviews that take place in the BBC Good Food test kitchen and assists in setting testing criteria.

Keeping reviews up to date

Product reviews are checked every six months in order to ensure product availability and accurate pricing. Taste tests are checked every 12 months. We also encourage and rely on our loyal users to reach out and let us know if they spot a change to any of the information provided on the reviewed products, including the prices listed on our price comparison widgets. To get in touch, email goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

Why not take a look around our reviews section and see what we've been putting to the test recently?

Some of our most popular reviews:

Best air fryers
Best slow cookers
Best espresso machines 
Best dishwashers 
Best food processors
Best stand mixers
Best dehydrators
Best ice cream makers

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If you have a comment or suggestion about the BBC Good Food product reviews or taste tests, or a query that isn't covered in the frequently asked questions above, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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