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At first glance, my kitchen appears pretty tidy, but there’s one shameful place that proves how deceiving looks can be: my utensil drawer. It’s 18 inches wide and 24 inches deep and filled with random serving spoons, tongs, and can openers. I’m not usually someone who advocates for putting more things on my counter, but after getting that drawer stuck on a stray spatula one too many times, I was ready to make a change. When I saw Caraway’s new Prep Set, in all its a-place-for-everything glory, I had to give it a shot. Here’s how it went. 

Caraway Prep Set

Of the six color choices, I chose cream (there’s also navy, gray a seafoam green, peachy terracotta, and charcoal) because it felt like the most neutral in my space. The packaging was nice, but it seemed like a lot of extra cardboard (in two separate boxes) for a reasonably streamlined product. After unboxing, I set up the display tray next to my stove, placed the knife and utensil block side by side, gave the 10 tools a quick wash in warm water, and put them in their respective homes. The modular organization unit has a specific spot for the shears (in the magnetic knife block) and for the tongs (in the utensil block), but I had free rein on how to line up my blades and the rest of the cooking accessories however I wanted. Regardless of the order, each piece has its own slot, so they’re not just shoved into a crock to make a bouquet of wood and steel. It’s more of a cutlery puzzle, and I dig it. Plus it’s so much easier to see and grab my go-tos when I’m in the middle of making a meal. 

When it comes to the blades, there’s a chef, prep, bread, and paring knife included. I should admit I’m not The Bear level (yet), so I can’t speak to the quality from a professional POV. Still, I can say that the premium German stainless steel has a nice weight to it and effortlessly slices through everything from tomatoes to carrots to crusty loaves of bread. They also have a Rockwell hardness of 58, which I’ve learned is ideal for sharpening and longevity. 

I’m usually wary of wooden pieces for cooking, mostly because they’re typically not dishwasher-safe or have to be slathered with mineral oil regularly, but the best thing about Caraway’s FSC-certified birch items is that they’ve already been pretreated. No need to fuss with oils or wax, but the company recommends hand-washing them to really make them last.  

As a lazy chef, the only thing I don’t love about this set (aside from the fact the serving spoon could stand to be a bit bigger for my heaping bowls of pasta), is the hand-washing thing. That said, for the most part, the set has made my kitchen life more manageable. Clocking in at $545, it’s a bit pricey for the average home cook, but if you’re in the market for new kitchen tools, you can snag the entire set on sale right now for $395. It’s perfect for folks like me who don’t have Michelin-level culinary standards but still want a space that’s streamlined and stylish, so I’ll take a few minutes of scrubbing over the fiasco of fishing around my junk drawer daily. Plus the utensils will last forever, which gives me plenty of time to improve my “Yes, chef!” skills.

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