In the flurry of excitement on photo shoot day, Pat stood focused at the large kitchen island stretching out homemade pizza dough. As Laurie slid the dough onto a Hamilton Beach searing grill, Pat moved on to slice fresh mozzarella and bright red tomatoes. Our talented home economists were working together to create a flavorful grilled margherita pizza that was as pleasing to the eye as it was to the taste buds. After the pizza was arranged and professionally photographed, those lucky enough to be helping out in the consumer test kitchen all grabbed a slice of the fresh, Italian creation.
The pizza recipe had undergone a strenuous process of testing and approval to ensure it can be recreated and enjoyed by home cooks like you. Our home economists Pat and Laurie say one of their favorite parts about working in the consumer test kitchen is developing the recipes that are included in your Use & Care guides and posted to our Everyday Good Thinking blog.
At Hamilton Beach, our products are carefully tested just the way you’ll use them at home: in a real kitchen with real recipes, made with food that’s readily available in everyday grocery stores. In our spacious consumer test kitchen in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia, our home economists test products, develop guides, create recipes, and more. The homey kitchen might remind you of your own cooking space, except it has two desks in the back – a workspace where Pat and Laurie write FAQ guides, research recipes, and support our consumer affairs team. While many companies outsource this work, at Hamilton Beach we are proud to have an in-house test kitchen run by our skilled team. With a newly renovated kitchen and all the appliances they could possibly need, our home economists work hard to advocate for the consumer and ensure all our products are perfectly suited for a home kitchen.
Our test kitchen experts do more than just cook. They are a multi-tasking, multi-talented team whose expertise extends far beyond recipes. They collaborate with our engineers and test new products to ensure our appliances will work flawlessly when used in your kitchen. Test kitchen manager Pat says, “We step into the consumers’ shoes and test products as people will want to use them in their homes.”
After extensively testing each product, Pat and Laurie develop the Use & Care guides, helpful tips, and recipes that are included with the products you buy. After they carefully construct a Use & Care guide that is consumer-friendly, eight different departments within Hamilton Beach review the guide to ensure accuracy and safety. Although you might be tempted to tuck it away somewhere, Pat explains “your Use & Care guide is a valuable resource to inspire and instruct – think of it as your peek into the test kitchen.”
Since our home economists work intimately with the products and understand exactly how they work, they partner with our consumer affairs team to answer questions from people like you. Pat and Laurie help train our consumer affairs representatives to make sure they have expert knowledge of each and every Hamilton Beach product so the information you receive is clear and accurate.
The test kitchen focuses on the “end game,” meaning what consumers will do once they have a Hamilton Beach product at home. This focus leads to one of the best parts about working in the consumer test kitchen – creating recipes like the grilled margherita pizza they worked so hard to perfect. They walk a recipe through its many stages of development before it reaches you: conception, testing, approval, photography, and finally, publication. Our social media team and home economists orchestrate the photography of the recipes right here in our consumer test kitchen. The photos you see on Everyday Good Thinking are recipes made by Pat and Laurie using Hamilton Beach appliances, and they are as delicious as they look – those nearby share in the feast as soon as photography is complete. Home economist Laurie says, "I love the creativity of recipe development and trying to make each recipe unique to Hamilton Beach." Try out a Hamilton Beach tested recipe today; you’ll be glad you did.