BBC Good Food product reviews and taste tests - how they work

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

BBC Good Food product review team with clipboards

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.

Our brand ethos

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.  

The pre-testing process

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.

Examples of testing criteria that you might see being used in a BBC Good Food product review are: ease of product use, value for money, set-up time, finished results.

How many products are tested?

A shortlist of products is drawn up by our review team. The shortlist is compiled via various research methods (editorial industry insight, press materials and extensive research) in order to obtain the broadest range of retailers.

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. 

What's involved in the testing process?

Once the testing matrix has been set, samples of the shortlisted products are requested and sent to the editorial team for testing. All products are tested under the same conditions in the BBC Good Food test kitchen or a domestic kitchen. 

Each product is tested in the same way against the testing criteria and comments are written under each. At the end of the review, our reviewer selects a shortlist of no less than three products that performed the best throughout testing. If fewer than three products make the winning shortlist, the review is rescheduled for the future and a new set of shortlisted products called in for testing.

Who writes our product reviews?

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

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 Leith's 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. 


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 Leith's. 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. 


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.

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? 

Here are some of our most popular reviews:

The best slow cookers and how to use them
Best hand blenders - on test
Best non-stick frying pans - on test

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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