14 Kitchen Gadgets That Will Transform Your Baking Skills
Ever seen a cake or pastry that’s so visually appealing it blows your mind and makes you want to bake? Running out of activities to do with your free time? Say no more. Not only will you have fun baking, but you’ll impress everyone you bake for. Knowing which kitchen gadgets to buy is key to becoming a great baker. I have listed the 14 essential products below + a description of the product and what it is good for.
A stand mixer is not only great for baking, but for cooking too! A stand mixer is basically an extra set of more efficient arms for your kitchen that combines ingredients in an even way and saves you time. Depending on which one you buy, a stand mixer usually comes with three blades: a whisk, a dough hook, and a beater. The blade you use depends on what you’re cooking. The whisk is great for eggs, marshmallow fluff, butter, etc. The dough hook is for all things dough, whether it’s pizza dough, or cinnamon buns, as well as everything in between. The beater is probably the blade you’ll use most frequently. It’s great for mixing cake and cookie batters/frostings, for shredding poultry, pork, meat or for blending anything you desire. The sky is the limit and each blade is not limited to the examples I have mentioned above. Good stand mixers are normally pricy but because they are durable, they are worth it. One disclaimer: If you do not have a ton of counter space or storage space, I would not recommend this product… it takes up quite a bit of space.
If you don’t have space for a stand mixer, you should consider a hand mixer. Hand mixers are also known as immersion blenders because they immerse ingredients together. Whether you’re blending batter, soup, or anything in between, the hand mixer does it all for an affordable price and an easy clean up. Hand mixers also take up very little storage space and are compact, versatile, and durable. If you’re thinking of getting one, I recommend getting a portable one.
Measuring Spoons / Measuring Cups
You will not be a great baker if you are not precise and consistent. Your measurements need to be precise. If the box says one tablespoon of salt, you need to make sure you’re putting exactly 1 tablespoon of salt. It makes a difference, trust me. For a clear measurement of liquids, you need to get a measuring cup. Not only will this make your baking better, but easier too! Both measuring spoons and measuring cups are also affordable and durable.
If you’re trying to create a beautiful and smooth looking cake, cupcake, pie, etc., then you need to invest in an offset spatula. They are long tools that have a flat metal paddle at one end. They are most commonly used for spreading frosting onto a cake, cupcake, pie, etc., but can also be used to get batter into a pan easier and more evenly. They are affordable as well.
Baking Bowls / Mixing Bowls
I know you probably already have baking bowls, but how many do you have? What sizes are they? And are they lightweight/stainless steel? These are 3 key things to look out for when buying baking bowls. In terms of size, baking bowls come in every size. And yes, the really small bowls are useful too…specifically for prepping. Having many baking bowls can make your experience quicker and easier. Buying lightweight stainless steel bowls are your best bet because well, they are light. But beyond that, they are easy to handle, they won’t break, and they can adapt to a variety of temperatures. Similar to how a yeti keeps a hot coffee hot, a stainless steel baking bowl keeps hot ganache hot.
Textured Rolling Pins
Textured rolling pins are great for creating patterns and designs quickly. They’re easy to use and you can use multiple at the same time so each design is different. Lastly, they are affordable and durable, and do not require a lot of care.
Parchment paper is an absolute MUST! Because parchment paper is treated with silicone, it is heatproof, nonstick, and grease resistant. It is most commonly used as a liner for baking sheets to prevent stickiness/browning. It also makes the clean-up process easier since you won’t need to spend time scrubbing the browning and remnants of the food off the pan. Wrapping foods in parchment paper also creates insulation, resulting in a moist/tender texture.
Serrated Knife and Cake Slicer
If you’re trying to recreate a layered cake, then you’re going to need a serrated knife and cake slicer. Again, to become a good baker, precision is key. This knife and slicer will make perfectly even cake layers every time!
Oven Thermometer / Candy thermometer
To find the right temperatures for your unique projects, you’re going to need both an oven thermometer and a candy thermometer. Unless you have a brand new oven, there’s a chance your oven’s temperature is inaccurate. Place an oven thermometer in your oven to ensure it’s the right temperature every time. And if you want to make perfect caramel or marshmallow fluff, then you need a candy thermometer. Remember, incorrect temperatures will ruin your baking so these are important!
Because precision and consistency are key, I highly recommend you invest in a scale. Scales are great for calorie counting and determining serving size. Scales also just make baking so much easier because they give exact measurements. You won’t have to worry about your second cake coming out as good as your first because your scale is 100% reliable. You can also measure things more accurately with a scale than with a cup. For example, measuring chopped up chocolate in a cup is not as accurate as measuring it on a scale. Finally, they are affordable, they’re easy to clean, and reasonably sized.
If you’re trying to recreate that lemon zest you love on that key lime pie last or that grated cheese or chocolate, then you need a microplane grater. Microplane graters are efficient and precise, they cut food without tearing or shredding it, they’re versatile, and they are easy and effortless gadgets to use. Did I mention they’re affordable and durable?
For all of you that put your freshly baked cakes, cupcakes, pies, muffins, and more on your counter after taking it out of the oven, you’re doing it all wrong…. Although your baked goods are probably cooling, they are not cooling evenly. The bottom of the baked good is cooling incredibly slower than the top which is why you need to invest in a cooling rack.
As a general rule, you should have at least 8 baking pans. The classic sizes and number of pans for each size are: Three 9 inch cake pans, two 9 inch square pans, two 12 count cupcake pans, one 9 inch pie plate, one 9×13 baking pan, one 24 count mini cupcake pans, one 9×5 loaf pan.
A Variety of Spatulas and Whisks
With all the stirring and mixing that your blenders will not be doing, your spatulas and whisks will do instead! You’re also going to need a tool that scrapes the last bits of batter onto your pan which is one of the many reasons why you need a spatula. I recommend getting two whisks, a bigger and smaller one, and a set of spatulas that come in different sizes. I have linked a few below.