Whether you bake or cook, there is a certain number of baking equipment items that are necessary or are there to make things easier. I have listed the equipment I use as well as some pieces that either I wish I had or what I think can be helpful to others. Remember that you only need to get the equipment that you know you’ll need. For example, if you know you aren’t going to be tackling cake baking, then you won’t need to buy cake tins. Also, if you are new to baking start with some basic stuff and keep it cheap, you can always upgrade your baking equipment once you are confident in your baking skills.
Basic Baking Equipment:
There are some basic things that most people already have in their kitchen, but are still essential to the home baker. These include whisks, measuring cups and spoons, spatulas, wooden spoons, and oven mitts.
With more than a few models out there, it could be hard to choose. I, myself, swear by the KitchenAid; as the owner of both a 4.5 quart and a large 6 quart. For regular home baking, you would be okay with a small 4-4.5 quart mixer. A mixer is a bit of a higher-priced item, but it does come in very handy. It allows you to mix and use both your hands, and it is quite the time saver.
This is a beautiful piece of equipment and works perfectly fine for every need, especially if you don’t have a stand mixer. Hand mixers have a range of speeds and stores quickly. However, they are not suitable for heavy-duty mixing, so you would have to switch to either hand mixing with a wooden spoon or kneading. I know this for a fact, I have actually burned out a hand mixer on cookie dough.
It is a fantastic multi-tasker for your kitchen. I haven’t had to use this product too often, but when it has come up, I am glad I had it. A food processor can be used for chopping nuts, making pastry dough, and other applications.
Having a scale is good to have in your kitchen. Some cookbooks only use metric weight for their ingredient measurements. Most of them are relatively cheap, and you can pick them up at just about any store that sells kitchen items.
A variety of sizes is essential, but you can start with a large and medium-size and be well prepared. You should also think about what kind of bowls you have. I prefer working with stainless steel bowls because they are light and durable, but I like having heatproof glass bowls on hand. Some recipes require ingredients to be melted or heated over simmering water.
Great for sifting flour and other dry ingredients and is a lot more useful for other jobs than one of those flour sifters. You can get a range of sizes, but to start, I’d recommend a medium-sized sifter with small holed mesh.
You can purchase either ceramic or metal beads designed for when pastry needs to be blind baked (baked without any filling). The weights take the place of the filling, preventing bubbling of the pastry and helping it keep its shape while in the oven. If you want a cheaper option, you can use dried beans, which is what I use, though I do own some ceramic beads as well.
Silicone Baking Mats and Baking Parchment-
Both are handy items, but I would recommend just starting with baking parchment, which will be for lining tins or cookie sheets. You can pick up rolls of parchment paper at any grocery store for relatively cheap. Silicone mats do come in handing for specific bakes, but they are more of a pricey item that could be easily replaced by baking parchment.
Wood is the preferable material for baking since flour sticks to it, making rolling out pastry or cookie dough super easy.
Batter scoops look like ice cream scoops that vary in size. They are the perfect tool if you want an even amount of batter in muffin tins or perfectly sized cookies.
Not just for icing cakes. I have used mine to run around pans to help unstick stubborn cakes. The palette knives I have include two large offset palette knives and two small ones (one is straight and the other offset).
I love this tool, I have purchased a Microplaner Zester, and a small one for my whole nutmeg. You can use the small holes on a cheese grater, but a zester is super sharp, so it is incredibly easy, and your arm doesn’t start hurting after zesting. This is one product I recommend, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
A cheap pastry brush is a beneficial tool to have in your baking kitchen. You can use it to grease bundt pans, applying egg washes or butter on to pastry or bread, and many other jobs. They come in a variety of styles including silicone, and natural bristles, so pick whatever you feel more comfortable using.
Pastry Bags and Tips-
Nowadays, you can pick up beginner kits that include a couple of tips and some pastry bags. I would recommend just picking up one of these small kits instead of investing in a larger one until you have honed your baking and decorating skills. Seeing so many different tips can be very overwhelming, and I find you can use the basic tips to make some beautiful cakes. The pastry bags can be used for many baking jobs and are very versatile, so I usually have a large box of disposable bags in my cupboard. Yes, you can buy reusable bags, but I’m a little lazy when it comes to clean up, so I’d rather toss a bag then spend the time cleaning. That’s just me, so if you want to try the reusable bag, go for it.
With cookie cutters, there is a multitude of choices in style, but for your beginner kitchen, start with just round cutters that range in size. You can use them for cookies, tart shells, and a couple of other applications.
These are wire racks designed to allow air to flow all around your bake to shorten the cooling time. Because I bake a lot of cookies, I bought stackable cooling racks that came in a package of three.
When it comes to buying tins, pans, and trays, it is super easy to get carried away and start buying things you don’t entirely need. When it comes to baking equipment don’t forget that you can always go out and pick up what you need later on. Here are some things to get you started. Here is a list of essential bakeware you should have in your kitchen:
- Two- 8 or 9 inch round or square cake tines
- One- 9-inch springform pan
- Two- metal baking trays (cookie tray)
- One- loaf pan
- Two- muffin trays (12 cups each)
- One- 9-inch glass pie plate
- One- 13×9 metal or glass baking pan
These are just some of the baking equipment I have in my kitchen. Like I said at the start, you don’t need to run out and buy a bunch of stuff. I collected my equipment over a period of time, or as the need arose. Good Luck and Happy Baking.