Before you can take on any baking products you will need to make sure that your kitchen is equipped and ready to go! Kitchen utensils are easy to find, generally inexpensive but they are truly necessary for a successful baking experience. While you probably take for granted the old wooden spoon that you have (have you cleaned it recently?), you may not have paid any attention to your spatula and to the fact that it’s cracked. We are going to go over what a well equipped kitchen needs and what to look for in kitchen utensils.
New materials and technologies have dramatically changed kitchen utensils. Our mothers and grandmothers used wooden spoons, maybe had one rubber spatula (often called the “good scraper”) and maybe one or two glass mixing bowls. These items tended to be expensive and difficult to find in some small towns. That has radically changed.
Silicone And Kitchen Utensils
Silicone is an inert material. It’s a synthetic rubber which contains bonded silicon – a natural element, abundant in sand and rock – and oxygen. Using silicone in cookware is a relatively new adventure but it seems to offer limitless options. Often it is used for the working end of utensils, sometimes it makes up the entire utensil. Silicone is easy to clean (although not entirely non-stick), handles high heat well and is quite sturdy.
What kitchen utensils should you have? There is no hard and fast rule about what have handy when you are ready to bake but here are a few suggestions.
- Spatula. One or two, solid and slotted. If you make cookies you will need this.
- Spoons. Again, one or two, solid and slotted. Slotted is used more for cooking, rather than baking, but it is nice to have a slotted spoon handy.
- Scoop spoon (ladle). Often overlooked but extremely useful.
- Tongs. Don’t be cheap here, get tongs with good tension.
- Whisk. I prefer silicone but a wire whisk works just fine.
- Scrapers. People often call these spatulas as well. This utensil is where silicone is wonderful. You should have on heavy duty scraper (with a flat edge) and one or two scrapers with curved edges. You will use scrapers a lot.
- Measuring spoons. Again, one or two sets. Silicone or aluminum are fine.
Mixing Bowls For Baking
There are countless options to chose from when you are looking for the simple, but necessary mixing bowl. There are different materials to chose from-glass, stainless steel, silicone, plastic. Some will have handles, others won’t. Some have lids that are nice when you want to put your mix into the refrigerator. Some sets have 3 sizes of bowls, some sets have 5 sizes. What is important is that you get a good set (not just one, you need a few) of mixing bowls that will serve your baking needs.
Pyrex is one of the well known names when it comes to kitchen utensils. They specialize in glass products and have a history of quality items at fair prices. Their basic 3 piece mixing bowl set is a number one seller at Amazon and it a perfect place to start when you are looking to equip your kitchen. This is a great example of glass being used in the manufacturing of kitchen utensils. You can learn more about the bowls by clicking HERE.
Stainless steel is another option for mixing bowls. Usually stainless steel is dishwasher safe (check to be sure) and stain resistant. It’s lightweight and is usually inexpensive. One of Amazon’s best sellers is a 6 piece stainless steel mixing bowl set from SSD. Six different sized bowls give you plenty of options for mixing, plus these bowls are handy for presenting food for serving. There are also options that include lids but this set is bowls only. You can get more details HERE.
Some people prefer plastic mixing bowls. They are ultra lightweight, durable and easy to clean. While plastic can crack it doesn’t happen much with mixing bowls. They don’t take too much abuse in the baking process although they may not be the best mixing bowls if you are using a hand mixer. Amazon has a best selling 3 piece set that feature non-slip bottoms and rubber grip handles. The handles are great, they make it much easier to hold onto a slippery bowl when mixing. More details can be found HERE.
Do you need different measuring cups for dry ingredients and liquid ingredients? It may seem like a silly question, after all each cup will measure out the same amount by volume. The difference is going to in how you use the measuring cup and it’s convenience.
Measuring cups for liquids will have a pour spout and the measuring guide on the side of the cup will show you the amount without having to fill the cup to the brim. Think about measuring out 1 cup of milk for a recipe. If you use the same measuring cup for the milk that you used for the flour you will find yourself having to fill the cup right to the brim and then pouring the milk into the mixing bowl without spilling. That’s doable but not ideal. The opposite is to try and measure out 1 cup of flour in a measuring cup designed for liquids. How do you even off the amount at 1 cup when the measuring line for 1 cup is well below the rim?
As kitchen utensils go, measuring cups are inexpensive but very important. Again, baking is more of a science and you need accurate measurements. A good set of liquid measuring cups will be clear, volume markings on the outside and with a spout for pouring. Dry measuring cups can be made of any material, wont’ have markings on the outside and will have smooth rims.
Some Other Basic Kitchen Tools
There are other, smaller kitchen utensils that you will want to add. Oven mitts are a must and silicone works very well with these. You will want at least one cooling rack although two is better. Remember to pick up dish towels (baking can be messy). Sifting flour can make a difference in cake recipes so a sifter is a nice addition, as is one or two wooden spoons.