As you may have noticed reading my blog, I love working in the kitchen. Trying out new recipes and baking scrumptious treats rank high on my list of perfect spare time activities. But they certainly wouldn’t be the same without my trusted tools! I can give up on many things. Luxury clothes? Meh. The newest iPhone? No, thanks. But my kitchen has to be well equipped. Here are the things I can’t live without – without them, my kitchen wouldn’t be complete!
Let’s start with an absolute must-have for baking. Many recipes are cup-based, and – unfortunately – using any cup may not work. Cups and spoons used in recipes have strictly defined volumes, and by using wrong ones you may put the whole baking plan at risk. Having a set of measuring cups and spoons can save the day! They’re inexpensive and can be stacked, so they take close to no space. It’s definitely worth investing in these!
Measuring cups are great, but there may be times when you need to measure a larger amount of some liquid. Or just any amount that doesn’t match any of the standard cups (the “standard” usually being 1, 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 cup). That’s when measuring jugs come in handy. Perhaps not as much of an essential as cups and spoons, but there have been times when I actually felt the need to congratulate myself on buying this.
These will be loved by some and hated by some. Loved, because with silicone spatulas you’ll be able to scrape the bowl perfectly clean when moving your pastry to the baking tray. Hated, because there will be nothing left in the dish for those who like to eat the leftover raw pastry! I absolutely love them and can’t even imagine working in the kitchen without them. My dad, on the other hand, wishes they’d never been invented. 😉 Which side would you be on?
I have nothing against using good old baking paper. In fact, baking paper is one of my kitchen essentials too – though instead of using it to line baking trays, I mainly use it to make my DIY piping cones. But when it comes to baking cookies, I much prefer using silicone mats. They’re reusable (super easy to clean), they don’t wrinkle or move like paper does (they adhere to the tray and don’t move an inch once placed) and you can easily form or cut out your cookies on one of these mats on the table and then transfer the whole mat with cookies onto a baking tray. And they truly are non-stick! They can also be used for rolling out sticky dough, but…
…for rolling out the dough, I’d recommend one of these giant silicone mats. They’re pretty much the same thing, just bigger – when spread on a table, they provide large workspace where you can roll out the dough and/or cut out cookies, without them sticking to the table.
Alright – measuring cups and spoons are handy, but overall I much prefer recipes with ingredients listed in grams – at least when it comes to dry ingredients, fluids are fine listed in cups. Depending on how tightly you pack flour in the cup or how much air gets in it, the actual amount of flour will differ – by quite a lot! This way of measuring ingredients may be quicker and good for those without a scale, but it’s not the most reliable. The same cup-based recipe made by two different people may turn out completely different. It’s easy to alter ingredient proportions without even realizing! Kitchen scales are usually inexpensive and can be total game changer in your kitchen endeavours!
A while ago, I wouldn’t even think of including a hand mixer in my list of kitchen essentials. Not because I don’t find it to be one (I certainly do!) but because I thought it was so obvious, there was no point to mention it. And then the day came when I decided to bake a cake at my ex’s house and discovered he didn’t own a mixer (and quite frankly, I have a suspicion he’s never used one either). It was probably one of the most shocking discoveries I’ve ever made, no joke. I always assumed hand mixers were a staple everyone had. Even if you don’t bake much (or at all), you may still like to make pancakes, for example… right? So yeah, I thought I’d better include a hand mixer in my list. Sure, there are plenty of things you can bake without it… but why miss out on all the scrumptious cakes with whipped cream?!
Ceramic pots and pans are pretty much the only ones I use, for a simple reason – they truly live up to their non-stick description! As I’m not the greatest fan of drowning food in oil, being able to fry and cook things only using the minimum amount of oil is a great asset to me. Even things like pancakes and omelettes come off easily! And the best thing is that – at least from my experience – these pans and pots are extremely durable and don’t lose their non-stick characteristic over time (I’ve been using the same set for years and they still work perfectly). Getting a set of these is an investment, but it’s an investment that will last you years!
What kitchen tools would you call your essentials, things you can’t live without? I’m sure I missed something while making this list!