Lately, I’ve been spending the majority of my time baking in the kitchen. I have a pretty solid routine going and it’s working out well so far. Over the past week, I realized how attached I am to certain baking tools. I even noticed that I tend to play favorites in the kitchen. There are certain items that I rarely use and sometimes wonder why I bought. Then there are the tools I use every time I bake without fail. I guess this is pretty normal (or at least I hope it is). Everyone has their favorite trusty whisk that they’ve had for 10 years and can’t imagine ever parting with……..or is that just me?? Either way, I wanted to share some of my favorite kitchen tools with you guys.
The following list is made up of items that I find indispensable in the kitchen and use on a regular basis. You might have a lot of these items already, but if you don’t, it doesn’t hurt to check them out. In an effort to remain impartial, I won’t name specific brands. We all have our favorites and I wouldn’t want to unfairly promote one over another. On that note, let’s get cracking on this list!
This might seem like a super random item, but I seriously love my flat whisk. No joke. I use it every time I bake. What I love most about this whisk is that it pulls double duty. It can be used like a normal whisk to help aerate and mix together dry ingredients and it can also be used to stir sauces and batters (this is where it really excels). Due to its flat shape, it can get into every little nook in your bowl or saucepan – something a normal whisk doesn’t do as well. Obviously, you can’t use it to whip egg whites or cream, so it doesn’t replace the need for a balloon whisk. Still, it’s a great addition to any kitchen.
These are an absolute essential for me. I have a wide assortment of heatproof spatulas, just because they are so useful. I use them to scrape down bowls, spread batters, stir hot liquids, and much more. The key here is to make sure your spatula is heatproof, especially if you want to use it with anything hot. One time, I had a very unfortunate experience making caramel. I was at my parent’s house and assumed all their spatulas were heatproof. Turns out, I was very wrong and didn’t realize it until I took the spatula out of the hot caramel and saw that half of it had melted! Lesson learned.
Silicone Baking Mats
Surprisingly, it took me quite a while to get on board with these mats. I thought they were unnecessary, expensive, and that I could just use parchment or foil in their place. When I finally sucked it up and bought one, I was proven wrong. These mats are amazing. Nothing sticks to them. Seriously……nothing. I even spread sticky caramel on them and it just comes right off. Another perk is that they’re reusable, which makes them a little more eco-friendly (and cost effective) then going through tons of parchment paper. If you’re on the fence about buying one, I highly recommend giving it a shot. You won’t regret it!
I don’t know why I love my mini spatula so much. Maybe because it’s small and cute looking? Whatever the reason, this tool is perfect for a wide variety of tasks. It’s great for small jobs, such as frosting a cupcake or spreading filling on homemade Pop Tart (like in the picture at the beginning of this post). It’s also great for spreading out small amounts of caramel or chocolate in a thin, even layer. To be honest, a mini-offset spatula probably isn’t a kitchen “essential,” but I love mine so it’s staying on the list.
Ohhhh how I adore my stand mixer. It’s like my baby. My big, metal, awesome at mixing large quantities of dough baby. If my kitchen was on fire and I had to save one baking tool this would be it………although that would probably be a stupid move because it’s crazy heavy and would totally slow me down while trying to run away from the fire. Anyways…….when it comes down it, this is the baking tool I find most essential. It can handle any task, from whipping eggs to making brioche dough, and it makes my life infinitely easier (I sound like a lame commercial – but it’s true!). Stand mixers can be a little pricey, so purchasing one is a bit of an investment. You could probably also get by without one and mix everything by hand. The truth is though, once you have one you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. If you’re going to splurge on one big item for your kitchen, this is definitely the one.
I’m constantly washing my hands in the kitchen. After attending an eight hour Food Safety class detailing all the ways you can die from foodborne illnesses, you get a little obsessive about hand washing. All the washing really takes a beating on my hands (what is with me and sounding like cheesy commercials today?). A good moisturizer is necessary to keep my hands in shape. Okay, here I’m actually going to break my rule of not naming specific brands – only because I love this brand so much and they make incredible hand creams. I can’t not give them a shout out! In my opinion, L’Occitane makes the best hand creams on the market. They’re super hydrating, lightweight, and don’t leave your hands feeling greasy. They also come in a variety of great scents. My two favorites are the Lavender Hand Cream and the Shea Butter Honey Whipped Body Cream (which I just found out was a limited edition and sold out and now I’m sad). You really can’t go wrong with any of their products though.
Well, that’s my list! Is there anything you think I left off? What are your favorite items in the kitchen? I’d love to hear what you think!