So, you’ve decided to become a culinary master! Or you have at least decided you want to start baking for yourself, and maybe for your friends and family, too.
No matter which level of expertise you’re at or want to reach, you must begin with your kitchen well-stocked with essential culinary tools and products. They don’t have to be expensive Williams-Sonoma items; as you will see, all the products on our top 10 list can be found on Amazon.
Below are 10 must-have baking tools and products that will see you through just about any recipe you embark on.
1. Kitchen Aid Mixer
The Kitchen Aid mixer is a must-have in your home whether you cook or bake. You can use it to mix up cremes, cake batter, doughs, pasta, and even ice cream! It’s compatible with several different attachments which you can collect over time to make specialized recipes. But in the meantime, the classic beater attachment that it comes with will serve you well.
2. Lemon Squeezer
A lemon squeezer helps you extract the juice from a lemon or lime so you don’t hurt your bare hands. It also extracts more juice than you would be able to bring out on your own, with less exertion on your part. A few tablespoons of lemon will brighten your lemon chicken in white wine, lemon cupcakes, cheesecake, and any other recipe you want to add a citrus kick to.
3. Immersion Hand Blender
An immersion hand blender will help you blend up savory sauces, sweet jellies, and smooth, creamy soups. Because this blender is small and fits in your hand, it is easy to clean and doesn’t make as big a mess as a Kitchen Aid.
4. Damascus Chef Knife
A chef knife with a Damascus steel blade will quickly become one of your most valued culinary tools. It enables you to cut through fruits, vegetables, and meat with ease. You can slice up apples for pie, dice up potatoes, carrots, and onions for a pot pie, and carve out filets, all with this one tool.
5. King Arthur Instant Expresso
King Arthur Instant Espresso is ideal for making a scrumptious Italian tiramisu, or for brewing a dark, rich cup of coffee. Espresso has a bold, smooth flavor that pairs well with all sorts of desserts. Keep it on hand if you and your family and friends love desserts. Espresso balances out sugar so you can still taste the dish underneath all the sweetness.
6. King Arthur Cheddar Powder
When it comes to King Arthur Cheddar Powder, brace yourself! This essential baking product comes with a strong cheesy flavor and will turn your creamy dish into a dairy delight. It goes best with a mac and cheese recipe, potatoes au gratin, cheese fries, or another meal where ooey gooey cheesy goodness is the star of the show.
A ladle is a versatile kitchen tool that you will find many applications for, from serving soup to coating apples with caramel. Its wide brim allows you to scoop up large amounts of liquid from a pot. This is an important feature to have when you need to work quickly, such as when you’re removing apples from boiling water after the wax has been melted off the fruit skin.
8. Danish Dough Whisk
If a Kitchen Aid mixer is outside of your budget, I recommend purchasing a Danish dough whisk instead. This tool is not automated, which means you’ll need to put a lot of elbow grease and strength behind it. But it does almost as good a job as a Kitchen Aid, so you can whip up the desserts you love, from cookie dough to cake batter to brownie mixes.
I love ramekins! They’re small so they don’t take up much space in the pantry or the dishwasher, but they’re so useful, too. You can use them to hold Japanese purin, crème Brulee, and pudding. You’ll impress your family and friends when you serve them perfect miniature portions of lasagna or Bolognese.
10. Garlic press
When it comes to whether or not to use a garlic press, my answer is always, “Why not?” It’s not as fancy and doesn’t show as much culinary skill as chopping the garlic up with a chef’s knife. But on the flip side, it’s much faster. If I need to whip up a dish quickly or just don’t feel like taking my time, I’ll use my handy dandy press and produce flavorful chopped-up garlic in 0.5 seconds.
If you live in New York City and you want to learn how to use the products we covered in this list, I’ve got you covered. I am currently offering in-home private cooking classes and baking classes for parties of 10 or less. The birthday cake package includes a custom one-tier cake.
Sign yourself up, or book a class as a holiday present for your closest friends and family members!