THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE SALES LINKS. PLEASE SEE OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY FOR DETAILS.
The number of the kitchen tools available can be overwhelming when you're first stocking your kitchen. Over the years, I've used my fair share of kitchen gadgets.
So, I've learned which tools I can and can't bake without. Whether you're a new baker, stocking your first kitchen, or an experienced baker looking for some new tools for your kitchen, the sixteen essentials below are my top kitchen tools to get you started.
Measuring cups/measuring spoons
One of the most basic pieces of kitchen equipment is your measuring set. A sturdy measuring cup and measuring spoon set will serve you well in the kitchen when you're baking or cooking.
And don't forget to pick up a liquid measuring cup!
Pro upgrade: Food Scale
I can't recommend using a food scale enough. It's easy, and it's far more accurate than using measuring cups.
While I love my stand mixer, when you're starting out, a hand mixer is great for most recipes.
Also, I think it's worth it to invest in a decent hand mixer starting off. When I was starting out, I bought a string of cheap hand mixers that burned out quickly. I spent as much, or more, on those cheap mixers than I did when I bought a better one that has lasted me for several years.
I like to have a few different sizes of mixing bowls. Some recipes require two (or more) bowls, so it's nice to have a few to work with.
I also like using glass mixing bowls because they don't stain the way that some plastics can. I also use my glass mixing bowl as a double boiler.
The medium cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoons) is the size that I use in most recipes. It's my go-to cookie scoop.
I also use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop for smaller cookies, and a 4 tablespoon cookie scoop for larger cookies. The 4 tablespoon scoop also works well for portioning cupcake or muffin batter.
There are so many types of baking pans these days! However, these pans are ones that you will reach for over and over again when baking.
Round cake pans
The most common size of round cake pan that you'll need for most recipes will be a 9-inch round cake pan. Another common size is 8-inch round cake pans. I recommend buying two of each so that you can bake layer cakes with the pans.
Square baking pans
A 9x13-inch pan is great for baking all sorts of things! You can use it to bake casseroles, rolls, sheet cakes, sweet rolls, and more!
You can use your pie pan to do more than bake pies for dessert! You can use them to toast nuts or coconut, make a savory pie, and more!
Silicone baking mats
I use my silicone baking mats all the time! I use them so often that I've bought a few sets over the years.
I also use the mats underneath my wire cooling rack when I'm glazing or icing a cake or a quick bread with a drippy glaze so that the mat catches all of those drips.
Fine mesh strainers are useful for everything everything from sifting flour to draining fruit to dusting powdered sugar.
Oven temperatures can vary a ton from what the the oven says the temperature should be. This is why an oven thermometer is so important.
An oven thermometer can help you gauge how your oven bakes so that you can adjust accordingly when baking.
Wire cooling racks are great for cooling cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and more after baking. I like the cooling racks like these that have the wires closer together because I slightly underbake my cookies to keep them soft, and the closer wires help to support the softer cookies.
This wire cooling rack is also great for cooking foods like chicken in the oven. The rack allows air circulation underneath the food and allows fat to drip off and away from the food as it cooks.
A rolling pin is useful for making all sorts of baked goods. You'll need one when making certain types of biscuits, rolled cookies, pie crust, and more.
I use my pastry roller as much or more than I use my full-size rolling pin. I have a couple of these rollers, and I use them from everything from rolling out pizza dough to rolling out sweet roll dough.
I like to have both a smaller cookie spatula and a slightly larger turner. The cookie spatula is a great size for removing cookies from the baking sheet. It also works well for lifting out brownies and pieces of cake from the pan.
Whisks and spatulas
You will find yourself reaching for a whisk with many recipes. They're useful for things like mixing up eggs and mixing together butter and sugar.
I often start whisking a recipe by hand with my whisk and then move on to using a spatula at the end to incorporate things like chocolate chips into the dough.
Spatulas are great for everything from scraping down bowls to scooping peanut butter out of the jar. I like one piece spatulas. I've had the two piece spatulas come part or loosen (and then water from the dishwasher ends up inside of the spatula).
This is the set that I have, and it's held up well with almost daily use for about four years now.
When I started out, I used two forks to try to cut dough into flour, but a pastry blender is so much easier to use! You can use when making biscuits, pie dough, and more.
I like the heavy-duty pastry blenders like this one because they hold up well and aren't as likely to bend with use.