A Baking Kitchen Shopping Guide

several baking tools
Prime Day is upon us and we all know what that means:  shopping for outrageous deals on Amazon.  And if you've been following along here at The Bake Dept, we're doing a spot of baking.  So as such, I thought maybe a Baking Kitchen Shopping Guide in time for Prime Day might aid you in your baking-all-the-time-goals.

Do note, the shopping links forthwith are Amazon affiliate links which, if you buy, you won't pay extra but I may earn some pocket change.  Helping me actually helps you as pocket change adds up to ingredients which means more baking posts for you!  Please see the "info" tab above for details.

(Be sure to sign your account up with Amazon Smiles so that every purchase you make gives back to the charity of your choice.)

While I'm no future-seeing guru, I can't predict what will be on sale, I can offer you recommendations on types of items I use personally that I find to be a tremendous help in the kitchen while baking.

I am an advocate for making it work with whatcha got because I'm a thrifty dollar stretcher.  I will definitely encourage you to avoid juuuust about every single-use tool but for sure, baking tools are as important as recipes and baking tips.

One of the single use tools I will indeed heavily nudge you to buy is an ice cream maker though.  Homemade ice cream is *chef's kiss,* awesome.  Mine is the Cuisinart.

Anywhoo, whether you're just getting started with your baking journey or you're a long time baker, there will be something here for you.

Let's see what we can find!

A very elementary necessity is a kitchen thermometer.  I have the red ThermoPro and while it works, the battery cover busted off, the probe won't fit back closed, and the buttons are fussy so don't buy the hype on this one. 

Do get one though as it makes nailing the perfect water temperature for blooming yeast spot-on-easy or testing the boiling sugar temp for Cocoa Mountain Frosting a cinch.

Another basic necessity is a kitchen scale.  In all honesty, I don't use it as much as I should as I assume most people do not have one therefore cups are key to list in the recipes I share, but it is incredibly handy to have.

kitchen scale and thermometer
I use it every single time for the Perfect Thin Crust Pizza which results in, well, perfect pizza.

I have the Ozeri and it's been great.  The little non-slip feet have fallen out and the plastic across the readout is bubbly warped but it works.

Let's talk mixers.  The gold standard and the one we each dream about is of course a KitchenAid stand mixer

If you can swing it, do it.  The one my parents gave me has been soldiering for decades.  It's a workhorse.  Now I have my mom's mixer too which is older and that one is just as hellbent on stirring, mixing, and whipping until the end of time too.

A handheld mixer is the gateway and I will wholeheartedly support it.  Sometimes Aldi has mixers which I hear are great.  In the end, a powered gizmo that handles the task for you opens the Easy Door to many a recipe.

Now we need something to bake in:  pans.

Pans.  Pans are endless.  I know.  It's overwhelming.  There's a pan for every-freakin'-thing.  Don't get caught in that trap.  Which pan is the best?  What brand?  What type?  Omg, it's too much to bear because everyone bakes differently, everyone has a different opinion.

As I've mentioned, I am partial to insulated baking pans.  I know there's a ton of hate for them but I really don't get it.  These things turn out perfect cookies every single time.  Perfect everything, IMHO.

Other pans as part of this Baking Kitchen Shopping Guide for success:

Cake, of course.  I have three eight inch (light colored aluminum), also have three nine inch (Chicago Metallic, dark metal) plus others but these are fundamentals.  Despite all the foot stomping you'll find on the internet, I haven't found any major issues or problems with using either light or dark pans.  Just watch the oven.  Simple.

metal cake pans
Nine by thirteen.  I have two glass and two USA Pan metal ones.  Probably excessive but, I bake.  A lot.  One USA is for cakes and the other is for the Detroit-Style Pizza.  Kinda like being Kosher, haha.

9x13 pans
Loaf.  Either of the typical sizes you find, 8x4 or 9x5 work for pretty much every single recipe.  Metal is best.

metal loaf pan
Pie.  There are heh, pie, so many pie pans out there. 

It's a matter of preference for sure but note each type has it's own thing.  Meaning, glass, you can see through it but note baking times might vary as it's slower to heat.  There's also a chance it can shatter in temperature extremes.  I have a couple glass, one Fat Daddio metal one I have yet to use, and one ceramic one.
image of two pie dishes
Muffin.  Mine, again, is USA Pan because it's non-stick, easy to hand wash to extend its life, and it rocks.

USA Pan muffin tin
If you're not into having loads of different types and sizes of pans, no worries, there are some calculators in the right sidebar there that will help you scale up or down to fit the pans you do have.

Before you get all into using the pans, you've gotta measure the ingredients first, right?!   I know, I'm out of order here.

Measuring spoon sets are the way to go but hot tip:  get a set that has as many sizes as possible rather than sets that have merely a few.  Saves you from having to guess at any measurement.  A set that links together so you're not digging around that damn drawer trying to find that one stinkin' missing spoon too. 

measuring cups and spoons
Dry cups of course.  I have two sets I purchased at Ikea.  They have straight up and down sides, no spout, are lightweight, no rounded areas or strangely shaped spots -- utilitarian and are johnny-on-the-spot.

Liquid measuring cups because sometimes measuring liquids in dry cups, while mostly not advised but we all still do it ha ha ha, makes life less spill-y.  Some larger with spouts and then some smaller with various types of measurements like teaspoons and tablespoons are, yes, thumbs up.

After this measuring, you've gotta have something to mix things in, so how about some glass mixing bowls.  They're non-reactive, you can see through them, and they'll last and last and last.

Whisks, especially those coil types that I love so dearly, get the mixing ball rolling.  Spatulas then help you scoop batters and get every last little bit of heaven out. 

various whisks and a spatula
To cool things, just a couple a' cooling racks is all you need, nothing fancy.  Ones you can fit in a dishwasher are even handier.

For cleaning up, I am newly attached to these little e-cloths, the green ones, like a cross between a rag and a sponge that you can toss in your washing machine.  Love them so much, I stocked up. 

Just plain ol' terry towels, the kind you can find in the automotive aisle at the hardware store heh, those are great.  While they're not Instagram-worthy, if you trash one with blueberry stains, you yourself will not be crushed.

After all is said and done, you've washed your hands a zillion times and they're dry as a desert, Working Hands makes you feel like a human again.

image of several different tools for baking
Obviously this little Baking Kitchen Shopping Guide does not cover everything.  Just now looking in my baking tool drawer, I see I can list off a slew of other items but this covers what you need to make a multitude of recipes.

So let's get baking then, shall we?!  Yay!  Happy baking!

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