Welcome to my resource page of tools for serious bakers. Contrary to what kitchen stores would have you believe, you do not have to own every gadget and expensive piece of equipment under the sun to be able to turn out great baked goods.

What you really need are some basic tools and equipment and a solid understanding of both ingredient function and mixing methods.

You may also be interested in my list of Cooking 101 Basics.

For ease of browsing, you can find all my baking fundamentals posts in one place. Thanks for visiting!

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Tools for Serious Bakers: Sometimes Less is More

I have been baking for a very long time now. I went through a phase where I simply had to own every single baking tool out there.

I probably used 90% of these tools only once or twice before getting rid of them. Often even cleaning them seemed to be more trouble than any effort saved by actually using them.

At this point, I’m in my less-is-more phase, choosing to spend my money on well-built multi-taskers that will last for years rather than “but wait, there’s more” gadgets that aren’t very robust at all.

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I am sharing my top picks must-have tools for serious bakers with you so you can know my recommendations.

I own almost everything on this list, and I use everything on a very regular basis.

I hope my recommendations help you when it comes time for you to either replace old tools or purchase new ones. I want you to feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth!

These aren’t listed in order from most used to least used, or from most expensive to least expensive. Rarely will you need to use all these tools for the same job.

If you do have to use all ten items to make one dish, you might want to consider never making that particular dish again unless you are a fan of doing the dishes!

  1. KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield
    $459.99 $374.62

    This is my pick for the best mixer for home bakers. Many people will recommend a bowl-lift mixer, and I have one myself, but for ease of adding ingredients, tilt head is the way to go. The Artisan looks great, comes in a bunch of colors, and is a workhorse for people who bake every day. It's more than sufficient for the occasional baker, and it should last you for years and years.

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    07/18/2024 04:24 pm GMT
  2. Norpro Stainless Steel Scraper/Chopper, 6in/15cm x 4in/10cm
    $9.24
    • One-piece construction means the handle won't come off
    • Six-inch ruler allows for measuring on the fly
    • Tons of uses from cutting biscuits to scraping your countertops
    • Easy to store and dishwasher safe
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    07/19/2024 01:00 am GMT
  3. Escali Primo Digital Food Scale
    $28.34

    Don't let its small price and small size fool you. The Escali Primo is an accurate and easy-to-use food scale that I have used for years. It's easy to store, easy to use, has a tare function, and easily switches between grams and ounces/pounds for accurate measurements.

    Purchase Now How & Why to Use a Kitchen Scale

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    07/19/2024 12:57 am GMT
  4. French Tapered Rolling Pin
    $9.99

    A French rolling pin is lightweight and the tapered ends make it very easy to roll a radius or vary pressure across the surface of the pin. I much prefer a tapered pin to a straight one.

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    07/19/2024 12:57 am GMT
  5. OXO Good Grips 3 Piece Silicone Spatula Set
    $20.95

    This link is an update to my original recommendation. I need to pick these up, because OXO has improved on the original with a sleek, one-piece design. No more heads falling off!

    With just these 3 spatulas, you can do 90% of your spatula work. From scraping rounded bowls (the pink one), to peanut butter jars (green) to getting into the corners of your food processor bowl (white), this is a great all-purpose set. I would even suggest getting two sets if you do a lot of cooking and baking.

    • They don't discolor or retain smells
    • Dishwasher-safe
    • Good size for home use
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    07/18/2024 04:23 pm GMT
  6. Anchor Hocking Glass Mixing Bowls, Mixed, Set of 10
    $47.74 $39.99
    • Multiple sizes for mixing, storing, and mise en place
    • Clear Glass is insulative to keep cold stuff cold and hot stuff hot
    • Dishwasher-safe
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    07/19/2024 12:30 am GMT
  7. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6)
    $29.99
    • Rounded sides make it easy to mix pie dough, toss salads, and more
    • Multiple sizes for many uses
    • Larger sizes perfect for a double boiler
    • Ideal the inner bowl of an ice bath
    • Conductive metal allows foods to cool (or heat) quicklyd
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    07/19/2024 12:31 am GMT
  8. Lavatools Javelin PRO Backlit Professional Digital Instant Read Thermometer
    $58.00 $49.99
    • Small probe won't make huge holes in your food
    • Accurate and fast readings
    • Results in either Fahrenheit or Celcius
    • Display is backlit for easy readings
    • Probe folds away for easy storage
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    07/19/2024 02:19 am GMT
  9. Silpat Premium Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat, Half Sheet
    $28.50 $15.95
    • Can be used over and over again
    • Great for baking macarons, profiteroles, and eclairs
    • Perfect for pouring molten candy on to shape and cool
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    07/19/2024 12:34 am GMT
  10. Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet, 2-Pack, Silver
    $29.99
    • Won't warp in the oven
    • Dishwasher safe if you don't mind them not being shiny (I don't care)
    • Will literally last forever unless you use them for target practice
    • Light surface guards against over-browning on the bottoms of cookies and more
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    07/19/2024 12:33 am GMT
  11. Fat Daddio's Bakeware Sets
    • Lightweight aluminum
    • Rolled top edges keep pans from warping
    • Light color keeps baked goods from over-browning
    • Straight sides means no trimming
    • Come in a wide array of sizes
    • 2" depths as well as 3" depths
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  12. Baking Steel - The Original Ultra Conductive Pizza Stone (14"x16"x1/4")
    • Heavy for even heating and heat retention
    • Can stay on the bottom shelf of your oven
    • Allows for super crispy pizza crust in a home oven
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  13. Winco Stainless Steel Piano Wire Whip, 10-Inch
    $6.41
    • Wires securely embedded inside the handle
    • Dishwasher safe
    • Multiple wires allow for excellent aeration
    • Will last forever
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    07/19/2024 12:38 am GMT
  14. Parchment Sheets for Half-Sheet Pans
    $19.65 $15.57
    • Cut to fit perfectly in a half-sheet pan
    • Can be cut into circles if necessary
    • No need to cut for different-sized rectangles. Just fold to fit.
    Purchase Now

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    07/19/2024 12:38 am GMT
  15. Microplane Classic Zester Grater, Black
    $14.99 $13.99

    What started out as a woodworking tool has come into its own in the kitchen. I have two Microplanes, and I love them.


    If you've never used one before, here's what you can do with them:

    • zest citrus fruit like a dream
    • grate hard spices like nutmeg and cinnamon
    • mince garlic and ginger into a fine paste
    • shower hard grating cheese over your pasta or pizza
    • grate cocoa butter into your smoothies
    • make baby-fine shavings of chocolate
    • and more
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    07/19/2024 01:00 am GMT

Questions?

If you have questions about this post or about any of these equipment recommendations, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.

If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.

5 golden stars for rating recipes

And that does it. My list of truly must-have tools for serious bakers.

I hope you find this list helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Email me.

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29 Comments

  1. As my father turns wood into really cool things I asked him to make me a rolling pin and got TWO instead. a french and a fat one for everything else. OMG, if you have the means BUY a pin from a wood turner!! they are FANTASTIC!

    I agree with most things on this list, except the glass bowls. Because I own dogs and as I do not allow them in my kitchen … they still go in and also spy hop on my counters from time to time. I can not have glass bowls as the risk of them hurting my animals is very concerning to me. glass breaks! steel does NOT!

    My kitchen-aid is the smaller version (can not afford the bigger version). there are other brands that are just as good though, that shouldn’t be dismissed too … not everyone can afford a kitchen-aid.

    Wisks are nice to keep around … in a whole lot of sizes too. from BIG to teeny.

    great blog! found by accident when I was looking up what a quenelle was. Now, I want to exsplore what else I can use cheesecake batter for ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi, Lisa! I’m so glad you found me through your quenelle research! I think it is awesome that you have hand-turned rolling pins made by your dad. So special, and I bet they’re of a really nice weight, too!

      All your other points are completely valid, and pet safety is very important to me too. We have all the cats!

      As to your cheesecake batter, swirl it into brownie batter, into spice cake batter, and pipe a small blob into muffin batter before baking. Would be amazing with pumpkin muffins! Any batter should act as a good insulator for the cheesecake batter, keeping it from needing to be baked in a water bath.

      Thanks again for your comment, and I hope you enjoy exploring!

  2. Thank you!! I agree with your multitasking philosophy 100%. I have a few tools that are in need replacement and I have complete confidence shopping for your recommended items. Your explanations outlining why each tool is important to a baker, what theyโ€™re best used for and your product recommendations are on point. Iโ€™ve just found your site while searching for a recipe and will enjoy browsing.

    1. Yup,it was a toss up between Silpat and parchment, and I use both regularly. Silpat won because it’s not disposable, but there’s a place for both in my kitchen, and I think there should be a place for both in every kitchen. Thanks so much for stopping in!

  3. Hallelujah and praise God! “If you consider yourself a serious baker and you donโ€™t have a scale, then youโ€™re not a serious baker. Weighing your ingredients is so much more accurate than using volume measures for ingredients that can pack down (flour being the most critical).” I have been trying to tell folks this for a Very Long Time. Why, oh, why, won’t they listen to me? I’ll be sharing this link liberally about the place in the hope that they will listen to you, Oh Great Oracle of Baking Knowledge. Sadly, my hopes will probably be deflated, much like over-proved bread. Deep sigh.

    Also, it is my dying wish to someday finally own a tapered pin from Chef Felisha. Not that I am dying or anything, but I just wanted to express the seriousness of my wish. ๐Ÿ™‚ Her pins are gorgeous.

    I have a Kenwood Major with a 6.7 liter bowl and a 1200W motor. It’s not as pretty as the KitchenAid but, boy, howdy, can that sucker mix and knead. I think they are hard to come by in the US though. And they are fairly costly, but worthy every penny.

    1. I have a Viking 7-quart, but it’s a first generation and it needed some tweaking. I would love to have a Kenwood. I’d rather something be a workhorse than look like a centerfold! And the Kenwoods tilt, don’t they? I would love a 6- or 7-quart tilt that works a bit better than the Viking. Sigh.

      One day, you and I will both own Chef Felisha pins! =D

  4. I have the Escali V136 Pana Measuring Scale and love it. Very easy to punch in a common ingredient, weigh it and even convert to grams/ounces if desired.

    Couldn’t live without parchment!

    How about a sifter – or do you use a mesh strainer, whisk or food processor?

    1. I just use a fine mesh strainer, Niko. I used to have a sifter with the turny handle and one with the squeezy handle. Both made an enormous mess, or rather I made an enormous mess with them both! lol I love parchment sheets, but the Reynold’s stuff that comes in a roll makes me swear and swear. It never cuts evenly and it rolls up and makes me Very Very sad. =)

      1. Oh yeah, that Reynolds parchment has exhausted my cursing vocabulary many times. Here’s a tip: the giant parchment rolls they sell at Sam’s Club are vastly superior — cut evenly, and don’t curl (or at least don’t curl much). Plus the massive rolls last a loooong time.

      2. I really want to get the full sheet pan-sized parchment from a food service website, but it’s hard to justify 500 pieces (for a total of 1000 1/2 sheet size). And where to store it?! I’m not a member at Sam’s but a friend is a Costco member. I’ll ask her if she can find it there. Thanks, Maggie!

  5. Excellent list and many of these items, the ones I don’t already own, are on my wish list. Those KitchenAid mixers are dirt cheap; they sell for double that in Europe! And I love those nesting bowls and would love them. And everyone does need a set of silicone spatulas… mine are my favorite and most used kitchen utensils. Great list!

  6. I must be a serious baker because I have everything on this list or at least my version. After using my daughters 6 quart lift bowl mixer last year when my things were in storage I have to tell you I could not have been happier to get back to my little 5 quart tilt head KitchenAid. It’s a workhorse in my kitchen and beyond living on the counter I just found the difference in operation between the two substantial and prefer the tilt head enough that if and when my ‘old girl’ (29years!) dies I’ll replace it with the same model.

    I also have a tapered rolling pin but I never use it. I’m sure you’re right but I can’t help myself; when I open that drawer and see my Grandma’s rolling pin sitting right next to it I go for it each time!

    I’m sure you have helped build a Christmas list or two Jenni and made Santa’s job a lot easier! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. There is something to be said for the nostalgia of using grandma’s. I won’t try and talk you out of it. But I will try to talk you into giving the tapered pin a try just once. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. That was a great list and I only lacked a few items which is on my Christmas list for ME! Thanks for the time and effort you put into getting information out to us bakers. The most important thing I have is YOU for all the good recipes,tips and videos. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi Jenni,

    A wonderful set of tools and I could agree more about the kitchen scale. A scale has the power to super-charge your baking and take it to another level.

    Thank you also for the mention of our rolling pins. I take great pride in making them and I know that each person that has one loves them as well. You are the best.

    Have an amazing Halloween as well dear. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Felisha

    1. Halloween is my favorite, and I will finally be home after a week at my parents’ house helping them out!

      I love your pins, and one day I will own one. Or three. I love that there is an artisan out there I know and trust and can feel good referring folks to. xo

  9. I sort of knew what I’d see on the list when I clicked over from Facebook, and indeed it’s spot on. Better yet, the reasoning behind the choices are presented with thought, and based on experience. Excellent work, my dear!

    1. Thanks Brooks! Viviane pointed out that she’d add whisk to her list, and I had to go and add it as an “oops–what is wrong with me?!” I use my whisk all the time! ๐Ÿ™‚

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