So many choices, so little time. We have narrowed down the 10 Bakeware Essentials that will meet your baking needs.
Most chefs tend to favor sweet or savory cooking, but not both. Home cooks often lean one way or the other too. There are easy tricks and tips to make a better pastry chef out of a savory one. When it comes to the reality of baking, it’s more of a science than with cooking. Careful weight and measurements matter a great deal, and the right tools play an important role.
Your 10 Bakeware Essentials
When baking, a food scale is essential for the perfect results. Many people do not realize that a cup of liquid and a cup of flour have a different weight. Recipes that provide amounts by weight vs other forms of measurements will give you better and more consistent results when baking. A scale also does double duty to control meal portions if that is a priority for you.
Look for a food scale that is portable, has a flat base, a high degree of accuracy and is user friendly. I choose Etekcity Digital Kitchen Scale Multifunction Food Scale, 11 lb 5 kg, Silver, Stainless Steel. It does everything I want and looks nice on the counter.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Having a proper set of wet and dry measuring tools are essential for getting good results. As mentioned, in baking precision is extremely important. Having a set of measuring cups can help you avoid having to wash multiple times to measure different ingredients.
Wet Ingredient Measuring Cup
You can find a variety of products but look for items that are comfortable to use. Light, easy to read, and secure grip are what you what.
OXO Good Grips 4-Piece Angled Measuring Cup set is perfect for almost all my needs and checks off all my wants.
Dry Ingredient Measuring Cups
Whether you need to measure a cup of flour or brown sugar, something durable, sturdy, with a large variety of standard sizes is what you are looking for. Bellemain Stainless Steel Measuring Cup Set, 6 Piece is the set I use. This set checks off all the items, including the ¾ cup size which normally you have to buy separately.
The criteria I look for is the same as dry measuring cups; durable, sturdy, single piece with all the sizes I need. My preference are the Natizo Set of 8 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons - With 1/2 Tablespoon, 1/8, 1/3 and 1/16 Teaspoon - Metric and US Measurements. Again, they have hard to find sizes that make baking or cooking a breeze.
Whether you are mixing pancake batter or coleslaw, mixing bowls are the definition of kitchen essential. The characteristics of a good mixing bowl is the versatility and sturdiness of the bowl. AVACRAFT 18/10 Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl set with Lids, Non-Slip Silicone Bottom, Handle, Pour Spouts and Measurement Marks, I love these because not only they have lids for storing in the fridge but they have spouts. The 18/10 gauge Stainless Steel gives durability and silicon non-slip bottom gives me the security of knowing I’m not going to slide this puppy off the counter while using my hand mixer in it.
Baking dishes are crucial in making anything from casseroles to roasting meats to baking brownies. If it’s really nice, then you can also use it for serving. As I mentioned before, I like double duty so I pay a little more for it. That’s my preference but it doesn’t have to be yours. I will give you other options.
I used the Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware 12-by-9-Inch Rectangular Dish in Cherry Red. Le Creuset gives you so many pretty color options. I take it from the oven to the table, it's that beautiful.
Emile Henry made In France HR Modern Classics Large Rectangular Baker, 13 x 9" is another lovely option that can go from oven to table. They don’t have as my color options as Le Creuset but still offer the same high quality and craftsmanship.
A different budget-friendly standard is the Pyrex Easy Grab 4-Piece Value Pack, includes 1-ea 3-qt Oblong, 2-qt Oblong, Red Plastic Covers. I like this set because it gives you 2 sizes and has lids to match. The only issue is that plastic lids will crack over timeand have to be replaced, but Pyrex offers replacement lids for purchase as well.
Sheet and Cake Pans
For cake pans look for a heavy pan to avoid warping or twisting. I use Fat Daddio's Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pan, 6 Inches by 2 Inches. These are small and sturdy cake pans that give you the most even baking results.
You can also use your baking sheet pans for baking small cakes by baking a very flat cake and cutting out round circles to create mini cakes. Layer them or keeps them single then decorate. The cakes are cute and keep the calories to a minimum.
I use sheet pans not only for baking cookies, but also to roast veggies. I have both the 1/2 sheet and 1/4 sheet sizes. A full-size sheet pan does not fit in most standard residential ovens. Look for heavy duty aluminum construction because sheet pans tend to warp. And choose a non-stick coating which will get damaged over time and prevents carmelization on the food. Use a silicon pad or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
The Bellemain Heavy Duty Aluminum Half Sheet Pan, 18" x 13" x 1" is ideal for reasons mentioned. It is built to last and does not have a non-stick coating .
For the quarter sheet, the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Quarter Sheet is a good choice not only for baking and roasting but for food prep as well.
Add the Bellemain Cooling Rack - Baking Rack , Chef Quality 12 inch x 17 inch - Tight-Grid Design, Oven Safe, Fits Half Sheet Cookie Pan to use for baking crunchy baked chicken or fish and cooling off cookies.