Here are three more tools under ten bucks (plus two bonuses) that will help you bake more professionally-be it Christmas cookies, all-American apple pie, devil’s food cake, or homemade bread from a bread machine.
- A couple of large mixing bowls. Every baker needs one or two BIG bowls. Finally, you can whisk your dry ingredients together without covering yourself and your counters with flour. They also come in handy for tossing large salads or holding popcorn on movie night. Glass or stainless steel is great. Avoid plastic if you can, because oil sticks to it, and it can stain. You can buy fancy models, but we like classic Pyrex.
- A good silicone spatula. If your spatula has a wooden handle with a joint at the head, get rid of it! Buy one make of dishwasher-safe, heatproof silicone. Look for a spatula with the joint high up on the handle: less gunk, more sanitary. Better still, buy a seamless one-piece model. If the blade gets nicked up, replace it… those cuts can harbor bacteria.
- A pastry scraper. This little-known tool can take much of the frustration out of working with pizza dough or wet bread doughs. It’s also handy for chopping chocolate. Cooks can use it to scoop up vegetables from the chopping board.
Recommended Reading: Get started with baking by reading our Ultimate Guide to the Best Baking Equipment for Beginners!
Bonus item #1 (over $10): A cookie scoop. Get the Oxo in medium, small, or large. When your cookies are all the same size, they’ll all cook at the same speed. No more half-burnt batches!
Bonus item #2 (an ingredient, not a tool): Callebaut chocolate. Fugeddabout that Baker’s chocolate, and indulge in the Belgian brand preferred by pros. If you’re a chocolate maniac, you can buy it mail order for $55 per 5-kilogram (11-pound) block. Many high-end grocery stores break up those monster blocks and sell them packaged in more reasonable sizes. At about $8 per pound, it’s about the same price as grocery-store chocolates, but the taste is much richer.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!