Even the most novice home baker is likely to have most of the basic equipment – cookie sheets, cake pans, mixing bowls, a hand mixer and all the necessary measuring cups and spoons. But as you get more experienced with your baking, and want to try new things, you may find yourself interested in some of the more specialized pieces of baking equipment. Here are some of the best baking gadgets to consider adding to your kitchen.
Pizza Stone. If you’ve ever tried to make your own pizza at home, then you know how hard it is to get pizzeria quality crust from your oven. Most of this is because the temperature of most home ovens only goes up to around 500°, while pizzeria ovens can reach almost twice that. A pizza stone is a large flat stone or tile that you place in the oven as it preheats, and can help you close the gap in your search for crispy crust. The stone absorbs and retains heat, so that when you insert the pizza, the crust will start cooking much more quickly and intensely than if you’re just using a cookie sheet.
Pizza Peel. A pizza peel is a flat board or piece of metal with a long handle, on which you can construct your pizza. When the oven is ready you use the pizza peel to quickly slide your pizza onto the stone, so you’ll be able to keep your oven at a hotter temperature and get the results you’re looking for.
Silicone Baking Sheet. A silicone baking sheet looks like a rubber mat, and can be a great way to make sure your cookies bake evenly, don’t burn, and don’t stick to your cookie sheets.
Cherry Pitter. When cherry season rolls around, many of us love to bake fresh cherry pies or put together other cherry deserts. But the prospect of trying to pit cups and cups of cherries without a cherry pitter can sometimes make us change our minds. Even though you won’t be able to use a cherry pitter for any other task, you’ll find it an invaluable tool.
Cake Decorating Tools. There are a virtually endless number of choices when it comes to cake decorating tools. You might only want to personalize the occasional birthday cake, or you might want to decorate something much more intricate and detailed.
Cookie Gun. A cookie gun can be a great gadget to have when making holiday cookies. You load a cookie gun with homemade or store-bought dough (most often a sugar cookie type dough), then “shoot” your desired cookie shape directly onto the cookie sheet. Most cookie guns come with different shaped nozzles, so that you can make many different shapes of cookies. In most cases, it would be virtually impossible to create the same shapes without the benefit of the cookie gun.
Baking Scale. It seems like more and more recipes, particularly those where precision is key, are giving ingredients by weight, rather than by volume. There’s some range when you measure ingredients by volume, and having a scale can make sure you’re always exact.
The great thing about most of these kitchen gadgets is that they’re relatively inexpensive, so you can add each one whenever you have a little bit extra in your budget.