Updated July 2019. If there’s one thing I am unashamedly “geeky” about, it’s kitchen items. I could spend hours at Bed Bath & Beyond browsing all the gadgets. There’s just so many! I wish there were Sur La Table or Le Creuset stores closer to Chattanooga, but I guess it’s better for my bank account that there’s not.
Every Southern baker has a whole collection of his or her favorite kitchen tools. My collection is almost complete—there are still a few items on my kitchen wish list. But those will come once I have more space to store said items.
Here are 15 of my favorite kitchen items that every Southern baker needs!
You just can’t go wrong with any of these.
Stand mixer. Okay, so I don’t actually own one of these yet (curse having a small kitchen with limited storage), but you can bet once I move to my new apartment with a bigger kitchen, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer will be the first purchase I make. I find some reason to use my mom’s stand mixer every time I’m home.
If you don’t have a stand mixer (or don’t have room for one), then a hand-held mixer is a great alternative.
A good set of pots and pans. These days I do a lot of cooking with my cast iron skillets, but a dependable set of non-cast-iron pots and pans is always good to have, too. My parents gave me their previous set of Calphalon cookware when I moved into my apartment in college, and they’re still going strong.
Silicone baking mat. I underestimated how much I’d love one of these things. Silicone baking mats cut down on parchment paper usage and they’re super easy to clean.What are some of your favorite kitchen items to keep on hand? Click To Tweet
Mixing bowls. Solid, sturdy mixing bowls are severely underrated kitchen items. I bought a cheap set in college, and they lasted me about four years, but I wished I’d just gotten a solid set from the get-go. These bowls are pretty similar to the set I have.
Cast iron skillet. I don’t know what I did before I had cast iron skillets. My grandfather actually gave me a couple of his old skillets several years ago, and to be honest, the best cast iron skillets are the ones handed down through the family. But these skillets from Smithey are great quality. I also love Lodge Cast Iron. Their website also has great tips for skillet use and care.
Heavy bundt pan. Another item on my “to buy when I get moved and have more space” shopping list. I don’t make cakes often, but I love a good bundt cake. I’m obsessed with Lodge’s fluted cake pan,
Whisk. I know, it sounds obvious, but a whisk is a really important kitchen tool. The bigger the “bloom” of the whisk, the better it’ll whip up whatever you’re whipping (meringue, whipped cream, egg yolks for custard or dressing, etc.).
Rubber spatula(s). Again, it sounds obvious, but a good rubber spatula will make mixing and folding so much easier. You can opt for a fancier, double-ended spatula, but the best ones are silicone, heat-resistant spatulas.
Casserole dish. These are so versatile—you can bake just about anything in a casserole baking dish. Mac & cheese, Rice Krispy treats, big batch of brownies, an actual casserole, a poke cake, the options are nearly endless. I have a set of Pyrex dishes, which I love, but these ceramic baking dishes are another great option.13 of the best kitchen items for every Southern chef or baker Click To Tweet
Dutch oven. Last item on my “to buy when I have more space” list! Dutch ovens tend to be pretty pricey, so they’re another good passed-down-the-family-tree kitchen item. Again, huge fan of Lodge’s Dutch ovens, but you can find some that aren’t crazy expensive.
Measuring cups & spoons. Some people claim they can “eyeball” measurements, but if you want to do it right, you have to measure accurately. Measuring cups that are collapsible are a godsend for tight spaces (I love these in particular).
Muffin tin. Not just for muffins and cupcakes—a muffin tin can be used for so many meals and snacks. I made egg cups the other day, and you can flip the tin over and toast tortillas in the gaps to make taco shells or bowls. Always go with nonstick pans!
Piping bags and tips. These are more relevant if you’re big into cake and cupcake decorating, but piping bags and a good set of piping tips can go a long way in your baking. You can get reusable piping bags, but I really hate cleaning them out.
Blender and/or food processor. I’m a huge fan of my blender and mini food processor. I probably use the processor more often for dips, spreads and breaking down nuts and oats. The best thing is, you can get one small enough to fit in your smallest cabinet.
Meal prep containers. These make portion control and lunch-packing so much easier. There are plenty of options out there for food storage containers—from glass to plastic, from divided to one size.
Keeping a collection of sturdy, reliable, long-lasting kitchen items is paramount to being comfortable as a cook or baker. When you have all the right tools, you can cook or bake just about anything!
What are your favorite and most-used kitchen items?
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