Joy the Baker

My Kitchen Basics

October 24, 2009

Kitchen Stuffs 

I cleared out my cooking cupboard and piled everything up on a table… I’m trying to make a point.  

I think it’s important you know that you don’t need cabinets full of fancy equipment to make glorious things happen in the kitchen.  

I think it’s important you know that I don’t have the most, biggest, nor the best equipment in my kitchen.  I do seem to have enough… and I’m scrappy enough to make things work.  

Let’s talk kitchen gear:  what you must have and what you might want to have on hand.  

Aaaand, go!

Kitchen Stuffs 

Joy the Baker Kitchen Must Haves:

A good mixer.  I have a fancy Kitchen Aid… but any good stand mixer will do.  You don’t have to drop hundreds on a mixer to get a good one.  

Half sheet baking pan… for cookies and roasting veggies and making blackberry pie bars.

Standard Muffin pan… for all the muffins and cupcakes you could ever want.

Kitchen Stuffs 

Loaf Pan… an 8×4 or 9×5 will do ya just fine. 

Bundt pan

Pie pan… glass or metal, whatever you prefer.

Kitchen Stuffs 

Round cake pans… either 8-inch or 9-inch. 

9×13 baking pan… brownies, please.

Metal nesting bowls… get these for super cheap from a restaurant supple store.  

Sifter… I use this one for just about everything from draining pasta to sifting dry ingredients.  

Kitchen Stuffs 

One good, soul saving spatula that is heat resistant, sturdy and brightly colored.  God bless this William Sonoma spatula of mine.  I love this thing.

A microplane.. for zest, for nutmeg, for Parmesan cheese, for garlic… for everything. 

Wooden spoons… preferable inherited from your grandmother.

Metal measuring cups.

Teaspoon and tablespoons spoons.

Kitchen Stuffs 

Tablespoon metal ice cream scoop… for perfect cookies. 

Candy thermometer.  

**  Here’s a fun secret.  When shopping for these essentials stay away from Crate and Barrel and other fancy shops.  Find a good (often dusty) restaurant supple store in your area and shop for the basics there.  Cheap cheap cheap and quality that can stand up to commercial kitchen use.  It’s where all of my metal bowl, sifter, sheet pans, loaf pans and measuring cups come from.  

Kitchen Stuffs 

Joy the Baker Might Wanna Haves:

Vintage Tube Pan.. thrift store shopping people… thrift stores.

French Press… I suggest baking only after you’ve had your morning coffee.

Mini muffin pan… for cuteness.

6-inch round cake pans.

Pretty glass storage containers… thrift store finds.  

Kitchen Stuffs 

Fancy casserole dish that can go from freezer to oven to dishwasher and back again.  

Box grater… my secret weapon when it comes to scones.

Metal tongs.  

Plastic bench scraper… the little flexible white kind, 

Pastry cutter… but I always end us using my fingers, don’t you?

Ice cream maker… if you’re really feeling fancy.

Kitchen Stuffs 

Pretty measuring cups… because pretty just makes you feel good sometimes.

With a few quality pieces, restaurant supply store finds, thrift store gems and some pretty and colorful touches, I’ve made my kitchen into a functional and pretty darling place.  It’s not supposed to be daunting… it’s just pans and spatulas!

62 Comments Add A Comment

  • One thing I would add is I always buy good stainless steel and no more of that nonstick junk. Nonstick peels very quickly and does not last. Plus who knows what is getting into your food? I’d rather scrub.

    I’d also say I need several (at least 3) loaf pans as I bake all my family’s bread so I do a batch that will last a week or more.

    A whisk is essential. Also a french rolling pin.

    And rather than a candy thermometer, I MUST have an instant read digital. This is invaluable for baked goods, meats, etc. etc.

    Finally I would hate to have to bake without parchment paper. It looks like your cookie sheets could use some, too. ;-D Keeps things from sticking and makes cleanup “a breeze”.

  • I just love seeing what other people have in their kitchens! My cupboards are very very similar to yours! Great post. Thanks.

  • love the pyrex covered class dishes! I have the little red one but would love to find some more sizes. I am a thrift store and TJMAXX junkie!

  • Oh, I feel like I’ve been rummaging in our kitchen cabinets! Love the restaurant supply store, several of my favorite tools have come from there.
    P.S.: I made your Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls for the second time this week and brought them to an early morning staff meeting. We had to bring the meeting back to order after several people started making embarrassing moans of pleasure over their rolls!

  • You’re awesome Joy. Thanks for keeping it simple. Amy

  • It’s so fun to see your equipment! (You are the Goddess of Baking, after all!) The mini muffin pan is a must for me to bake goodies for my grandchildren. They can have 3 each and think they’re getting ALOT. I also use a whisk quite a bit. I love your blue (?liquid) measuring cups/bowls.

  • A good set of kitchen scales to weigh out ingredients
    A sharp chef’s knife for cutting nuts and dried fruit
    A wide Sieve for sifting flours or dusting cake tops
    A good whisk for mixing batter
    Yes, A very good, flexible spatula

  • Fun post, Joy! I learned this morning while making your maple pecan muffins why my spoons should be wooden and my measuring cups metal–I snapped the handle right off my 1 cup scooping flour and then melted the crap out of my spoon while browning the butter. Whoops! The muffins were delicious, though, so it was worth it.

    Your bake ware may be simple, but your serving dishes are always beautiful. I love your cake stands.

  • Thanks for the sneak peek into your cabinets!

    Also, I love LOVE the idea of the “restaurant supple” store you refer to – it sounds glorious! :)

  • I LOVE that you put this list together. I have everything on the must-haves list except the microplane and often wish that I have one, but find other ways to make due when necessary. I might have to print this off to give hubby some ideas, though :)

  • Joy, how is it that everything you manage to touch/own/bake/do turns into magic and beauty and everything good?! Been love-love-loving this blog for a few months now.

  • I always love hearing about other people’s treasured kitchen goodies – am particularly envious of your KitchenAid! All looks charming :D

  • How informative! I love that you do push products but encourage creativity. You’re a beautiful person.

    KISS – keep it simple sister! :D


  • I love seeing your ‘tools.’ :) I really love that green baking dish, too. I can’t even to begin to imagine pulling out my kitchen stuff…I wouldn’t have the patience.

  • Hi Joy,

    Thanks for sharing! It’s always fun to peruse somebody else’s kitchen innards.

    I was curious — what’s your take on non-stick vs. silicone vs. stainless steel?

    I’m in the market for a new muffin pan, and I’m leaning towards stainless steel because I always want to swipe around the edges with a knife to loosen up muffins before taking them out, which is not so great for non-stick… and silicone kind of scares me.

    Love your blog!!
    - stacy

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