20 Essential Baking Tools All Under $20
These must-have products will help you bake more efficiently.
Whether you're stocking your kitchen for the first time or want to upgrade your existing set of tools, we've rounded up some essential ones for baking—and they're all under $20. Here, we explain what makes these products so great and how to use them for baking.
Some, such as measuring spoons and measuring cups for dry ingredients, are obvious must-haves. Though you may already have a version of each on hand already, it might be time to upgrade. We suggest swapping out your plastic iterations of the measuring tools above in favor of new stainless steel options—we love the look and feel, and the material is guaranteed to last longer than plastic while also being better for the environment.
Looking for a way to achieve the perfect swirl of frosting atop a cupcake? Invest in pastry (or piping) tips, which are metal pieces that fit into the end of a pastry bag and are used for decorating cakes and cupcakes. We're recommending a super budget-friendly set of six essential pastry tips that will help you to create any design under the sun using rich buttercream frosting.
There are also a few tools here that you may not know about, but once you realize what a big difference they'll make for your baking, you'll never know how you lived without them. Take pie weights for example—if you've ever pre-baked a pie crust before adding the filling (a common step in many pie recipes), you know that air pockets and cracks are inevitable unless you try to control them. Ceramic weights like the ones ahead can be poured on top of the crust before it bakes; the pressure and weight from the balls compresses the dough to prevent bubbles from popping.
Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
From pouring a teaspoon of vanilla extract to measuring just the right amount of baking soda, a set of measuring spoons is an essential baking tool. This dishwasher-safe set includes ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, one teaspoon, and one tablespoon and each is clearly marked.
Shop Now: Le Creuset Stainless Steel Measuring Spoon Set, $20, crateandbarrel.com.
Stainless Steel French Whisk
Even Goldilocks would be pleased by this whisk. It's not too small to the point of being hard to thoroughly mix each ingredient, nor is it so large that it's hard to control—that means it's just right.
Shop Now: Sur La Table Stainless Steel French Whisk, $10.96 for 10", surlatable.com.
Dry Measuring Cups
For evenly sized cookies every time, measure the dough using this scoop that features a spring-loaded handle. Plus, it helps to keep your hands clean from excess grease and raw ingredients if you're not rolling by hand.
Shop Now: OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop, $14.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Stainless Steel Strainers
Sifting dry ingredients may seem like an extraneous step, but it really does make a difference when it comes to getting smooth cake batter and lump-free frosting. Use the largest size to evenly incorporate dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, and the smallest to dust powdered sugar over pound cake or cookies.
Shop Now: Cuisinart Set of Three Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers, $12.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Silicone Pastry Brush
Wooden-handled pastry brushes are popular for brushing egg wash on baked goods or glazing meat, but we prefer this silicone version, which is much easier to clean and creates just as stunning of a shine.
Shop Now: Williams-Sonoma Silicone Brush, $10, williams-sonoma.com.
You're probably thinking, "But my drawer is full of peelers? Why do I need another one?" Trust us, once you use this smooth, super-efficient peeler, you'll never go back to your old style. Choose from a variety of bright candy colors, which make it easy to find in a sea of black kitchen tools.
Shop Now: Kuhn Rikon Swiss Peelers, $5, surlatable.com.
Blind-baking pie crust means baking just the crust before filling it with fruit, pudding, or mousse. Pie weights help to prevent large air pockets from forming while the crust bakes, which keeps a level surface and helps it to cook evenly.
Shop Now: Mrs. Anderson's Ceramic Pie Crust Weights, $8.51, walmart.com.
Pie Crust Shield
Designed to prevent an over-baked crust, this handy tool allows a pie to cook through without burning on the outside. Once the top of your pie becomes golden brown, wrap the shield around the edge to prevent the crust from getting any darker.
Shop Now: Williams Sonoma Silicone Adjustable Pie Crust Shield, $9.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Microplane Classic Zester
Silpat Baking Mat
From frosting cupcakes to decorating layer cakes, this set of interchangeable, stainless steel tips will help you create the prettiest baked goods. You can pipe flowers, stars, a basket weave, and polka dots with these pastry tips.
Shop Now: Ateco Six-Piece Decorating Tips, $9.99, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Digital Kitchen Scale
If you're following a recipe that calls for ingredients by weight, you'll need this highly rated kitchen scale.
Shop Now: Escali Precision Kitchen Food Scale, $19.99, target.com.