The most essential cooking gadget, according to experts

Large mixing bowl and eggs on the food scale

Our bakers agree that a reliable food scale is an absolute must.
Photo: Annette Riedl/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Take a look in any professional baker’s kitchen and you’ll likely find a similar setup. A KitchenAid mixer or similar industrial model; no-frills baking sheets and mixing bowls from commercial vendors like WebstaurantStore. But bakers are a creative bunch, and there’s no one kitchen. With that in mind, I asked our panel of baking experts: What’s your favorite baking gadget?

If you buy one thing, make it a kitchen scale

“A kitchen scale is truly invaluable for cooking and baking; it quickly became my favorite tool after making the leap from measuring by volume to measuring by weight. I use it for everything from weighing ingredients to checking the uniform size of my conchas. It is the one i have and love.”—Teresa Finney, baker and recipe creator, In the heart of the Panaderia

“The kitchen scale is, in my humble opinion, the ONLY way to measure flour. Flour is notoriously difficult to measure. If you go to the King Arthur website they will tell you to dip a spoon in the flour and shake the flour over the measuring cup (Note: we have a slightly neater measuring hack here) so you don’t pack in the flour and add too much. This whole process makes a big mess and gives me crazy anxiety about using the right amount of flour. Both of these problems are banished forever with the kitchen scale. Might as well weigh all the rest of your bullshit on this, because the recipe is exactly perfect. Bonus here: you can easily look at European recipes since they will all be written in grams.—Kate O’Connor, independent baker

“Despite the many different things I have in my kitchen for cooking, I have to say that my kitchen scale and fine mesh sieve are absolutely essential! You get precise, lump-free measurements! I don’t have either more particular brand that I like, but I think any baker will see their pastries improve with the addition of these two things.—Alessandra Lopez, independent baker

The perfect cookie scoop

“My favorite kitchen gadget has got to be my cookie scoop. It’s made by Solula, it’s 2.3 tablespoons, and it’s the perfect size for cookies in my opinion. Growing up baking, I ‘ve used scoops where the cookies ended up too big or too small, and I’m also frankly bad at doing it by eye I pulled the trigger on this scoop when I started my Instagram baking l last year and I’ve never looked back. The cookies I end up with are just the right size where they can be enough on their own, or [you can have] of them.”—Kyle Kizu, baker, Kizu cookies

A reliable thermometer

“You [always] run the risk of undercooking or overcooking. This is especially true with cakes, which only appear to be perfectly baked. [within a span] three minutes. This is where I use my kitchen thermometer. If the internal temperature of the cake is 210 degrees, your cake is cooked and ready to come out of the oven. You can also make curds with this stuff, as well as Italian and Swiss buttercream, which require the sugar to be at a very precise temperature.—Kate O’Connor, independent baker

A comfortable and flexible spatula

“The other kitchen tool that I use all the time is a offset spatula. It’s one of those kitchen utensils I thought I could do without, but once I got one, I found myself using it quite often. It fits comfortably in the hand, which I prefer to spatulas with longer handles. It’s great for smoothing buttercream on a cake, but also for adding swirls and swoops in buttercream, which is a really easy and stress-free way to decorate a cake. I also like it for transferring small cookies from a baking sheet to a cooling rack.—Teresa Finney, baker and recipe creator, In the heart of the Panaderia

“My silicone flat spatula and silicone pastry brush have been my two favorite gadgets for at least four years now. They clean up easily and can be used with any pan and almost any temperature! Honestly, anything silicone is sure to be a great addition to the kitchen.—Gio Jackson, home baker, Long Beach, Calif.; currently taking orders here.

Don’t forget to accessorize with aprons

“I’m very proud of the very personal collection of aprons I’ve amassed as gifts from friends. One of my friend Hannah’s has a Succession quote embroidered on it (“You Disgusting Little Pig”) and another came from my dog’s former owner, a parting gift before she moved out. The apron features a picture of me and my little guy with the caption “THE WORLD’S BEST DAD”.Kevin T. Porter, baker, Kevin Bakin’

“For a must-have kitchen gadget, I’d say a cute apron. Must be cute to make you feel like the real deal, and they’re also extremely handy for keeping you clean and something to wipe your hands with in the moment.—Olivia Bacon, independent baker

Other tips and bobs to keep on hand

“The little gadget that gave me the best value for money is a mini food processor. You don’t need a Vitamix or a full-size processor to do most of what you need for most recipes, and it doesn’t take up too much cabinet space! »—Kevin T. Porter, baker, Kevin Bakin’

“My banana cutter. This is Lemetow; we got it from World Kitchen.Jonathan P. Higginsindependent baker and Nailed it! competitor

Plastic wrap will literally ALWAYS be handy to have.—Allant’e Mosley, baker, Tae’s Cheesecake Company