Cenk and a woman with their faces covered in chocolate.

When it comes to baking equipment, I believe in buying once and buying right. I made some bad purchasing decisions when I began baking, but as the years have passed, I’ve learned what to look for in each tool. Beyond the basics—cake pans, knives, baking sheets, and the like—here are my most essential tools for any serious home baker. The right baking equipment will make your life in the kitchen easier and the time you spend there more enjoyable.–Cenk Sönmezsoy

A stainless steel My Weight kitchen digital scale.

Digital scale

If you like to bake, do yourself a favor and get a digital scale. You’ll be rewarded with more consistent results. This model easily toggles between ounces and grams and accommodates 1-gram or smaller increments so you can accurately weigh rather than use measuring spoons for very small quantities. The tare function resets the scale to zero so that you can weigh additional ingredients sequentially in the same bowl.

 Buy button.

My Weigh KD-8000 Kitchen And Craft Digital Scale, $49 on Amazon.com

An orange-handled microplane.

Rasp grater

When it comes to removing the zest from citrus, no grater does a better job than a fine-tooth rasp grater. Grate the zest directly into the bowl to incorporate its precious aromatic oils into the dough or batter. Microplane’s Orange is my favorite.

 Buy button.Microplane Premium Classic Series Zester/Grater in Orange, $19 on Amazon.com

The front and back of an extra large dial oven thermometer.

Oven thermometer

An oven thermometer is useful for checking your oven’s accuracy. Once a year, I conduct tests at the temperatures I most frequently use by placing the thermometer in the center of an oven rack in the middle of the oven and running the oven at each temperature for at least 30 minutes. (Hanging the thermometer toward the back of the oven may produce misleading results, as that area tends to run hotter than the center.) If the results don’t match your oven dial, make a note and, if you aren’t able to have it oven calibrated, adjust your temperature accordingly each time you turn it on.

 Buy button.

Classic Design Stainless Steel Large Dial Oven Thermometer, $11 on Amazon.com

A black ThermoPro instant read thermometer.

Instant-read thermometer

This is an essential tool for the home baker, allowing you to instantly identify when you’ve reached a desired temperature. You’ll use it when cooking caramel, glazes, syrups, curds, Swiss meringue, and custards for ice cream bases as well as to measure the internal temperature of baked breads. (For jams and jellies—especially those brought to a rolling boil—I prefer a candy thermometer for accuracy, practicality, and safety.) This one is super fast and affordable.

 Buy button.

ThermoPro TP18 Ultra Fast Digital Instant Read Thermometer, $20 on Amazon.com

A pink Victorinox serrated peeler.


I’m partial to my Victorinox serrated peeler. Its micro-serrated edges are ideal for peeling fruits and vegetables, especially those with thin, slippery skins. If you buy your chocolate in blocks, it would do a great job of making chocolate curls. You can also peel long strands of citrus for candied zest or make tissue-thin shavings of Parmesan.

 Buy button.

Victorinox Serrated Edge Peeler, $9 on Amazon.com

You can hear more about Cenk, his forays into baking, and how he left an office job to do what he loves full time in our recent podcast episode. If you’d like to try out your new toys with Cenk’s creations in your own kitchen, we recommend starting with his Chocolate Bundt Cake and Salted Caramel Ice Cream

About Anna Scott

Anna Scott has been an LC recipe tester since December 2010. Her love of food was inspired by her father, who taught her that a meal isn’t just the act of eating, but rather an experience that involves all of the senses—the presentation on the plate, the warm smell of the kitchen, the lively conversations at the dinner table, and the texture of the bread that you break. A Le Cordon Bleu graduate, she now works as a personal chef in Atlanta. The focus of both her clients’ meals and her personal cooking endeavors is on seasonal ingredients and on incorporating mise en place into her everyday repertoire.

Hungry For More?

Our 2022 Portuguese Gift Basket

This year’s gift basket is filled with sausages, cheese, salt cod, pastes, snacks, and sweets. Plus my Taste of Portugal spice blend. Happy holidays!

A Taste of Portugal–My New Spice Blend

Taste of Portugal, our first spice blend, is bursting with the flavors I grew up with: smoked paprika, garlic, citrus, bay leaf, piri piri chiles, coriander, red wine, and more.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *