Come Look Inside My Kitchen!
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love getting a peek inside other people’s kitchens. What cookware and bakeware do you have? Do you love it? Where did you get it? Did you have something else before that made you cry until you finally found the “best” pan? You get the idea. Since we’ve already done a peek inside my gluten free baking pantry, it’s about time we did a peek inside my kitchen cabinets. No one is paying me to recommend these brands (although most of the amazon links are affiliate links—except not all of them since I got lazy toward the end; any link to any other site like Kohl’s, Sur la Table, Bed Bath & Beyond or Williams-Sonoma is completely without any affiliation), and this is not a “sponsored post.” If you can find these items for a better price elsewhere, by all means buy them elsewhere! I have bought a lot of these items on amazon.com, but many I have also bought at a local kitchen supply store that regularly has 20% off coupons (and it goes without saying that I would never shop at Bed Bath & Beyond without a 20% coupon!). These are just the items that make my kitchen work, and I thought you might like to have a look. And if you’re shopping for the holidays for someone who likes to cook and bake, you might find some gift ideas here.
One note before we begin: These photo collages are (unfortunately) not to scale. Sometimes, you’ll see an item that is clearly way bigger than another one in real life, and it looks tiny in the photo. Like the 12-inch pre-seasoned covered cast iron skillet in Cook & Bake that looks smaller than the 8-inch round cake pan, or the 8-quart stock pot that looks smaller than the 1-quart saucepan. Let’s call it poetic license, okay?
Chop and Prep:
Epicurean 15-inch x 11-inch cutting board (8-inches x 6-inches, too): These are the cutting boards that you see me using in my bread-shaping videos. I get so many questions about them. They are dishwasher safe, and don’t dull knives very much. I use them for chopping vegetables, shaping bread, rolling out cookie dough, you name it. Highly recommend!
OXO Two-Fold Grater: I used a cheapo grater from Ikea for a very, very long time because I just couldn’t decide what type of grater would work best for my needs. I don’t like box graters since I find them to be too confining, and too difficult to clean—especially when they are closed on the bottom, which seems helpful but never actually ends up helping at all. Everything just gets stuck in there, and the enclosure fills up way too quickly. This two-fold grater is perfect. It’s stable, has the only 2 size graters I ever need (other than a microplane (see below)), and is easy to clean. Love it.
OXO Good Grips Food Mill: A food mill is so incredibly unnecessary, but this is not a list of everything you must have. It’s just a list of what I do have, use and really like. A food mill is great for making things like mashed potatoes, since you want them very smooth but if you put them in a food processor (see below), they’ll turn to liquid from the heat of the machine. It’s also great for making slightly chunky soups, like tomato soup.
Food Network Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer (from Kohl’s): I have bought more than one mandoline in my time, and I have sadly given them all away after I nearly killed myself. (Should I have thrown the offending mandoline away, instead? *perhaps*) The most promising one, before I landed on this one, was a Japanese model that people on amazon seem to love. I think they’re all nuts. Again, nearly killed myself. This Food Network brand mandoline is simple, safe and easy to use (and to clean). And I haven’t killed myself yet. Plus, it’s cheap. Sold.
Set of 3 Cuisinart Mesh Strainers: Self-explanatory, right? Cheap, incredibly useful, dishwasher safe.
Stainless Steel Colander: For a long, long time (years, even), I didn’t use a colander at all for making pasta (I had a tiny one I used for other tasks, like rinsing tomatoes). I always felt like they never really got clean, and so I just used the lid of the pasta pot to drain off the water. What a pain! I finally took a chance on a metal colander, and now of course don’t know why I waited to so long to “solve” this problem.
Stainless steel bench scraper: For portioning and for scraping cookie dough and bread dough. Nice clean edges. Good buy.
Ateco large plastic bowl scraper: Speaking of those bread videos, this is the large plastic scraper I use. This gets a regular work-out in my kitchen.
If You Care unbleached parchment paper: Unbleached parchment paper is flexible, unlike bleached (white) parchment paper. It is perfect for rolling out dough, lining baking sheets, and all-around kitchen use. And I use each sheet multiple times before tossing it, unless I make something particularly messy.
Ateco 11-piece plain round cookie cutter set: Love cookie cutter sets. Concentric circles in every imaginable necessary size, in a neat case. I use them all.the.time. I even use them as biscuit cutters because why not.
Ateco 24-piece small geometric cutter set: These are great for smaller shapes when you want something neat. Not essential, but very useful.
Ateco 9-piece plain oval cutter set: Same as the round set, but oval. You get the idea. Indestructible.
7-inch Santoku Knife (Victorinox): This isn’t the exact knife I have (I have a Wusthof), but mine is considerably more expensive and I’ve held this Victorinox brand santoku knife in my hand; I really like it. I’ve had my knife for nearly 15 years and I think it’s time for a new one since every time you sharpen a knife, you lose some of the knife. This is the one I’ll purchase. I really like a santoku knife for general knife needs, rather than a traditional “chef’s knife,” as I find it easier to handle.
4-inch Paring Knife (Victorinox): The perfect paring knife: perfectly weighted, perfectly sized.
Schmidt Brothers 9-inch Bread Knife: This bread knife is not a typical large serrated bread knife, but I actually like it better than my traditional serrated bread knife. I think it cuts cleaner. It’s not cheap, though.
4 1/2-inch Tomato Knife: For slicing tomatoes, and well, any time you need a small serrated knife.
French rolling pin: Don’t ever buy a rolling pin that has separate handles. You have no control over what you’re doing. Trust me. Get a French rolling pin and you’ll never go back.
Microplane Zester: This isn’t pictured, but it’s very useful for zesting citrus and for finely grating Parmesan cheese. I use it all the time. It can be a bit of a pain to clean, but I still use it regularly.
Mix and Measure:
9-inch Balloon Whisk: This is the basic whisk that works for most of my needs, like when I’m whisking together dry ingredients for a recipe. But that link will also show you an 11-inch whisk, which I do use from time to time (for larger jobs, like mixing up a big batch of flour or something).
OXO Flat Whisk: This is the whisk that you didn’t even know you needed—until you got one. A flat whisk is what you’ll use to get into the corners of a saucepan, like when you’re making a roux for mac and cheese.
KitchenAid 9-Cup Food Processor: I had the same food processor for a million years, and it finally gave out. It was a Cuisinart, and honestly I was never thrilled with it but the darn thing wouldn’t die. When it finally did, I read up on processors and settled on a KitchenAid, as people loved this one. Now I love it, too (well, as much as I can love something that is inherently difficult to clean). It is efficient, the perfect capacity, and relatively easy to clean.
KitchenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer: I actually have a larger (7-quart) stand mixer, but that’s only because of the volume of baking that I do. I had a 5-quart mixer for many, many years, and only upgraded recently for the photo shoot for Gluten Free Classic Snacks. If you’re in the market for a stand mixer for general everyday needs, I’d buy the 5-quart. After that, they get considerably more expensive and you honestly probably just don’t need more than that.
KitchenAid 5-Speed Hand Mixer (comes with dough hooks): If you don’t have a stand mixer, get a hand mixer—like this one that has dough hooks. You’ll be able to use it to make the bread from GFOAS Bakes Bread. This hand mixer is powerful enough to do what it’s designed to do, and not burn out. And it is great for things like whipping cream (I use it instead of the stand mixer for that task more often than not).
Food Network Silicone Spoonula (from Kohl’s): I love these spatulas! And honestly I have tried many others (including that new one called Gir or something that people love) and nothing else comes close. They have just the right amount of “scoop,” and they are really sturdy and durable.
OXO 5-pound Digital Food Scale: I had a very, very basic Escali scale for many years, and I finally broke it. I “upgraded” to an OXO scale that has a pull-out display like this one (I actually have the next model up since the platform comes off so you can clean it separately). But really any digital scale that is sensitive to 1 gram (which honestly they all are) will do. It shouldn’t cost you much more than this one (less than $30).
Anchor Hocking 3-piece glass mixing bowl set (1-quart, 1 1/2 quart, 2 1/2-quart): I love Anchor Hocking glass mixing bowls. This is a nice sampler set.
Anchor Hocking 4-quart mixing bowl: These are the basic mixing bowls that I use for most tasks. I have 4, but you probably would be all set with 2.
Anchor Hocking 6-ounce custard cups: I use these for so many things. They’re nice little bowls.
Rubbermaid Liquid Measuring Cups:I find that the 3 cup measure is most useful. They tend to be accurate (which can be a big problem with liquid measuring cups—see Bread FAQ #21).
iSi Flexible 2-cup Measuring Cup: I use this 2-cup measuring cup quite often. Since it’s flexible, you can create a pour spout by squeezing it gently as you pour.
Cook and Bake
Nordic Ware half sheet pan (or quarter sheet): I have a million of these half sheet pans (and 3 of the quarter sheet pans). A half sheet pan is 18-inches x 13-inches, and a quarter sheet pan is 9-inches x 13-inches. They are the pans I use for everything. I own zero cookie sheets.
Lodge Cast Iron 12-inch Skillet with Glass Lid: Everyone needs a cast iron skillet. You can cook pretty much anything in it, they hold heat very well, and without it you’ll never make the best cornbread. A pre-seasoned cast iron skillet is also super cheap, and having one with a lid is a bonus.
Williams Sonoma 8-inch Square Traditional Finish Cake Pan: These are the best square baking pans. They bake evenly, everything comes out of them easily and they are durable. I’m pretty sure they’re made by USA Pans for Williams-Sonoma, but they aren’t sold elsewhere.
Williams Sonoma 8-inch Round Traditional Finish Cake Pan: Everything I said about the square pans goes for the round ones. ‘Nuf said.
Williams Sonoma 1-pound Nonstick Goldtouch Loaf Pan: These are the loaf pans that I recommend in GFOAS Bakes Bread, and I stand by my recommendation. Every loaf of bread slides right out, and they bake so evenly.
Standard 12-cup Muffin Tin (USA Pans): I have tried what feels like every single brand of muffin tin out there. These are the only ones that are the proper shape (you want a slightly angled cup, not straight sides), proper depth (not too deep, not too shallow), and everything pops right out.
Miniature 24-cup Muffin Tin (USA Pans): Everything I said about the standard 12-cup muffin tin goes for the mini tin as well. Every other mini muffin tin I have tried is just not quite right in one way or another.
Sur la Table Oven-to-Table Stoneware Bakers (set of 2: 2 quart & 3 1/2 quart): These house-brand stoneware bakers are so useful. I use the 3 1/2 quart at least twice a week, if not more. Its dimensions are about 9-inches x 13-inches. They bake evenly and clean easily.
Kaiser 8-inch round nonstick springform pan: I truly loathe baking in a springform pan, but sometimes there’s just no way around it. They tend to be really difficult to clean, and they leak. This pan, made by Kaiser, is different. It’s not cheap, but it is the only springform pan I own and I don’t ever plan to buy another one.
Food Network 12-inch Covered Frying Pan/Skillet (not nonstick) (deep skillet, oven safe) (from Kohl’s): This isn’t pictured above (oops), but it’s a great stainless steel 12-inch covered skillet. It’s perfect for shallow frying, or making skillet lasagna. It’s really nice and deep, and works on the stovetop and in the oven. Great heat conduction, great quality, good price (and if you ever shop at Kohl’s without a coupon let me know and I’ll hit you upside the head). Don’t buy a nonstick skillet, okay? They get all gunky and you can’t cook with them over high heat.
Calphalon 8-Quart Stock Pot with glass lid: This is my pasta pot. Love it.
Cuisinart 3-Quart Stainless Steel Pour Saucepan with glass lid: I have another 3-quart saucepan by Cuisinart that I don’t think they sell any longer, but this one looks better than mine, even. I like that strainer in the lid. It’s solid, well-made and well-priced.
Cuisinart 1-quart covered saucepan: I use my tiny little 1-quart saucepan every single day, and I’m sorry to say that I have a Food Network one (from Kohl’s) that has a pour spout that this one is lacking—but I don’t think they sell my saucepan anymore. On the bright side, this saucepan has a lid, and mine doesn’t. Win some, lose some.
USA Pans 9-inch pie plate: Again, USA Pans takes the cake (or the pie) with this perfect pie plate. Metal, durable nonstick, and they bake very evenly. Look at this gorgeous apple pie and tell me you don’t need the pie pan that made that.
OXO Large Spring-loaded Ice Cream Scoop: Not pictured (sorry!), the large scoop is 3 tablespoon size. Perfect for portioning large cookies, drop biscuits and filling muffin tins.
OXO Small Spring-loaded Ice Cream Scoop: Again, not pictured, the small scoop is a 2 teaspoon size. Perfect for smaller cookies and filling mini muffin tins.
Cuisinart Miniature Deep Fryer (again not pictured—sorry!): Its capacity is about 1 liter of oil, and you can deep fry without making a mess and it won’t stink up your kitchen. Yes, please.
Finish and Store
32-Ounce Wide Mouth Ball Jars (pack of 12): These are the jars that I store my homemade tomato sauce in. I use them all the time. All.the.time. I love mason jars.
#742 1/2 L Mold Jar from Weckjars.com (19.6 fluid ounces volume): These are the very sought-after jars that I use for my D.I.Y. Friday “Instant” Noodle Cups. They’re the perfect size for so many things.
Large “Keep Fresh” Covers from WeckJars.com for 742 Jars: Keep those large jars covered with these plastic covers. The glass lids for Weck jars are a pain if you’re not actually using them for canning.
#762 1/5 Tulip Jelly Jar from WeckJars.com (7.4 fluid ounces volume): These are the small tulip jars that I use for pretty servings of pudding and stuff. I love them.
Small “Keep Fresh” Covers from Weckjars.com for 762 tulip jars: Cover the tiny tulip jars with these lids.
#900 1/5 L Mold Jar from WeckJars.com (9.8 fluid ounces volume): These are slightly bigger than the tulip jars, and I use them often for baking single serving desserts, and just for storing odds and ends in the refrigerator.
Medium “Keep Fresh” Covers from WeckJars.com for 900 mold jars: Cover those small mold jars with these lids.
Asian spider strainer: I consider this a “finishing” gadget since it’s what I use for frying crullers and such.
Cambro 6-quart round food storage containers: I buy gluten free flour in bulk and store it in large containers. These 6-quart Cambro containers work great.
Cambro 2-quart round food storage containers: These are the containers that I use for proofing bread dough. They are just big enough for a single recipe of dough to double, and they fit on the short shelves in my refrigerator.
Ateco 12-piece pastry tip set: If I were to buy just one set of pastry tips, this is the one I’d buy. I have tons and tons of tips, as you might imagine, but this is the one I reach for most. You might also want to buy a #2 tip, which is a very small open round tip for drizzling things like caramel on these shortbread cookies, and you can find that in any kitchen supply store (sold individually) or on amazon.com (just search #2 pastry tip).
Wilton disposable 16-inch pastry bags: I have plenty of reusable pastry bags, but more often than not I use disposable bags. (I always bring my own reusable bags to the grocery store when I shop, so I don’t feel too guilty about singlehandedly destroying our planet.) The most common size of disposable bag is the 12-inch and they work okay, but they’re pretty short and there generally isn’t enough unused bag at the top to twist it well enough to prevent whatever is in the bag from leaking out during piping. 16-inches is a great size.
Ateco Small Offset Spatula: For icing, you can’t beat this small offset spatula.
Wilton Large Straight Icing Spatula: For a larger icing spatula, I really prefer the straight one (instead of an offset). It just feels more stable and comfortable. The large offset spatulas just generally are too thin and tend to bend during icing. No thank you.
OXO Large Stainless Steel Turner: This isn’t pictured, either, but I like this large stainless steel spatula. Since I don’t bother with nonstick pans (except for an omelette pan, but I don’t have one to recommend since I have never, ever found one that I like), a steel spatula fits all of my turning and flipping needs.
P.S. It goes without saying that the Gluten Free on a Shoestring Cookbooks are essential cooking and baking equipment, too, right? ;)