20 Must-Have Items Under $20 That Every Baker Should Have in the Kitchen
From flaky pastries and crusty pies to sweet cookies and creamy cheesecakes, bakers need the right equipment to make their treats a reality. Without the proper tools, a baker's best efforts can turn out crummy. To mark World Baking Day on May 17, or simply delight your favorite baker, you can pick up items that are fun and functional without spending a lot dough.
Price: $9 | Buy it on Amazon
Bakers will be on a roll with this mat, which is stain-proof, BPA-free, and printed with easy-to-read measurements. The mat is made of FDA-approved food-grade silicone and can tolerate temperatures ranging from minus 40 degrees to 480 degrees. It is also praised in reviews for having a non-slip bottom that keeps it in place.
Price: $11.95 | Buy it on Amazon
Lightweight but strong, this stainless-steel Natizo sifter holds three cups of powder. Easy-to-read measurements are stamped on the metal. The flour is sifted using a crank -- which is preferred by professional bakers -- instead of cramp-inducing hand squeezing. It comes with a lid, a bottom cover, and a lifetime warranty.
Price: $10 | Buy it on Amazon
These nontoxic, FDA-approved grilling and baking gloves can definitely take the heat in any kitchen, all the way up to 425 degrees. Extra-thick for extended exposure to heat, the gloves are one-size-fits-all and feature a textured surface to prevent slippage. They'll keep you safe whether you're grabbing oven racks or removing hot pans and trays.
Price: $17.32 | Buy it on Amazon
This 9-inch, 10-cup pan from Nordic Ware features a tight seal that prevents leaks and a nonstick coating that makes it easy to remove even the softest cakes, including sticky cheesecakes. It's simple to wash using just warm water and mild detergent and widely praised for ease of use.
Price: $16.95 | Buy it on Amazon
For breadmakers, a good proofing cloth just might be the most important tool in the kitchen. Made from 100 percent pure French flax linen, this baker's couche is made of heavy, professional-grade fiber. Measuring 26 by 35 inches, the cloth features finished seams to prevent fraying.
Price: $5.72 | Buy it on Amazon
Bakers spend too much time and effort baking perfect brownies and cookies to watch them crumble into pieces when it's time to serve them. The Norpro spatula is made of stainless steel with single-body construction and has a super-thin blade to make it easy to slide under sticky baked goods.
Price: $6 | Buy it on Amazon
The process of baking empty pie crusts -- known as blind baking -- often results in buckled or shrunken crusts. Keep even the most delicate pie crusts intact with a collection of Mrs. Anderson's ceramic weights. Easy to use and easy to clean, the food-safe ceramic distributes heat evenly.
Price: $7.35 | Buy it on Amazon
Simple yet remarkably efficient and critical to maintaining a clean and efficient workspace, bench scrapers are used for cutting and dividing dough as well as removing excess flour and dough from work surfaces. This professional-quality scraper from Ateco comes with a plastic handle and stainless-steel blade and is dishwasher-safe.
Price: $13.55 for two | Buy it on Amazon
These nonstick baking mats let bakers get to work without parchment paper, oil, or baking sprays. The oven-safe mats can tolerate up to 480 degrees. They're made of food-grade silicone and are easy to clean. Measuring about 11.6 by 16.5 inches, they're designed to fit in half-sheet-size pans.
Price: $15.32 | Buy it on Amazon
You've heard the phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread" -- for some bakers, perfectly sliced cake layers may be a better metaphor. This adjustable, stainless-steel tool makes it easy to cut perfect cake layers every time. It can work with cakes up to 12 inches in diameter.
Price: $16.80 | Buy it on Amazon
This half-size sheet pan from Vollrath is made with heavy-gauge, impact-resistant aluminum and features a concave bottom that flattens during baking for even heat distribution. It is designed to be stackable and used in many professional kitchens.
Price: $19 | Buy it on Amazon
Made of beechwood and silicone, this set includes a balloon whisk, flat and round pastry brushes, large and small spatulas, and a spoon spatula. Each utensil features a comfortable non-slip grip. The silicone heads and grips are easily removed and can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but the wooden handles should be cleaned with warm water and mild dish soap.
Price: $15.25 | Buy it on Amazon
The cake-pop craze is evident in bakeries everywhere, and now even novices can join in with this cake-pop maker from the aptly named company Babycakes. Using regular cake mixes, cooks can make nine pops at a time with this device, which features a latching handle and non-skid feet.