The Land O'Lakes Test Kitchen

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Baking Equipment

Baking Equipment

Detailed definitions of pans, utensils, mixers and more. Plus, tips on what to use in a pinch if you don’t have a tool you need.

  • Aluminum Foil

    Description

    • Aluminum foil is a thin pliable sheet of aluminum sold on a roll or by the sheet.
    • Aluminum foil is used to cover or wrap foods. Aluminum foil is a good heat and cold barrier.
    • It is available in regular, heavy-duty, non-stick and in two sizes, regular and extra wide

    Substitutions

    • When covering food before freezing it, use plastic resealable freezer bags or food storage containers. Plastic food bags or food wrap can be used to cover a food before refrigerating it.

    Tips

    • Use aluminum foil to line baking pans and to wrap food for freezing.
    • Do not use aluminum foil to cover or wrap acidic foods, such as tomatoes, because the acid will pit the foil.
    • Generally, aluminum foil should not be used in the microwave oven.
  • Baking Dishes

    Description

    • Baking dishes or casseroles are square, oblong or rectangular dishes made of glass, ceramic or other materials. They are used to bake lasagna, casseroles, etc. They are often decorative and colorful and are designed to go from oven to table. Many casseroles are freezer and dishwasher safe. Some come with lids.
    • Common sizes are 1, 2, 2 ½ quart and 3 quart dishes. Some are much larger.
    • The term “baking dish” most often refers to a square or rectangular 8 or 9-inch, 12x8-inch or 13x9-inch oven-proof glass dish, although other sizes are available. While they are often used for baking cakes and brownies, lasagna, meatloaf, and casseroles are often baked in baking dishes. They tend to be plain glass without a design.
    • A lasagna pan is a ceramic or enamel pan sold to bake and serve lasagna. They often have handles for easy removal from the oven. Most are 13x9-inches or slightly larger.

    Substitutions

    • Either a baking dish or casserole can be used if the size is adequate for the recipe.
    • Metal 8, 9 or 13x9-inch pans could also be used, although acidic dishes, such as tomatoes in lasagna, may discolor aluminum pans.

    Tips

    • Attractive casseroles that can go right to the table save on clean-up.
    • Casseroles became popular with the “one dish meal” which typically consists of meat, starch and vegetable all combined with a sauce or soup.
  • Baking/Cookie Sheet

    Description

    • A flat, rigid, metal sheet, made of aluminum used for baking cookies and biscuits.
    • Insulated baking sheets sandwich air between two metal layers, protecting from overbrowning of the baked product. Generally, baking time needs to be increased if using insulated baking sheets.
    • Common sizes for baking sheets are:
      • 17x14-inch
      • 12x15-inch

    Substitutions

    • Turn a jelly-roll pan (15 x 10 x 1-inch pan) upside-down and use it in place of a baking sheet.

    Tips
    • We recommend shiny aluminum baking sheets without sides for best results.
    • Allow baking sheet to cool completely before reusing.
    • Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time on the middle rack in the center of the oven.
    • Baked products will brown more quickly on dark-colored baking sheets, because they absorb more heat than shiny baking sheets.
    • Line baking sheet with parchment paper. The paper will withstand high temperatures without discoloring or scorching. The baking sheet is also easier to clean. After baking cookies on parchment, you can slide the sheet of parchment with the baked cookies onto the rack for cooling.
    • Follow recipe directions for greasing or spraying the baking sheet with no stick cooking spray.
  • Bread Pan

    Description

    • A rectangular baking pan, sometimes referred to as a loaf pan.
    • Standard sizes for bread pans:
      • 8 ½ x 4 ¼ x 3 1/8-inch holds 5 cups
      • 9 x 5 x 3-inch holds 8 cups
      • 5 ½ x 3 x 2 ½-inch holds 2 cups
    • Bread pans may be made from aluminum, stainless steel or glass.

    Substitutions

    • When you don't have the right size bread pan substitute a pan with similar capacity. Fill the pan ½ full but never more than 2/3 full so the bread has room to rise. The baking time may need to be changed.
    • If substituting mini loaf pans in place of a larger bread pan, fill each mini loaf pan ½ full. Decrease baking time by ½ and check at that point for doneness. Continue baking, if necessary, checking doneness every five minutes.

    Tips

    • To determine pan size, measure length and width of the pan across the top inside. Measure height from the inside of the pan, holding a ruler straight up from the bottom.
    • To prevent a loaf from sticking, always follow the recipe directions for greasing or spraying the pan with no stick cooking spray.
  • Cake Pan

    Description

    • Cake pans may be made from aluminum, stainless steel or glass.
    • Common sizes for cake pans are:
      • 8 x 8 x 1 ½-inch square holds 6 cups
      • 9 x 1 ½-inch round holds 6 cups
      • 13 x 9 x 2-inch holds 15 cups
      • 11 x 7 x 2-inch holds 6 cups
      • 10 x 4-inch tube pan holds 16 cups
      • 10 x 3 ½-inch Bundt® pan holds 12 cups

    Substitutions

    • When you don’t have the right size cake pan substitute a cake pan with a similar capacity. Fill the pan ½ full but not more than 2/3 full so the cake has room to rise. Vary the baking time if needed.

    Tips

    • An 8-inch square pan holds 1 cup more batter than an 8-inch round pan. Usually square pans are 2 inches deep and round pans are 1 1/2 inches deep, therefore, a square pan will hold more.
    • Dark-colored and glass bakeware absorbs more heat than shiny bakeware, therefore a. baked product will brown more quickly in these pans.
    • Follow recipe directions for greasing or spraying the baking pan with no stick cooking spray.
    • Do not grease a tube pan before baking an angel food cake or sponge cake. The batter needs to cling to the side of the pan as the cake rises during baking -- greasing the pan prevents the batter from sticking to the surface of the pan and the cake will not be light and airy.
  • Can Opener

    Description

    • A can opener is a manual kitchen tool or an electric small appliance. A sharp circular blade rotates and cuts around the lid of metal cans. Electric can openers have a magnet which holds the cut lid away from the can.
    • There are many types of openers:
      • A bottle opener is used to pry off the lid of a bottle or jar.
      • A puncture type opener punctures the lid of a can.
      • A corkscrew is used to open wine bottles.

    Substitution

    • If you are opening cans without a pop top lid, you will need either an electric or manual can opener. Today many bottles and cans can be screwed off or popped open, so many small types of openers aren’t as common.

    Tips

    • Read the manual for electric can openers.
    • Some models of electric can openers are tall and are good for opening tall juice cans.
    • Be sure and keep the blade clean by frequently washing in sudsy, hot water.
    • An electric can opener in a power outage is useless.
  • Candy Thermometer

    Description

    • A candy thermometer is used to test the temperature during the cooking of candy, jams and jellies. A candy thermometer often has an adjustable clip so that it can rest against the sides of a heavy-gauge saucepan.

    Substitutions

    • Use the cold water temperature test if you do not have a candy thermometer. Drop a small amount of the butter toffee mixture into a cup of very cold water. Carefully remove the cooled mixture with your fingers. Test for the desired candy stage according to the following guidelines:
      • Soft Ball Stage -- Syrup forms a soft ball in the water but flattens when removed from the water (234° -240° F) (110° -115° C). Used for fudge, penuche and fondants.
      • Firm Ball Stage -- Syrup forms a firm ball that holds it shape when removed from the water (242° -248° F) (115° -120° C). Used for soft caramels.
      • Hard Ball Stage -- Mixture can be rolled into a firm ball (250° -260° F) (120° -130° C). Used for divinity and nougats.
      • Soft Crack Stage -- Syrup separates into threads which are hard but not brittle (270° -284° F) (130° - 145° C). Used for butterscotch and hard candies.
      • Hard Crack Stage -- Syrup separates into threads that are hard and brittle (300° -310° F) (150° -155° C). Used for nut brittles and toffee.

    Tips

    • Test candy thermometer for accuracy before using. Place bulb of candy thermometer in a pan of rapidly boiling water. Be careful not to let the bulb touch the bottom of the pan. Read the temperature at eye level while the thermometer is in the water. It should read 212° F or 100° C.
    • If the thermometer does not measure boiling temperature correctly, remember to adjust the candy temperature during cooking to reflect the difference.
  • Convection Oven

    Description

    • Both conventional and convection ovens use air heated by a gas or electric burner. The main difference is that a convection oven has a fan generally at the back of the oven that circulates the heat.
    • A convection oven continuously circulates hot air with a fan through the oven cavity. The accelerated effect of the circulating air is one reason for the superior results you get when baking in a convection oven. For example, the butter in a pie crust releases its steam quickly, creating flaky layers.
    • Hot air circulating throughout the oven eliminates hot and cold spots for more even baking and cooking.
    Tips
    • Experiment with your favorite recipes by reducing the oven temperature by 25° F. and adjusting the baking time. Food baked in a convection oven is done about 25% faster than in a conventional oven
    • Preheat the oven prior to convection baking as you would also do if using a conventional oven. The oven temperature should reach the correct baking temperature prior to baking.
    • Allow at least 1 inch between the pans and also between the edges of the pan and the oven walls. This space is needed so the air is circulated evenly in the oven.
    • It is best to keep the oven door closed as much as possible during the baking time so that airflow is maintained.

     

  • Cookie Cutter

    Description

    • A cookie cutter is used to cut decorative shapes from dough that has been rolled out.
    • Cookie cutters are made from aluminum, copper or plastic. Common sizes are 2-inch to 3-inch, however cutters are available in 1/2-inch up to 12-inches.

    Substitutions

    • A drinking glass may be used as a substitute for a round cookie cutter.
    • To make your own cookie cutter shape, cut a template from cardboard or paper. Place the template over the rolled out cookie dough; carefully cut around design with a sharp knife.

    Tip

    • Dip cookie cutter into flour to prevent cutter from sticking to the dough.
  • Cooling Rack

    Description

    • A cooling rack is a rack made from closely spaced wires or spokes, and small legs that elevate the rack above the countertop.
    • Cooling racks are often metal, however can be made from wood or other heatproof material.
    • The rack speeds the cooling of cookies, cakes or breads. It allows steam to escape from all sides of the baked product so the bottom doesn't get soggy.

    Substitutions

    • Cool cookies on parchment on the countertop rather than on a cooling rack. As cookies begin to cool turn them over to speed complete cooling and prevent bottom of cookies from getting soggy.

    Tips

    • When baking cookies use a cooling rack with closely spaced wires or spokes so cookies have adequate support when cooling.
    • Cover the rack with a sheet of waxed paper before placing a delicate cake on the rack to prevent the surface from getting damaged or sticking to the rack.
  • Corer

    Description

    • An apple corer is a kitchen tool that removes the core, or the center of an apple, which contains the seeds. The rest of the apple is left whole.
    • Apple wedgers or slicers are wheel-shaped with a hole in the center. The apple is cored and cut into wedges in one step.
    • A pineapple corer is also available. The core is removed and the pineapple is cut into rings.

    Substitutions

    • Sharp paring knife can be used.

    Tips

    • Always place the apple on a cutting board before using the apple corer. This will protect the countertop.
    • An apple corer can also be used on fresh pears.
  • Custard Cup

    Description

    • A custard cup is an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish which hold about 6-ounces. Custard cups were originally used for baking custard.

    Substitutions

    • For baking, ramekins (small soufflé dishes) could be used.
    • For some foods a muffin pan might be used.

    Tips

    • Custard cups are ideal to hold small amounts of ingredients such as minced garlic and chopped herbs when preparing a recipe.
    • No popover pan? Use custard cups.
    • Use to melt butter or chocolate in the microwave.
    • Use as a substitute cookie cutter; turn the custard cup upside down and cut out rounds of cookies or biscuits from dough.
  • Double Boiler

    Description

    • A double boiler is actually three pieces of glass or stainless steel pans sold together and used on the stovetop. The bottom pan is used to hold simmering water. The second, and smaller pan, sets inside the bottom pan and holds the food to be cooked. A lid is the third piece.
    • Sauces, custards and puddings can be cooked this way. The food does not need to be constantly stirred while it is cooking.

    Substitution

    • A heavy pan or an ovenproof glass bowl can be placed in a skillet containing 1/2-inch of simmering water.

    Tips

    • Use to melt large quantities of chocolate and keep it at a constant temperature for dipping candy, strawberries or pretzels.
    • Cook polenta and grits in a double boiler.  
  • Egg Beater

    Description

    • An egg beater is a hand-held kitchen tool with two beaters. It is used to beat eggs, whipping cream or egg whites, as well as mix batters, like pancakes.

    Substitutions

    • Wire whisks, hand or stand mixers can do the job of an egg beater.

    Tips

    • An egg beater incorporates air during the beating which a blender wouldn’t, so use a mixer or egg beater for beating egg whites or whipping cream.
  • Egg Separator

    Description

    • An egg separator is a plastic or metal kitchen tool used to separate the white from the egg yolk. When using this utensil the egg white falls through the opening and the yolk stays whole in the top.

    Substitution

    • Learn to crack and separate an egg in a dish by gently wrapping the side of the egg to crack it. Gradually transfer the white of the egg to one side of the shell leaving the yolk on the other side.

    Tip

    • Crack each egg into a separate bowl before adding it to other ingredients. If the egg is spoiled or tiny shell pieces need to be removed, you won’t have a problem.
  • Electric Mixer

    Description

    • An electric mixer is a kitchen appliance used to beat, mix or whip batter.
    • Electric mixers can be small and portable for small jobs or larger and more powerful for more difficult jobs. Many of the more powerful stand mixers have special attachments such as dough hooks or paddle beaters.

    Substitutions

    • Mixtures may be creamed, mixed or beaten by hand using a wooden spoon or whisk. It may be more difficult to create the same consistency by hand as with an electric mixer.
    • A large food processor can be used for some baking recipes instead of a mixer. Be careful to process ingredients just until mixed.
    • We do not recommend mixing ingredients for a baking recipe in a blender. The batter is generally thick and the shape of the blender container is not designed to mix these batters.

    Tips

    • Be sure beaters are clean before beating egg whites. Any fat, even a drop of egg yolk, on the beaters can prevent the whites from reaching optimum volume.
    • Whipping cream will be faster if the bowl and beaters are chilled at least 15 minutes before beating.
    • The action of the beaters in mixing will tend to warm the butter in a cookie dough and help to soften it.
  • Food Processor

    Description

    • A food processor is an electric countertop cooking appliance that has a glass or plastic container mounted on an electric base. The cover has a feed tube for adding food. A food processor has various blades and discs to puree, chop, slice, pulse, shred, etc.
    • Sizes from 7 to 11 cups are available, as well as an array of speeds and functions.
    • Mini food processors that hold 1 to 2 cups can be used to do many of these same taxts if a small amount is needed.

    Substitutions

    • Depending on what task needs to be accomplished:  blender, mini food chopper, cutting board and knife, grater or shredder

    Tips

    • Read the manual.
    • For easier cleaning, rinse the container out, add some liquid dish detergent and pulse the processor a few times. Rinse out and wash.
    • Don't over process.
    • Don't overload the bowl.
    • Some food processors can be used to make yeast bread or pastry dough.
  • Hot Pad

    Description

    • A hot pad is a thick cloth pad or glove/mitt used to protect your hands when removing a pan from the oven.
    • Hot pads can be made from any fabric that can withstand the temperature of an oven; cotton and wool are popular materials.

    Tips

    • Select hot pads that are made from thick layers of fabric. When the hot pads begin to wear thin, replace them.
    • Keep hot pads dry. If a wet hot pad is used, your hands will get burned.
  • Huller

    Description

    • A huller is a small kitchen tool that is used to remove the hull from strawberries. It is metal or plastic and is shaped like a pincher.

    Substitution

    • Use a paring knife as a substitute to remove the hull.

    Tip

    • Store small tools like zesters, hullers and melon ballers together. They can get lost in a drawer.
  • Immersion Blender

    Description

    • An immersion blender is a hand-held kitchen appliance that can be battery operated or electric. It is tall and narrow with the motor on the top and rotating blades at the bottom. It can be inserted right into a bowl or pan to blend soups, make smoothies or whip cream and egg whites.
    •  Some immersion blenders come with chopping attachments.

    Substitutions

    • A blender or food processor can be substituted in most situations.

    Tips

    • Read the manual for operating instructions and many ideas.
    • The immersion blender can smooth out lumpy gravy right in the pan.
  • Jelly-Roll Pan

    Description

    • A very shallow, rectangular pan used to bake thin cakes or bars.
    • Jelly-roll pans generally are made from aluminum.
    • Common sizes of jelly-roll pans are:
      • 15 x 10 x 1-inch holds 10 cups
      • 12 x 7 x 1-inch holds 4 cups
      • 17x11 x 1-inch holds 13 cups

    Substitutions

    • Substitute a 13x9 inch baking pan in a recipe for a 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll pan. The baked product will be thicker than the original recipe. Bake time will be longer than stated in the recipe. Check for doneness at half the original baking time. Continue baking until baked product tests done.

    Tips

    • Follow recipe directions for greasing or spraying the pan with no stick cooking spray.
    • To make cake removal easier, line bottom of jelly-roll pan with waxed paper or parchment paper. Grease the paper on one side so it will adhere to the baking pan and on the other side to make baked product easy to remove from pan.
  • Kitchen Shears

    Description

    • A heavy-duty strong scissors with one serrated blade.
    • Used for cutting fish, poultry, meats and produce. They can even be used to crack nuts or trim herbs into a dish.
    • Some kitchen shears have additional tools as part of the handle, such as a can opener or screwdriver.

    Substitution

    • In certain baking or cooking applications, a sharp knife can be used.

    Tips

    • To avoid bacteria, or other contamination, clean shears carefully after each use.
    • We suggest using kitchen shears for cutting various foods, rather than cutting paper and fabric.
  • Kitchen Timer

    Description

    • A kitchen timer is used to help accurately keep track of the baking time.
    • Electronic timers digitally display the time remaining. Clock-like timers have markings around the outside like a clock so you can easily read how much time is remaining.
    • Most ovens have built-in timers.

    Tip

    • Prevent over-baking by setting the timer for the minimum baking time in a recipe. Test for doneness and continue baking, if necessary.
  • Mandoline

    Description

    • A traditional mandoline is a hand-operated piece of kitchen equipment that has a base over which various adjustable blades are placed. They can be adjusted to cut thin or thick slices from firm vegetables and fruits, julienne or shred vegetables. The vegetables are moved back and forth over the blades.
    •  Most mandolines are made of stainless steel. Legs, which can be folded for storage, hold the mandoline up on the counter.
    • New and small versions, also called mandolin slicers, are the size of a hand grater. They are not as bulky to store. They can be used over a cutting board or have a hook to hang the slicer over the bowl and a food holder to keep fingers away from sharp blades. They have stainless steels blades.

    Substitutions

    • A cutting board and knife can be substituted.  A food processor could be used to slice.
    • Graters with slots for shredding can be used.

    Tips

    • Read the manual.
    • Julienne vegetables quickly with a mandoline.
  • Measuring Cup

    Description

    • There are two types of measuring cups:
      • For measuring dry ingredients: These measuring cups are made of metal or plastic, sometimes nested together, and come in sets of 1/8-cup to 2-cup sizes
      • For measuring liquid ingredients: These cups, made of glass or plastic, come in 1 to 8-cup sizes. Measures are marked on the side and cup has a spout for pouring the measured ingredients.

    Tips

    • Use the proper measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients. Do not substitute liquid and dry measuring cups for one another.
    • A large glass measuring cup, such as a 4-cup or 8-cup size, is a great mixing bowl especially for thinner mixtures that can be poured.
  • Measuring Spoon

    Description

    • Measuring spoons come in sets of 1/8 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon. They can be made of metal or plastic.

    Tips

    • It is important to measure accurately particularly in baking since the ratio of dry to wet ingredients is very important. However in some recipes you may note some measuring terms handed down through generations. As a guideline these measures should equal:
    • 1 heaping teaspoon = 1 ¾ to 2 teaspoons
    • 1 heaping tablespoon = 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons
    • 1 rounded teaspoon, tablespoon = measure ingredient so it is slightly rounded over rim of measure
    • 1 dash = 1/16 teaspoon
    • Never measure ingredients over the bowl or pan you are adding to. It is very easy to overflow the measuring spoon as you pour into it.
    • Buy several sets of measuring spoons to be sure you always have clean spoons available.
    • Tableware spoons should not be used for measuring since they vary in size.
  • Mixing Bowl

    Description

    • A mixing bowl is used to hold ingredients you are mixing, beating or whipping.
    • A mixing bowl can be made of glass, aluminum, stainless steel, enamel, ceramic, copper or plastic.
    • Common sizes of mixing bowls range from 1-quart to 4-quart.

    Substitution

    • A large, glass measuring cup (4-cup or 8-cup) may be substituted for a mixing bowl.

    Tip

    • Keep a variety of sizes of mixing bowls on hand so you have just the right size for each mixing step.
  • Muffin Pan

    Description

    • A special metal baking pan, sometimes referred to as a muffin tin, with 6 or 12 cup-shaped depressions. Most often this pan is made from aluminum.
    • The sizes of muffin cups are:
      • Standard muffin cup is about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and holds 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter
      • Giant or Texas-size muffin cup is about 3 ½ inches in diameter and holds 5/8 cup batter
      • Miniature muffin cup is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and holds 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons batter
      • Muffin-top cup is about 4 inches in diameter but are only 1/2 inch deep.

    Substitutions

    • Substitute another size muffin cup for original size listed in recipe. If substituting a larger size muffin cup the recipe will yield fewer muffins and if using smaller size muffin cup the recipe will yield more muffins. The bake time will be changed also. Bake a larger muffin longer than the original time and smaller muffins a shorter time.

    Tips

    • Grease muffin cups by spraying each cup with no stick cooking spray or using a paper towel dipped in shortening to grease each cup.
    • For rounded tops on muffins grease only the bottom of the cup and halfway up the side of the cup.
    • Use paper liners in muffin cups for easy clean-up.
    • If muffin cups are filled more than ¾ full the muffins will have flat, “flying saucer” tops. If sufficient room is not allowed for muffins to expand before reaching the top of the cup the muffin will flatten on top.
    • If some muffin cups will remain empty during baking, put 2 to 3 tablespoons water in the unused muffin cups to keep the pan from warping.
    • If baked muffins stick to the bottom of the muffin cup, place hot muffin pan on a wet towel for about two minutes.
  • Parchment Paper

    Description

    • Parchment paper is a grease and moisture resistant white or unbleached paper sold in rolls or sheets.
    • It can withstand high temperatures.
    • Use parchment paper to line cookie sheets and cookies will lift off easily.

    Substitutions

    • In some cases, such as when lining cake pans, waxed paper can be used.
    • Greasing cookie sheet or cake pans very well should work in most cases.
    • Silicone mats are becoming popular replacements for some uses.

    Tips

    • Line cake pans for easy removal of cake layers. Lay the cake pan, bottom side down, on the parchment paper. Trace around it. Cut the paper, grease the pan, and line the greased pan with the parchment paper.
    • Lining cookie sheets with parchment paper helps with cleanup. If decorating cookies with sprinkles or sugar before baking, the excess sugar can be shaken off the parchment paper and reused for the next pan of cookies.
  • Pastry Bag

    Description

    • A pastry bag is a cone or triangular shaped bag used for cake and cookie decorating. It is also used to pipe whipping cream, mashed potatoes or other semi-soft foods.
    • The bags come in many materials including plastic-lined cotton, disposable plastic and paper.
    •  The bags can be fitted with decorative tips. The frosting or food is forced through the opening to create various designs and shapes.

    Substitutions

    • For some quick jobs, cut a small opening in one bottom corner of a plastic food storage bag. Fill and squeeze food through opening.
    • Buy frosting in tubes and cans in the baking section for decorating cakes and cookies.

    Tip

    • Disposable pastry bags are sold on rolls.
  • Pastry Blender

    Description

    • A pastry blender is made of five or six parallel U-shaped steel wires attached at both ends to a handle.
    • A pastry blender is used to cut cold butter into a flour mixture to distribute the fat without melting it such as in making pie crusts or biscuits.

    Substitutions

    • Two knives held together at an angle may be substituted for a pastry blender. Use the knives to cut the fat into the dry ingredients until the pieces of flour-coated fat become smaller and have the texture of coarse crumbs. A fork may also be used instead of two knives.

    Tips

    • Be sure the butter is cold when cutting it into the flour. If the butter is too soft, the mixture becomes overworked, resulting in a pastry that is not flaky and tender.
    • Cut butter into chunks before mixing with a pastry blender so the butter will be easier to mix.
  • Pastry Brush

    Description

    • A baking tool that looks similar to a small paintbrush, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick.
    • Common liquids used with a pastry brush are milk, water and egg whites. Use a pastry brush to brush marinades over meats also.

    Tip

    • To avoid bacteria, or other contamination, clean pastry brush in dishwasher or with hot tap water after each use.
  • Pastry Cloth

    Description

    • A pastry cloth is a large canvas cloth on which pastry or dough can be rolled.  

    Substitutions

    • A plain white cotton plain weave dishtowel may be substituted for a pastry cloth.

    Tips

    • Only a light dusting of flour is needed to prevent dough from sticking to the pastry cloth, eliminating the tendency to use too much flour when rolling out soft dough.
    • The pastry cloth must be cleaned before storing to prevent any fat residue from becoming rancid.
  • Pastry Cutter

    Description

    • A pastry crimping wheel is a rolling-bladed tool with a fluted design. It is used to cut dough and add a decorative edge treatment to pie crusts.
    • A pastry cutter has a straight-edged rolling wheel and is often used to cut narrow strips of dough for a lattice topped pie.

    Substitutions

    • For a pastry cutter, you could use a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
    • For a crimping wheel, choose an alternate edge treatment, such as a forked edge.

    Tips

    • To avoid bacteria, or other contamination, be sure to clean grooves carefully after each use.
    • You can find these tools in gourmet kitchen stores.
  • Pie Pans

    Description

    • A pan shaped like a plate with sides that is used to bake pies, quiches and frittatas.
    • Pie plates are commonly made from heat-resistant glass or aluminum. The glass pie plates give the flakiest results and are what we recommend. Glass also produces a more evenly browned crust. Aluminum pans with a dull finish or darkened pans yield a well-baked, tender browned under-crust. Shiny metal pie pans reflect the heat and result in soggy bottom pie crusts and are not recommended.
    • Common sizes of pie plates are:
      • 9 inches in diameter by 1 inch deep; holds approximately 4.5 cups
      • 10 inches in diameter by 1 inch deep; holds approximately 6 cups
      • Deep Dish: 9 inches in diameter by 2 inches deep; holds approximately 6 cups
      • Deep Dish: 10 inches in diameter by 2 inches deep; holds approximately 8 cups

    Tips

    • If you’re not sure about the size of your pan, measure the diameter from the inside rim.
    • Do not grease a pie plate, unless recipe states to do so.
    • Make sure to secure the edges of a pie crust to the rim of pie plate to avoid shrunken or misshaped pies.
  • Pie Weights

    Description

    • Small ceramic or aluminum pellet-like weights used to keep an unfilled pie or tart crust from shrinking during baking.
    • Pie weights can be found in gourmet stores and in the baking section of some supermarkets.

    Substitutions

    • Rice or beans can be used as an alternative. If rice or beans are used repeatedly, they will burn and become musty with use.

    Tips

    • Pour 1 to 2 cups of pie weights into an unfilled, foil lined pie crust before baking.
    • Crust should be pricked with a fork prior to adding the pie weights.
    • Some recipes call for removing the pie weights and lining half way during baking time. Read recipe directions carefully.
  • Plastic Wrap

    Description

    • Plastic wrap is food wrap that is a thin, transparent plastic sold on a roll. It is used to wrap food, as it clings to the food and the container to make an airtight seal.

    Substitutions

    • Food storage containers, plastic kitchen bags or aluminum foil can be used to wrap or store food.

    Tips

    • There are many brands and some have extra clinging power.
  • Ramekins

    Description

    • Ramekins are small souffle dishes. The most common size holds 8 ounces. They are fluted on the outside and smooth on the inside. They are usually ceramic and are sold in white or various colors.
    • They are used in baking small desserts or to serve individual portions.

    Substitution

    • Custard or muffin pans may be used if they are large enough.

    Tips

    • These small dishes make ideal serving pieces for dips, salsas, candy, nuts, etc.
    • Baked or frozen desserts in ramekins are an attractive way to serve dessert.
    • Bake individual servings of macaroni and cheese, au gratin potatoes, etc.
  • Rolling Pin

    Description

    • A rolling pin is a long round cylinder used to roll out dough or crush cracker crumbs.
    • Rolling pins are generally made from wood, but can be made from marble, glass, ceramic, porcelain or plastic.
    • Some rolling pins have handles at each end, making the rolling pin easier to handle and to allow for uniform pressure to be exerted.
    • A rolling pin cover is a stretchable "stocking" that fits over the rolling pin.

    Substitutions

    • A large wooden dowel about 12 inches long may be substituted for a rolling pin.
    • A clean white athletic tube sock can be used as a substitute for a rolling pin cover. Slip over one end of a rolling pin, then cut off the opposite end.

    Tips

    • Only a light dusting of flour is needed to prevent dough from sticking to the rolling pin cover, eliminating the tendency to use too much flour when rolling out soft dough.
    • The rolling pin cover must be cleaned before storing to prevent any fat residue from becoming rancid.
  • Scale

    Description

    • A scale is a piece of kitchen equipment used to weigh foods such as flour and sugar, rather than using a measuring cup. It can also be used to measure foods like meat, dry pasta, etc.
    • It should show weights in grams, ounces and pounds. Ideally it should weigh up to 2 pounds of food. Many weigh up to 11 pounds.
    • There are many types of kitchen scales: spring operated, balance or digital. Many digital scales are battery powered.

    Substitution

    • Metal and glass measuring cups can be used to measure food when a recipe specifies cup measurements.

    Tips

    • Many recipes now provide both a cup measurement and a weight measurement. Weight measurements are more accurate.
    • Read the manual to learn how to use a scale.
  • Scoop

    Description

    • A scoop is a kitchen utensil that comes in many sizes for specific tasks. Scoops can be made of plastic, stainless steel or other metal.
    • An ice cream scoop is used to serve ice cream, yogurt and sherbet. The scoop can be slightly flat and curved or have a round cup. Many have a spring-action lever to release the ice cream.
    • Other scoops can be used to serve food in a portioned size or to measure cookie dough for even-sized cookies. They also have a spring-action lever.
    • Scoops shaped like a shovel with a handle are also available. Use to scoop dry ingredients, ice cubes, etc. Some scoops have measurements on them and can be used as a measuring cup.

    Substitutions

    • A measuring cup, tablespoon or a kitchen spoon work for some situations.
    • A sturdy large spoon can be used for ice cream.

    Tips

    • A 2 to 3-inch scoop is good for ice cream and mashed potatoes.
    • A 1-inch scoop can be used for portioning cookie dough or ground meat for meatballs. All cookies or meatballs will be the same size.
  • Sifter

    Description

    • Sieves are kitchen tools that have a fine or coarse mesh "bowl" on a handle. They come in many sizes. They are often stainless steel. Sieves are used to aerate flour, sift lumps out of food like powdered sugar and sift powdered sugar over bars or cakes for a decorative finish. Food can be drained in sieves as well.
    • A sifter is a tool like a sieve, but the mesh is in the bottom of a square or round metal container. The flour or powdered sugar is placed inside and a hand crank or lever is used to push the flour or powdered sugar through the sieve.

    Substitution

    • For some foods a colander could be used.

    Tip

    • There is no need to sift flour. Just gently spoon the flour into a measuring cup.
  • Spatula

    Description

    • A spatula is a flat, narrow kitchen utensil, made from rubber, plastic or metal, that comes in several sizes.
    • Rubber scrapers, pancake turners and frosting spreaders are all generically called spatulas.
    • Flexible metal spatulas are good for spreading frostings on cakes.
    • Turners are used to lift or remove food from a baking pan or sheet or for turning food that is being cooked.

    Tips

    • Use a plastic turner on a non stick baking pan or sheet.
    • Using a turner with holes or slots allows liquids or fats to drain off the item being lifted.
    • If crumbs or residue from baked cookies stick to the edge of spatula when removing cookies to a cooling rack, be sure to clean edge of spatula before continuing so cookies do not distort in shape as they are being removed from the baking sheet.
  • Thermometer

    Description

    • An oven thermometer is used to verify that the oven temperature is correct. Oven thermometers are made to stand in the oven or hang from one of the racks.

    Tips

    • Place the oven thermometer in the middle of the oven away from the sides to obtain an accurate temperature reading.
    • Baking products at the wrong temperature can cause unpredictable and undesirable results. For example, cookies may dry out or spread too much if baked at too low a temperature or burn if baked at too high a temperature.
  • Toaster Oven

    Description

    • A toaster oven is a countertop electric cooking appliance used to perform many of the functions of an oven, without heating up the kitchen. Broil, bake and toast foods. These come in many sizes with many features.

    Substitutions

    • An oven can perform all the functions of a toaster oven. A toaster can toast bread and bagels.

    Tips

    • Read the manual.
    • Reheat foods like pizza in the toaster oven. The crust will stay crisper than if it is reheated in the microwave.
  • Toothpick

    Description

    • A toothpick is used to determine doneness of cakes, bars and quick breads. Generally, if the toothpick inserted near the center of the baked item comes out clean, the baked item is done.

    Substitution

    • A metal cake tester may be substituted for a toothpick when determining doneness of a baked product.

    Tip

    • Use a clean toothpick each time you check for doneness. Any batter that clings to the toothpick from a previous doneness test may cause cake particles to stick to the toothpick, even though the cake is done.
  • Wax Paper

    Description

    • Wax paper is a thin sheet of paper that has wax on both sides so it is moisture-proof. It is sold in a roll and is used to line cake pans for easy removal of cake layers, wrap sandwiches and cover foods during microwaving.

    Substitutions

    • Plastic food storage bags can be used to wrap sandwiches, aluminum foil and plastic wrap can also be used wrap food.  Use parchment paper to line cake pans.

    Tips

    • Roll out cookie dough or pie crust between 2 sheets of wax paper.
    • Homemade candy and chocolate dipped nuts, strawberries or pretzels won’t stick to wax paper.
    • Place a sheet under a wire cooling rack when frosting and decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Drips and sprinkles can be rolled up in the wax paper and tossed away, saving cleanup time.
  • Whisk

    Description

    • A wire whisk is made from a series of looped wires fastened at the top by a long handle.
    • Whisks are used to whip air into ingredients, such as egg whites or whipping cream.
    • The more wires a whisk contains the more effectively it will incorporate air into a mixture.
    • Whisks are available in a variety of different sizes for different tasks.

    Substitutions

    • Use a portable electric mixer or wooden spoon.
    • If whisking a very small amount such as one egg white, a fork can be used to whip the mixture and incorporate air.
  • Wooden Spoon

    Description

    • Wooden spoons do not scratch non-stick pans.
    • The bowl end of a wooden spoon is thicker in size than a metal spoon of the same size. Therefore it is easier to mix batter because it does not cut into the batter but rather stirs or mixes it.
    • Keep a variety of wooden spoons available for baking projects.
    • Always wash and dry wooden spoons after use. Allow them to air dry.

    Substitutions

    • A large sturdy plastic spoon can be used instead of a wooden spoon.

    Tips

    • Keep a variety of wooden spoons available for baking projects.
    • Wooden spoons do not scratch non-stick pans.
    • The bowl end of a wooden spoon is thicker in size than a metal spoon of the same size. Therefore it is easier to mix batter because it does not cut into the batter but rather stirs or mixes it.
    • Keep a variety of wooden spoons available for baking projects.
    • Always wash and dry wooden spoons after use. Allow them to air dry.
  • Zester

    Description

    • A traditional zester is a small kitchen utensil about 4 inches long with a curved metal end with small holes.
    •  It is used to remove the zest from citrus fruit. Pressing the zester across the fruit removes the zest but not the bitter pith underneath the peel. These long threads of zest can then be cut up.
    • Some zesters have a hole at the end which can be used to cut ribbons of peel for garnishes and drinks.

    Substitutions

    • Many small, fine graters will also remove zest from citrus fruit. This does not need to be cut up, it is recipe ready.

    Tips

    • If you are just juicing fruit, remove the zest and freeze.
    • Just like graters, there has been a huge increase in the number of specialized zesters.