Recently, I was talking to my older sister. She bakes occasionally and enjoys cooking at home for herself and her fiancée. Unfortunately, the kitchen in their apartment is extremely small, so space is at a premium. My sister is constantly on the lookout for ways to save or creatively use space, or simply pare down the amount of stuff in her kitchen.
“I’d bake more,” she said, “but I really don’t have room for all the stuff you would need!”
I’ve been baking since I was 10, and professionally for nearly 4 years now. This still qualifies me as a bit of a rookie in the grand scheme of things, but there is one thing I have learned: you can find yourself getting a LOT of stuff.
Please also be aware that what is necessary for you and your work may not be the same as what I have here. Your needs will also likely change over time. This is my third tool box- over the course of my career, my toolbox has expanded to allow more of the tools I needed. Some of my chefs in school had rolling hardware chests, and even my coworkers have toolboxes three times the size of mine.
A. What you are doing now.
B. What you want to do.
So don’t go overboard.
Caveats out of the way? Good?
- Sharps and Blades (knives, cutting/shredding things)
- Mixers and Movers (tools for mixing or transferring product)
- Dough and Batter Management (tools for manipulating, smoothing, or handling product)
- Decorating (tools for decoration and/or precision work)
- Essentials and Oddballs (miscellaneous)
Hopefully, at the end of this series, you’ll have an idea of the kind of tools you’ll need to do the baking you want to do.
Remember: mise en place. Cleanliness and order isn’t just about the kitchen, or just about food- it’s about having the right tools, for the right jobs, in the right places, in every part of your life.
In the next entry, we’ll start with a topic near and dear to EVERY chefs (and old Boy Scouts) heart- Knives and Sharps.