Three Kitchen Essentials For Better Baking

A few simple utensils can help you make the best cookies and cakes you’ve ever created.

Baking sheet and rolling pin
Nonstick, easy-to-clean pans, racks, and sheets make baking simple and fun.AmazonBasics

Of all the culinary skills a home chef must possess, baking is one of the most basic yet hardest to master. Cooking temperature, bake time, ingredient ratios, leavening agents, and even atmospheric conditions can conspire to make your bunt cake or souffle a soggy flop. But like most things, good results start with good tools. Begin with a quality baking pan, and then build your kitchen competence with these helpful accessories. Here’s how.

Baking Pan

Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet
A reliable baking pan that’s easy to clean is essential to every kitchen.Nordic Ware

An all-purpose baking pan should be large enough to handle everything from roasted vegetables to hot-pan dishes or a simple batch of biscuits. Look for a pan made of a material that heats evenly, won’t warp at high temperatures, and is easy to clean.

Cooling Racks

Cooling, Baking & Roasting Wire Racks for Sheet Pans
Cooling racks are often tough to clean, unless you get some that can handle the dishwasher.Ultra Cuisine

A basic wire mesh that nests atop the baking pan is useful for many things, from cooling cookies to drying jerky or roasting a chicken. That said, the fine mesh can be stubborn to clean, so make your life easier and opt for a rack that is certified dishwasher safe.

Use a Baking Liner

AmazonBasics Silicone Baking Mat Sheet
If you don’t want to clean a lot of dishes, use liners to help contain accidental spillovers.AmazonBasics

A baking liner simplifies clean-up and reduces waste in the form of spent tin foil or parchment paper. Just wipe off excess drippings, wash with hot, soapy water, and pat dry. If cholesterol is a concern, a baking mat can also minimize the need for oils or cooking sprays.