Whether you are a beginner baker just starting out or you are interested in experimenting with some more ambitious pastry projects, there are a few must-have baking tools you need to have in your kitchen at any time.
To help you find your motivation and start building your essential baking toolbox, we’ve done extensive research and picked a few super-useful and highly efficient tools that will help you make your cakes fluffy and your pie crusts flaky every time.
So, let’s begin.
1. The Best Pie Plate – OXO Good Grips Glass 9″ Pie Plate
How we chose the plate?
If you are a pie lover and like to keep things under control in your kitchen, then you should definitely invest in a good pie plate and experiment with all kinds of pies.
But how to choose the right one in the sea of pie plates that are currently available on the market?
There is not a secret formula, but there are some criteria you should be aware of and follow if you want to find the plate that will perfectly suit your needs.
To help you on your decision-making journey, we conducted an in-depth research and these are the results we came across.
If you have the right technique and a goodwill, any kind of plate will serve you well and produce great results. However, with a great pie plate, you can make a pie without having to babysit it.
Also, with a great pie plate you spread the heat evenly to achieve the best results.
To help you get a clear view of all the things you need to take into account when choosing your pie plate, we’ve done extensive research and discovered a few important factors you need to keep in mind when choosing your pie plate.
Besides this, there is a number of factors we took into consideration when we were researching pie plates. Here are some of them:
We mostly focused on plates that are 9 and 10 inches in diameter because this is the most common size.
We also discovered that 9 inches in diameter are a perfect size, but we took into consideration that most manufacturers are not so clear about whether those dimensions include the width of the rim.
This is the reason why we have also included some larger plates.
When it comes to the depth of the plate, we realised that it can significantly affect its capacity which is why we believe that dishes between 1 and 2 inches deep that have the capacity between 4 and 6 cups could be a great option for most of the pie recipes.
It’s always good to pay attention to the dimensions because there are producers who describe their plates as deep dishes.
But, we have discovered that there is no specific definition that differentiates a deep dish plate from a standard-size pie plate.
So, we consider anything 2 inches or deeper to be a deep dish.
Whether you will choose a deeper plate or a shallower one depends highly on your personal preferences.
Shallower ones are a better option if you are more into making graham cracker crusts or cream pies.
But, make sure you don’t go too shallow or too deep to be able to make pies in either style of plate.
There are many variations of baking pie plates from the design of the rim to the slope of the sides and width.
We mostly focused on plates that have a classic look and gently-sloped sides that would not cause a crest to slump.
A wider rim is also a huge benefit as it enables you to better grasp when moving a dish to and from the oven.
Wavy rims seem to be the most effective ones, but we also found out that rippled rim and creative crust designs are highly effective.
There is a whole range of plates like glass, ceramic, and metal, so we decided to test dishes in all three materials just to see which one is the top-performing one.
But there are a few specific qualities we ruled out along the way:
We tried to avoid metal plates that have nonstick coating because we don’t consider it to be practical for some longer use.
You will definitely want to cut your pie in the pan which would scratch the surface and lose its effectiveness.
We also wanted to avoid cast-iron pie plates because they are quite heavy and they cannot easily go into the dishwasher and they generally require extra care.
So, we focused on lightweight aluminium or steel plates
There are also a few unglazed ceramic pie plates, but they are not so common as other plates.
These absorb rather than trap moisture.
However, we don’t think they are very practical for most people because they stain easily and usually require hand washing without soap.
How to choose the right plate?
After testing plates made of different materials like aluminium steel, glazed ceramic and glass we don’t consider one specific material to be better than others.
Each one of them has its own pros and cons.
For example, clear glass pie plates lets you see whether the bottom of your pie is browned and fully cooked.
But one of the biggest downsides of the glass plate is that it breaks and can then shatter in hundreds of small pieces which is something you definitely want to avoid.
Also, sudden changes in temperatures can have a bad effect on the plate.
For example, some people may decide to put the plate from the fridge directly into the oven and cause damages or even sometimes disasters like injuries.
On the other hand, borosilicate glass is a bit different as it is more resistant breaking from such thermal shocks which means that it is safest for baking. However, it is really fragile and more likely to break if you mistakenly drop it.
Glazed ceramic distributes heat more evenly and gently.
Also, ceramic plates vary more in density and thickness than other glass plates and in our experiments, some ceramic dishes took longer to fully bake a pie.
All in all, we recommend avoiding anything that is thick or heavy.
Ceramic dishes can also break if we drop them and they may even crack when exposed to extreme temperature changes.
Also, we tested some ceramic plates and discovered they are safe to go under the broiler.
Finally, metal pie plates regardless of whether they are made of aluminium or steel conduct heat more efficiently than plates that are made from ceramic or glass.
But, you need to take into account that they may be more likely to overcook some pies that take a longer time to cook like juicy fruit pies.
Also, bare metal pie plates may be sticky and more difficult to clean than ceramic or glass dishes.
How we tested
We tested around 10 plates.
Even though there were some differences between testing (for instance, we either made an apple pie or a peach pie we mostly carried out the same type of tests every time.
We chose two identical ovens that were outfitted with a thermometer that would give us an insight into whether it reached the right temperature.
We bought a frozen pie crust in the store and baked it in each pie plate.
The good things about these store-bought pies is that they are much more consistent with the dough we make at home.
This enabled us to quickly find out how each plant distributed heat and how evenly.
So, we put each crust into the pan, used the fork to pierce them and we also used dried beans in order to prevent the bottom from puffing and the sides from slumping.
Once we have finished baking the crests, we checked how well each crest baked and whether it has browned at the bottom.
To see how well each of the dishes baked a dough that was less consistent, we decided to bake a home-made pie.
We also wanted to find out how each of the plates could handle a custard filling.
Delicate custard must not crack or curdle which means that it has to be baked using a gentle distribution of heat.
So, we decided to make a pumpkin pie using a specified recipe and, once it had finished, we checked whether the bottom had any spots that were undercooked, and finally checked the results.
Next, we took frozen peaches to make a peach pie and to test how each plate could handle a pie with thick fruit.
Thick fruit can sometimes become soggy and usually needs more time in the oven than other types of fruit.
We also paid attention to how long it took for each pie to bake and whether that was according to the recipe we followed.
Once the baking was finished, we flipped each of the pies out of the pan to check if there were any spots that did not bake well enough.
By making peach pies, we also managed to test the ability of each plate to handle fluctuations in temperature.
So we chilled the bottom crust for around an hour before we filled it, and then we put it on a baking sheet and then set the oven to 425 degree Fahrenheit.
Although we did not do everything according to the manufacturer’s instructions, we concluded that neither of the plates were damaged or broke most probably because the baking sheet prevented a direct contact between the hot oven rack and the cold plate.
We made sure to wash each plate between the tests to see if there were any dents, cracks, warping or discoloration and spots that were hard to scrub.
We also thought it would be useful to measure the height, thickness, interior depths and width of each pan, and we finally wanted to check its capacity by pouring water into it.
Our choice – OXO Good Grips Glass 9″ Pie Plate
Through our tests we concluded that it baked some of the most evenly browned crusts and that it conducts heat very well.
Since it is 2 inches deep, we might as well say that this plate can qualify as a deep dish.
We can put thicker pies which is not the case with shallower glass plates.
But it is also not so deep that it makes pies look skimpy.
The great thing is that the rim of the plate is wider than in most cases which allows us to shape a pretty crust quite easily.
A clear glass lets you see when your pie is well baked.
Also, you can transfer this plate easily from the freezer to an oven because it is made of borosilicate glass which is not the case with other glass plates.
When we compared all the plates that we have tested, we concluded that the OXO dish (along with the Emile Henry) most definitely produced the most evenly browned crusts.
Crust baked up golden in almost any test that we have conducted, and there were no pale spots on the sides and on the bottoms of pies baked in other plates.
There were a few small crinkles on the edges of a pumpkin pie we baked, but the peach pie was super tasty and juicy with a golden-brown crust at the bottom and at the top.
Both pies that we baked turned out pretty good and they did not stick to the pan luckily.
The OXO plate has 9 inches in diameter, has a volume of about 6 cups and is about 2 inches deep.
If you are crazy about deep-dish this is a perfect plate for you.
WIth this in mind, we discovered that the OXO plate worked very well when compared to some other plates with large capacity for both deep-dish recipes and standard recipes.
Although the crust that we have bought in store just barely fit in OXO, the size of this amazing plate worked perfectly fine for all those homemade pie crust recipes and has enough depth for most deep-dish recipes as well.
Generally, plates that were a bit bigger or even wider made overstretched crusts to slump and helped us make custard pies that did not seem filled.
Generally, the plate gives you enough room to add a decorative edge or plenty of room to crimp.
We also discovered that it enabled crusts to stay in one place while they were being baked.
This plate also has a very good rim that enables you to grasp the hot pie plate much more easily using oven mitts.
Since the OXO plate is see-through, you can see your brown’s crust as it browns.
Although OXO does not have some special design, it simply stands out from the rest on the market.
You can easily clean it with your hands, or put it in the dishwasher – it won’t do any damages.
When buying a plate you can choose to buy a one with a lid so that you can take it with you to parties and bring some awesome homemade pie with you.
There is also a OXO’s Better Guarantee that comes with this plate, which means that OXO will replace it in case it breaks due to any potential defects.
Another great thing about this plate is that there is an excellent service that can help you at any time in case you face some issues or have any questions or dilemmas you would like to solve.
We’ll continue with testing this plate.
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2. The Best Measuring Spoons – Sur La Table Spice Measuring Spoons
One of the essentials of every kitchen utensils are most definitely measuring spoons.
You need spoons in various shapes and sizes to measure various ingredients that you will use for making so many delicious foods and meals.
The easiest way to make the process of measuring easier is to invest in a good set of spoons that will help you measure all the things with accuracy and precision.
They can be rather handy, useful and helpful and they come in a wide range of sizes and shapes.
So to help you pick the right set for your own kitchen we conducted a research and discovered which one should perfectly suit your needs.
How we chose?
Besides accuracy, we also considered other numerous features when we were about to decide which sets we are going to test.
Easy to scoop with: Another thing we focused on when doing our research was the shape of scoops so that we can easily scoop with them no matter what kind of food we are eating or preparing.
Generally, we focused our attention on the spoons that come in rectangular or oval bowls which you can easily put in your mouth or a jar.
It is always much easier to have a spoon with the right size and shape so that you can scoop spices from the jar instead of trying to pour them on a teaspoon.
With this in mind we also included sets of round spoons that were very well-rated in our tests.
However we made sure to avoid those beautifully designed spoons in the shape of a heart which, from our own experience, are not so accurate and efficient.
Another spoons we did not include in our testing were Gimmicky adjustable spoons because they have a tendency to leak liquids so you constantly have to clean them between measuring ingredients.
First, we considered the size of spoons.
So we chose to do a research of the sets that at least have a ¼ teaspoon and ½ teaspoon.
However, we also thought about including some other spoons like ⅛ teaspoon as they allow us to be more accurate when measuring.
But we figured that when we have such small amounts we can simply use half the ¼ teaspoon.
When it comes to other sizes of spoons such as a ¾ teaspoon or a ½ tablespoon, you can use them to measure ingredients with more efficiency but they are not necessary because you are able to easily measure everything with the spoons you already have as well.
Easy to keep together: Another important feature we focused our attention on when choosing the right set of spoons is whether the set came with magnets, a ring, or any other kind of mechanism that could hold the spoons together.
Without such mechanism, spoons could easily fall apart and then get lost.
So, when choosing a perfect spoon set, you need to focus on buying a set that has that kind of mechanism because this is a huge benefit.
Naturally, you can always use spoons even while they are attached to the ring.
But you surely want to avoid the moment when the entire set is dangling in your way while you are cooking.
Spoons that are made of stainless steel: This is another thing we took into consideration.
After we have spent some time testing plastic spoons, we concluded that we need to refocus our attention onto the ones that are made of stainless steel.
According to one of the experts, using plastic spoons to store food is not such a good idea because these spoons are bulkier.
But this is logical.
Plastic spoons must be bulkier.
If they were too thin which is the case which is the case with most spoons, they would just snap.
Also smom other experts explained that those plastic spoons can have some measurement markings on them which can easily wear off over time especially if we wash them in a dish-washer.
Unlike plastic spoons, spoons made of metal have etched or stamped measurements which is why they cannot wear off so easily.
Also, some other esports pointed out that ceramic spoons should definitely be avoided because they can easily break.
Finally, when buying spoons you should always keep in mind that you need to be able to toss the spoons in a dishwasher or a sink without worrying about whether they will break or not.
So, once we listed this criteria, we started researching Amazon to find well-rated and well-reviewed tests to find such sets.
And, finally we decided to take these criteria into consideration, we researched a variety of retail websites and made a list of well-rated and well-reviewed sets we decided to test.
Finally, we’ve tested almost 13 sets of spoons we use to measure ingredients and also analysed even more of them.
How we tested
As we have mentioned before, accuracy is an important factor, particularly for the person who is baking the food.
But, you have to keep in mind that not all the spoons we use to measure are accurate, even when they are a part of one set.
So we decided to test how accurate each spoon in each set was by measuring out water onto a digital scale.
Then we put each spoon into two two spice jars that were of different sizes, one was with a wider mouth, and another was with a narrow mouth, and we tried to notice which spoons could not fit because they were too big (if any).
And, when it comes to the sets that came with a ring, we tried to use each of those sets along with the spoons that were still attached in order to see how easy or strange it was to use them in that way.
Also, we tried to bend each and every spoon to test durability.
Finally we washed them and let them spend overnight in a bag to check whether they will rust.
Another thing we did was to take each spoon and used it to measure a variety of different ingredients including caraway seeds, baking powder, clumpy curry powder, staticky dry yeast, slippery dried oregano, and sticky and thick corn syrup.
We paid attention to how easy it was to level and scoop al of the ingredients separately.
Our choice – Sur La Table Spice Measuring Spoons
The Sur La Table Spice Measuring Spoons were by far the best set of spoons we came across, because they regularly performed excellent in all of our tests.
They have rectangular ends which fit perfectly and easily into all the jars.
Also, the spoons were sturdy enough to be able to withstand bending.
Another reason why we have chosen this set of spoons is because they are comfortable and balanced to handle. Plus, this set comes with both ¾ and ⅛ teaspoons, which is something you won’t come across in every set.
In all of our tests where we tested accuracy, Sur La Table’s spoons are an ideal choice for anything you would like to measure.
When we compared various spoons we realised that some tablespoons were much better than the other spoons at so many levels.
We also found out that the rectangular and slim Sur La Table spoons can fit through the tiniest spice jars. It’s really important to mention that this is something that tablespoons in oval shape simply cannot do.
The handles on these spoons also have an appropriate length so that you can easily and efficiently clean the bottom of any jar.
This was not the case with some other types of spoons which unfortunately made a mess with flour.
One of the reasons why we decided to avoid rectangular spoons is that various ingredients can easily get into the corners and get stuck there.
This is something we frequently came across with a few spoons we analysed.
However, Sur La Table’s spoons turned out to be super efficient as they released cleanly every time, even when we used sticky com syrup.
Another thing that caught our attention were the bowls which were perfectly combined with handles (they are all made of metal).
This table set is made from stainless steel, which is a huge benefit because it didn’t bend under pressure or rust while we were testing them.
The best thing about these spoons is that they will be easily washed in a dishwasher and you will be able to confidently scoop sugar or some other ingredients.
When comparing various types of sets, a large number of other spoon sets we tested easily could not stand the pressure and folded easily.
There were only two other sets that we tested earlier in 2018 which had the similar strength and heft.
A great thing about these spoons as well as with all other spoons made of stainless steel that we have tested is that they have measurement engraved.
This means that there is no risk that the measurements will eventually fade or disappear.
Another good thing here is that measurements are labelled in millimetres which refers to tablespoons and teaspoons as well.
This is not such an important feature, but it’s a plus.
There are a few disadvantages you should be aware of but they definitely are not dealbreakers.
The problem with these spoons is that themeasuremet that is stamped on these spoons can easily wear off and fade away.
Also, it is quite tiny and not so easy to read.
For instance, if you have some problems with your eyesight, you may not be able to read it at all.
Also, we cannot be sure how long the ring that joins spoons together will last, since there is a small hinge you can use to open and close that ring.
However, you can always decide to replace the existing ring with a standard binder ring.
These are just a few minor flaws you may want to know.
However, all the other features and characteristics of these spoons are simply amazing and there is not a single reason why you should not choose these spoons.
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3. The Best Mixing Balls – Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set
Once you measure your ingredients and find and collect all the things you need to make a perfect meal or a cake, you need a bowl where you will be able to mix, stir and whip all those ingredients.
Even though it may seem that spending your time to find the appropriate bowl, it actually is very important to spend some time researching as there is a whole plethora of bowls on the market.
However, to help you make up your mind and choose the bowl that will meet your needs, we conducted the research and these are the findings.
How we chose?
There were a few things we focused on when choosing an ideal bowl.
First of all, an all-purpose mixing bowl should be non-reactive and lightweight, but it also has to be sturdy.
Of course, there are some other things we took into account – we had a short and simple list of criteria we focused when we were testing bowls:
When deciding which bowls we want to test we immediately excluded the ones that were made of plastic, ceramic, or silicon.
However, silicone that bends lacks sturdiness and can create smells which can then transfer to food.
These bowls are very attractive and pretty but can also be quite heavy and they can be damaged easily.
Another type of bowls we excluded are bowls made of stainless steel that have bottoms coated in rubber because there might be a lot of bacteria and mould there which is something we most certainly want to avoid when choosing a bowl.
Efficient mixing, folding, beating, and tossing – An ideal mixing bowl enables you to easily toss chopped vegetables or nuts without using utensils.
They also have a shape wide enough that allows you to fold delicate batters.
Shallow, wide bowls are ideal for mixing, tossin and folding, but they often cannot contain splashes coming from a mixer.
Despite the fact that narrow and deep bowls are a great option when you are using a hand mixer or when you are whisking cream or vinaigrette vigorously, narrow bowels don’t allow you to make much motion.
If you continue mixing for a longer period of time it will ruin your final result.
A bowl’s surface texture is also important – When you feel that your hands are wet or greasy, glass and mirror-finish stainless steel can get quite slippery.
A great all-purpose mixing bowl is nonreactive and lightweight yet sturdy.
Tempered glass is another thing you should take into account: Most glass bowl sets have around 4 quarts which is necessarily a dealbreaker.
This kind of bowl is usually a plenty big option for most dinner preparations and some small baking projects where you don’t have to use a mixer or anything bigger than that that might be too heavy.
For instance, we decided to dismiss an open-stock 6-quart bowl because it was too big and less convenient to handle on a daily basis.
Mixing bowls with a tempered glass are always a good choice if you don’t do much big-batch cooking or in case you don’t have much kitchen storage.
Also, if you are looking for an attractive bowl that will perfectly complement your interior, this bowl is a perfect choice. You can place it anywhere.
The importance of the rim – If you’ve noticed how difficult it can be to get a secure grip with one hand on a mixing bowl while removing the last piece of a cake or batter into the pan, then you know how important it is to buy a bowl that has a rim wide enough.
It allows you to hold onto something so that you can handle the bowl easily, pick it up and hold it when you are mixing, folding, whisking or scraping with your other hand.
After much research we realised that the best bowls are the ones with the rims that have a slightly bent or a little bit rolled edge which should help you grab it with your fingertips easily.
Although we have encountered bowls whose capacity ranged from 20 quarts to 1 ounce, we realised that most bowls come in sizes that are somewhere between 1 and 8 quartz.
When it comes to bowls made of stainless steel, we believe that the best option is to choose a set that has three sizes – 8, 5 and 3 quarts because they are the best option for most people who like to cook food at home.
For stainless steel bowls, we think a set of three with capacities of 3, 5, and 8 quarts is perfect for most home cooks.
For example, a bowl that has 3 quarts is an excellent choice when you want to whisk dressing.
A bowl that has 5 quartz has an ideal size for making cookies and cakes using a mixer.
And a big bowl that has 8 quartz is an ideal choice for anyone who wants to make salads.
We also paid close attention to the build and the base.
A flat base and a sturdy design will help you keep the bowl steady while you are mixing ingredients.
Also, keep in mind that thicker-gauge bowls made of stainless steel are generally more stable.
And if the bowl has a wider base it probably won’t tip or wobble.
But, one of our experts gave us an amazing and super useful tip tip on how to maintain the stability of bowls.
Try using a towel that is rolled up or a wok ring tied into a circle – this should help.
How we tested
We carried out a few tests on a few of the bowls we chose.
First we made a cake batter.
This enabled us to do a few crucial tasks.
To make a French sponge we needed to whip it with a hand mixer using high speed and finally fold it in flour.
We paid our attention to how well each bowl contained splatters from a mixer, and how easily we could perform a variety of motions while we are folding all of the ingredients.
We also evaluated how comfortable it was to hold bowls in you hands and handle them with ease.
We wanted to see how easy it is to toss all the ingredients together without using utensils, so we tossed two cups of ingredients together in all three bowls until they were all joined together.
Next, we checked whether there were pieces of ingredients on the floor or the countertop.
We chose a few bowls with the best performance and did the second test in a row – we tried to whip the cream.
Taking into account that genoise cake can be pretty vicious to make, we first wanted to test how the bowls we believed performed best withstood splashes from some thinner liquids.
The easiest and the best technique you can use to get rid of splashes is to begin slowly and then speed up as you are making your mixture thicker.
However, to get the clear view of the performance, we wanted to see what’s the worst thing that can happen when it comes to the containing ingredients.
This is why we decided to whip the ingredients using a really high speed from the very beginning to the end.
Our choice – Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set
The Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set is our choice, and there is a good reason why we opted for this specific bowl.
It is attractive, durable and versatile.
Also it is the best choice of all our picks in case you use a hand mixer when you are preparing a cake.
This one is excellent at containing splatters.
These types of bowls are also a great value for money because they are lightweight allowing you to easily handle them and there are lids that fit tightly which is ideal for storing leftovers.
However, some people may think that this three-piece Cuisinart has limited capacity because it offers just a few sizes.
In case you are planning to frequently prepare larger amounts of food like pasta salad for a big number of people you should maybe go for another great pick, Thunder Group bowls.
Keep in mind that this Cuisinart set is not only designed for people who frequently use mixers that you can hold in your hands.
But if you use it when preparing food, you need to know that this set is a perfect choice for you.
Also, the set of Thunder Group bowls has glass that weakens with each scrape, bump or clank.
Another great thing about this set is that it can withstand various conditions and damages.
They are not super sensitive and are quite durable to handle and abuse daily.
For instance, we tossed them on the floor just to see what would happen and we even tossed them into the dishwasher where they were subjected to heavy treatment among all other dishes.
Amazingly, we didn’t see any rust or a dent after all of that.
When it comes to aesthetics, this set is amazingly beautiful and pretty attractive, much more than the other bowls we tested along the way.
The Cuisinart bowls look amazing and allow you to easily handle them and grab them which is also a huge plus.
For instance, that perfect design combined with the metal enabled us to securely hold the bowl with our hands.
There are also plastic lids that come with this set.
They are very useful because they make the Cuisinart bowls ideal for storing food in the fridge or transporting food for potlucks.
There were a few more sets that looked similar with lids we wanted to test.
However, It turned out they were not so good as they would let the liquid out and even break if you dropped or knocked the bowl.
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4. The Best Whisk – OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
A cook, a baker or even an amateur can do wonders in the kitchen providing he or she has the right tools to perform that magic.
One of the baking tools that everyone should definitely have in the kitchen is a whisk.
A good efficient whisk will significantly simplify your process of making a meal.
Whisks are easy to use and come in handy when you have to prepare some quick meals like whip an egg in the morning or similar.
If you buy the fist one you come across, you might get a one that is very heavy causing your arm to start feeling pain after some time of whisking.
So there are parameters and criteria you need to keep in mind.
But to help you decide which one you want, we conducted an extensive research and here are the results:
How we chose?
The first thing we did was to decide which shapes and sizes of whisks we should test.
Although there is a whole range of whisks you can find on the market, we believe most people need just one efficient and good multipurpose tool they can whip the cream with and make salad dressing or stir sauce with the same efficiency.
Taking into account that a whisk in the shape of a balloon can help you handle a variety of tasks, we didn’t test flat whisks or dough whisks.
What we first had to do was to decide which sizes and shapes of whisks we would test.
Even though you could buy literally any kind of mask out there on the market, we believe that the majority of people only need one good but tool that would help them stir a sauce, whisk salad dressing or whip cream efficiently.
Taking into account that a whisk which comes in the most common shape of a balloon can perform a whole range of things, we decided not to test whisks that are flat or whisks used to make dough.
Another type of a whisk we also avoided was many new modern shapes of whisks such as cyclones, tornadoes, springs and coils.
These shapes don’t necessarily improve it.
However, we decided to test French whisks.
These kinds of whisks look almost the same as whisks in a balloon shape – they are a bit narrower and intended to get into the tightest spots of the saucepan.
Also we came across some balloon-shaped whisks which were a little bit bulbous and fat.
There is also a group of whisks that are neither too skinny to properly create cream or egg whites or too fat to reach some of the spots of the pot.
We decided to test only whisks that measured between 10 and 12 inches since whisks that are smaller in size are not able to get into the corners of the pots and whip ingredients at the necessary speed and bigger whisks are really difficult to use.
We also tried to avoid whisks that are more expensive than $20, because you won’t be able to find some special features on a whisk that costs $40 to $50 that will make you choose that more expensive ones instead of cheaper ones.
While doing our research we concluded there are a few more features except for shape and size that make some whisks show much better and more significant results than others.
Number of wires
Another important feature when it comes to choosing the right whisk is the number of wires.
While you are stirring and whipping with a whisk, most of the ingredients are blended by using the power of each individual wire.
So, logically, if you buy a whisk that has as many wires as possible, this kind of a whisk will emulsify and aerate more easily and quickly and with more efficiency.
Some of the experts we consulted claim that the best wicks, actually their favourite whisks had around 9 wires, so we decided to skip on anything that had a fewer number of wires and decided to test at least three whisks that have 10 wires, two whisks with 12 wires and one whisk with 11 wires.
Like with the most products we have analysed so far, when choosing a whisk we also took its durability into consideration.
Even though we all know that it is not such a big deal to replace a $10 whisk, we also know that a good whisk should last for many years.
This is why you should be looking for whisks that have epoxy around the wires where they enter the handle:
You also need to know that wires will inevitably bend over time, but they should also be resilient enough to withstand conditions like when you shove them in your drawer.
There are whisks that come with a small ring which is placed around the tip of the wires with the aim to hold them in one place.
This is a great option but it is not obligatory to have it if your whisk is strong enough and if you take care of it over years.
Of course, when you are whisking food you need to feel comfortable which is crucial when you are doing laborious tasks and when you are whisking away for 3 or 4 minutes.
This is why you should be focusing on a whisk that has a handle that is easy to grab and which is too slippery or too bulky.
The ideal scenario would be to buy a whisk that has a handle that is easy to manage in different positions.
Another way you can make stirring food easier is to hold the whisk pointing down from your fist.
This kind of position allows you to use your forearm mostly when stirring, thus keeping your elbow much closer to your body than if you held the handle in a way that it is sticking up from your fist.
If you hold a whisk like you would hold a pencil, it would make it much easier for you to stir food and whip, because it would allow you to get a good rotation using just your wrist.
While we were testing whisks, we came across contoured handles that are much more handy for all kinds of grips.
But these kinds of whisks are plain and they have metal handles which are much more comfortable to use because their diameter is 1 inch (if a whisk is skinny, it is much harder to take it firmly in a fist, if they are thicker, they can be very uncomfortable to use; they belong to the pencil group.
Although, whisks that have handles made of wood can also be less slippery and more comfortable to hold regardless what kind of ingredients you are stirring or whipping, we didn’t do tests on them because this would mean that wood might crack in case you left it in a sink or if you put it and run it in the dishwasher.
Strength and flexibility
One thing you need to keep in mind is that a good whisk should have some kind of bounce.
As you are whisking, springy wires start reverberating and increasing the speed and the power of each stroke.
With that in mind, you need to choose whisks that are strong because thick and stiff wires will not give any of that extra force thus making whisking more laborious.
But, floppy and thin wires can be also very difficult and frustrating to use.
These kinds of whisks get bogged down in thisker mixtures, and they usually bend when they are supposed to stir.
The best type of whisks that will help you prepare food in the best possible way are somewhere in between – wires are strong enough to help you mix pancake batter but springly enough to vibrate for a few seconds when you smack them against the edge of the bowl.
How we tested
As we have already mentioned efficiency and comfort play a huge role when it comes to choosing a super efficient whisk.
While testing whisks we have chosen we took both parameters into account and we tested them simultaneously.
By timing the activity we could get a rough idea of how effective and efficient each of the whisks we have tested was.
However, we also focused plenty of our attention on how we feel while using the tool.
We also thought about whether the handle was not so comfortable to hold in a fist or a grip.
Next, we took each individual whisk to prepare a cream by using our most favourite saucepan.
We noted whether the whisk was narrow so that it could reach even the tightest corners of the pot and whether it was strong enough.
We even attempted to prepare bechamel in a non-stick pan, and it was rather unsuccessful each time.
On top of this, to analyse how durable it was we put both steel and silicone whisks into the dishwasher a few times.
After we realised that the dishwasher melted some of the whisks, we decided to test almost every whisk which is not made of steel by putting it on the hot pan.
Our choice – OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
Taking into account all the tested whisks we concluded that this one was the top performing one because it is the most comfortable to use for mixing, stirring and whipping any kind of ingredients.
This is mainly due to its wires which were lightweight and agile and bouncy rather than whimply.
When compared, some of the models had much stiffer and thicker wires which made the process of whipping laborious.
This model has springy wires making it definitely the super fast whisk for whipping both eggs whites and cream.
It took us up to 3 and half minutes to whip the whites which is great because many other whisks we have tested took almost over 5 minutes to whip egg whites.
Although this may not be the fastest whisk made, it still is faster than any whisk we have tried and we can definitely say that it has gone beyond our expectations.
The OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk is an all-around great tool for almost any kind of activity, from whipping vinaigrette to stirring pancake batter.
It has 10 strong, springy wires, and it’s just the right width that would allow you to excel quality while whipping up cream and also enable you to reach the tightest corners of the saucepan.
It has a handle that is bulbus and grippy making it the most comfortable one to use while whipping or stirring ingredients, regardless of the way you hold the whisk.
There is a small amount of epoxy around the base of wires that prevents water from getting into the handle.
One of the most important things when choosing the whisk that will perfectly suit your needs is the handle. It simply needs to be comfortable.
So, if you do like to use the whisk as a pencil, you should choose TPE, thermoplastic elastomer which is a material that resembles rubber and which is much more comfortable to use than an uncomfortable stainless steel while you are whisking your ingredients vigorously.
This material also keeps the handle from getting covered in grease or becoming slippery or wet.
The handle on this whisk prevents water and bacteria from coming in.
The tests have shown that the whisk can withstand hard whisking as well as being exposed to the conditions in a dishwasher without creating a speck, rust or a bent wire.
On top of this, it also has a lifetime guarantee.
Also, it can be bought at quite a reasonable price of $10.
When we wanted to whisk pastry cream, we discovered that this model is so easy and practical to maneuver even around small saucepans.
The wire end on this whisk is around t 2¾ inches across at its widest, enabling you to reach most some of the tightest corners of the saucepan and prevent things from sticking.
There is a narrow French whisk that works even better but whips less efficiently than other whisks, so we can freely say that this is not a good all-purpose whisk.
Most of the whisks that we have tested were 3 or more inches wide which is why we ere not able to reach those tight corners.
This whisk is also much shorter than almost all the whisks we have tested, which made the process of stirring in tight circles around a small pot so much easier and more comfortable (anything shorter would put our hands much closer to the heat making the whole experience quite uncomfortable).
Finally, we whisked up a silky, thick, lump-free pastry cream with almost no fretting.
While the majority of people might expect us to test whisks that are 11-inch long, we actually tested a whisk that is 9 inch long and that might perfectly fit into a smaller bowl.
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5. The Best Bundt Pan – Nordic Ware Platinum Collection Original 10- to 15-Cup Bundt Pan
Like with other baking tools, a bundt pan is something that everyone who is serious about cooking should have in their kitchen.
So, after conducting an in-depth research where we have read numerous articles, reviews which analysed the qualities and disadvantages of this pan, we have decided to make our own review.
Having a bundt will not only help you make beautiful and super-tasty cakes in a very short period of time, but you will also be able to do it more efficiently and without making the mess in your own kitchen.
This can also be a fantastic gift for someone who is in love with cooking and making delicious cakes.
How we chose and tested?
There are several parameters you need to keep in mind when searching for the right pan. An efficient pan should be super resistant and sturdy.
Otherwise you might make a bundth that has no shape.
Most of the cake pans are made of metal – coated steel or aluminium.
We believe that it is best to focus on these two materials.
Generally speaking, metal has a longer durability than glass or ceramic.
Glass and ceramic can conduct heat less efficiently which will enable you to potentially decrease baking times.
Pans with dark-coloured non-stick coating should also be avoided because both it conducts heat too quickly.
You should also avoid this kind of a pan as it will help you bake your cake on the outside even before the middle is baked.
This means the crust of the cake will become dry and dark, if not even burned once the middle of the cake is done.
When it comes to bundt pans, the most frequent shape is fluted, designed for a ring-shape cake with ridges that segment it.
To compare the pans more accurately this is the shape we focused on while doing our research.
However, this shape has many variations with so many manufacturers producing them.
There are pans that can hold only 5 cups of batter.
However most of the models will hold much more.
There are recipes designed for a pan that can have 10 cups, so you will most definitely want to choose something that holds ten cups as it will accommodate different options.
Plus, it’s always advisable to get a pan with impressive volume but not such good width.
We didn’t test bakeware made of silicone since most professionals we have consulted claim that this will only be frustrating.
First of all, pans made of silicone are very challenging to manoeuvre.
There are also experts that pointed out that when we bake cakes in silicone they tend to brown on the top.
You need to bear in mind that the best pan will help you bake the cake so that it reaches golden-brown colour which makes it sturdy and even a very tasty caramelised flavour.
This kind of kind looks even more appealing than a crustless, pallid cake.
Also, keep in mind that you can easily scratch non-stick pans – you must not use metal tools to clean them because you might damage them.
Also, most of them should not be used in a dishwasher as the coating can be easily damaged and disappear over time.
There are also people who do not want to use nonstick cookware, since they believe that teflon used on them can send carcinogens into the food they consume.
However, this is not really the truth.
Actually, a completely different formula is necessary in order to produce sugars than proteins (which are included in meat and airy).
Most non-stick coatings on most of the bakeware are silicone-based which is generally thought to be appropriate.
During the testing, we decided to bake a cake.
We started by baking each cake individually.
Next, we wanted to check how easily peach cake could be removed from each pan, which we naturally floured and buttered.
We paid attention to how the crust turned brown and we also considered the shape, and the height.
Another thing we thought about is how to make each pan clean and if it was really hard to get rid of crumbs from smaller and harder to reach crevices.
Our choice – Nordic Ware
After parforming many tests, we finally reached the conclusion that the best choice is definitely the Nordis Ware because it is deep and narrow allowing cake to come out taller more easily and quickly.
Of all the pans we have tested, this particular model came as a winner; it is made out of durable, hefty aluminium and has handles that are really easy to hold.
The cake turned brown evenly and also released cleanly and the pan by no means performed better than all the others we have tested.
The cake that we baked in the Nordic Ware pan came out brown.
On the other hand, cakes that were baked in other pans were much paler around the centre hole.
Also, another thing that we liked so much are the handles which were so much easier to hold onto than curved and slippery sides of some of the models we have tested.
The cake we were baking came out in a perfect shape and cleanly, which is the case for all non-stick pans. On the other hand, there were pans that produced particularly square cakes.
When it comes to Nordic Ware pan, it seemed quite undentabel because it has a thick cast of aluminium which was not the case for any of the other pans we have tested.
Most of them performed well, except for some of the Baker’s Secret Basics Nonstick Fluted Tube Pan, which came pretty damaged around the winner tube. So, we concluded that we do not want to test it because a dent can have a bad impact on the look of the pan.
This model is actually the only manufacturer which offers bundt pans in large amounts, all of them with different shapes and in different sizes.
This pan is a perfect choice because it is the only manufacturer which offers an abundance of different amazing and stunning shapes.
This pan has a classic shape and it is one with just a few handles.
These are cast-aluminium pans that should help you bake perfectly formed and a beautifully browned cake in case you want something more interesting.
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6. The best cake pans – USA Pan Aluminized Steel 9×2 Inch Round Layer Cake Pan
How we picked?
Like with all other products there are certain qualities we forced here as well. In other words, you should look for a few things in any pan in order to get the one that will perfectly suit your needs.
An efficient pan should, regardless of the shape, should be resistant to warping and denting.
On the other hand, you might end up with a bundt that has a bad shape.
In most cases, metal is used to make pans, coated steel or aluminium, and we believe that the best thing is to use those models.
Generally metal has a longer durability than most other materials like ceramic or glass.
For instance, both glass and ceramic tend to conduct less efficiently letting you reduce baking times potentially.
Metal pans that have darl-coloured coating should definitely not be used because all of them conduct electricity more quickly.
This means that they will perfectly bake the the cake from the outside while leaving the middle uncooked.
Once the middle is baked, the crust will probably be dark and maybe even burned.
When buying pans, you should focus on a set that includes two or three round pans.
This is essential for most of the layer-cake recipes.
We avoided testing bakeware made of silicone because we believe it would only make us frustrated since silicone material is very difficult to handle inside and outside of the oven.
Also, as some other experts pointed out, when cakes are baked in silicone material they tend not brown.
Therefore, the best cake pan will easily bake cake on the outside and it will even reach golden brown colour, which will make it sturdy with a beautiful caramelized flavour.
Also, it will look much better in a crustless plaid cake.
Pans can have various shapes, some of them are rounded and some of them are sharp.
However, we did not rule out any of them.
Sharp corners on pans look more sophisticated, but it might be pretty difficult to clean the crevices which can be rather frustrating.
It’s much easier to clean round corners and to butter.
However, they can also much shallower than the rest of the pan, which might leave you with a burnt brownie.
One of the things you should be looking for in a good pan is the ability to clean it up effortlessly and easily.
Many of the pans today have nonstick coating, but there are some varieties that do not come with it.
To get the real picture, we decided to test each of them because each of them might have its advantages and disadvantages.
Having this in mind, it’s quite easy to scratch nonstick pans, which means that you are not allowed to use metal forks, knives, spoons and other metal tools because you can easily damage them.
Also, they should not be washed in a dishwasher as they will easily get damaged and the coating can disappear over time.
This is why you will never have a chance to see this model in professional kitchens and some of the experts said they would never use some of them.
Some of the experts said that they prefer uncoated pans which will work just fine even though they are prone to sticking.
Our choice – Aluminized Steel 9×2 Inch Round Layer Cake Pan
After researching for several hours and making many cakes in ten different pans, we decided to go for the USA Pan Aluminized Steel 9×2 Inch Round Layer Cake Pan.
This pan releases cakes with no effort making the yellow cake turn brown and eventually reach the right colour.
It’s sturdy, with a nonstick impenetrable coating, and you can easily hold it with a knife.
The cake that we made in this pan was perfectly baked and it got a nice beautifully golden brown colour.
Although there were a few more pans we have tested, they were also very efficient, but all of them managed to bake beautiful and super tasty cakes.
There were a few pans that really didn’t meet our expectations because.
One of them was also not so deep, which might be problematic when it comes to slightly bigger recipes than the ones we tested.
There was also a Nordic Ware’s Natural Aluminum Nonstick Commercial pan which baked a perfect golden cake.
However, it was a little bit taller than other pans we have tested, but still with a darker top whan any other we have tested.
We conducted a cinnamon roll test and this is where the USA pan proved to be the most powerful one.
Prepared rolls left sugar in all but the USA pan.
Although that sugar was cleaned pretty nicely from most of the pans, it still put the USA pan as the best option to choose.
According to experts, what makes this pan different from the sea of other similar pans is that it has a slightly rigid bottom.
Also, experts agreed that this pan also has a texture that increases the sturdiness of a pan, but this is something you should learn more about after some time of testing.
We have tested three uncoated pans – some were better, some were worse.
However, none of them performed as good as the USA pan.
Unfortunately, with both pans, cakes came not so dark, and even pale, with the slightly sunken centre and a little bit underdone.
Apparently, uncoated aluminium in both pans reflect a bigger amount of heat, thus baking the cake much more slowly.
Finally, you simply must be careful with all non-stick pans you can find on the market.
The USA recommends that you should use only utensils that are not made of metal, and always avoid cleaning it with abrasive substances and materials.
You should also try to avoid washing it in a dishwasher.
But, since it is sturdy, it should last a long period of time if treated properly.
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Why Should You Trust Us?
Therefore, we invested a lot of our time, knowledge and experience into researching the baking tools and focused on providing the most relevant information and all the things you need to know to choose the tools that will perfectly suit your needs.
We have only scratched the surface as there are many other tools you will certainly like to have in your own kitchen.
We believe that creating magic in the kitchen is not possible without the right baking tools.
We hope that this review will help you in your decision-making process and help you become a professional baker or at least spark interest.
If you would like to find out more information on which baking tools would help you create the best possible cakes, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to help you and answer all of the questions you might have. In the meantime, you can read some of our other reviews and learn about the best kitchen products that will perfectly meet your needs.