When it comes to outfitting your first kitchen, you might find yourself getting lost in the trenches of kitchen knives and wooden spoons. We get it. You definitely need those things! But what else is on the lineup of kitchen-mastery must-haves? We asked self-taught-turned-professional baker, food photographer, and cookbook author Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker. Knowing that Wilson is self-taught, we figured she must have a handle on the perfect balance of essentials and unexpected secret weapons. Read on for her top six! Do you have 'em all?
KitchenAid Hand Mixer ($289)
“No need for a big stand mixer when counter space is precious. This hand mixer makes everything from brownies to yeasted breads, depending on your kitchen ambition.”
Recipe to Try: Mix up Joy’s insanely decadent raspberry and sea salt brownies—you’ll love the secret ingredient.
World Market ($20)
“A set of white nonstick pans is super versatile. Think: perfect eggs, pretty enough to serve in, and the white pan is also great for browning butter… because nothing should get in between me and Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
Recipe to Try: Scramble up a filling Costa Rica-style breakfast of eggs topped with avocado, jalapeños, and plantains.
La Chinata Hot Smoked Paprika ($15)
“This is my secret weapon in the kitchen. It goes on everything from eggs to meat to vegetables. Smoky and spicy, just a pinch will make any dish worlds better!”
Recipe to Try: Delectable breaded, spicy, crispy shrimp—oh, yes. This New Orleans-inspired dish is packed with flavor, paprika included.
Maldon Sea Salt Flakes ($6)
“Everything is better with a good sprinkling of sea salt—chocolate chip cookies, especially!”
Recipe to Try: Enjoy some next-level perfect chocolate cookies, made with brown butter and crunchy flakes of sea salt.
Di Oro Living Silicone Spatula Set ($18)
“These gems go from sautéing to dough making. Super versatile!”
Recipe to Try: Try adding juicy, flavor-packed roasted tomatoes drizzled in olive oil to a pasta dish—you’ll be glad you did.
Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater ($6)
“Cooking is all about getting the most flavor out of simple ingredients. A microplane is a great tool to grate citrus zest, add fresh ginger to stir fry, and finely grate cheese. It’s a simple tool that gives dinner a gourmet touch.”
Recipe to Try: Flour packed with the flavor of lemon zest makes Joy’s Meyer lemon bar brûlée something truly special.