So you have a budding young chef in your household and he/she is begging you to let them cook in your kitchen. But you don’t know what to give them in regards to tools and equipment.
Let me make it easy for you! After years of cooking and baking with children we have come up with a comprehensive list of kitchen tools, equipment, and basics that everyone should have in their kitchen.
Your kid doesn’t need a bunch of special equipment to become proficient in the kitchen. It is more about it being the right fit, size and with little bit of foresight and you can let them cook up a storm. But you will need a few basic things to make sure your kid is successful in the kitchen.
Let us get into the nitty gritty of these items:
Let's start with the most controversial item: the knife. The knife needs to fit well in your child's hand, their fingers should fit around the handle and I personally think a chef knife is better then a small paring knife. There is something about holding a knife with some weight that makes it feel more secure, these little paring knives are just too light too pointy and just too dangerous in my opinion. (Don’t know your knifes? Here is a guide) there is a good chance that you already have one that works. Take a couple of minutes with your child and find the knife that really fits. But one thing is make sure the knife is sharp, a dull knife is actually more dangerous. Here is a video on how to sharpen a knife.
Do make sure that you store the knife in a safe place out of reach, especially if you have younger kids who are not ready to use the knife.
I teach my students to keep their knife above the cutting board with the blade facing away, when not in use, so that the knife can not be accidentally knocked off the counter.
Speaking of knives, as a parent I can remember the first few times I handed my child a chef knife and boy was I freaked out. But over the years of teaching children how to use knifes, I can tell you that a good sharp knife will do less harm then us giving them “child safe” plastic knives which in theory seem safer but ultimately they will need to apply too much pressure and they are just not sharp enough which can lead to accidents.
If you are not ready to hand your kid a chef knife (no judgment here!), try these amazing cut resistant gloves.
They will not break the bank and oftentimes double as pretty decent potholders to protect those little hands.
A good cutting board is a dream. I like mine heavy, big and wooden. This would also be a great gift idea for your child. There are so many different cutting boards out there, it would be easy to cater to your child's preferences.
What do you look for? It is important that the cutting board lays flat on the counter, if it is made of plastic or glass, they sometimes like to move around depending on what surface the cutting board is sitting on. A moist paper towel, or dish towel placed under the cutting board will keep it in place.
Also it is always nice to know that it can fit in your sink, for easy clean-up and that your child can carry it easily.
Spatulas and spoons to stir that don't get hot when cooking, or that can easily melt or break. Just remember they are still learning. So don’t give your kid a metal spatula in a non-stick pan!
They need to learn about everything else and not have to worry about damaging the pots and pans on top of it.
Your pots and pans should sit securely on your stovetop, we don't want them to be too small and wobble. They should sit securely on the burner. Any pots that don’t should be hidden from the kids. It would be great if they have lids and lastly I always recommend pots that have handles that do not get hot. If that is all you have you can purchase silicone handle protectors.
A set of measuring spoons & cups are a must, a liquid measuring cup would also be amazing, especially if it can be set in the microwave. Please keep the measuring spoons and cups on the ring it comes with, it is really difficult for the kids when they have to search for the missing measuring spoon or cup.
Zesters, my favorite is a micro blader, but whatever you have at home will be fine, don’t overthink this one. If we are after some lemon zest we will figure it out.
If you want to go all out, a simple citrus juicer is a nice things to have, but a fork will do the trick.
If your child is not able to stand at the counter and comfortably reach everything and or get proper leverage while cutting should have a secure stepping stool to stand on. Most of us still have those around, it’s worth pulling it back out of wherever it's hiding. :)
A colander that can sit securely in your sink, when draining pasta. You don't want your child to have to hold a colander while pouring off boiling water.
2. Simple equipment like an electric mixer, and food processorI am not a big fan of a lot of gadgets, but an electric mixer will make your life easier, especially when whipping cream or egg whites. It does not need to be a super fancy stand mixer, though I do recommend that you get an electric mixer that also has a whisk attachment! Like this (I do not get any cut for any of these items, these are just examples)
A food processor is great for making pesto, smoothies, ice cream, gelato, sorbet, etc. It also works great for chopping up things like onions or carrots. This piece of equipment is not a must but sure is nice to have. Make sure you show your kids the blade, explain that this is nothing but a knife, so they need to treat it with the utmost respect. Also show them how to turn the food processor on. I like to do several test runs, because if you have ever used one of those machines, you know. :)
3. Kitchen basics like a set of good potholders, apron, dishtowels, spongesInvest in some good fitting potholders, for me this is probably the one thing that is an absolute must! They can’t be too bulky, you still need to have some dexterity while wearing them. I prefer the mitten style, just because your hand is fully protected.
Make sure those potholders are not close to any water, a moist or wet potholder is absolutely never to be used on anything hot!
Aprons are nice but not necessary. I go back and forth of wearing an apron. Obviously as a chef we wear our uniform but when I cook at home I oftentimes don’t wear one. But for kids it creates another layer of protection. Aprons protect your child's clothing from stains but also they protect your child from potentially spilling hot liquids on them.
An inexperienced chef should always wear long sleeve cotton shirts to protect arms from spills and burns.
Of course close toed shoes are also a great idea, just in case a knife falls or something spills.
In my classes I always teach the kids how to clean up, so make sure they know where everything is for that. I like to tell them before they start that I expect the kitchen to look the way they found it when they are done.
Get them their own sponge, soap and dish towel if you have a very anti-cleaning child, sometimes that is all it takes.
Sometimes even a little rug on the floor, kids can get a little messy and a wet floor can cause someone to slip and fall, so maybe invest in a cheap little non-slip rug to lay on the floor in front of your sink.
I hope these tips and tricks were helpful. If you have any tools or items you find super helpful in your kitchen do let me know, I am always curious how other people manage their spaces.
Treat your mother (earth) to some sweetness and kindness!
Happy (Almost) Earth Day!
Hello my fellow earthling!
I wanted to share with you this video that has some wonderfully useful tips on how to regrow and reuse food waste. We would love to see how you incorporate these ideas into your everyday life, as every day is Earth Day! :)
WHAT OTHER WAYS DO YOU CELEBRATE THE EARTH?
Join us as we create visually stimulating cookies to celebrate Earth Day!
This class is FREE for new students and just $15 for returning chefs.
Saturday, April 23rd @ 10:00am - 11:00am, click the button below to register
2022 SUMMER CAMP
If your kids are already making dinner, why not include dessert too?
Chef Pascal's Favorite Carrot Cake
THE BEST CREAM CHEESE ICING
Earth Day Cookie Class is next Saturday
Saturday, April 23rd at 10 am - 11 am
FREE for new students, discounted price for existing students
In today's Newsletter:
SIGN YOUR KIDS UP FOR OUR BRAND NEW CLASS OFFERINGS:
A Quick and Easy Easter Cake
Hi everybody! Sorry, this isn't a blast from the past about an iconic '80s film that many parents will remember and nearly none of our kids will remember. This is Sara and I want to take a minute to talk about breakfast food.
Breakfast is one of my most favorite food groups of all time. No hyperbole! I promise that when I first interviewed for Home Slice Pizza in 2007, they asked what my favorite food to make for others was. I said breakfast, I still mean it.
Some might think this to be a simple task, but I ask ... have you ever tried to make the perfect hashbrowns or over-easy fried egg? Not easy AT ALL! Let your kids master the skills to start the day in a delicious way this summer.
This video is full of meals that I had never heard of, let alone for breakfast!
Does your child love to be as literal as possible?
We added a last-minute Easter Wreath class!
This is a German tradition that I remember fondly from my childhood.
Come and join me for this lovely baking tradition on Saturday, April 16th from 10am - 12pm.
It is literally just fun to make and your kids will love it. Also it looks lovely on your breakfast table.
If we could humbly ask for your vote in the finals, it would mean the world to win the Best Summer Camp recognition two years in a row!
We know what an impact we have on the kids and their families and it inspires us to push even further than we thought we could go. This year is going to be even greater than last year, with feedback and class ideas coming directly from our Bake Austin budding chefs.
The final round of voting started, Thursday, March 31st, and goes until Monday, April 18th! Please take a moment to vote for us one more time in the Kids & Family category for Best Summer Camp. We quite literally could not do this without you and we are so, so grateful!
Chef Pascal and Bake Austin
Summer Camps 2022 are starting to fill up!
Grab your spot today!
Only 8 more weeks and summer starts, at least for us here in Texas!
We have a bunch of cool summer camps still open for enrollment.
A few camps are starting to fill up.
Cooking camps for kids are growing in popularity and that makes me so happy! How awesome is it that kids crave this knowledge!? It only does it empower them to learn valuable life skills, but it also gives parents, and especially mom a break making meals.
In our kids cookery school we help families create delicious memories together in the kitchen. My greatest hope is for your kids to take over cooking in your kitchen at least once a week. This way the rest of the family can sit down at the table and enjoy a meal together without having had to cook.
In our cooking camps for kids this is exactly what we teach!
LET'S CELEBRATE APRIL FOOD'S DAY
April Fool's Day has the potential to be one of the most fun and delicious days of the year! While most people default to cruel and unsettling pranks, one of my favorite ways to celebrate is by making imposter foods. This is good-hearted and a literal treat for everyone. The recipes below are some of the most popular that I have ever taught and I'm sure your kids will not forget tricking unsuspecting family members into eating a cupcake that looks like a burger!
Imposter foods are the kind of trickster activity that we can all enjoy!
Click below for the PDF
We hear your requests and are creating a new Movies & Food camp this year -
We picked a few of our favorites!
- Sound of Music (Schnitzel with Noodles)
- Encanto (Arepas)
- Pixar's short film Bao (Bao Buns)
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Spaghetti and Meatballs)
- Ratatouille (Ratatouille)
We are still in the process of creating the curriculum -
this camp will be posted soon!
Did you know that it is estimated that humans began to bake bread around 10,000 years ago?
When ancient humans started to transition from a nomadic lifestyle to a more fixed homestead, they began to farm various grains and experimented with grinding the grains into flour and "baking" bread. This style of baking was much different than the form we are familiar with today.
Watch the video below with your kids to enjoy some full-on belly laughs. Enjoy!
I had a few questions come my way, regarding summer camp enrollment.
Can siblings or friends take the class together?
Yes, siblings and friends can take the class together as long as they are participating on one device for no extra cost.
We would like to participate in just one or two classes per week. Do you have drop-in options for the summer camps?
Yes, we have drop-in options for all but two camps this summer. See the video below.
Do you have a recipe from your childhood that is so rich in nostalgia that you are immediately transported to your grandmother's kitchen? We want to know what reminds you of home and share in the joy!
COFFEE CAN BREAD
From: Opal Ellison
- 1 pkg yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1 Tbsp sugar (divided)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 can (13 oz) evaporated milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups unsifted flour
- Mix first set of ingredients and let stand until bubbley (approx. 15 minutes). Stir in second set of ingredients. Put into greased metal coffee cans. Cover with plastic lids. Let stand in a warm place until plastic lids pop off (approx 45-60 minutes for a 1 lb can, or 1-1 1/2 hour for a 2 lb can) Bake (without lids!) at 350 for 45 minutes (1 lb can) to 60 minutes (2 lb can). The crust will be very brown - brush with melted butter. Cool 5-10 minutes on rack in upright cans.
Fresh croissants are a labor of love and will take us all week to ensure their flakiness and buttery goodness. We will be baking the croissants on that Friday, but all of the days leading up to that are crucial. Are you familiar with the phrase, "good things take time?"
Your child will be able to understand this concept on a whole new croissant-flavored level, in addition to knowing how to make Japanese Milkbread, Bavarian Pretzels, delicious Challah Bread, French Baguette, and Crusty Bread Rolls.
2022 Summer Camp Highlight
June 13th - 17th from 11am-1:30pm CST
Monday (6/13) - Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
Tuesday (6/14) - Caramel Apple Upside-down Cake
Wednesday (6/15) - Cinnamon Rolls
Thursday (6/16) - Palmiers with Puff Pastry
Friday (6/17) - Pavlova
Before founding Bake Austin, Pascal Simon earned her degree as a Pastry Chef from the prestigious Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. A mother of two, Pascal is passionate about cultivating the next generation of bakers and welcomes children from all schooling backgrounds, whether public, private or homeschooled.