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Recommended Kitchen Equipment

When preparing your home kitchen for your cottage food business, you want to make sure you are using items that make your products as safe and consistent as possible.

The recommendations below are for the most essential and basic kitchen products that every cottage food entrepreneur should consider investing in.

I further explain these products on video in the 3rd lesson of my free mini course.

I hope you like these as much as I do! – David

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Kitchen Products

Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Kitchen Scale

Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Kitchen Scale

If you already have a digital kitchen scale, I am not recommending that you buy this one instead. This is only for those who do not already have a scale.

I continue to find cooks who do not use a kitchen scale when cooking. It is the best!

It is essential for bakers who weigh things like flour, but I use it in so many other ways too. Most of my recipes have been converted to weight, and I use it almost every time I’m in the kitchen.

There are many other good digital kitchen scales on the market, but this one is affordable, gets great reviews, and has met my needs very well!

OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board

OXO Good Grips Cutting and Carving Board

You might think you already have plenty of cutting boards, but you might want separate cutting boards for your business to prevent cross-contamination.

Although wooden cutting boards are great, they have a higher chance of harboring food particles and bacteria, so an inspector might require you to use a non-wooden one.

I personally use this large plastic cutting board from OXO to cut my fudge, and I also have their smaller version as well.

I like most everything about this cutting board, and it simply works well for heavy-duty jobs!

Dexas Grippmat Flexible Cutting Boards

Dexas Grippmat Flexible Cutting Boards

If your business needs smaller, flexible, less expensive cutting boards that more easily slide into the dishwasher, these are a great option.

And they’re certainly a lot better than the ubiquitous cheap plastic ones that easily curl up!

Most importantly, you can put these boards into the dishwasher, which might be necessary if you need to sanitize them.

Rubbermaid Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer

Rubbermaid Refrigerator/Freezer Thermometer

If you have to get a home inspection to start a cottage food business, and you use perishable ingredients (e.g. eggs), your inspector might require you to show that you’re monitoring your fridge temperature. It should be holding a temperature of 40 degrees or below.

There are a lot of fancy fridge thermometers out there, but this Rubbermaid one works great! And it is very inexpensive.


Rubbermaid Oven/Grill/Smoker Thermometer

Rubbermaid Oven/Grill/Smoker Thermometer

An inspector shouldn’t require an oven thermometer, but in a cottage food business, consistency in baking is key!

It’s worth investing in an inexpensive thermometer like this to make sure your oven stays at the correct temperature, especially since you’ll be using your oven a lot!

ThermoPop Instant-Read Thermometer

ThermoPop Instant-read Thermometer

You might not think you need an instant-read thermometer, but it is one of the best ways to improve the consistency of your products.

If you’re a candy maker, then you likely already use a thermometer. But it has plenty of uses in baking too: checking the temperature of dough, water, butter, eggs, etc. If you don’t always see consistent results with your baked goods, try adding a thermometer to the mix!

The ThermoPop is the best budget instant-read thermometer out there. At $35, it’s more expensive than the cheap ones you’ll find on Amazon, but it should last way longer, and simply be a better device all-around.

Thermapen Mk4 Instant-read Thermometer

Thermapen Mk4 Instant-read Thermometer

Simply put, the Thermapen Mk4 is the best instant-read thermometer on the market! You can even find it in many commercial kitchens, used by large food businesses.

It’s the thermometer that I rely on, and our oldest Thermapen is still going strong after over 20 years!

The only downside is that, at $100, it’s expensive. It’s easily been worth the investment for my fudge business, but for most people, it’s overkill.

The main difference between this and the ThermoPop is that this Thermapen is nearly instant (about 1 second), whereas the ThermoPop takes about 2 – 3 seconds to read an accurate temperature.

Hydrion Chlorine Test Strips

Hydrion Chlorine Test Strips

You should be sanitizing your kitchen equipment after you wash it, and these strips are an easy and effective way to make sure your sanitization solution is at a level of 100 PPM.

However, you likely only need to buy these if an inspector requires you to test each batch of solution. Otherwise, you can just trust that 1 tbsp bleach to 1 gallon of water will get you an effective solution.

And if you can sanitize everything in your dishwasher, you don’t need to create a solution (or need test strips) at all!

Hydrion pH Test Strips

Hydrion pH Test Strips

If you make acid or acidified foods (jams, jellies, pickles, salsas, sauces, etc), they likely need to be at a pH of 4.6 or below.

As long as you are using tried-and-true recipes (such as from a Ball Book), you can trust that your products will be safe.

However, a few states require you to test each batch, and as long as you are producing products that are very acidic (4.1 pH or below), using pH test strips like these is likely the easiest and least expensive way of meeting that requirement.

If you have a borderline product (between 4.1 and 4.6), you will need to use an accurate pH meter to test it.

Silicone Spatula Set By DI ORO

Silicone Spatula Set By DI ORO

These spatulas are, quite simply, amazing!

Even if you already have too many spatulas, take a chance with these. I still have a few old spatulas in the kitchen, but these are the ones I always grab.

I only got one initially, but I liked it so much that I ordered a full set later.

They strike the right balance between flexible and rigid. Being a single piece of silicone (with a steel-reinforced handle), they are easy to wash and have no crevices for food to hide.