A candy-making kitchen has to be properly equipped. When I was very young, my dad taught me that having the correct tools for the job and knowing how to use them is largely responsible for success. This statement applies to your kitchen. You do not need commercial equipment in your home kitchen to be a successful candy-maker, but you have to have good tools. And you must know how to use them. So, here I list kitchen tools and gadgets that I consider to be essential for a successful candy-making kitchen. I am assuming you have a good stove and refrigerator in your kitchen!
Heavy Duty Stand Mixer
Heavy Duty Cookware
I use heavy stainless steel cookware, and my favorite pieces are a 2½ quart sauce pan and a 5 quart pot. I do not use non-stick cookware for candy-making. You can buy a whole set, or just the pieces you need.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Every kitchen needs a good set of measuring cups and spoons. I prefer plastic or silicone grips on long-handle spoons. Measuring hot syrup with stainless steel measuring spoons will heat the handles to the point you can’t hold them long!
You must have wooden spoons to make fudge and other candies. Get good wooden spoons that are strong and clean up easier. Cheap ones can break when you stir and beat your syrup.
I only use a candy thermometer on recipes that require precise temperature measurement, like fudge. You will need a good thermometer that clips to the side of your pan because you do not want the tip to touch the bottom of the pan.
A kitchen scale is very useful and handy, but you can get by without one.
Mezzaluna Rocking Knife
A rocker knife is especially handy for cutting your fudge and caramel into squares. You can use floss to make beautiful cuts, but floss won’t cut through nuts. So I recommend a knife like this one.
You’ll need a good cutting board on which to cut your candies and to protect your knife blades and countertops. I recommend a durable bamboo board like this one.